Hey everybody! It’s my first semester working in the Archives, so I guess you could say that I’m the “new guy” around here. Working in the Archives has so far been a fantastic experience. I get paid to work with history every day. Who gets to say that?
My journey to the Archives is a bit of a unique one. My freshman year for IOC I had Lisa [Sjoberg, the College Archivist] as my professor. For one of our speeches she had us do a historical topic that dealt with Concordia, which meant only one thing: a trip to the Archives! I thought it was so cool that all of these pictures, newspaper clippings, papers, flyers, etc. were available to the community. Then, this past semester, the Archives held a trivia contest in which the participants had to use the online resources that the Archives have in order to answer questions. I ended up getting second place, and it restarted my interest in the Archives. Long story short, I now work in the Archives, and it’s been great!
I currently am working on two projects. The first is preprocessing documents related to former college President Pamela Jolicoeur, who passed away while in office. It’s a very sobering thing to go through the papers of someone so important who died so suddenly, but I feel very honored to be given that privilege. The second project I’m working on is a bit of demographic research for the College’s 125th Anniversary in a couple years. Carl Nelson, another Archives worker, and I are going through every year ending in “1” (1891, 1901, 1911, etc.) and entering in all the hometowns of the students into an Excel spreadsheet. Once that’s done, we then count how many students are from which town. All this information is going to be entered into a GIS map that will show how far-reaching Concordia actually is. I won’t spoil for you the places students have come from, but I will say that it must have been a big leap of faith for these students to travel from their home countries all the way to Fargo-Moorhead.
If you’ve never visited the Archives before, it’s most definitely worth it. You may be surprised at what you find!