Halfway Through


I am now halfway through both my internship and my summer classes. I completed LSC 551 Organization of Information and am in the middle of LSC 553 Information Sources and Services, which deals with providing reference services within the library. As part of an assignment, I observed librarian and patron interactions in a public library special collection division. I am a people watcher, so naturally, I enjoyed that portion of the assignment. I also enjoyed interacting with the librarians and finding out how they got into their present careers. There is no one way to become a librarian or archivist.

Now for an update on the internship. I’ve been privileged to gain more than one perspective on archival work. A few weeks ago, I finished fully processing the McCrindle collection. Using Archivist’s Toolkit, I created an EAD compatible finding aid and submitted it for review to my supervisor. She gave me some preliminary feedback and I made a few corrections. Now, my finding aid is in the review portion of the workflow.

Showing off the yacht blueprints I found in the McCrindle papers. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Archives of American Art Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/archivesofamericanart/)

Project #2 involved getting a taste of converting legacy finding aids into EAD finding aids, using MS Excel to create spreadsheets, which through STEADY turns the data into EAD component levels. The resulting XML file allows the archivist to tweak whatever needs fixing, using coding. It is then ingested into Archivist’s Toolkit (AT). My job was to enter data from the legacy finding aids into Excel, according to the specified fields. Once the information had been ingested into AT, I went back and edited information as requested by the EAD Coordinator.

Currently, I’ve begun a new project involving item level cataloging. The practice at AAA is to include representative images with each collection that has online finding aids. In most cases, the representative image record also forms the backbone of cataloging for the collection, as the processing archivists (and I) add metadata. I will be involved in working on new accessions, locating and pulling the collections, selecting a representative image (an items that reflects the contents of the collections, could be a photograph of the creator, a piece of correspondence, etc.), filling out a removal notice (which doubles as the backbone cataloging record) and providing item level metadata, delivering the item(s) to the digitization staff, receiving it upon scanning, and replacing the item in the stacks. I’m excited because it gives me an excuse to browse the collections.  🙂

Until next time!


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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