Confessions of an Emerging Archivist


Confession #1: Working with archival collections is something like spying on someone else’s  life. I’ve heard it said that the lovely thing about working in an archive is that you get to open people’s mail and it is not a federal offence. ‘Tis true…:)

Confession #2: I mentioned the micro spatula…well, I think removing staples is therapeutic. I inwardly cheer whenever I come across stapled papers. Don’t look at me like that, I’m normal.

Confession #3: Whoever says that the alphabet song is for babies has never alphabetized a correspondence series, especially not after 3pm. Don’t worry, I don’t sing out loud.

Confession #4: Gaining real world experience while in grad school makes all the difference in the world. It allows me to see (and hear) how information in the classroom is applied in real life.

Confession #5: I’m considering specializing in preservation of photographs. The topics of  appraisal and restoration of historic photographs fascinates me.

That’s all the confessions I could think of at the moment, besides that I have one more week left in my first summer term. Tomorrow I get to interview a library professional, only I chose to interview the assistant curator at a research center, because I am interested in working with specialized collections.

This past week has been spent rearranging the collection according to series.  I have labeled the folders and sorted the contents of the collection, according to the categories I established. For example: Correspondence – Friends and Colleagues, Biographical and Family Materials – Burials and Cemeteries, Print Material – Articles and Clippings. I have been keeping mental and written  notes on the arrangement. Tomorrow, I will likely begin writing series description, which means describing the contents of each series and detailing the specific entities researchers will be interested in. This entails describing  the scope of the collections, such as who is in the photographs and what institutions are included in the correspondence series.

Have a terrific Tuesday!


About A. M.

Information professional focusing on academic librarianship through a critical lens. Research interests include education and multiliteracies, critical race theory, gender studies, and African American studies. I am currently employed as an academic librarian. I am also a family genealogist in the process of uncovering the people and places behind my ancestry. I enjoy digging up new facts, reading, and writing in my free time. My opinions and thoughts are my own.

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