Meet Mudd’s Brandon Joseph

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Name: Brandon Joseph ‘12

Major: History, with Certificates in African American Studies and American Studies
Title/Duties: Project Archivist Assistant. It is my responsibility to help the archivists at Mudd arrange and process collections. My duties include collecting details related to the contents of collections, rehousing and arranging collections, and creating folder lists for finding aids that guide researchers. Occasionally, I monitor the welcome desk, reading room, and page materials for patrons.
Recent projects: For the past year, I’ve been working with Adriane Hanson on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records processing project. Before the ACLU project, I worked on the George S. McGovern Papers and the James V. Forrestal Papers.
Worked at Mudd since: January 2009, the beginning of the second semester of my freshman year.
Why I like my job/archives: Mudd is a relaxing place with a great staff. I enjoy coming into Mudd and engaging with the library’s collections in the middle of a hectic day of class. Also, as a history major and researcher, I am fascinated by some the materials that are unearthed as I help process a collection. At times, some of the materials that I come across at Mudd haven’t been seen or touched in decades. It’s fun to be a part of the recovery of lost information as I comb through the collections at Mudd.
Favorite item/collection: The collection of Historical Photographs, which provide a visual timeline to campus events of the past. It’s interesting to see how the buildings I live and work in on campus have developed over time. The Daily Princetonian Collection is another favorite of mine. I enjoy reading about how Princetonians from different eras digested and dealt with the social and administrative issues that arose on campus.

Student Question: What is the favorite part of the collections at Mudd? I love to check out the letters sent to the public officials and organizations that have collections at Mudd. I feel as if the letters from the general population in particular serve as a great way to measure public opinions related to a given topic. While processing the McGovern papers, for example, I found hundreds of letters from concerned citizens from across the nation. Some asked the presidential candidate to endorse a particular opinion, some praised McGovern for his work and wished him well during his campaign, while others blasted McGovern because of his policies. There were even tons of letters and drawings from school children organized by teachers from around the country. The letters in collections provide access to perspectives that may have been lost over time.