This is the first in a series of blog entries from LR staff, showing we are still open for business, and reflecting on life working at home.
The Special Collections reading room may be closed at the moment but whilst we’re working from home work continues on our collections. Where possible we are responding to any enquiries that may come in. However our main focus is on digital preservation and our digital archive. Jodi is currently trawling the university’s web pages for items to be considered for inclusion into the digital archive, this includes items such as course brochures, faculty and department newsletters, minutes of high level committees, other items similar to what is already in the physical archive and yes items relating to the Covid-19 outbreak as well. These items will then join other digital items to be processed ahead of accessioning and cataloguing which will be done by Annabel. Alongside digital preservation work Annabel is working on various tasks undertaken by the archivist such as compiling the second stage of a funding bid for the Paul Oliver Archive of African American Music to be catalogued and the setting up of our new twitter page where we hope to keep the wider world aware of what we are currently doing as well raising awareness of Special Collections and promoting our collections and items. We can be found here @BrookesSpecColl.
On a personal note working from home has it’s ups and it’s downs, the downside is that I am somewhat limited in the work that I can do without access to the collections. However when planning to work from home I realised there are more things that I initially thought that I could do at home and helping to update our Twitter feed will help keep me occupied and break up the monotony of digital preservation. I’m also saving a fair amount of money by not having to commute to Oxford from Banbury each day and I’m not as stressed or tired as I usually am though it’s hard not being able to meet up with my fiance who lives in Wales. I find keeping to a similar routine to when I’m at Brookes is helping and I have a working from home enforcement officer in the form of Ruby the cat to ensure I stick to my routine and don’t get distracted by websites such as Youtube and TV Ark though she does spend most of her time enforcing the lockdown of her eyelids. I am keeping active with a mix of walks, gentle yoga and dancing to 80s music particularly synthpop and classic party dances like Agadoo make for quite a good workout and they’re more fun than workouts I’ve tried online.
Stay Safe and Keep Well. Annabel and I look forward to being back in the reading room and offering our full range of services once again.
Jodi, Library Assistant Special Collections