September 24, 2018 – “New Arrivals”

Hello, everyone!

After a stressful weekend, hopefully the rest of this week does not produce anymore drama and is somewhat relaxing. In any case, the archives was filled with bustling activity. Nearly at every hour, the staff (including me) had to pause the work that occupied their attention to tend to the acquisition of boxes filled with material for a future collection.  While this unorthodox activity preoccupied a decent amount of my time, progress continued with the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection after the normal cleaning routine.

As usual, Mondays are the day where the responsibility of cleaning the fifth floor silent study hall is mine. Unfortunately, accomplishing this task had to be done with wipes that were of inferior quality in comparison to the Lysol wipes I have become accustomed to. Scrubbing markings of the desks were slightly harder as result. However, there was no comparison to the disgusting burden of removing gum from the underside of one of the cubicle desks with the comfortable seats. Eventually, the cleaning was done after twenty minutes had passed.

As I was returning the cleaning supplies, Chris Saclolo informed me that Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Orgreten had gone to Oviedo and were retrieving from a place that donated a large amount of boxes of materials that could dwarf the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection. As such, a few of those present were called to help bring the boxes to the mail storage room when they arrived. Until then, I continued gathering folders for Box 75 of the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection.

Last week, the horror of the old format Box 12b interrupted any more proceedings into the Personal Files Series. There were no unpleasant surprises in store for me at this time. After filling Box 75, the next step was to relabel all of the folders gathered and edit the Excel spreadsheet accordingly. Relabeling the folder was not a hard task, but was annoyingly tedious due the lead breaking from the mechanical pencil I was using. Two pencils were sharpened in case the lead was broken down to an unusable state (thankfully, such preparedness did pay off).

As I was relabeling the last folder, Chris had received word that Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Ogreten were arriving with a sedan full of boxes. We, the gang-pressed volunteers, shuffled to the elevator and went to the first floor loading dock to ready ourselves. When the white sedan did arrive, I positioned myself to help Mr. Ogreten unload the boxes onto carts to be taken into storage. There were not any heavy boxes, so there were no difficulties in lifting them. With the first batch stowed away, Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Ogreten left in Mr. Benjamin’s car  to return to Oviedo (the white sedan belongs to the library and was scheduled to be used at 11:00 AM by someone else).

With a momentary pause in delivering boxes, I returned to the Stuart Collection by filling the newly-christened Box 76. Usually, I had a list of folders to make sure I gathered the right ones. In a pleasant surprise, the Personal Files Series list was only big enough to fit onto two pages. The revelation built confidence in me in knowing the end was close. While gathering folders, there were two folders I had purposely set aside until I had reached the Personal Files Series. I quickly relabeled them with hopes of placing them in the collection properly, only to realize Box 77 would be these folders’ housing.

Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Ogreten returned eventually and certain members of the staff had to help unload the car. Much like the first trip, no difficult boxes were encountered and the boxes were all stowed away. The third trip proved to be more troublesome. When Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Ogreten returned, most of the boxes were in trash bags. We later learned that the boxes were bagged due to silverfish infestation concerns (they would need to be treated to eliminate the pests) and were isolated until the concerns were addressed.

Before leaving for the day, I decided to downsize the remaining boxes to sort through. The contents of three boxes were low enough for all of them to be placed into one box. Once they were in one box, the two empty boxes were placed onto a back shelf just in case.

In review, Box 75 was completed, Box 76 was sorted, new collection acquisition was delivered and unloaded into storage, and Box 77 was started. Tomorrow, Box 76 will be relabeled and perhaps Box 77. Until then, enjoy the rest of the afternoon 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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