May 13, 2019 – “Unraveled Standards”

Hello, everyone!

Today marked the first day of the Summer Semester for some students and those students filled the passages of the University of Central Florida. As for me, another week at the archives awaited me. Before retelling the days events, there is a matter that needs to be addressed.

Last Wednesday, I joined my colleagues at the IT&R Appreciation Banquet and a fflewas held there. I divided the tickets I received in half and placed them into the Gift Card bucket and the Parking Permit bucket. Unfortunately, I did not win the Parking Permit prize. To my complete surprise, I did win a twenty-five dollar gift card from the raffle! I did not think I won anything, so I happily accepted my prize.

With that matter addressed, my Monday began as it usually does: cleaning fifth-floor study hall. For the most part, I did not encounter much difficulty until I reached the last fourth of the room. There, I encountered a horrifying sight. Whoever sat in a seat closest to a window near the western entrance somehow caused an explosion of glitter to sit all over a desk and its corresponding chair. I did my best to clean most of it off and I made sure to notify Mr. Benjamin of the disaster area.

Once I finished cleaning, I checked the shelving cart only to find no books needed to be shelved. I moved on to gathering the materials related to the Home Movie Collection and resuming my progress. I noted that the latest set of films featured an usual aspect to the corresponding files: they did not feature repair logs, which I used extensively throughout the collection. Instead the files related to the collection came with a white 1970 Year Book (more like a daily planner, if anything) that contained small summaries of what the footage contained. A rare occurrence that a donor actually provided notes to the films they donated gets all of the praise that I muster.

For the first few files, this year book provided crucial information like dates, locations occasionally, and names of the people featured. Unfortunately, this standard unraveled as the video files started to not match the notes. While I am still not sure how it happened, I theorize that the reel containers did not contain the right reels at some point and the people digitizing the films took the footage as it stood and filed them together.  For me, this meant deep diving into the notes and try to match the footage to its corresponding notes (at least try to). Under these circumstances, I did my best with mixed results.

As for noteworthy footage, the family visited the Sarasota, Florida mansion of John Ringling, of the same Ringling brothers who owned Barnum & Bailey Circus. Built in 1924, Ringling chose design of the Ca’ d’Zan to be reminiscent of the Venetian palazzos in Italy as it overlooked Sarasota Bay. The family also visited the now-defunct Floridaland Amusement Park, which sat on US highway 41 between Sarasota and Venice, Florida from 1964 to 1971. The park featured an Old West theme to it and even held dolphin shows.

Eventually, my shift came to a close. After saving my work,  I unplugged the hard drive, packed it, and returned the materials to the stacks. I then said my farewells to the staff and left for the day.

In review, I dealt with a disaster involving glitter and a once reliable piece of information unraveled the standards of how I operated my notes. Tomorrow, I need to figure out how to overcome this obstacle. Until then, enjoy 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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