Earlier this week, SCPC said good-bye to Laura Litwer, a wonderful student assistant and coworker of nearly three years. Laura joined us in the summer of 2010 as a student assistant. After graduating with her MLIS last December, she joined the SCPC staff. The last few days have been very strange as I keep expecting her to pop around the corner. But, she hasn’t. In fact, she is off to her next adventure — a three-year, full-time project archivist position at Texas A&M Commerce (2nd largest university in the TAMU system, about an hour NE from Dallas). She will be processing the papers of Congressman Ralph Hall.
We will all miss Laura and her contributions around here quite a lot. She has had two major projects to call her own. She reprocessed 43 linear feet of the Democratic Party of South Carolina Records and interfiled a 44 linear foot addition. No easy task. The project came with privacy concerns and complex organizational needs. Laura gained good experience in trouble-shooting and perseverance with this collection. Researchers should now be able to find material easily within the records.
Speaking of perseverance, Laura revamped the digital collection of Isaiah DeQuincey Newman, a Methodist pastor, activist, entrepreneur, and a leading figure in the Civil Rights movement in our state. We digitized this collection back in 2006-2008 but have learned many lessons since as we’ve digitized a lot of other material. A couple years ago, we set out to fix deficiencies in the descriptive metadata and remove restrictions from a large chunk of documents previously restricted to onsite viewing. We needed to give the project to someone with great attention to detail and patience who could produce a quality product despite the challenges. Thankfully, we had Laura.
Laura worked on several other collections over the last three years, including Barbara Moxon, William Jennings Bryan Dorn, John Spratt, and Joe Wilson. She also greeted visitors at events (always cheerfully), installed exhibits, searched for answers to reference questions, inventoried and sorted newly-arrived material, volunteered for shifts in the reading room…and whatever else needed to be done, really.
We have been lucky to have a number of excellent student assistants over the years. Laura joins that group and we wish her the very best. Luckily, we expect to see her at conferences and to hear from her as she navigates her new position and state! Thank you, Laura. We will miss you.