Bancroft Camp 16 Appraisal & Finding Aid

For the Bancroft Camp 16 project, I developed and created an appraisal report and finding aid for this archived collection.  As an employee of the Wisconsin Historical Society, I was tasked with appraising a collection of records based on evidential value and informational value.  This collection contains six boxes of various records and ephemera with over 800 pages of documents from the Bancroft Camp 16 of the United Spanish War Veterans.  These documents are a sample reflecting the total collection which is approximately 25,000 pages.  The appraisal report was to indicate that the collection should be acquired by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

After looking at each document and piece of ephemera, I was able to write a history of Bancroft Camp 16, discussion of related publications and records, general description of the records, and an explanation for acquiring the collection.  I also grouped the records into series and appraised each series, giving an overview of relevant and irrelevant information contained in each record.  This project gave me real-life experience in acquiring and appraising an archives collection.  I was able to organize and evaluate each series within the collection, making recommendations on what to keep and discard.  These skills will be useful in any information environment I enter as a professional.

In creating the finding aid for this collection, I developed a coherent organizational structure for the collection and wrote a descriptive summary.  I also wrote an abstract, a short history of Bancroft Camp 16, a description of the records, and an inventory list arranging the series titles in appropriate order with appropriate headings that would help a researcher understand the collection.  The work involved in creating this finding aid introduced me to the basic concepts of arrangement and description.  This exercise broadens the ways in which I can organize, evaluate, and arrange different types of archive records.  It also gives me a better understanding of archives and records management which can be applied to many areas within the field of information science.  This project enabled me to develop a new skill set and understanding of collection organization and management.

Competencies Demonstrated:  Information Resources