Buried in the Backlog

July 19, 2006

Since the summer began I’ve spent a lot of my time scanning photos for a new webpage celebrating the centennial of William Smith College. At the same time the Communications office moved and found lots of stuff to send my way. Add to that piles of things that folks asked me to pull out for them and hold because they would be back (and haven’t in months), and I don’t have any space.

I’m going to start the day by putting away everything I possibily can and then get into accessioning everything else so it can be stashed to be found when needed. I need breathing space. 🙂

Back in 2003 when I first started as an archivist I started an accession database in MS Access based on what I learned from reading Keeping Archives. It helped me get a handle on the piles around me.  Imagine my surprise yesterday when I found I had  not added anything in 2006.  No wonder I’m buried in piles again.  Though the piles are not as bad because last summer I bought three literature sorters from Staples where I put regular college memos and publications, e.g. faculty memos, convocation programs, publications from the Deans…

The other advantage of the Accession database was Sara Greenleaf, Head of Tech Services, was about to add entries to the online catalog, so accessioned, but uncataloged items could be found online.

Well back to the piles. 🙂


3 Responses to “Buried in the Backlog”

  1. Joan Says:

    I’ve been loving your blog. An another university archivist, I can so relate to your having piles of single item pieces that need to go somewhere. I use FileMaker Pro for our database. This fall, I’ll be working with a cataloger to convert it to Voyager so that we can have online catalog access. If I only spent 30 minutes per day putting away items, I *might* catch up!

  2. Laura Says:

    Hi! I just found your blog, and it’s so nice to know I’m not the only lone arranger in a university archives. Today my two student assistants and I are having pizza to celebrate the fact that we organized and labeled our main office shelves. Now we just need to put things away!

  3. Hi Laura,

    It’s good to hear from you. One of my reasons for starting this blog was to be in contact for others “in the same boat.” My student workers will be back next week and I really need them!!


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