I spend two days a week puttering about the attic archives at the historical society in my hometown, a small town on Boston's South Shore. It is now a white-collar bedroom community for Boston commuters but was settled in the early 1630s as one of the southern outposts of the Massachusetts Bay colony; like everywhere around here, it's got a long history. However, we've been more assiduous/anal retentive than some in preserving and propogating it, so the historical society has a relatively strong collection of artifacts and documents, as well as a dedicated headquarters in a historic building right in the town square.
I am currently inventorying and examining a (for us) large pamphlet collection that has been mouldering on the shelves for a while with no real categorization or curation (there's another full shelf above these two):
I am responsible for examining the pamphlets, entering them into a database, and then determining whether they're of interest to the historical society. Do they mention or refer to our town in some significant way?
Are they written by or about anyone from town?
Are they related to the historical society and its development?
Are they important in the overall context of American history, such that they can provide a context for our town-specific materials?
It's a whole new challenge for me, as I've spent a lot of my education working on British and medieval European history. Connecting up all the dots of the pre-twentieth century American picture--especially on such a local, non-Big Story Big Picture level--has been strange, but invigorating. I love doing this. Every Wednesday and Friday I wake up knowing I'm going to spend the day in the archives and I just get excited all over again.
So uh, that's my story, and happy weekend, folks! I hope you all do stuff that makes you this happy. And when it comes to the other thing that makes me excited, I'm making some progress too:
Check out that shell-of-Licorice! Everything's fitted properly, lining is cut and darted but not fully assembled. I am getting there, I am getting there. I am going to do this on time...