My experiences as an Archivist Apprentice have provided opportunity to engage with a variety of different collections. The first collection consisted of 2 linear feet of materials which pertained to The Clarion, an Arizona based women’s issues newspaper which ran from roughly 1977 to 1991. Items in the collection include tax documents, receipts, newspaper clippings, newspaper issues, staff files, and subscription information. I was able to survey these materials and then draft an approach for processing the collection. After creating several draft processing proposals and receiving helpful feedback from my supervisor I was able to create three distinct subseries to organize the collection namely, financial papers, administrative papers, and newspaper issues. From this process I learned a great deal about best practices for naming series and subseries so as to avoid ambiguity and aid in the location and retrieval of information. I have drafted a finding aid for the collection and will soon be encoding this finding aid so that if may be accessed digitally.
The second collection I have been working on is the Kolbe Collection. This collection contains congressional materials from Representative Jim Kolbe, who represented Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1985 to 2007. Congressional processing often requires sorting through large quantities of records. The Kolbe collection contains over 330 linear feet of material. After gaining some familiarity with the materials in the collection, I was asked to help survey and process the correspondence series with my fellow GA Samantha Colaianni. This was an important experience in the decision making and collaborative processes involved in archival work.
One of the features I have also enjoyed in my Archivist Apprenticeship has been the ability to participate in other archival professional duties. I have been fortunate to conduct research and write blog reports that highlight University of Arizona Collections. For example, we produced a blog that discussed the twenty year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and I was tasked with researching collections that related to this historic event. I located fragments of the Berlin Wall housed in Special Collections and co-wrote a post with my supervisor. This experience provided valuable insight into the various duties archivists must complete in addition to collections processing and provided opportunity to research the rich collection held at the University of Arizona.