The HP Archivists: Transforming Old Records Into Gold

While some people know about the ancient alchemists who magically transformed lead into gold, the general public likely hasn’t seen or been exposed to the wizardry a good archivist employs to transform old records into valued treasures. This posting will reveal the expertise and tools the Heritage Professionals team relied on when processing the Yorkdale Mall records that document its amazing 50 year history.

IMG_0805We started off by taking all of the slides and photographs and organizing them chronologically by event. They were then placed in acid-free envelopes and folders, described, labelled and placed in archival boxes. Two of the staff, Katie Shoemaker and Jessica Silverman, both of whom are photo experts, tackled this work.

IMG_0804One of our seasoned archivists, Simon Rogers, took on the 35 boxes of textual records. The documents were mostly organized in binders by event. We implemented the same arrangement scheme as with the graphic materials and disposed of the old binders. After the multiple copies and non-archival materials were culled, we were left with 20 boxes of filed documents.

IMG_0808At the end of the arrangement and processing exercise, we were left with an extremely attractive and well organized collection of materials. Not only will the records have a much extended life span, but they will be far easier to access and digitize in preparation for the next phase of the project. To the left is an image of photographs that have been placed in acid-free envelopes, folders and boxes.




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