Providing better access
On Wednesday, October 26, the first 40 boxes of the George C. Marshall papers left the Foundation building to be digitized by Backstage Library Works. I am thrilled to see the long-awaited beginning of this project, but at the same time I felt a bit like a nervous mom sending her children off to camp.
The digitization of the Marshall papers is part of the George C. Marshall Foundation’s strategic plan, and will be done in batches to avoid having the large collection unavailable for a long period of time. The digitization of this first batch is made possible by several generous donors, to whom we are very grateful.
While I love having researchers visit the library and archives in person, the last couple of years have demonstrated that’s not always practical, even for local researchers. A visit to the library can be more expensive than many researchers, especially from overseas, can afford. The digitization of the Marshall Papers will take time, but the result will be that papers documenting the entirety of Marshall’s long and illustrious career will be freely available through the library catalog.
As a librarian, my goal is to connect people with the best resources for their needs. Making a large, important collection like the George C. Marshall papers available to all is librarian happiness. It will also help spread knowledge of George Marshall — who he was, and why his work was important, and is still important today.
Before becoming director of library and archives at the George C. Marshall Foundation, Melissa was an academic librarian specializing in history. She and her husband, John, have three grown children, and live in Rockbridge County with three large rescue dogs. Melissa is known as the happiest librarian in the world! Keep up with her @MelissasLibrary.