This is a joint post by Aaron Chaletzky and Sarah Lundy.
This past May, the Preservation Services Division (PSD) took on a new Preservation Intern: Sarah Lundy. Sarah is currently enrolled the Masters of Science in Information program (MSI) in the School of Information (UMSI) at the University of Michigan (UMich). She comes to PSD with an interest in digital library and archives preservation work, and has been assigned to work with several of our workflows during her tenure here – predominately brittle books, tangible media, and foreign newspapers. Sarah will be with PSD through late July of this year. Here’s Sarah in her own words:
“I was interested in a summer internship and found PSD’s intern program. I came to the Library looking to gain new skills for preserving cultural heritage of various formats, and to better understand how a reformatting program works. I’ve been learning how to use scanning equipment, tangible media capture and forensics equipment, inventory and editing software, and several of PSD’s custom databases! I‘ve also appreciated the opportunity to hear more about how PSD collaborates with other divisions at the Library, partner organizations, and outside vendors. It’s interesting to see how preservation reformatting workflows and goals fit into the Library’s daily operations overall.”
Sarah was eager to learn about all PSD does and gain some practical experience; so we didn’t waste any time and put her to work. She immediately began her training by learning how to use PSD’s BC-100 book scanner, the CD RipStations, and the forensic FRED station. After her first week, she also began to learn how to update ILS records by pinning and linking barcodes to monographs. Importantly, Sarah also got to work helping to prep a load of books bound for offsite reformatting, by manifesting the contents and updating the tracking database; she also assisted in the transfer of foreign newsprint to the Library’s reformatting vendor, too. Check out some of what Sarah has scanned here:
- The Metropolitan police department, Washington, D.C., Official illustrated history
- Le livre de meditation sur soy mesmes…
- The works of Heinrich Heine
- Robinsonian bond and investment tables
An important part of PSD’s work is performing quality review of digital objects. Sarah has been on-hand for several deliveries of digitized content, so we made sure to give her a heaping helping of QR! Our IT people set her up with a remote account she could log in and perform this work at-home – which she very diligently did. Let’s take a look at some of what Sarah reviewed:
- Webster’s handy-condensed dictionary of the English language, self-pronouncing
- The national handy dictionary of the English language
- For each and for all; or, Letitia and Maria
- The oracles of God
“I’ve really enjoyed the chance to gain some hands-on experience with brittle book inventory and digitization as well as tangible and forensic media reformatting this summer! I have a better appreciation for the ways large cultural heritage institutions work, in addition to more knowledge of what it means to reformat materials for preservation purposes. This internship has been a fantastic introduction to the Library and to the types of workflows, processes, and communication necessary to manage large-scale book, newspaper, and media reformatting projects both in-house and through vendor contracts. I’ve learned so much more than I ever expected! Yes, the Library is enormous and historic, but its size, history, and community of people allow it to preserve a wide range of resources and ideas and to make them available to the public. Although navigating an on-site internship as the world transitions from an international pandemic was sometimes more complicated than I expected (and I got lost a few times in the hallways of the Library itself), these challenges taught me to be flexible, optimistic, and more open-minded. I’m excited to share stories and lessons from my internship with friends and colleagues back at UMich, and to continue refining some of the skills I’ve learned as an intern with PSD.”
Sarah was chosen for the Preservation Internship program because she brought a lot to the table in terms of previous experience, interest and education – and she didn’t disappoint! Sarah’s internship is now nearing its end and we can confidently say she has gained a lot of practical experience working in a production setting. After 2-months of solid work, Sarah will leave us armed with a portfolio of accomplishments and some practical insight into running a digitization program. Best of luck in the future Sarah!