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This is my final blog post as a CCEPS Fellow. This semester
I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of archiving the Ethel M. Reed Papers, a
process that is almost finished. I’m going to finish entering everything into
Archivists’ Toolkit (finally!) and then I’ll be done!
It’s been a great semester and I have learned quite a lot. I
knew pretty much absolutely nothing when I started back in January, and now I’m
a budding archivist. I learned not only about the physical preservation necessary
for keeping the collection in good condition (all that Mylar sleeve-ing) but
also the intellectual organization of the collection, to make it useful for a
future researcher (all that reordering of my folders of Ethel and Nancy’s
documents). And now, I’m putting it all into AT so that it can be posted online
and used by researchers in the future.
Also, I realized that I was going to post sometime about
Nancy’s work as a chemist, and I completely forgot. Nancy graduate from Pomona
College in 1944 with a degree in chemistry. She worked for the War Department
during WW II with another scientist who was working to better preserve food for
soldiers. Check out the photo below–there’s some serious science happening.
There are problems and issues of all kinds related to equality
of women in STEM fields in our own day and age. I can only imagine what it
would have been like in the 1940s and 50s. Also, Ethel never married and
adopted and raised Nancy by herself. I feel honored to have been able to
process the documents of these women.
This Fellowship has been a fantastic hands-on learning
experience. My eternal gratitude goes to Lisa, for helping me throughout this
semester and always answering my questions. I’ll be starting a job full-time in
the fall, but this Fellowship has made me consider going back to school for
archival studies or a related field.
Tamara Savage, CCEPS Fellow Spring 2015