Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Monday 30th July: Boxes and Boxes

Yesterday I arrived at Godolphin School to begin sorting the archives. I visited in early July to assess the situation but arriving yesterday I was a little nervous at what I'd let myself in for... there are so many boxes!
I took all of them down from the shelves in the library - I think the best way to do this is probably to have an idea of the whole collection. 
I have begun to extract things from the boxes and place them together according to what they are: all loose photographs together, newpaper cuttings together, service programs, prospectuses etc etc.. Luckily the OGA (Old Godolphin Association) have made my job a lot easier as some of the members, some while ago, put lots of the collection into certain categories. However, as the collection has grown, things have become a little muddled - some boxes contain all sorts of treasures! Lots of boxes contain lists of what's inside the box, however there's no electronic copy of these. 

About half of the boxes containing the collection

Some of the Gazettes having been sorted chronologically
Having made a good start on sorting some of the boxes, I decided to tackle the Gazettes! The Gazette is the Godolphin School magazine, to begin with it was sent out every term now it has grown in size and become an annual publication. The majority of the Gazettes have been put in boxes together, so it was a case of finding all the boxes with Gazettes in them and placing them in order before cataloguing the collection. I know more will crop up in boxes that are yet to be opened but it shouldn't be a problem to slot them in where they belong in the sequence and on the record.

I am using Microsoft Excel to record the collection as this is a program I know well and also one most people are unafraid to use. I am hoping what I've implemented will be carried on after I have left - using well-known Excel will help to ensure this. It is also easily exported to other database software - if anyone should want to branch out in the future!

These are the categories I am using to record the documents: item, date, names mentioned, number of copies, location, temporary location, condition and other comments. 
By the end of Monday I had catalogued the Gazettes up to the early 1940s, having started at 1920. It is interesting to note the transition of the magazine over the years...

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