Monday, June 21, 2010

Secret Lives of Interns: Hellooo, we’re down here!

A blog by Brittney Baltimore

This summer fellow intern Kristin and I (Brittney Baltimore!) are assigned with the daunting task of processing the Baltimore Hebrew University (BHU) archives collection. Baltimore Hebrew University closed its doors last year and became the Baltimore Hebrew Institute, part of Towson University. The Jewish Museum of Maryland, therefore, acquired the Baltimore Hebrew University archives. The BHU collection is comprised of 161 linear feet of information that must be sorted, and categorized in some sort of order so that researchers can access and use the information.

Kristin and I are therefore primarily confined to the basement, our main tasks consist of sorting through old documents, removing staples, and trying to discern some sort of order from the jumbled up papers of individual BHU faculty and staff.

This may seem like a mundane task to some, but to aspiring archivists such as Kristin and myself, there is no better way to spend a summer than looking through old papers in a basement… no really, I’m not kidding. Hours of fun are lurking in the basement, for example there are an abundance of large empty boxes, and therefore ample material in which to construct large box forts.

Box forts for the win!

The BHU archives project has been a great learning experience thus far. I have prior archives experience, but never before have I been given a project on such a large scale to work on from start to finish. I am currently working on the BHU financial papers, consisting of about 20 boxes of information. Jennifer Vess, the JMM archivist, provides Kristin and I with instruction and guidance, and is available at any time if questions or concerns should arise, but Kristin and I are working with minimal supervision and therefore have gained valuable hands on experience throughout the entire process.

Phew, that's a lot of boxes...and only the beginning!

Please come visit us sometime, Kristin and I can school you on proper staple removal techniques, or I can give you a lesson on the financial status of the University in Fiscal Year 1991, but please don’t all rush downstairs at once!

Staple-remover extraordinaire!

1 comment:

Mike Leavitt said...

This is very cool. I was a student from about 1996-2003. I hope to visit the archive some time.