As you’ve seen from our intern posts, they've been pulling out interesting stories as they have been transcribing news cards relating the BPL and NHF collections. One of the big challenges of this project was to create electronic records out of thousands and thousands of index cards that had been created by the original news productions. As the cards were indexed by subject, not number, we had no way of knowing if the cards matched the cans until we had transcribed every single record. Well six months, and over 20,000 records, later we finished the BPL cards. The next stage was to take the database to where the films were stored and check they matched up.
As we pulled the first can out the box, I have to admit my fingers were crossed. Whenever you take on an archival collection, it is always with a slight trepidation you open up that first box. Would there be thirteen reels? Would the first reel be “Julian Bond?” Would we really find “Meat packers and sanitation?” I’m happy to say the answer was “yes!” There were small anomalies in some records but on the whole the catalog is matching up to what we expected it to be. So thank you to Allison, Barbara, Brian, Jake, Jared, Jessica, Jon, Kenny, Laura, Robert and Sadie.
Next steps - putting the catalogs on the web. More soon…