My journey into Special Collections begins!

My first full week working as an intern in the UA Special Collections has been extremely educational and fulfilling! The learning curve for doing the actual survey work is interesting and definitely keeps me on my toes. As Fleur and I have started the test run of performing the survey, we have found the need to adjust not only the submission form options, but also guidelines on how we consider different issues, such as small collections and the manner of their housing or finding papers slumping in their folder despite the box seeming to adequately house the materials. Even within the short period it’s curious to see how my standards for grading the physicality of the materials has altered. At first a large portion of paper seemed to be in poor physical condition, but with the increase of materials I am experiencing and Fleur’s examples and guidance, I feel like I am getting a better handle on what is actually poor and what is not. While the work is not hard, there is a lot to consider and pay attention to. So much in fact, I can hardly remember the details of a collection soon after I have completed the survey of it. I know time and experience will increase my comfort levels, so I am not too worried about it. It’s kind of cool to have this work cart with all the materials I need to complete the survey. I was excited when I found a random screw on the floor that I was able to add to my jar!

The readings have also been extremely informative for this learning process. I am excited to learn more about the whole process of creating the exhibit. I plan on learning how to use the finding aid over the weekend so that I can find an interesting subject in which to create my exhibit plan. I am not so worried about the actual work to be done, just about my inexperience with the collection. But again, all of this will come with time. I look forward to the rest of the semester and am ready to get working!


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