Koreshan Unity Collection (Part Two)

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:

Unprocessed box

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.

Processing the collection

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3 thoughts on “Koreshan Unity Collection (Part Two)

  1. All bundled up for winter… and processing!
    Bethanie, you’re doing such a great job bringing order to chaos.

  2. I helped with boxing the Koreshan materials for shipment to Tallahassee. I am a Koreshan desendant and a long time volunteer at Koreshan State Historic Site. If you have any questions let me know. Looking forward to following your progress with the collection. I feared we were sending the material to its grave and am very very glad to see that it will be processed for future research.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Mr. Grace. We met at the College of Life in 2008 when I visited to begin the inventory. You and the State Historic Site staff did a wonderful job packing the collection for shipment, and we hope you will be equally pleased with the progress we are making in processing the collection. It is an immensely valuable collection that has already garnered a considerable amount of academic interest, and we are very excited to be able to preserve it and make it available for research. Thanks for offering to share your knowledge with us, and let us know if we can answer any questions for you as well! -Beth G.

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