Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 14

Day 14
Rachel Brune Papers Cont.
Thanks to the 4th of July I lost a day of working. I am also past the halfway point of the Practicum. Looking into the time remaining and the hours missed, I realized that we had not taken into account the holiday and I needed to make up the lost day and make some changes in order to reach the goal of 120 hours by the end of the month. Somewhere the schedule had been miscalculated. While my schedule was arranged in order to work 20 days in two and a half months, it was also set up for 5 hour shifts. However, to reach 120 hours, the shifts should have been 6 hours from the beginning or arranged so that I would work 24 days. Such is life.

One would think I would be finished with Rachel Brune by now. I started putting the finishing touches on the collection. I labelled the folders by the series name and numbered them according to the series as some like "Correspondence" spanned several folders. The books I made covers for were labelled as if folders.

I then started typing up what I will call the "collection report". It is basically what will be the finding aide for the collection when placed online. It covers basic administrative information such as what the collection is, how it was obtained, who did the processing work (me), the amount of material, how it is organized, etc. When describing the folders and collection, I have to decide how detailed I want to get in the descriptions. The difficult part is in several areas there are overlaps of information The Abstract gives a brief biography as well as description of the collection. Following that is the Scope which gives even more detail of the overall collection. Then the Biography which goes into even more detail of the person's life.

This collection has a few special challenges in that regard as there is so much information and detail and deciding what is important enough to include and what to leave out.  And, would it be easier to write the brief ones first and then the longer more in-depth ones? Or, the longer ones first and then pare them down for the smaller ones? In this case, I was provided with the Abstract biography part, so it was only where the Scope and Abstract overlapped I had to deal with in this regard. Checking other online finding aides were not much of a help as some merely were copy and paste, making Scope completely redundant.

Another issue that appeared was when I got to near the end of the Biography. Details concerning Rachel's last tour are scant in the collection. I was able to get some of her post military career information from her online blog. In writing it up, I realized that I was getting to an unusual point in regards to many of the collections of the Women Veterans Project, her story is not done. The tendency would be to write this in present tense; however, at the point that someone may be accessing the collection, the information would be in the past and no longer accurate.

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