Two Months In…

…And I am really enjoying working my way through the boxes down in the strong room here at the RAS. I have been unpacking and sorting Box 109 today which contains correspondence concerning applications for membership from the 1940s to 1970s. It did mean that I came across one of the less happy sides of sorting archives – a multitude of rusty staples and paper clips! So, if you have papers that you want to keep for a long time, I would suggest that you don’t use either to keep the papers together (or for that matter, leave them in plastic wallets).

I also came across an unusual filing system…

Well, maybe not unusual if you are around Bank of England Archives, but this file was full of membership application forms for 1954-1962. If anybody knows, I would be interested to know if these folders were in common use in that era.

One of my passions, apart from getting this archive sorted, is to write poetry. Since starting as archivist, I have been meaning to write a series of poems about my experience. Finally this week, I got round to drafting the first poem. I thought I would share them on the blog – I must reiterate that they will only be drafts which will change over the coming months with further edits. But I thought that it might be of interest to some readers of the blog to follow my journey…

So here is:

Early Days
Learning codes and keys, how to enter and leave,
the places in the stacks
where boxes of archives should be,
learning passwords for pc,
for email, website and blog,
how to talk with the twittering flock,
learning names, not just of colleagues
but of eminent predecessors –
William Jones, Brian Houghton Hodgson,
Henry Colebrooke (who’s our alias on Facebook)
and that Richard Burton, in this context,
was explorer, linguist, eccentric.