18th Week at the WRA

18th Week at the WRA

At this point during the semester and reviewing the remaining hours required, I can see the end of my internship approaching. I have been devoting more hours to transcribing the Basil King interviews, which I fear I may not finish before the end of my time at the archives. Perhaps I will volunteer there to try and finish them before the end of the year outside of an internship for college credit. I have gotten to know Heather, the other archivists, and the other interns very well over the course of my study there.

As stated previously, I spent a  portion of my time this week transcribing the Basil King interview–though a smaller portion than last week. It has become a little easier, but it remains tedious. On Thursday, I was able to help Heather and another volunteer sort through a new collection, which has become somewhat a cathartic experience. It involves sorting, throwing away duplicates or unnecessary materials, and organizing a collection. I look forward to finishing out the remainder of my internship there soon!

I have also begun constructing the website for my research with Dr. Bruce. It is coming together in its own way, but I am now reminded of the frustration involved with constructing a website from scratch. In times such as this, I find myself ever grateful of Kristen’s help last semester during the construction of the website.

119/150


17th Week at the WRA

17th Week at the WRA

This week I have been spending the majority of my time interning devoted towards transcribing the Basil King interviews. It is an extremely long process and very difficult to catch everything said, but I have been able to get through the first few audio files. There are sixteen individual audio files, which I have been transcribing into a GoogleDoc so that it is accessible to Heather and other interns.

Each audio file is different in the time required to devote to it. In some files, I can have ten minutes finished in thirty. In others, it may take me an hour to transcribe only five minutes. Hopefully I will get better at this soon–or I will become a faster typer.

109/150


16th Week at the WRA

16th Week at the WRA

I had been very busy this week preparing for the ReViewing Black Mountain College Conference that Dr. Pearson, Kristen, Kendall, Heather, and I presented in just earlier today. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but very well worth it! I am very glad to say that the panel went very well!

Though I was only able to make it to the WRA once this week, I was glad that I did. When I went yesterday, Thursday, Heather had a plethora of requests from the scholars coming in for the conference and performing last minute research. I stayed late with Heather and spent the bulk of the day locating sources for patrons with Heather and scanning them. It sounds quite simple, but the task did truly take the entirety of the day.

97/150


15th Week at the WRA

15th Week at the WRA

This week, I was able to help Heather sort some of the larger collections, such as Advantage Wester, and help with some of the patrons. I was also able to get some transcribing done! Heather has asked for my help particularly concerning the interview of Basil King, who had donated another on of Heather’s collections–but on several conditions. These conditions, amongst other things, involve the transcription of his own interview before the end of the year. Transcribing can be very difficult, but I am happy to help wherever I can. This also provides me with another opportunity to work from home!

I have also been working on refining my writings for Dr. Bruce and my independent study. Particularly concerning Virginia Bryan and Mary Cordell. I hope to find some more information about their careers and perhaps some better photographs. I will be working with Mikayla soon to enter some information into the 90th Anniversary timeline and I look forward to that contribution!

91/150


12 and 13th Weeks at the WRA

12 and 13th Weeks at the WRA

I was unable to make it to the WRA last week, as I had went out of town for most of the time. I was, however, able to get some transcribing done for the Black Mountain College interviews. While the process of transcribing is tedious, it is rewarding to see the final product of your efforts. It requires hours of listening to and repeating the same thirty seconds to thirty minutes of dialogue on a loop, followed by a close proof-reading of your transcription. I am always caught off guard by the sheer speed in which people speak, and often forget that I typing can be much slower than the average individual’s talking.

When I went this week, the archives had developed a leak due to the tropical storm that had passed through! It wasn’t bad, but the moisture poses a problem and potential dangers to the stacks. Heather hopes to have it dealt with soon.

I spent more time on summarizing and transcribing letters in the BMC Correspondence files. I have almost completed Evarts’s folders, which I am quite exited about! I was also able to help Heather load materials, including an old canon, into her van for the fair next week. Afterwards, Heather bought pizza for herself, the volunteers, and the interns. It was a very pleasant day! I look forward to my next visit at the WRA!

83/150


11th Week at the WRA

11th Week at the WRA

Due to a chaotic mix of events, I was only able to make it to the Western Regional Archives once this week. It is both the first week of school and I am in the middle of moving between apartments.

I went to the archives on Tuesday and continued to sort through and summarize the correspondence letters from the BMC Collection. If I have learned anything this week, it is that John Evarts thoroughly enjoyed writing about anything and everything; he wrote on the mundane, the exciting, conflicts, peaceful moments, his emotions at varying times since his previous letter, and how he missed BMC. While he does seem like an exceptional individual, I am almost growing tired of his long letters–letters he wrote three to five days apart from one another.

Evarts loved to write his friends.

I am looking forward to being finished with Evarts’ folders, and hopefully I can compile a comprehensive story between his notes.

73/150


10th Week at the WRA

10th Week at the WRA

According to what I have heard, around fifty people came to the WRA’s anniversary celebration! I am very glad that the drama has sorted itself out (though a department head did have to involve himself and have a discussion with everyone involved). Despite the minor turbulence, everything went spectacularly! I am glad for this, too. Heather worked very hard to make sure that it went well.

This week, I was once again able to visit the archives twice. One of these days, we took a break on our work to participate on an online seminar about preserving photographs. It was very informative! I wasn’t anywhere near aware of how many different types and chemical compositions of photographs there were. We were also given examples on how to tell when these different types of photographs are deteriorating, and how to deal with this. In the end, all preservation is merely delaying an inevitable end (so I have heard from both Heather and the seminar alike), but archivists can use certain tools and methods to prolong a material’s lifespan. There were a couple technical difficulties, which we perhaps found more amusing than adults should, but the experience was by far an enjoyable one.

The second day, we (Heather, two other interns, and I) once again dug out the AW collection. This time, we were sorting and categorizing the collection. Typically when a collection arrives to the WRA and it has maintained a certain order, Heather believes that it can communicate something about the previous owner(s). The collection arrived in no particular order, and as such it was necessary for us to find one. It took quite a while. By the end of the day, we were all once again fairly drained. That being said, we accomplished a lot in a short period of time!

Hours: 68.5/150


9th Week at the WRA

9th Week at the WRA

This has been an exciting week at the archives! I was able to drop by twice this week, once on Wednesday and again on Friday.

Friday was the anniversary of the Western Regional Archives and Heather has spent all week arranging for a get together/tour of the archives. On Wednesday Heather, several other interns, and I all continued sorting through the AW files. We managed to completely weed out all unnecessary, useless, or private documents within the collection! It was quite a lot, and the shredder was very busy the entire day shredding documents with sensitive information (i.e. documents holding social security numbers, bank account information, etc). It was a very productive day! By the end of it, most of us were so mentally exhausted, it was difficult to think! But the files had finally been condensed and the Processing Room was organized for the tour during Friday evening.

I also dropped by Friday morning to help set up for the anniversary of the archives and the tour. We spent most of the morning cleaning up areas, sanitizing, preparing and decorations. There was also quite a bit of drama around the building on Friday. I don’t believe I will go into details on here, but the WRA building had a couple double-booked meetings, no one was attending the guests, and the entire building was not secure (a government building!). Most of the individuals in the building that day, whether they were with the WRA or in another department, were very upset about the events taking place. I also daresay that it was interesting, being able to witness tension between departments and agencies that must share the same building. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the anniversary celebration begun, but I can’t wait to hear about how it went!

Hours: 61/150


8th Week at the WRA

8th Week at the WRA

This week I was only able to visit the archives once for a short visit. I continued to categorize and summarize the BMC Correspondence Letters, and I have almost made it through all of Evart’s folders! Which, by my own standards, feels like a feat. The sheer number of folders he has, and the number of letters each folder contains, feels as though it could warrant its own separate box. I hope to get further in transcribing the audio files as soon as things calm down at work–which I have decided to leave.

That is, I hope to clock more internship hours and do more work after I am able to leave my day job and free up some time.

Heather has been incredibly hospitable this summer and I have even met several other interns, frequent researchers, and archivists. I look forward to my next visit!

53/150


8th Week at the WRA

8th Week at the WRA

This week I was only able to visit the archives once for a short visit. I continued to categorize and summarize the BMC Correspondence Letters, and I have almost made it through all of Evart’s folders! Which, by my own standards, feels like a feat. The sheer number of folders he has, and the number of letters each folder contains, feels as though it could warrant its own separate box. I hope to get further in transcribing the audio files as soon as things calm down at work–which I have decided to leave.

That is, I hope to clock more internship hours and do more work after I am able to leave my day job and free up some time.

Heather has been incredibly hospitable this summer and I have even met several other interns, frequent researchers, and archivists. I look forward to my next visit!

53/150


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