Over spring break week, UNCG’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) hosted three Library and Information Studies (LIS) graduate students for Alternative Spring Break. Jo Klein, Melissa Capozio, and Anthony Arcangeli spent the week working with scrapbooks contained within the newly acquired Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs Records.
|Two scrapbooks from the Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs.|
The students surveyed and inventoried the large collection of scrapbooks within the Council’s records. There are approximately 120 scrapbooks in the collection dating back to 1930, and each one contains photographs, newspaper clippings, handwritten correspondence, and ephemera.
The interns’ work on the collection included documenting the name and date of the scrapbooks, assessing conditions of the items contained within the scrapbooks, reorganizing the boxes, and collecting contextual information for use in a collection finding aid.
|L to R: Jo Klein and Melissa Capozio working with the scrapbooks.|
First, the interns worked to assess the condition of each scrapbook as a form of pre-processing for the collection. This included creating a description, and recording dimensions, content, and time period for each scrapbook. Interns also noted any factors that would need to be addressed during the preservation process, such as metal paper clips and staples or rapidly deteriorating items.
|Students taking measurements of the scrapbooks.|
After taking inventory of the collection, the scrapbooks were then reorganized into a more researcher-friendly format, and reboxed based on common attributes, such as time period covered and which garden club created the scrapbook.
Once reorganized, the interns went through each scrapbook and collected any notable data that might be used in the creation of a finding aid, such as the garden club presidents, the time periods the clubs were active, and major events and dates.
According to Jennifer Motszko, Manuscripts Archivist and the spring break project coordinator, the interns’ work saved Special Collections staff about two months of processing time, ensuring that the materials will be prepped for access and research far sooner than initially planned.
With this initial processing complete, Special Collections staff can begin work on a finding aid for the collection, and the materials will be available for research once full processing is complete.