While this is my first post, I’ve been at the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) for some time now. And my work has been quite eye opening so far…
The first day there, I was given the opportunity to sit in on a board meeting. ATHS is large, so they have board members from across the U.S. Each member can then join a committee of their choosing. (Archival, fundraising, etc.) It was nice to see how other museum entities functioned with their boards. ATHS is quite different though because the majority of their board are or were truckers, so sometimes it can be a challenge with conflicting ideas based on personal interest and professional need.
My main project so far has been helping to organize the ATHS’s White Photo Collection. The White family began the ATHS, so the majority of the photos were passed on from them. This task seems so large, but I really enjoy the work of organizing and making sense of the collection. There are about 130,000 photos in this particular collection, and it is the largest collection the ATHS possesses. Ultimately, the idea is to digitize the collection so members can search an online database for the pictures. Also, most of the pictures are in stage one degradation (vinegar smells!), so organization and storage needs to happen rather quickly.
In the board meeting I participated in the members were discussing digitizing the collection and then possibly destroying the collection in an effort to save time and money for future storage facilities. To me this seems horrible, but I guess if you don’t have the money? What do you fellow interns think?