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Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board

Best Practices Project, 1997-98

With a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board conducted the Best Practices Project from January, 1997 through December, 1998.  (List of project task force members)

Purpose and Goals

The purpose of the Best Practices Project was to strengthen partnerships between the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board and three statewide organizations of records creators and keepers by working together to create and deliver a usable package of information about the management of historical records.

The goals of the project were:

  • To help the Wisconsin Council for Local History (WCLH), the Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians (WAPL), and the Registers in Probate Association (RIPA) identify their critical needs for information on managing historical records;
  • To compile guidelines of best practices using existing literature and input from task force members;
  • To hold three workshops (one for each organization) based on the guidelines;
  • To create a curriculum packet which would allow each organization to teach additional workshops after the project period has ended.

Best Practices Project Manuals and Workshop Curriculum Packets

The Best Practices Project created these manuals of best archival practice and accompanying curriculum packets, in cooperation with statewide organizations (the curriculum packet for the manual the Project created for the Wisconsin Council for Local History will be completed by October, 1999). Project staff helped task forces from each organization choose an area of archival management on which to create a manual, then researched existing literature on best practices for that topic. After reviewing the literature with the task forces, staff then drafted the manuals and submitted the drafts to the task forces for critiques. Based on feedback from the task forces, the staff revised the drafts and produced final copies of the manuals.

Materials from the manuals were used as a basis for curriculum packets. Project staff and task force members used additional materials such as scripts for small group exercises and workshop evaluation forms. The goal of the project in creating the manuals and the curriculum packets was to give the organizations a resource with which it could continue to educate its own members.

The manuals are available in HTML or Acrobat (pdf) format.
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