Bad Children of History #35: Squalid Swedes

Today’s bad children of history aren’t naughty, per se; they’re just very, very, very unkempt. They wear floppy bucket hats, they don’t brush their hair, and they even [whispering] ride around on pigs.

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These children eat with their dirty hands, spilling food onto their smocks, and their table manners leave more than a little to be desired.

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(Isn’t that framed pig portrait on the wall a nice touch?)

Luckily for these grubby children, Pelle Snygg soon arrives in his sparkling white clown suit to shame them with threats of cleanliness and a promotional flag. Yikes!

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After laying eyes on these mucky moppets, Pelle Snygg realizes that the task is immense, and he needs to recruit help. He calls up his close friends, Intimidating Sponge Lady, Scary Anthropomorphized Pitcher Guy, Boar Who Makes Brushes From His Own Bristles, and someone who I think might be a bar of soap in a friar’s robe.




The yucky youth are NOT delighted to see their new extreme makeover team, although Pelle Snygg seems nothing short of jubilant (and immaculate).

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Pelle Snygg begins the beautification process with a healthy dose of shampoo and smart, new summer hairdos for all.


For the transformation to be complete, Pelle Snygg implements lifestyle changes for the yucky children, with a vigorous lake swim and some laundry-washing lessons:

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In a surprising turn of events, these children now seem to be fully under the sway of Intimidating Sponge Lady and her cohort. “I feel like a new person!,” they chime. “I thought it was impossible to love the skin I’m in. I can’t believe the difference! Thanks, Pelle Snygg!”

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Improving the Administration of FOIA

Just last month the second term of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee wrapped up its two years of work by unanimously approving its Final Report and Recommendations. The Committee brings together FOIA requesters and agency FOIA professionals to develop consensus solutions to some of the greatest challenges in the administration of FOIA.

During this term, the Committee wrestled with several critical issues and issued recommendations aimed at promoting the proactive disclosure of records, improving agencies’ ability to identify responsive digital records, and reinforcing that FOIA is everyone’s responsibility, not just the responsibility of full-time FOIA professionals. The report also includes a number of best practices that will be published by the Office of Government and Information Services (OGIS) as part of the office’s statutory responsibility to identify procedures and methods to improve FOIA compliance.

David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, welcomes attendees to the final meeting of the 2016-2018 term of the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2018

David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, welcomes attendees to the final meeting of the 2016-2018 term of the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on April 17, 2018. National Archives photo by Jeff Reed

As the nation’s record keeper, we are tasked with identifying, protecting, preserving and making publicly available the historically valuable records of all three branches of government. We help agencies meet their Federal records management responsibilities through regulations, policies, training and oversight.  Strong records management is the backbone of an efficient, compliant FOIA program and smoother FOIA process. Our role in records management, combined with our role as the Federal FOIA Ombudsman, means that NARA has a critical role to play in pushing forward many of these recommendations. I also look forward to working with counterparts at other key agencies and entities to evaluate and find effective ways to move forward on the Committee’s report.

I look forward to working with OGIS to implement these recommendations. I am also looking forward to announcing the appointment of members to the Committee’s 2018-2020 Term later this summer, and seeing the challenges that the Committee tackles in its next term.

What They Fought: Resistance to Integration and the Path to the 1956 Tallahassee Bus Boycott

In the spring of 1956, after students Wilhelmina Jakes and Carrie Patterson from Florida A&M University, were arrested and jailed for refusing to leave the “whites only” section of a Tallahassee bus, the African-American community of the city rallied together to boycott the city bus service and take a stand for their civil rights and the belief that the color of their skin should not leave them subject to discrimination and fear. Those who participated in the boycott, including Rev. C.K. Steele, Daniel Speed, Jakes and Patterson and many others from the then 10,600 African-American residents of Tallahassee, were met with resistance from bigoted members of the Tallahassee community that felt racial segregation should remain the law of the land. What factors contributed to a mindset that would allow for one group to so poorly treat another?



A new exhibit now open at the Claude Pepper Library seeks to illustrate the kind of resistance that the Bus Boycott participants faced in their endeavors to secure fair and impartial treatment in a city that they too, called home. Guests are invited to visit the Claude Pepper Library and explore the exhibit on the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956 which is open to the public now, through the early fall of 2018. Using primary source documents, ephemera and photographs that provide a deeper context for the events that began to take place in May of 1956, Special Collections & Archives provides a look into the social and political climate in the State of Florida leading during the time of the Bus Boycott. Guests are also able to listen to audio recordings of boycott participants and witnesses, including the Reverend C.K. Steele, Daniel Speed and Governor LeRoy Collins. The Claude Pepper Library and Museum are open Monday through Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, call (850) 644-9217 or email Political Papers Archivist Robert Rubero (rrubero@fsu.edu) with any questions.

Tea, Talk and Treats: An Exclusive Summer Evening in Vancouver’s Chinese Garden

The City of Vancouver Archives is the repository for the early records of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society and on July 5, at 6pm, the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives is hosting an evening entitled “Tea, Talk and Treats: An Exclusive Summer Evening in Vancouver’s Chinese Garden” at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Friends of the Vancouver City Archives invitation for the July 5th event

The event will support the Archives’ digitization work and will offer Chinese tea and pastries, a presentation given by Professor Alison Bailey regarding the traditional concepts and artistic and poetic representations of the Chinese garden, and a tour of the Garden led by docents that will highlight the Garden’s architectural and horticultural elements.

The records held by the Archives were donated by the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society in 1991, 1992, and 2011. They span from 1981-2009, with the majority from 1981-1991, and consist of approximately 1700 photographs, 22 videocassettes, 139 architectural drawings, 1 technical drawing and 2 maps.

Garden’s 5th anniversary edition newsletter showing images of the construction of the Garden by the Chinese artisans. Reference code: AM1068-S16-F12

In 1981, the Society, whose mandate was set to act as a cross-cultural bridge for greater understanding of the Chinese culture by establishing and operating a classical Chinese garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown, was incorporated under British Columbia’s Society Act. The construction of the Garden began in 1984. Textual records of the Building Committee (series 3), and the Documentation Committee (series 4), document the building process of the Garden in words, while photographs (series 4), moving images (series 16) and the architectural drawings (series 19) document that process visually.

Back cover of promotional booklet from 1984 with a detail drawing of the Garden. Reference code: AM1068-S8–

The Garden was the first classical Chinese garden to be constructed outside of China. The level of cooperation between the Canadian and Chinese governments to build the Garden was relatively rare in the 1980s, adding to the special nature of the establishment of this Garden. The plans were drawn up by the Suzhou Classical Garden Administration, who worked closely with the firm Joe Wai Architect/Don Vaughan Associates Landscape Architects. The Suzhou Classical Garden Administration worked to prepare the construction materials that were imported from China, and also sent Chinese artisans to build the garden.

The artisans used ancient methods and tools, with the exception of the plastic hard hats, which they were required to wear by the Workers’ Compensation Board, as highlighted in the 1987 production of People Will Talk.

Joe Wai and Don Vaughan were responsible for coordinating the work and overseeing the design and construction of the surrounding park. Records in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society fonds also include news clipping footage from the official opening of the Garden in April 1986, just prior to the start of Expo 86.

Other series that make up the fonds consist of minutes, reports, and correspondence relating to the various committees that oversee the running of the garden. Some of these committees include the Administration Committee (series 1), Board of Trustees (series 2), Education Committee (series 5), and Finance Committee (series 7).

The evening with Professor Alison Bailey at the Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on July 5th, promises to be informative and interesting. We hope to see you there.  Tickets are on sale now.

Making Access Happen through the Digital Public Library of America

Providing public access to Federal Government records is central to the mission of the National Archives. Open access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so they can participate more effectively in their government.

Collaboration with stakeholders, the public, and private organizations to make historical records available has long been a priority for the National Archives. It is clear that collaboration is the path to the future, and nowhere is this more apparent than through the efforts of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to connect people to our nation’s shared history.

DPLA provides a single online access point for anyone, anywhere to search and access digital collections containing America’s cultural, historical and scientific heritage. This collaborative effort has united leaders and educators from various government agencies, libraries, archives and museums of all sizes working together to ensure that all people have access to information they need.

Screenshot of DPLA Browse by Topic page

We’ve been involved with DPLA from its earliest stages. In October 2010, I was in the meeting room at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study when DPLA was born. We hosted the first Plenary Session back in 2011, where more than 300 government leaders, librarians, technologists, makers, students, and many others gathered at the National Archives to share their visions for DPLA and open access.

DPLA has now grown to include more than 21 million records from over 3,000 cultural heritage institutions across the United States. The National Archives is the largest participating Content Hub: nearly 3.8 million NARA records are currently available on DPLA, making up 17.5% percent of the content.

The volume of records that we’ve been able to share over the years has allowed DPLA to test the scalability of their ingestion infrastructure. Testing with such a large data set provides the opportunity to see how large numbers of records affect search and retrieval algorithms. This is an important step, as the goal of DPLA is to provide users with the most accurate search results without overwhelming records from other institutions in their index. We are continuing to work together to share more of our data with DPLA.

The National Archives’ participation in DPLA over the years has been an opportunity to share our content more broadly, open new doors for research and discovery, and engage and connect with users from across the United States and around the world. I am especially proud of the work done collaboratively by the National Archives and participating institutions to expand access to information through DPLA. The ability to seamlessly search across the collections of major cultural, historical, and research institutions alongside the holdings of local museums and libraries improves democracy through education, and furthers the principles of open government.

Becci Davis Artist’s Talk at PPL 6/13

We’re very sad to say that our 2018 Creative Fellow’s time with us is coming to a close at the end of June. We’ve had a delightful time working with her, and it’s been energizing and exciting to see the new work that she’s created based on our collections.

First, we’d like to say that Becci Davis gave an astounding and well-received performance on the library’s Washington Street steps this past Saturday as part of PVDFest, complete with large-scale banners bearing images of items from our Special Collections. Below are a couple of photographs of her performance:


If you missed Saturday’s performance, or if you loved it so much that it left you wanting more, you’ll be happy to hear that tomorrow (Wednesday, June 13, 2018), you’ll have TWO opportunities to see Becci!

First, she’ll be bringing her Beacon Beauty Shop (as seen at our HairBrained opening) to Burnside Park in downtown Providence from 11:00 – 2:00. A description from the artist:

Beacon Beauty Shop is an interactive art performance. Becci Davis had her first appointment in a beauty shop when she was ten years old. Since then, she has been a patron in numerous beauty salons and found that elements of Black salon culture are widespread. That alone is something beautiful. These institutions are beacons of Black culture and the setting to countless intimate interactions between stylist and client. Join her as she examines beauty shop culture through performance. Share good, bad, and awkward moments in an intimate, 5 minute, one-on-one exchange.

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Then, later that same day, Becci is giving an artist’s talk at the library, where she’ll reflect on her research and creative process, show documentation of Saturday’s performance of Private Proclamations, and answer questions. (Thank you to Matthew Lawrence of Law and Order Party for a lovely shout-out regarding this talk!)

We hope to see you there!

A Visual Tour of Florida State University History: The Historic Photograph Collection

Heritage & University Archives is excited to present a newly reprocessed collection: The Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection. An initial inventory, which took a project archivist roughly four months to compile, indicated that the collection included nearly half a million images in both print and negative format. Former graduate student Dave Rodriguez then spent a year organizing and reprocessing the original several small collections and new accessions into its current state. The collection is now housed in over 200 boxes in the Special Collections & Archives stacks.

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The collection during reprocessing.

 

The images cover a wide time span, from FSU’s earliest iteration, the Seminary West of the Suwannee River, to the present. While the photographs date back as far as the 1800s, the bulk of the material is dated between 1920s to the 1970s.

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The Platonic Debate Society, 1903.

 

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Student reading, undated.

The images themselves depict every facet of life on campus, from construction and special events to students relaxing on Landis Green and action shots of athletics contests. Some notable items in the collection include prints from the Flying High Circus, Homecoming, and various theatrical performances. In addition, a series dedicated to buildings, faculty, and university presidents help give a complete view of what campus was like at any decade.

 

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Andrews Brothers, undated.

 

Additionally, some images from the collection have been scanned and entered into FSU’s Digital Repository, Diginole.

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The Flying Circus, undated.

For more information about Heritage & University Archives and the Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection, please contact Sandra Varry at svarry@fsu.edu or visit heritage.fsu.edu

Truth, Lies & Videotape: Digital Video Archivists Gather at MoMA

We live in a video age. Make that a digital video age. And all those digital video files flying around on the internet or downloaded onto your phone not only provide entertainment or inspiration to current viewers, but could be one of the best windows into our world for future historians. However, files designed to capitalize on the ever-changing whims of digital distribution may not be built for longevity, so archivists worry about their ability to stand as historical artifacts for the long term. Many of those archivists are part of an organization called The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), which held its annual Digital Asset Symposium (DAS) on June 6, 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art.

As the name suggests, DAS examines the shared challenges of managing and preserving digital media content across different sectors. The one-day conference assembles content creators, system designers, archivists, editors, and asset managers to compare experiences, share expertise, and offer creative solutions. Through a combination of case studies, key notes, and panels, DAS examines the full lifecycle of digital content.

DAS 2018 focused on the story of media assets—how they are created, maintained, shared, managed, and assembled to form the stories about the human condition. The program also highlighted the emergence of data science in the field: indeed, the conference started with a thought-provoking keynote called “Truth is a Lie,” in which data scientist Lora Aroyo and research scientist Chris Welty examined the concept of truth as not a single notion but a spectrum of opinions, perspectives, and context. Aroyo and Welty pointed out that data analysis often yields ambiguity and contradictions —so, instead of embracing a binary yes/no approach, they advocate the use quantum intelligence (based on the principles of quantum mechanics) as a new way of analyzing data. The goal is to create descriptions of online AV collections that incorporate a spectrum of truth.

Following that mind-expansive talk was a presentation from Nicole Martin of Human Rights Watch, an organization that has pioneered the use of video footage to highlight worldwide human rights abuses. In “Archiving Human Rights Video,” Martin discussed how daily production demands are balanced with the organization’s critical need to preserve evidentiary data. She discussed how the production team embraced digital preservation best practices to make its day-to-day tasks easier, while likely helping the relevance and longevity of these very significant documents. Later, Gian Klobusicky and Dalia R. Levine from HBO and metadata architect Sally Hubbard explored the relationship between information science and data science in “Smart Stacking of Data and Information Science.” The panel outlined how these two disciplines can partner together to solve problems that arise when dealing with media content.

The afternoon featured two cases studies. In “Bringing a Century of NHL Content to Life,” the director of the NHL’s Digital Asset Archive Dan Piro recounted the challenge of digitizing the NHL’s entire archive (250,000 hours of AV content, a half-million still images, and over a million documents) in 18 months (!) so that it could be used to create content celebrating the league’s centennial. That was followed by a look at the very high-tech Montreux Jazz Digital Project in “Object Storage and the Modern Media Archive,” in which Dr. Alain Dufaux, described the collaboration between the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and the Claude Nobs Foundation The project includes over 5,000 hours of broadcast-quality live concert footage preserved digitally and transformed into an archive of “raw material,” which the university’s “Metamedia Center” uses to create such slick projects as its Jazz Heritage Lab.

Finally, the session wrapped with a special keynote panel called “The Making of Netflix’s Bobby Kennedy for President.” On the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert Kennedy, four key members of the production team discussed how this four-part documentary series came together. Led by moderator Matthew White, co-producer of The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, the panel traced the collaboration between the director, editor, and producers: how they sourced new archival material, how the search for this material served as inspiration, and how large-scale documentary series are performing critical preservation functions.

It was a fitting finale for a one-day conference that seemed to span continents, as well as the fruitful interrelations between science and art, politics and personal responsibility, and —especially— past and future.

 

International Archives Day

On Saturday, June 9, the National Archives joins with archives around the world to celebrate International Archives Day, a commemoration of the day the International Council on Archives (ICA) was created in 1948. This day is dedicated to promoting the great work of archives and archivists in preserving and providing public access to our communities’ historical records and promoting access to government records for transparency and accountability.

The National Archives is an active participant in the ICA. I am proud to stand beside our colleagues in the worldwide archival profession as we share and learn from each other, address common issues, and promote the value of archives and their importance to our society and democracy.

On International Archives Day, archives all over the world host special events to show off their collections or the work that they do, and share stories with each other and with fans of archives worldwide. You can see an interactive world map of International Archives Day events on the International Council on Archives website, along with a special online exhibition highlighting the history and activities of the ICA from 1948 to 2018.

Join the National Archives in this worldwide celebration for a special event in Washington, DC this Saturday, June 9, 2018, from 10:00am to 5:30pm. There will be hands-on activities in the Boeing Learning Center exploring the work of the National Archives and some of the important records protected here. Peruse the National Archives Museum and see some of the ways that American Memory is protected for current and future generations. This event is free and open to the public.

You can learn more about the history of International Archives Day and the involvement of the National Archives on our Pieces of History blog. We look forward to welcoming you at the National Archives Museum on June 9.

Recording Destruction

The Digital Library Center has been working with the FSU Department of Anthropology for several years now to digitize the materials created at the Windover dig site. We’re nearing the light at the end of the tunnel! However, as I loaded the last of the unit excavation forms, I realized something. I had absolutely no idea what these forms were! So, I sent off an email to Dr. Geoffrey Thomas for some clarification.

To start with, and something that I have never really thought about is that Archeology, the act of excavating, is an act of destruction. If they’re doing their jobs right, at the end of the dig, the site no longer exists. So, the hundreds of forms (For the Windover dig, over 600!), called Unit Excavation Forms, are used to record exactly what the archeologists were seeing as they dug the site. The site itself is divided into squares on a grid with each square having specific coordinates within the grid. Each form then corresponds to a specific square, or as they are called, unit.

Per Dr. Thomas, Unit Excavation forms’ primary role then, is to record the process of removal, layer by layer in each unit. Each form is labeled with information like the site name/number, the coordinates of the unit, the unit number that corresponds with a location on the grid, people working on that unit, and the level (depth) of the excavation. The workers then excavate in 10cm levels (ground – 10cm below surface = level 1) and so on to 90-100 cms = level 10. Each and every artifact is recorded as it is found and the workers make sure to mark the location within the unit, depth, and type of artifacts discovered. So, the unit forms and each level gets a form, then tell us what was found and where.

A Unit Excavation Form from Lot No. 1 at Windover during the 1984 season
A Unit Excavation Form from Lot No. 1 at Windover during the 1984 season [see all forms from Lot No. 1]

You stop digging in a unit when you hit a “sterile” layer, or after you have not hit new artifacts for a few levels. You then close that unit and start on a new one. After completion of a dig, the Unit Excavation Forms can be used to reconstruct each unit so that future researchers know where certain artifacts were found and in what context they belong within the dig site.

Pretty cool right? I also asked Dr. Thomas to think about what people will be able to learn now that these forms are online. Having the forms for the Windover dig online allows researchers and people interested in archaeology to gain information on, not only the process of archaeology but the specifics of the Windover site. If someone is interested in a particular burial and would like to find out the context of the burial (for example individual 90,  a subadult with a large number of grave goods), Dr. Thomas, or the patron themselves, could look up burial 90 and have the excavation forms for that unit. This will allow Dr. Thomas and the researcher to see the position of the body and locations of each artifact in the burial, along with any pictures of the burial site if any exist. This will hopefully greatly increase the amount of interpretive power we have for examining the remains and the way they were treated at death.

Now that we know what they are, enjoy browsing through and getting a picture of the Windover site from the unit excavation forms. You will also find field notes and photographs as part of the larger Windover collection. Happy “digging”!

Note: We are in the process of digitizing and loading x-rays and photographs of burials at the Windover site. However, due to the nature of that material and NAGPRA guidelines, those materials will be in collections with restricted access. Look soon for instructions on how to apply to use these types of materials for research in DigiNole.

Andrea Gibson and Pride Month at FSU

Happy Pride Month, Noles! This month, people across the world are commemorating the Stonewall riots of 1969 by rejoicing in the wide spectrum of gender identities and sexual preferences represented in humankind.

To celebrate, I went digging for poetry in our Pride Student Union Records, part of the Heritage and University Archives. I came across evidence of FSU’s past celebrations of Pride month (June) and LGBT History month (October, as National Coming Out Day is October 11th).

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Pride Month poster from the past

Additionally, I found this poster signed by Andrea Gibson, poet extraordinaire and LGBTQ+ activist, who visited and performed at Florida State University in April of 2012.

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Andrea Gibson poster, signed

Gibson is brilliant enough on paper, but their pieces are best consumed aurally, as the FSU students in 2012 had a chance to do; YouTube videos, fortunately, abound! Here is the love poem “Maybe I Need You”:

Andrea’s voice is one of hope and community, reminding readers and listeners that they are not alone in their feelings or experiences. I leave you with another example of Andrea’s stirring work, which pairs poetry to music and creates a moving, motivating portrait of a young person discovering who they are and who they want to be.

Check out FSU’s Pride Student Union, still in action since its beginning back in 1969 and still hosting on-campus events: http://sga.fsu.edu/pride.shtml 

And to you and yours: HAPPY PRIDE!

Creative Fellow Becci Davis Performs “Private Proclamations” on June 9

After nearly 8 months of research, planning, story-collecting, writing, and interdisciplinary art-making, PPL’s 2018 Creative Fellow Becci Davis has created a multi-part performance entitled “Private Proclamations.”

Private Proclamations

Please join us for Becci’s culminating performance next Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 2:30 pm as part of PVDFest. The performance will be outdoors, on the library’s Washington Street steps (near the historic entrance); it’s free of charge and open to the public, and no advance registration is required. In the words of the artist, “Private Proclamations is a performance about Black hair in three parts. Part One: Letters to my Locks establishes a level of intimacy between the performer and audience. In Part Two: Act It Loud, appropriate private behavior in public spaces is redefined through defiance. Part Three: Please Touch presents an invitation for change through collective action.”

Parking downtown will likely be tricky, as PVDFest brings numerous street closures and large crowds. Read more about parking and public transportation options on the PVDFest FAQ’s page.

Becci will also give an artist’s talk at the library about her process and her performance on the following Wednesday, June 13. We look forward to seeing you there!

Memorizing Math with Marmaduke Multiply

Poetry has, traditionally, served as an excellent way to remember things. The human brain just seems to better retain information that rhymes, and a rhythmic quality can bring the words to mind in an instant.

Lines that are intended to aid in memorization are called mnemonic verses, and we use them on a daily basis. Think of when you try to determine how many days are in a month: “Thirty days hath September…” Or when you consider how “neither” should be spelled: “I before E except after C…” Is that snake in your yard friend or foe? “Red on black, friend of Jack…”

There are even longer mnemonic verses for memorizing heftier material. For example, this witty little song for the history of the monarchy in England (sung to the tune of Good King Wenceslas):

Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry three;
One, two, three Neds, Richard two
Harrys four, five, six... then who?
Edwards four, five, Dick the bad,
Harrys twain and Ned the Lad;
Mary, Bessie, James the Vain,
Charlie, Charlie, James again...
William and Mary, Anna Gloria,
Four Georges, William and Victoria;
Edward seven next, and then
George the fifth in 1910;
Ned the eighth soon abdicated
Then George the sixth was coronated;
After which Elizabeth
And that's the end until her death.
–Wikipedia, “Mnemonic verses of monarchs in England”

The little book from Special Collections that I’m sharing today is Marmaduke Multiply’s Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians of 1841. We have a facsimile of the work, which was a favorite among nineteenth-century schoolchildren for memorizing their numbers.

Originally published in 1816 and 1817, the book was largely popular in the UK, but it spread to the US toward the later half of the nineteenth century. The book has funny little woodcuts depicting various scenes and then a rhyming verse that helps the reader remember their times tables. Here are a few examples:

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4 times 8 are 32, I once could dance as well as you.

 

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6 times 8 are 48. Dear Aunt, your dress is out of date.

 

47.2
6 times 9 are 54. My little boat has come ashore.

Some of the most beautiful woodcut work appears on the borders. Here is close up of the corner piece on that last one:

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Detail image of a corner woodcut.

Finally, my favorite page shows a child holding a book just like the one the image appears in! It also mentions the bookshop that sold Marmaduke Multiply’s Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians, which happened to be financially linked to the publishing house that produced the book (talk about savvy marketing!):

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A little metatextual advertising!

What rhymes do you remember from childhood?


 

Marmaduke Multiply’s Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians. New York: Dover Publications, 1972. Print.

18th Annual Archivist’s Achievement Awards

Today and every day we celebrate the dedication and hard work of our staff and colleagues at the National Archives. Since 1985, the first full week of May has been set aside as Public Service Recognition Week to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees. It provides a fitting time to not only celebrate the contributions of National Archives staff but also the contributions of the entire federal workforce.

This year, we decided to expand to a whole Public Service Recognition Month, allowing us both to participate in the nationwide events and to honor service to the American public with the due measure it deserves. Earlier this week, we celebrated with the 18th Annual Archivist’s Achievement Awards ceremony, which gives me the opportunity to thank our staff for their passion and dedication to serving NARA’s mission and the American people.

During the ceremony, we once again gave our customers a chance to sing the praises of our employees. Almost every day I receive comments praising the work of NARA staff. We were able to incorporate some of these statements into the awards program to hear directly from the people who benefit from the great work that we do:

We had 72 nominations for awards this year. This Archivist’s Achievement Awards ceremony is an opportunity to acknowledge our colleagues who dedicate their time and talents to make the National Archives a great place to work, and recognize colleagues who went above and beyond expectations and succeeded in ways not intended.

This past year, staff across the National Archives scanned many pages for the National Archives Catalog, provided great customer service to House and Senate staffs, moved lots of Obama Presidential Materials, digitized and made available hundreds of reels of World War I and World War II footage, cultivated public participation through social media, assisted Puerto Rico’s archives and cultural institutions in their post-hurricane recovery, modernized the General Records Schedule, and developed and produced the Declarations@NPRC newsletter, providing essential communications to the employee community. And these are just a few examples! You can learn more about these incredible accomplishments in the awards program.

The Archivist’s Awards Ceremony is important to me. This event honors the remarkable work that happens at this agency every single day. And it gives me the opportunity to highlight some of the amazing accomplishments and the chance to say thank you. As I said to the staff at the ceremony: you are the most dedicated group of people. You take tremendous pride in the work you do, and rightfully so. And I am proud of what you do each and every day.

Thank you for your service, and Happy Public Service Recognition Month.

 

BC Gay and Lesbian Archives donated to the City of Vancouver Archives!

We are thrilled to announce that the BC Gay and Lesbian Archives, a collection established and maintained privately from 1976-2018, has been donated in its entirety to the City of Vancouver Archives.

Anti-violence rally, 1979. BCGLA Photographs series

The BC Gay and Lesbian Archives was established in 1976 by Ron Dutton, an active, longtime member of the Vancouver LGBTQ2+ community who is also trained as a librarian. For over forty years, Dutton acquired and described records, photographs, periodicals, ephemera, and audiovisual materials of significance to the LGBTQ2+ community in Vancouver and British Columbia, and provided access to these materials from his home to hundreds of researchers. Concerned with the future of the BCGLA as he ages, Dutton donated the entire collection to the City of Vancouver Archives (CVA) in February 2018.

The collection consists of:

  • 16.4 metres of subject files
  • 8.6 metres of periodicals
  • 2000 posters
  • 7500 photographs
  • 220 moving image recordings
  • 60 sound recordings

Just a few of the many VHS videotapes in the BCGLA collection

The content includes:

  • video documentation of charity drag balls
  • extensive photo documentation of Pride Festivals from 1981 to 2009
  • textual, photographic, and video materials related to HIV/AIDS activism
  • subject files pertaining to such wide-ranging topics as art, immigration, censorship, gender identity, hate crimes, health services, religion, sports, and youth activism

Items from the subject file Age and aging – associations. Reference code: AM1675-S1-F0017

Dutton is a forward-thinking and inclusive collector who consciously sought to acquire materials representing a broad range of LGBTQ2+ experiences, identities, and activities. As such, the collection encompasses materials that reflect the diversity within the LGBTQ2+ community, including:

  • First Nations drag performers and HIV/AIDS activists
  • LGBTQ2+ community seniors
  • Transgender activists
  • Youth groups
  • LGBTQ2+ religious groups across a range of traditions

International Women’s Day march, 1993. BCGLA Photographs series

In speaking of his donation, Dutton says:

The BC Gay and Lesbian Archives was founded in 1976 to collect, organize, preserve and make publicly accessible the ongoing stories of Vancouver’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and two-spirited communities, from earliest historical times to the present. In these 42 years, hundreds of researchers have passed through my home as they examined this ever-expanding collection. At 3/4 million items, it has now outgrown my ability to house it all.

I am thrilled that the BCG+L Archives now resides with the City Archives. The Archives has the technical resources and sympathetic staff needed to sensitively manage this collection, ensure its preservation, and position it within the context of the city’s overall history.  I intend to continue collecting both old and new materials that document my community’s evolution, for deposit at the City Archives.

We are honoured that Ron Dutton has chosen the City Archives as the permanent home for his collection. Not only does the collection reflect the diversity within the LGBTQ2+ community and its evolution over the past 40 years, it documents a community whose lives and activities have historically been underrepresented in archival holdings.

1987 International Lesbian Week, held in Vancouver. BCGLA Photographs series

Currently, all 2,181 subject files have been described in our database and are available to the public in the Archives’ Reading Room; periodicals are in process will be available by the fall. We are also in the process of seeking funding to describe and digitize the photographs and audiovisual materials in order to enable them to be discovered and used by researchers around the world, supporting the study of LGBTQ2+ history in Vancouver and beyond.

Paris is Always a Good Idea (in stereoscope!)

The Digital Library Center has been working with the Art History department for a few years now to digitize and make available a collection of stereographs. While the collection is wide-ranging in its topics, its main focus is on Paris and her environs just prior to “Haussmannization,” or a series of public works projects led by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, which redesigned Paris in many ways. We recently loaded a new set of materials into this collection and wanted to share a few in this set that have the added bonus of color!

Vue dans Le Bois de Boulogne a Paris, ca. 1850-1900
Vue dans Le Bois de Boulogne a Paris, ca. 1850-1900

A former hunting ground of the French Kings, Bois de Boulogne is a large public park on the outskirts of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. It was created as part of Haussmann’s work for Napoleon III who had been impressed by Hyde Park in London during his exile and wanted to include more public parks in his reimagining of Paris (Wikipedia).

St. Cloud-Cascades, Parc de Saint-Cloud, ca. 1850-1900
St. Cloud-Cascades, Parc de Saint-Cloud, ca. 1850-1900

Parc de Saint-Cloud is now considered one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. On the outskirts of Paris, it was once home to the Château de Saint-Cloud. However, the castle was destroyed during Napoleon III’s war with the Prussians and completely razed in 1892 (Wikipedia). The cascade featured in this stereograph no longer exists; if you visit the park today, you would see waterfalls, but none in the design of the original castle.

Arc de Triomphe, 1850-1900
Arc de Triomphe, 1850-1900

L’Arc de Triomphe needs no introduction. She has stood proudly in Paris’s Place de l’étoile since 1836. Wanted by Napoleon in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated by the French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire (City of Paris).

You may click on any of the links with the images to see larger, zoomable versions and be sure to browse the John House Stereograph Collection for over 1200 stereograph images of Paris between 1850 and 1900.

The Architecture of the Archive project

Damien Hassan
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – 13:35

Earlier this year, the SRO entered into a new collaborative project with the University of Western Australia’s School of Design. Intrigued by the type of records held in the State Archives Collection, and the challenges in storing, preserving and making accessible our State’s official archives, UWA Lecturer Mark Sawyer suggested using the SRO as a “case study” and to have his first year architecture students develop proposed designs for a new SRO Search Room.  This type of architectural modelling is a key requirement for architecture students as part of their course work. For the SRO case study, students were provided with a diverse range of examples of State archives which have unique needs or which may be difficult to access properly without the right kind of infrastructure.

For example, how would you read all the signatures in this 1928 Petition for hotels to close at 6pm unless you had the space or the right infrastructure to do so? The Petition measures over 20 metres long. Or, how do we address the needs to store and make accessible 3D models of government buildings that by their nature are very large items, intended for inspection and public display, but which also have unique long-term preservation requirements?

During the semester, the UWA students have been examining these sorts of problems and developing their own ideas how they can be resolved from an architectural point of view, as well as how a new, modern Search Room would look and operate for the 21st Century. While the student designs are purely speculative, this case study does give the students first-hand experience with working with a client (in this case, the SRO) and thinking through specific design elements and build proposals to meet very particular needs.

In April, the SRO participated in a mini symposium held at UWA in which the students presented their work to date. This was a fantastic opportunity to see how a group of creative and enthusiastic people – our future architects! – have approached the design challenges presented to them. Students spoke about their models and how they have approached the task. For the SRO, it was an opportunity to rethink how public access to State archives could be delivered and to be presented with ideas outside of the box (both figuratively and literally – commercial archive boxes were used by the students in constructing their Search Room models).

A range of guest speakers from UWA and the SRO also presented at this symposium. It was very enlightening to hear how those heavily engaged in architectural theory and practice are using government archives to support their research and work.

The SRO is very pleased to be a partner in this project and to support the student’s work which will be completed this semester. We will provide a recap of the project later in 2018 when the student design work is completed.

The Architecture of the Archive project

Damien Hassan
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – 13:35

Earlier this year, the SRO entered into a new collaborative project with the University of Western Australia’s School of Design. Intrigued by the type of records held in the State Archives Collection, and the challenges in storing, preserving and making accessible our State’s official archives, UWA Lecturer Mark Sawyer suggested using the SRO as a “case study” and to have his first year architecture students develop proposed designs for a new SRO Search Room.  This type of architectural modelling is a key requirement for architecture students as part of their course work. For the SRO case study, students were provided with a diverse range of examples of State archives which have unique needs or which may be difficult to access properly without the right kind of infrastructure.

For example, how would you read all the signatures in this 1928 Petition for hotels to close at 6pm unless you had the space or the right equipment to do so? The Petition measures over 20 metres long. Or, how do we address the needs to store and make accessible 3D models of government buildings that by their nature are very large items, intended for inspection and public display, but which also have unique long-term preservation requirements?

During the semester, the UWA students have been examining these sorts of problems and developing their own ideas how they can be resolved from an architectural point of view, as well as how a new, modern Search Room would look and operate for the 21st Century. While the student designs are purely speculative, this case study does give the students first-hand experience with working with a client (in this case, the SRO) and thinking through specific design elements and build proposals to meet very particular needs.

In April, the SRO participated in a mini symposium held at UWA in which the students presented their work to date. This was a fantastic opportunity to see how a group of creative and enthusiastic people – our future architects – have approached the design challenges presented to them. Students spoke about their models and how they have approached the task. For the SRO, it was an opportunity to rethink how public access to State archives could be delivered and to be presented with ideas outside of the box (both figuratively and literally – commercial archive boxes were used by the students in constructing their Search Room models).

A range of guest speakers from UWA and the SRO also presented at this symposium. It was very enlightening to hear how those heavily engaged in architectural theory and practice are using government archives to support their research and work.

The SRO is very pleased to be a partner in this project and to support the student’s work which will be completed this semester. We will provide a recap of the project later in 2018 when the student design work is completed.

History Hub: A 21st Century Model for Archival Reference

When the National Archives launched History Hub in January 2016, we hoped it would be a game-changing way to provide access to information and diverse sources of expertise.  I’m pleased to share that what started out as an experimental project has become an active community of researchers and experts.

The idea for History Hub began with research into how organizations can best communicate with and serve their audiences. We discovered that our customers expect instantaneous feedback, self-service information retrieval, and personalized interactions with organizations. We were inspired by the success that technology companies have had with online support communities; these platforms invite connections between staff, customers, and enthusiasts who bring their own expertise to the forum. In a resource-constrained environment, we were also excited by the possibility of enabling many-to-many interactions, helping us to serve researchers more quickly and efficiently by harnessing the collective knowledge of internal and external experts.  Informed by these insights and models, the National Archives decided to launch History Hub (history.gov), a crowdsourcing platform for people interested in researching history.  History Hub offers tools like discussion boards, blogs, and community pages to bring together experts and researchers interested in American history.

History Hub homepage

Homepage of History Hub, history.gov

We like to think of History Hub as both a community and an interactive knowledge base that scales and improves in quality over time.  Through History Hub, we aim to facilitate historical research, connect with audiences, enable contributions from people with a variety of expertise, and ultimately improve customer service to researchers.

So, how is our experiment paying off? History Hub has seen a steady increase in traffic and activity since launch, enabling continued growth of the knowledge base that powers the platform. With additional organizations coming on board to participate and provide expertise—and with search engines driving new visits as new questions are asked and are answered—History Hub is showing the potential to reach and serve millions of people per year. Here’s what has happened on History Hub since January 2016:

  • Questions asked: 968
  • Answers posted: 1,068
  • Registered users: 4,355
  • Unique visitors: 71,275
  • Pageviews: 3,811,702

This project is a collaboration across the National Archives, with leadership from our Research Services staff, the Office of Innovation, and IT. Our reference staff are excited by the potential of the platform as well as the opportunity to collaborate more closely with peer institutions. On History Hub, our staff have answered research questions alongside knowledgeable people outside of the National Archives, including citizen historians, scholars, and experts at other cultural organizations. For example, the Library of Congress has come together with NARA staff to provide researchers with more complete answers about their questions related to the 1895 Atlanta Exposition, the Revolutionary War, and Thomas Jefferson’s papers. In other cases, genealogists have assisted others researching their own family history and citizen historians collaborated to identify and interpret a servicemember’s insignia (note: this discussion was one of them most popular in the last year). We are really pleased to see evidence of this kind of many-to-many communication, which is a critical supplement to the one-to-one support the National Archives offers through phone, email, and research visits.  We’re excited to see how History Hub grows and what it will teach us about how archives can provide great reference services in the digital age.

Have you tried History Hub yet? Here are some tips for getting started:

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Responding to Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Children’s Book Calls for Peace

War & Peace for Children

The Special Collections book we’re highlighting today has a very specific mission: to teach children (and perhaps, the adults reading to or with them) about the post-nuclear world, and about the need for peace. On the Wings of Peace: In Memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a 1995 collection of prose, poetry, and accompanying illustrations that promotes a message of world peace by incorporating voices from communities that have been affected by the atrocities of war.

20180521_113326
On the Wings of Peace: Writers and Illustrators Speak Out for Peace, in Memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The introduction by compiler and editor Sheila Hamanaka lays out the historical events of August 6, 1945, aligning the victims to the reader: “In this city of 350,000 were people like you and me, and they were already suffering from the effects of war — the death of loved ones, starvation, separation” (11). Her words appear across from this harrowing illustration:

20180521_113416
Illustration by George Littlechild

Little Boy and Fat Man

Throughout the large hardback volume, essays, personal accounts, and poetry are accompanied by both illustrations that evoke difficult emotions and photographs that portray the reality of the circumstances. Across from “Thoughts from a Nuclear Physicist,” a short essay by Michio Kaku, is Little Boy and Fat Man, a photograph by Robert Del Tredici. A young man leans casually against what must be a mock-up of the bomb, appropriately reflecting Dr. Kaku’s wise observation:

20180521_113442
Little Boy and Fat Man photograph by Robert Del Tredici

 

“Regrettably, our scientific skills have far outstripped the wisdom and compassion necessary to control this deadly, cosmic power. We are like spoiled infants playing with matches while floating on a swimming pool of gasoline” (25).

Marsha Gontarski Children’s Literature Collection & Visual Literacy

The volume is a compelling addition to the growing Marsha Gontarski Children’s Literature Collection, a broad collection of works mostly written and designed with children in mind. What is most fascinating about the collection is the way that Dr. Gontarski conceives of it; in her years of studying visual literacy, Dr. Gontarski has made connections between the books within her collection via the myriad ways meanings are visually communicated to children in these works. This book, which handles heavy subject matter, incorporates a mix of illustrations by different artists.

“Sky”

One of the stand-out poems includes illustrations by the poet.

20180521_113519
A page from Junko Morimoto’s “Sky”

“Sky,” by Junko Morimoto, tells the story of the atomic bombs from the perspective of a child in a village very near the drop-site. The illustrations are small and appear alongside the stanzas, as though they are part of the poetry.

Communities

This month’s Year of Poetry theme is community, and the book On the Wings of Peace considers the mission of achieving world peace through the eyes of people from different communities with different relationships to war and peace. In the case of “Sky” it is of a person who has experienced atomic fallout.

20180521_113600
The Peacemaker, snake, and frog

In the case of “Rabbit Foot: A Story of the Peacemaker,” the poem is from the perspective of the Iroquois people. It recounts one of the legends that accompanies the foundation of the Great League of Peace, which joined five nations at war into a larger league comprised of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca people (eventually, in 1722, the Tuscarora people joined as well). In the story, the Peacemaker warns of the dangers of war, illustrating his point with a story of a frog and a snake who eventually consume one another:

The snake swallowed more of the frog
the frog swallowed more of the snake
and the circle got smaller and smaller
until both of them swallowed one last time
and just like that, they both were gone.

They had eaten each other,
the Peacemaker said.
And in much the same way,
unless you give up war
and learn to live together in peace,
that also will happen to you.
— “Rabbit Foot: A Story of the Peacemaker” by Joseph Bruchac

If you’re interested in seeing how more artists respond to questions of war and peace, visit FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts to see the new exhibit, Waging Peace! There are beautiful pieces by a number of different artists, and local schools were involved in the design and installation of the exhibit.

The exhibit Waging Peace! will be up until July 6th, 2018. Don’t miss it!

 


Hamanaka, Sheila. On the Wings of Peace. Clarion Books, 1995.

Shining the Light on DPLA in Florida

SSDN

The Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN) is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) service hub for the state of Florida. The DPLA is an ever-growing national network of libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage institutions; it is a free service, offering access to over 21 million items from around the globe. The service hub (SSDN) represents a community of institutions in the state which provides their partner institutions’ aggregated metadata for the DPLA and offer tiered services, such as collections hosting, metadata remediation, training, and digitization assistance to connect institutions of all sizes to the DPLA. Collecting (aggregating) and sharing the metadata records with DPLA allows for the digital objects to be presented to the public in a national context alongside objects from other organizations like the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the National Archives, Harvard University, HathiTrust, and many others and gives them greater exposure. This means that they are easier to find because they are all on one easily searchable platform and they will get more use than they would have otherwise. DPLA offers users many ways to make use of the resources they provide such as exhibitions and primary source sets designed for classroom use.

The SSDN operates on a multi-tiered hub system consisting of the main hub and regional sub-hubs. The main service hub is located at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. The sub-hub is located in Miami, FL with responsibilities shared among the University of Miami (UM) and Florida International University (FIU). These three institutions contribute metadata for their digital collections content as well as on behalf of several new content partners. SSDN has added three new content partners since February 2018, they are Florida Memory, the City of Coral Gables, and Valclav Havel Library Foundation. Together, these six institutions have shared over 148,000 digital objects with DPLA since our first harvest in November 2017!

The network is currently working toward adding more partners, developing a sustainability model, establishing governance, and supporting Florida cultural heritage institutions to share their resources online. We are doing this with the help of many volunteers around the state serving on our working groups, which focus on metadata, outreach, and training. These groups are currently developing metadata guidelines and documentation, assessing and developing digitization, digital collections, and metadata training, and creating and fostering outreach and relationships with different cultural heritage institutions around the state. We are very excited about the growth of the network in such a short time and about the opportunities we have ahead of us.

Take a look at what Florida has contributed to DPLA and explore what else DPLA has to offer at dp.la.

Post contributed by Keila Zayas-Ruiz, SSDN Coordinator based at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Wikipedia project: month 1

For three months there will be a new addition to the University of Stirling Archives, a Wikipedian-In-Residence. The first month has flown in already, but articles on Wikipedia have already benefitted from a little dose of information from the archives. It has been an interesting project to undertake due to the range of collections that the archive holds. Although it is one of my goals to transfer some of the knowledge from the archive to Wikipedia, another goal will be to interest the public to come and view our collections themselves.

In the first month, my focus has been driven by how many people view certain collections on the archive website. The Leighton Library, Robert Haldane and John Grierson articles on Wikipedia have all had time dedicated to them, with the addition of a new Wikipedia article on the Stirling District Lunatic Asylum or Bellsdyke as it was later known.

There was also time to visit the Leighton Library and take some internal shots of the first purpose-built library in Scotland, if you want to see the inside for yourself you can pop in Monday-Saturday 11am-1pm.

Photograph of the interior of the Leighton Library

The next month‘s focus will be on the Peter Mackay collection, as well as the Royal Scottish National Hospital, Sam Back and Howietoun Fishery. A lovely range of collections to keep me occupied.

Lucy Rodger is completing a Masters in Environment, Heritage and Policy at the University of Stirling, her residency will run until the end of June 2018.

Wikipedia project: month 1

For three months there will be a new addition to the University of Stirling Archives, a Wikipedian-In-Residence. The first month has flown in already, but articles on Wikipedia have already benefitted from a little dose of information from the archives. It has been an interesting project to undertake due to the range of collections that the archive holds. Although it is one of my goals to transfer some of the knowledge from the archive to Wikipedia, another goal will be to interest the public to come and view our collections themselves.

In the first month, my focus has been driven by how many people view certain collections on the archive website. The Leighton Library, Robert Haldane and John Grierson articles on Wikipedia have all had time dedicated to them, with the addition of a new Wikipedia article on the Stirling District Lunatic Asylum or Bellsdyke as it was later known.

There was also time to visit the Leighton Library and take some internal shots of the first purpose-built library in Scotland, if you want to see the inside for yourself you can pop in Monday-Saturday 11am-1pm.

Photograph of the interior of the Leighton Library

The next month‘s focus will be on the Peter Mackay collection, as well as the Royal Scottish National Hospital, Sam Back and Howietoun Fishery. A lovely range of collections to keep me occupied.

Lucy Rodger is completing a Masters in Environment, Heritage and Policy at the University of Stirling, her residency will run until the end of June 2018.

Percy Sutton: The Coming Population Explosion

50 years ago today, Planned Parenthood organized its first conference on family planning at the now-defunct Commodore Hotel in New York City, near Grand Central station. Titled “Family Planning in New York City: Change and Challenge,” it featured speakers culled from health and social-service leaders within Mayor Lindsay’s administration. These included Health Commissioner O’Rourke, as well as high-ranking officials from the Human Resources Administration and the Board of Education.

Family planning had a long history in the city: Margaret Sanger started her controversial first clinic in Brooklyn in 1916, a clinic which then, first as the American Birth Control League in 1921 and then in 1942 as Planned Parenthood Federation of America, became the core of the only national birth-control organization in the U.S. until the 1960s. It is no surprise, then, that the reports from city officials give a cumulative sense of a city fully committed to a progressive approach to family planning (and its always controversial sister issue, abortion): several programs are described, its successes are recounted, the challenges ahead are pointed out —all in the convivial, slightly stilted language of bureaucrats accustomed to public speaking.

Then comes Manhattan Borough President Percy E. Sutton. Less than two years at his post, but already loaded with plenty of experience in the legal, civil-rights, and political arenas, “the chairman” brings his legendary smooth diction to point out some uncomfortable challenges in the field. A keen persuader, Sutton would be the highest-ranking elected black official for more than a decade, and here you can hear why: here is a man utterly at ease in front of a crowd, and a man also unafraid to speak his mind.

Significantly, Sutton had also introduced an abortion bill in 1966, seven years before the Roe v. Wade decision. Although the bill was defeated, it has been hailed as groundbreaking for its time, and has been said to inspire New York’s progressive stance on the issue (at least until recently). More broadly, Sutton continued to show interest in family planning, and in his speech he outlines his reasons for having been supportive of the issue: at its most basic, he predicts that the population explosion will be as destructive as a nuclear explosion.

But it is the subtleties in his delivery that set Sutton apart in the proceedings. After a series of well-meaning reports from city officials, all of which tend to sound “top-down,” he suggests keeping one’s ear to the ground in the communities most likely to suffer from the ill effects of an unplanned population increase. To that end he quotes an off-the-cuff remark by civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer. Imitating Ms. Hamer’s Sunflower County, Mississippi cadence, he retells her disdainful comment:

Huh! White folks talkin’ about family planning…When they had that cotton to chop,when they had that corn to holdthey said, “Children, have fun—have a lot of children!”Now we talk about voting:they talk about family planning.

Sutton uses this remarkable quote to respectfully —but not without bristle— tell the audience about attitudes that may harm the progress of family-planning programs. (He also cannot resist to note that Fannie Lou Hamer is much more eloquent than Mississippi senator James Eastland, a known supporter of racial segregation) But somehow, by presenting possibly dissenting views, Sutton does not sound any less convinced: he merely seems to be warning the surrounding policymakers of possible setbacks, and above all asking them to be inclusive: to listen. It is an attitude that served him well in his long career in the public service.

Welcome to the Paris Press Archives!

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Records of the Paris Press. The records arrived here in April 2018 and we’re looking forward to making them quickly available to the public.

The Paris Press was founded in 1995 with the mission of publishing “groundbreaking yet overlooked literature by women.” Paris Press authors include: Muriel Rukeyser, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Bryher, Ruth Stone, Zdena Berger, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 2018, the Press was acquired by Wesleyan University and all Paris Press books will be available through the Wesleyan University Press.

The Records of the Paris Press includes some fifty to one hundred linear feet of paper records in addition to several terabytes of born digital material. This is the perfect opportunity for the Archives to practice the principles of extensible processing – an iterative process that creates baseline access points for archival material but allows for more detailed work as user demand dictates. The Paris Press records were well-organized when they were active, and the records creators kept everything categorized by publishing job and at the box level. We’ll be maintaining that organization as we prepare a box-level inventory for the public. We soon will have publicly available descriptions of the collection on our collections portal and in the library catalog. Check back soon!

Below are a number of shots of the newly-arrived Paris Press records as they made their way onto shelves at our off-site storage facility, the Bunker.




U.S. Coast Guard Logbook Scan-a-Thon

The featured scanning project from the National Archives Innovation Hub focuses on logbooks of the U.S. Coast Guard vessels that served in the Vietnam War. These vessels participated in Operation Market Time, an effort to patrol the South Vietnamese coast to keep supplies from reaching North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong forces.

The logbooks contain the highlights of each ship’s voyage, written up every four hours by the deck officer on watch. Information recorded may include incidents of shots fired, transportation of detainees, and contact with friendly or unfriendly vessels. Many veterans of the Vietnam War use these logbooks today to help establish their eligibility for veterans’ benefits.

Logbook cover for the USCG Point Glover

Logbook cover for the USCG Point Glover, December 1966. National Archives Identifier 75675099

To support this digitization project, the Innovation Hub recently held a scan-a-thon, inviting staff and the public to help veterans access the history of the ships they served on by scanning logbook pages. Thanks to our citizen scanners, we exceeded our goal of 2,000 pages and scanned a total of 2,314 pages in one day!

Once each month’s logbook is scanned, it is uploaded into our online Catalog and made easily available to everyone. View the completed logbooks in our Catalog.

Among the 20 attendees at the scan-a-thon were five Coast Guard veterans who scanned the logbooks of the ships they had served on in Vietnam. After the event, veteran Tom Livingston emailed to say:

“I had a great time in the Innovation Hub and I appreciate all of the hospitality shown to me by you and your staff. It was a thrill for me to touch some of the documents I wrote 50 years ago in Vietnam. I enjoyed it so much that I will plan another trip to DC this summer.”

Tom Livingston, former commander of the Point Slocum, points to his signature on a logbook page

Tom Livingston, former commander of the Point Slocum, points to his signature on a logbook page

Also attending were Scott Price, Chief Historian of the Coast Guard, and Emily Brockway from the Coast Guard’s Office of External Outreach and Heritage. The Innovation Hub hopes to work with these Coast Guard offices in the future as we continue the project.

Archives specialist Adebo Adetona gave a talk about the logbooks, how they were created, and how they are used today. The talk was streamed on Facebook Live. One attendee emailed later to say:

“I am glad that someone videotaped the lecture portion because the impact became more clear to me about the usage of the scans. Previously, I thought it was about Veteran pension benefits; now, I know that the scans support veterans made ill by Agent Orange exposure receive medical benefits rightfully due to them.”

Adebo Adetona delivers his talk

Adebo Adetona delivers his talk

Many thanks to all of our citizen scanners and scan-a-thon participants for helping to make these important records more accessible to our veterans. We estimate that there are over 100,000 total pages that need to be scanned for this project, so there is more work to be done. If you are interested in helping scan, visit us in the Hub! You can learn more about this project and how to volunteer at the National Archives Innovation Hub.

More Legacy Open Data Sets Now Available

We’re delighted to announce that even more legacy versions of the City’s open data sets are now available for download through our online database.

Back in November 2017 we released the first batch of sets, spanning October 2014 to April 2016. For basic information on how to access and download the data sets, please take a look at our post from November 2017.

The most recently added sets include the earliest versions we have, grabbed in November 2010.

Description of Bikeways data from November 2010 snapshot

With so many sets now available, it’s helpful to know how to isolate the data from a particular snapshot date. On the Open Data Catalogue series description page, scroll down to the Scope and content field for the list of snapshot dates.

Scope and content of Open Data Catalogue series with dates datasets were grabbed

Data packages (grouped by subject just like on the live Open Data Catalogue) all have “Open data catalogue” and the date (just month and year) of the snapshot in the title, so the easiest way to narrow your search results to a specific snapshot is to use the Advanced search.

Search “open data catalogue” (in quotation marks) in Title AND the snapshot date you’re looking for (also in quotation marks) in Title. Here is an example showing a search for January 2013:

Using Advanced search to isolate data sets from the January 2013 snapshot

We continue to snapshot the Open Data Catalogue quarterly, and data sets grabbed in 2017 and 2018 are currently being processed and making their way to our database. As always, we would love to see what the community produces with the data, so please feel free to get in touch with us!

Playbills in the Spotlight

It’s time for a student spotlight to hear what some of our students are working on behind the scenes at Special Collections & Archives.

My name is Meg Barrett, and come Fall semester, I will be a senior (!), studying Art History. I’ve been working with Special Collections & Archives since the summer of 2016, and I’ve been able to work with some really interesting materials, such as photo records of the university’s College of Nursing to eighteenth-century French newspapers.

Most recently, however, I had the opportunity to create the container list for the School of Theatre’s playbill collection, located in the Degen Resource Room of the Fine Arts Building. This list was added to the collection’s finding aid which means you can now search the collection’s thousands of titles.

The collection has over 200 binders filled with thousands of playbills for plays and musicals, dating back to the 1870s. The collection consists of playbills of shows across the country, such as in New York or Chicago, and even university productions. As an avid theatre fan, who takes every opportunity to see a campus theatre production and enjoys a good musical theatre soundtrack, being able to work on this project was a great experience. The collection includes playbills from shows such as The Boy Friend from 1954, which was Julie Andrews’ Broadway debut, the 1996 production of This is Our Youth, starring Mark Ruffalo, or even the 2000 performance of The Crucible at the Florida State University Fallon Theatre. I am so grateful that I was given the chance to work on this project and look through all of these fascinating materials.

Editor’s Note: Meg has been a fantastic addition to Special Collections & Archives and we’re going to miss her this summer as she goes on a European adventure but will look forward to having her back in the fall!

Archivist, temporary contract (8 weeks)

Information Services
Library and Archives Research Support

Archivist
Grade 6, Point 24
Temporary Appointment for 8 weeks
4 June – 27 July 2018

An opportunity has arisen at the University Of Stirling Archives for a recently qualified archivist to work on a short-term project preparing a number of personal paper collections for a larger project which will catalogue our Commonwealth Games related collections.

The collections relate to three individuals with a long association with Commonwealth sport:

• Sir Peter Heatly (1924-2015), winner of gold medals for diving at three consecutive Commonwealth Games in the 1950s, Vice Chair of the 1970 Edinburgh Games and Chair of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1982-1990
• Willie Carmichael (1905-1988), Manager of the Scottish Team in 1938, Chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1950-55, and Director of the 1970 Edinburgh Games
• Douglas Brown (1940-2016), Honorary Secretary of Commonwealth Games Scotland from 1999-2011 and a major figure in Scottish Swimming.

The University of Stirling Archives holds an extensive collection of material relating to the Commonwealth Games including the administrative records of Commonwealth Games Scotland. The University Archives has created a system of arrangement for our Commonwealth Games related collections which is to be applied to the above personal collections in advance of future cataloguing of the material.

The main duties of this short-term contract include:

• Preliminary sorting and arrangement of the above personal paper collections
• Further sorting of Commonwealth Games-related material in these collections into sub-series of records
• Checking and correcting draft Excel lists for Sir Peter Heatly and Willie Carmichael collections
• Updating the box list for the Douglas Brown collection, providing further information on its contents

Job specification:

Essential:

• Postgraduate qualification in archival studies or equivalent
• Previous practical experience working in an archive service (including volunteering)

Desirable:

• Knowledge of / interest in the history of sport
• Knowledge of international archive cataloguing standards
• Experience of using CALM for Archives cataloguing system
• Registered member of the Archives and Records Association

Applications:

Please send an up-to-date CV with a covering letter explaining your interest in the post to Karl Magee, University Archivist at karl.magee@stir.ac.uk

Please use the subject heading CG Archive application in your email.

Closing date for applications is Monday 14 May 2018.

Interviews will be held on the afternoon of Thursday 17 May 2018.