Monday, August 16, 2010

The View from 10,000 Feet

As I flew back to NJ for a short visit, I had a few hours to consider the work coming to a close at the Park City Museum. While it may seem like there is a large quantity of work left, we had decided to rehouse the checks as simply as possible, thus saving a lot of processing time. I've been focused on describing and arranging the 20 boxes of general files and 16 boxes of oversized items, so it was Emily who developed the system for housing the checks in the oversized boxes.

From August 2010

Here, you can see Emily's technique. As she opened the drawers, she found bundled (so far) checks, bank statements, and duplicates. She kept the original order since the majority of what she had found was in chronological and numerical order. In some cases, she used "blue board" (or acid-free, thick corrugaded board) to create a bridge of sorts to keep the lid from touching the checks, but still have it fit the box. She's very resourceful!

Other than the checks, last week we finished sorting through the vouchers and check copies. The New Park Mining Company kept multiple copies of checks, vouchers, and other documents, but in our materials, we didn't find a lot of overlap from year to year. That meant we would need to keep all the materials.

Well, not all the materials. After some friendly emails back and forth, the lovely folks at the Utah State Archives came to visit (while I was at storage, regrettably) and look at 6 boxes we wanted to give away to a good home. Most of these items were newsletters or reports from the Lead Industries Association, or publications of the Utah Mining Association that the president of the New Park Mining Company collected. Because these materials were not personalized in any way, did not fall into the collecting policy of the museum, and would fit better at the state archives (not to mention give us precious space), we were happy to put them into safe hands.

Otherwise, I still have yet to make the Archivists' Toolkit work at the musuem. Since I only have a few weeks left to do my work, I'm going to use an EAD template to build a framework for the museum to use after I've gone. I'm also going to develop a Word version of the finding aid in case they want just the content to add to the Past Perfect database.

The important part of the finding aid is the content, although making it accessible online is key (whether in EAD or HTML). Because it will describe a sizable collection, it will need to be easily searchable for researchers focused on specific elements, e.g., mining injuries, union negotiations, or stockholders. No doubt, I will be very busy with the task of writing the finding aid (well, as much as I can do without all of the collection being processed).

I wish had more time to work on the collection and its finding aid, but my last day is coming very quickly. Then, John and I take an epic road trip back to NJ, stopping at national parks and museums along the way. In the meantime, I keep sending out resumes and hoping that a good spot opens soon.

No comments: