I finished the Foley collection and the finding aid is online! Here it is:
It took longer than either Tom or I expected but it was really enjoyable work. On Saturday while I was making copies of the clippings downstairs in the library, the collection donor was there and Tom introduced us. She is Joseph Foley’s niece. She never met her uncle, but she knows his story well. She and her relatives get together yearly on the date of his death. We talked about how his story is just one of so many young men lost in that war, and in others. She asked me about what we do with her uncles letters, and I explained it a little bit, saying they are organized and available for anyone who might be looking for them…maybe a researcher who studies World War II, or a novelist looking for personal stories from the war. She was really happy to learn about it and to know that her uncle’s story is being preserved.
Next up: the Scott Collection
There has already been some work done on this collection and Tom doesn’t think I’ll finish it by the end of my internship, but I’ll do what I can. I started by reviewing his work plan, and then poked around in the boxes a little bit. I was tentative at first, and did what was comfortable/safe: made an itemized list of all the correspondence. After that I knew I had to get a broader view, so I pulled all the boxes over to my area and started looking through them and taking notes. I drafted arrangement ideas while I worked – I could do generations, or by place (a series for Maine, a series for Woburn, a series for Kansas). Starting with a close look at the correspondence was actually very helpful, because I sketched out a family tree while skimming the letters for clues. I don’t think I could plan an arrangement proposal without understanding who is who in the family (there are, of course, several other surnames besides Scott). I spent a little too long looking for a free ancestry chart I could download and edit in Word – why is that not available?! So frustrating. I have mapped it out on paper (I keep having to tape more papers on).