free guides

free guides


These resources and guides are best practices used by various trusted archival, historical, and information institutions/professionals. These are not meant to be definitive authorities. Please be sure to also do your research, consider consulting published resources first, and be open to standards and best practices changing over time. The archives field is full of many best practices and little standardization.

Congregational Leadership – New

Overview of Archives Central Dominican Repository Problems and Possibilities submitted by Mary Navarre, OP

Arrangement and Description

Arrangement & Description Manual for Processing Archival Collections by Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board

Finding Aids

How to write your finding aid

Describing Archives: A Content Standard by Society of American Archivists 

Finding Aid Examples by Georgia Historical Society

Learning EAD and EAD Examples

EAD by EAD Diva 

Encoded Archival Description by Library of Congress 

EAD Template by Catholic Research Resources Alliance 

Creating an XSLT Stylesheet for EAD Records by Practical Technology for Archives 

 Audio Preservation

General Guide

Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation by Mike Casey and Bruce Gordon 

Care and Handling of AV Materials

Proper Care and Handling of Audio Visual Materials by Library of Congress 

Caring for Audio by National Film and Sound Archive of Australia 

Audio and Video Carriers by Dietrich Schuller

Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling by John Van Bogart 

AV Storage

IPI Media Storage Quick Reference by Peter Z. Adelstein

Digitization of Audio Records

Guidelines for the Creation of Digital Collections (Audio) by Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois

Video Preservation

Care and Handling of AV Materials

Proper Care and Handling of Audio Visual Materials by Library of Congress

Audio and Video Carriers by Dietrich Schuller

Videotape Identification and Assessment Guide by Texas Commission on the Arts

Magnetic Tape Storage and Handling by John Van Bogart 

AV Storage

Quick Reference for AV Storage by Peter Z. Adelstein 

Digitization of Video Records

Guidelines for the Creation of Digital Collections (Moving Image) by Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois

Film Preservation

General Guides

The Film Preservation Guide by National Film Preservation Foundation 

Home Film Preservation Guide by The Association of Moving Image Archivists 

 Photograph Preservation

Care, Handling, and Storage

Care, Handling, and Storage of Photographs by Library of Congress

Care of Photographs by Northeast Document Conservation Center

Preservation and Conservation of Photographs Resources gathered by Harry Ransom Center

Introduction to Digital Preservation

General Guides

Digital Preservation—A Focus on Metadata by Emily Reed

Digital Preservation 101 by Digital Powrr 

You’ve Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media by Ricky Erway

Walk This Way: Detailed Steps for Transferring Born-Digital Content from Media You Can Read In-house by Ricky Erway



Personal Digital Archiving: The Basics of Scanning by Mike Ashenfelder

Minimum Digitization Capture Recommendations by Ian Bogus, George Blood, Robin L. Dale, Robin Leech, and David Matthews

BCR’s CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices by Bibliographic Center for Research

Best Practices and Procedures Guides by Visual Resources Association

File Types

Digital File Types by National Archives

Format Conversion Strategies for Long-Term Preservation by Bentley Historical Library    

Naming Conventions

File Naming Best Practices by Renee Wilson, Utah State Archives 

Guidelines on File Naming Conventions for Digital Collections by University of Colorado Boulder Libraries


What is Metadata?

Metadata by Society of American Archivists 

Digital Preservation—A Focus on Metadata by Emily Reed

General Guides

Metadata for Archivists, PowerPoint by Chris Prom

Learning XML and XSLT by w3schools           


Introduction to DublinCore by Stephanie Taylor 

DublinCore by 

MODS by Library of Congress 

METS by Library of Congress 

PBCore by 

 Digital Storage

What People Are Asking About Personal Digital Archiving: Part 2 by Library of Congress

Personal Archiving by Library of Congress

Oral History

Oral History in the Digital Age by Institute of Museum and Library Services                   


“Basic Guidelines for the Preservation of Historic Artifacts” by Texas Historical Commission

“National Park Service Museum Handbook” by National Park Service


Records Management

2000 ACWR Records Management Guide

This Records Management Plan is considered a guide. Each congregations’ archival depository is unique and reflects the charism of their particular order. Some: undeCongregations feel strongly about holding on to the terminology of their founders/ foundresses, others differ on what is confide~tial or not confidential while others see some topics under different headings. An Archivist should do what is best for its Congregation and its Charism.