Is it really that long since my last post? Oh dear, time has flown. Since then I have unpacked, sorted, shelved and scanned the barcodes of over 850 boxes. I keep taking pictures to post on here, and then before I get the chance to put them online I unpack more boxes and so take more recent pictures and so want to put them up instead!
Here are the photos from last week – the shelves are filling up nicely. The rollcages that I receive are packed with a jumble of boxes packed in for space efficiency that I then need to separate out into clusters of accessions, which I group around my space in a sensible fashion. Hopefully I’ve just two more half-lorry load deliveries to go.
It’s time consuming and hard work, but physically sorting the boxes is a helpful “pass through” of the physical material for me on a macro scale. I can see the accessions fitting into my structure, and am surprised by the size of some of them, such as our civic defence and environmental health files. It’s frustrating that I can’t get properly stuck in yet, but at least I’m engaging with the records on a personal level.
The art gallery decant should be finished in early June, which means I’ll have not only the civic records but also the furniture and preservation supplies that I need to be able to setup ready for the volunteers. After working on my own for over a month to prep everything, it will be great to be joined by a group of passionate local people of varied ages and experiences to get our hands dirty together working with this collection.
I can’t wait to have the team in place, and will be organising a training day as soon as the workroom is finally clear of pallets and rollcages. Hopefully they’ll let me introduce them to you all on here, and join in this blogging journey by pointing out what catches their eyes as they physically process the documents.
Elsewhere in the Libraries and Archives department, the exploration of whether we might become a social enterprise continues to develop. It’s a long and complicated process, so our head of service Fiona Williams is blogging about it at http://yorklibrariesconsultation.wordpress.com/ . It’s a good place to find out about the bigger picture, or ask her any questions, or you can pop into a library to read the display boards and pass on any comments in person.
Thank-you for your patience with my infrequent postings. I really hope the calm is just round the corner. Moving an archive is a big task, but makes sense as part of this reinvigoration and reworking of access to all our collections for the 21st century: no pain, no gain!