Working in the archive is punctuated by helping out other parts of the museum. Last week volunteers (and staff) dressed up for a mini-performance in one of the historic houses. This is the post-performance performance, haha.
I recently worked on three boxes of the collection that had lived in someone’s barn for decades (and apparently had a bird at some point crawl in and die, leaving behind a bird silloutte and little feathers all over a group of papers). These papers were (unsurprisingly) absolutely disgusting. Yikes! Though cleaning up the papers provided a welcome change of pace.
So far it’s been a weird combination of me making things up and looking up suggestions online. My supervisor sometimes makes statements like “it absolutely doesn’t matter what order the materials were in originally” that sort of blow my mind. I was pretty sure that taking note of the original arrangement (if there is one) was something worth doing. I was also criticized for sorting in piles, because when you sort you are not suppose to make piles?! (I’m not quite sure what that means!) At this point I feel like I was absolutely spoiled with all the knowledge and help from others at my last internship. I am a bit hesitant to mention these sorts of things on a public blog, especially as there are some helpful moments, but it is a part of what is shaping my experience here so it feel dishonest not to consider all aspects of the internship.