Something New for Something Old: Innovative Approaches to Managing Archives and Special Collections

December 4-5, 2008 at the Union League of Philadelphia



Overview and Updates

Schedule and Speakers


Information for Attendees


Jodi Allison-Bunnell
Northwest Digital Archives

Biographical Statement

Jodi Allison-Bunnell is the Program Manager of the Northwest Digital Archives at the Orbis Cascade Alliance. She has been involved with NWDA as a participant or employee since its formation in 2001. She is currently working with NWDAs Steering Team and Digital Program Working Group assess the need for a Northwest-wide digital services program that is based, in part, on direct user studies. NWDA is building on its successful programs for collection description and metadata dissemination through a database of EAD-encoded finding aids, located at Her previous employers include the University of Montana, the University of Maryland Libraries, the Smithsonian Institution, and the George Meany Memorial Archives. She holds an MLS and an MA in History from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BA summa cum laude from Whitman College.

member of Processing panel

Project Description

The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA), starting with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, built a program to create, host, and serve finding aids to archival collections in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. It became a program of the Orbis Cascade Alliance in 2007. It began with 13 participants and now has 30 members. Its public interface is available at

The Northwest Archives Processing Initiative (NWAPI) was a subproject of NWDA, funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), during its NEH-funded phases. It began as initiative to re-engineer and improve finding aids so they were ready to encode in EAD, but continued as an effort to create quality metadata to add to the database. In Phase I the six participating institutions created a regional finding aid standard compatible with NWDA's best practices for EAD and hired staff at each institution to process and describe collections. In Phase II the eight participating institutions tested the Greene-Meissner processing methods in smaller institutions and measured per-foot processing times to see if predicted efficiencies would result.

Full description



Last updated October 30, 2008. Questions may be directed to Christine Di Bella,