*clears out cobwebs* Hi, folks. I said I was going to actually update this blog, but that did not so much happen. Well, that changes now! Possibly. Maybe.
In any case. Since my introductory post waaaay back in August, I have been hired as Records Archivist for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, so this blog is going to take a slightly different turn than I originally envisioned. As Records Archivist, I am responsible for maintaining, processing, and providing access to the records produced by the various offices on campus. But wait, there's more! I am also the University Records Officer (The title on my business cards), which in Wisconsin means that I am the representative of the State Archivist on the University and pass along his permission (actually the permission of the Public Records Board) to destroy records according to state law. Furthermore, my OFFICIAL title is Academic Archivist I, which means I ALSO deal with manuscript collections that pertain to the university but aren't actual university records, such as the records of Student Organization. As you can tell, I wear a bunch of different hats in this job. And yes, all of them are silly.
As a result of the above, this blog is going to have a very definite Records Management bias-- I will talk about scheduling, policy development, records surveys, General Records Schedule development, e-records disposition, and training and outreach issues. But, again, because my official title is as an ARCHIVIST, I will also take on archives-specific issues of access systems, appraisal strategies, description and cataloging (I still <3 EAD, even if my job doesn't involve me using it a lot), reference, and fun stuff like format issues and exhibit design. Plus, if all else fails, I'll just talk about what I'm working on right now. Because, I gotta say, guys, this job is pretty great and most of the time that will actually be interesting.
For example: Right now I am doing preliminary appraisal and writing a processing plan for a collection we received from University Relations. This collection is all photographs, which I've had some experience with, but never with anything this extensive-- and it's great. Part of it is publication files from UWM newsletters and such, but most of it is detailed subject files-- campus scenes and important/yearly events and celebrity visits and important people on campus and aerials of Milwaukee. This is a fantastic collection, I don't mind telling you. I kind of envy the student who's going to be working on this collection for her field study-- she's going to be the one who really gets to go in-depth looking at the photos and doing the cool arrangement and description work (although, as her site advisor, presumably I will have something to do with it). It will be interesting to see how she chooses to approach the collection in arranging and describing it, and I'm excited to get this collection ready for the big show (i.e. the Processed Collections page).
So yeah, that's me right now. Doing some appraisal, meeting with some offices, writing some Records Retention and Disposition Authorities for office approval, and, you know, writing the blog. Oh! And doing research on email preservation, more about which later. Right now I should get back to work.