Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Movin' Right Along

It's been a while! Apologies, dear friends.

My work here has been shifted into overdrive, and for the first time I am creating metadata rather than simply recording and curating it. To say that it is nerve-wracking is an understatement, and I find myself wondering if archivists have existential anxiety. Again, Patrick's words come back to me: "Don't let what you don't know stop you. Just do it. You'll get it." So I stop worrying and overthinking and begin doing, knowing that with practice comes experience. No amount of book learning will prepare you for putting forth your own mark - even if it's just two sentences into a database. Just do it.

Recently I surveyed the Ron Hull Papers. Emails between he and his colleagues, memos, notes, scribbles, doodles, and little pieces of insight into what the construction of the collection must have looked like. I imagine that my anxiety over two sentences must have seemed like small potatoes compared to his burden. This project holds the essential ambassador programs of PBS to the world. Each program shares some aspect that has inherent value. Surely the selection process must have been harrowing to say the least.

Having respect for these materials seems to be central to this project - and archiving as a whole. Inflicting my own perspectives, opinions, and beliefs does no service to anyone, least of all the creator. Much like the rest of life, it's best when I try to set myself aside and do my best to see things as they are. It will take (again) time and practice, but it's a good exercise and something that I should start doing more often.

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