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Welcome to the From the Archives blog. I am Chris Ameduri, and this past July, I became the Archivist & Special Collections Conservator at McDonogh School. Over the summer, a few other McDonogh staff members and I began physically reorganizing the space in the Archives & Special Collections, located in the basement of the Jane Bay Hall, to help expedite the processing and cataloging of the Archives’ hundreds of cubic feet of official school records and various other collections.
Official school records documenting 146 years of McDonogh history, manuscript collections, photographs, works of art on paper and canvas, and large collections of artifacts, including hundreds of school uniforms and textiles were boxed or reboxed, refoldered, reshelved, labeled, and/or moved to off-site storage to await their turn to be fully and completely cataloged or processed at a later date. This pre-processing and reorganizing of the collections and materials will allow for greater physical and intellectual control, and will greatly help to streamline these processes.
Although tedious and physically demanding at times, this very necessary initial reorganization has already yielded positive results! The task of sorting through literally hundreds of boxes, files, and folders allows misplaced or “lost” materials and collections to be returned to their original and proper “home,” and previously undocumented materials to be “discovered.” Once properly identified, collections can be accessioned and put into the queue to be fully processed and made available to researchers.
There is still much work to be done, but this process was a great first step in helping to gain better physical and intellectual control over the Archives’ numerous and varied collections. Stay tuned for more From the Archives blog posts about other exciting projects currently underway!