Day 6 in Rare Books & Special Collections

June 03, 2014 1:45-4:45pm

I thoroughly enjoy researching and today afforded me the opportunity to research for three full hours. If you remember last Tuesday, I spent my allotted three hours researching as well; however, today I felt more organized. Thanks to Carrie (SPCS liaison librarian) who gave me a very helpful hint, I was able to complete my research of the authors of letters in the Gresham Collection! In addition to completing the research, I typed up two documents that are helpful when putting together an archive collection: Gresham Correspondence list of names of authors and Gresham Correspondence biography list. As of now, these lists are for my reference, but once I begin to put the entire collection together the two lists will feed into the collection’s finding aid.

I have discovered that typing up reference lists and bibliography lists are quite helpful when putting together a collection. One of the reasons archivists go through boxes of documents and letters is to organize them in a way that will be beneficial to researchers. Let’s take the Gresham Collection as an example: there are four letters from May Sarton, as well as a newspaper article announcing her poetry reading in Richmond, Va; if these letters are not placed together researchers will have to spend extra time sorting through the Gresham Collection simply to find May Sarton letters. It then makes sense to place all the May Sarton letters together. Of course, there are many different ways that a collection can be organized, but for the Gresham Collection organizing by author seems to make the most sense.

If you remember the Andrew Jackson letter I ran across you might be interested in one thing I did not mention about the letter. Andrew Jackson had written his letter on a legal sized piece of paper, which does not fit into a regular sized acid free folder. The letter must be placed into a legal sized acid free folder, which makes sense; however, if you place one document in a legal sized folder you must place them all in legal sized folders. The reason is because if you have one legal sized folder and the rest of the folders are regular sized you will still need to place all the folders in a legal sized archive box. What’s the problem with that? The problem is that all the documents housed in regular sized folders will bounce around each time the box is picked up, which could damage the documents or knock them completely out of the folder. Talk about attention to detail!

See you on Thursday!


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