Part of my duties as Reference Librarian here in the Robinson Music Library is to do something with a bunch of boxes in the basement, otherwise known as the Cleveland Institute of Music’s archives. Fortunately, my predecessor was wonderfully motivated and made a huge dent in organizing the smattering of pictures and correspondence that pertain to CIM’s 92 year history. I am attempting to fill those big shoes and summer is about the only time when I have the time to continuing the sorting.
To jump start my inspiration, I was lucky enough to attend the annual meeting of the Society of Ohio Archivists this past Friday. The event was held at OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) or Library Central in Dublin just ne of Columbus, Ohio.
Archives are a mysterious beast. The goal is to make that bunch of old stuff interesting, available, and relevant to the present. University of Cincinnati presented on their amazing Theodore Berry and the forthcoming Albert Sabin collections. Ohio University showed off their repurposed student diary of Maggie Boyd, the school’s first female student, on Twitter. Wright State demoed their clever and fun videos made on a shoestring using iMovie 11 (see below).
The day was wonderfully inspiring and left this author/reference librarian/archival neophyte full of ideas and raring to go. My new mantra is courtesy Doris Haag, an archivist from the University of Cincinnati, who mentioned at her session:
“If the archives are not accessible, they might as well not exist.”