Blake to Bunker-Haskins

 

Blake to Bunker-Haskins

This semester will conclude my time as an undergraduate at Pitt for the second time. Having graduated in 2009 with a degree in English lit, I returned two years ago to have another go at it- this time with art history. I’ve come to really enjoy the ways in which these two disciplines may inform and enrich each other and, in particular, the kinds of conversations that circle around the book as a material artifact. Reading facsimile versions of William Blake’s poetry a few years ago was a truly transformative experience that served to fuel my belief in the vital importance of preservation.

All of this resulted in my spending Friday mornings in the Visual Media Workshop. The VMW has provided me with a space to feel out the field of library science, one that it seems is a logical place to direct my interests. I’m not one that you would call tech savvy so I entered my research assistantship with some trepidation. But over the weeks, while contributing to the digitization of the Bunker-Haskins slide collection and spending plenty of time with the scanner; I’ve gained some confidence in that arena.

More importantly, perhaps, is the effect that the field has become much less abstract. Being a part of the nuts-and-bolts aspect of archival work, in addition to receiving a bit of a crash course in metadata, my understanding of the profession has totally shifted. My romantic notion of a librarian acting as the steward of dusty stacks of paper has pretty much been dispensed with- the project that I participated in was far more dynamic and engaged in nature. The versatility of work to be done and the breadth of intellectual concerns that attend that work continue to excite me.

Categories: 
  • Undergraduate Work
  • VMW