1. They Are a Wonderful Community
Early this Fall Reverend Brown, Rector of St. Philip’s, and the History Ministry, comprised of Faye Powell, Joe Nunn, and Herb Amerson, took a trip down to Corvallis to visit the Special Collections and Archives Research Center. During their visit, Natalia Fernandez, Larry Landis and I met with them to discuss the progress that I had made on the processing and organizing of their collection as well as to discuss the possibility of digitizing some of the materials, and their ideas about future use of the collection. Prior to the meeting I had not met Reverend Brown, Faye, or Herb, but similar to other members of the Parish, they were genuine and gave me wonderful feedback and guidance that helped me organize the collection in a way that best works for the Parish.
2. They Kept Me on My Toes
Reverend Brown and the History Ministry brought more archival materials to add to the
collection when they visited. At that point, I had finished organizing the three bins of materials that the Parish initially gave to the OMA and I had also created the finding aid. I saw these additional materials to add as a gift and a challenge. Some collections in an archive have materials constantly added to them and some collections are “closed” once all initial materials given to the archive have been processed and organized. This collection will always have materials being added to it, so it was important for me to learn how to best incorporate new materials into the collection. After the new materials were incorporated, the collection had grown by three boxes, a few new series in the finding aid, and adjusted dates on many of the folders. Although I did not see the large addition coming, I think this was a great learning opportunity and now I will be able to teach the parishioners the process of adding materials to their collection.
3. They Were Eager to Learn
Two weeks ago Natalia and I took the collection home to St. Philip the Deacon, where it hasn’t been since March of 2012. At the parish we met with Joe Nunn and Gerald Caldwell to discuss the way in which I organized the collection, how to read the finding aid, and how to handle the materials. This meeting was important because the way I chose to organize the series may not have been the way others would organize it. Everyone has different ways of organizing and I wanted to explain to them the thought process I went through when organizing their collection. Also, the first time navigating a finding aid can be difficult and confusing, so I gave them a brief “crash course” in reading a finding aid. Luckily, Joe and Gerald were excited about the collection and the way in which it was organized. They asked wonderful questions and indicated that many parishioners were excited to learn more about archiving church materials and using the collection for research.
4. They Always Had a Story to Share
The History Ministry of St. Philip’s plans to use the collection to write a church history. The history in this Parish is endless and I could go on and on about the stories I have heard from parishioners and read on newspaper articles about St. Philip Members. We have conducted two oral history interviews and we plan on taping more next year.
5. They Want to Continue the Relationship
Natalia and I left them with some “homework” to do in the coming months. Their job is to go through the whole collection and make note of any changes they would like to see, mark what they would like digitized, and create a list of potential oral history interviewees. In February 2013 we will meet with them again to discuss the materials they have chosen for digitization for the creation of a possible online exhibit. The relationship between the OMA and St. Philip’s is continuing into the new year and we are excited to help them in interpreting and sharing their inspiring history.
Until Next Time, Hannah Mahoney (OMA student intern)