What I Do
I am truly one of the lucky ones, as I wanted an archivist job and
found one. Several in fact. Ancestry.com gave me a great start in
January 2010. I was a digital preservation contractor using a
setup like the one below. I took images of documents and books,
such as 1890s tax digests from all of the Georgia
counties at the time, and incoming correspondence to the Governor
of Georgia at the time of the American Civil War, Joseph E. Brown.
Then in June 2010, I began working at the DeKalb History
Center in Decatur, Georgia. I had volunteered and
interned there, so I knew and liked everyone, so when the
archivist job came up, I was kindly called.
Processing is a bit messy. Or maybe that is just me. I find
interesting things, like the carefully dated clothes pins used in
one collection. When it's all over, however, the nice acid free
boxes ready for researchers make it worthwhile!
Processing is my favorite part of the job.
As of December 2013, I am a reference archivist at the Georgia
Archives. I have been working on documents from Gordon County,
which used to be filed in small cardboard boxes and folded into
thirds. I am flattening them, removing old hardened rubber bands
and re-foldering them. One day I was surprised to find a stack of
Confederate money in one of the boxes!
I also used the fume hood to vacuum, one by one, pages that had
been stored badly, and were infected by mold.
I also flattened, processed and re-housed some very long railroad
maps. Some were well over twenty feet long. I used mylar on the
tubes to prevent any damage to the maps, since they were not
acid-free, then acid free paper for the labels. They are in the
vaults now, ready for a researcher.
While volunteering at the Georgia Archives in 2009 and 2010, we
made boxes for a set of books from the late 1700s called the
Scottish Nation, all about families of the time. These are
sometimes called drop spine, clamshell or double tray boxes.
Here is the box finished, with the tied threaded under the plastic
grommet disks. It fits!
Preserving video and audio is also important, and while
volunteering at the Atlanta History Center, I digitized many 1/4"
audio tapes. These tapes were part of a folklore collection
that was created as part of a folklore class taught at Georgia
State University. The tapes I digitized were from the 1960s
and had wonderful stories, songs and life remembered by those
living then. The collection is huge and I made digital files of
the tapes and chose audio clips that will be used online
While at the DeKalb History Center, I started a project to
digitize an oral history collected called the I Remember Hour,
interviewing DeKalb County residents about life in DeKalb County
through the years. Due to my television background, I also
took the DVD/VCR combination machine apart for regular
cleaning. The collection consisted of approximately 130 VHS
tapes from as far back at the 1980s, and a couple of 1/4" audio
tapes from the 1970s. The VHS tapes were in varying shape,
but most were still fairly stable. Every so often I would
run into a blue or green video however! It is a good thing
to have these invaluable materials on DVDs as a step towards more
I also learned many great things while in school. I learned
XHTML by building a website for a real client, put together a
strategic plan for a fictitious academic law library, put together
museum collections in Pachyderm and OpenCollection and built the
Nuts About Georgia! digital library, serving as project manager
for my group. You can find examples of my web work here:
For a museum course at Florida State, I even set up an exhibit
in Second Life!
As part of a three-day internship at Georgia State University
in June 2009, I processed a small collection on a feminist womens'
theater troupe called The Sisters of No Mercy. My work, in
the form of a finding aid, is online at the GSU library site.
Some Other Links:
DeKalb History Center
Society of American
Society of Georgia
Florida State University College Of
Communication and Information
I completed a 2 year online only program here. It is now called
the iSchool, combining information technology and library science.
I attended classes without shoes. How cool is
that? I ended up
with a 3.9 GPA too, which still shocks me!
United States Personal Chef Association
I was a personal chef from 2003 to 2007. I gathered
preferences, shopped for the food, then took my cookware and
to a client's house and cooked a week's worth of meals in one
go. It was a great job and does not require a huge outlay of
to get started. The USPCA is the best! I hope to go
back to cheffing one day!
Where I Live
Some Favorite Things