Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MS-018 Wikoff

I am pleased to tell all of you that my (partially) processed collection has been given an official manuscript collection number and title: MS-018 Wikoff! With this new technical title has come a number of exciting experiences for me this past week as the Special Collections Intern.

My primary task these past few days has been to think through how to arrange and describe MS-018 Wikoff. This was a really informative and challenging experience for me. Although I had read through an archival manual and had looked at a number of the finding aids already created by others, I still felt confused as to how to go about arranging and describing this collection.

It was at this point that I knew that I needed to seek the advice of my adviser, Archivist Karen Drickamer. Of all the helpful bits of advice she gave me, one in particular really resonated with me that I would like to chare with you all. She told me that each and every collection is unique; therefore there can be no rigid, unbending system of arrangement and description within the archival field.

Karen's insight kept me from trying to forcefully fit my collection into a mold formed and made for another collection. With the help of this realization, I have begun describing each entity within MS-018 Wikoff so as to best serve future researchers. Attempting to accomplish this while also remaining faithful to archival guidelines, I have been so thankful for the advice those around me have so graciously offered!

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