Monday, April 16, 2007

Cleaning up

I've been working solo the last few days, mainly cleaning up records from some recent surveying. I'm fleshing out biographies and scope and content notes, checking dates and box counts, adding subjects. That sort of thing. The work can be a bit tedious at times, especially trying to sort out various family members when they all have the same name. I can understand the impulse, but I can't say I necessarily enjoy the result. But the work can be pretty satisfying as well, especially when you find information on someone that was playing a pretty good game of hide and seek. Genealogies and family histories help here, as do biographical dictionaries and of course the internet. In the end, though, there always seem to be one or two that continue to remain elusive.

I heard this on NPR a couple of weeks ago and it sounds pretty amazing. More here

Friday, April 6, 2007

No doubloons...

When I described this project to a friend, he said "Have you found any doubloons?" I was sad to report that we had not, as yet, found any doubloons. However, lots of other interesting things have turned up, including:

  • A bottle that formerly contained water with special properties (the water came from a pool that is said to freeze in the summer and become hot in the winter);
  • Instructions for the operation of a grenade-launcher (in German);
  • A box of mauve neckties;
  • A postcard from Wall Drug;
  • Confederate "shin plasters";
  • A brochure for the services of exotic dancers;
  • A book of yarn samples;
  • A baseball and baseball glove;
  • And two ashtrays (in two different archives).
Most of these items bore little relation to the main focus of the collections, but they made their way into the boxes anyway. And there they remain, waiting for the lucky processing archivist who gets to puzzle out just how they fit into the picture of the collection. And we go on to other collections, maintaining the hope that we will eventually find those doubloons.