Yesterday, on Twitter, I asked “AskAnArchivist (any archivist): what’s your least favorite (but important) task?” Here are some of the responses:
The Poly Archives
Scanning – definitely scanning.
1) handling delicate materials
2) takes forever for hi-res
3) makes lots of noise
But, access is important!
GC Spec Collections
Metadata, sorry. #AskAnArchivist
Schenectady Hist Soc
Entering metadata-it can be time-consuming and fiddly. It’s crucial to find the balance between describing digitized materials fully so they can be found/used and spending so much time/attention that you never reach a stopping point.
Navigating privacy legislation and balancing it with access. I find it’s easy to get lost in the weeds and lose sight of the overall big picture, particularly when considering all possibilities of harm in disclosure. It’s quite stressful. TJ.
U.S. Naval History
Balancing openness with access restrictions. Like HIPAA, PII, classifications, FERPA, etc.
Ctr Western Studies
Donor paperwork (but actually getting to look through the materials as I try to decide how to describe them is fun) – Liz Cisar
Leaving a comprehensive paper trail documenting what I’ve done, decisions I’ve made, etc. In 40 years a question will come up that only I can answer & I will be retired. If I don’t write it down now in a way that my successor(s) can find, they might not be able to figure it out.
Shen. County Library
Answering reference phone calls, especially ones where I’m returning a message. They are so hard to navigate –@ZachHottel
There were some fascinating tweets; sharing the working day, practical jokes, concerns and successes. If you’re interested in archives I’d definitely recommend scrolling through #AskAnArchivist on Twitter.