Margot Note

Margot Note is an author, archivist, and records manager helping individuals and organizations harness their history. As the principal of Margot Note Consulting LLC, she facilitates the understanding of the importance of unique collections, suggesting ways to manage them and use them to tell stories to connect with people. To learn more, please visit margotnote.com.

Recent Posts

Nuts & Bolts of Scope Statements for Archival Projects

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 10/15/2018

A clear understanding of the scope is the basis on which successful archival projects are built. Without it, archivists will struggle to deliver a project well.

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Topics: Archives, Strategy, Professional Development

Eliciting Archival Project Requirements

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 10/1/2018

Archivists can use several elicitation techniques to gather requirements for their projects. These methods, ranging from document analysis to in-depth interviews, provide ideas for needed projects.

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Topics: Archives, Digital Archives, Strategy

Gathering Requirements for Archival Projects

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 9/24/2018

Requirements for archival projects are different from goals and objectives. Requirements specify what the deliverables of the completed project must be. Requirements define the final product, service, or result. These are statements of quantitative criteria, each of which provides a measure of one or more of the project’s critical success factors. You can visualize the requirements when you consider the current condition of an organization and then examine its future state once the project is completed.

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Topics: Archives, Strategy, Professional Development

Developing Goals and Objectives for Archival Projects

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 9/17/2018

Goals and objectives are instrumental in strategic planning for archives because they turn the project’s vision into measurable targets. Goals are the ends towards which a project is directed; objectives are more detailed than goals and explain how goals will be accomplished. With both in hand, archivists build and support the vision for what they wish to achieve with their projects.

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Topics: Archives, Digital Archives, Professional Development, Strategy

Identifying Worthwhile Archival Projects

4 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 9/10/2018

The most vital aspect of managing a successful archival project is identifying the right problem to be solved. In the cultural heritage sector, too many excellent exciting projects exist, but limited resources hamper seeing them to fruition. Archivists should prioritize projects that add value to the organization.

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Topics: Archives, Strategy, Professional Development

Archives Collection-Level Description: Pros & Cons

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 8/27/2018

Although some archivists debate the necessity for item-level access, it is often more challenging to describe images in the aggregate. Collection-level description can be useful for images of the same subject, but problematic for collections with a variety of subjects, as it neither improves retrieval nor limits the handling of the originals. Group arrangement and description are necessary for large collections or when resources are limited.

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Topics: Archives, Collections Management, Digital Archives

Archives & Item-Level Description: An Integrated Approach

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 8/20/2018

Traditionally, archivists have dismissed arrangement at the item level as having little utility and being impractical for modern collections. However, archival surveys conducted over the years have found that a significant proportion of archivists have adhered to item-level description—even though it is contrary to the traditional archival practice of collection-level description. The same discrepancy between literature and practice appears to be true for visual collections.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

The Current State of Description for Archives

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 8/13/2018

In July 1945, Atlantic Monthly published “As We May Think,” by army scientist Vannevar Bush, an essay that had an immense influence on the history of computing. Bush was concerned about the explosion of information without a means to quickly retrieve data.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives

Metadata Best Practices

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 8/6/2018

Metadata is structured data about data, information that facilitates the management and use of other information. The function of metadata is to provide your users with a standardized means for access to digitized materials. However, it is not enough to use just any metadata standard.

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Topics: Archives, Digital Archives

Metadata for Archival Collections: Challenges and Opportunities

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/30/2018

Metadata is one of the significant costs of digitization. Although archival items can be digitized without cataloging, a digital collection cannot be created and delivered without metadata.

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Topics: Digital Archives

Ethical, Legal, and Cultural Considerations for Digital Archival Projects

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/23/2018

When digitizing collections, archivists should always take legal and ethical rights into consideration and proceed with caution when documenting culturally sensitive content—with sympathy as to the context of how the materials were collected, and consideration in the manner in which such content is presented.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

Archives: Values to Consider During Selection for Digitization

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/16/2018

Selection practice in most archives is aimed at meeting the current needs of user communities. Criteria developed by archives to select items for digitization are based on evidential and aesthetic values, as well as informational, intrinsic, and artifactual values.

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Topics: Digital Archives

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