Hello, I'm Valerie MacDonald. In May 2010 I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Design. In August 2010 I started working as the Project Assistant for this processing project.
I started working in the archives during my semester long engagement with a minimal processing project the Elmer L. Andersen Library was undergoing, which is also where I first worked with Karen, our processing coordinator. Then from October 2008-July 2010 I worked as a Student Archivist for the Charles Babbage Institute, also held within the Andersen Library. During the 2008-2009 school-year I worked with an archivist processing a collection we received from the Association of Computing Machinery. During the summer of 2009 I interned with the Goldstein Museum of Design, where I primarily inventoried their textile collection.
The minimal processing project I started with gave me a good idea as to what 'minimal' means and how much investment might be expected in a project like this. While working with CBI I gained experience in a lot of different aspects of the archiving process, including working with EAD, box listing, physical processing, and helping the other students. Because of all of that, I came into this project knowing how the little details pan out, to some degree, in the Andersen library.
While I work on this year-long project I am simultaneously preparing myself for graduate school. I plan to attend graduate school to get a degree in public history, or something similar, the end result being a knowledge and focus in material culture and how it can be used and viewed to show lifestyles from past periods and cultures.