Archives, libraries, fictional writing drift, and accession numbers!

A whole gamut of articles and wonderful items this week, focusing on various fields of study and my fictional writing, of course.

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a great week and have a wonderful holiday break this week.

There are a number of interesting articles relating to the archives and libraries fields which I found this past week. Three articles on the SAA Electronic Records Section’s blog recapping a forum for BitCurator (a data recovery software), email archiving, and the relevant panels of the Digital Library Foundation Forum. There was also an article in Dance Magazine, of all places, about how dancers are doing more to research their roles as archives become more accessible. Sometimes you’d never guess who your users will be! I also found a post on the Smithsonian Libraries’ blog, Unbound, about cotton gloves, very enlightening. They note that rare historical objects should NOT be handled with white gloves because hands in the gloves “lack the tactility and manual dexterity of bare [and dry] hands” while causing page fragments to be lifted, are not clean, and cause hands to sweat. They further note how handling paper with bare hands does not cause chemical damage, with advice on book handling through centuries urging “clean hands rather than the use of gloves,” starting how the idea of white-gloved librarians may only be “about 20 years old, and stem[ming]…from canny vendors and archival supply catalogs praising their virtues.” Even so, there are exceptions, especially when it comes to photographic material, “books with lots of metal components” or books that have toxic elements like arsenic. They end by remarking that “next time you see a character in a TV show donning white gloves to page through a rare book, feel free to tut at your screen. The librarians of Smithsonian Libraries Special Collections will be right there with you.” Finally I’d like to mention two posts on Hack Library School, one about librarians that are needed in the field and the other about more ethnic caucuses in the American Library Association, specifically for indigenous and Black peoples.

This brings me to my guest post on Originality by Design, a blog hosted by a few authors I’ve connected with on Twitter. I specifically talk about my drift into fiction writing beginning on June 25th (it hasn’t even be a whole year yet!), bringing together some of my favorite characters, admitting that “writing each new story brings its own challenges,” trying to bring together “worlds and stories of characters who otherwise wouldn’t meet.” I note now this is a “creative avenue I had never fully explored in the past…and am learning more all the time,” linking to my newest novella, Unexpected Dimensional Drift, which with acceptance, understanding, tolerance, and friendship as major themes “while also focusing on struggles with trauma and emotional baggage.” I also note how I “inform the characters I write about from my personal experiences and emotions,” influenced also by “what I listen to and watch.” I end by stating that with these fictional narratives, my “creative juices can flow like a raging river through a series of rocks and obstacles until it reaches a waterfall.”

This brings me to a new fictional narrative this past week, which focuses on one of the characters stealing from a museum. I stick in a part about accession numbers, along with other notes about security. The below excerpt highlights that:

Pulling out her clipboard, she stared down at the paper titled ‘Inventory of V.I.L.E. Museum and Archives’ with the words ‘after theft on June 6th” scrawled in pen. The accession numbers of every item in their collection were coupled with other pages giving short archival descriptions. Everything had been checked off as present except the red fedora and red trench coat, given the number of 2019.112, indicating its year and that it was the 112th item the museum had acquired. The entry had been circled multiple times, overlaid with the word “MISSING” in big block letters. As Rin examined the broken glass on the ground, Jules brought them to the empty glass case where Carmen’s outfit had hung.

With that, my newsletter has come to a close.

I hope everyone has a great rest of their week.

- Burkely