Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why I'm Excited to be an Archivist

Sifting through historic documents, arranging and describing them to the best of my ability without bias, so that others may discover, interpret, and learn from them. 

Funny how my years of writing papers in undergrad and trying to give a fair portrayal of the events, namely not take sides, has turned into something I enjoy doing for my career. I'm thinking I'm might really enjoy A&D, even if it does get tedious, monotonous, and somewhat boring at times. 

Funny how I enjoy it, even when I'm not working with collections that pertain to my personal historical interests. Economic history? No, thank you. Never thought I'd be interested in it, much less working with it. But I'm still enjoying it anyway. And I consider that a huge step in the right direction for my career. 

Another part I'm also looking forward to is reference and outreach. Having that background of A&D gives me the in depth knowledge of creating the finding aids, so I can better collocate collections for researchers. I suppose in a way it's similar to RA, but not quite the same. I'm excited to see how these different aspects are all coming together for me, and how this job has given me a better glimpse into what it's like to be an archivist. I know it's not exactly the same thing, especially as I'm not technically working in an archive, but special collections can come pretty close to that, don't you think? In a way, I'm kind of seeing myself here as a Lone Arranger, which makes me giggle. 

Sitting at my desk yesterday, I realized I'm excited to see where this path leads. Records Management? Archivist? Special Collections? Arrangement and Description? Reference and outreach? Or will I find myself in the digital projects realm? It all kind of comes together.... scary but thrilling at the same time. 

Will I survive as a half baked Master's student in a small town without the immediate support of fellow colleagues? I'm praying it's true.... and I'm about to find out.

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