I did some things

Over the summer, I worked as an intern at the Hagley. I’m really glad this mini-gig worked out: it gave me a chance to work with some neat people and tour impressive (and often rather cold) facilities, all in a gorgeous setting. (The Hagley is located in the part of “Wilmington” that is dominated by rolling hills, which are good for the soul, if not radio reception.) I was in the AV Collections and Digital Initiatives department, mainly rehousing photographic materials. With the exception of digitizing Hallowell photographs, most of my APS work has been focused on paper, with photographs and other materials shunted out of correspondence and into separate series. Concentrating on those materials provided a good change of perspective. I worked with materials from the Public Affairs Department of the David Sarnoff Research Center. This was also a change of pace: I’m used to working with the collections of individuals, but this was corporate material. I wrote a little bit about some of the fun things I encountered in the collection; those pieces are (or will be) included in the Sarnoff Library Project blog.

In August, I took the exam to become a Certified Archivist and I am now a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. I have Thoughts™ and Feelings™ about the test and certification, which I may write about later in more detail. But for now, if you see “CA” written after my name, you’ll know what it means.

This fall, MARAC called for volunteers to join its new Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. This is Important Stuff™ and, I thought, a good way to (finally) become involved with MARAC in an official capacity. I was very pleased to be accepted as a member of the Task Force and I’m looking forward to the coming year’s work. I hope we’ll be able to do some good within the organization and, more broadly, within the profession and society. (It’s important to be realistic, but there’s no harm in dreaming big.)

In the category of things I’ve been meaning to do since spring, I finally volunteered to serve as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies. This will be a new thing for me, outside of peer comments on seminar papers and (less relevantly) critiques of fiction, but I want to try stretching those particular metaphorical muscles.

October is Archives Month. I’ve had the opportunity to attend some fun events (including watching colleagues’ presentation at the Wagner’s Lantern Slide Salon), and #AskAnArchivist Day was a good excuse to dust off my Twitter account.

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Conferences

Later this month I’ll be in Boston for the MARAC spring conference. I’m looking forward to it: the program looks good, it’s my first professional conference, and it’s the first time in a couple years I’ve felt comfortable scheduling a multi-day trip. As a bonus, I know a bunch of people in Boston, so I’ll get in some socialization as well as conferencing. I expect to crash pretty hard into introvert time on the train back home.

I am also looking forward to MARCH’s Telling Untold Histories unconference next month. (Though I confess I’m not particularly looking forward to getting up early enough to make it into Camden by 8:30. Benefits of booking at the conference hotel in Boston.) I was initially considering this sort of a consolation prize. I was seriously considering going to the annual NCPH conference in Nashville, but decided that this was not the time to try to swing two out-of-state conferences within a month of each other. (Next year in Baltimore, maybe.) Now that it’s getting closer, I’m getting more excited about this opportunity to geek out on the public history front.