Thursday, February 26, 2015

Time for my second post!

So I have fully processed the Leo Jarboe Collection. At some point, my draft finding aid will be read and edited and will eventually go online. To top of finishing the collection (or so I thought at that point), Melanie and I took a little trip to New Oxford (about a 20-minute drive) to meet Leo Jarboe. It felt so surreal to meet a man whose papers I had been going through for the past month. We talked about his adventures on the USS Callaghan (DD-792), his life after World War II, and his family. In addition, he donated more documents to Special Collections, which means I added more to the finding aid and more to the boxes! Thankfully, the extra documents fit nicely into the folders I had already set up.

I also finished putting some College Publications into their correct locations. These publications originate from various departments around the College and are filed away according to that department. I did have to create a few new folders and figure out how to hyperlink in Excel (which I never knew how to do before.)

Now, I commence on a big project dealing with the saved public relations documents and photographs of Gettysburg College. So far, I have been re-housing all of the old negative sheets from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some of the negatives feature what the College looked like during those times. There was no Quarry Buildings, Musselman Library, or the new Athletic Center, and Apple Annex was being built. Even while re-housing a collection, I learned information about the College's history. I can't imagine the buildings currently here not here, so it's very interesting to see them "not here" visually!

I think I learn something new every day, whether it's about Gettysburg's Special Collections and Archives specifically, archival work in general, or new information about a person, place, or department I did not know before. Even moving old negatives to a new, protective sheet teaches me about something I did not know before. While it's hard to believe that the semester is almost halfway over, I look forward to learning more!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

 Hello! On Tuesday I finally finished processing and organizing my first collection.  On the left is my finished product, all labeled and organized.  Processing this collection was a very enjoyable experience for me--I feel that I am the expert on this collection.  Throughout the process it was sometimes difficult to know how to group some of the items.  Certain things, like meeting minutes, are easy to group together.  Some things like handwritten notes or various articles are more difficult to group.  If the notes contain a wide variation in subject matter, it might be better to group them into several groups according to subject.  However, if there are only a few pages of notes, it might be easier to group them together and indicate their subject matter on the folder in which they are placed.
 On the left is how my work space looked as I was learning how to group all the items in this collection.  Sometimes pieces of the collection were grouped in a way that seemed intentional, even if the items did not go together.  For instance, I had a folder for memoranda, but occasionally a single memorandum would be placed with a document that it referenced.  I would then try and keep those items together, even though they could hypothetically go in different places.  Then a person looking through the memoranda would not have to search through the collection to find a specific document referenced in a memorandum.  I also tried to group memoranda and meeting minutes chronologically so the collection would be more user-friendly.
A good deal of my time was spent removing staples and paperclips.  I did not realize this before, but staples can rust relatively quickly.  This collection is, at most, 30 years old.  To the left is an example of the damage a staple caused to one of the documents in the collection.  Staples and paper clips can also cause a lot of clutter.  If many packets are stapled it makes the folder very thick in some places and thinner in others.  Removing such items allows the folders to be much more neat and organized.  If it is necessary we can replace metal paperclips or staples with plastic clips.  This prevents document damage.  It also helps keep small documents that might move around from getting lost.

Currently I am working on finishing the finding aid for this record group.  The finding aid will assist any user of this record group by telling them about the collection and what materials are in what folders.  Hopefully I will be able to complete it by the end of the week and be able to move on to my next project!

Categorizing History

Since my last blog post, I have become more familiar with the desk and have begun to answer questions that are more in depth and make use of the reference skills that I have been learning.  This week, I have even started working the desk by myself!  I was a little nervous at first, but once I had my first patron, I realized that I felt confident in what I had learned in my training and I was able to help!

Aside from familiarizing myself with the desk, I have started working on a project which has me redesigning the History Libguides page.  I researched into the libguides of other schools to get a sense of how different schools were organizing their databases in the most efficient, user-friendly manner.  After getting a sense of what works and what did not, I have started designing a new page, incorporating what I have learned from my research.

In organizing this new page, I have discovered that there are so many amazing databases that Musselman library subscribes to that not many students know about or can easily find.  I am attempting to design the new page so that the students doing historical research will have easy access to these numerous databases, in the hopes that they find the best information we can offer.  It was a bit of a struggle to categorize the variety of databases so that it is clear to researchers where to find the information they need.  Some of the new categories will include searching by time period or by region. 

Hopefully soon the page will be ready to be tested by students or other librarians so that we can move forward with the redesign! 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hi I'm Abby - the last of three Fortenbaugh Interns to post! I am a senior with a History major and Political Science and Anthropology minors and I hail from Kokomo, Indiana. I am so excited to be working in Special Collections - I love working with history first-hand! Here's a brief write-up of what I have completed so far in my time on the 4th Floor.

 I am currently processing an incredibly interesting individual collection, donated to Special Collections by Mr. Leo Jarboe of New Oxford, PA. So far, I have gone through all of the many miscellaneous papers, articles, images, and other items of Mr. Jarboe’s. I organized them into cohesive groups and filed them into boxes, series, and folders. Since then, I have almost fully written a finding aid to help future researchers understand the collection. Mr. Jarboe has lived a fascinating life – at 18 years old, he served as a gunner in World War II on the destroyer USS Callaghan.  While on the ship, his crew shot down a kamikaze plane. One member from the kamikaze plane survived the attack and its aftermath and the Callaghan rescued him. Fifty years later, that survivor, Kaoru Hasegawa, completed some research and was put into contact with Mr. Jarboe. Mr. Hasegawa then came to the United States and went to a Callaghan survivor’s reunion!

 In addition, my fellow intern Melanie completed an oral history project with Mr. Jarboe last year. Between his donated papers and the transcript of Melanie’s interview with him, I feel like I know Mr. Jarboe. It amazes me that someone we could pass on the street every day has such interesting stories to tell. 
The Collection at its beginning! 
Going through the many documents and organizing them into folders. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hello!  My name is Melanie and I am a Fortenbaugh Intern in Special Collections.  This is my third week in Special Collections, and I have to say I am loving the experience!  I have been giving the task of cataloging the Potuchek Papers.  I personally find college history to be very interesting, so I am having a great time going through these papers and examining how past courses were taught.  There are also many materials having to do with college committees, and I am getting to see how these different organizations helped make Gettysburg College what it is today.

I will admit that as excited as I was to start working in Special Collections, I was also a bit intimidated.  This is my first time working with archives, and I was not totally sure what to expect.  However, since I have been working in Special Collections the staff has been very friendly, supportive, and encouraging.  They really pushed me to dive right into my work and see what I could do.  Even after just a couple of weeks I feel much more confident and excited about the work I am doing.

I feel extremely lucky to have been given such a unique opportunity.  The Special Collections staff has indicated that they have several projects lined up for me to work on over the semester, so I have a lot to look forward to!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My First Weeks!

Hello! My name is Megan Fowle, and I am the Fortenbaugh Intern for the Spring of 2015!

To begin, here is a little bit about me:  I am a senior history major with a minor in Educational Studies.  I am from Frederick, MD, home to Francis Scott Key and the site of the Monocacy Battlefield. Over this past summer, I interned at the Historical Society of Frederick County, which is where those fun little tidbits of Frederick’s history came from. My favorite book is probably Peter Pan, but even as I type that I am thinking of several other books that I could have written as my favorites.  It is just so hard to choose!

I am very excited to work in the Reference Department this semester! I have completed my first two weeks, which I spent training with different members of the Reference staff.  I really enjoyed being able to learn from each of them, to see what their strengths were and hearing their pieces of advice.  Now that my training is over, I get to start working the reference desk and handling questions on my own!  To be honest, that makes me a little nervous.  There are so many aspects of reference librarianship that I had not known about.  From databases to subject searches, there are so many tricks of the trade that I have learned about over the past two weeks which I am excited to explore further, and I am excited for the challenge!

All-in-all, it has been a wonderful start to this internship, and I am looking forward to diving deeper into the world of reference!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Coming soon... Fortenbaugh Interns for Spring 2015

We're happy to announce the newest Fortenbaugh interns for Spring 2015. Watch the blog in January 2015 for their first posts!

Reference & Instruction
Megan Fowle is a senior History major with a minor in Educational Studeies, who comes to us from Frederick, MD.  During summer 2014 she interned for the Historical Society of Frederick County Maryland. As part of her internship she aligned existing school group programs to the newly instated Common Core curriculum.  Megan is also the president of the student organization “Free the Slaves,” and she is working with Professor Hancock on organizing a conference on modern slavery and human trafficking, which will be held at Gettysburg College in spring 2015. She plans to attend a graduate program in information and library science following her graduation.

Special Collections
Abby Rolland is a senior History major with a double minor in Anthropology and Political Science.  She has already had a plethora of experience in archives, museums, and historical societies and knows that she wants to do something with history as a career.  She spent a semester in Bath, UK during which she interned at the Roman Baths.  She spent last summer as a Pohanka Intern at the Stratford Hall Plantation working with their curator and collections manager on cataloging and planning an exhibit.  She is active on campus as well as a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, a past participant in the Garthwait Leadership Institute, and the Student Life and Athletics Editor of the Spectrum.

Melanie Fernandes is a junior History major with minors in Education and Theatre.  She is currently studying in Bath, UK and plans to pursue a graduate degree in Information and Library Sciences in preparation for a career in either librarianship or public history.  She loves historical research and connected with archives during a project for Historical Methods last year.  She is interested in exploring the field and narrowing her interests before applying to graduate school.  She is a Chief Co-Editor of the Gettysburg Historical Journal and spent last summer as a Pohanka Intern at the Boston African American National Historic Park.