The University Libraries is in the midst of processing 1,225 linear feet of archival material thanks to the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). In November 2011, Jessica Geiser, a UCLA graduate student, was hired to assist Project Archivist, Jamie Henricks. Here’s what Geiser had to say about the project:
What is your educational background?
I completed my undergraduate work in 2008, graduating from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in History. Throughout my undergraduate career I had always been fascinated by working with primary resources, so after working for a few years I decided to pursue a career as an archivist. I am currently in my second year in the Information Studies program at UCLA, and am set to graduate this June with a master’s in library and information science with a specialization in archives.
What interested you most about the project?
I was most interested in working in a University Archives, and learning more about the types of materials held in University collections. I was also very interested in gaining more experience processing collections in general, which I have definitely had the chance to do now! Having lived in the LA area for the past few years, I am also very interested in learning more about the local history and seeing how it has changed and developed over time.
Which of the project’s collections seems most intriguing to you?
I don’t think that there is one collection that I am more interested in than any of the others. I’ve found that every collection I’ve worked with so far has been interesting, and I enjoy thinking about why these particular materials were saved and placed in the archives. I’m excited to dig into each new collection and see what’s there!
What’s been the most interesting thing you’ve found so far?
One find I thought was really interesting was a large folder of very elaborate congratulatory notices sent to President Benton upon his appointment, including one from President Clinton. I’ve also had a lot of fun going through the Ivan Goff papers, looking at scripts of 1970’s detective TV shows. They have the best episode titles!
The letter Geiser found from President Clinton (click on image to make it larger).
Geiser working in the archives.