Student Snippets


Harvard Internship Part 2

Another guest blog by current student, Sarah Nafis. Sarah is in her second year of the dual Archives/History (MS/MA) program. Since moving to Boston, she's exploring the city one restaurant at a time and has learned to embrace the quirks of public transportation.


My internship at Harvard's Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (CHSI) is still going well. Now that the craziness of getting the new exhibit up and running has passed, we've been able to spend more time on the collection. The physical records aren't in great condition; however, we were lucky enough to find a digital copy of the entire collection. The collection was scanned in the late 1990s and having the digital records will help make the collection more accessible to researchers once we finish all of the processing. I'm more interested in digital preservation and part of my job is working to preserve the digital files. As a result, I haven't done as much work on the physical preservation of the collection. But it's been really interesting seeing how the collection is evaluated and all of the different considerations that are taken into account before creating a preservation plan. An important part of the preservation process is deciding how the records will be stored. After examining the collection, it was decided that the records needed to be rehoused. But before that can happen, we need to maintain the information on the original boxes. It took some investigative work, but we were able to determine that the markings on the original boxes tell the location of the materials prior to being packed and donated to CHSI. We're slowly pulling all of these different pieces (the boxes, records, photographs, and background research) together to gain a better understanding of the collection and to inform how we are going to move forward in creating the finding aid.