Busy, busy, busy!
posted June 20, 2013 9:28 AM by Jessi Bennett
You'd think summer would be less stressful....but no. I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off. New job, new internship, new apartment, new bank account, even a new boyfriend. Breathe in, breathe out.
But my internship is so much fun! I'm in the midst of planning two exhibits, both based on the same collection. Today, I worked on the second one which is going to trace how a children's book is published since we have all the steps represented in the collection. Notes, contracts, illustrations, mock-ups, royalty checks! So cool! But I also got to see some other sides of the archives today. Wednesday is our "late" day. The archive is open from 5-9 instead of the regular earlier time frame so that people who work full-time can have a chance to stop by. That makes it a little more busy than usual. Today we had three patrons in the room at the same time!
That might not sound too amazing, but the manuscript portion of the collection is very small since it is still in its early stages. But all of the sudden someone came in to do research while a potential donor interview was going on and another past donor was self-processing her collection. The potential donor was very interesting...a jack of all trades who had brought his illustrated poetry. In the meantime, the researcher wanted to scan a map from the collection that only could fit into the scanner by fourths. For a few minutes there it was almost like being busy!
Not that the archive is dead, not by any means. My supervisor, being what we call a "lone arranger" has to do all the work herself so there even when there is not a single patron or donor in sight there is always something to do: scanning, processing, cataloguing, budgeting, exhibits, email reference, filling in on the library reference desk, meetings...
Speaking of meetings, today I sat in on a product demo. I don't really know what you would call the product. It was kind of like Tumblr for archives/libraries. It wasn't a digital repository, they don't host the items but they allow you to curate digital items into "modules" that are beautifully displayed in a Pinterest type format of thumbnails that endlessly scroll.
For example: One preview module they had was on Lincoln. When you clicked on it, the curated digital objects were further broken down by categories such as "Biographies," "Assassination," "Civil War," etc. Within these categories where scanned books, photos, videos, and all types of media. The company's vision is to sell this product to museums/archives/libraries as a means to share their items virtually. It is a beautiful format, much nicer than most digital repository interfaces. If you want to see more about it, it's called Biblioboard.
Oh so much to do and so much to learn! I love being a student!