~Daily Journal~ Week 5

October 1, 2012: Label folders, re-folder materials, remove all metal.  3 1/2 hours

I was able to get through everything but the last box of Protestant Conversations.  I removed duplicate items (we keep no more than 2 of each item).  I feel like my finding aid is a bit clunky, especially since I describe what is in each folder.  Since it has been organized alphabetically by who the Roman Catholic Church was in conversation with and then by date of each meeting there is no easy way to describe what is in each folder.  It does not just contain papers for discussion, but sometimes there are meeting minutes and sometimes there are news statements.  Sometimes all there is is a single pamphlet.  Note to self: I need to figure out if it is a pamphlet or a booklet.  I’ve been calling them pamphlets because that is what we called those particular items at Poets House, but I don’t think it is correct, I think they are actually booklets.

This is such a quiet work, so there is not a lot of conversation in the office, but there was one interesting conversational tidbit that came up today.  An intern from another department came up wondering if we had anything he could help with because his supervisor wasn’t in and hadn’t left anything for him to do.  Brigette made a comment that if she is to be away she always gives her interns more than they could possibly get done, just in case she is unable to get home, or if the intern happens to work faster than what she was expecting.

October 2, 2012: Label folders, re-folder materials, remove all metal 3 hours

I finished that last box of Protestant Conversations today. It felt good to throw away all those old boxes and folders.  My desk is so clean again.

I found that it was good practice to not label the folder numbers until I was finished rehousing the entire collection.  In one of the final folders I found a paper that was originally part of the Roman Catholic conversations and it filled in a gap in the meeting schedule, so I had to create a new folder for it.  Thank goodness for that list of conversations I found the first time I was going through the collection.  It has made placing papers in the correct meeting much easier.

I also looked over my finding aid for mistakes and within the collection to find an appropriate picture to place on the front page of the finding aid.  I thought the cover of this booklet was appropriate to the subject matter.  I took a pictures and then compiled it into three sections to highlight the things that I thought were interesting.  In a discussion with Brigette she advised me to research the movement as a whole and not focus on the individual groups.  The biography for the finding aid is to not be more than 1 page long.  She recommended that I look at a book she had noticed downstairs on the 100 years of the ecumenical movement.  I thought that might be a good place to start.  When I start researching next time.

“Be Reconciled to Your Brother: The Lifting of the Anathema of 1054 as a Step Toward Reconciliation” 1966
Credit to WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, Series 1 Box 4, Folder 9, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

October 5, 2012: Research and refining the finding aid.  3 1/2 hours

Brigette had told me she would be leaving today so I was to work on finishing the finding aid, doing some research and posting an article for the blog.  I decided to search CLIO (Columbia’s online library catalog) for things relating the ecumenical movement as a whole.  I did this the night before, so I could search the stacks when I walked in, in the morning.  My searching was a tad frustrating because what could be really interesting stuff was all offsite and would take a couple of days to come to the library, so I couldn’t use those.  I found six books to look for in the stacks that might be helpful.  I did not find the book that Brigette was talking about.  100 years and variations there of did not lead to a recent book.  Something finally clicked in my brain that 100 years was a century so I tried that and found the book right away.  So my bibliography for the biography looks like this:

  • Mirus, Jeffrey. The Documents of the Second Vatican Council: A Summary and Guide. Trinity Communications, 2011.
  • Slack, Kenneth. The Ecumenical Movement. London: Edinburgh House Press, 1960. Print.
  • The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices. Geneva : Grand Rapids, Mich: WCC Publications ; W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 1997. Print.
  • Todd, John M. Catholicism and the Ecumenical Movement. London: Longmans, Green, 1956. Print.
  • World Missionary Conference. Celebrating a Century of Ecumenism: Exploring the Achievements of International Dialogue: In Commemoration of the Centenary of the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference. Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 2012. Print.
I searched for those in the stacks, which is quite beautiful.  I’d love to just sit in one of the corners with the chair and small table and read.  I was unable to get up to the fifth floor because the elevator was locked, so I just sat at one of the study carrels and took notes on my books.
When I finally found someone to let me in upstairs, I refined my finding aid, but didn’t have enough time to get into actually writing the biography.  I’m actually a bit nervous about it.  I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to accurately express what I want to in such a short little space. I was surprised to find out that the time period that my collection is in is quite important to the whole movement.  It made me like doing this even more.
Additional Resources
Burke Library Archives Collections:
Kasper, Walter. Harvesting the Fruits: Basic Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue. London ; New York: Continuum, 2009.
Norgren, William A. Faith and Order in the U.S.A.: a Brief History of Studies and Relationships. Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans Pub, 2011.
Total hours:  10

Running total: 49

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