My second week beginning on the January 21st at the archives was more of the same, in the sense that I was still learning how to catalog one field at a time. At the beginning of the week, I focused on Main Contributors, Contributors and Publishers. In this lesson I got to get my feet wet learning to use authorities, name authorities in particular. The authorities were relatively easy to use. Search and hope for the best. Some of the names were hard to understand in the audio and some of the names were just not in the system. I realized it is probably harder to work in an institution that deals with source materials that are not Eurocentric and American centric using these particular authorities.
Toward the end of the week, I began to work on the fields of Summary and Language. Language was relatively easy. I can anticipate some difficulty or that a little more digging has to be done when the language is unfamiliar to the cataloger. The Summary field was not as easy. I sometimes have very contrived and convoluted ways of expressing what I want to say in writing. A goal in making a summary should be to be as clear as possible, so I plan to try to improve my skills of making summaries over the course of my time working at the Black Film Center/Archives.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next week!
Question or thought: Are academics usually privileged in the context of describing/cataloging? Or is that something that is more likely to happen in an archive that has ties to an academic institution as opposed to a universal rule of the trade?