Plugging Away

Oh, the many questions I have been asking myself: Why are archivists so busy? Why does it take so much time to get what I’m looking for? Why am I doing my thesis at the same time as this class? Why am I not an archivist? Why can’t I do historical research full time, just because? (Yep, I may be crazy, but this research is really fun.)

In lieu of actually answering any of these questions, I am plugging away at my research and doing my best to get to the point of knowing what materials I can use or not. I now know some of the documents and photos I would like to use from a couple of archives, but getting a hold of the person in charge and figuring out if I can actually use the stuff is my next course of action. They told me to look stuff up and ask later about uses and options and copyrights. I’d rather it was the other way round, but since they weren’t entirely sure I would find what I wanted, I guess I can understand.

I want to work through this so I can start in on my website. I know that creating the site to be how I intend will take some time (my lack of knowledge in website design will really shine), so I better start soon. So much to do! This is going to be exciting!

4 thoughts on “Plugging Away

  1. The book of war poems sounds really cool! Even if you can’t include images, I bet visitors would love be able to read just textual reproductions of a couple of them–I know I would like to! :)

  2. Specifically from my school, I really want to use several of the early photos of my college – the first few sets of graduates, photos of Old Main after it burned in 1914, some patriotic war writings in the Gitche Gumee (student news) and a couple other things. I have a meeting set up to discuss usage and how things will work with being allowed to post images and writings on a website.
    It seems like the idea of putting this information on a permanent website is a kind of new thought for the archivists and historians I’ve been working with. When I explain what I’m trying to do, they say that a one time use for a college paper is fine, but they’re not sure what to think about a permanent website. We’ll see how things go!
    From the local library, I’m hoping to use some images from the local newspaper on war-related topics, and possibly a book of poems about the war written by kids at a local school in 1917. And then I have lots of stuff from other sources, but this is what I’m working on for the next couple days. I need to focus on a couple organizations at a time so I can chip away at all this; there is so much information available.

    • Sounds like you’ve got some really good sources Dara. Which archive is hesitant to put things up on the website? Would it help for one of us — or maybe better yet, Gene Hyde, UNC Asheville’s archivist — to contact them and talk about the advantages of putting materials on websites? Let us know how we can help.

  3. Dara, it’s great that you’re so excited about the project (& about historical research in general).

    What kinds of documents and photos are you hoping to use so far?

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