The Archivist’s Apprentice

The Archivist’s Apprentice: Elena Colón-Marrero, Pt. 2

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Elena Colón-Marrero is a second year MSI student specializing in Archives and Records Management and Preservation of Information. She is the latest participant in The Archivists Apprentice series, which follows School of Information students as they complete their internships.

Digging for Buried Treasure

When I got my internship outline in early May I was a bit overwhelmed at everything that I was meant to accomplish. I felt like I was being sent out to sea on a piece of floating wood. Fortunately, my supervisors at the Mudd Library instantly greeted me with support and enthusiasm. They realized that the outline was ambitious. They eased my fears of what could have been treacherous waters by bringing me aboard their ship and outfitting me with all the gear I would need. The first week I learned the ropes and slowly started to inch my dinghy towards the water.

After the first week I was given my first big task: to conduct a survey of the digital media present within the collections that Mudd houses. It was imperative to get an idea of how many floppy disks, CD-roms, DVDs, Zip Disks, etc. are contained in the archive. Unlike an early modern book, you can’t leave digital media on the shelf to preserve it. Different types of digital media are quickly becoming obsolete as technology advances. Extracting the data on those materials needs to be done sooner rather than later.

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The Archivist’s Apprentice: Elena Colón-Marrero, Pt. 1

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Elena Colón-Marrero is a second year MSI student specializing in Archives and Records Management and Preservation of Information. She is the latest participant in The Archivists Apprentice series, which follows School of Information students as they complete their internships.

Elena is Princeton’s Mudd Manuscript Library’s John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Archival Fellow for 2015. She recently wrote an introduction for Mudd’s Blog, which you can read here.

Look out for more posts both on this site and on Mudd’s to catch a glimpse into her work.

The Archivists Apprentice: Louie Miller, Pt. 1

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Louie Miller is a second year MSI student specializing in Archives and Records Management. He is the latest participant in The Archivists Apprentice series, which follows School of Information students as they complete their internships.

My 17-week summer internship is at the William L. Clements Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The primary goal of the project is to arrange and describe the papers of Henry Burbeck (1754-1848), a career United States Artillery officer whose military service spanned from the early days of the American Revolution to the end of the War of 1812.  My position was made possible by a generous grant from the Delmas Foundation, which provided funds for the arrangement and detailed processing of Colonel Burbeck’s four linear foot collection of letters, documents, and printed items.  The project consists of the following activities:

  1. Arrange and describe the collection, and house the papers in archival folders and boxes
  2. Construct an EAD-format finding aid (available through the Clements Library’s website)
  3. Write a MARC cataloging record (available through the University’s online catalog and OCLC WorldCat)
  4. Compile a brief report on outstanding preservation concerns
  5. Create a supplemental index to the writers and geographical locations represented in the collection (available as a .pdf document attached to the EAD record)
  6. Create additional supplementary research and reference materials

The Burbeck papers consist of approximately 2,300 items, mostly correspondence, but also maps, and other military documentation.  The majority of the manuscripts date from 1805 to 1812, with around 150 undated letters and drafts.  The letters are predominantly incoming messages from Burbeck’s subordinate Captains and Majors (approximately 1,500 items), with a smaller number of copies and drafts of letters written by Burbeck.

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Walker Boyle: “Test Driving Your Code”

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Walker Boyle is working at the Bentley Historical Library helping with their ArchivesSpace-Archivematica-DSpace Workflow Integration project.

He recently contributed to the projects blog with “Test Driving Your Code.” Check it out!

Yellowstone National Park Archives – Shae Rafferty

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My home in the park.
My home in the park.

For my UMSI internship I worked as an intern at the Yellowstone National Park Archives. This was an absolutely amazing experience where I lived, learned, and worked Yellowstone National Park for ten weeks. Yellowstone was amazingly beautiful and so much bigger than I had previously thought. It is an all day trip to drive around the park in its entirety!


The Heritage and Research Center
The Heritage and Research Center

I lived in the northern part of the park called Mammoth Hot Springs, but the archive is in Gardiner, a town just outside of the northern entrance of the park. The archives are housed in the Heritage and Research Center (HRC) which also contains the research library, museum collection, and herbarium.


My primary duties/projects included processing collections, giving tours to visitors, and working reference. Many of the reference requests involved tracking down relatives who worked in the park over the past 100+ years. Since the Yellowstone Archives is also an affiliate of the National Archives it was very interesting to learn about and use a number of added security measures when providing researchers with records. I was fortunate to work on a number of additional projects though, including creating a work flow for an upcoming digitization project and writing blog posts.


Image of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


Bookmobile Day.
Bookmobile Day.

This being an internship at a National Park, my work was not restricted to just indoor activities. The Research Library has a bookmobile deliver books to employees stationed around the park that I drove with the library intern each month, this takes a full 10 hour work day to complete. A number of field trips were also set-up throughout the summer for the HRC employees and interns to visit historical sites and museums about the park’s history.

Image of a moose.
A moose.

Elizabeth M. and P.T. Reilly Intern – Cinda Nofziger

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Image of Cinda, her husband, and son bike riding.
All smiles, as we prepare to start our journey, 2014. Photo courtesy of Cinda Nofziger.

I’m excited to be the Reilly Intern at the Cline Library. My family and I arrived in Flagstaff a week ago after bicycling from Ann Arbor, Michigan–where I’m a Masters student at the School of Information–to Colorado. We drove the rest of the way.

This week, I’ve begun planning Special Collections and Archives’ 2014 exhibit showcasing John Running, freelance photographer from Flagstaff. To get inspired for the exhibit design, I’ve been listening to John Running’s oral history interview with Jonathan Pringle and Jess Vogelsang. Running has had an amazing life; for over forty years, he’s traveled and photographed around the Southwest, the United States and internationally, in Trinidad, Palestine, Mexico and Scotland. I’m eager to delve into representing his life and work in the exhibit. As a photographer of people, Running believes making a portrait is a gift; as a documentarian, he believes one must “try to photograph the truth and present it honestly.” He approaches his subjects with humility, grace, and kindness, which come through in his images.  I was pleased to meet him in person and found him to be just as kind and gracious in person. He’s also a great story-teller. I will work to infuse his approach to photography into this exhibit.

I’m really honored to be here working on this project and am thrilled to be in Flagstaff. I look forward to exploring the city and surroundings, as well as learning more about Running’s life, career, and photographs.

I’ve only had time to scratch the surface of his collection, but here are a few of my favorites so far…

Image of a man on a bus
Man on bus, Palenstine. Photo courtesy of the John Running Collection (NAU.PH.2013.


Image of Salina Bartunek in the Grand Canyon Cafe
Salina Bartunek in the Grand Canyon Cafe, Flagstaff, AZ, 1994. Photo courtesy of the John Running Collection (NAU.PH.2013.