I completed my first week of internship and am now in the middle of my second week. All I can say is: “I love it!!” I also love the atmosphere. I’ve never been around so many people who actually enjoy their job.
Currently, I am working on processing a collection of 3.3 linear feet (not including an addition we received yesterday), which was recently acquired by the archive. The creator was an art patron, art collector, and very wealthy. Upon his death, his art collection was gifted to various museums and galleries around the country. Our repository received his personal papers and records. Apparently, one of the staff was hoping to process “my collection,” due to its interesting nature. Guess I won the lottery. 🙂
Last week was spent surveying the collection and taking notes on the contents, condition, existing organization, and noting any preservation concerns. I also completed a processing proposal and submitted a draft of an organization plan. It was a bit difficult for me to adjust to sitting in an office environment all day. (My background is in education and I rarely sat longer than thirty minutes at a time, if even that. By the end of the week, though, I could appreciate the quiet and calm.) I think my favorite part of this collection is the photographs ( I love vintage photos) and the records on the family yacht. I’ve never handled yacht blueprints before. So neat!
This week, in addition to finalizing my organization plan, I am beginning to physically rearrange the records and take preservation action. This includes interleaving photos with acid free paper. For the older and more fragile photos, I am interleaving with renaissance paper. After having combed through the collection while surveying, I am familiar enough with the creator and his family to identify them in photographs. I have begun separating photos of the creator and placing them in a separate folder. I got to dismantle my first photo album. Sounds really complicated, right?
Today, I also worked on organizing the creator’s personal business records and placing them in acid free folders (a.k.a. sorting according to date and removing staples). Did I mention that micro spatulas are indeed the coolest tools ever?