This has been a very busy week!
I have been to the archives twice, spent a couple hours at home digitizing some of my notes from the archives, met with Dr. Pearson, and I have met with Dr. William Bruce on the subject of an unrelated paid internship.
Earlier this week, I had continued sorting through the BMC correspondence box and summarizing letters in my notes. There was one individual in particular that while the file was daunting in size, struck me as particularly notable. In fact, Doughton Cramer’s letters were not only relatable but also quite heart-wrenching. I feel as though I have gotten too invested in his story. There were seven (long) letters in his file. The first letter he had written to Barbara Dreier was during the summer of his third year at the college, and described what a failure he felt like over the course of his academic career. He felt that while he had much potential to offer, he rarely committed to giving all of it in his courses, and that he was getting close to quitting college due to his own negligence. The letters after a bit lighter, describing his work after college as a school teacher, how much he enjoys working with children, and even bore some poetry about the college he wished to share with Mrs. Dreier. Doughton then mentions in one of the latter letters that he hopes to marry soon so that he wouldn’t get drafted into the military and forced to fight during WW2.
Unfortunately, the very next letter had army logos on the top and came from an airforce base, two years after the previous letter. After going through his letters, I have reason to believe that he was eventually killed during a bomb strike in London, where he was stationed in the very last letter.
But, I digress. I have gotten much too invested in Doughton Cramer’s story.
I was able to meet with Dr. Pearson the next day, Tuesday 6/27. We had a very good discussion about the archives, how to better read through letters, and my upcoming meeting with Dr. Bruce. I am forever grateful to Dr. Pearson for her help and advice, both for my internship at the Western Regional Archives as well as other unrelated matters. She has always made time for her students and its always willing to help in the areas in which they are struggling.
After the meeting, I was able to go home and digitize my notes from the Barbara Dreier Correspondence letters–most of them, anyway. I have several pages of notes left to transfer into the GoogleDoc.
Yesterday was second time I went to the archives this week. This visit was different from the previous ones, as Heather had me start on another project! The Archives had recently taken in a large collection on “Mr. Bill”, a locally run children’s segment on the local news channel that ran up until the mid-90’s from my own understanding. I took inventory of what there was, which turned out to take up the majority of my time at the archives that day. To be fair, there were over a hundred film reels in different sizes (much of which looked unplayable and unsavable). After, I had time to watch through and summarize a couple VHS tapes here and there. It was certainly an interesting change! I will need to digitize my inventory notes very soon so that Heather can use them. I look forward to returning to the archives next week!