Some days you just have to dump all those waiting reports and documents to write and such and just spend a day moving stuff about. Today was that day.
And it all started with the picturingUAA project. We’ve been putting things in on a collection by collection basis. So the reason that most of the photos in there are from the late 1960s to early 1980s is that we started with the Merrill Grube photographs. Mr. Grube was the university photographer for a lot of those years. But since we’re starting to get toward the end of those, it’s time we move on to other collections. And some of the prime photos for selection for picturingUAA are the various photographs that have been transferred to us from UAA Athletics. Photos of some of the earliest years of the Great Alaska Shootout for those of you who are basketball fans, to the volleyball team, to hockey, and so on. But we couldn’t start in scanning those because we don’t have the Athletics records described: we needed to assign series (or call) numbers to each records series, figure out how many boxes, and so forth. Why, you ask? Well, it’s all the file name question. We want to assign file names to the digital image files that will allow us to walk straight to the original image if we need. So we need call numbers, and any other stable and permanent description we can provide so we can assign good file names to the digital copies of the images.
Early this morning, MC & I (Arlene) headed back into the stacks to look at the Athletics section of shelving. And the nice thing is, they were already pretty much divided up into series for us and a few of the boxes even had hand-written box/folder listings for us! Very helpful. So we came up with a list of records series (administrative files, slides, press releases, and so forth) and entered those into our internal catalog and in the process assigned each series a call number. And since we were doing that, we started doing the description as well: if we’re going to go that far, we might as well take it the extra step and write up what we know and make them publicly available! But since we haven’t described any university records series that required a container list yet, we had to pause for a moment and retool our personal or organizational (non-UAA) finding aid template to match the needs of our university records series description. So that’s done now too! Once that was done, we could get to work on writing some description for the athletics records so we can post finding aids to them on our website to let the world know that these things are available here.
So, things achieved today:
- sorted through (at least to box level) the UAA Athletics records in our custody
- came up with series numbers for each different Athletics records series and entered basic series information into our internal collection management database
- discovered some highly confidential (and probably non-permanent) student records mixed in that we’ll need to have removed from Archives, probably by shredding, once we confer with Athletics as to what should be done with those records
- rehoused all the 35mm slides into archival enclosures (one of our students did this)
- retooled our finding aid template for use as with university records series
- created a full finding aid to one of Athletics photographs series and posted it online
- handled several reference questions, answered some community questions about scanning photographs, and still managed to eat lunch (although MC ate at her desk and Arlene ran away to lunch out with a friend)
Pretty effective day, we’d say. And a lot of what we’ve achieved today will allow us to make great progress on all those other awaiting tasks, like getting more material into picturingUAA, or continuing on with the description/making accessible the university records in our holdings, and so forth.
And it all started with moving boxes about.
[Note: Due to a cost increase for PicturingUAA, all images that were once available on PicturingUAA have been moved to Alaska’s Digital Archives. We also have many more images within our physical holdings. Please contact us if you have any questions.]
Wow, who knew that moving boxes about would help us get so much done! Oh wait, we knew!