Hello, from a young Archivist!

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Hello, from a young Archivist!

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Apr 27, 2008, 7:48pm

Hi, group!

I'm a 22-year-old aspiring archivist, close to completing my B.A.s in both History and English, along with a concentration in American Studies. This summer, I'll be interning in an academic library's special collections and archives, at Michigan State University.

Ordinarily, archives interns are grad students with at least the basic cataloging system and such under their belts. Although I've worked at my own university's library for close to four years, I still feel overwhelmingly unprepared.

Any tips and/or tricks for understanding the basics? Does anyone know if most academic archives set up and run in the same way?

May 30, 2008, 4:18pm

Hi Audacity!

Congrats on your internship. I think most academic libraries are different. The best way to prepare (and might be too late with the advice) is to read the literature (see the CertifiedArchivists.org site for good bibliography in each of the seven domains.) Start with the basic texts and work up.

Personally, I learn best by DOING, so experience is my the best teacher. Don't be afraid to ask questions and keep eyes/ears open for how things are done.

Enjoy the summer!!!!

Jun 1, 2008, 8:26am

Familiarize yourself with the finding aids, refile early and often, ask questions.

Jun 9, 2008, 1:14pm

While we are on the subject ... I have just been accepted into a graduate prog in archives at UCD (http://www.ucd.ie/historyarchives/graduate/maarchives.htm), I am interested in networking, especially with archivists in the US. I lived and worked in Texas until last year and would dearly like to return.

Jun 14, 2008, 11:51am

liamfoley, congrats on getting admittance to the program! That's got to be quite exciting, and it looks really interesting. LibraryThing seems like a great place to network!

My internship is going really well, so far. I've already sorted through one smaller donated collection of papers dealing with financial aid in Africa, and now I'm making my way through the papers of Jim Daniels, awarding-winning American poet. It's loads of fun, and I'm excited to realize that I really have picked the correct career path.

If all goes well, I'll be applying for (and getting) the Marshall Scholarship, putting me at the British Library (or perhaps the Bodelian) for two years of grad work. I'll be sure to give an update if that happens!

Jun 14, 2008, 1:19pm

Getting a good job is what concerns me, I hear that many people taht exit the prog that I am doing end up working in Corperate records, this pays much better than archives but its not exactly where my heart is. This is why I am considering returning to the US.

Jun 17, 2008, 4:04pm

Well, what is it you want to do, exactly? Perhaps you can start off in the corporate world and volunteer or work part-time at a local library? Don't worry too much about the future, since we don't have much control over it. Just aim for what you want, and you'll get it eventually!