The midpoint of the 2018 Fall semester has been reached with the month of October, but work at the Library Special Collections and University Archives seemingly is unaffected by the passage of time. Is it because the monotonous pace of processing has become routine? That does not mean there was not any progress made with the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection as more folders were shaved off of from leftovers. Unfortunately, the progress made was hampered with frustrations in dealing with the Correspondence Series. Even my cleaning duties had disturbing surprises in store for me.
As usual, Mondays are the day where the responsibility of cleaning the fifth floor silent study hall. When I collected the cleaning supplies, there was not foresight to what was awaiting me. Upon examining the desks, there was evidence of streaks left behind from someone previously cleaning them. I did my best to try scrubbing the streaks off and I believe I managed to get most of them. There were still more unexpected discoveries to made as I continued to clean the desks.
Some of the desks in the study hall have glass dividers. Unfortunately, some students have taken upon themselves to write on said dividers and those of us who have cleaning responsibilities have to deal with their handiwork. Such was part of my duties today. Perhaps the most disturbing discovery made was finding a seat covered in coffee stains. I managed to clean the surface of the plastic dividers and the desk itself, but I had to report to Mr. Benjamin regarding the mess.
With my cleaning duties concluded, my attention turned towards the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection. Regarding the leftover folders, there were several categories to filter them through: folders that were recorded in the spreadsheet and were simply not sorted correctly, folders that were not recorded at all and remained reclusive with in the collection, and folders in need to be merged with more relevant folders. All three were encountered as I made the necessary judgment calls to sort them accordingly.
The most frustrating moments are reintegrating a leftover folder from the Correspondence Series. Not only did I need to find where the folder belonged chronologically within the series, but I also had to relabel the numerical order of the folders. The General Correspondence folders from 1988 to 1989 had to reorganized at least twice to accurately depict the numerical relations of the folders in the collection. Miscounting the number of folders did not help either as the blunder led to a third relabel cycle was enacted.
Though I managed to shorten the load enough to eliminate the remaining half-box and its contents to the remnant folders, the thought still bothers me of how many folders would been handled if such complications were not dealt with. To not embitter myself with such thoughts, I choose to look at the progress made and hope for the remaining folders are placed in their appropriate spot in the collection.
In review, the fifth floor silent study hall was cleaned and approximately more than a half-box’s worth of content were relabeled and place in their appropriate slot in the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection. Tomorrow, the goal will to make similar or greater progress than that of today. Until then, enjoy the rest of the afternoon and stay safe! Bye!