Thursday was #AskAnArchivist on Twitter, so I took advantage of the opportunity to get in contact with archivists across the nation. Here are some of the questions I asked:
@U.S. National Archives: How do you explain your job to kids?
- “People in our govt make lots of photos, videos, maps, paper. We get that stuff ready for you to come see it.”
@LBJLibrary: What’s your go-to fact about LBJ to bring up at parties?
- “Great question. My fave #LBJ story is him driving his #amphicar into the Pedernales River pretending that the brakes failed.”
- “But #LBJ and #golf (cheating, telling people to let him win, etc.) is close second: Read the story here.“
What’s the funniest moment you’ve ever had at your job?
- “Funny and not but I processed 105 folders and miss-numbered them throwing the whole series off. Funny now, but not then.” – Erik Bauer, Archivst and Museum Professional for the Peabody Institute Library
- “Finding cherubs of high resemblance to Bobby Hill in the margins of medieval texts.” – L. Kelly Fitz
- “We once found pigeons hanging out among a senator’s papers! #GradSchoolDidn’tPrepareMeForThat. We shooed away the pigeons and rehoused the records. No harm, no fowl.” – U.S. Senate History
What’s the hardest part of your job on a day-to-day basis?
- “As a reference archivist, find making time for focused, large-scale projects hardest; user access & Q’s always come first.” – MA Historical Society
- “Not having 28 hours in a day. So many things I want/need to do & not enough time.” – Hiram College Library
- “Balancing time btwn the day-to-day and big, long-term projects. Preservation means planning!” – Roper Center
- “Responding to people who say, I didn’t know we have an archives! Staying relevant, and electronic records” – Jenny Johnson, a corporate archivist
- “Hard to quantify that. The general lack of funds/support for cultural heritage instns. is depressing tho.” – Morgan Jones-King at SCArhives
- “Kicking out an enthusiastic researcher when we close at 5pm is no fun!” – American Library Association Archives
- “Lack of support form the org/institution can be hard. Sometimes feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.” – Caroline, a UK Archivist
- “Providing prompt and efficient customer service using a large collection over multiple storage locations.” – MD State Archives
- “Project archivist 4 Japanese American internment records. Long days reading hate, loss, devestation.” – Margo Padilla
- “Whenever I think about the enormous back-log.” – History Center Orlando