Exciting news! I just learned that my blog post has been published to the Smithsonian Institution Archives blog. I researched, developed, and wrote an article on John N. Robinson in the course of my digital services internship at SIA this past summer. Here’s a link, because you know you want to check it out.
This week, in addition to completing the processing of the Joseph F. McCrindle papers and working with the Smithsonian transcription project, I organized and cataloged materials for the oral history department. While I was going through transcript files, I happened to see the name, “Minter,” which, by the way, is my own surname. In case you’ve never had the experience, seeing your own name in the archives, when you were not looking for it, it is very strange. Of course, I had to look up and read the transcript. It seems Marilyn Minter, New York artist, was interviewed in 2011. As a genealogist, my first thought was: “Could she be connecting to the Minters I’m familiar with?” Her family, though, was from Virginia, so probably not. Or at least, not an immediate connection. My Minters are from Georgia.
Aycocks All Around
Then, if that wasn’t enough, as I continued on my merry organizing way, I came across the name “Aycock,” which is a surname from my mother’s side of the family. How weird is that?? Alice Aycock’s family was from North Carolina, so while she may be related to the Aycocks, who may be related to me, I don’t think there is a close ancestral connection. But you never know…
In addition to finding my names in the archives, I also got to use a barcode wand. Growing up, I always had a fascination with being able to scan things. The invention of self-checkout in libraries and grocery stores alleviated some of that, but it still satisfied my inner child to be the one with the tool, in a real, live working environment! 🙂
After I finish with this final exam and other related tasks, I will return and reflect on my experiences for the summer. See you then!
I found ittt!!
Taking notes on materials to include as representative images
Just doing my job
My work station, where I stay very busy. At the time the photograph was taken, I was researching photographic processes and inputting metadata for item level cataloging.
It’s almost August 1st and I find myself with a little over two weeks left in my internship and summer term. Just today I was thinking that time is moving sooo slooowly. Apparently, that changed while I wasn’t looking. So what will I be doing with my remaining two weeks? Let’s see…
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to meet the president of the foundation that gifted AAA with the collection I have been processing. In working with the collection, I did a great deal of research trying to identify photographs of family members. I managed to identify most of them, but there was an additional folder containing photographs that I could not verify. The man was kind enough to come and assist in identifying individuals, for the purpose of the finding aid (and researchers everywhere). I was pleased to find that I had been right on the mark with the individuals I had identified and he was impressed by my efforts and how much knowledge I had garnered on the family. Didn’t you know? Genealogy is my thing, 🙂 When he came, the president of the foundation left another stack of papers to be integrated into the collection. So I will be spending time editing the finding aid and collection organization to make sure these papers have a home.
As I mentioned, I have been assisting the Digital Librarian with item level cataloging. I completed the initial stage last week. This week, she (the librarian) looked over my work and supervised me as I finalized a few catalog entries and approved them to be posted online. Satisfied that I was on the right track, she left me to finish the remainder on my own. It’s exciting to see your work go live. You can see a sample record I worked on here. I will be finishing the remainder of the item level catalog records this week.
Also (I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: how many projects is she working on??), I have been assisting the Information Systems Manager with developing some ideas/brainstorming for an institution-wide transcription project. Over the past week, I have been collecting feedback on crowdsourced transcription platforms, as well as trying them myself and compiling my own reflections. I sent that information to her this morning and will likely meet with her to determine the next step sometime this week.
Lastly, I was invited to write a blog post for the AAA blog, focusing on my experiences in processing. So I need to be thinking about my approach…in the two weeks I have left. I guess I should get on that.
Until next time…Cheers!