There is an Archives for that? Puzzle Cataloger Edition
Published: November 15, 2017 by Katie Kuryla
I grew up working on puzzles every Christmas with my mother. I went from the child puzzles of Disney characters to the 500 pieces and then onto the 1000 pieces. Eventually, on my own, I started to try my hand at a 2000 piece puzzle. It took me months, hunched over the colors of blue, white, and brown. My choice of puzzle is known as Winter at Neuschwanstein Castle and I reached 1,999 because one piece went missing. My main suspect being a curious cat but the vacuum could have gotten the last piece as well.
Anyways, in my first semester in the MARA program, I interviewed an archivist for a class. As we were talking, one of my questions I asked him was “Why did you decide to go into archives?” He said his love for old documents stirred his passion and then he asked me and I couldn’t give him a reason because I had fallen into records and found my passion. He smiled and said “The great thing about archives and records is that it is like a puzzle. You have to keep at it until the pieces fit together.”
The sentence stuck with me and now when I look at my job and I look at my career path, I think, what is the puzzle I have been presented? Until this day when I came across an article regarding a job, I never thought of puzzles in an archive. We shouldn’t be surprised there is an archives for that, I’ve really begun to ask with most things “Is there an archives for that?” And right now, the Strong National Museum of Play, based in Rochester, New York, is searching for a puzzle cataloger.
They are searching for someone who can help piece together their collection of 7,500 jigsaw puzzles that date back to the late 1700s. It last six months and requires you to put together enough pieces in each jigsaw puzzle to figure out what the image might be, which country it may originate from, and what the historical time period for the piece may have been from. Can we say dream job?!
It is postings like this that remind me that archives can be so fascinating. This is what I love about archives, that a job like this is to give access to a memory. People use to sit at the table and do the puzzles with their families just like my mother and I would. To me, archives is about curiosity and a readiness to learn. What does archives mean to you? Is your passion or hobby already part of an archives? What would be your dream job?
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