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Digitizing and Archiving

Susie Kopecky

Susie Kopecky

Susie Kopecky, Librarian at Allan Hancock College (AHC, the only California community college named for an individual) in Santa Maria, CA, described how a family’s archive was processed at AHC. The library at the college is the location of the Hancock Family Estate Archives (HFEA) containing materials relating to the life of Captain G. Allan Hancock (1875-1965), founder of AHC.

Who was George Alan Hancock

When Hancock’s wife died, his materials were distributed to various organizations, including AHC. The library’s collection is small and includes:

Library collection

Previous librarians had prepared the items for data entry and separated them into 3 classes:


Some materials had suffered significant water damage and raised questions about long-term preservation. Metadata was created manually and entered into an MS Access database. Leaders on the project included former librarians, and retired volunteers.



The library got scanning equipment in 2014 and has begun digitizing the collection. They spent $6,000 for equipment. Challenges:


Next steps and issues?

  • Hosting: Airtable
  • How to set up the data to be freely accessible: ArchiveSpace?
  • Scanning and time
  • Safety: hazards of old nitrate films
  • Funding and getting grants
  • Collaboration
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