This internship is allowing me to practice describing items while only having a limited time to process them. As I get further into my allotted boxes, I am finding documents that have not been entered in the database. I am then responsible for giving a rudimentary description that would allow the object to be found in via query. The MCHC has chosen to use few of the metadata features provided by Past Perfect, so the description entry for the archival material is particularly important for discovery. I have to be mindful of the deadline, however, and only have a limited amount of time I can devote to a single object.
I have decided to describe these items with the kind of document, a brief physical description if relevant, and any identifying information. I often include important parties involved, such as organizations, companies, creators, and recipients; I also make note of the date if one is provided. This can usually be done in a few sentences and does not take me more than a couple of minutes. As I get more familiar with the materials, I begin to recognize identifying information that is of particular interest to Monroe County, which in turn enriches my ability to describe the items. This internship is good practice in becoming acquainted with the breadth of an entire collection and visualizing the connecting themes that make the individual items into a cohesive archival body of materials.