Archives arrangement

November 30, 2006

For those of you who thought the arrangement of my archieve was nuts, be sure to read Abby’s comment (comments in right column.)  Her situation makes me feel downright organized.  At least I’m here 20 hrs/wk and have 35 hrs from my highly skilled student workers.

My students are now insisting on holiday music to work to.  It’s semester crunch time so most are being excused from some of their hours to write papers, study for test, or because they are sick.  Only one more week of classes.  I do get lonely when they are gone. 😦

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Archives arrangement

November 15, 2006

I thought I’d share a bit about how confusing our archives shelving scheme is, in case someone else is starting out with a seemingly chaotic system. It took me about 6 months to work out what was going on, when I first started here. I finally found a description buried in a file that helped somehow. It mentions a “two-digit Dewey system” that still mystifies me. 🙂

Apparently there where three archivists before me, and each start a new system. Not wanting to be left out, I started yet another.

Here is the explanation I put together for the student workers this year:

MSS Shelving (4 different shelving schemes)

  • Mss file 00 (2 digits)
    • Numerical order [02 before 92]
    • Cutter Number* [92 b345 before 92 b43]
  • Mss file 000.00 (3digits and decimal point) [378.48 before 378.96]
    • Additional numbers (unless it’s a year) [378.48 05 before 378.48 al]
    • Letters [378.48 al before 378.48al 1890]
  • Mss file A (letters)
    • Alphabetical: One letter before two [A before Al]
    • Number before letters [A 25 before A b25]
    • Cutter numbers* [A b258 before A b3]
  • Mss file 2003.001 (year, decimal point, 3 digits)
    • Year [2003 before 2004 ]
    • Numerical order [2004.001 before 2004.003]

Do any of you have anything as wonderful as this? 🙂

Irreverent archivist

November 9, 2006

 Check out the Irreverent archivist blog.  The recipe for appraisal of randam items is the perfect description  archival work!

I just set up the display cases with the help of student worker Liz Staino, to help kick off the celebration of the William Smith College centennial. We put the cover to the scrapbook (digitized for the new webpage to come) with the title “As it was in the beginning: William Smith College 1906-1912” in case one. Three other cases are pages from the scrapbook with events from 1906.

Two full front pages from the Geneva Daily Times

  • December 7, 1906 “$500,000 Gift to Hobart College.” Other headlines include “Plot against Kaiser’s life” and “Suffocated under Hay.”
  • December 13, 1906 “Hobart Accepts Mr. Smith’s Gift.” Other headlines include “Say Roosevelt aided Mormons in Election”, “Kaiser Dissolves the Reichstag”, and “Simple Spelling Stabbed in the Back.”

The fourth scrapbook page has a picture of Seneca Lake and a copy of an address by the president, Rev. Langdon C. Stewardson, to the Hobart Alumni given in December 1906 “Foundation of the William Smith School for Women at Hobart College.”

I think it’s going to be a fun year of rediscovery!

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