The past month has been anything but straightforward, but by now I’ve mostly made peace with the fact that the overall nature of my position is less about routine and more about ever-evolving cycles. Accordingly, after reporting on what seemed like several milestones last month, this period has felt more preparatory: getting started on a lot of fronts, catching up from last month’s week-long closing, wrapping up the semester, and some travels on my end, both for personal and professional reasons. So I have some odds and ends to share, but not much in the way of finished products.
Last Friday, I attended the spring chapter meeting of the New England Music Library Association (NEMLA). Even though the organization is technically library-focused, there were sessions with creative outreach strategies that definitely applied to the archives realm as well. I’ve also been appointed to serve the board as the chapter’s new archivist and I look forward to helping organize and put together materials in support of NEMLA’s upcoming 50 year anniversary meeting this fall.
In terms of tying up loose ends here at the Archives, we ended the spring semester having met with 14 of 22 academic department as part of the records management survey. A handful of other departments have expressed an interest in following up over the summer and I hope to make it close, if not all the way, to 100% participation. No small feat when it involves tracking down busy faculty members!
We also officially launched the new Archives site: library.berklee.edu/archives. This updated page includes our newly official mission statement, acquisitions, and access policies, finding aids for two processed collections, and an expanded virtual display. I can only claim a fraction of the credit for the content, but overall this represents a lot of behind-the-scenes work I’m thrilled to see come to fruition.
Otherwise, this has been a quiet week, as exams ended on the 10th and the library was closed to the public this past week in between semesters. My undergraduate assistant has left for the summer, my spring intern is wrapping up his project, and I have gained a new intern for the summer semester.
This summer intern will be, among other things, rehousing and creating a finding aid for our collection of notebooks detailing Berklee founder Lawrence Berk’s studies with Joseph P. Schillinger, creator of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition. Berklee was originally founded as the Schillinger School in 1945 and this method formed an integral part of the original curriculum. (The institution was later renamed the Berklee School of Music in 1954, before becoming known as Berklee College of Music in 1970.) These notebooks have been digitized and are currently available via the Archives site. A couple of pages are also on display as part of the Archives exhibit still up at the entrance to Berklee’s library.
As always, I look forward to checking in next month, at which point I will be past the halfway mark for this 12-month series(!). I hope to report more progress on the processing front, including publishing some lingering finding aids, but overall I’m just aiming for a quiet and productive summer, whatever form this may take. Wish me luck!