Allana Mayer, archivist

Allana Mayer

archivist, records manager, and organizer-of-things

It's never too early to get your records in order, but many put it off.

I can help.

I'm a professional who can work with you to assemble and organize your files, whether they're letters, family photographs, manuscripts, drafts, sketchbooks, taxes and medical records, home videos, business and accounting files, scrapbooks - even artwork. I can help with your book and antique collections, too.

I’m available for projects big and small:

If you plan to donate your materials to a library or archive, or just want them neatened up, get in touch. I'll preserve fragile materials, and even identify sensitive or confidential information.

About Me

I'm an experienced archivist and librarian, with a Masters in Library and Information Science and years in a variety of corporate, non-profit, and private settings.

Based in the greater Toronto and Hamilton area, I work with families, artists, venues, corporations, and community groups: to help them prioritize their own history, and discover the strategic value of collecting and preserving their creations and documentation.

I have been a writer and historical researcher longer than I've been an archivist, and I know how important it is to make sure materials are accessible, advertised, and maintained in order to tell our stories well in the future. I also have a strong and empathetic understanding of rights, privacy, and the many ways to restrict or open up access.

I specialize in art and media archiving. My academic research centres around digital preservation, authenticity and access, open access and open content, and copyright.

If you work in the cultural heritage sector, you're encouraged to spend some time on my blog and see my publications, presentations, and research projects.

Services For Individuals and Families

with photos, videos, scrapbooks, letters, documents, paperwork

Organize

I'll work with you to get your physical and digital files in order. I create different conceptual organizational schemes based on you - if they're materials you still actively work with, I'll make sure things are retrievable when you need them. The system will be intuitive and easy to maintain.

Inventory

I'll create file lists, so you know where everything went, and write descriptive texts of categories and collections. I'll also record the original order, so things can be put back if you're not happy.

Protect

I'll isolate and encase fragile and valuable materials, and refer you for conservation where appropriate. I'll also digitize or copy selected materials for a number of reasons - fragility, value, or the potential for reuse.

Appraise

I'll catalogue antique and rare materials and collections, and to refer you to appraisers or identify places to donate them. I cannot perform financial appraisal, but I can pinpoint valuable materials.

Services For Businesses and Community Groups

With knowledge-management needs

Records Management

Assessment, design, and implementation of physical and digital file-management programs. This includes legal compliance and risk mitigation, physical and digital quality control, classification/structure and retention/destruction plans, and instruction and documentation on best practices.

Consulting and assessment

Appraisal, copyright surveys, preservation design, project management, and strategic planning for your collections.

Digitization

Design and implementation of digitization programs: scanning, formatting, transcription (text-recognition), editing and touchups, metadata, cataloguing, and database work for documents, art, media, ephemera, and other materials.

Training

Lectures and workshops for (and sharing resources with) people who care for specialized materials, on topics including technology, data security and privacy, digital literacy, archiving and preservation, records management, cultural heritage, copyright, and legal compliance.

Services For Individuals, Businesses, and Community Groups

With asset-management, branding, and digital needs

Websites with content databases

Collections and digital asset management, front-end programming and layout, GUI setup, light graphic design and media procurement, using well-supported CMSes. I’ll help you assess, install, and customize platforms for digital asset management, online finding aids, exhibits, document management, and other needs.

Webmastering

Quick setup of static webpages or blogs on established platforms, light graphic design and media procurement, with basic training on web publishing and branding.

Metrics

Quick setup of web analytics processes for your online presence, with basic training on interpretation and use.

Writing, editing, and fact-checking

Per-word services for website copy, promotional materials, policies, finding aids, research reports, and other content, as well as editing and reference formatting. I'm also available as a writing coach.

Services For Individuals, Businesses, and Community Groups

with research needs, including property histories

Research

I'll research your property, fine art, antiques, genealogy, name, family tree, neighbourhood, or business history.

Present

I'll create reports, exhibits, presentations, videos, slideshows, posters, websites, timelines, or other deliverables of your history and heritage.

My work with

AN ARTIST IN TORONTO

included
  • appraising and organizing 25 years' worth of performance and project documentation
  • creating file lists and metadata for donation to a digital archive
  • liaising with staff of the receiving archive
  • performing rights research and procuring permission to donate from a variety of collaborators
  • selective digitization of physical materials
My work with

A LAWYER IN TORONTO

included
  • appraising and organizing 25 years' worth of professional, personal, and philanthropic records
    including travel, lectures and speeches, correspondence, and creative writing
  • reaching out to appropriate institutions and identifying an archives to donate to
  • drafting a donation agreement that included material- and donor-specific provisos
My work with

A LAW FIRM IN TORONTO

included
  • researching, designing, and implementing their first records-management policy
  • designing a digitization program, including selecting tools, hiring and training staff, supervising workflows and quality control, providing support and troubleshooting
  • appraising 3,000 linear metres of inactive records, deaccessioning approximately 80% and arranging the remainder into a corporate archives
  • training administrative staff on new records procedures
My work with

A HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN MONTREAL

included
  • researching, designing, and implementing their first records-management policy
  • organizing and cataloguing four linear metres of research materials collected by staff
  • organizing and cataloguing one linear metre and two gigabytes of organizational records
  • soliciting physical and digital materials from community members
  • developing plans to preserve social-media content from community members
  • selectively digitizing physical materials for social-media use
My work with

A PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION IN ONTARIO

included
  • researching relevant legislation and policy, and updating guides for members
  • aggregating resources on a variety of topics for newcomers
  • reviewing, updating, and testing educational resources
  • presenting results and options and achieving group consensus with a volunteer board
My work with

A NONPROFIT IN ONTARIO

included
  • social media, marketing, newsletters, photography, and web and graphic design
  • copywriting and grant-writing, including historical research, for in-house and outside publications
  • presentation-writing and public speaking
  • resarching and aggregating resources relevant for members
  • drafting, testing, publishing, and promoting surveys and questionnaires;
    aggregating, analyzing, anonymizing, and publishing results and reports
  • liaising with members and community partners on collaborative projects, grants, training, and technical support

Contact me

To get more information about how we can work together, feel free to contact me:

By phone

647/933/2322

(Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm)
Feel free to leave a message outside these hours. I will endeavour to respond to all messages within 24 hours.

By email

contact/at/allanaaa.com

How It Works

We'll start with a general discussion about your needs over the phone. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
There will be an initial consultation in-person, to survey the materials and produce a quote.

I can remove the materials to a sterile location and process them independently, or we can work in tandem in a sterile location that you supply.

Rates

I charge a higher rate per hour for in-person visits, which includes travel time and cost. I charge a lower rate per hour for independent work, which includes reasonable material costs, such as folders, labels, and protective enclosures. Special material costs will be included in quotes. Consultation over the phone is free.

I offer discounted rates for registered non-profits and charities, as well as nonincorporated community groups, that focus on civil rights, diversity, and services for marginalized people.

Retainers for ongoing maintenance and consultation are possible; please contact me for more information.