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2008 Funded Projects

2008 Funded Projects

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The following projects were selected from among 118 full proposals submitted in 2008. Award recipients will create web-accessible records according to standards that will enable the federation of their local cataloging entries into larger groups of related records, enabling the broadest possible exposure to the scholarly community.

A student works with materials at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston
Providing Access to African American Collections at the Avery Research Center

This two-year project involves creating finding aids and records for diverse historical materials related to coastal African American culture in South Carolina. Among the items selected for cataloging are the Holloway family scrapbook, which documents the history of a family of free people of color in antebellum Charleston, papers and oral histories of local civil rights leaders, papers and records related to the experience of African American women, oral histories of local sweet grass basket makers, and the field notes, recordings, African artifacts, and research files of renowned anthropologists Joseph Towles and Colin Turnbull. More information about the Avery Research Center’s collections is available at the Center’s website.

Ephemera from the collections of the California Historical Society; the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society; the San Francisco Public Library; and the Society of California Pioneers

California Historical Society
The California Ephemera Project

The California Ephemera Project is creating MARC records, OAC finding aids, and a searchable database linking the ephemera collections of four institutions: the California Historical Society; the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society; the San Francisco Public Library; and the Society of California Pioneers. These collections comprise materials-brochures, catalogs, menus, billheads, business cards, theater programs, political flyers, event invitations and more-whose content will contribute significantly to our understanding of the social and material culture of California in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The project blog can be viewed at:

David Rutstein, c. 1955, in 'The Facts of Medicine'

Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School
Foundations of Public Health Policy

This project will involve the creation of finding aids for the papers of key leaders in American public health from the latter half of the twentieth century. The collections are those of: Leona Baumgartner, the first woman commissioner of the New York City Department of Health; Allan Macy Butler, Chief of the Children’s Medical Service at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1942 to 1960; David Rutstein, who headed the Harvard Medical School Department of Preventive Medicine, 1947-1971; and Howard Hiatt, the Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health from 1972-1984. These collections will contribute substantially to scholars’ and practitioners’ understanding of the origins, evolution, and optimal future direction of the American health care system.
At left: David Rutstein, c. 1955, in “The Facts of Medicine”, an early use of television in health education efforts.

Émile Fréchon, Ouled Näil women playing cards, 1890s. Ken and Jenny Jacobson orientalist photography collection.

Getty Research Institute
Uncovering Archives and Rare Photographs: Two Models for Creating Accession-level Finding Aids Using Archivists’ Toolkit

This project will create catalog records and finding aids for a diverse range of materials including letters, manuscripts, artists’ books, audio and video recordings, drawings, printed ephemera, slides, stereographs, and thousands of 19th- and early 20th-century photographic prints. The archival collections document intersections of art and language in the 20th century-collections of great research value to scholars across disciplines, from art history to literature to cultural studies to technology. The 26,000 rare photographs selected for this project have proven research value to historians, architects, anthropologists and archaeologists, as well as art historians.
At left: Émile Fréchon, Ouled Näil women playing cards, 1890s. Ken and Jenny Jacobson orientalist photography collection.

Goucher College Student works in Special Collections

Goucher College
Mapping Special Collections for Research and Teaching at Goucher College

This project will catalog pioneering philologist James Wilson Bright’s teaching collection of Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, and Early Modern English texts (1539-1926) supporting decades of research on the emergence of English Studies as a discipline of study and more recently a valuable source of evidence for new scholarship in the history of literacy and the early printed book; and the Chrystelle Trump Bond Dance and Music Collection,including rare American and European sheet music scores (including color lithographs), books, pedagogical materials, and ephemera relating to 19th- early 20th-century social and theatrical dance. Also to be described is a range of manuscript collections; among these are the notebooks of John Mitchell Kemble, Anglo-Saxonist and art historian, and the H. L. and Sara Haardt Mencken Collection that includes more than 700 letters exchanged between Mencken and his wife that provide great insight into the lives of two extraordinary writers and the times in which they lived. A key aspect of the project is training undergraduates in bibliographic research. See also: Project Blog.

Africa map

Library of Congress
Library of Congress Multi-Sheet Map Series Collection: Africa

This three-year project will catalog series maps of Africa located in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress. The selected series comprise approximately 125,000 map sheets published in the 19th and 20th centuries, together representing the history of multi-sheet topographic and thematic mapping of the continent. In addition to creating traditional catalog records for each series, the project will employ an innovative, web browser-based input form for gathering data about each sheet map, so that researchers will ultimately be able to find the maps that are most relevant to their work without browsing entire series.

Sarah Pierce, founder of Litchfield Female Academy

Litchfield Historical Society
Litchfield Historical Society’s Revolutionary Era and Early Republic Holdings

This project will document collections related to the Revolutionary war, 19th century women’s education, early legal education, the development of American common law, politics, family life, religion, and slavery in the early national period. Individuals represented include Tapping Reeve, founder of America’s first law school; Sarah Pierce, founder of the Litchfield Female Academy; the Beecher family including Lyman and his daughters Catharine and Harriet; Benjamin Tallmadge who served as Washington’s spy master during the Revolutionary War; Colonel John Brace, Revolutionary War Paymaster; Senator Uriah Tracy; Litchfield Law School students George Catlin, Horace Mann, John C. Calhoun, Aaron Burr, and the Wolcott family including Connecticut governors Oliver Wolcott Sr. and Oliver Wolcott Jr.; Elihu Harrison, a Litchfield merchant who did business in New York and around the world; and Law School graduate and congressman George C. Woodruff. Finding aids created during the course of this project are available through the Historical Society’s website.
At left: Sarah Pierce, attributed to George Catlin, c. 1830. Watercolor on ivory.

Workers Alliance, NYC, 1936

New York University
The Records of the Communist Party, USA: A Preservation and Access Project

This project will create finding aids for the records of the Communist Party, USA and the Library of the Reference Center for Marxist Studies, which together document the history of Communism and the American Left in the 20th century. Among the archives are records and publications relating to the Industrial Workers of the World from the 1910s, the formation of the American Communist Party in the 1920s, the Depression of the 1930s, World War II, the Cold War, the Red Scare, the New Left era, and the breakup of the Soviet Union during the 1980s and 1990s. These archives describe how the Communist Party was organized and functioned and document the Party’s role in the labor and civil rights movements and its relationships to international communist parties and movements. The Library contains rare and ephemeral publications issued by left-wing and labor presses, and a nearly complete run of Communist Party publications, monographs, journals, pamphlets, and newspapers published in Cuba, Eastern Europe, China, the Soviet Union, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, many of which are not available in North American research libraries.
At left: Workers Alliance of New York, 1936. Daily Worker photograph morgue, Tamiment Library.

Angolan Poster, Northwestern Africana Collections

Northwestern University Library
The Africana Posters: Hidden Collections of Northwestern and Michigan State University Libraries

This project will unveil two of the most significant poster collections held in the United States concerning issues related to the study of Africa. Over 3000 posters held by Northwestern and Michigan State University Libraries will become bibliographically accessible to scholars and students worldwide via a joint portal and through the two schools’ individual library catalogs. The posters represent a variety of social, political, and cultural issues, including public health, education, independence, the anti-apartheid movement, Biafra, Darfur, economics, art, publishing, and music. Through these collections, scholars and students will be able to explore how institutions and organizations communicated with African populations from the mid 19th century through the present day.

University and Jepson Herbaria

University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley
Cataloging Hidden Archives of Western Botany and Beyond

This project will significantly improve access to the archival collections at the University and Jepson Herbaria, which document the history of western American botany from the 1860s to the present day. The archives contain letters and field books of at least 200 individuals in addition to documents, photographs, slides and correspondence from scientists around the globe. The collections cover significant gaps in the history of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, whose records were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, as well as important international botanical expeditions, the formation of the Sierra Club and Save-the-Redwoods League, and the work of women botanists such as Ynes Mexia and Laura May Dempster. Highlights include renowned botanist Willis Jepson’s books and papers as well as the books and papers of John and Sarah Lemmons, which include John’s sketches of Confederate prisons. Notable correspondents among the archive’s letters are Asa Gray, William Hooker, John Muir and Clara Barton.

Detail, Qur'an, University of Michigan Libraries

University of Michigan Library
Collaboration in Cataloging: Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan

This project involves the creation and exposure of digital surrogates and catalog records for 1,250 manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish dating from the 8th century AD to the 20th. With over half of the contents dating from before 1800, the collection contains historical manuscripts of rich textual significance, many of which are also beautiful in their decoration and bindings, and ranks among the largest and most important such collections in North America. Subjects covered by these manuscripts include the Qur’an (texts and commentaries); commentaries and criticism; Islamic traditions, theology, and jurisprudence; and philology, philosophy, geography, history, mathematics, astronomy, and astrology. The collection also includes biography, poetry, and belles-lettres. There are many beautifully illuminated manuscripts, exceptional examples of Arabic calligraphy, and works by a number of notable authors. The project will result in a complex, database-driven website that will provide unified access to records and digital surrogates, facilitate informative and insightful scholarly commentary, and expose in real time the dynamic enrichment of bibliographic information as project staff and scholars interact with the system. The website will be integrated with the Library’s central catalog (Mirlyn) and with HathiTrust, a shared digital repository that provides persistent storage for digitized books and journals.

Processing a Collection at Bryn Mawr College

University of Pennsylvania Libraries on behalf of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL)
Hidden Collections in the Philadelphia Area: A Consortial Processing and Cataloging Initiative

This two-year collaborative project involves processing select collections identified as being of high scholarly importance during the recently completed survey of the unprocessed holdings of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). Materials address the scientific, cultural, aesthetic, social and spiritual mores of American society from the earliest European settlements through more than three centuries. The collections are especially strong in three areas: (1) the political, economic, social, horticultural and cultural history of eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley; (2) the history and evolution of American science and medicine; and (3) the American religious and educational experience, locally and globally, especially in areas of social justice and activism. This is an extensive and complex project with partners ranging from major universities through small libraries and museums. Its records will facilitate new research opportunities for faculty and students at the more than 80 colleges and universities in the area and beyond. Project staff and the graduate students engaged in processing report on their progress on the project’s blog and via Twitter.

Awarded as a collaborative project, $900,000:

The three institutions below nominated important archival collections documenting the civil rights and voter education movements in the United States. They have agreed to work together to produce records and finding aids that will be interlinked in such a way that scholars using their newly cataloged collections will be able to find related materials at the other two institutions.
The project blog can be viewed at:

Panelists representing these projects gave a presentation about their collaboration at ARCHIVES*RECORDS/DC2010, the joint meeting of COSA, NAGARA, and SAA in August 2010. A recording of their session, titled Working for Freedom: Documenting the Civil Rights Movement, is posted at this location.

Photo, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History collections

Emory University/Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
Archives from Atlanta, Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement: The Papers of Andrew Young, SCLC, and NAACP-Atlanta Chapter

This three-year collaborative project involves processing materials relating to key civil rights organizations, leaders, and activities in Atlanta, the Southeast, and the nation from 1930-2000. The selected collections contain the records of two influential organizations, the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the personal papers of civil rights leader Andrew Young. The collections include materials related to some of the most transformational moments and movements of the era, including voter education, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the fight against Jim Crow laws, and desegregation.

Robert W. Woodruff Library Logo

Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center
Processing the Voter Education Project Collection

This project focuses on archival materials related to the Atlanta-based Voter Education Project (VEP, 1954-1992), which was formed to increase political participation for minorities and develop a more informed electorate. The selected collections include administrative and research files, registration and election statistics, programs, photographs, publications, and promotional materials. Statistical data collected by VEP earned it a reputation as the nation’s most current and authoritative source on Black political participation in the South, voter rights, voter education and turnout. As the era of the civil rights movement passes and new generations of leaders emerge, the efforts of organizations such as VEP become increasingly important for understanding the struggle for a more inclusive American democracy in the 20th century.

Detail, image from Ronnie Moore Papers

Amistad Research Center, Tulane University
Working for Freedom: Documenting Civil Rights Organizations

This project will process and catalog nine collections of personal papers documenting Civil Rights era history, including branch and local chapter records of key Civil Rights organizations that have been hidden within the personal papers of individuals who were participants or officers. Organizations represented include the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Association of Human Rights Workers (NAHRW), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Urban League. The collections include the papers of James Egert Allen, Lloyd Davis, Arnold DeMille, Rose Carver Fishman, James H. Hargett, Ronnie M. Moore, A. P. Tureaud, and the Marr McGee and John Wesley Dobbs families. The bulk of the material dates from 1950 to 1970.
At left: Photo, Ronnie M. Moore Papers.

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