My apologies for not making an update sooner in regard to my activities at the archives. With my thesis defended and my graduation imminent, the time to make a crucial update seemed appropriate. Since the last post, I completed processing the Home Movie Archive and nearly finished two new collections. Also, I signed my resignation form.
On November 27, 2019, I walked into the office and the archive staff presented a resignation form for me to fill. The main reason why I am being let go is simply that I will no longer be a student at the University of Central Florida (I am graduating on December 13, 2019) and thus my position would be invalid. My last day as an employee is scheduled to be December 20, 2019.
Nothing about my past conduct had any bearing on this decision; in fact, just the opposite. Last Friday, Mr. Ogreten treated me to lunch in appreciation of all the work I have done. As per tradition, there will be a party for me on my last day as well. Even if I were to stay, I found out that budget cuts awaited next year and I would have been working less anyway. So, this was a good time as any for this happen.
As for actual archive work, I finished processing the UCF Home Movie Archive. That means I labeled over 300 film canisters, the box holding materials for public access, and created a flat file for the posters from the UCF Film Department’s Home Movie Day. As previously stated, the collection originated from these events as various donors brought old 8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm film reels to share with people. With the meticulous construction of the finding aid for the collection, this massive beast of a collection is almost set. My last act for this collection was labeling the 56 administration folders for the collection (with a few mishaps with the typewriter along the way).
While Mr. Ogreten faces the inevitable of entering and scanning over 300 reels to be placed into the ARCH, my next assignment was very personal to me. After completing my thesis, I thought I would go above and beyond by donating my research materials to the University of Central Florida Special Collections and University Archives. I’ve heard of historians hoarding their research materials, so I did not want to be that selfish. I wanted future researchers to be able to view the same materials.
After getting approval from Mr. Benjamin, I signed the donation paperwork. Afterward, I started processing my own collection: the Steven Craig Trelstad Olustee Battlefield Research Papers. The collection holds an itinerary from the 2010 Battle of Olustee reenactment, 3 publications, and several documents written by Osceola National Forest Service Archaeologist/Historian Christopher M. Lydick. After labeling nine folders and placing the contents inside them, my collection found residence inside a quarter-sized legal box and I finished coding the finding aid.
After reporting to Mr. Ogreten of my progress, he assigned another short collection for me to process. This collection, the Alice Rountree Seminole County District No. 1 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, proved very interesting. As secretary for the Board of Trustees, Mrs. Rountree recorded typed or handwritten meeting minutes for thirty years and her son donated minutes from the meetings from 1948 to 1950 and 1953. I kept in mind that these meetings occurred in the midst of Jim Crow and school segregation was very much an institutionalized policy. Appointments to offices such as Supervisor of Negro Schools occasionally appeared with principal appointments.
Nevertheless, I itemized the collection into five folders (one for each year) and created the finding aid. When I finished, Mr. Ogreten gave very little feedback with corrections (a good sign). Unfortunately, the day ended before I could finish labeling the boxes for both my collection and the Rountree collection. I plan on completing this task as soon as my next day in the office.
In conclusion, my days at the University of Central Florida Library Special Collections and University Archive are almost over. Friday, December 13, 2019, will be my graduation date, so I will not be in the office. In the short time I have left, I completed three collections so far (Mr. Ogreten will try keeping me busy until the end). Yet, the next post in this blog will most likely be my last. Until then, enjoy the next two weeks and stay safe! Bye!