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Processing the Dwight F. Henderson Papers

July 28, 2014

This summer Special Collections was able to benefit from the help of Dawn Shedd, a graduate student intern who worked with a collection from University Archives. Below she shares her comments on what the experience was like.  We’re grateful for Dawn’s hard work this summer!

 As a graduate student in history, I decided to pursue a career as an archivist and my internship this summer gave me hands-on experience of what the life of an archivist is like. I thought the career would be fitting to me, since I am a fairly organized and detail-oriented person, but the job ended up being a lot of fun also. I never realized how much work goes into processing a collection. I always thought that archivists just looked into the box, summed up what was in it, and put it away on a shelf until someone came looking for information from it. Instead, I learned that it takes a lot of effort and time to organize a collection and arrange it in a way that will benefit researchers. At all points of the process, I had to keep in mind how researchers would utilize this collection in the future and do my best to include information in the finding aid that would ensure I did not cause important information to be left out. Putting together a collection was challenging and rewarding.

I worked on the collection of Dean Dwight F. Henderson’s papers, which included four boxes of papers and photographs detailing an impressive academic career that spanned over 40 years. As I looked through the materials and developed the finding aid for the collection, I learned a lot about Dr. Henderson’s career and his life. I realized that there is so much to be learned from Dr. Henderson, as well as from other individuals who donate their papers to University Archives. It was interesting to see how UTSA had progressed and changed since 1980 when Dr. Henderson became Dean, and how college life has changed. It was also interesting to see what has stayed the same. I found myself talking to family and friends about the information that Dr. Henderson chose to share with the University, and I have gained a new respect for University Archives. It is important to remember the people who made a difference, and continue to make a difference, at our college.

Photo from folder 1999-2000, UA 99.0026.

Undated photo from folder 1999-2000, Dwight F. Henderson Papers, UA 99.0026, UTSA Libraries Special Collections.


For more information on this collection, check out the Guide to the Dwight F. Henderson Papers. This collection includes correspondence, newspaper articles concerning his career, personal cards and letters, photographs, academic research, certificates of accomplishment, information on organizations he worked with, information on attended conferences and seminars, book reviews, course evaluations, annual reports, faculty evaluations, and published works.  This collection is open for research.

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