I honestly can’t believe I’m already half way through this internship. I’ve had really exciting days packed with activities and I’ve also started putting the preparatory work I had done in the first few days in shape to be inputted into the new collection management system.
I feel really grateful for the opportunity I have been given to use a system that is new to everybody and to comment on it. Given the opportunity I have been given I will work even harder to complete this pilot project in a satisfactory way.
Narrative writing is really hard. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to rethink years of research to explain in a coherent an cohesive way your point about the peculiarities of a given book, and then to transform this summary in a shorter one, first to produce an overview of the edition I am analysing, then a summary outlining how this edition could be used for students, and finally an account for the general public. The policy for the Library for material aimed at the general public is 80 words, and this limit is really daunting! At first I thought ‘How can I possibly say something relevant about a 46-books-long poem in 80 words?’ But this in reality is an amazingly good exercise as it forced me to really think to the relevant aspects of my research and how they could cast light on the focus of my research and its possible appeal to a non-academic audience. This exercise has worked very well so far, as I feel I have also found new applications of my research and I hope the will take shape in the form of collection encounters in the future.
I have spent quite a lot of time familiarising myself with the new collection management system, to try and understand the terminology and its various components, in order to use them for my own project. Now I feel I am confident in the use terminology to designate the collections and its components and how to populate fields with information relevant for my task. The interactive nature of the system has enabled me to explore its different parts and their interaction with one another (i.e. the links between the catalogue and the narrative writing and how to generate keywords and bibliography records to be attached to the narrative).
I have received positive feedback on my work so far and I am looking forward to work with more editions over the next few days. I hope that my contribution will cast light on the use of a repository of narratives to be used by the library in the future.
Veronica Pizzarotti – PhD Candidate in Italian Studies