Hello its Gaten again, back again with another intern blog. These past 3 weeks have had me work on Finding Aids for the numerous collections that are public. I followed a similar procedure fpr each one. First I created a Finding Aid Template. For each of the collections I filled in the information the best I could based off the existing finding aid. If no finding aid existed, I had to use information from the master collection spreadsheet. For some of the collections, I imported the collection list from the museum’s website. To wrap up each finding aid, I created a pdf of the finding aid in Microsoft word. Omeka needs pdf files for uploads so I had to do that.
My name is Gaten Cancino, a JMU alumni, and I have been an intern at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum for almost two months now. After rotating between a few projects in the very beginning like working on finding aids, subject headings, and the McClure collection, I finally settled on the subject headings as my main focus. This project consisted of entering subjects for public photos on the museum’s Omeka website. Initially, there were 3500 photos that needed subjects but at the time of writing this blog, that number has been reduced to zero. I did not have to think of subjects on the spot due to the museum already having a list of subjects on their website. Since these were official, I tried to use a subject from the list before finding one from the Omeka auto-complete. Some cases like portraits or political cartoons are such examples. The process was a slow grind but thanks to copy and paste, it moved along faster. When it comes to deciding on what to list as the subject, it usually came down to what was the dominant part of the photo. For example, the photo could be of the Austrian delegation to the 1919 Paris Peace conference. What I determined the subject to be was the Austrian delegation. Decisions like that came up often and it comes down to judgement honestly. This is what I did for six out of the seven weeks and it genuinely felt as if I was contributing to the museum and the archival system.