Posted by: kbenoy | December 8, 2011

Physical Reorganisation of the Collection – Part 2

Since my last blog post on Wednesday I have been busy continuing to sort the collection. I was able to finish labelling the remaining boxes on Wednesday. On Thursday, I had help from two volunteers to finish sorting out the odds and ends left over that had not yet been reboxed. They also helped to list some of the larger parts of the collection so I will still be able to find the records in their new boxes.

After lunch we started the mammoth task of returning all the boxes to their home in the Yellow strong room. This began by organising the boxes in the meeting room in to the correct order for shelving followed by a chain of staff and volunteers the bring the records back across the building.

Organised boxes waiting to be taken back to the strong room

Volunteers loading the boxes on to the trolley

Jon putting the trolley of boxes in the lift


The empty space in the strong room gradually filling up

On Friday, I started to sort out the location labels to go on the new boxes. Each section of a strong room in the archive has a colour and each shelf has a number to help find the required records. I started by identifying the numbers of the shelves ready to label the boxes.

Shelves labelled with location numbers

Then I identified the boxes that had been reused and began removing the labels by soaking them with a little water. These location labels were there reused in the appropriate place.

Removing old labels

Once I had reused all the old labels I filled in the gaps with new labels until all the boxes had a location label.

All the boxes with yellow location labels

Now all the locations labels are on the boxes the next thing to do is add all the locations to the catalogue entry on CALM, the archive database. The locations are added to the item level description on the catalogue.

Box containing the Craddock Brothers records at location Yellow 53

A screenshot from CALM showing the location box for one of the Craddock Brothers records

For the rest of this week I am going to add the remaining location details to the records on CALM and continue to tidy up the collection ready for cataloguing.


  1. This is great – it all looks really organised! I’ve still got this relabelling, sorting, organising and reshelving to come on my project. It can be a bit of a scary thought sometimes but you’ve reminded me, and reassured me, that as long as I’m organised it’ll all be ok!

    • It has gone well – better than I expected, but as I hadn’t done anything of this scale before it was half planning and half making it up as I went along! It has shown just how much cataloguing I have left to do – that’s a scary thought!

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