Tag Archives: Sofía Becerra-Licha

Transitions: Sofía Becerra-Licha

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Reminder: AACR Chat Tomorrow, April 26th

There has been a lot of discussion about social justice, documenting social movements, and how this can relate to diversity, outreach, and advocacy. Thus, we want to revisit some of the issues that were brought up at the 2015 Diversity Forum in Cleveland, discuss what has happened since then, and see what this the future of these efforts.

Note: The chat will take place at 1 PM EST / 12 PM CST on Tuesday, April 26th.

The discussion will include:

Nadia Ghasedi (@lowvisghasedi), Associate University Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis
Bergis Jules (@BergisJules), University Archivist at UC Riverside
Stacie Williams (@Wribrarian), Learning Lab Manager and Curator of Architectural History at University of Kentucky – Special Collections Research Center
Jarrett Drake (@jmddrake), Digital Archivist at Princeton University
Sofia Becerra-Licha (@sbecerralicha), Archivist at Berklee College of Music

  1. Discuss DocNow’s progress and what it aims to do moving forward?
  2. What happened after the Cleveland project and how can this be a model for other cities? Regional component?
  3. What should archivists be aware of when they want to document current activities?
  4. What are some differences you’ve observed between say a sizable/large institution doing this type of project versus a small group of interested archivists?
  5. What lessons can be learned from the past in documenting the Modern Civil Rights Movement?
  6. What social issues need to be documented?
Participate in the chat by following and tweeting the hashtag #AACR. It is not limited to AAC Roundtable members only, so feel free to share this message with your archivist friends and members from other roundtables.‏
As always, we hope you will use this opportunity to share your thoughts, questions, and connect with other archives professionals. Our Twitter handle is @aacr_roundtable. See you soon!!

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 12

Putting together this 12th and final post has been bittersweet and surprisingly challenging;  though I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that most months I’ve struggled to cobble together a semi-coherent narrative for what often feels like barely-contained chaos. In some ways, this is increasingly the case now that many “smaller” tasks on the grant workplan have been completed  and the main task that remains is that of processing, Continue reading

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 11

Today marks my one year anniversary on the job. The last 12 months have been intense, productive, rewarding, and — honestly — a bit of a blur at times. In some ways, I increasingly feel more settled and grounded: in my role, in my skills, and in my knowledge of the collections and the college as a whole. In other ways, however, this past month has been one of continuous readjustment and reappraisal. I’m at the halfway point of my term Continue reading

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 10

What a difference (almost) a year makes! A lot of things have come together in the last few weeks and as I look back on the first 11 months, it’s both reassuring and semi-exhausting to review our progress. The biggest news is that we finally have shelving installed in our off-site storage space. I mentioned this back in July when the funding was approved and I was excited about it then, but I cannot emphasize enough how much of a game-changer this is.

Here’s the before: an approximately 7’x9’ pile of boxes, albeit appearing slightly more disheveled than usual in this shot because we were pulling materials.

Contrast that image with this shot: everything’s off the ground and better organized on wire shelving.

Even including the action shot posted on Facebook, these photos obviously reflect only a small measure of the work involved in unloading the pallets, clearing the space, assembling the shelves, and then figuring out how to fit everything back on. It was truly a team effort and while it ended up taking at least twice as long as we’d originally planned, the end result is so very well worth it. There’s a lot of processing work still to be done, and the fact that we have to transfer items back and forth between off-site storage and our on-site work-room adds an extra set of logistics to the mix, but being able to readily assess things like extent at a glance already represents huge progress.

Speaking of progress, two more finding aids are up online, from collections processed this summer: the Jerome Gross and Bert Henry papers on the Schillinger System (BCA-006) and the Lawrence Berk papers on the Schillinger System (BCA-007). In addition to gaining an additional work-study assistant, this semester we’re fortunate to have another Simmons GSLIS intern. Among other things, she will be creating a digital exhibit version of the Franklin McGinley collection on Duke Ellington (BCA-004).

Finally, I’ve also started reaching out to the remaining academic departments to resume scheduling meetings to wrap up the records management survey this semester. We’ve received some more photographic materials, and just last week a photo from one of our collections was featured on the College’s Facebook page for Throwback Thursday. It was quite a hit!

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 9

After being out all last week for SAA, I’m slowly easing back into the work routine. The annual meeting in New Orleans was my third, but this was definitely the longest and busiest SAA I’ve experienced. I attended a pre-conference workshop, presented at the pre-conference research forum, ended up helping out at another panel, and did my best to attend a variety of sessions. All of which made for an intense, but nonetheless rejuvenating, week.

Back on the home front, I’ve returned to chipping away at accessions. In anticipation of hiring additional work-study students and being able to pass on some more basic processing tasks, I’ve been focusing on getting a better handle on a set of records maintained by Alma Berk, who was Berklee’s first publicity manager. I’m only a few boxes in and I can already tell this will be a challenging collection due to the variety of materials I’ve encountered so far.

Among other things, I’ve come across painstakingly compiled scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and other publicity documenting the early years of the College, old course catalogs, more photographs, Schillinger House paraphernalia, and musical works by founding college president Lawrence Berk. Each time I open a new box I never quite know what to expect and it’s alternately overwhelming and an entertaining exposure to a wealth of Berklee trivia (depends on the day, and on what exactly turns up!).

In other news, we’ve been working with campus administrators to start archiving master’s projects, beginning with Berklee’s inaugural class of master’s graduates on the Valencia campus last month. We’ve also drafted a records policy and set up a basic system to track researcher requests. Even though we’re not quite fully open, I think we’ve managed to do a pretty good job of fielding the reference questions that have come in.

For example, we have: managed to track down early course catalogs to help rebuild an early student record; provided photo reproductions for a student production and another department’s electronic press kit; assisted a local independent scholar in locating and reproducing selections from the Berklee Oral History Project for use in a public symposium on the history of jazz in Boston; and provided filmmakers in Turkey with reproductions of materials relating to legendary producer and arranger Arif Mardin ’61 for an upcoming documentary.

Although at times it can be challenging to handle researcher requests on top of all the workplan tasks, it’s also a great reminder of just how much this project is needed and how far we’ve already come in terms of being able to provide access to our archival holdings.

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 8

Greetings from Boston where, as usual, there’s plenty afoot here at the Archives. One significant responsibility lurking in the background throughout this period has been the second interim report due to the NHPRC at the end of the month. This one includes a financial component, so in addition to compiling a narrative write-up, as we did back in January, we’ve also been going through our records to make sure we’re on track to fulfill the terms of the grant. All in all, we look to be in good shape and putting all this information together has served as a helpful reminder of just how jam-packed the last six months have been.

One exciting piece of news is that we were able to secure some funding from the College to purchase shelving to better store our off-site materials. This is huge because it means we will be able to make better use of the rented floorspace space and retrieve items much more easily. As expected, the pre-planning has involved a decent amount of research and comparison shopping to find a solution that’s the best compromise between the resources we have at hand and the archivally acceptable options out there. And I’m admittedly avoiding thinking too much about the installation process and all that will entail, particularly given the heat wave we’re currently experiencing. But these are fantastic “problems” to have and it’s quite heartening to see things coming together as they are.

On the processing front, it’s turned out to be the summer of Schillinger. Our summer intern will be wrapping up her field experience this week and, as I’ve previously mentioned, she spent most of her time processing what we’re now calling the Lawrence Berk papers on the Schillinger System. Amid other projects, I also processed another small collection of Schillinger-related materials: the Jerome Gross and Bert Henry papers on the Schillinger System. This collection encompasses a correspondence course taken by Dr. Jerome Gross of Cleveland, OH and related notes and memorabilia created and compiled by authorized Schillinger instructor Bert Henry. As with Lawrence Berk’s notes, we were fortunate to have Phil DiTullio, director of the local Schillinger Society, come in and help us with the description for the finding aid, which is now complete and in line to be published online.

Outside of my daily work, I’ve continued putting some thought into my ongoing professional development, as well as seeking ways to stay plugged into the professional community, particularly as a lone arranger. In addition to getting involved with the New England Music Library Association (NEMLA), I’ve also been involved with NEA’s nascent Roundtable for Early Professionals and Students (REPS) as a member of the administrative/bylaws committee. At the upcoming SAA annual meeting, I’ve signed up for Monday’s EAD hack-a-thon workshop and I’ll be presenting my master’s paper research on MPLP and audiovisual archives as part of the research forum on Tuesday. So already that second week of August is looking to be a busy one, but I’m really looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues and experiencing the conference as a new professional.

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 7

Much like Emily, I’m finding June has come and (nearly) gone in the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, slowly but surely, we’re continuing to make progress on a variety of fronts here at Berklee.

Processing continues to hum along, with my intern alternating between wrapping up the rehousing of the Alma Berk collection of photographs and processing Lawrence Berk’s notebooks on the Schillinger method of composition. More publicly, we recently published two new finding aids: for the Bobby Vince Paunetto papers and for the Franklin McGinley collection on Duke Ellington. Both collections posed some interesting challenges, albeit for different reasons.

The Bobby Vince Paunetto papers include scores, sketches, papers, and sound recordings in reel, DAT, and compact disc formats, both published and unpublished. Paunetto graduated from Berklee in 1973 and was an innovative Latin jazz composer and musician. Despite being struck by Multiple Sclerosis in the prime of his performance career, Paunetto was able to return to writing music. His output was impressive: between 1985 and 1993 he wrote over 300 works and he recorded his fourth and fifth albums in the late 1990s.

The Paunetto papers were a formidable challenge to process because of the sheer volume of scores (including many duplicates) and an absolute lack of discernible original order. Fortunately, my student assistant was a huge help in foldering the papers and creating an inventory so that hopefully it’s a much more manageable set of materials to navigate. But even at a relatively minimal level of processing, it was a bit of a slog.

By contrast, the Franklin McGinley collection on Duke Ellington was much more straightforward, in terms of scope and cubic footage. This considerably smaller collection consists of clippings, commemorative materials, and a scrapbook documenting the rise of swing music and, in particular, Duke Ellington’s career and legacy. The scrapbook includes artwork and many musician autographs. Notable signatures include Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Harry Carney, and an extremely rare Jimmy Blanton.


The items in the McGinley collection came to us in two stages. The scrapbook (pictured above)  arrived first, and for all the painstaking illustrations, it lacked any identifying information or accompanying documentation on the donor. So as I drafted an initial finding aid, all I knew was that it had been donated by a Berklee faculty member years ago. Fortunately, the same (now retired) professor returned relatively recently with more materials from the same individual (loose clippings and other memorabilia).

Although we now have a name, Franklin McGinley, that’s about all I know about the creator. Moreover, the scrapbook is falling apart, many of the clippings are brittle, and most items in the final section are loose. So there’s further preservation work to be done (we’re aiming to scan the scrapbook in the near future). In many ways this collection feels more like a work-in-progress than a finished product, but what doesn’t in an archives?

In addition to encoding these finding aids, as always, I’ve been doing my best to chip away at sundry tasks. I spent some time catching up on accessions. Now that I’m more settled and on my second intern, I’ve also taken the opportunity to revise and create some additional processing documentation, including checklists for creating accession records and finding aids. I’m particularly mindful that we’re nearing the mid-point of our grant and, as such, I’ve been reviewing our workplan and interim narrative to make sure we’re in good shape for the more substantial NHPRC report due at the end of July.

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 6

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!

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 5

Well, I’m not exactly sure where the time went, but I’ve now been on the job 6 months. When I last wrote, I mentioned we’d just gotten the records management survey rolling and I’m happy to report we’re well on our way to completion. We’ve met with all three divisions and now have met or have meetings scheduled with about half the individual departments.

Although it’s obviously taken time away from other processing activities, I’ve greatly enjoyed the process of meeting with faculty, both one-on-one and as part of departmental meetings. Berklee is a very urban campus and it’s been helpful to better familiarize myself with more of the various buildings it encompasses. The College also has a lot of long-time faculty, including those who have founded departments, and it’s been a real treat to learn more about Berklee’s early days, how the curriculum has evolved, and more about the personality, interest, and needs of individual majors.

For the most part, the response has been enthusiastic, and we’ve uncovered individual archiving projects, suggestions for future oral histories, and other sources of rich institutional history. In one case, we even left a meeting with a boxload of curricular materials for the archives! In addition to getting a better sense of what kinds of records are produced and collected at the departmental level, much like when we presented to the faculty in January, these interactions have gone a long way towards contextualizing my everyday work. So I definitely consider it time well-spent.  

Speaking of presentations, in March I attended my first meeting of the New England Archivists, where I presented as part of a panel on performing arts archivists. I had a great time at the conference and found the experience of putting together our talk to be quite rejuvenating. Even though we represented different arts (music, dance, theater) and vastly divergent organizational structures, it was so nice to connect and share commonalities, challenges, and creative solutions. We even had a good turnout for our session, despite being pitted against some attractive-looking programs. I also completed one of the pre-conference workshops, on photographic preservation, which was a helpful refresher and primer for tackling more of our photographic collections.  

In other good news, the College president has signed off on the Archives’ mission statement, acquisitions, and access policies, which is all very exciting after months of editing and revisions on our end. Nevertheless, we still have our work cut out for us.

The last major milestone I’ll share is that we completed our first large-scale withdrawal of unprocessed materials from off-site storage. A couple of weeks ago, we transferred two processed collections from the Archives workroom and brought back approximately 100 cubic feet of unprocessed materials. We also took this opportunity to move some things around in the Archives workroom to create more processing space, so it feels like a bit of a fresh start in more ways than one.boxes

The materials we pulled appear to have been compiled by Berklee’s Office of Public Information, which started out under the auspices of Alma Berk (wife of Berklee founder Lawrence Berk and mother to Lee Eliot Berk, who succeeded his father as the College’s second president). Who knows exactly what we’ll find, though, and I hope to share some of what we uncover when I check in next month.

On a more somber parting note, we’re coming off a sad, strange, week in the aftermath of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last Monday. All things considered, the Berklee community seems to have fared well, but the College’s proximity to the crime scene has meant we were closed last week addition to the city-wide lockdown on Friday and, as of this writing, a few buildings within the ongoing investigative perimeter remain inaccessible. My thoughts are with those affected, I’m thankful for the resolution of Friday’s manhunt, and I’m very happy to finally be getting back to work this week.

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 4

Counter-intuitive as it might seem given the recent snow, this weekend marks the end of Berklee’s spring break. While on the surface this has made for a deceptively quiet week, overall it’s been yet another month of intense activity here in the Archives.

Alongside the exhibit I highlighted in my previous post, our outreach librarian and I also recently put together a smaller display of photos from the Archives. The College is expanding its footprint with a new mixed-use building currently under construction, so we highlighted images from previous renovation projects.

The images reproduced for this display came from a collection of photographic prints and negatives compiled by Alma Berk,  who served as the College’s first publicity officer. Mrs. Berk was married to Berklee’s founder, Lawrence Berk, and their son Lee would go on to succeed his father as the  College’s second president.

In addition to the aforementioned construction, these images document various aspects of Berklee’s development from its inception through the mid-1980s. Commencement ceremonies, famous classroom guests, student performers, illustrious alumni, master classes, and faculty are among the subjects featured in these 60-plus albums. These photos provide an invaluable snapshot of Berklee’s storied past and over the years they’ve seen a lot of use in exhibits, and even the book Berklee: The First Fifty Years.

Given the high use these materials have received in the past, and the significant interest they continue to garner, our archives intern has been hard at work processing this collection to make it a more robust reference. Besides transferring the photographs into archivally-sound storage, he recently completed the first draft of a finding aid, which represents a major achievement and will be a huge help with future research requests.

In addition to the photo display and processing milestones, another significant accomplishment has been getting the records management survey officially rolling. The week before last, my supervisor and I met with the first of three academic divisions to discuss the archives project and upcoming records management program, and we already have set up the first follow-up meeting at the departmental level.

As I think has become readily apparent from my updates, I rarely have a singular, major project in progress, but rather am usually juggling several smaller components at once.  So these monthly check-ins have been helpful to stop and take stock of all the little things that add up. Although there’s a certain overarching routine, what I do on a daily basis seems to evolve somewhat as we progress through the different stages of the NHPRC grant workplan. It’s occasionally overwhelming, frequently rewarding, rarely boring, and I really look forward to seeing what the next month brings.

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 3

Things continue to move right along here at Berklee. The Archives project was featured in the alumni publication Berklee Today (“Grant Aids Creation of Berklee Archive,” on  p.11), and I’ve continued chipping away at the grant workplan while remaining flexible and open to the inevitable detours and opportunities that continue to come up, particularly with regard to outreach.

The records management survey has formally launched, which means that my supervisor and I will start visiting faculty meetings soon. We’re starting off at the divisional level, with the eventual goal of meeting with departments individually to assess their records and needs before formalizing the records management program.

I also have hired and begun training an undergraduate processing assistant. With my guidance, he has begun inventorying and rehousing materials. He joins a graduate student intern processing a photographic collection and encoding a couple of finding aids, and having them both constantly plugging away at the backlog is a huge relief.

In addition to these administrative details, I recently collaborated with our outreach librarian on a small exhibit entitled “From Schillinger House to Berklee School: One College’s Journey…”


Located at the entrance to the Stan Getz Library and Media Center, the display (pictured above) features a sampling of archival materials, including:

  • The formal announcement of Berklee’s renaming in 1970, when it became the Berklee College of Music, as it is now known. Previously, it had been the Berklee School of Music (1954), and prior to that it was the Schillinger School (1945).
  • A program and photograph from the 1971 commencement ceremonies, which featured commencement speaker Arif Mardin (‘61, H ‘85) and Berklee’s first honorary degree recipient, Duke Ellington (H ‘71).
  • Three works by former Berklee faculty member (1959-1985), saxophonist, and clarinetist John D. LaPorta (1920-2004). LaPorta was a prolific composer for professional and collegiate ensembles, as well as a dedicated educator who authored a number of instructional workbooks and other teaching material.

In short, it’s been a productive, if at times chaotic, month. The policy documents (mission statement, collection development, access) have undergone another round of reviews, so looking ahead that’s one item I hope to be able to report some progress on next time I check in. That being said, however, I look forward to whatever challenges and archival adventures lie in store for the coming month. Until next time!

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 2

Hello again, and greetings from Boston! Classes on campus start today, but already it’s been a busy couple of weeks for the library and archives since returning from the winter break. That being said, I don’t have much in the way of finished products to show for it all just yet. As I wrote in my introductory post, my position is funded by a start-up grant from the NHPRC to formalize Berklee’s college archives and if there’s anything I’ve grown to appreciate even more from my experience thus far, it’s that establishing an archives (and records management) program is far from a tidy, linear process.

Thus far, the mission statement, acquisitions and access policies have been drafted, revised, and are in the late stages of review. I have processed a collection of faculty papers, encoded a couple of finding aids, and have been working with our web developers on a prototype website for the archives. I now have a graduate student intern who will be processing one of our photographic collections and who will hopefully create a finding aid for a set of scores as well. In these next few days I will also be interviewing for an undergraduate student worker to provide additional processing help.

In addition to managing student assistants and shepherding the various administrative policies on their way to formal adoption, one of my big projects this semester will be conducting a comprehensive records management survey, which we aim to launch by the end of the month. Overall, when I look at our workplan relative to what we have accomplished I can see we are making good progress, but on a daily or weekly level, tangible results can seem few and far between and right now nearly everything seems to be “in progress” in one way or another. Fortunately, I have had some built-in opportunities to synthesize and reflect upon our progress, which has gone a long way towards helping me maintain a healthy sense of perspective.

Early last week, my supervisor and I presented two sessions on the archives project as part of the College’s annual faculty symposium “Berklee Teachers on Teaching.” The sessions were well-received by those in attendance and I was buoyed by the enthusiasm faculty members expressed, appreciative of their suggestions, and emerged with a better sense of what kinds of materials and opportunities held their interest moving forward. In addition to these presentations, I also contributed a brief update to our library’s blog to share our progress more broadly with the campus community and have been reviewing our project goals in preparation to submit our first report to the NHPRC.

All in all, the new year has gotten off to an eventful but productive start. Like Emily, I hope next month’s post brings “joyous tales” of completion of at least some of the projects mentioned above, but I have also come to recognize (and appreciate) there may be detours along the way.

Speaking of detours… Given the unfinished nature of my work – and in the interest of making this a conversation – it seemed most appropriate to end this post on a question. This is particularly for the (current or former) college archivists among you. As I juggle my various responsibilities, something perennially on my mind has been making time to solidify my knowledge of Berklee as an institution, particularly as a non-alum. I have done basic research, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by myriad alumni staff members, and I know it’s partly a matter of time and immersion on the job, but do you all have any tips or shortcuts for familiarizing yourself with the history, structure, and traditions of your home institution? I would very much welcome your thoughts!

Year in the Life: Sofía Becerra-Licha, Pt. 1

Sofía Becerra-Licha joins Emily Vigor in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Sofía for a year. 

sofia_ascName: Sofía Becerra-Licha
Position: Archivist
Institution: Stan Getz Library, Berklee College of Music
Years at position: <1
Education: Agnes Scott College (BA – Music & Spanish), Harvard University (AM – Music), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MSLS – Archives & Records Management concentration)

My professional interests include music librarianship, audiovisual archiving, ethnomusicology, Latin American studies, and outreach in general. In October, I began working at Berklee College of Music’s Stan Getz Library, where I serve as the College’s first (and lone) archivist. My position is funded by a two-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). During this time, I will essentially be setting up a working college archives: everything from writing archival policies to establishing a records management program, to beginning to tackle the backlog of unprocessed materials.

I earned my MSLS in August and this is my first professional position, so the last couple of months have definitely thrown a lot my way. Nonetheless, the campus community has been extremely supportive and I am genuinely excited at the awesome challenge that lies ahead.

Since its founding in 1945, Berklee has been at the forefront of popular music pedagogy, offering the first baccalaureate programs in areas such as jazz, film scoring, and electronic production, among others. Berklee’s graduates include numerous Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar award winners, demonstrating the significant impact this relatively young institution has had on the music industry as a whole. What has long been missing, however, is systematic documentation of the history of this unique organization – which is where I come in as the archivist.

Did I mention I’ve only been on the job for a little over two months? In this time, I have started drafting policy documents, begun processing collections and encoding finding aids, and generally tried to better acquaint myself with the archives’ holdings. Much remains to be done, of course, so I anticipate there will be no shortage of adventures and questions to share with you all throughout my first year on the job.