Thursday, September 10, 2009

A little over a week to go.. decisions decisions

So it's time to go through notes and take the compilation of items I want to look for and match it to the notes of where stuff might be. Ever trip is as much about taking notes to get an idea of the structure of things as much as it is a scan fest (albeit there is a big pressure to get images and documents that can make the trip "profitable").

The problem in this case is that most of the records I'm going through are "unprocessed," meaning they have not been worked over since the Navy turned them over to NARA. Usually when NARA processes records they will go through and rebox things, add mylar envelopes around photos; things that will help preserve records so they don't decay as fast. Staples will leave rust like you would not BELIEVE after 70 years! But they will also compile a list of the folders in the records and list which box they can be found in, perhaps a description if the researcher is lucky. In this case... none of that.

It's nice on one hand because it's uncharted territory.. it makes it a fun and rewarding challenge, but it also means there is a higher possibility of going bust and coming home empty handed.

So, two accessions, or groups of records I had identified before are thus:
MINSY General Correspondence Classified 1941 -1946 (95 Cu Ft)
MINSY General Correspondence Classified 1941 -1946 (21 Cu Ft)
That's all I have (MINSY is Mare Island Naval Shipyard in this case)

Which to start with? There is some obvious difference between the two, but I have no idea what it is. Is there some duplication on topics or are they completely separate? Even 21 cubic feet is a large amount; A rough guess is that they can fit ten cubic feet of records on a cart at any one time. I have twelve other accessions I identified as possibly interesting in about a half hour of looking through the finding aids while scanning, plus the ten accessions I have already started going through...

I may have mentioned this here before, but I told my wife that if I ever won the lottery I was buying a condo in the complex right next to the archives and another in DC close to Nara College park and spending lots of time in both places researching! So much to filter through....

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