ASB: Day 2: The database is fixed

posted Feb 29, 2012, 7:05 PM by jj pionke
So, I got to work today and the database was now working the way it was supposed to.  Commence data entry!  It can be a little monotonous but fascinating at the same time if that makes sense.  Since I am working with newspaper headlines, I got to read a lot of interesting stuff and it was very diverse.  I had headlines that covered WWI, WWII, the Crimean War, and Tiananmen Square to name a few.  These newspapers have essentially been dumped into folders but other than a heading on the folder, for instance, Tiananmen Square, who knows what is in there.  My job is to refolder the papers appropriately and enter them into a database so that the public will eventually be able to use them. 
In the afternoon, we were given a tour of the division which included the vault.  The vault is for high value items like papers from the 1700s and items of great cultural significance.  As an example, our guide pulled out the very famous paper "Dewey Beats Truman" and she also showed us the first comic book that had Superman in it.  Our tour also took us to where recent periodicals are stored - think of a room about as big as a football field with nothing but shelving.  We also saw a similar room that was nothing but microfilm.  Honestly, the sheer volume of material is just overwhelming.  It's amazing.
Everyone is very friendly and it's just pretty awesome being at the Library of Congress!