Library Museum archives resurrected
Seward community library
The newly organized archives at the library make things easier to find
Did you know that Roseville, California was an All-American City in 1963 and that they created and implemented a program to help their “sister All-American City Seward, Alaska” after the 1964 earthquake? Did you know that if you store photo albums horizontally instead of vertically, you are being kinder to the photographs? The Seward Community Library Museum staff was made aware of these tidbits and much more as a result of work done by an exceptional professional archivist, savvy staff and two exceptional summer interns.
Archives are repositories for historic documents, photos and other memorabilia that may have significant historic value to a community. The phone books, newspapers, historic photos and donated memorabilia in the Seward Library Archives had fallen into disarray and needed attention, especially as we prepare to move into our new facility. We asked Exxon Mobil for assistance and they agreed. They provided funding to survey, select, inventory, catalog and store items in the Seward Community Library archives. And just to give the interns a little change of view they spent a few hours each session working at the museum and the library helping visitors and staff.
Nichole Feemster and Melinda McCulloch were recruited to do the work. Both are recent college graduates and were employed full time in other positions. Also, both were eager to see what working in a library museum was like and decide whether they would like to pursue a career in the field. Arlene Schmuland, Head Archivist for University of Alaska/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library volunteered to lend her expertise to the project. Arlene visited twice, first to survey the current archives and recommend a course of action and later to review what was being done and give suggestions.
There were many efforts that made this project a success. The library museum staff lent their expertise and support by mentoring the interns. Amy Carney, library museum aide, worked with Schmuland to create a scope of work and scheduled and managed the interns’ time. They spent at least two full days in the basement going through boxes and making copious notes on how to organize the “stuff.” Exxon Mobil made hiring the interns possible by donating funds to pay the interns hourly. And finally, Feemster and McCulloch weren’t intimidated by the task even coming in on the days off from their “real jobs.” The library museum thanks them all.