The End Is Near!

After a luxuriously relaxing vacation to Las Vegas and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (with an overnight visit to Seattle), it’s time to get back to work. I only have a few more days at the National Archives before my internship ends, and those days are going to be jam packed! I have to wrap up the NASA ACTS project I’ve been working on (more on that later) and help Jimmie with a NIOSH re-appraisal project. The re-appraisal should take a full day to complete, and for NASA I have to finish creating the electronic container list for the ACTS records, draft an ARC description, and appraise all 210 NASA ACTS boxes with Doug.

Bus and Cat

Inspiration credit: Chelsea Denault


NARA Jobs: Senior Records Analyst, Records Management Training Program

My second “jobs” meeting was with Joe Suster. Joe is a Senior Records Analyst in the Records Management department of NARA. NARA went through a huge reorganization about two years ago. The institution’s transformation was designed to streamline the organization and create transparency within the agency and between the agency and public. As I’m new to NARA and not that familiar with the old system (seeing charts doesn’t really let you experience the way work actually happened), the change just seems like a slightly more confusing series of separate administrative charts to me. Continue reading

More Bankruptcy: Hammond, Madison, La Crosse, and Superior

For almost the entire last month, I’ve been performing archival appraisal on bankruptcy files. If I go my entire life without spending that much consecutive time looking at bankruptcy dockets, it wouldn’t be long enough. Anyway, as I mentioned previously, federal records have a specific lifecycle: they stay at the creating/receiving agency or organization for X amount of time before either being sent to the FRC (to be held for X amount of time) or NARA (to be accessioned and processed into our permanent records). After X amount of time, the records sent to the FRC are destroyed or kept, and we have to appraise the records in order to decide which ones to keep. The amount of time records are kept at the FRC is determined by each individual agency and the records management section of NARA. Bankruptcy cases, specifically, are transferred to NARA 15 years after the case closes. Once that 15 years comes up, though, if we haven’t slated any cases for transfer to permanent records, they get destroyed. So that’s where my recent job comes in. Simply put, certain bankruptcy case files are going to be up soon for disposal, and we needed to appraise the cases and determine which will be transferred into our permanent archives before they’re shipped off for disposal. Since we’re short on time, I completed the primary appraising for bankruptcy cases from Hammond, IN; Madison, WI; La Crosse, WI; and Superior, WI.

In case you’re wondering how in the world I selected these case files, I wasn’t just flying blind, covering my eyes and picking at random Continue reading

Why am I writing this blog?

Let’s be real for a minute here. Why am I writing this blog? I’ve never done this before in my life. Blogging is fun, sure. But I had pretty much every other social media program- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.- at my disposal before this summer came along. I didn’t need to blog. Also, between two internships, training for a sprint triathlon, finishing an oral history project, and doing extra work for a fellowship, PLUS trying to read (for fun, actually), I barely have time to blog. When we had our meeting at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year about blogging for our internships, we were told that our blog could be whatever we wanted it to be. Okay, so obviously we HAVE to do this for our program. Clearly we were supposed to talk about what we were doing with our internships, but other than that we were pretty much given free rein. And as an equestrian, I know all about free rein. I might take it a little far with memes and Despicable Me gifs in my posts, but if we’re going to be completely honest, this blog wouldn’t be me without them. I guess the real question is, after never blogging before, why am I enjoying this process? Continue reading

NARA Jobs: Education Specialist

One of the interesting things about the National Archives is that not everyone is actually an archivist. Part of my internship entails me getting to know the different jobs that people do here at NARA. I thought it would be fun to do a little  blog post for each of the different types of jobs there are here. The first person I got to sit down with was Kris, the Education Specialist. We talked about her role and how she engages with the public. In addition to  handling all the social media for NARA Chicago, she primarily works with educators and genealogists. She does four “official” meetings with teachers throughout the year, and she’ll travel offsite to schools for teacher inservice days if asked. She offers programs on the home front during World War I and II, the Progressive Era, American Indians of the Great Lakes, Chicago’s Waterways, the Chicago 7, and the development of Baseball.   Continue reading