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Minimal Processing Workshop

May 18, 2012

On May 1 and 2, the Presbyterian Historical Society hosted a “More Product Less Process” workshop sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. PHS archivists Bill Brock and David Staniunas joined a dozen other archivists to learn more about MPLP, or minimal processing, an approach designed to make archival materials more rapidly accessible to researchers.

Holly Mengel and Courtney Smerz, project managers of a three-year grant project to process hidden Philadelphia-area collections, led participants in hands-on work with four groups of materials from PHS’s holdings. Among the surprises uncovered in the four collections were a letter signed by Benjamin Morgan Palmer, leader of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America, and a six-inch green vinyl SoundScriber disc, with signature square hole, recorded in the field by Presbyterian missionaries to the Philippines in the late 1940s.