HEY. So, this is my second semester working in the Archives and I must say it is a pretty nifty place. It’s a chill environment where we workers get to learn all about archival work and you students can learn anything you’d want to know about Concordia! You all should come check us out, just sayin.’
Like Nate mentioned last week, we work as a team up here, each doing our own specific projects that contribute to the whole. Other than random little projects such as helping patrons, I personally have done three main things. Firstly, I’ve become a pro at preprocessing donations we get to the Archives. This is when, for example, an academic department sends up its more recent syllabi, meeting minutes etc. to be added to its existing files. Preprocessing is the initial phase of adding new items to the Archives and is pretty important. For example, it’s good to keep all of the materials in order so we know their original context for future users. Also, this consists of taking staples out of the various documents and replacing them with plastic clips. In the long-run, plastic clips do not harm the documents like staples do when they get old and gross. I’m exceptionally talented at this task. Let me tell you, I’ve perfected the art of staple removal.
Secondly, I’ve entered Oral Histories from CSTA 315 into our system. After each semester, the new bunch of interviews are added to our collection. For this job, I basically enter in transcripts from the interviews as well as adding the interview participants into our systems. So for example, if I had conducted an interview with someone, I could go onto the Archives website and search my name All of you who have taken CSTA 315 have your interviews archived away up here, so if you’re ever nostalgic, you can come and watch your interview DVD whenever.
My main project however, is the super duper cool Isaac Mark Abbott Civil War letter collection. It’s not everyday you can look at 150 year old letters. This is the type of thing where you’d probably have to go to a museum to see. But you guys could mosey on up to the fourth floor of Carl B. and see them anytime! What I’ve been doing with is helping to digitize all of them so they are accessible online as well as creating a website specifically about the letters. I also have read all of the letters and am in the process of writing a separate blog interpreting the contents of the letters, including looking up the various events and battles mentioned by Abbott.
Like I said before, the Archives hold quite a variety of materials. If you’ve never checked it out before, definitely swing by!
President's Day provides the perfect opportunity to honor Concordia College's first leader: I. F. (Ingebrikt Fretheim) Grose. When Concordia opened its doors in the fall of 1891, the institution was officially an academy though “college” was in its name. As an academy, Concordia offered two-year programs of study including a business course, practical course, and classical course. Thus, the title of the head of the college was principal rather than president, though the function of the position was synonymous. Grose came to Concordia from St. Olaf where he was a faculty member from 1886 to 1891. When he arrived at Concordia in September 1891, he moved into Bishop Whipple Hall to commence his duties as principal while the building was renovated. Grose later reminisced in an October 27, 1939 Concordian article: “It was in this building and at this time, I believe that when I had gone to bed, I could hear mice undistubedly [sic] hold their nightly frolics. They must have pulled off marathon races throughout the building.” I. F. Grose remained the school’s principal until 1893; he continued to serve Concordia in other roles, including treasurer and instructor, until 1896. Grose Hall is named in his honor.
Last week, the archives hosted a caption contest via their Facebook page. The competition called for Concordia students, alumni, and fans to channel their inner "Cobber comedian" and caption a photograph uploaded by the Archives. Given a new photo each day, contestants were able to post their caption(s) as comments, hoping to get the most 'likes' in order to win.
Who won the contest you ask? Drum roll please...
Jay Desart, a Concordia College alumnus! With a total of nine likes for his caption, Jay (pictured right) was declared the winner of the Caption Contest. Congratulations Jay!
A 1986 graduate, Jay participated in many activities throughout his time at Concordia including Homecoming, Cabaret, and was even a contestant in Mr. Concordia!
"I had a lot of fun during my 4 years at Concordia and I often look back on those days with a great deal of happiness," Jay said.
On why he chose to participate in the contest he added, "the Caption Contest seemed like a great way to recapture some of that fun. It brought back a lot of good memories."
On behalf of the Concordia Archives, we would like to thank everyone for their participation in the Caption Contest. We certainly learned that there are witty Cobbers out there! Check out Jay's winning caption below!
Hey, Cobbers! So, I guess you could say that I’m a bit old-fashioned. We all have our specialties up here in the Archives, and my strengths are not technology-related—up until this year, I called flash drives magic computer sticks and USB flash things. That being said, I work almost exclusively with paper documents. I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to stop reading once I tell you that I specialize in topical files, biographical files, and press releases, but press on, dear readers! Allow me to explain a little bit about what I do.
Essentially, we as a team up here in the Archives work together to preserve the history of the school and those related to it in any way. I, however, work most specifically with information related to the buildings, people, and events themselves. For example, if you went to school at Concordia, got engaged, and then put your engagement announcement in the newspaper, it would be my job to get ahold of the article, process it, and file it away in a file with your name on it. Yes, readers, many of you may have a file up here with your name on it! The same goes for events, so if you were to spray paint President Craft’s house pink (although I’m not saying you should) then it would almost definitely end up in the paper and ultimately in the Student Pranks and Bloopers file.
Along with these jobs, I do a little bit of everything! I help out with random requests, and I do a lot of planning and organizing because you all keep very busy, and I only have 15 filing cabinets to store all the information that we collect about what you’re up to! Currently, I’m working on developing a strategy for scanning our 30,000 or so photos so that we can have them accessible on an online database (it’s really a lot more interesting than it sounds)! Also, for all you music majors out there, I’m working on finding a way to organize and preserve a box full of Paul J. Christiansen’s original scores and family photos!
You may not know it, but we keep very busy up here, and we love guests! If you’ve ever wondered if we really have teeth up here, or where Concordia’s underground tunnels really lead—yes, we do have them—or if you want to know why dancing was once completely banned on campus, then come check us out! We’ve really got something for everyone up here, so whether you’re a theatre major who wants to see the original set and costume designs for the 1976 production of Godspell or a female basketball player who wants to see the team’s 1988 rank in the NCAA Division III, then we’ve got what you need! And who knows, maybe we’ve got a file up here with your name on it, so come take a look!