Sunday, July 19, 2015

Day 15

Day 15
Rachel Brune cont.
Today I worked on finishing writing up the report that will be used to create the finding aide and then going over the work with my supervisor, Beth Ann Koelsch. Some of the corrections are ones that simply did not occur to me such as I listed some of the materials in folders in a list format. It looks nice on the page and is easy to read. However, the program this will be imported into does not use that format. It seemed such a logical and natural way to do it, that it did not occur to me to do so otherwise.

Other corrections were more along the lines of style. I had already encountered that dates were generally written in European order: day/month/year. It is an odd one and easy to remember. Harder to remember is to not abbreviate state names but spell them out. One of the hardest parts of going back to school was re-acquainting myself with the more formal style of academic writing. I had almost consciously purged myself of that style, trying to incorporate a more natural, almost conversational style and paying more attention to rhythm and flow. Spelling out state names is even more formal than normal academic style of writing. In my head it makes sense. I am constantly running into abbreviations on this project that are not defined. Plus, I am also old enough to remember when the abbreviation for Alabama was Ala. So, it makes sense to bypass that potential confusion. However, it is completely unnatural way to write.

There is also styles such as when to capitalize Military Police. Plus, to make sure the first time that it pops up in the guide, it is written out as "Military Police (MP)".

Other corrections were more of just general style and preference. Some were stylistic changes I would have made on my own going back in a day or two reviewing what I had written: correcting some too casual writing such as photos for photographs and alternating the use of her name with the pronoun "she" which flows better.

Westray Battle Broyce Papers
As there was not enough time to actually get into training on Archon, the program used to generate the online finding aides, I started processing one of the smaller collections on my cart. This collection is already divided up into four folders: photographs, correspondence, clippings, and miscellaneous and not really a lot of material in any of the folders. Its size would be deceptive though.

I glanced through the photographs, they did not have any dates and only one had actual information written on the back. Placing these by dates and identifying the people would have to come by other means.

I moved to correspondence. It turns out that Westray Battle attended Woman's College (now University of North Carolina Greensboro) from 1918 to 1919. Many of the letters to her concerning her coming to visit and giving a speech on the role of women and the WAC in the army. The last one that I read first identified one of the first photos.

It was processing the clippings that a fuller picture of the woman emerged. She was from the town I grew up in, Rocky Mount, NC. She worked on General Eisenhower's staff and achieved several firsts. She would be the second director of the WAC. She had a daughter by the same name, the first time I can recall seeing the suffix Jr. being applied to a woman's name. Thankfully, someone had written on the clippings, the dates and, in some cases, the papers they were from. Also included were a couple of clippings from issues of Alumnae News, a magazine covering the alumnae of Woman's College. Some of the other photographs were able to be identified as they were reproduced in some of the clippings. I managed to divide the clippings into chronological order and then make copies of them on acid free paper, grouping the ones from the same year together.

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