Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Aug 07

What is an Archivist?

Posted on August 7, 2015 at 3:16 PM by Elise Kelly

                                  What Does an Archivist Do?
Have you ever wondered what an archivist does? Does it involve preserving ancient documents such as The Diamond Sutra (the oldest surviving printed book in the world - 868AD)? What about arranging/organizing collections such as the John F. Kennedy, Presidential Papers?


Or does it entail providing reference services to the public? All three of these things archivists do and yet there are a plethora of additional duties/responsibilities.

Archivists work in a variety of settings. Some include: Presidential Libraries, National, State and County Government Archives, State and Local Libraries and University, Corporate and Archdiocesan Archives.

Archival Repositories
Greene County Archives Intern - Heather Webb
An archivist's duties at a local library can entail appraising, acquiring, arranging, describing and preserving historical collections. An impressive example of this is the Dayton Metro Library's Dayton Remembers Image Collection.

Another responsibility maybe to research and write a grant in order to fund an educational program for the local library's archives.

The duties of a county archivist can encompass performing outreach to schools, managing the county records and making them accessible to county employees and the public. Here at the Greene County Archives we help many patrons with genealogy and historical property research.
Inside the Greene County Archives Map Room

 The responsibilities of a digital archivist consists of digitizing and providing accessibility to a variety of media including: oral history transcripts and recordings, photographs, and film clips. Wright State University has digitized their 1913 Flood Survivors Oral Histories Collection (MS-296)

An archivist's job can be exciting, demanding, rewarding, and challenging. There is always something new to learn and that is one of the rewards the profession offers.

Recently, I was challenged on Twitter to come up with five words that describe an archives  - #archivesin5words. Racking my brain I came up with: "Learn, Recall, Reflect, Retrieve, Preserve." After learning about what an archivist does, what five words can you come up with?

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Where is the difference between an archives and a records center?
Last Week's Trivia Answer: Many Irish Immigrants came to Greene County for work. What they built during the nineteenth century has now been converted to Bike Paths. What were they? - Railroads


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