Working from Home — Archives: Rainy Day Projects

Working from Home — Archives: Rainy Day Projects

May 28, 2020

When we received word to work from home, we packed our pencils, found our files, and lashed-on our laptops. We left the building without any long-term plans for archives projects. In only seven-days, our perspective changed entirely. Such is the new reality of our world today. Now that we have settled into a routine filled with ‘to do’ lists, remote planning sessions, and the occasional, outlandish idea, we want to tell you about our rainy-day projects currently on the go.

Not so very long ago, you might have overheard us proposing, “wouldn’t it be nice if we could...”

...edit the Archives’ web site to fit the Library’s web site while improve our ask a question form and integrating our digital collections? A team started working on this right away. The new site came online on 9 April.

...add more digital collections to the database? We have several, digitized items stockpiled and waiting to be re-sized, uploaded, and tagged. With the web site changes recently put in place, these new digital collections will be automatically highlighted as they are uploaded.

...standardize our inventories and finding aids? Over the past 20-years these documents have included the same, great information but been presented in many, different formats. We have turned our attention to re-formatting them for consistency. This is a very, long-term project.

...transcribe our digital collections? Everyone benefits from well-transcribed, searchable documents. This is a very time-consuming and precise process. A small team is already working to make the handwritten documents accessible. We will upload them on the database. This is an ongoing project.

...determine the accessibility of our online research tools? While creating new research tools and modifying old ones, we want to ensure they are accessible to everyone. A small team is putting our research tools to the test and making recommendations to us.

This time is also being used for regular-day projects and tasks. For example, we continue to monitor the email and answer questions to the best of our ability despite being separated from our treasured, physical collections. We are also working on other, planned projects that often happen in the Spring. Some examples are working with adopt-a-soldier researchers and data, building tutorials for our online research tools, planning for courses known to happen in the Fall term, and creating content for reaching out to our communities.

Although we miss seeing you—our researchers, we hope that you continue to use the virtual tools and documents being provided. Every day in the archives is an adventure.


Stay safe,

The Archives Team

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