January 25, 2013

Ordering office supplies, 1974-1975

Filed under: found in the archives, the process of archival processing — susanwoodland @ 11:11 am

Federation’s Budget Director approved all but the most basic orders of office supplies in the 1970s, judging by a brief collection of memos to the Order Department at Federation from the Budget Department.  During Jack Applebaum’s tenure as Budget Director, his name appears on half of the 12 memos in his file for the fiscal year 1974-1975.

Boorum & Pease Columnar spreadsheet pads, 11" x 17"

Boorum & Pease spreadsheet pads, 11″ x 17″

Endless numbers of the spreadsheets ordered via the memo above survive in the budget files, so many that they are one of the few items we do not unfold and rehouse in oversized boxes.  We find most of the spreadsheets folded in legal size folders and we leave them there, as they are stable and more useful when not removed from the other, 8 1/2 x 11″ documents in the folder.  Some spreadsheets are final, typewritten documents that appear to have been distributed with various reports (apparently typed on wide-carriage typewriters to accommodate 17″ paper) and some are drafts in pencil.  Some have columns inserted or added on top with corrections, held in place with scotch tape or rubber cement (see memo below).  Neither tape nor rubber cement is archival in nature and many of the insertions have loosened; to unfold one of these spreadsheets is to risk losing track of which piece goes with which sheet.

Because we are minimally processing the Federation files, we cannot take the time to rehouse, photocopy or scan each of these sheets.  We attempt to clip pieces together which does no further damage to the spreadsheets.  If these budget files generate research interest, which they should because of the enormous amount of data contained within them, we will return to them at a later date and stabilize and/or rehouse them to a greater degree.

Rubber Cement

Rubber Cement

The rubber cement referred to above.  Google images has many familiar looking images of rubber cement cans.  Judging by the amount of pasting that was going on in the Budget Department, the can the department ordered on August 7, 1975 was probably at least the gallon size.

Binder Clips

Binder Clips

Binder Clips still remain in some of the files.  We remove them as they take up a lot of space, may rust, and can damage the paper.

Adding Machine Ribbons

Adding Machine Ribbons

Adding machines were in use in the 1970s of course, and adding machines needed typewriter ribbons and narrow strips of paper.  Many of the calculations run through an adding machine are clipped to the spreadsheets, further documenting the analysis and calculation that went into the pulling together of huge amounts of data into a reliable and informative spreadsheet.  The Budget Department’s spreadsheets, of course, made it possible to present concise figures in the many consolidated budget reports presented by the Budget Department to Federation’s Distribution Committee.  It was this Committee that made final budgetary recommendations every year to the Board of Trustees, for each of the more than 100 agencies funded by Federation.

And the most important supplies of all:

And the most important supplies of all ...

The reason any work at all was done at Distribution Committee meetings …


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