Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fall 2015 Special Collections and Archives Recap

Aww… the end of the semester, time to relax... read a book for pleasure…check up on sleep…

Oh, who am I kidding?

It is that time of year to become a headless zombie chicken rushing to get things done for classes, like papers and projects, while closing on projects at Special Collections and Archives, clearing out exhibit space, keeping up the Facebook page schedule, assist in “The Great Move” back into the basement, keeping up with schedules, and assisting patrons.

This semester passed with the speed of light or so it seems here at Special Collections but it has been a pretty good semester. We held a grand opening ceremony for a new collection, “The Dan Back River History Book Collection”, which contains a collection of rare books consisting of over 700 volumes and 135 periodicals on the history of rivers and steamboats in the United States. We had a new team of HP100 volunteers to help with our Leuders Collection. There have been three Faulkner scholars, this semester alone. We are preparing to acquire another collection once Dr. Santoro’s class finishes the processing project. The President of the University toured the Library and visited Special Collections. (I got to shake hands with Dr. Vargas!) There were visits from donors and alumni during Homecoming. And… drum roll please… WE HAVE A BASEMENT AGAIN! So now we’re are in a massive setup, move and shelving relocation process throughout Kent Library dubbed “The Great Move” (or at least dubbed by me anyways)

I accomplished several self-initiated projects in regards to maintaining and using our Facebook page for outreach. I worked with the several different departments on campus to promote games, speakers, and events throughout the semester. There are now “Trivia Tuesdays” on a monthly basis, showcasing photographs throughout our collection with a reveal on Thursdays. In honor of American Archives Month during October I dedicated posts to area archives and research facilities. These posts provided information on operating hours, location, type of resources, and “jewels” that the archivist and staff considered to make them stand out from other places. These places include the Cape Girardeau County Archive Center in Jackson, MO; the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis; the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum in Altenburg, MO; and the State Historical Society of Missouri - Research Center in Cape Girardeau, MO. A graduate project for Dr. Santoro’s Problems in HP class consisted of utilizing Facebook as an outreach and crowd sourcing tool in naming individuals in the photograph portion of the in-coming “Cape Girardeau Jaycees Collections”. The Jaycees held a meeting and event November to assist with this on-going project. I held training with some of the staff in Kent Library on how to use the new microfilm reader in periodicals.

So this semester has been busy to say the least. It has been one of personal and professional growth for sure. I am ready for winter break, but at the same time cannot wait for next semester. Not just because it’s my last semester, graduation, and then internship either!

Until the next time, this is Staci Cox signing off!

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