Weekly Review: May 20, 2019 – May 24, 2019

Hello, everyone!

In the final full week of May, I am pleased to announce that I reached the threshhold of the last five sets of donated films in the Home Movie Collection. Within the sets I reviewed to get to that point, I watched families enjoy Christmas celebrations, birthday parties of their small children, and travel to destinations that no longer exist. Also, Mr. Ogreten assigned a task requiring the assistance of two people. All of this on top of my normal responsibilities.

The shelving remained bare for me during the whole week, so I did not need to reshelf books. As for cleaning the study hall, I did not come across any messes that required me to notify Mr. Benjamin (thankfully) and I easily cleaned the usual suspect: pencil marking, coffee stains, pen marking, etc. I did assist Ms. Rubin and the staff by pushing carts of collection boxes to the ARC, their new storage space. Helping my colleagues became a running theme.

Mr. Ogreten assigned one of my colleagues, Courtney Toelle, to process the Sanford Municipal Court dockets (the large books the department received a few months ago). We learned how to read the records to verify their content (a very confusing order: some of them read from left to right, some to needed a little extra attention to find the end date), Courtney taught me the fine art of gift wrapping as we wrapped the dockets in a protective covering, and I attempted tie the knots keeping everything together (by far, Courtney did a much better job) We managed finish wrapping a third of the books before the end of the day.

As for Home Movie Collection, I finished of the footage donated by someone who lived on Midway Atoll (due to their father’s military background) and their trip to San Diego. The family also filmed a trip that the family took through the western states of Wyoming and Nebraska (visiting Tree in the Rock, Wyoming, passing Remount Ranch, and traveling through Cheyenne, Nebraska). The family visited the Grand Canyon, sailed through San Francisco Bay on a navy ship, walked the trough the Japanese Gardens at Van Nuys, traveled through the Rocky Mountains, and walked the streets of Reno, Nevada. The next family did not feature any breathtaking visuals or vacations.

The film set featured many Christmas and birthday parties, children dressed in their Halloween costumes, the antics of the toddlers of the family, waterskiing at an unidentified lake. Curiously, this footage did not come with any notes on the repair logs. As result, I watched the footage intently for anything to give me a reference to use. None came.

On a cheerful note, the next sext of films contained footage of family member visiting New York. They visited landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and Shea Stadium. The most telling event that captured the attention of the family revolved around the 1964 World’s Fair. They family spent some time filming the Unite States Government pavilion, visited the New Mexico pavilion (I corroborated the scenes in the film with a map of the World’s Fair), filmed a panoramic shot of the Fair from the New York State Pavilion. Not bad footage, however the World’s Fair footage fascinated me as, while the entire collection does contain a few families that visited the Fair, this footage differentiated itself by featuring the Illinois State Pavilion, the New Mexico Pavilion, and the Vatican Pavilion. Other tourist destinations included: Pocono Mountain Inn in the Sky, Cresco, Pennsylvania and Luray Caverns, Virginia.

In short, I finished three sets of films, helped wrap court dockets, and finished my normal responsibilities. Next week, I continue on to the next films. However, Monday is Memorial Day, I need to make-up those hours on Thursday. Until next week, enjoy the extended weekend and stay safe! Bye!

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The Remainder of the Week of May 13-17, 2019

Hello, everyone!

As I previously stated, I am renewing an old format as I am working on my thesis. I already noted most of what occuredon Monday, I will not review the occurances of that day. Instead, the events of the rest of the week, however short, will be noted to be the best of my ability.

On Tuesday, I finished reviewing a set of donated films from the Home Movie Collection that brought a unique feature with its records. As a reminder, this collection came with a Year Book planner that contained descriptions of the footage seen in the film related to the collection. The descriptions helped tremendously for the first ten films, only to fall apart for the rest of the of the films.

The remainder of the set felt like trying to solve a puzzle: what description fit which film. I swear something happened during the digitization process that caused some of the films to mismatch. I though that perhaps someone placed some of  reels in the wrong cannisters and they digitized the films together in that order without the planner’s notes? Or did they even know about the planner at all?

Regardless, I noted some familiar locales the family visited such as Niagara Falls, an amusement park called Petticoat Junction (located at Panama City, Florida, the Old West theme park opened in 1963 and closed in 1984), the 1961 Orange Bowl in Miami, the Jungle Land theme park in Panama City, Florida,  New Smyrna Beach, and the St. George Island Bridge. Other footage such as birthdays and Christmas celebrations appeared more often. As much of an interesting challenge as trying match footage with the notes, I looked forward to a more stabilized set of films. The next set did not disappoint.

The next mostly involved the life of a U.S. military officer and his family stationed at the Midway Atoll. The footage came with a letter from the donor, who stated she lived the life a military brat a child. She told of how her family moved there from 1957 to 1958 and films depicted mostly moments from  that time frame.

While the family enjoyed picnics, barbeques, trips to the beach, and participated in parades, the footage also spent a great deal exhibiting the local wildlife of the island. Frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, and the island’s most notable animal, the albatross (also known as “gooney birds”), all caught the attention of the videographer. As interesting as watching how life on the Midway Atoll during the late 1950s unfolded, the family did visit other locations.

The father visited Saigon and Da Nang while deployed in Vietnam during the war and filmed the Trung Sisters’ Monument and the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception among other monuments and sites. The family as a whole visited San Diego, the Cabrillo Lighthouse, and the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, I did not finish before my shift ended.

As for office work, I received another responsibility. I am not just cleaning the fifth-floor study hall on Monday, I am also doing on Friday now, too. Also, the staff (me included)helped Ms. Rubin move some of the University Archive collections to be moved to the ARC. Thankfully, our physical labor paid off and met our goals on time.

In review, I finished a set of films and began another, I gained another responsibility, and all of the staff helped move collection boxes in to the ARC. Until the next report, enjoy the upcoming week and stay safe! Bye!


May 15, 2019 – Emergency Post: Format Change

Hello, everyone.

I stated in a previous post that if this blog interferred in any way, shape, or form with my studies (especially my thesis writing), I would either place the blog on hiatus or reformat the blog. For the sake of keeping record of my experiences at the University of Central Florida Library Special Collections and University Archives, I decided to reformat the blog into a weekly blog instead of a daily blog. I did this earlier during my days as an intern, so I am familiar with the format. Expect Fridays as when these weekly entries will be posted this point forward and the first one is this Friday. Unitl then, enjoy the rest of the day and stay safe! Bye!

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!


May 12, 2019 – Regarding the Events of May 10, 2019

Hello, everyone!

I apologize for not making a post two days ago. Due to Mother’s Day weekend, I traveled out of town once I finished my shift on Friday and I did not type an entry. To summarize my shift that day, I dealt with more technical issues with a computer (I changed computers), a fire alarm went off and forced an evacuation (construction of the walkway between the ARC and the library triggered it), and the latest batch of films in the Home Movie Collection did not come with repair log notes. Instead the donor left a 1970 notebook planner that contained the vital informat about the films to extract from. The rest of the shift went smoothly as expected.

Again, I apologize for the lack of a post. Enjoy the rest of the day and stay safe! Bye!

May 8, 2019 – “Disney, Swimming Competitions, and Shelf Measurements”

Hello, everyone!

Today, I finished one of the largest sets of films in the Home Movie Collection! The majority of the remaining footage deal with a visit to Disney World, more swimming related activities, and dancing. Also, Mr. Ogreten asked a small favor of me as a side assignment. All in all, I experienced a good day at the office.

When I entered the office and greeted the staff, I retrieved the Home Movie Collection materials from the stacks and prepared to finish another set of films. The last two files touched upon previously filmed subjects.

The first file started with a family trip to Walt Disney World in 1971, where the witnessed a parade of classic Disney characters like Mikey Mouse (of course), Donald Duck, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, the Seven Dwarves from Snow White, and a few others. They filmed a lot of Main Street USA and some of the features such as the horse-drawn trolley (this makes me question about the readiness of the electric trolleys now). As for attractions, the family took pictures of and filmed the Dumbo ride.  The last bit from the footage from Disney involved the children posing for a picture with an Eeyore mascot.

The next notable footage involved the family filming at a swimming competition, several actually. The family seemingly entered their children to compete on a frequent basis, especially their daughter. While most of the venues looked as though they belonged to the local YMCA, one in particular looked massive enough to hold over a sizeable amount of people and still the competitors looked crammed together on the sidelines. Somehow the managed to hold the competition despite the the apparent discomfort.

The family also filmed people dancing on two separate occasions. The first involved footage of an earlier momen on another reel that involved a group of boys and girls square dancing in a classroom. I am not sure if the footage in this particular reel either simply comes from the same even or the same exact footage. I did not bother checking, so I cannot answer the inquiry. The second footage of people dancing involved people mimicing the Russian folk dance during an evening celebration and wondered wahat kind of music warranted this peculiar display (the footage contains no sound, so my curiosity remains unfulfilled).

As I was finishing the second file, Mr. Ogreten asked for my assistance. He wanted me to measure the spaces remaining on the bookshelves to calculate how much space allowed for more publications in its holdings. I opted to use a foot long ruler instead of measuring tape (something that I am going to change for future use) and started measuring. I managed to calculate space for four shelves before realizing I did not possess the time to complete this task. I returned my notes to Mr. Ogreten that I explained to him that I am going to finish on Friday (at least try to).

As my shift waned, I quickly wrote the notes for the remaining footage. Once I finished, I saved my work, packed the hard drive, and returned all related materials to the stacks. Afterward, I bid all the staff farewell and left for the day.

In review, I finished another set of films and began a task for Mr. Ogreten. On Friday, I am going to finish this task and begin a new set of films. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!

May 7, 2019 – “Family Milestones”

Hello, everyone!

As I race towards the Home Movie Collection finish line, I diligently describe what the footage depicts. Especially when I encounter some footage that deserved to be noted in the guide beforehand, like the footage of Niagara Falls. While I did not encounter anything of that sort in today’s footage, the footage I viewed reminded me of human mortality and the interconnection of the human experience.

When entered the office and retrieved the Home Movie Collection hard drive, I did not know what to expect from the footage for today. In the films, I witnessed a little girl at various points in her life, specifically during her baby and toddler years to her eighth birthday. Likewise, I watched the grandparents celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren (it reminded me of my own grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary). Perhaps even more telling came from a 1974 visit to the grandparents.

I learned that the grandparents lived in West Palm Beach and the neighborhood featured homes that looked very familiar. My stepfather lived in a home similar to the ones seen in the footage (albeit he lived in Melbourne, not West Palm Beach). Anyways, the grandparents did a routine of strolling through their neighborhood (they even rode tricycles while their granddaughter followed them). A very entertaining sight, for sure!

While a happy sight, a later film juxtaposed the very aforementioned scene. In 1978, the family visited the grandparents and I noted the startling difference. The grandmother now walked with a cane and the grandfather’s hair turned white. While they still strolled the neighborhood, they no longer possessed the mobility (or even the capability) to ride tricycles). How startling the difference four years makes and a constant reminder of the temporary state of human life.

To not make this entry a depressing one, I noted a film labeled “Hall of Fame 1974.” I wondered what it meant as I started to watch it. Lo and behold, what I saw answered my questions: “International Swimming Hall of Fame” emblazzed the side of one of the buildings. Interrestingly, this links back to the footage of famous Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller, who helped found the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in 1964. The question remains just why did the family visit the ISHOF? 

The daughter of the family proved herself as an avid swimmer. As seen in the films, she entered swimming contests and won awards based on performances. When they visited ISHOF, the daughter brought her swimming suit and practised in the pool available at the complex. She seemed happy to display her skills and keep her from calcifying those routines.

As for office news, Mr. Benjamin left the office early today. He started his journey to Miami to join Ms. Rubin and attend the Annual Meeting of the Society of Florida Archivists at the Hilton Garden Inn Miami at Dolphin Mall. I wanted to attend one of the workshops there until I discovered the last day to book for it occurred on April 6, 2019. Oh well. Hopefully, the next meeting occurs at a place closer to home with workshops for those starting in the field.

Eventually, my shift ended. I saved my progress, packed the hard drive, returned it to the the stacks. Afterward, I joined the staff to go a faculty award ceremony and enjoyed some free food. I enjoyed the fellowship until 4:00 PM, then I bid them farewell and headed home.

In review, I watched another sizeable portion of the Home Movie Collection and joined my colleagues for some fellowship at a faculty award ceremony in the Student Union Ballroom. Tomorrow, I aim to finish the current set of films and move on to the next. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!

May 6, 2019 – “Cake Guinea Pigs”

Hello, everyone!

As the lull between semesters officially begins, the campus of the University of Central Florida carries an aura of emptiness. Needless to say, this includes the archives as well. None of my colleagues and Ms. Rubin did not come in came in today, so the staff remained short. In spite of such setbacks, those that remained maintained the archives as always and Mr. Benjamin surprised us with a cake to try. At this point, I realized something profound: Mr. Benjamin used us like Guinea pigs for his cakes (not that we complained). Aside from taking the mantle of taste tester, my Monday proceeded like any other.

After collecting the cleaning supplies, I headed into the fifth-floor study hall with confidence that I did not to clean a lot of desks since the semester ended. While my instincts proved correct, I miscalculated and guessed low on the number of desks in need of cleaning. Still, I did not need to scrape gum off the desks or clean up spilled coffee, so I am grateful for that.

Once I finished, I checked the shelving cart as I put away the Lysol wipes and it did not hold any books to put away. On that note, I gathered the Home Movie Collection hard drive and resumed my progress. The majority of the footage reviewed came from the 1970s, specifically from 1970 to 1072.  Unsurprisingly, the children grew a little and the family enjoyed more vacations.

For starters, the family visited Niagara Falls. Aside from the family filming themselves at the bottom of the falls, the footage did not offer anything not already seen in other donated films. Interestingly, my predecessors failed to record this visitation in the guide. While I’m not sure why some of these tourist attractions managed to slip past anyone’s notice, instances like this reinforce the need to detail the contents of these films.

One of the films dealt with the family visiting Florida in 1972. When I began watching the film, I expected the family to visit Walt Disney World. Imagine my disappointment when they only visited Fort Lauderdale (not sure about the reason).

While I appreciate they tried something different, I wondered just why did pick Fort Lauderdale? Sure, they filmed a night parade going through downtown and visited the Fort Lauderdale Zoo (filmed a lot of primeates like squirrel monkeys, golden lion tamarins, and bald uakari among others). Yet, I am left wondering what brought them there in the first place.

Before my lunch break, Mr. Benjamin brought out a special cake for everyone in the office to try. While the triple-layered cake looked small, its height reminded everyone to not take it lightly. When I took my first bite into my slice of cake, the taste overwhelmed with its sweetness. The plentiful slice I received made me question whether I wanted a second slice or not. A very powerful cake, indeed!

Eventually, my shift ended. I returned all related materials to the stacks and bid farewell to the staff. Afterward, I left for the day.

In review, I made significant gains in the Home Movie Collection, performed my responsibilities, and ate some powerful cake. Tomorrow, my journey through the Home Movie Collection continues. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!

May 3, 2019 – “Ending of the Spring 2019 Semester”

Hello, everyone!

At the University of Central Florida, most of the student body either graduates this weekend or enjoys a small break before returning in two weeks. This affects the archives as most of my colleagues fall into those categories and the workload shifts accordingly. As such, my supervisors relied on me to help more often in the office and complete tasks that others normally did in the past. Nonetheless, I completed whatever they asked without question of difficulty as well as get further along in the Home Movie Collection. As a result, I made significant progress.

As I entered the office, I gathered all the materials related to the Home Movie Collection with the intent to at least reach the midpoint of the current donated films I reviewed. In general, most of the footage I viewed today contained scenes of several Christmas celebrations from 1966 to 1968, a few birthday parties, and a trip to Florida in 1972. Through these various moments, I found out that my previous theory regarding two of the children (probably cousins) sharing the same birthday gained some traction.

As a reminder, I noticed during a birthday a celebration that an eight-year-old (or six-year-old) boy and a one-year-old girl got separate cakes on the same day. I theorized that either they shared the same birthday or their birthdays shared close proximity to each other that the parents decided to hold a joint celebration. The footage I saw today only fueled my belief in the latter as the most likely answer.

Other footage of note includes their 1972 trip to Florida. Of course, they visited Walt Disney World as the film displayed the monorail system at various angles. Strangely, they did not show any aspect of the park outside of the monorail and, in retrospect, I question if they even set foot in the park itself. They undisputedly visited a place that featured a petting zoo and horse rides, so I wonder if that place belonged Disney or not? Regardless, the last bit of film from their trip featured a boat ride on Lake Buena Vista.

While watching these files, Ms. Rubin assigned a task for me to complete. Like yesterday, thirty boxes needed to be reshelved in the University Archives room. So, I took on the task without assistance and surprised everyone by finishing in a timely manner. Later, Mr. Ogreten and Ms. Rubin required my assistance in moving some carts to the same room and swapping them for empty carts to take to the fifth-floor. Taking these instances into account, my shift did not exactly go interrupted.

Eventually, my shift closed. I managed to reach my intended goal for the day, despite interruptions. Alas, I saved my work, unplugged the hard drive, packed it, and returned it to the stacks. Afterwards, I bid farewell to the remaining staff and left for the weekend.

In review, I achieved a short term goal despite a few interruptions. Next week, I hope to make significant progress towards completing my viewing of the Home Movie Collection. Until the, stay safe and enjoy the weekend! Bye!

May 2, 2019 – “Doughnuts, Tacos, Videos, and Boxes”

Hello, everyone!

I usually do not work in the archives on Thursdays, but I took last Friday off and I substituted those hours for today. While I intended to continue through the Home Movie Collection, the hands of fate seemed to set a series of events that I never considered to happen. Events like doughnuts brought by Mr. Ogreten, a Taco Thursday event held in the staff lounge, and preparing boxes for their eventual move to the ARC interjected themselves into my routine. As such, my shift became a severely disjointed one.

When I entered the office, I noticed a box of Dunkin Donuts sitting on the conference table. I asked one of my colleagues if they knew anything about it and she became curious as well. We later learned Mr. Ogreten brought a box of assorted doughnuts to commemorate the last day Joseph Kaminski worked at the archives. Eventually, everyone gathered around the table and enjoyed each others company as devoured the doughnuts (save for, as Joe put it, a “bottom-tier” jelly doughnut).

With the doughnuts devoured, I turned my attention to the Home Movie Collection. I retrieved the hard drive and records from the stacks to resume my work from yesterday. I left off from footage of the family visiting a pool and the boys diving into it. Most of the remaining footage dealt with Christmas and birthday celebrations ranging from 1966 to 1970.

Interestingly, one of the labels mentioned a wedding in the middle of the footage. When I watched the footage in question, the footage did not contain any images of the bride and groom at all. Just group photo poses and a lovely older couple (not the bride and groom). Very strange.

As I continued through the footage, Ms. Rubin needed the computer I used in order to scan some documents. So, I removed myself and decided to take a break. When I went to the staff lounge, I discovered a buffet table filled with food. I did not ask those there for the reason why for the food and I returned to the office to ask Mr. Ogreten about it. He told me that some of the faculty belonged to a charitable group and they put together this “Taco Thursday” event.

Basically, guests pay three dollars and some change for their food (and a dollar and fifty cents for seconds) and the proceeds go to their charity. While a noble cause, my interest laid with the food itself. Luckily, the food tasted very good and I commend the people who made it. Especially, the lemon cake for dessert.

Afterward, I resumed my work. I thought the rest of my shift simply dealt with Home Movie Collection. Little did I know that Ms. Rubin assigned me to assist me to help Joe one last time. At some point, either Joe or Ms. Rubin labeled fifty-seven boxes in the University Archives. While we did not need to transfer the boxes to the ARC itself, we did need to place them back on their shelves in numerical order. After spinning boxes to face the right direction, we completed the task under thirty minutes.

When we returned to the offfice, I quickly saved my work, packed the hard drive, and returned everything to the stacks. Before I left, I especially thanked Joseph and wished him well in his future endeavors. Afterward, I said farewell to the staff and left for the day.

In review, my shift did not go as intended and constant interruptions kept me from making much progress. Still, I thanked Joseph Kaminski and told him that I enjoyed working with him. That said, I want to get my shift back on track tomorrow. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!