n. (abbr. MPLP)minimal processing to arrange and describe archival series and collections in order to reduce or avoid backlogsGreene and Meissner 2005, 175–176More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing [title]Greene 2010, 175–176The general principles of MPLP derive from fundamental statements about the archival enterprise, namely that “use is the end of all archival effort”; that substantial backlogs of collections not only hinder use but threaten repositories by undermining confidence of both resource allocators and donors; that in making processing decisions archivists should consider—not the traditions of the past—but the mission, audience, and resources of the present; and that collections and even series should be assessed individually using the most rational, user-friendly approach.Greene 2010, 176MPLP also maintains that minimal processing is a more efficient use of staff resources overall than traditional processing, even though minimal processing might shift somewhat more work onto reference staff.Greene 2010, 181MPLP appraisal, similar to MPLP processing, reflects an attempt to balance increasingly limited resources with the growing quantities of potential documentation, to keep user needs first but donor and resource allocator opinions a close second, and to finally become what we need to be as archival professionals—selectors rather than collectors.Greene 2010, 182By analogy to the original MPLP article, archivists should only devote conservation and restoration measures to exceptional cases and make such determinations on an aggregate (rather than an item-level) basis.Nash 2010b, 86–87“More Product, Less Process” often means that once again archivists are concentrating their descriptive efforts at the top of the organizational chart. Minimal processing and summary description often result in finding aids that describe union structure and ignore ordinary workers.Hackbart-Dean and Slomba 2012, 10A recently introduced processing approach is “More Product, Less Process” (known now as MPLP).Anchor 2013, 156There is little awareness in the UK of the storm caused by ‘More product, less process’ (MPLP), partly due to a lack of publicity beyond the American Archivist and US initiatives.Gilliland 2014a, 104–105Asserting that “the perfect should not be the enemy of the good,” they argue that backlogs are overwhelming archives and that “‘minimal’ processing should become the new baseline approach to arranging and describing series and collections.” “Minimal” is also described in terms of “accessioning,” “extensible,” and “basic” description. In 2010, Greene further argued for the extension of the MPLP approach to preservation, reference, digitization, and electronic records activities.Gilliland 2014a, 127Moreover, the “good enough” approach to archival description encouraged by the More Product, Less Process movement has significantly diminished the potential power and richness of description based in EAD for supporting online browsing and retrieval.
Relying on adequate environmental conditions to prevent damage caused by rust and acid migration, minimal processing generally retains staples and other fasteners in collections and keeps original folders. It also relies on minimal descriptions and keeps the original physical arrangement of the collections, including keeping newspaper clippings and photographs in situ.