Thursday, October 19th, 2017...8:26 am

“Outrageous Attention to Detail”: The School-to-Work Program at Houghton

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Cambridge Rindge and Latin graduate, Armanie Deleon, assists with the archival housing of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection: Political Cartoons: original cartoon drawings. pfMS Am 1895-1895.1

For the fifth consecutive year, we have had the opportunity to hire a paid intern from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (CRLS) to learn about our work by helping end-process our collections. Through the School-to-Work program, (STW), the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) coordinates with the Cambridge Office of Workforce Development, Harvard schools/departments, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School to provide job training as well as learning opportunities for high school students.

Joie Gelband (HUCTW) helps select students to work in departments for three afternoons a week as paid interns. Each student has a supervisor who is an HUCTW member. The supervisor gives the student an overview of the work and specific assignments. They explain how the student’s work fits in to the mission of the department, and check in regularly with updates and feedback.

This year, we have enjoyed working with Armanie Deleon, who was a senior at CRLS. Among the many projects completed here, Armanie helped us improve access to a couple of Theodore Roosevelt collections, including a collection of political cartoons. In a project begun by a Harvard student, he cut new custom folders, re-boxed, and labeled 447 original cartoon drawings. This called for sorting items according to size without increasing the amount of required shelf space. It was his most rewarding project. Armanie has said, “at Houghton I’ve learned the value of being consistent and precise with my work.” And this showed up in the final product.

Theodore Roosevelt Collection: Political cartoons: Original cartoon drawings, 1896-1942, pfMS Am 1895-1895.1 (BEFORE)

Theodore Roosevelt Collection: Political cartoons: Original cartoon drawings, 1896-1942, pfMS Am 1895-1895.1 (AFTER)

His biggest project, however, was labeling the Daniel Aaron papers, circa 1774-2015, consisting of 1792 individual items (below). A Harvard Professor, Daniel Aaron was instrumental in founding the publishing house, Library of America, which produces scholarly editions of the works of major American literary and historical figures.

The Daniel Aaron papers, circa 1774-2015 (bMS Am 2951) occupied 5 tables before it went into final archival boxes and folders, to be stored offsite.

Besides working at Houghton, Armanie attended program seminars once a week, where HUCTW Organizer and Coordinator, Joie Gelband engages participants in discussions, case studies, games and exercises designed to teach students about the workplace. Some of the sessions include topics such as customer service, resume writing, email etiquette; professional reputation, discrimination, transferable skills, and child labor.

Because Armanie so enjoyed the work, he stayed beyond the internship into the summer. Besides assembling custom boxes for many bound manuscripts, Armanie completed archival housing and labeling for these additional collections:

Progressive Party records, 1908-1920. (bMS Am 3078)

José María Castañé collection of autographed portraits of military leaders, circa 1917-1972   (bMS Span 177)

José María Castañé collection of photographs by Agustí Centelles, circa 1936-1939.  (bMS Span 181)

Nicholas Daniloff papers, 1957-2008 (bMS Am 2933). (bMS Am 2933)

American Repertory Theatre records, 1979-2012. (bMS Thr 1605)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana papers on Soviet theater and film and university lecture notes, 1902-1955. (bMS Thr 402)

Elena Bonnėr papers, circa 1930-2003. (bMS Russ 134)

Ballet scores for productions of Anna Pavlova Ballet, 1907-1931 and undated.  (bMS Thr 1029)

Below are images of items from some collections he worked on.

Theodore Roosevelt Collection: Political cartoons. Greene, Nelson. [Elephant and Bull Moose form one animal marked “1916”]. Drawing in pencil; [n.p., n.d.]. pfMS Am 1895 (285)

Custom box assembled and labeled, for MS Typ 1191 (see below).

Adolphe Crespin album of ornamental borders : manuscript, circa 1890. MS Typ 1191

When he first interviewed for the position, Armanie was overwhelmed and intrigued by the volume of material at Houghton. He now knows firsthand that our holdings range from historical and political to literary, artistic, and beyond.  He has said he can really appreciate the coordinated effort that goes into preparing archives for world-wide research. This fall, he will be entering a program in Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University. Armanie says he would recommend the School-to-Work program to anybody. But be warned, according to Armanie, Houghton’s level of  “attention to detail” is “OUTRAGEOUS!!”

[Post submitted by Vicki Denby, Curatorial Assistant, Technical Services Department. (Photograph of Armanie by Brieanna Martin. Other photographs by Vicki Denby).]

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