Today was my first real day of work at my internship. Along with going over the general basics, I got my first assignment: create an inventory and improve the finding aid for a fairly popular collection having to do with Native American Fishing Rights. The collection is only 3 boxes so I figured it wouldn’t be that difficult to go through. I was right, for the most part. When I opened the first box and began to look at the folders, I noticed something unusual: every folder only contained ONE document, and that one document had a cover sheet attached which stated the title, author, and place from which the document had been obtained.
It is slightly entertaining as I notice my mood going from “Oh this will be wonderful for the researchers!” to “Do I really have to type out and encode allllll of these folder titles?!” based on whether I have eaten or had tea recently. I know that the documents were part of research the creator was doing, so the organization does make sense. It will be wonderful and descriptive the next time a researcher wants to use it, but it also seems like overkill at times. I cannot decide if I would rather have a collection like this, or one which had less folders and more papers in each folder…It is difficult to say. I guess, in the end I would side with ease for the researcher since it really took me hardly any time. If the folder titles were not already on the folders, however, I probably would not have been so detailed in my inventory description.
To counteract the extremely organized folders, I am on a mission to establish context for this collection which is proving quite difficult. It is a good challenge.