Personal Archiving

Even though classes are officially over, that’s no reason for the archiving to stop as well! Last night I took a look at the 2.5 years of manilla envelopes worth of papers, quizzes, and notes I’ve accumulated and decided that I should be able to USE that knowledge, rather than just look at the in piles beside my desk. Who know’s- if they are portable enough, I could use them as reference guides at my next job, or simply keep myself refreshed of the basics in order to impress an interviewer (fingers crossed)!

The myriad of documents should not altogether be considered a ‘raw’ collection, since they were weeded into envelopes by class number, and due to this, somewhat by thematic subject. Their existence in the blue storage box, however, had no discernible order otherwise, which gave me the freedom to review each folder’s contents and base my choice for retention on any future use.

I opted to take a few photos through the process so that you, my several readers, could understand how cool the finished product really is. Enjoy!

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Image 1: This is not the ‘complete’ mess, but a partial representation of what I had to deal with. Truthfully, the mess was content sitting at the bottom of my linen closet, but now that moving is yet again in our near future, packing this was NOT going to happen. You can see that although the papers are separated, they are in NO usable condition.

Image 2: Each folder was emptied individually and vetted based on usability. Many daily assignments, doodles, and minor essays were placed into the pile in the upper left corner for recycling. Although they represent my experiences during these classes, they would not be useful in a handy, quick-reference guide on archiving, preservation, or catalog classification. Those notes and handouts that I chose to keep were portioned out by subject and placed in a separate pile, as is seen in the bottom left corner.

Images 3 and 4: After the sections were chosen, tabbed separators were inserted into the binder housing, with proper descriptors. I had not originally intended these papers to be housed in such a fashion, but the existence of so much material necessitated a portable, usable resource based on the need to maintain the knowledge held within.

This was not a difficult archival rehousing, as I acted as both the author and arranger, but proves that even the simplest rehousing done methodologically, will result in something excellent. I understand that binder rehousing the frowned upon in the archival community due to the damage the documents receive during moving and storage. I hope that as I gain more experience and more reference documentation, that I revisit this rehousing and chose a more stable home, such as physical files or digital surrogates.


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