Friday, September 12, 2014

News from Carnegie Mellon University Libraries: Julia Corrin Named University Archivist


Julia Corrin has joined Carnegie Mellon University Libraries as the University Archivist, responsible for the administration and management of Carnegie Mellon University Archives, located in Hunt Library. The University Archives collects and preserves records and personal papers of historical or administrative importance to the university, generated by faculty, academic departments, administrative offices or campus organizations, and makes them available for reference and research. “Julia’s experience with the preservation of digital records will move the University Archives forward as we continue to acquire, manage and preserve at-risk born-digital materials generated by our academic community,” said Director of Scholarly Publishing, Archives and Data Services Gabrielle Michalek. Corrin comes to Pittsburgh from Arkansas State University, where she was the Political Collections Archivist. She holds a BA in American Studies from Carleton College, and an MS in Information, Archives and Records Management from the University of Michigan. Corrin succeeds Patrick Trembeth, who had a one-year temporary appointment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

News from Winterthur: FamilySearch Affiliation

In April, Winterthur Library became an affiliate of FamilySearch, one of the largest online resources for the study of history and genealogy. FamilySearch offers an electronic catalog of its resources that includes entries describing its microfilm holdings, the organization’s acknowledged strength. FamilySearch, and before it the Genealogical Society of Utah, has been active in microfilming since the 1930s, amassing a collection of two and one-half million rolls of film. With the resources of FamilySearch available at Winterthur, library users will have the opportunity to use FamilySearch microfilm onsite instead of having to travel to FamilySearch family history centers.

Library exhibitions include “From the Hobble Skirt to the Little Black Dress: Fashion Fads, Trends, and Innovations, 1910-1940,”running from August 5 to October 19, and “Is Your Future Bright or Black?” from October 21 to January 4, which focuses on fortune telling.

News from Delaware Public Archives: State Archivist Speaks at National Association of Secretaries of State

On July 15th Delaware Public Archives Director and State Archivist Stephen Marz presented “Treasures of the Delaware Public Archives” at the National Association of Secretaries of State’s summer conference in Baltimore. The session, “Docs That Rock: A Closer Look at Storytelling and Public Outreach with State Archives Treasures,” explored how state archives are using their holdings to promote the history and heritage of their states. Mr. Marz presented some of DPA’s most treasured holdings, including the Royal Charter and Ratification Document, and described how DPA uses its collections to promote events and anniversaries at the state and national level. “Using primary source material to offer historic context to events is a great way to market the resources of your state. It also offers a fresh take on yearly events,” said Mr. Marz. “Promote your present by discovering your past.”

While the major historic documents in DPA’s holdings are often identified as the most important, Mr. Marz described what he calls the “Oh My God” moment that researchers experience when they discover something new. These instances of discovery are usually born from collections that aren’t explicitly dynamic like vital statistics, newspapers and deed records. “What we often identify as a ‘treasure’ might not be the most valuable document to researchers. Their values, interests and research dictate what a treasure is, and we have to celebrate those everyday moments of discovery,” said Mr. Marz.

Mr. Marz described how DPA is using social media to reach patrons beyond its physical walls and emphasized the importance of cultivating interest in younger generations of researchers by engaging them where they spend time online. Mr. Marz shared the stage with the Hon. Secretaries of State from Rhode Island and Tennessee and the session was moderated by the Hon. Tom Schedler, Secretary of State, Louisiana.

Friday, August 22, 2014

News from University of Delaware Library: Opening of the Senator Edward E. "Ted" Kaufman Papers

The University of Delaware Library celebrated the opening of a new research collection, the Senator Edward E. “Ted” Kaufman papers (http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/html/mss0660.html), on March 21, 2014. The Kaufman papers presented new challenges and opportunities for the Library that included managing its first significant acquisition of electronic records and developing its first online exhibition with Omeka.

Senator Kaufman’s collection largely reflects the work of his term as a United States Senator from Delaware, January 2009-November 2010. Kaufman, who served on the Senate staff of Joseph R. Biden Jr. from 1973-1995, was appointed to fill the Senate seat left vacant when Biden was elected Vice President of the United States. Senator Kaufman served on the Senate committees on Foreign Relations, the Judiciary, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Armed Services. He made several trips to the Middle East and advocated for financial system reform. He also promoted the expansion of education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Additionally, he served as the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP) chairman from October 2010 until the panel ceased operation in March 2011.
When the Kaufman papers were acquired in 2010, they included approximately 90 gigabytes of electronic records. The processing archivists first established an electronic records management program for the Library. They created procedures for processing electronic records and worked with Library IT staff to set up a stand-alone electronic records processing workstation. The electronic records in the Kaufman papers were the first to be accessioned. Appraisal reduced the size of the records to 68 gigabytes. The records were then arranged and described in the collection finding aid. The processed records were copied to a read-only server accessible from a dedicated computer in the Special Collections reading room. The reading room computer allows researchers to browse directories and files and to open multiple file types, including text, video, and audio without making modifications to the records.
The Kaufman collection also propelled the creation of the Library’s first online exhibition using Omeka, the open-source web publishing platform. The “Edward E. ‘Ted’ Kaufman Papers” (http://exhibits.lib.udel.edu/exhibits/show/kaufman) website uses a theme specially designed for the project by Library staff. The site introduces visitors to Ted Kaufman, his career, and research materials related to Congress and Delaware government and politics available through the Library. It also features an exhibit, “22 Months: Ted Kaufman in the U.S. Senate,” (http://exhibits.lib.udel.edu/exhibits/show/kaufman/22-months) that explores highlights of Kaufman’s senatorial career and draws on both paper and electronic records in the collection.

The Edward E. “Ted” Kaufman papers were processed and curated by Danielle Emerling and Tammi Kim, Assistant Librarians, Manuscripts and Archives Department. A more detailed account of the processing of the electronic records is available in the Society of American Archivists Congressional Papers Roundtable Fall 2013 newsletter (http://www2.archivists.org/sites/all/files/2013_Fall_0.pdf).
By Danielle Emerling