To minimize the likelihood of disease spread by folks traveling across the country, the default is still “work from home.”
However, we live on site (our flat is across the parking lot from our office building), so I have a very short commute to work.
Most of my time is spent in the Archives but I do pop into the Library a couple of times a week to check on the air conditioning or to do printing. I sort and organize paper documents mostly from the 1980s to 2000s, including meeting minutes, progress reports, conference papers, and correspondence. In the last few years, some of our offices in other countries have sent their older materials for safekeeping in Singapore, so that added to the backlog I inherited.
We have two other ongoing projects: digitizing selected items (paper, audio, video, images), and organizing the photograph and slide collection. I supervise three volunteers who come in a few hours a week to help with those projects. I handle reference and research questions from my colleagues around the world and sometimes from strangers, usually about the life of someone who was in the organization in the past. The bulk of the collection is not digitized so I have to browse publications and documents for answers (and discover nuggets along the way).
And from time to time, I buy books!
Over the last 150 years, our offices in various countries have published hundreds of books in different languages but we don’t have copies of all of them here. I maintain an extensive annotated bibliography which is revised continually as I discover new titles or editions to add, and I buy used copies for the collection when the books are not too pricey. Of course, I read what’s here and what I buy in order to broaden my mind (and for bragging rights – more than 100 read this year alone). As a practical outcome of my reading, once a month, I get to tell a short story from the Archives to a gathering of my colleagues, illustrated by pictures and document extracts, and book references, of course.
I’ve been wondering if some of those stories are worth re-telling on this site.
What do you think? What would you like to hear about?