Blog - Archives & Special Collections - McDonogh School


From the Archives Blog: Volunteers + Intern Hours = Archives Collections Processed

Written by Christine Ameduri

This past summer, a handful of dedicated volunteers and interns accomplished the huge job of processing and cataloging the large backlog of collections and materials in McDonogh’s Archives & Special Collections.

Returning intern Peyton Barranco ’17; Joe Radek ’20, a new intern; and volunteers Butch Maisel ’75 and his wife, Janet, logged more than 100 hours, processing over 30 cubic feet, (43 linear feet) of archival records, military artifacts, and school publications.

Butch Maisel ’72 carefully records research for each piece of McDonogh School
military insignia so it can eventually be cataloged into a content management database system.

Working in a tight space and sharing computers, the crew worked diligently, toggling between a variety of different projects on any given day. Janet and Peyton spent a majority of their time pre-processing archival records by removing hundreds of rusty paper clips and staples from the material before rehousing it in acid- free folders and creating box listings. They also processed a number of official School publications, including the McDonogh Alumnus, McDonogh Magazine, and the McDonogh School Handbook, which were added to the publications previously processed, such as The Legacy yearbook.

Peyton Barranco ’17 and Joe Radek ’20 process archival collections.

Joe, a rising senior, spent the majority of his time processing McDonogh student club records also known as RG06.4: Student Clubs & Organizations. Archival records are arranged into record groups (RGs), based on their office or department of origin. He sorted through material from a whopping 119 different student organizations, arranged it in accordance with accepted archival standards and best practices, and created a finding aid. The records of one of these student organizations, The Allan Debating Society, were significant enough to be processed separately and warranted its own finding aid, which Joe also prepared. The Allan Debating Society, founded in 1878, is the oldest, continually active student organization at McDonogh.

               Janet Maisel, partially obscured by boxes of archival records, processes the McDonogh Alumnus.

While Joe, Janet, and Peyton busily processed collections in the “front of the house,” Butch Maisel, a military historian and Director of Boys’ Latin School Center for Military History, got down to business processing the Archives’ extensive collection of McDonogh’s military insignia. Similar to the previous summer when he processed the Archives’ large collection of school military uniforms, Butch had to move to the “back of the house” or the Middle School band room to have enough space to sort, rehouse, and catalog this collection.

From this...
             To this! Just four of the more than 20 trays of McDonogh School military insignia now properly identified, sorted, and rehoused for easy storage, access, and research.

Thanks to the hard work of the volunteers and interns, these collections are now fully accessible and ready for patrons to use them for research and study.