Tuesday, August 31, 2010

day 46: finish line

I continued my search in the archives to find photographs that might be of use to Ashley. I went down to the archives and searched through the remaining boxes that held photographs from the Cherry Tree yearbooks. I quickly browsed through the remaining 12 boxes and discovered that they only held pictures of GW from the 1990s.

Since the Cherry Tree collection didn't hold materials for the years I needed I decided to start with the University Relations collection. Some of the images were scanned and uploaded digitally from this collection. They are searchable by year, which we happily discovered. The rest of the collection is unprocessed and kept on numerous shelves and boxes like the Cherry Tree collection. In order to avoid wasting time, I decided to do an initial browsing of this collection in the archives and select 5-10 boxes to bring back upstairs for a more thorough search. Of the first 12 boxes in this collection I pulled 7 boxes that might be beneficial. I filled out the proper slips and left them in the place of the boxes I had taken. The remainder of my time I spent searching through as many of the boxes as I could. Unfortunately I only made it through 3 boxes, but I found a lot of materials for Ashley to use! I flagged numerous photographs for her review and selection. I felt that even despite it being my last day I was able to help Ashley and direct her toward 4 more boxes that contain more materials she can use.

I realized today that Jen and Jenny had left me to work entirely on my own on projects, research, and collections for the SCRC for the past month. Every day I would check in with them, which would promptly be followed by a "you know what to do!" and I would get to work. Occasionally I had questions but mostly I was left to accomplish the work that was requested of me. Initially, when I needed to get more supplies or boxes from the archives Jen would walk downstairs with me and fill out the proper forms. The past month I've gone without her assistance or even without informing her first. I had an incredible experience at the SCRC and completed numerous projects that I'm very proud of. The Riggs family papers are a unique collection that I am very excited to say I completed in its entirety on my own. Jen told me it's not often they get a collection like the Riggs family papers donated and available for processing for interns. I feel incredibly lucky and I enjoyed every minute!

I was happy and sad to leave today. Happy because I had finished over 160 hours of hard work; where I learned an immense amount from everyone at the SCRC that helped me toward my goal of becoming an archivist. Sad because I was done working with them and doing what I love with materials from history and it is back to classes and homework! I am excited to use everything I have learned during the past few months toward my archivist future.

Monday, August 30, 2010

day 45: boxes, boxes, everywhere

Today Ashley requested I search through the archives for images to use during the alumni event. She suggested the Cherry Tree year book pictures, which is an unprocessed, unorganized, multiple shelved box filled collection. I now understand why she feels a little overwhelmed about this project. It's going to take a while to search through each box to find pictures pertaining to 1956-1960.

It took me a while to find the boxes that contained the Cherry Tree year book pictures in the archives and I grabbed 5 boxes to start searching through. I was able to find a few basketball related items from 1956-1960 in one of the boxes. I flagged them for Ashley to review and potentially scan to use for the alumni event. I went through all 5 boxes today and was disappointed in the few pictures, programs that I found. Tomorrow is my last day at the SCRC and I hope to be able to find more materials that will be useful for Ashley.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

day 44: old school technology

I spent today searching through microfilm for the Hatchet from 1957-58. The microfilm reader they have at the SCRC is old but really neat. It's attached to a scanner and a printer. So when I found an article of interest all I had to do was make sure the image was aligned within the box and in focus on the viewer and push 'print'. Instantly I had a printed copy. I highlighted the article of interest per each page and placed them in chronological order. Once I finished I had a pretty thick pile of articles. Ashley will then go through what I found and select specific pages that she will want to use at the alumni event and scan the original copy for use.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

day 43: class of 1960

I found a few more items before arranging everything in chronological order to hand in to Jenny. She was pleased and stated it was a great starting point they would use and reference until they figure out how and what exactly they had intended for the list.

Jenny had a new project for me to work on for the remaining time of my internship. Ashley is working on a project for alumni from the graduating class of 1960. In October, GW alumni will be attending the campus for their 50th reunion. She is responsible for gathering materials and information from 1956-1960 (the years they attended the university) for various presentations, booths, and slide shows. Ashley requested my help finding anything relevant in the archives.

She directed me first to a campus newspaper the Hatchet. I was given the option to search through the physical copies of the Hatchet from 1956-57 or use microfilm to find relevant and interesting articles. Normally I prefer working with actual documents, but I had never worked with microfilm before and decided today was the time to learn! It was really simple and significantly more efficient. After finding the box containing microfilm of the Hatchet, I easily loaded up the film and began my search through the newspaper. One article I found Ashley was thrilled with. There was a piece about the increase in the price of coffee from 5 cents to 8 cents per cup. Oh the ridiculousness of the cost of coffee in 1957!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

day 42: marco polo

I researched more materials related to GW and added it to my list. I had about 2 pages of data before I brought it to Jenny to review and get her opinion. Since the project was a new idea, she wasn't looking for anything specific. She was thrilled with what I had thus far and encouraged me to continue and add more items to the list. She suggested I add a column in order to provide more details to the listings of collection titles containing numerous items that I felt would be beneficial for the SCRC to use for future events.

I went back through what I had thus far and added more details from AT. Afterward, I continued to search through AT for more items to add.

Monday, August 23, 2010

day 41: where's waldo?

Jen had another research request for me this afternoon. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find any information for the student. But I did use the alumni directory for GW, researched in AT, and utilized the Foggy Bottom Historical Encyclopedia, which is a new resource I learned about. It's a compilation of various institutions finding aids that researchers can use to receive more potential search results from one location.

Once I finished the research request, I did more research on GW through AT for my project. I added what I found today to my excel spreadsheet and reorganized the data chronologically. I have over a page of neat artifacts listed so far, but I'm still trying to figure out the best approach or method for finding more useful information from the archives for the SCRC.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

day 40: what a mess

Using the list of key words of events, people, etc. of GW that I made yesterday, I searched through various collections, folders, and notes within AT. If I found something that I thought might be interesting or useful I pasted the information into an excel spreadsheet in a chaotic mess of information.

Items such as old uniforms, trophy's, buttons, fliers, and photographs I put on my list. It's taking a lot of patience to find relevant information. I'm having a hard time figuring out what certain listings are, like if it's a piece of paper or papers or photos or?, in order to determine if it should be added to my list. I mostly added memorabilia to my list today because they were easier to search for in AT.