Standard workflow for a single microfilm with a single manuscript:
- Before you open a sealed bag, create a new record in FileMaker database (use New Record button on toolbar, go to Records=> New Record, or hit Ctrl+N).
- Enter Microfilm # in the Microfilm: Main screen. This number will form the last number in the local call number and is based on the number of microfilms you have already processed from the specific holding repository (for example, if the 3rd microfilm with contents from the Walters Art Gallery, then the Microfilm # is 3)
- Visually inspect the microfilm and record film format, film base, image polarity, and image reproduction.
- Based on the box and on accession records (folder on the Shared drive), record how the microfilm was acquired in the appropriate field.
- For boxes from the miscellaneous general collection or Westerink collection, record any information that appears on the label apart from institution and shelfmark information in the Notes about microfilm field. For boxes from the Sevcenko or Dennis collections, record all information on the label and anything else you observe (red crayon on certain image frames, for example) in the Notes field prefacing the information you copy with “Notations by Sevcenko” or “Notations by Dennis.”
- Go to Microfilm: Condition screen. Open the sealed bag and take out the A-D strip. Evaluate the color on the strip (this must be done within a few minutes or the color could alter). Record the number in the “A-D strip level” field on the record. Discard the A-D strip.
- Inspect the condition of the microfilm and mark issues you identify from the list of common problems. In the Microfilm: Condition: Comments field, add anything about the physical condition of the microfilm you feel appropriate. If the film is particularly long, then visually inspect several feet and use the rewinder to rewind the roll when you are done with your inspection. As you work with the roll on the scanner, be sure to keep an eye out for issues that you might not have seen in your first inspection.
- Add leader and make repairs if necessary. Be sure to record any action you take under Microfilm: Condition: Comments.
- Load the microfilm on your scanner.
- Click on New Manuscript Record button in the database. This should take you from your completed Microfilm record to a blank Manuscript record.
- In the Manuscript: Main screen, select the current repository for the first manuscript on the microfilm (use the dropdown list under Institution). To add an institution to the list, go to Manuscript: List of Institutions and click on the New Holding button.
- Enter the shelfmark. Be sure to be consistent (gr. 362, gr. 381, etc.) for all manuscripts from the same repository.
- Research the manuscript in the Pinakes database and appropriate resources (print or online).
- Check the contents of the microfilm against your research findings: what folios are represented on the microfilm? Is there more than one manuscript on the microfilm?
- Complete the fields in the Manuscript: Main component of the FileMaker record.
- Be sure to note the folio pages represented on our microfilm next to the appropriate microfilm record number.
- Under Manuscript: Bibliography: References, enter information about where you found the entry in a print catalog or other select sources that you found useful or are considered fundamental to the manuscript. If you need to add a title to the project bibliography, go to Manuscript: Bibliography: List of Titles, click “New Title” button at the top of the layout, and follow Chicago 15 style.
- Under Manuscript: Online Resources, give the URL for the Pinakes record for the manuscript, the URL for a digital facsimile if one exists, and any other URLs you think are useful resources.
- In Notes, record anything that you notice not listed by the print and online resources. If you find something not included or misidentified in the Pinakes database, please add a note that indicate clearly what you have found that differs from Pinakes and mention “Pinakes” specifically (Deb will search “Pinakes” as a keyword in order to generate a report on corrigenda and addenda for the Pinakes team). Also, feel free to add anything of unusual interest (such as names of scribes, marginalia, doodles, etc.) but keep it brief. Remember that you are not creating a full, authoritative description of the manuscript.
- Review your record.
More than one manuscript per microfilm?
- Complete steps above for the first manuscript on the microfilm.
- After you finish the manuscript record for the first manuscript, click on the Go to Microfilm button at the top of the screen, or, if more than one microfilm copy for the manuscript, click the appropriate Microfilm button under Manuscript: Main – page ranges. Make sure that you have returned to the correct Microfilm record before proceeding.
- You should need to change nothing on the Microfilm: Main screen. Just click on the New Manuscript Record button. This should bring you to a blank Manuscript: Main table.
- Identify the next manuscript on the microfilm and enter the appropriate information for Institution, shelfmark, etc.
- Research the particular manuscript in the Pinakes database and appropriate resources (print or online).
- Complete all fields in the Manuscript component of the FileMaker record, including page range.
- Review your record to be sure it reflects the additional manuscript.
- If more manuscripts on the film, then repeat steps until you have individual records for each manuscript reproduced on the microfilm.
More than one microfilm copy of a manuscript?
- Follow Standard Workflow steps 1-9 (top of this post), but, instead of clicking the New Manuscript button, click on the larger button Assign an existing MS record to this microfilm on the Microfilm: Main table.
- Clicking this button will take you to the existing manuscript records. Browse to find the right manuscript.
- Above the Manuscript table, you should see an extra gray button Assign to Microfilm that does not normally appear. Clicking this button links the microfilm record to the manuscript record. You should now see the microfilm listed at the bottom of the Manuscript: Main table (indicated by film # where the page ranges are listed)
- Before leaving the Manuscript: Main table, be sure to note the folio pages represented on this particular microfilm.
When you have done recording all the information about a microfilm in the FileMaker database:
- If the microfilm was on a metal or damaged roll, be sure you have reached the end of the film. Then switch out the old roll for a new plastic roll.
- Rewind the microfilm on the scanner.
- On the lid of a new microfilm box, record in pencil the call number, city, holding institution, and shelfmarks. In 2011, we found it useful to remove the label from the old box and leave it inside the new box in order for the person who is applying the new labels to verify the contents before applying the new label.
- Put the microfilm in its new box and discard the old one.