Storage of the UNP

Entrance to Union Theological Seminary

Brown Tower

When I first saw the posting for the project archivist position at Burke, it was a bit daunting.

For one thing, it was a Columbia University Library – the academic library system is one of the top five in the nation. The project itself was also a little intimidating – 300 feet unprocessed? Really?

Luckily, I had a wonderful experience throughout the entire interview process. Not only did Columbia sound like a great place to work, but once I saw the actual unprocessed boxes I was able to visualize the project better. What we lovingly refer to as "The Heap," became very doable.

The unprocessed (UNP) collections included in this project are split between two floors in the Archives Storage. The storage was actually once the MRL reading room, fancy spiral staircase and all. Each time I enter the storage area, I think how neat it is that people from around the world used this very room to research the collections I am processing and preserving for future use.

Sign commemorating Fahs and Hering, still located in the Archives

Infamous spiral staircase

I am happy to say that with the help of my student assistants, we have made a big dent into the UNP I look forward to reducing and eventually eliminating it throughout the duration of the project!

Part of the UNP

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