Well, I really didn’t intend to take a six-week hiatus from blogging, but time does tend to slip away during the summer. I especially wanted to keep the blog going so that anyone who actually reads this would know that Wofford’s librarians and archivists, as well as our student assistants, were hard at work this summer. However, I was juggling several projects along with two trips and a few vacation days. Here’s a summary of an August in the Archives.
From July 31 to August 3, I attended the first ever workshop-training event for Methodist Annual Conference archivists. It was sponsored by the General Commission on Archives and History, which is the United Methodist Church agency responsible for maintaining the church’s archives and promoting its history. We met at GCAH headquarters on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Let me just say that their facilities were excellent and that part of New Jersey is very pretty. Part of the workshop included a tour of Methodist historic sites in New York City, including the John Street Church, the oldest active Methodist congregation, and sites related to Methodism in lower Manhattan. I often refer researchers to my colleagues in other annual conferences, so it was nice to be able to put faces with names. It was also nice not to have to explain to anyone else any of the terms Methodists and archivists use. The folks at GCAH provided great information that will help all of us help the local churches better. And they fed us well, and as Methodists, we all know that’s key.
Back at the ranch for the bulk of August, my student assistants and I tried to wrap up a few projects. Hilary continued to scan campus building photos and made major headway on scanning some of the Methodist ministerial directories. Phillip helped me complete processing on President Walter K. Greene’s papers. The finding aid will be posted soon. That brought to completion two major presidential paper processing projects (how alliterative!) this summer. Over the next few weeks, I’m planning to post a lot of the images that we scanned this summer so that researchers can use them.
After answering a batch of reference inquiries, writing a Wofford Today column about the college’s literary societies, and taking a few vacation days, I left for the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in San Francisco. (I know, that’s so sad that I had to go to San Francisco for a conference!) Again, it’s always nice to be around other people who do what you do for a living and to not get blank stares when you tell someone you’re an archivist. I shared what I do with this blog during a meeting of the Lone Arrangers Roundtable (yes, that’s what archivists who work alone call themselves). I always learn new things when I attend SAA and bring back a new idea or two about how to promote the archives, present a collection, or something like that. And I have lots of good photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park.
And now, I’m back and ready for the fall semester. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to write about the opening of school at various times, perhaps unearth some football stories, and otherwise talk about some things that are going on in the archives as we get back into the fall semester routine.