Your answer to this question will help you decide what method of
organization is best. Regardless of your career level, a good records
management system (how documents are organized within a filing system
and how information about records is kept) can improve the efficiency of
your business and your ability to archive your artistry. Many systems
are organized chronologically, but you may want to organize by
choreographic work, material format, content, event, etc. However you
organize your files, programs, costumes, media, and other objects,
remember that consistency is the key for future retrieval.
If you are further along in your career, examine what you have and your methods for collecting and saving materials. Are you missing information or is there a discernible pattern to gaps in your documentation? Determine what you need to locate or create. Identify possible sources for obtaining missing materials such as former company members, board members, friends, relatives, venues where you performed, and videographers who may have items that belong in your archive.
An inventory not only helps you locate your materials, but it is vital when calculating insurance needs, transferring your files to another organization, or developing a disaster plan. We've provided a sample document that gives you the flexibility to develop an inventory only as detailed as you need. Think about how items are already labeled and how that information can be transferred to a spreadsheet. If you need assistance with your inventory, contact us!
Use unique ID numbers to identify items in your collection and connect them to inventory records. Find tips and best practices for creating a numbering system unique to your archive.