Sunday, January 16, 2011

Following my dreams (part 1)

I started working at my dream job last week. No, not astronaut — the other one! I'm the new Archives Assistant at the Friends Historical Collection at Guilford College. I get to put my Quaker history knowledge to use and learn more, as a job!

FHC has always been one of my favorite places as a genealogist, but I've already learned that it's not a genealogical library, it's an archives. The difference is that they collect books, documents, and items related to Quakers, and Guilford College, and that's it. Although there are plenty of family histories and local history books, they don't collect all the state and federal censuses or other general records.

I spent my first day going through old issues of the N.C. Yearly Meeting's newsletter (1940s to 1980s) to get them ready to bind into a book. I saw lots of pictures that I recognized, from meeting houses to my childhood pastor. It was fun to see photos of people I know now, back when they were first starting out in ministry, before they had any gray hair.

My homework
This week I manned the research room, which was pretty quiet because the few researchers were absorbed in their work and didn't need much help. When things are quiet, I'm supposed to read books about archiving, which is something I've always wanted to learn. When I need to stretch, I catch up on the genealogy newsletters by the door or send myself on a brief scavenger hunt through the family histories and indexes.

I'm surrounded by history. Life is very good.

(Tomorrow: pursuing another dream)

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