This year, SAA-SC is very excited to announce that we have a new option for student involvement – we’re volunteering at the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead! The idea came from one of our first year students, Ashley Z. She knew that the Farmstead was looking for student volunteers to help them process their archival collection, so she passed along the idea to the SAA-SC officers. We contacted volunteer coordinator, Danielle Bachant-Bell, who was thrilled to hear from us.
Once a month, interested members of SAA-SC have the opportunity to volunteer two hours of their time to helping process the papers, records, and artifacts that belonged to Daisy Hinkle Garton. Daisy was a long time resident of Bloomington, who wanted the farmstead to be used as a historical museum.
October 19th marked SAA-SC’s first day of volunteering. When we arrived, Danielle gave us a brief history of the Hinkle families who lived at the farmstead and explained the collection. Before she showed us the archival collection, she warned us not to go screaming from the room! The small room was full of boxes and some loose materials. A bit of work has been done previously, but with the boxes in no kind of order, getting started was a problem. Where do you begin when you’re not sure what you have?
Our first task was to assemble two shelving units and do a bit of vacuuming in the previously inaccessible corners. Once that was done, we were able to separate the boxes by their generic labels and place which ones we could on the shelves. Once that was done, we further grouped the rest of the boxes, so that next month we’ll know right where to start. Now that we’ve established a basic arrangement to the boxes, we can really start delving into the boxes themselves and start finding out what’s inside.
Of course, being curious archival students, we certainly couldn’t resist taking a peak
inside many of the boxes. Many were filled with old papers and financial records, and a few yielded some real treasures. One wonderful find was an old cornet in its case while another was a box of several old books, such as Alice in Wonderland and Gulliver’s Travels. We’re certain there are lots more interesting materials in the boxes – it’s just a matter of going through the boxes in order to find them!
If this kind of activity appeals to you, and if you’re interested in helping out a great organization, join us next month!
Upcoming volunteer dates:
Saturday, November 16th, 10:00am-Noon
Saturday, December 14th, 10:00am-Noon
January, TBA, 10:00am-Noon
Interested in learning more about the Hinkle-Garton Farmstead? Check out their facebook page! Additionally, if you’re interested in volunteering at the Farmstead outside of SAA-SC activities, contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.