So, we’ve not been very good about the blog this week. But we have an excuse. Between researchers, Nicole, Mariecris and I (Arlene) have been working for Kathy. Kathy’s a pretty hard taskmaster. So we’re keeping busy–or at least telling her we’re keeping busy.
This week has been part of our ongoing experiment with distance processing. Kathy was hired as a project processor to do the Atwood family collection, but mid-project she had to move to Stuttgart, Germany. But the thing is, she had all the intellectual work of the collection arrangement done and most of the descriptive material gathered. And we didn’t want to lose that expertise. So we kept her on payroll and had her do what she could from a distance. Not everything can be done from a distance though. And Kathy was in need of somebody to actually get in the boxes, refolder, rebox, rehouse, recopy, all those things that often make up the physical end of processing a collection. So we dedicated this week to Kathy’s project just to see if we could make a good dent in it. She stayed up very late to try and match our normal working hours (Stuttgart is 10 hours off AK time so our 3 pm was her 1 am) and we used email, chat, and just plain-old webposting of images to keep in touch and ask questions.
I think we have accomplished something this week. Maybe not as much as we’d hoped (lots of researchers and we all have our easily-distracted moments and Kathy’s recently adopted what from all reports is a juvenile delinquent in the body of a young yellow labrador) but if nothing else, we’ve achieved one thing: we all understand at least one portion of the collection and we’re starting to understand Kathy’s directions when it comes to the collection. So when it comes to finding students or other workers who might be interested in working on this project, we’re going to be able to direct them better. It’s a very good feeling.
And come Monday, I get to be boss again. Well, as much as they let me be boss, anyhow.