[Part III: William D. Workman, Jr. Photographs] Wrapping up!

By Chauna Carr

One of the reasons I enjoyed working on this project was the chance to work with Mēgan Oliver and the equipment and software used in Digital Collections. Mēgan knew how skeptical I was to start mid-project, but she was great at encouraging me to tackle any issues I came up against head on. She is a big part of the very open and warm atmosphere fostered within Digital Collections. She has a wealth of knowledge on all things digital, as well as on professional development and job hunting. She has become a great resource and acquaintance to have as I make my way into the professional industry.

Probably one of the best things about working in Digital Collections is Mēgan and Kate’s trust in their student’s abilities*. They not only give you confidence but encouragement that you have what it takes to complete your project (or else they would not have hired you in the first place). More often than not with projects like this, encouragement is hard to come by. It is nice to know that what you are doing is right and you are not just guessing and hoping it is good enough. Their communication is top notch.

Coming into the grant mid-project and not being fully knowledgeable of the entirety of the subject matter made completing the written tasks quite challenging to say the least. Those assignments (specifically those dealing with creating social media content) were probably the hardest for me to complete. I tended to overthink what kind of content would engage our digital audience and remain relevant to our project. Now that I have made it through this project I have more confidence in my ability to tackle problems that are unfamiliar. That is probably one of the best feelings to come away with, the confidence in my new found skills. It makes me that much more confident that I can find a position and work my way up, taking on more responsibility and tackling larger assignments as a go. It may seem like a small thing, but that confidence is everything. This project has been the perfect opportunity to exercise all of the skills I have learned the past two years, and a great experience to add to my resume overall.

Chauna is heading into her final semester for the Masters in Library and Information Science here at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She is preparing her final portfolio of all her work done for the past two years, editing her resume, and on the hunt for jobs in the archival world. Her hope is to find an archival or library fellowship overseas to give her access to potential employment in England; a goal inspired by her recent month-long study abroad program in London. Her current interests rest in fashion archives, Oceanic, African and African-American art and art history. Her pursuits are quite varied and her experience is diverse. [We hope she finds a place to match her incredible skill set.]

*We did not pay Chauna to say nice things about her supervisors. She actually likes us!

 

Digi Highlight: Supervisory assistant meets American Revolution

By Alex Trim

I began working at Thomas Cooper Library as an undergrad. It wasn’t my intention to become a librarian; I was a history major who thought I would continue on that path and become a professor, even though the idea of teaching in front of a classroom full of students made me a little nauseous.  I love history, still hope to get my masters in one day, I just also happen to love working in libraries as well.

Alex Trim working on the Laurens papers

I started working in the Government Information and Maps Department. Not sure what that is? Neither was I before I started working there. The Government Information and Maps Department collects and provides access to federal government publications (not classified documents). I enjoyed working there, in large part because my boss, William Sudduth, gave me every opportunity to try new things. I started with re-shelving materials and worked my way up to the reference desk. I found being able to help others with and through the research process to be very rewarding. I enjoy doing research, I would have to with a degree in history and library science, so to be able to help students get started and feel a little more confident about doing their own research was something I could see myself doing professionally.

I continued to work in Government Information and Maps after I started graduate school. It was during my second semester that I began work on a digital collections project for Mr. Sudduth. He asked me to digitize Education Pamphlets for the department. I was little hesitant about working in Digital Collections at first because I was never what you would call particularly tech savvy, however my fears were unfounded. I loved what I was doing, and was thankfully able to continue doing it when Digital Collections hired me on as a part-time employee after I graduated. I like the idea of being able to make materials more accessible to students, and digital collections plays a key role in that process.

After being hired, I began work on the Historic Southern Naturalist Collection; a project focused on the papers of Thomas Cooper and Andrew Charles Moore. It was my job to digitize Moore’s papers. Andrew Charles Moore served as the President of the University of South Carolina for a brief period and the A. C. Moore Herbarium on campus is named for him. After completing this project, I took over the American Revolution in South Carolina Collection, which resides at the South Caroliniana Library.

The American Revolution in South Carolina Collection, which will be coming soon digitally, features papers from Henry Laurens, William Moultrie, Francis Marion, and Thomas Sumter, all of which were prominent figures from South Carolina during the American Revolution. When I took over the project, the Sumter and Marion papers had already been digitized and published, and the metadata for the Laurens papers had been mostly completed. I began work on finishing the metadata and adding in the transcripts for the Henry Laurens papers, which I am happy to say I completed just recently.

I will talk more about the American Revolution in South Carolina Collection and Henry Laurens in my next post!