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Archives

Adventures in the Social Law Library Archives

My unplanned foray into the world of law librarianship has taken yet another unexpected turn: I’m working in an archives at a law library! A few weeks ago, my supervisor at the Social Law Library told me that, if I wanted to, I could spend a couple of hours each workweek in the Archives. Of course, I said “yes” with no hesitation. As I’ve articulated in a previous post, I’ve found a great deal of professional value in my circulation job at Social Law, even as an archivist-to-be. But I would be a fool if I didn’t jump at this opportunity to squeeze some more relevance out of my pre-professional job. I have quite a task ahead of me when it comes to the Social Law Archives. Due to budget/staff shortages, there is no professional librarian or archivist tasked with managing the Archives. To make matters even more interesting, the Library moved in the early 2000s, and whatever order that had been established in the previous Archives got jumbled up when it moved to the…


Archiving Hate

Just a word of warning – this post is not going to be very cheery. As I wrote a few weeks ago, my current History class is on Race & Media. We’ve talked a lot about the subject of lynching and there is some important information that I’d like to pass on. First of all, I learned that lynching was not just an activity that occurred to slaves before the Civil War. Actually, it proliferated after the Emancipation Proclamation. When African Americans were slaves, sadly enough, because they were someone’s property, they were protected more than after they received their so-called freedom. When they belonged to a white farmer, other whites could not harm them without suffering penalties.  But, of course, once they were considered freedmen under the law, white mobs could accuse a black male of any number of crimes and subsequently lynch them. Thus, lynching was most frequent in the early 1900s, especially during Jim Crow laws. If that isn’t disturbing enough for you, here’s the kicker: people sent postcards of lynchings. It…


So…why library school?

If you are currently contemplating the decision to attend library school, chances are at some point in your search process, you have heard some helpful individual say something along the lines of “Libraries are dying/e-books are rendering books irrelevant/why do you need a degree for that/fill in your own silly reason here.” This issue irked me so much, it actually wound up being the introduction to my admissions essay for Simmons. Are e-books and the internet changing the way in which libraries operate? Of course.  But the library as an institution is far from becoming irrelevant, and in fact, I think this is a fascinating time to choose to enter our noble profession.   For a start, there’s so much potential that technology and the internet opens up for us, and a simple Google search is just the tip of the iceberg.  When your friends and family learn that you actually know how to extract useful information out of Google in a method more refined than random keyword searches, their estimation of you will rise.  If…


DIY Archives: NEA Spring 2012 Meeting

As Danielle kindly mentioned in her last post, she and I recently shared a blog-worthy experience; this past Saturday, we attended the New England Archivists (NEA) Spring 2012 Meeting. Running the risk of blog redundancy, I’m going to spend a bit of time writing about my experience at NEA. Luckily, Danielle and I attended some different sessions and got different take-aways from the meeting, so I’m thinking this post will be unique after all! The NEA Spring 2012 Meeting was held at Wesleyan University, which makes its home in the quaint city of Middletown, Connecticut. It was really nice to have the opportunity to get out of Boston for a day; I love the city, but getting out to smaller-scale America is something I really appreciate doing from time to time. As a bonus, Wesleyan University is a beautiful campus, and since the weather was somewhere in the realm of “This can’t be March!” we were able to get some time outdoors between sessions. This was my first ever professional conference. It was very exciting…


StoryCorps animated shorts, or “are you taking oral history?”

Had not checked in on StoryCorps for a while… but since 2011 they have started animating some of the oral histories. Great idea. The circle is completed by featuring Studs Terkel, a godfather of the academic oral history tradition (at least in the US) who was one of the inspirations for StoryCorps in the first place. I am not an offcianado on Studs Terkel by any means, but this bio from his site sums up part of his life work; On “The Studs Terkel Program,” which was heard on Chicago’s fine arts radio station WFMT from 1952 to 1997, Terkel interviewed Chicagoans and national and international figures who helped shape the past century. The program included guests who were politicians, writers, activists, labor organizers, performing artists, and architects among others.


Life after GSLIS, aka “Finding a Job”

Hi everyone! Remember me? Your long-lost GSLIS blogger from last year?  And you thought you were rid of me (ha!) I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite awhile, but in the midst of finishing my thesis for the history side of my archives/history dual degree, finding a job, getting a job, and moving for that job, it just hasn’t happened until now.  And I think it’s about something pretty important–what happens after you finish your degree from Simmons GSLIS? For me, finding a job was a lot easier than I expected it to be.  We all know that the economy is not the greatest right now, and things like libraries, archives, and museums have been especially hard hit.  I found that the key to finding a job was research, research, research.  I spent about an hour every day just looking for new job postings. My favorite places to look: GSLIS Jobs & Opportunities – A job listing site run by Simmons GSLIS.  This one has a lot of preprofessional and volunteer jobs, as…