|Most of the boxes of the YWT archive;|
we've since added a few more!
So, I'm about halfway through the 12 months of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust archive project - and what a six months it's been! The time is going quickly; summer was filled with continuing the survey of deposited material, drafting and re-drafting an archival structure and finishing off my Masters in Archives and Records Management at the University of Dundee. Now the Autumn has rolled around again and the new academic year is here, I wanted to give a quick update on the progress of the project so far and what's yet to come. I'm intending to do a few related posts, which you can explore through the labels at the bottom of the page - clicking either 'Yorkshire Wildlife Trust' or 'new professional' should show all the project-related posts - that will outline the more practical side of the project. This is the first in that series and is going to look at how I, as a newly qualified archivist, have approached surveying what is a large and complex archive.
I began my project by reviewing the box lists that were supplied when the material was accessioned. This gave me an idea of how varied the material is, as well as getting a handle on its original order. I then went to have a look at it on the shelves in the strongroom (left). This really brought home what just over 3.5m3 of archive looks like! For the most part, the material had been repackaged when it arrived so it was all neatly wrapped and divided in archival folders.
|Boxed and unboxed files in the strongroom.|
|Askham Bog environmental data, 1933.|
|A page of notes from my survey of |
material on Bretton Lakes
I have worked in what I suppose is a pretty analogue way, filling four notepads as I've gone along and then reappraising what I've written as I type it into a master spreadsheet. From there, I've been able to move files around and to separate different levels of the archive out for further examination. This phase of the project is coming to an end now and I will be continuing with the final tweaks to the structure of the archive and starting to describe the records in our online interface, Borthcat. Whilst it will be refreshing to move from leafing through files to adding to our online catalogue, I'll miss discovering lots of little snippets, and discussing them with my (very patient!) colleagues. I have been adding some of these to Twitter and Facebook as I've gone along, and I'm sure there'll be more to come as I finish the last few boxes this week.