by Wynnaura Fahey
My internship is at the Government House Research Library on the plaza of downtown St. Augustine. It stores many documents ranging from maps to slides (photographs) in several rooms. Some of the collection has been lost and much of it is disorganized. The purpose of my internship is to digitize some of the card catalog relating to slides (photographs) and documents. By digitizing and organizing, the entire collection can be documented and made available to researchers. This connects each slide to its corresponding index card containing the description and other information.
I began my internship by learning about card cataloging. It involved entering information from thousands of index cards into an Excel spreadsheet. The index cards are an old system of keeping information for slides taken decades ago for slide presentations. The purpose is to digitize the collection so it can be text searchable and available online in the future. I learned the complexities of trying to scan documents using equipment that does not operate properly.
Soon I will examine a “mystery box” of miscellaneous slides from various slide carousels that have been found at the bottom of drawers or placed in a box of unknown slides over the years. I will test if my system works by searching a slide’s number in my Excel spreadsheet to find its corresponding information. I will then need to categorize them.
By interning at the Government House, I am hoping to make research more effective by starting the process of digitization. Instead of hoping someone stumbles across an important document needed for research, anyone will be able to easily see if such a document exists in the collection before visiting or viewing the document online.