As the middle of the week passes, the archives (and the campus itself, for that matter) appears more and more empty. Some of my colleagues (mostly the volunteers) have left to be on vacation and only a handful remain. Still, those of us who continue our shifts with plenty of work to do. My current assignment of entering the latest additions to the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida Collection had two major themes: Quarter Reports and the two scrapbooks that came with the documents.
Continuing from yesterday, the first major step was to alphabetically sort the state-level documents. I corrected the mistake of prematurely assigning folder numbers and the folders generally reflect its finished state. With the state-level documents handled, the next few subseries broke the remaining documents into the different regions of the organizations. The number of documents from the thirteen regions varied: region five held three folders featuring different documents, while region eleven held one type. The one consistency among them were the quarterly reports.
Every region had quarter reports from the club chapters within their respective regions. The Regional President received these reports and, in turn, sent copies to the main body. Curiously, the number of reports also varied. Some regions had only two from 2018, while others contained reports from December of 2017 to September of 2018. Nonetheless, the box I had been placing these documents into became full by Region 10.
After retrieving a new box to become Box 35, the remaining regions’ folders were established and I finished that portion of the new additions. However, I made a significant oversight. After comparing the organization of the collection’s finding aid, I realized the next phase (processing the scrapbooks) altered how these additions would be sorted physically and digitally. I decided to put organizing the collection aside for the moment and focus on the steps required to process the scrapbooks.
Mr. Ogreten explained the steps involved, including photographing each aspect of the scrapbooks prior to processing (to document how the scrapbook was originally organized) and printing them out. He also recommended Courtney to help me through each step as she was more experienced in handling scrapbooks. I took his advice and asked for Courtney’s assistance.
She revealed the location of the department’s cameras that are used for such occasions, how to cut down the glare from the light reflecting from scrapbook sleeves, what other materials are needed to present the optimum reference photographs, and, most importantly, where to stand when taking photographs. In order to get maximum coverage from the necessary vantage point, I needed to stand on a chair as perfectly still as possible. I remembered the advice I learned in JROTC in High School that one of my instructors, Master Gunnery Sergeant Richard Beauton (Retired), told the cadets: “Do not lock your knees! You will pass out!” I actually saw that happen to a cadet while we were in parade rest for our district inspection one year. I kept this in mind while I stood perfectly still as Courtney turned the pages for me to take pictures.
We finished just in time for my departure. After packing the camera in its case and returning the scrapbook to the cart it was resting on, I bid farewell to everyone as I took the cart into the stacks. Before leaving for the day, I took a glimpse of Colbourn Hall as its backside had been slowly stripped away by the demolition team. I took a picture and then entered the library to head on my journey home.
In review, I finished orgainizing the regional documents (mostly quarter reports) of the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida and began the first steps of processing the related scrapbooks. Tomorrow, the next phases will be implemented and maybe the second scrapbook will be photographed, too. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!