Thursday, May 14, 2015

what my archives class accomplished this term

This year I had my largest archives class (19 students). Once again we tackled part of the Charles S. Bliss lumber and family papers. For their final project they each received a .5 cubic ft. box to process and for which they create a scope/contents note and box/folder listing. In the end, they withdrew just over a total of 2 cubic feet of miscellaneous doodles and notations, illegible, badly damaged, fragile, stained, mildewed or possibly moldy materials, after having photocopied the material worth keeping. The result is that  9.75 cubic feet more of Bliss is processed. This only leaves me with about 30 more cubic feet of papers to process. If I have classes in the near future of approximately 19 students it will take us at least three more years to process the boxed material. There are also over 100 mostly oversized volumes, which have been inventoried, but which still need new flags and some physical reorganization on the shelves. So, we are making progress.

Overall the students' projects were well done. Some of them found some interesting items, while others bravely finished processing regardless.  Most of them had not been in an archives before, except to visit, and the vast majority had never processed archival collections before. So everyone learned new skills. To all my students who have learned how to process I say, and I mean it, Job well done! By now you know if you want to pursue being an archivist or not.  That saved you some graduate tuition fees.  So far in three years of my teaching this class, my students and I have processed a total of 61 boxes and 7 folders, or 26.5 cubic ft. More of Bliss has now been discovered, processed, and is now accessible.  For more information about the processed part of the collection see the amended catalog record here http://catalog.lib.cmich.edu/search/a?SEARCH=bliss%2C+charles+s&SORT=D


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