Friday, December 07, 2007

Kaimal Completes Broadcast Manual Index

It was a dull job, but someone had to do it, and that someone was Vrinda Kaimal. Like other volunteers she started with one day a week, and then as the pages turned and she kept typing into a spreadsheet the dot-matrixed printed entries from the RCA Broadcast Manuals Index (1930-1984), something magical happened. She began coming in two days, and then three, caught up in the lines of print, patiently tapping away at MI and IB numbers, and esoteric entries like this:


where 31535 equals the IB (Instruction Book) number, B1 the file cabinet and drawer that no longer exist, ES-561485/6/7 the MI (Master Index) number, and BTG-5AL/10AL/20AL/20AR the model numbers for a device related to Broadcast Transmitters.

Wouldn't that make your eyeballs glaze over before they fell on to the keyboard? Not Vrinda's. After all, this 20-year-old binder and its 61 pages of single-spaced entries represent the only control to the 25 file cabinets of manuals donated to the Library through the good offices of Stu Cooke. While the flood last spring dissolved all the marked archival boxes holding the manuals, this spreadsheet will enable us to inventory what's in the freeze-dried boxes. Then we can try to fill in for the water-ruined copies with the duplicates sorted by Phil Vourtsis in his quiet times in the basement in 2006:

So hats to Vrinda and to Phil for their part in the unending labors of establishing intellectual control over the ever-growing holdings of our archives!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incredible Work!!! I congratulate all of you for doing what you do to preserve such wonderful pieces of history!