People often inquire whether or not the Archives ‘slows down’ or ‘closes’ during the summer. Far from the case! The College Archives enjoys a busy and productive time during the 3 months when the vast majority of undergraduate students and Smith faculty are not on campus.
Since July 1, (the beginning of our stats-collecting year), the College Archives staff has answered over 127 reference questions, with varying degrees of complexity, from off-site researchers; spent 85 hours staffing our on-site reference desk; accessioned 15 feet of material and taken in 10 photocopy or photoduplication orders. We supervise 70 hours of student assistant assignments per week. I have been conducting research for a paper I’m giving in October, as well as preparing for a presentation to First Year students this week. My colleague Debbie has been working non-stop, accessioning new materials (and old), processing records, as well as creating lists of materials for our web-version database. Summer is not a slow time in the Archives!
As we head into the school year, we’ll see students coming to the Archives using materials for class assignments. We’ll be speaking to groups of students at Friday Teas, during student organization meetings; and welcoming back student assistants.
Summer is good in the Archives, and we look forward to the start of the academic year!