The Koreshan Unity Collection: An Inside Look into Processing a Large Archival Collection (Part Two)
In 2009, the Koreshan Unity collection was transferred to the State Archives of Florida and staff began their initial assessment and planning for processing the collection.
The collection had been rearranged numerous times over the course of its century of existence, so archivists could not determine in what order the records might have originally been filed or used – what archivists refer to as original order.
Here is a typical box as it appeared upon arrival at the State Archives:
In the absence of original order or any obvious organizational scheme, archivists began by identifying general categories of activities or topical areas under which all of the records appeared to fall. Archivists then began a rough sort of the boxes into these categories, forming preliminary record series, or sets of files that document certain functions or activities of the organization.
In late 2011, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) awarded the State Archives grant funding to conduct detailed processing of the collection. The grant enabled the Archives to hire a full-time project archivist whose work we are highlighting throughout this series of posts.