Hello everyone! My name is Lisa Sjoberg, and I have the good fortune of serving as the College Archivist & Digital Collections Librarian at Concordia College. I hope that you have enjoyed the Humans of the Archives blog series this September and the Student Worker Highlights published last spring on this blog. We get a great deal of work done up here in the Concordia College Archives, and it would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the amazing students that are the humans of the archives. I absolutely adore each and every one of them and am so grateful for the opportunity to work along side of them.
All of these blog posts have discussed what we do in the College Archives, so here's my story. In the land of archives, I am known as a lone-arranger, who is an archivist that works in a solo shop where only one or two archivists are on staff. As a lone-arranger, I have primary oversight of all things archives including assisting patrons, processing and preserving collections, supervising staff, digitizing materials, teaching classes, managing public relations/outreach initiatives, working with donors, and more. My daily work is always an adventure with great variety, and that is an aspect of my job that I really love. In addition to my work in the Concordia College Archives, I am actively involved in professional organizations by serving on various committees and presenting at conferences. Since there are not any other archivists on Concordia's campus (and just a handful in the Fargo-Moorhead community), I have found the connections that I have made through participation in these organizations to be valuable. I'm very grateful for my archivist friends and colleagues across the nation.
What I love most about my work is exposing people to archives and helping them understand why archives matter. Nate, Luke, and Gillian's recent posts certainly expressed this theme in terms of understanding the present in the context of the past. It truly is an awesome privilege to be an archivist because our facilities house information that documents the origins and developments of so many important changes in history: the Civil Rights Movement, numerous wars, immigration, the Great Depression, and so many more. These documents help us understand the impact national and international events have had in our community, which would go undocumented without local archives. We also collect documents of local individuals, so we can tell the story of our communities throughout time. Archives are in the business of remembering and honoring the people that have come before us, and some of my favorite people that I get to work with are those individuals in Concordia's history that I get to read about and see photographs of. These people shaped the college into what it is today, and I love having them in my company on a daily basis.
I could go on and on with stories about Concordia's history and the value of archives, but what it boils down to is that I love my work. If you ever are curious about Concordia's history or would like to learn more about being an archivist, let me know!
“Concordia College Archives, this is Nate”.
If you’ve ever called the Archives, this is usually what you hear. Well, that’s because I spend a lot of time in the Concordia College Archives. I’ve worked here since I was a sophomore, and have put in my fair share of hours labeling, doing data entry, helping folks get the resources they need, and more! If you e-mail the archives, you’ll probably get a response from me too!
I’m currently a senior at Concordia with a major in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. I’m originally from Billings, Montana, and travel back very often.
The Archives has been one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Not only have I been able to refine various clerical skills but I’ve learned so much about Concordia College, its community, and our traditions. This has helped me to build strong relationships with professors, alumni, and people in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Like I said, I love my job. One of my first projects I was assigned was to reorder and restore the Archives vinyl collection. While doing this, I discovered a recording of the Concordia Concert Choir singing “Beautiful Savior” by F. Melius Christiansen that was recorded in 1939! The best thing about it was how pristine and beautiful that recording sounded and to see the tradition almost completely unchanged.
As of late, I find myself accessioning the donations our patrons give to us. One of the more recent cool donations was that of a Khodynka Cup of Sorrows. This was a toasting mug given out to over a million Russians to commemorate the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1896. It’s called the cup of sorrows because there was a rumor among the common folk that the cup had a gold coin in it. Due to the confusion many were trampled on that day. The cup bears the cyphers of Nicholas and Alexandra surrounded by a geometric pattern with the Romanov eagle on the opposite side. It was so cool to hold something in my hands that impacted so many people. Had it not been for archives like ours and others around the world, the preservation of things like this would simply not be possible.
I am ever thankful for my colleagues and my boss, the Archivist, Lisa Sjoberg. Every day in the Archives is filled with laughter, learning, and love. I’m so grateful to be a part of something so important and greater than myself.
Hello everyone, I’m Luke!
While we've only just met, I’m going to start out by telling you something you may not have guessed about me before reading this blog post. Ready?
Before getting the opportunity to serve as the Public Relations Intern for the Concordia Archives, I had never paid a visit to the Archives or even really knew about it in the first place.
While this was probably for multiple reasons, I don’t think I ever really linked history as an important and applicable piece to my field of study here at Concordia. Being a Communication Studies/Public Relations major, I really only focused on things happening in the present. Regardless, I decided to take on the position at the Archives. As a college student, I was eager to gain relatable experiences and skills for the “real world” and of course, earn a few bucks as a result. What I didn’t anticipate, however, was just how eye opening of an experience working at the Archives would really be.
After working at the Archives for two semesters now, I have had a lot of great experiences and opportunities. I get to manage our blog and all Archives-related social media pages, interact with current students and alumni with engaging activities like the Photo Recreation Contest, and in general, increase awareness of the Concordia College Archives to the public. While doing all these things is extremely fun and rewarding, the most valuable part of my experience at the Archives hasn’t been work-related. Instead, it is what the Archives taught me about the undeniable value of history.
History is something that people can easily take for granted. We can chose to live our lives not taking into consideration the work and efforts of the people that have come before us. But, when we take the time to learn more about both why and how things came to be, we can see everything a little more clearly. History helps us to better understand why things are the way they are today. It helps to develop, grow, and reflect. It even helps instill in us a sense of pride. Working in the archives has really helped me to better understand both Concordia, and what it means to be a Cobber. People often describe their experience at Concordia as feeling like they are a part of something bigger. Learning about the history of Concordia and the Cobbers that have come before me has really helped me to make sense of that. I now have a greater appreciation and understanding for both the subject of history, and of course, the place I call home: Concordia. For that, I am forever grateful.
Hello blog readers!
I'm Gillian. I've been working in the Archives for 4, going on 5, semesters now. I absolutely love it! I've worked on a few different projects throughout the years including: sorting and filing information into the Biography files and working with the daunting task of converting and sorting thousands of pictures into DROBO, our digital photo database. Currently, I’m working on cleaning up the labels in our record groups, and collaborating on this lovely blog with Luke.
People don’t often want to show off their place of work, but I honestly tell my friends to come up and see the Archives all the time, because it's a wonderful place. From our rare books collection, to our yearbook collection, to the last remains of an Antarctic explorer, to gifts from Norwegian royalty, it’s undeniable that the college archives are a special place. I've learned more about Concordia and Moorhead history, than I ever would have otherwise.
As an out of state and first generation cobber, learning about the history and traditions of the college has really helped make Concordia a special part of my life. Likewise, I feel like contributing to the preservation of the local/college history has helped me earn my keep, and really become a part of this place. The people I work with, more so than anything, have made my experience as enjoyable as it’s been. I love the humans of the Archives! I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with, and Lisa is an amazing boss, confidant, and person in general. Yay archives!
It's that time again, Cobbers! Are you ready for a blast from the past?
The Archives is excited to introduce the Picture Recreation Contest; an opportunity for you to recreate some of our favorite photos from the archives and Concordia's past!
How do you participate in this awesome contest, you ask? Well, it's simple!
The Archives will be selecting some of our favorite pictures of students, events, buildings, etc. from our photo collections in the archives. We will then upload them to our Facebook page for you to choose from. Pick out a couple favorites, or just one, and then the rest is up to you! Recreate the original photo(s) of your choosing as best and creatively as you can. You'll want to make them good, because our favorite picture recreation will be winning a special prize!
Once you have taken the picture, create a side-by-side comparison of the original photo and your recreation. To do this, simply download the original picture off of our Facebook page. Then, use this website to help you create an awesome side-by-side comparison!
Once you have done this, send your submission(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the contest is over, we will be posting them to our Facebook page, as well as selecting the winning submission.
The Picture Recreation Contest will run through the entire month of September.
Ready, set, recreate!