Assignment 6: Personal Reflection

Before I took this class I did not realize how many things archivists have to think about on a daily basis. Having done some work in the history room at my library I knew there was more to archiving than simply storing documents, but I didn’t consider just how precarious and fragile all of the different types of documents are (both analog and digital), how important context is for understanding documents, and I was very unfamiliar with collections (I thought of archives in terms of single documents instead of groups of collections). This was the concept that was the greatest paradigm shift for me, as I would have gotten hung up on documenting archives down to every last individual document, but the Meissner and Greene article “More Product, Less Process,” together with the lecture notes on original order and provenance, have convinced me it is better to save my time for outreach and collection development, and to trust that researchers are willing to do some leg work to get what they need.

Another perspective I gained from this class is considering the interests of researchers, collection owners, and institution administration. Often times when I am working in the history room at my library I feel like I am doing the work for the sake of the work, More