The following fourteen projects were selected from among 91 proposals submitted in 2009. 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.
This project will arrange and describe the photograph morgue of the San Francisco Examiner, which comprises a comprehensive documentary record of life in Northern California over 75 years of the 20th century. The archive includes images as diverse as: the 1934 longshoremen’s strike, the home front and industry during World War II, North Beach in the era of beatniks, the Black Panther Party, and the 1978 assassination of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk. The project will restore photographic print files now in disarray to their original filing order, enhance description of selected portions of the original negative files, and create an online guide to accessing the contents of this four-million image archive. At left: Photo by Blickfeldt. Examiner photo morgue library, January 21, 1942. Front to rear: Larry Lieurance, Edward Wold and George Aldridge. (Scanned from 4×5 negative no. 124068_01_01–NEG) For further information, visit the project blog or Facebook page.
Brooklyn Historical Society
Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn’s 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation
This project will reveal materials covering the period from 1834, when Brooklyn was first incorporated as a city, to its consolidation with New York City in 1898. Included are map collections of manuscript and printed sheet, political, topographical, demographic, and transit maps; archives and personal papers of diverse individuals representing key moments in the city’s history; business records from a variety of manufacturing, banking, and transportation interests; municipal records documenting myriad infrastructure and cultural projects; and rare photographic materials such as glass negatives, slides, tintypes, stereographic prints, and daguerrotypes. At left: Map of the County of Kings, showing ward and town boundaries, October, 1869. (Map A350). For further information, check the “Hidden Collections” category of the BHS blog, or find BHS on Twitter.
The California Digital Library
Uncovering California’s Environmental Collections: A Collaborative Approach
This project will uncover 33 hidden collections at institutions across California, providing a multifaceted picture of the state’s environment and environmental history over the 20th century. Highlights include the corporate records of the Unocal oil company; the papers of Frank Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel prize-winning scientist who discovered the effects of CFCs on the ozone layer; the Rudi Becking collection, describing the political battle to enlarge the Redwood National Park; collections illustrating the development and impact of hydraulic mining; the records of prominent California leaders in the Sierra Club and other activist organizations; field research on the development of the citrus industry; and materials on the tidelands controversy, with a complete environmental profile of Los Angeles Harbor. Project partners are the California State University Chico; California State University Fresno; Humboldt State University; UC Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Riverside; and University of Southern California. Finding aids will be made available through the Online Archive of California (OAC). For more information, see the project website. At left: Selected materials from California State University Fresno, Henry Madden Library, Special Collections Research Center; Humboldt State University Library, Special Collections; and UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library, Department of Special Collections.
This project focuses on recently acquired collections, including the William A. Rosenthall Judaica Collection of first editions, fine art prints, postcards, and artifacts; the Holocaust Archive of memoirs, photographs, correspondence, and memorabilia from 65 survivors and veterans who witnessed the Shoah; and 100 other uncataloged collections that document the Jewish experience in the American South from colonial times to the present.
Free Library of Philadelphia
Milestones in 20th-Century American Children’s Literature at the Free Library of Philadelphia
This project involves the processing of six archival collections documenting key contributions to 20th-century American children’s literature by these renowned authors and illustrators: Lloyd Alexander (National Book Award and Newbery Medal-winning author of The Chronicles of Prydain series); Virginia Lee Burton (author of the Caldecott Medal winner Little House); Carolyn Haywood (author and illustrator of the beloved Betsy and Eddie series); Evaline Ness (Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator); Tomi Ungerer (Hans Christian Anderson Award-winning illustrator); and Frederick R. Gardner collection of Robert Lawson (author and illustrator of Newbery Medal winner Rabbit Hill). All materials are from the Children’s Literature Research Collection. They include original manuscripts, notes, etchings, drawings, illustrations, sketchbooks, correspondence, galley proofs, mock-ups, dummies, color separations, tapes, photographs, and slides, as well as some published books and reviews. For further information, see the Free Library’s press release. You can also keep up with the project on Facebook and Twitter. At left: Cover, Life Story, by Virginia Lee Burton.
George Mason University
Uncovering a Forbidden World: Providing Access to East German Art, Culture, and Politics
The goal of this project is to process and create EAD finding aids and bibliographic records for a collection of 7,300 posters from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). The posters represent GDR film, performing and visual arts, and political organizations and span the entire time of the country’s existence (1949-1990). Together they provide a unique window into the artistic, cultural, political, and social activities of the former GDR. A great deal of interest in the collection has already been generated by the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009, and is expected to continue through the upcoming twentieth anniversary of German reunification in October 2010. More information about the posters and this project is on the Special Collections & Archives website. At left: Film poster, Drei Vom Varieté.
The Moravian Community in the New World: The First 100 Years
This collaborative project with the Moravian Archives will process a selection of collections documenting the material culture, religious values and cultural diversity of the Moravian community of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from its founding in 1741 until the opening of the community to non-Moravians in 1844 and the subsequent incorporation of Bethlehem in 1851. The records reflect the multi-faceted life of this transatlantic community in its interaction with other cultures. Included are personal papers of artists, tradesmen, missionaries, and sailors, along with business records and the congregational library. In addition, approximately 800 maps and architectural drawings showing the earliest documentation of European settlement in Pennsylvania will be included in this project.
Marquette University Libraries
Catholic Social Action Access Project (CSAAP)
This collaborative project brings together three significant collections documenting US Catholic social action in the 20th century. St. Catherine University’s Ade Bethune Collection documents the career of a world-renowned liturgical artist and social activist who helped found the Church Community Housing Corporation to develop affordable housing in Newport County. The Catholic Charities, DC (CCDC), archives held by the Catholic University of America document the CCDC’s leadership and support of progressive social legislation. Marquette University’s Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection includes audio recordings of the voices of most influential Catholic social activists of the 20th century.
This project will catalog four French pamphlet collections that are primary sources for legal, social and cultural history; literary studies; and the history of publishing in France. The material is of particular interest to scholars of the French Revolution, but the value of the pamphlets is not limited to scholars of French or European history. The French Pamphlet Collections also enrich research into colonial history in North America and the Caribbean; the impact of the French Revolution, in the United States and elsewhere, on the concept of ‘revolution’ and attitudes about ‘radicals,’ ‘conservatives,’ ‘the bourgeoisie’; and the debates about the meaning of citizenship. Included are 18,000 pamphlets published between 1780 and 1810 from the French Revolution Collection; 2600 biographical pamphlets, funeral sermons, orations, commemorative verses, and discourses dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries and collected by the religious order of Saint-Sulpice; 700 publishers’ prospectuses and catalogs from 1700 to 1850; and 600 rare government pamphlets documenting the trial and execution of Louis XVI. The project blog recounts discoveries made during the cataloging process as well as details of the technical decisions staff make along the way.
This project will uncover over 40,000 original plans and drawings in both paper and electronic formats as well as related project files and records, documenting the contributions of six influential architects active in the latter half of the 20th century. The archives reveal how the local practice of modernism in North Carolina changed the built environment as well as influenced cultural climate of cities around the nation. Staff are recording their progress on the project blog. At left: Landscape design by Lewis Clarke.
Northeast Historic Film
Intellectual Access to Moving Images of Work Life, 1916-1960
Principal Investigator: Karan Sheldon, Co-founder
This one-year project created descriptive records for 50 significant film collections dating from the first half of the 20th century. The selected films document work by men and women in northern New England agricultural environments, traditional and modernizing industries, and early twentieth century urban situations. Subjects of interest include mechanization, urbanization, changing practices of consumption, environmental change, forestry, fishing, and maritime life in the Northeast. For further information about the project, please see Northeast Historic Film’s press release (PDF), visit the project blog, or browse the collections on the project website. At left: Detail, frame enlargement from 16mm film of the A.S. Hinds Laboratory, Portland, Maine. Aurelius Hinds II Collection.
The Field Books Project will catalog original objects (field books, unpublished journals, loose notes, sketches) documenting field research related to all disciplines of biology. The materials span two centuries of fieldwork and cover both terrestrial and marine environments. The collections are significantly strong in their coverage of 19th century expeditions across North America, including the 1820 Long Expedition, the Mexican Boundary Survey (1848), Expedition of Maj. J.W. Powell (1868), Jenny Expedition to the Black Hills (1875), Death Valley Expedition (1890-91), Peary Expedition to Greenland (1897), Harriman Alaska Expedition (1899), and numerous voyages of discovery, such as the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, the HMS Challenger expedition, the US Eclipse Expedition, and the US Steamer Albatross expedition. See also: Project Blog; Photos from Flickr Commons. At left: This illustration of male and female Great frigate-birds was found in the field notes of researcher David W. Johnston from his work with the Pacific Ocean Biological Survey Program. The entry, dated April 15, 1964, records Johnston’s observations of birds on Wake Island.
University of Southern California Libraries
Excavating L.A.: USC’s Hidden Southern California Historical Collections
This project brings together diverse archival materials related to Los Angeles urban and social history. Documented subjects include California politics and community activism; L.A.’s freeways and architectural history; the 1992 riots; urban expansion; and the careers of former U.S. representatives Alphonzo Bell and Lynn Schenk, early 20th-century women’s voting rights activist Amy Ransome, and activists Catherine Stern and Warren Steinberg. Other collections feature archival materials from the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project, the Century Freeway, the Los Angeles Board of Education, and the 1939 WPA Household Survey. Also included in the project are the Gregory Freeman Stone papers relating to the assassination of Robert Kennedy, outtakes from the nightly TV program Ralph Story’s L.A. (1964-70), and the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty archive.
This collaborative project will describe audio and paper collections in the Historical Sound Recordings collection at Yale University and the Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford University. At Yale, the collections include the Stanley Dance collection of taped interviews with major jazz figures, the business archives of Overtone Records and the Spoken Arts Record Company, and autograph letters, photographs, and recording company logbooks. The Yale collections are especially rich in materials relating to early singers, including Enrico Caruso, Adelina Patti, and Geraldine Farrar. The collections at Stanford include archives and recordings from the Ambassador Auditorium Performing Arts Series, which hosted 20 seasons of musicians of international prominence from 1975-1995, including concerts by Luciano Pavarotti, Arthur Rubinstein, the Vienna Philharmonic, Frank Sinatra, and many others. Stanford staff will also provide access to unique recordings such as test pressings in the Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, and Lawrence Tibbett Collections. At left: Recording from the Lawrence Tibbett Collection, Stanford University. The project has been covered in ReMix: news from the Stanford Libraries and The Human Experience: inside the humanities at Stanford University.