August 14, 2018 – “Knot Untangled”

Hello, everyone

Much of today’s activities could be considered a sequel to the events of yesterday. With Courtney’s help, the Gordian Knot that had been a troublesome obstacle in the form of the Correspondence Series of the George L Stuart, Jr. Collection has finally been untangled. However, making such a statement is pointless without elaboration.

Before continuing the assortment of the Correspondence folders, there was a box on the conference table that needed to be removed. Mr. Ogreten was present to identify what the box was and who was responsible for it (ultimately, the box belonged to a collection Mr. Benjamin was working with). After depositing the box in Mr. Benjamin’s room, Courtney arrived in the office.

Along with Mr. Ogreten, we explained the situation to her regarding how the Correspondence Series would be organized. After explaining the details, Courtney helped finish reorganizing the Senate Correspondence subseries with me. Since I had finished the majority of the subseries yesterday, the remaining portion was not difficult to handle. The Campaign Correspondence, on the other hand, proved to be more cumbersome.

On the surface, the bulk of the subseries covered correspondences ranging from 1987 to 1990. But before shuffling the folders into proper order, the rest of the subseries needed to be extracted from the remaining collection. Courtney used a printed Excel spreadsheet copy to aid her, while I sorted what folders had been previously gathered. When Courtney finished gathering the remaining folders, the task of rearranging the folders seemed simple.

However, the quantity of folders was the key element that slowly dragged the process to sluggish pace. Even when the subseries was seemingly tamed after mindbogglingly sorting the folders chronologically, their contents yielded unpleasant surprises. Courtney, unfortunately, had to remove stables from documents on more than one occasion and use a black marker to redact certain contents in some of the documents (social security numbers, for example). Some of the dates found on the documents forced me to reshuffle some of the folders as well. After a painstakingly, arduous experience, the entire Correspondence Series was eventually sorted from Boxes 59 to 68.

Even though the act of untangling such a mess would have been a great cause for celebration, the task of relabeling those same folders is still my responsibility. Also, the spreadsheet is in desperate need of being up to date with the latest condition of the collection. Both of these objectives are my immediate priority in the next few days, but what Courtney will do until I finish seems to be a mystery. If an assumption could be made, then she probably would work on her side project until I have finished relabeling the Correspondence Series. Time will tell.

In review, the Correspondence Series was eventually rearranged successfully in part to the efforts of Courtney. Also, I managed to relabel Box 59’s folders before I left. With my goals refocused to the greater task at hand, tomorrow  resumes the relabeling process. Until then, enjoy the rest of the evening and stay safe! Bye!

 

 

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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