Hi! My name is Gaby de la Vega and I am a new Double Deac continuing my education. I graduated in 2023 and recently started the Neuroscience Masters Program at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, and I have been an assistant in Special Collections and Archives since my senior year of college. Throughout my undergraduate career, I worked all over campus, from the police department to the gym, but none of those jobs have been as captivating as my job at ZSR Library. While I worked in Special Collections and the main circulation, I have to say Special Collections holds some really interesting treats.
Each semester I worked on different collections, even through the summer as well, holding and organizing some very old and interesting materials. As someone who enjoys viewing antiques, I have been in awe as I organize collections that range from books to pictures to pamphlets from decades past. The most interesting part was the fact that collections held not only the history of the university but other important personnel that add to the rich and unique history of Wake Forest and Winston Salem.
My most recent undertaking was organization and entry for some of former Provost Ed Wilson’s books and some of his records. Getting to view and explore his deep and captivating relationship with the university was inspiring. It was amazing to view history through his collections of magazines and books highlighting the changes in society, which peaked my interest. Some of the magazines and books held information that we no longer believe, which emphasized how quickly thought can change. As someone who loves science, one of the magazines included pictures of atoms and the universe, which has been updated through research and new space telescopes. So it was enthralling to explore how even 60 years ago the world looked different. It was also beautiful to hold letters of his departure that emphasized his meaningful impact on the university and understanding the importance of his role.
Some of the small quirks come out from time to time. As I work in the Special Collections Research room, I ensure that all of the pencils are in their sharpest form. I can only imagine how sad a researcher must be when they’re given a dull pencil to write with for hours as they take notes. I also updated all of the item outslips records, noting what materials have been viewed by researchers dating back to 2016, so now no other assistants will have to input pages from years past. The best part I will say is making the buttons and magnets that have images from the rare books college – not only patrons enjoy, but my fridge at home as well is decorated. I am so thankful I got the opportunity to view some of the unique things available at Special Collections. I can’t wait to continue working with the amazing staff for years to come!