Hello dear bloggers, I hope that your week is going as well as mine!
Last week, I had the opportunity to help out in the archives with a few other museum folks. We were going through a recently donated collection of papers from a relative of Bill Clinton and helped to preserve them. This meant pulling each sheet of paper from a folder and determining if additional steps needed to be taken for preservation purposes. For example, the normal size of a piece of paper is 8.5 x 11. Well, if there is a smaller piece of paper, we would take that smaller piece of paper and staple (yes, staple!) it to an actual 8.5 x 11 piece of bond paper, or paper that is acid free for preservation. A few things needed to be taken into consideration besides size. One important one is keeping each piece of paper in their original order. This is called provenance. Very important in the archive world! In the museum we do not really deal with as much paper as they do in the archive, so we don’t necessarily have this show up as often. This is all they deal with (for the most part)! The general thinking is that people who donated their papers had an order to the files, folders and documents when they first filed them, and that order should be honored even after it changes hands to our possession.
It was a fun filled day working in the archives, and reminded me of my time at the UALR CAHC. They have a few more additional steps here at the Clinton Library, but overall the same feel and rules apply. I am very glad that I had that initial experience at the CAHC, because I felt like I caught on relatively fast. I can see where it would be an all day task just to explain most of the rules if not!
I love the fact that the Clinton Library and Museum will allow me the opportunity to shadow the archives. I have also attended their meeting, and I find that the cooperation and communication between the archives and museum does help for not only the Center as a whole, but for general comradery. One of my first days here I noticed how each department talked and seemed to be very open about things, where as at the Arkansas Studies Institute where the UALR CAHC is stored, I did not see that same comradery. Not between the staff at the CAHC (they all got along fabulously), but between the other archive that are stored in the Arkansas Studies Institute – the Butler Center. I rarely interacted with the Butler Center archivist, and not that I did not think that they were pleasant and friendly overall, but it did not have the same feel as it does here. It may have something to do with the fact that I think they are both completely independent and separately funded from each other, while here is it all under one roof…either way, I do like that we are able to attend their meetings and learn from their department and vice verse!
One additional thing that you should check out is the Esse Purse Museum website. We have a few purses that were given to Hillary Clinton, and these will be on display at this museum. I helped pull the item, package it and send it off to be displayed. They are gorgeous purses and it is an interesting exhibit!
Until next time!