Finished photograph descriptions, and a bit of confusion

Progress

Both Tom and I are pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve been able to get done on this collection. At this point, I have gone through every item. For the photographs, I wrote up item-level descriptions – I did this because I saw Tom had recommended it in the work plan, but he seemed surprised that I did it.

Rough inventory outline / arrangement proposal

I looked over my inventory for the entire collection and edited it a bit. It is a strange document, because it’s an outline organized by bulleted lists and successive indentations, but it’s not a finding aid. I guess I don’t have the structure of the finding aid in my head yet, not well enough to sketch out an inventory as a finding aid draft. I’m not sure if that’s what people do when they first go through a collection. I saw Tom’s notes from when he started to look at this collection in 2005, and it also looked like a rough outline. Part of it just said “some of the items included”, followed by a bulleted list in no particular order.

The reason I’m still thinking about my outline is because Tom had such a hard time reading it! He kept asking questions as if it were a finding aid, and I had to keep saying “this is just a list of what is in the collection, organized by family and family member”. I was sharing it with him to see if he agreed that series for family members would make sense. Maybe I should have given him the inventory outline along with an arrangement proposal, like the one we had to submit for the finding aid assignment. He did agree with my proposal to arrange by family and family member, but had some small changes. I’m eager to use ancestry.com (Woburn Library account) to fill in the gaps in the family tree I’ve created, which he wants to include in the collection. Next week I’ll be working on arranging things physically in boxes – he wants some of the artifacts to go into the museum catalog – and I’ll create the finding aid from my outline.

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