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- Accelerating Exposure of Audio Visual Collections, What’s Next?
- Diversity and Collaboration: Making Hidden Mexican, Jewish, and Chinese Collections Discoverable
- Engaging Students in Complex Description: Three Projects, Multiple Languages, and EAC-CPF in the Classroom
- Grinnell to GUIDs: Connecting Natural Science Archives and Specimens
- Innovations in Processing: Practical tools and strategies for processing your unique archival collection
- Looking Back and Facing Forward: Learning from Collaborations with Our Peers and Constituents
- Obstacles and Solutions: Establishing Cataloging Methodologies for Specialized Collections
- Opening Up the Urban Archive: Innovations in Teaching, Research and Digital Outreach
- The Practice of Privacy
- Success Beyond Access: Maximizing Faculty Buy-In, Student Assistance, and Public Use
Accelerating Exposure of Audio Visual Collections, What’s Next
- Karen Cariani, Director WGBH Media Library and Archives, WGBH Educational Foundation
- Sadie Roosa, Production Assistant, WGBH Educational Foundation
- Brian Graney, Archivist and Head of Public and Technology Services, Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana University
- Jack Brighton, Director of New Media and Innovation, Illinois Public Media, University of Illinois
- Mark Cooper, Professor of Film and Media Studies, University South Carolina (participating discussant)
- Mark Williams, Associate Professor, Department of Film and Media Studies, Dartmouth College (participating discussant)
The panel will take a top level view of moving images as records, addressing the nature of challenges to custodians and users. We will present issues of exposing large audiovisual collections online with examples from Hidden Collections initiatives, and we will ask questions about necessary next steps. User interest in the exposure of digitized objects must be constantly weighed against the cost of preparation, management and storage.
We will present the Boston Local TV News Digital Library project as our core example, http://bostonlocaltv.org/ As a collaborative project, it has been a signal success, exposing around 50,000 individual film and video news stories from between 1960 and 2000. The four institutional partners addressed issues faced by libraries and other institutions with large moving image collections: how to effectively and economically expose large collections for better access, solve rights issues that may effect online access and use, and build awareness and use for educational needs. The project showed that exposing minimal item- level descriptive data increases awareness and discoverability of collections.
The discussion will be enhanced with examples from other moving image Hidden Collections projects, with particular attention to overcoming technology barriers, funding strictures, and staffing limitations. Presenters will focus on the importance of sharing metadata standards for audiovisual works, in particular the use of PBCore, and will report from the PBCore users community. We will discuss effectiveness of metadata workshops in a period of transition.
Finally, we will propose that the questions around metadata harvesting and participation in portals such as the Digital Public Library of America may be fruitfully addressed by those present.
Accelerating Exposure of Audio Visual Collections, What’s Next?, by Karen Cariani, Sadie Roosa, Jack Brighton, Brian Graney
Diversity and Collaboration: Making Hidden Mexican, Jewish, and Chinese Collections Discoverable
- Felicia Piscitelli, Associate Professor, Special Collections Cataloger, Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A & M University
- Anton DuPlessis Curator, Colonial Mexican Collection, Cushing Memorial Library & Archives, Texas A&M University
- Laura Leone, Director of Archive and Library Services, Center for Jewish History
- Rachel Miller, Senior Manager for Collection Services, Center for Jewish History
- Zhijia Shen, Director of the East Asia Library, University of Washington
- Jing Liu, Chinese Language Librarian, University of British Columbia
This panel includes three papers on projects that have leveraged international, cross-institutional, and regional collaborations to increase access to collections representative of different ethnic and national groups.
The first paper, “The Deceased Preaches His Own Eulogy, or Training Students to Provide Access Points on Discovery Level Records,” addresses the question of whether students with no prior cataloging experience can create discovery-level records by outlining a methodology whereby hispanophone students, with a brief period of training and a written instruction manual, input bibliographic data into a template in four stages. This project entailed collaboration between two units-Special Collections and Cataloging within the Texas A&M University Libraries, and between the Texas A&M Libraries and two librarians from Mexico.
The second paper, “All History is Local: Expanding Access to American Jewish Archival Collections,” details a multi-phase initiative of the Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) to enhance access to archival collections at regional Jewish historical societies on the Eastern seaboard. The project’s primary goal is to boost online representation and collection visibility from a local to a national level. The first phase, through a series of repository site visits, focused on relationship building and information gathering, as well as the migration of a test batch of collection-level records into AJHS’s Portal to American Jewish History. Presenters will describe the initial phase and potential future phases of the initiative.
The third paper, “International Collaboration to Reveal Rare Chinese Materials Hidden for Half a Century,” discusses the international collaborative project between University of Washington Libraries and University of British Columbia Libraries (Canada) to reveal the hidden treasures of Chinese language materials, including rare books, special collections, archival materials, etc. printed from the 14th to the early 20th century. This project involves collaborative project planning and management and resource sharing, staff exchange and training between the two institutions across national boundaries, and with academic libraries in China. The paper will also demonstrate how international collaboration can optimize libraries’ capacity and resources to accomplish difficult tasks, and outline challenges of working with policies, laws, and regulations of different countries.
As library and archival services become more globalized and collections more diverse, the need for regional, national, and international collaborations will continue to grow. The lessons learned and experiences described by these three papers will serve to encourage and to inform an increase in collaborative efforts on future CLIR-funded projects.
All History is Local: Expanding Access to American Jewish Archival Collections, by Susan Malbin, Laura Leone, Rachel Miller, Rachel Harrison, Sarah Ponichtera, Christine McEvilly, and Kevin Schlottmann
The Deceased Preaches His Own Eulogy: Training Students to Provide Access Points on Discovery Level Records, by Felicia Piscitelli, Lisa Furubotten, Anton duPlessis, Alma Beatriz Rivera Aguilera, and Ángel Villaba Roldán
International Collaboration to Reveal Rare Chinese Materials Hidden for Half a Century, by Zhijia Shen and Jing Liu
Engaging Students in Complex Description: Three Projects, Multiple Languages, and EAC-CPF in the Classroom
- Lois Black (moderator), Curator of Special Collections, Lehigh University
- Andrew Stahlhut, Project Cataloger/Ph.D. candidate, Lehigh University
- Greg Edwards, Project Archivist, Lehigh University
- Ilhan Citak, Archives and Special Collections Librarian, Lehigh University
- Valerie Addonizio, Project Archivist, Johns Hopkins University
Through the course of three Hidden Collections grants, Lehigh University Libraries Special Collections and the Johns Hopkins Scholarly Resources and Special Collections both used student workers to address complexities that went beyond the average needs of student description projects.
Lehigh’s first CLIR Hidden Collections Project, “The Moravian Community in the New World: The First One Hundred Years”, presented linguistic as well as paleographic challenges. Project staff members with a reading knowledge of German, as well as staff with a bibliographic knowledge of several European languages, were trained to read Fraktur and German script at the start of the project. In another project processing civil engineering archives in the “Bridge and Building Forensics: Civil Engineering Archives at Lehigh University” students are required to understand general civil engineering concepts as well as complex civil engineering vocabularies.
The Special Collections Research Center at Johns Hopkins University received a CLIR grant for processing the archives of the Roland Park Company, a developer responsible for the area immediately north of the main campus. The grant included a partnership with a local high school history class to complete the biographical research for EAC-CPF records. Rather than simplify ISAAR (CPF) and EAC-CPF for the students, project staff distilled them into discrete, easy-to-understand tasks that allowed for the production of controlled data in a high school environment. The resulting EAC records varied in comprehensiveness, and while overall a great success, the presenter will discuss the challenges and lessons learned from this endeavor.
Collaboration and Education: Engaging High School Students with EAC-CPF Research, by Valerie Addonizio and Christopher Case
Engaging Students in Complex Description: Two CLIR Hidden Collections Projects, by Lois Fischer Black, Ilhan Citak, Gregory A. Edwards, and Andrew Stahlhut
Grinnell to GUIDs: Connecting Natural Science Archives and Specimens
- Christina Fidler, Museum Archivist, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley
- Barbara Mathe, Museum Archivist and Head of Library Special Collections, American Museum of Natural History
- Rusty Russell,Program Director for Collections & Informatics, Smithsonian Institution
- Tim White, Director of Collections and Operations, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University
“It is quite probable that the facts of distribution, life history, and economic status may finally prove to be of more far-reaching value, than whatever information is obtainable exclusively from the specimens themselves.” From: “The Methods and Uses of a Research Museum” by Joseph Grinnell (1915), Popular Science Monthly 77: 163–169.
Joseph Grinnell, the first Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley foreshadowed-by more than a century- the growing recognition within today’s natural science community of the value of all information found and gathered during a collecting event.
In 1908, Grinnell developed and implemented a detailed protocol for recording field observations. These integral materials, gathered along with specimens, contain extensive information that may not appear on labels attached to or stored with collections objects. They may include detailed accounts of individual species’ behaviors, annotated topographic maps, photographs of collecting sites, observations independent of specimens collected, interactions with local or indigenous populations, and other data, e.g. weather conditions, vegetation types, vocalizations, and various evidence of animal presence in a given locale.
Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio), part of the National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) funded by the National Science Foundation is an aggregator that will allow data and images for millions of biological specimens to be made available electronically. This past March, iDigBio, Yale University, and the Field Book Project sponsored a workshop focused on digitizing original source materials associated with scientific collections.
As part of our self-assigned task to document Best Practices for Natural Science Archives, four panelists will outline processes developed with CLIR funding for managing natural science archives. Topics will include : effectively inventorying large archives; cataloging and improving accessibility to field books; using the EAC-CPF standard for community developed and shared authorities; integrating access to archival and specimen collections within museum collection management systems; and using the NCD standard (Natural Collections Description) to describe both specimen and archival collections.
Adding the voice and experience of the natural science archival community to the current international effort to develop a conceptual model for archives will contribute to consolidating access to information held in Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAMS).
Our desired long-term goal: establishing reliable and informative links between scientific and archival collections within and across institutions and-and within the larger context of the semantic web-with other “cultural” resources, perhaps better called “knowledge” resources.
Grinnell to GUIDs: Connecting Natural Science Archives and Specimens, by Christina Fidler, Barbara Mathe, Rusty Russell, and Tim White
Innovations in Processing: Practical tools and strategies for processing your unique archival collection
- Joy Banks, Librarian, Bok Tower Gardens
- Jaime Fogel, Library Special Projects Assistant, Bok Tower Gardens
- Megan McShea, Audiovisual Archivist Archives of American Art
- Matthew Peek, CLIR Metcalf Project Photograph Archivist, Montana Historical Society Research Center (past); Military Collections Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina (current)
- Annie Tummino, Project Archivist, Museum of the City of New York and Queens Museum (past); Project Manager, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) (current)
This panel discussion will provide practical tools and strategies from four organizations’ archival processing projects that audience members will be able to apply to their own unique collections.
· A recent project at the Archives of American Art sought to address a lack of guidelines or best practices for collection management, processing, and description of audiovisual materials found within manuscript collections. Learn about tools created in the course of the project that seek to integrate best practices for audiovisual material with those for traditional archival processing, to help archivists to make the A/V material in their collections just as accessible, both intellectually and physically, as other kinds of records in the context of their collection of origin.
· The Anton Brees Carillon Library at Bok Tower Gardens houses a unique collection of materials related to the carillon (an instrument of at least 23 bells in chromatic series) and the professionals that play them. Like many small libraries with limited funds, the staff has been working on creative solutions to process this hidden collection; making the best use of staff time, organizing the materials to maximize their accessibility, and effectively using the resources available, including Microsoft Access and CONTENTdm, to create replicable and manageable workflows.
· Many congressional photograph collections of U.S. congressmen who served after World War II suffer from a lack of informational and written historical context for many of their images, often due to the relatively recent nature of the congressmen’s service. The Senator Lee Metcalf collection, housed at the Montana Historical Society, was no exception. MHS used processing methods based on the senators’ work, and the structure and content of the senators’ own papers. Difficulties encountered in image identification, including identifying creators and dates for events, will be examined, particularly as it applies to modern media photography and user-generated photographs.
· The Museum of the City of New York and Queens Museum undertook a collaborative project to process and make accessible their collections from the 1939/40 and 1964/65 New York World’s Fairs. This unique collaboration required the development of compatible standards and processing of a diverse array of object types, which at times had been dispersed throughout the museums’ collections and were held at separate physical storage locations. The finding aids had to coherently account for both parallels and divergences in the two museums’ collections, and a workflow was developed for sharing catalog records across three content management systems.
Looking Back and Facing Forward: Learning from Collaborations with Our Peers and Constituents
- David McKnight, Director, The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
- Eric Pumroy, Associate Chief Information Officer and Head of Special Collections, Bryn Mawr College
- Emily Gustainis, Head, Collections Services, Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Successful collaborations require substantial investments of time, effort, and resources in the pursuit of clear lines of communication, participant accountability, and consensus. Whether you are working with peer institutions to the benefit of researchers, or partnering with researchers to the benefit of institutions, voluntary collaborations require to us to critically examine both our own experiences and those of others.
This session will explore two very different types of collaborations–those with peers and those with user communities–by examining the political, professional, and technical issues that influence collaboration. David McKnight, Director, The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania, and Eric Pumroy, Associate Chief Information Officer and Head of Special Collections, Bryn Mawr, will explore the challenges of sustaining both the technological infrastructure and institutional network for the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). Emily R. Novak Gustainis, Head, Collections Services, Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, will explore two CLIR-funded initiatives to engage researchers at all stages of their careers in an effort to understand how archival descriptive practice can be modified to better address researcher needs.
The Challenges of Sustaining a Long-Term Collaboration: Reflections on the Philadelphia Hidden Collections Projects, by David McKnight and Eric Pumroy
Obstacles and Solutions: Establishing Cataloging Methodologies for Specialized Collections
- Lynn Ransom (moderator), Curator of Programs, Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania
- Joel Alderfer, Collections Manager, Mennonite Heritage Center
- Caitlin Harvey, Curator, Historic Bethlehem Partnership
- Katharine Malcolm, Project Coordinator, Georgetown University
- Candace Perry, Curator of Collections, Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center
- Christen Runge, Assistant Curator, Georgetown University
- Jennifer Spence, Churchill Weavers Project Coordinator, Kentucky Historical Society
The panel will discuss the individual challenges encountered in developing cataloging procedures for three unique collections. Panelists will also offer examples of how such issues were successfully resolved, which may serve as models for similar collections.
1. In 2011, the Goschenhoppen Historians, the Mennonite Heritage Center, and the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center, all located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, received a CLIR grant to catalog their very significant, but relatively unknown, collections of Pennsylvania German textiles, which includes quilts, needlework, domestic woven textiles and clothing. The three organizations share common geography as well as the “common thread” of similar textile-making, and use traditions based in their mutual Pennsylvania German heritage.
Panelists will present the cataloging strategies employed for delivering a standardization of terms to be used for the various textile forms, and the inclusion of a lexicon of equivalent terms in the Pennsylvania German dialect. They will discuss the rewards and pitfalls of an intensive collaborative effort between their organizations.
2. In 2007, the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) acquired the fabric archive from one of America’s finest handweaving businesses-Churchill Weavers. Following preliminary efforts to catalog textiles item by item, staff determined that the collection lends well to a hybrid of archival and museum cataloging techniques-an approach rarely applied to museum artifacts. The archive has since been cataloged at the box-level, utilizing the archives module in PastPerfect, in order to retain crucial information about weave structures, patterns, products, fiber contents, and colors of over 30,000 textiles.
Panelists will identify the challenges, successes and innovative work that occurred in cataloging this large textile collection. They will also present the unique promotional efforts happening to make aware the accessibility of this important fabric archive.
3. In 2011, Georgetown University was awarded a CLIR grant to research and catalog the personal collections of six significant 20th century American printmakers: Lynd Ward, John DePol, Louise Miller Boyer, Helen King Boyer, Marguerite Kumm and Kathleen Spagnolo. More than 5,400 objects were cataloged for the ‘Undiscovered Printmakers: Hidden Treasures in Georgetown University’s Library’ project, which was successfully completed in 2014.
Panelists will discuss how they developed a customized database template of standardized terms, during their pilot use of a new collections management database, EmbARK, enabling catalogers to record specialized information for fine prints, including multi-media objects, artworks classified as more than one ‘object type’, multiple date associations, and a large variety of print marks.
The Churchill Weavers Collection–An American Treasure Uncovered, by Jenifer Spence
Obstacles and Solutions in Establishing Cataloging Standards for Fine Print Collections, by Katharine Malcolm and Christen Runge
Pennsylvania German Textile Cataloging, by Candace Perry
Opening Up the Urban Archive: Innovations in Teaching, Research and Digital Outreach
- Jennifer James, Associate Professor of English and Director, The Africana Studies Program; P.I., The District of Columbia Africana Archives Project
- Doretha Williams, Project Director, The District of Columbia Africana Archives Project
- Jaime Janda, Collections Processing Manager, University of North Texas Special Collections
- Morgan Gieringer, Head, Special Collections, University of North Texas Special Collections
This panel will discuss outreach innovations in two Hidden Collections Projects: The Post-war Industry and Development of the Southwest Metroplex collections (Dallas/Fort Worth) and The D.C. Africana Archives Project (Washington, D.C.).
The D.C. Africana Archives Project is a collaborative effort bringing together six collecting institutions in Washington D.C. to address archival backlogs: The George Washington University, Howard University, the Historical Society of Washington D.C., the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History, the D.C. Archives and the MLK Public Library of the D.C. Public Libraries. This rich set of collections documents the long and varied African American and African Diaspora experience in the nation’s capital and the surrounding metropolitan regions, boasting materials of great cultural, political, and historical importance. While the primary goal is to arrange, describe, and make accessible unprocessed collections, we have broadened the idea of “accessible” to include more than researchers and scholars. We are developing public history programs, models for secondary and collegiate courses, and community projects that we hope will challenge received, paradigmatic ideas about who the archives are for and how they can be most fruitfully engaged. We are also designing a website that will allow for blogging about the archives by project participants, researchers, students, and members of the community. Other interactive features will be incorporated.
The Post-war Industry and Development of the Southwest Metroplex collections, which document the swift emergence of The Dallas/Fort Worth area, provide a window for examining the social effects of large scale development and population growth. The rapid growth experienced in DFW in the past 50 years make it a productive site for examining key issues facing similarly expansive urban geographies: infrastructure, housing, public services, economic development, and humans’ role in shaping our landscape and environment. Using innovative tools to reach our most likely users is core to our project’s success. The Archive’s Facebook page, Twitter account and project blog will be used as a networking tool to contact researchers in urban studies, geography, history and other disciplines that may be interested in this project. It is hoped that through the use of social media we will not only be able to connect researchers with our institution but also to connect researchers to each other. In addition we will forge social connections with other urban studies archives throughout the country to seek avenues for institutional collaboration and support.
Opening Up the Urban Archive: Digital Outreach to Urban Studies Scholars, by Morgan Gieringer and Jaime Janda
The Practice of Privacy
- Phoebe Letocha, Collections Management Archivist, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
- Emily Gustainis, Head, Collections Services, Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Monica Mercado (moderator), Director, Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, Bryn Mawr | CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow, Bryn Mawr
Whether privacy is legally mandated (as with HIPAA and FERPA), governed by institutional, State, or Federal records schedules, or applied per local practice, all repositories maintain records that pose significant challenges to access. Drawing upon the experiences of two archivists who managed CLIR-funded processing initiatives for public health collections containing protected health information, this session will build on lessons learned and feedback received as a result of the Center for the History of Medicine and the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives’s, “Private Practices, Public Health: Privacy-Aware Processing to Maximize Access to Health Collections” grant, as well as offer a review of best practices developed as a product of project work. The session will address: the barriers to providing access to health collections; the results of its 2014 survey on negotiating access to patient related materials (see: https://cms.www.countway.harvard.edu/wp/?cat=640); what descriptive information is needed by historians of medicine, health, and society to determine if a collection is appropriate for their research; and how archivists can change their practices to better promote the use of records that inform social and medical histories through the lens of patient care.
The Practice of Privacy, by Emily R. Novak Gustainis and Phoebe Evans Letocha
Success Beyond Access: Maximizing Faculty Buy-In, Student Assistance, and Public Use
- Harlan Green, Head of Special Collections, College of Charleston (Moderator)
- Dale Rosengarten, Curator of the Jewish Heritage Collection, College of Charleston
- Amy Lazarus, Processing Archivist, College of Charleston
- Christopher Harter, Director of Library and Reference Services, Amistad Research Center
- Elisabeth McMahon, Associate Professor, History Department, Tulane University
The Jewish Heritage Collection (JHC) at the College of Charleston and the Amistad Research Center (ARC) in New Orleans have both received multiple CLIR grants to not only process and catalog hidden collections, but actively recruit new users and advocates for their respective collections. At both institutions, access to previously underutilized collections has gone beyond mere organization and description to embrace collaborations with faculty, students, and scholars who have served as partners in promoting collections and maximizing access to them. While working independently, the efforts at the JHC and Amistad share some similar outcomes. This panel will discuss their successes and pitfalls and propose means by which other libraries/archives can successfully leverage faculty buy-in and student participation in opening up hidden collections.
The Jewish Heritage Collection (JHC) was awarded grants in 2009 and in 2012 to process and catalog two collections; the first focused on southern Jewish material, and the second on the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection. Both collections were indispensable to the College’s Jewish Studies Program and South Carolina’s Jewish Historical Society, which in turn provide a formidable cadre of patrons and users whose material contributions and insights enhance the collections. These grants have demonstrated the powerful influence JHC has had on various constituencies, including people who may have been previously unaware of the collections.
Similarly, the ARC received grants in 2008 and 2013 to organize multiple collections of personal papers and organizational records pertaining to the Civil Rights Movement and liberation/anti-colonial activities in Africa. Amistad’s adoption of a hidden collections agenda coincided with its development of a formal student mentoring program, as well as increased focus on integrating its collections into courses at area universities, particularly in service-learning courses taught at the Center’s host institution, Tulane University. Efforts on the part of Amistad’s staff have resulted in the establishment of partnerships that have provided benefits to faculty, students, and the Center.
This panel will present hard data and a wealth of anecdotal evidence from both institutions in the form of a roundtable discussion of archival/library staff, as well as historians in relevant fields who have partnered with the institutions to promote access to the collections. Topics will include : networking with scholars and students, promoting outreach and collaborations in novel ways, effective planning between faculty and institutional staff, and the appeal of hidden collections for scholars, as well as their use in coaxing students into the reading room.
A Perfect Storm: Maximizing Faculty Buy-in, Service Learning, and Hidden Collections, byChristopher Harter and Elisabeth McMahon
Success Beyond Access: CLIR-ing the Way, by Harlan Greene, Amy Lazarus, and Dale Rosengarten