Posts tagged archives
usnatarchives:

When the National Archives closed its doors on October 1 due to the government shutdown, staff did not know when they would return to work. So Meris Westberg took her skills to the Historical Society of Washington, DC (HSW).
When Westberg joined HSW a few months ago, she had talked to the collections manager, Anne McDonough, about volunteering there. But the hours were similar to her work hours at the National Archives, where Westberg works on books and manuscripts in Hebrew and Arabic from the Iraqi Jewish Archives, so it didn’t seem likely she would be give many volunteer hours—until the furlough allowed her the time.
Westberg is a conservation technician, and so with the permission of HSW staff, she developed some short-term preservation projects that would benefit their staff and researchers. She created a Google spreadsheet of over 100 city directories from 1820 to 1900. These books were the “Yellow Pages” of their time, according to Westberg, and they are popular with researches.
The directories were in varying conditions: some were rebound and in good shape, others were falling apart. Westberg examined and noted the condition of each on her spreadsheet and did some light conservation work, including bracing the volumes with twill tape, surface cleaning, and interleaving acid-free paper behind iron-gall ink signatures. She also recommended the care that each volume needed to receive—mostly to rehouse the directory or repair it.
Westberg estimates she gave about 40 hours of volunteer time to HSW during the furlough. “It was a good opportunity to put time in and continue using the skills I had learned at the National Archives,” she said. “I was glad to have a temporary home for the time I had off.”
Image: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Washington, DC.

usnatarchives:

When the National Archives closed its doors on October 1 due to the government shutdown, staff did not know when they would return to work. So Meris Westberg took her skills to the Historical Society of Washington, DC (HSW).

When Westberg joined HSW a few months ago, she had talked to the collections manager, Anne McDonough, about volunteering there. But the hours were similar to her work hours at the National Archives, where Westberg works on books and manuscripts in Hebrew and Arabic from the Iraqi Jewish Archives, so it didn’t seem likely she would be give many volunteer hours—until the furlough allowed her the time.

Westberg is a conservation technician, and so with the permission of HSW staff, she developed some short-term preservation projects that would benefit their staff and researchers. She created a Google spreadsheet of over 100 city directories from 1820 to 1900. These books were the “Yellow Pages” of their time, according to Westberg, and they are popular with researches.

The directories were in varying conditions: some were rebound and in good shape, others were falling apart. Westberg examined and noted the condition of each on her spreadsheet and did some light conservation work, including bracing the volumes with twill tape, surface cleaning, and interleaving acid-free paper behind iron-gall ink signatures. She also recommended the care that each volume needed to receive—mostly to rehouse the directory or repair it.

Westberg estimates she gave about 40 hours of volunteer time to HSW during the furlough. “It was a good opportunity to put time in and continue using the skills I had learned at the National Archives,” she said. “I was glad to have a temporary home for the time I had off.”

Image: Courtesy of the Historical Society of Washington, DC.

58 notes

#archives

Ernest Hemingway’s childhood scrapbooks now available online for the first time. Very cool stuff. Just look at that baby. You can see that … and more!
I love it how more and more historical documents are being made accessible to the public via the internets.

Ernest Hemingway’s childhood scrapbooks now available online for the first time. Very cool stuff. Just look at that baby. You can see that … and more!

I love it how more and more historical documents are being made accessible to the public via the internets.

5 notes

#library

#libraries

#JFK Library

#Hemingway

#scrapbooks

#museums

#archives

#public access

Fullerton in 1988

Fullerton Station in 1988. View more at the CTA Flickr stream. Who knew such a page existed? Not I.

3 notes

#chicago

#cta stop

#historical photos

#archives

usnatarchives:

A volunteer was prepping an unopened file for digital scanning and found this mole’s skin pressed in the papers of a Civil War widow’s pension file!
How did a preserved mole skin end up in our archives?

The soldier, James J. Van Liew, didn’t care to share his tent with this uninvited guest and captured it. As (a joke? a love token?), Van Liew sent the skin to his wife, Charity. She kept it for years but lost his original letter.
In July 1900, Charity applied to the government for a widow’s pension. In these applications, the widow had to establish her relationship with the soldier, and in an era before consistent recording of marriages, the women often had to be creative. Charity had no marriage certificate, but she did have this mole skin. She sent the Pension Bureau four testimonials from friends who had seen Van Liew’s letter—addressed to “Dear Wife”—and the surprising enclosure.

Just goes to show you never know what you will find in an archives. Happy American Archives Month!


This is so wonderful on so many levels!

usnatarchives:

A volunteer was prepping an unopened file for digital scanning and found this mole’s skin pressed in the papers of a Civil War widow’s pension file!

How did a preserved mole skin end up in our archives?

The soldier, James J. Van Liew, didn’t care to share his tent with this uninvited guest and captured it. As (a joke? a love token?), Van Liew sent the skin to his wife, Charity. She kept it for years but lost his original letter.

In July 1900, Charity applied to the government for a widow’s pension. In these applications, the widow had to establish her relationship with the soldier, and in an era before consistent recording of marriages, the women often had to be creative. Charity had no marriage certificate, but she did have this mole skin. She sent the Pension Bureau four testimonials from friends who had seen Van Liew’s letter—addressed to “Dear Wife”—and the surprising enclosure.

Just goes to show you never know what you will find in an archives. Happy American Archives Month!

This is so wonderful on so many levels!

464 notes

#archives

#moles

#history

creativeusefularts:

Grateful Dead Archives Opens Today!!

Celebrate by (http://library.ucsc.edu/grateful-dead-archive) officially celebrating the grand public opening on June 29, from 1 to 4 pm, at McHenry Library, UC Santa Cruz, home of the Grateful Dead Archive.  Other sites, http://archive.org/details/GratefulDead and http://www.dead.net have been a source for much of the music of the Grateful Dead. But nobody has a copy of the Grateful Dead Nativity Scene!  The UC Santa Cruz has been busy putting this archive together. Katie Fortney and Sarah Lindsey deserve much credit with thanks to an IMLS grant.  UC Santa Cruz received the archives in 2008. There is 600 linear feet of documents and 40,000 digital objects thanks in large part to a dedicated and well organized fan - Eileen Law since the early 1970’s

Peggy Hoon, University of North Carolina, helped with the process and policies needed with the Archive.  Motivation is not financial. Rather, the intent is to provide access and preservation of these items. “Claiming fair use while wearing a Kevlar vest” The scope of the project, steps taken, and securing copyright permissions were discussed.  They created their own digitization guidelines including the format, image quality, bit depth, metadata, resolution, images, scanning, encoding, compression, etc.  They use the statement all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.  All material are open, free and totally accessible. There is advice restricting reproduction or publication. UC Santa Cruz also provides freely available the information for licensing the information from http:/bitily/gdaocip2012, Deed of gift information can be obtained from the same site.

They only claim physical ownership of material. They reviewed and considered many copyright topics - CONFU, Orphan works, work for hire, Section 110.2, TEACH Act, for all types of material in the AGD collection.  Examples of items include fan art, posters, album covers, tickets, photos, clippings, tshirts, back stage passes, and fanzines.  Many of the works are covered by deed gift.  Potential copyright holders were identified and attempts were made to contact them.  Fair use guidelines were followed by sorting the format type and determining the governing sections of fair use, then the relevant case law.  They want to develop good faith copyright guidelines.  

For Mike and other reformed deadheads.

(via thelifeguardlibrarian)

29 notes

#grateful dead

#mikemorrow

#archives

preservearchives:

When Records Get Dirty
Over the past four years, Preservation Programs in St. Louis has been dealing with a few extremely nasty problems—namely, mold infestation and bird guano.
Some of the mold was related to the 1973 fire, at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Other areas had leaks that developed after the 6th floor was demolished (because it had burned), and the fire suppression and pipe systems had to be re-adjusted.
But how did the bird guano get into the records? St. Louis is known for its extremely hot and humid summers, and in our old building many of the non-archival records storage areas weren’t climate controlled. The staff members frequently opened the windows (removing the screens, for some reason), and in flew the birds. You can guess the rest. We found nests. We found feathers. We even found eggs.
We didn’t want to bring these contaminated records to our clean, new, archivally climate-controlled building. We received funding to have most of them—12,372 boxes’ worth—sent away to be gamma radiated, at a cost of nearly $1.5 million.
But first we had to survey all of the boxes. We found 14,719 cubic feet of moldy records and 8,200 cubic feet of boxes with guano in them. The preservation technician in the above photo didn’t actually treat the records; the guano-infested boxes were hauled away for cleaning by movers in full hazmat suits. Techs weren’t even allowed to touch the guano boxes, so that we didn’t spread contaminated material during the survey.
Thankfully, the project is nearly over. And while there is still more work to be done, we were able to make the records safe to handle for future use.

I learned a new word today: guano.

preservearchives:

When Records Get Dirty

Over the past four years, Preservation Programs in St. Louis has been dealing with a few extremely nasty problems—namely, mold infestation and bird guano.

Some of the mold was related to the 1973 fire, at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). Other areas had leaks that developed after the 6th floor was demolished (because it had burned), and the fire suppression and pipe systems had to be re-adjusted.

But how did the bird guano get into the records? St. Louis is known for its extremely hot and humid summers, and in our old building many of the non-archival records storage areas weren’t climate controlled. The staff members frequently opened the windows (removing the screens, for some reason), and in flew the birds. You can guess the rest. We found nests. We found feathers. We even found eggs.

We didn’t want to bring these contaminated records to our clean, new, archivally climate-controlled building. We received funding to have most of them—12,372 boxes’ worth—sent away to be gamma radiated, at a cost of nearly $1.5 million.

But first we had to survey all of the boxes. We found 14,719 cubic feet of moldy records and 8,200 cubic feet of boxes with guano in them. The preservation technician in the above photo didn’t actually treat the records; the guano-infested boxes were hauled away for cleaning by movers in full hazmat suits. Techs weren’t even allowed to touch the guano boxes, so that we didn’t spread contaminated material during the survey.

Thankfully, the project is nearly over. And while there is still more work to be done, we were able to make the records safe to handle for future use.

I learned a new word today: guano.

137 notes

#preservation

#archives

#bird guano

todaysdocument:

From the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero
aotus:

Together We Can Do It!
We just launched the Citizen Archivist Dashboard (http://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/).  We encourage you to get involved in elevating the visibility of the records of the United States. Did you know that many grade school children aren’t taught cursive handwriting anymore and can’t read cursive?  Help us transcribe records and guarantee that school children can make use of our documents.  I have transcribed one myself!
Read more on the AOTUS blog…


A new goal for 2012.

todaysdocument:

From the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero

aotus:

Together We Can Do It!

We just launched the Citizen Archivist Dashboard (http://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/).  We encourage you to get involved in elevating the visibility of the records of the United States. Did you know that many grade school children aren’t taught cursive handwriting anymore and can’t read cursive?  Help us transcribe records and guarantee that school children can make use of our documents.  I have transcribed one myself!

Read more on the AOTUS blog…

A new goal for 2012.

406 notes

#archives

#us history

#historical documents