Below are the scheduled sessions for Virtual AERI 2022. Please note that each session will have its own registration procedure located in the individual event page. Click through to each event to register and receive the video conference (Zoom) information.

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Panel: Caring for Collections: Accessioning and Effective Archival Stewardship

July 14, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0

PANEL: Caring for Collections: Accessioning and Effective Archival Stewardship

Register in advance for this meeting:


  • Rosemary K. J. Davis, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University
  • Meaghan O’Riordan, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library, Emory University


Archival accessioning is often defined as taking physical, legal, and intellectual custody of newly acquired collection material. But this simplistic definition does not reflect the human experiences of physical, intellectual, and emotional labor–which can include juggling logistics, managing donor relations, and providing quick access through arrangement and description–performed during accessioning.

In 2019, Rosemary K. J. Davis, Accessioning Archivist for the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, and Meaghan O’Riordan, Accessioning Archivist for the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library at Emory University, embarked upon a research project to examine archival accessioning labor throughout the United States. This research focuses on a deep examination of current accessioning labor with an accompanying analysis about ways to make this work more visible and effective.

Their talk will provide an overview of their research to date, which includes a labor survey and multiple site visits. In particular, Davis and O’Riordan will delve into a collaborative element of their project: the recently launched Best Practices for Archival Accessioning Working Group. Currently, every organization develops their own unique accessioning workflows because–while arrangement and description, public services, and instruction protocols are developed using existing recognized best practices–there are no established standards for establishing and managing a comprehensive accessioning program. This working group aims to develop a suite of adaptable, holistic workflows that can be used to implement and strengthen accessioning practices throughout the field.

Developing a better understanding of how repositories define and navigate accessioning is crucial illuminating the and bringing visibility to the labor involved to performing special collections stewardship rooted in transparency and mutual trust between all parties. Through this forum and their research, Davis and O’Riordan hope to kickstart thoughtful conversations within the profession about how to empathetically and efficiently care for collections through well-defined accessioning best practices.

Will this session be recorded for the AERI2021 Youtube channel? Yes


July 14, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0
Event Category: