A New Year and Archives 101

August 21, 2017 wasn’t just the coolest event I’ve witnessed (the total solar eclipse); it was also the first day of the fall semester here at Georgia College.

The total eclipse, as seen from Greenwood, SC.

It brought an end to a very busy summer for Special Collections. Caroline Fry, our summer intern, has now left us, but we’ve added two new service learning fellows and one new graduate assistant. You’ll continue to see Miranda Campbell around these parts, but now we have Brendan Starr, Shayla Burnett, and Catherine James with us as well. As they write posts, we’ll introduce them properly.

Some of our summer adventures made it into blog posts or onto our Facebook page, but one that has not until now is the Archives 101 class I co-taught on August 5th. Special Collection sponsored the Society of Georgia Archives’ event, that was held at the Ina Dillard Russell Library at Georgia College, which provided basic archives training to librarians, historians, and volunteers with historical and genealogical organizations who were responsible for archival materials. We welcomed 20 attendees to the Ina Dillard Russell Library to talk through acquisitions, processing, preservation, access, and outreach — yes, in one day!

We were very lucky to have the assistance and support of Matt Turi, Manuscripts Research and Instruction Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was responsible for developing and teaching Archives Bootcamp for the Society of North Carolina Archivists. Archives 101 was largely based on Turi’s model. None the less, we make it our own, with all of the instructors inserting personal anecdotes and examples from the collections we work with everyday.

We love showing off our collections, which I included liberally in the sections of the workshop I taught, acquisitions and outreach. Luckily, the Floyd Griffin exhibit was up in the room where we were holding the workshop, so I was able to explain collecting to get a “whole picture” of an individual by explaining the many pieces that represented different periods of the senator’s life. This is one of the most important (and difficult) parts of acquisitions.

Archives 101 2017
My co-instructors for Archives 101 were awesome.

Special thanks to Josh Kitchens of Clayton State University, Leah Lefkowitz of the Atlanta University Center, and Brandon Wason of Emory University for coming to Milledgeville to teach different portions of this course, and to the Society of Georgia Archivists for reaching out to those who are not archivists, yet want to do well by the materials they have in their organizations. I’m so glad that we’re offering this workshop in state now, and I hope to be a part of it for years to come.


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