Technical Leaflet #3: Planning for Archival Programs: An Introduction

By Bruce Dearstyne

The Technical Leaflet Series “is intended to provide brief, practical information about selected archival topics suitable especially for beginners in the profession. “ The Technical Leaflets continue to serve as introductions for new archivists, archivists working with new formats, and solid principles on many topics.

With greater influx of collection material, increased demand for materials to be made available more quickly, and rapidly changing formats in need of timely intervention and migration, many archivists are planning large projects. Large projects that involve time, money, people, communication, and measurable outcomes for the investment(s). This leaflet provides a very basic overview of how to plan, whether it’s for a project or for an entire archival program. More attention is being paid to project management approaches to processing and other sorts of projects within a repository; this leaflet outlines some of the first steps of project management: define your project; analyze current resources; formulate goals, objectives, and activities; and implementation of the plan.

This is a broad approach to planning a project or planning an archival program that is applicable to many different situations. With advice to understand the plan is flexible, buy-in from all parties is essential, and deadlines and deliverables must be met, this leaflet remains a great go-to.

A digitized version of this Technical Leaflet can be found at


–Maureen Cech, Technical Leaflets Editor

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