As part of the support for the archives and collections of the National Park Service, I am pleased to spend time in the Southeast Archeological Center’s library. My role focuses on the upkeep and organization of the materials. I reunite books and materials with their cards, shelving said materials when the happy reunion is complete. I’m also on hand to assist patrons (in whatever form they may take) and to take on projects as graciously given by SEAC Museum Specialists.
My background includes previous work in the federal sector; I was an intern for two separate units of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). With the NARA, I re-housed documents, prepared them for researchers, wrote communication and social media pieces, and I wrote for Prologue, the agency’s quarterly magazine. Whether the subject matter be the facial hair of statesmen or the proceedings of the preservation process at the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, I am invested in making the archival collections of entities known.
In my current library, a portion of the residents include archeological records, logs, observations, hand-drawn and labeled maps, and project plans that are grouped by National Park. These are the parks located within the Southeast Region, and they each have an acronym. There are ongoing projects and materials arriving from sites, yet my materials traffic usually concerns settled, steadfast materials that need to be kept in order and returned if borrowed—there is not an accessible digital library as of yet.
Other materials are where some of the directly related but curious items appear. For instance, I found an Annual Report for the National Museum of Canada. It was published in 1929. Being a librarian who has gone the museum and cultural heritage institutions route, I can speak to some of the advances in preservation, programming, exhibits and so forth since then. I’m not one to hastily weed out materials, however, so my stewardship remains impartial. I enjoy the discovery of Smithsonian Reports, background on the real-life Chief Osceola, traditions of the first peoples of the Southeast, and a wealth of best practices for handling objects that will only be excavated once.
To sum up the SEAC Library, it is a collection of intellectually rich archeological and natural-related resources. It is also a meeting place that is sometimes forgotten in the daily shuffle of paperwork, deadlines, and on-site demands. I only hope to maintain a space that can be appreciated by a wider network of patrons as awareness and accessibility increase. After all, the card catalog alone is reason enough to look further into the SEAC holdings!
Check out a previous Prologue blog entry by Katrina Wood on Sir Frederick Bruce’s facial hair here!
Read about more SEAC Intern and Volunteer experiences here!