Hands-On Archival Experience
posted February 10, 2017 11:14 AM by
As an online student, I almost felt a twinge of jealousy when I saw that school would be cancelled in Boston on Thursday due to the imminent snow storm. But then I remembered that means I don't have to deal with the snow. Or the ice. Especially the ice--with an armful of books, I'm a walking disaster, and it's a rare moment that I am without an armful of books. Instead, I decided to gear up for internship season--with deadlines looming, I feel as though I am constantly sending emails to professors arranging for references when I'm not reading course material. Now that my Introduction to Archives course has begun, I have also been spending a significant amount of time at my internship location. I currently work at a non-archives job while attending school, so it has felt unbelievably amazing to get my hands on archival materials again. These materials belong to a public library whose archive contains a significant amount of local history materials. I am currently processing the personal papers of one local preservationist who was very active in the community spreading awareness of the unique history and architecture in the city where I live. Looking through her papers has given me an opportunity to get to know my city better, and I am constantly sending local friends images from this collection (with permission, of course!). The collection has also spurred several ideas for potential collaboration between the library and local schools--the individual's papers feature a significant amount of educational material related to local history that could potentially be used to provide students with insight on their city. Additionally, the archive has a lot of primary source material that can be easily duplicated or viewed and used as topics of study in courses covering local history. Suffice to say, nobody can call this collection monotonous--I am constantly pleasantly surprised by some of the things that I've found.