With the new year quickly approaching, I thought it best to get a head start on my resolution. This year I am making an effort to document my life as a new archivist in this big, bad world of financial, technological, and intellectual obstacles. I will be using this venue to do just that - document what it is to be me, a newbie in a sea of seasoned archivists/librarians and fresh MLIS grads annually pumped out of Pitt's system into a bloated professional pool in this tiny drop of water that is Pittsburgh.
Currently, I work in several libraries. I piece together my time as a substitute for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and as a ULS intern at the Katz Graduate School of Business. I have also spent the last year interning/volunteering with Library and Archives Division of the Heinz History Center. Through it all I have learned more about librarianship, archiving, and Pittsburgh than I ever thought I'd know.
When I first began researching library schools I admittedly didn't even know what an archive was. Yet the explanation of archives found on Pitt's LIS site struck a chord with me. As an undergraduate, I had majored in the Classics where we linked the individualistic and nationalistic identities of ancient civilizations to the marks they'd left behind. These documents - be they buildings, sarcophagi, epics, or verse - laid before me a pattern of memorializing detectable in so many later cultures and hinted toward the archival tendencies in us all. The idea of working in the archives field, where I could help preserve and maintain American documents of history and culture, was too enticing to pass up (not to mention, it lent an air of practicality to my five years of studying Homer and Virgil), so I applied to the MLIS program at the University of Pittsburgh.
One year (and many student loans) later and here I am. The idyllic thoughts of what it might be to work as an archivist have clashed with the reality of trudging through dusty, dank storage and hours spent making redactions of SSNs and checking account numbers. But the importance of what I do and what we strive for in our profession is not lost on me yet.
This is where I begin - in media res I suppose. My blog will undoubtedly follow personal reveries, although I hope to have something intelligible to contribute to the world of information management now and then.
Please feel free to suggest topics of discussion and ask questions!
Rollie Massimino (1934–2017)
2 weeks ago