Although I have finished the arranging process, I am apprehensive about the weeding of materials. Now that everything is organized according to my vision, it is easier to see when a material is a duplicate or not worth saving. I have used a little free time to go back and pull out more to get rid of with my newfound understanding of the entire scope of the collection.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I struggled with a steadfast dedication to original order; it turned out that original order was sometimes non-existent and at other times not helpful. This struggle translated to weeding materials, too, I think. Originally I would save multiple copies of a printed out email because Martin may have written a phone number down on one copy and highlighted a sentence on another. I decided this meant they had two separate uses for him and warranted keeping both copies. But what fodder for research could be gleaned from a long-forgotten phone number? As I became more familiar with the collection, I realized this was wasteful of space and resources and I became more discerning about what materials were to be kept. It is particularly difficult because I know the donor has an intimate relationship with the BFC/A. I worry slightly that my decisions might offend Martin, but I also suspect, having worked here for the better part of a decade, he has a great deal of respect for archival decision-making, and I feel confident that I could defend my decisions if they were ever to be questioned.