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


Christine Di Bella
PACSCL Consortial Survey Initiative

Biographical Statement

Christine Di Bella is the Archivist and Project Director for the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, a project to assess unprocessed and underprocessed archival collections in 22 Philadelphia area institutions. Prior to assuming her current position in May 2006, she worked as an archivist at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, and Historical Collections at Harvard Business School’s Baker Library. She received an M.S.I. from the School of Information at the University of Michigan in 2000 and a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University in 1995. She is Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG), Technical/Design Webmaster of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), and a member of the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

member of Collection Management panel

Project Description

The PACSCL Consortial Survey Initiative is a 30-month project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to assess backlogged archival collections in 22 Philadelphia area institutions. Using a survey instrument adapted from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's model, the project team is assessing unprocessed, underprocessed and underdescribed archival collections in a range of physical formats.

While the assessment model was developed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and has been successfully adapted by Columbia University, the University of Virginia and other institutions for their use, the PACSCL Consortial Survey Initiative marks the first time that the model is being applied cross-institutionally and to a range of types of academic and cultural institutions.

The project will conclude in December 2008 having developed a common assessment model for repositories in PACSCL and improved physical and intellectual control over nearly 2,100 collections totaling over 19,500 linear feet. The data from the survey is already being used to develop consortial projects to further improve access to these collections through processing and cataloging.

Full description


Project website:



Last updated October 29, 2008 Questions may be directed to Christine Di Bella,