Update #2 on Coronavirus and FSU Special Collections

As many institutions are doing at the moment, Florida State University is changing operations for a period to respond to coronavirus. What does that mean for Special Collections & Archives?


Original Campus Library Doors, ca. 1940-1944 [original image]

Until further notice, the Special Collections & Archives public areas, including all reading rooms, are closed to the public for the safety of our staff and our patrons. However, our collections are still available even if you can’t come visit them in person. Please contact Special Collections & Archives at lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu for help in doing research in the archives. Also, our online catalog, finding aid database and digital library remain open for remote use. Please be aware much of our staff is working remotely at this time so answers to reference questions or digital reproduction requests may be delayed until we are in the building again.

The Heritage Museum and the Claude Pepper Library and Museum are closed at this time as well.

This is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation and we will do our best to provide updates if and when any of this information changes. Please check back with the FSU Libraries COVID-19 Updates and Resources webpage for the latest information. We ask everyone to be safe during this time.

Archives Service update

Following advice issued by the Scottish Government on 16 March 2020 on steps to be taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 the University of Stirling Archives will be closing its public reading room from 17 March until further notice.

The closure will have the following impact on our service:

  • A temporary suspension of our volunteer projects
  • Cancellation / postponement of current
    researcher visits
  • No bookings made for future researcher visits at
    present

The University Archives will continue to offer a limited
service to researchers:

  • We will endeavour to answer remote enquiries received by email to archives@stir.ac.uk
  • Where possible we will provide access to digitised copies of material to researchers unable to visit the reading room to carry out research in person
  • Priority will be given to University of Stirling students currently using our collections for dissertations and projects
  • We will continue to promote our collections and provide updates on our service via social media (@unistirarchives)

The health and safety of our staff and public is important to us and we will endeavour to continue to provide a service to our users through this difficult time.

Karl Magee, University Archivist

Behind the Scenes of The Daily Show

Its creators might cringe at the description, but since its debut in 1996, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has become a television institution. From its constellation of “anchors,” “correspondents,” and “commentators,” the show has spun off stars and superstars like Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, Steve Carrell, Mo Rocca, Lewis Black, Michelle Wolf, Wyatt Cenac, Aasif Mandvi, John Hodgman, and others. Like On the Media, it shines a sometimes harsh light on the media, though in a different manner: skewering the media, politics, and popular culture with its satirical send-up of a nightly newscast.

In May 1999, just four months into Jon Stewart’s tenure as the show’s anchor, Kaari Pitkin produced a “Fly on the Wall” segment, bringing OTM listeners behind the scenes of a day in the life of The Daily Show.

Archives services during COVID-19 remote learning

Effective March 11, only current students, staff, and faculty with Amherst IDs are permitted entrance to buildings on campus, including Frost Library. We appreciate your understanding.

We are closed to the general public. On-site services and research hours will be limited to the Amherst College community. We will be open regular hours March 12-13 for Amherst College students, faculty, and staff. Reading room access for Amherst College students, faculty, and staff will be by appointment only beginning March 16. Please contact us at 413-542-2299 or archives@amherst.edu to schedule an appointment.

For those no longer able to conduct research on site, Archives and Special Collections staff will work with you to determine the best course of action. If you are concerned about access to archival material, please email us at archives@amherst.edu

A number of archival collections are digitized and available through Amherst College Digital Collections.

For faculty concerned about class visits to the Archives, we will be in touch with all faculty who have currently scheduled classes to determine how plans can be adapted. If you would like to request a class session, please use this form. We are unable to host class visits from outside the Amherst College community.

Update on Coronavirus and FSU Special Collections

As many institutions are doing at the moment, Florida State University is changing operations for a period to respond to coronavirus. What does that mean for Special Collections & Archives?


Nursing students standing outside Jackson Memorial Hospital, 1950s [original item]

Until further notice, access to all FSU Libraries is limited to holders of FSU IDs and students from the joint FAMU/FSU College of Engineering. Community members or traveling scholars will be unable to visit our collections in person. However, our collections are still available even if you can’t come visit them in person. Please contact Special Collections at lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu for help in doing research in the archives while they are closed to the general public. Also, our online catalog, finding aid database and digital library remain open for remote use.

For our FSU campus community, our hours will reduce, as they normally do, during Spring Break. March 16-20, the Research Center Reading Room, Exhibit Room and Norwood Reading Room will be open from 10am to 4:30pm. The Heritage Museum will be closed and the Claude Pepper Library and Museum will be closed as well.

This is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation and we will do our best to provide updates if and when any of this information changes. Please check back with the FSU Libraries COVID-19 Updates and Resources webpage for the latest information. We ask everyone to be safe during this time.

Celebrating Women’s History with a new digital collection

The DLC recently completed processing and started loading materials from the League of Women Voters (LWV), Tallahassee Chapter Records materials held at the Claude Pepper Library into DigiNole. The materials in this first round of digitization with the collection include the newsletters of the Tallahassee chapter from 1962-2012 as well as Study and Action guides for the national LWV agenda from 1975-1999.

The records of the League of Women Voters, Tallahassee Chapter, are comprised primarily of administrative files, publications, and subject files and document 55 years of Tallahassee League activities including the organization of conventions and meetings, coordination of league activities, and the chapter’s relationship with the League of Women Voters of the United States.

Of particular interest is the story one can find in the newsletters regarding the fight for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in Florida. First appearing in the newsletters in 1972, it appears in every monthly newsletter throughout the 1980s including the big push to try to get it ratified before the amendment expired in 1982. The League often reminded its members that it was used to a long struggle, having been founded just before women received the right to vote in 1920 by women suffragists. Still, there is some discouragement to be found in the newsletters when, over and over again, the Florida Legislature failed to take up the ERA in any meaningful way.

This is just one of the many stories you’ll find in these materials which offer a unique look at women and politics in Tallahassee, Florida and the United States in some of our most volatile political decades. To get an idea of what you’ll find in the entire collection, please see the finding aid. To browse more of the materials digitized, please visit the collection at DigiNole: FSU’s digital repository.

Did ‘Seinfeld’ Put the Polish Back on The Big Apple?

It was a sitcom that was, by its own admission, about nothing; with an ensemble cast playing (let’s be honest) irredeemably self-absorbed jerks. But was it responsible for putting a polish back on the national reputation of The Big Apple? 

When Seinfeld debuted in 1989 the media trope for New York had descended from the glamour of Breakfast at Tiffany’s to The Big Rotten Apple: a dark and dirty dysfunctional dystopia. Guys and Dolls and On the Town had given way to Midnight Cowboy, Taxi Driver, Death Wish, and Escape From New York. Even The Odd Couple, the iconic ‘70’s sitcom set in New York, regularly had Oscar or Felix being mugged or otherwise pummeled by a city perceived as beyond control.1 In their 1978 Rolling Stones hit “Shattered” Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sung “Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots.” Or as the guest of the January 4, 1998 On the Media episode John Podhoretz put it: there was “nobody in the country with a good word to say about New York.” 

During that segment of On the Media, Podhoretz, the New York Post Editorial Page Editor, joined host Brian Lehrer and Elizabeth Lesly Stevens of Business Week to discuss the Seinfeld phenomenon and what the show meant to the public image of New York City.

Podhoretz theorized that the show had “reinvented New York in the eyes of America from a city of danger and horror into what New York likes to think of itself as at its best, which is sort of an exciting, action-packed place full of glamorous eccentrics.”  He added that, with its visits to real New York places like actual bodegas and diners, no television program had ever been as much “about a specific setting as Seinfeld.”

And perhaps because of those specific New York settings and the eccentrics who inhabit them, America seemed to have fallen back in love with The Big Apple.

Is that theory, or just more yadda, yadda, yadda?

 

1TV Tropes. (2019). The Big Rotten Apple – TV Tropes. [online] Available at: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheBigRottenApple [Accessed 4 Nov. 2019].

 

https://www.wnyc.org/story/goodbye-jerry-seinfeld-signs-off-nader-vs-microsoft-letters-to-the-editor/

 

Public Panels Scheduled Next Week to Discuss Priorities in Declassification Review

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, officials from several Intelligence Community (IC) agencies and three offices within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will join in two public panels at NARA’s William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408. Panelists will discuss issues concerning the recent past, current state, and future prospects of declassification review.

From 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., senior NARA leadership and agency experts will host a moderated discussion to celebrate the first decade and future activities of The National Declassification Center (NDC). Due to building access restrictions, registration to attend is required before midnight EDT March 10, 2020. For those unable to attend this event in person at McGowan Theater, live streaming of the NDC panel will be available on NARA’s YouTube Channel.

Established on December 30, 2009, by the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero under Executive Order 13526, the NDC coordinates interagency declassification processes to promote the public release of historically significant records, while appropriately safeguarding national security.

Since 2015, the NDC’s Indexing on Demand (IOD) program encourages the public to participate in the prioritization of specific record entries for final declassification processing.  Each year, the NDC website lists classified records eligible for request through the IOD program so that the public may identify those of the greatest interest. This offers one mechanism for prioritizing the review of Government records that come up for declassification review every year in increasingly large volumes, which the panelists will discuss with regard to the future of the NDC.

From 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., NDC officials will join a panel with representatives of NARA’s Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), and Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), as well as from several IC agencies to discuss using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request records from the IC. As with the morning panel, registration to attend the event in person is required before midnight EDT March 10, 2020, and NARA will live stream this multi-agency forum on YouTube.

Established under the OPEN Government Act of 2007, OGIS reviews FOIA policies, procedures, and compliance across the Federal Government, and mediates FOIA disputes between Federal agencies and requesters. As with the Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) process—which under Executive Order 13526, ISOO supports through the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP)—the staggering increase in electronic National Security Information continues to impede FOIA review.

Solutions like the NDC’s IOD program represent an earnest step toward the more proactive and thematic prioritization that the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) has consistently recommended in successive reports since 2007 (for links, see the previous entry here at Transforming Classification). The public panels next Thursday offer a welcome forum for considering ways of implementing these recommendations to improve current declassification processes across the Federal Government.

IC and NARA panelists will accept questions from the audience at both morning and afternoon events.

New Archival Storage Space for Congressional Records at GPO

In February 2020, NARA took occupancy of new archival storage space for congressional records on the third floor of the Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Building A, located on North Capitol Street in Washington, DC. The Center for Legislative Archives, the custodial unit responsible for the permanent, official records of the U.S. House of Representative, U.S. Senate, and legislative branch commissions, then began the move of records stored in temporary storage spaces at the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) into the new GPO spaces. These accomplishments marked the culmination of a multi-year effort by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to create additional storage space for the records of Congress.

Photograph of the GPO Building on North Capitol Street, courtesy of the U.S. Government Publishing office

The Center’s total volume of textual holdings is currently over 183,000 cubic feet, and in 2014 its available storage space in Archives I was essentially full. WNRC offered temporary storage space to allow the Center to continue to accession new House and Senate records, and the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate, the official record keepers for the House and Senate respectively, encouraged NARA to locate additional records storage space in Washington, DC for House and Senate records. NARA identified suitable space in the GPO Building, where the Office of the Federal Register and the Office of Government Information, had relocated its offices.

In 2015, NARA’s Office of Business Support worked with a contract architectural and design firm to provide drawings and cost estimates to convert the GPO space into archival storage space. Congress appropriated funds for the project in the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act, and GPO awarded a construction contract for the project in late 2017. In December 2019, construction was completed and environment testing of the spaces was conducted to demonstrate that the temperature and relative humidity readings met NARA standards for archival storage spaces. 

In progress construction in GPO building. Photograph by the National Archives

February 2020 marked the beginning of the move of the records in temporary storage into the GPO spaces and the direct transfer of new accessions of records from the House and Senate into the new spaces. With 50,000 cubic feet of unclassified records storage space now available, NARA has provided ample space for the anticipated growth of House and Senate records and preserved these valuable records for future use by the broad array of researchers who use congressional records, including cultural and political historians, political scientists, genealogists, legal and constitutional scholars, journalists, and documentary filmmakers.

New Exhibit Coming Soon!

March 13, 2020 will be the last day to view the current exhibit in the Special Collections & Archives Exhibit room,  “A Century of Mystery and Intrigue”.

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Our new exhibit, “Earth Day 50”, will be opening in April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day: April 22, 1970. “Earth Day 50” is a collaborative effort between FSU Sustainable Campus and Special Collections & Archives. The goal of the exhibit is to illustrate the role that prominent figures in FSU and Florida history have played in the environmental movement and highlight environmental activism here at Florida State University in the past 50 years.

Earth Day Activities
Schedule of Events at Florida State University for the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970. Florida Flambeau, April 22, 1970

Keep an eye out for more information about the opening of the new exhibit, as well as events and activities in celebration of Earth Day on campus.

“It Gutted Me Like a Fish”

In 1998, reporter Charles Bowden sounded like a world weary Raymond Chandler character destined to be played in film by Humphrey Bogart. But the crimes he covered happened a half century later and were, unfortunately, all too real. He believed they were too real and too grisly for his newspaper’s readers to deal with. He made it his job to show those Americans the desperate underbelly of their country they willfully ignored.

 

Bowden considered himself a reporter; he hated the term journalist.1 And he never intended to be a crime reporter —he expected to write fluffy features for the Tucson Citizen just long enough to earn the money to buy a new racing bike. Then came the day when everyone else in the newsroom was out on assignment and it fell to him to cover the murder of a child. As he told Ryan Kohls in 2012,  “I wasn’t there very long until I had to go write about child murders, and it changed me. I didn’t leave. I spent three years there because I was learning so much.”2

 

He learned so well that in 1984 he found himself a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.3 But as unexpectedly as his crime reporting career began, it ended of his own volition –as he explained in  “Torch Song: At the peripheries of violence and desire”, a 1998 essay in Harper’s Magazine.4 

 

It was that essay that led to a 1998 segment of On the Media where Bowden had a StoryCorps-style conversation with Jack Dew, then a journalist new to the crime beat for the New Britain Herald. There they discussed the emotional toll of the job. Bowden told Dew that once he started reporting on crime in Tucson he “went nuts…It became my life.” He found the only way to do the job correctly is, “…to be the cop and the robber, the killer and the victim. It guts you and there is no way to protect yourself. It’s a toxin.”

 

Bowden became a bit of a typewriter vigilante, hoping to, as he told Dew and OTM listeners, “give the victims their day in the court of public opinion.” But in trying to use the newspaper as a mirror to show the Citizen’s readers a reflection of their society he found himself becoming a bit of a crime “gourmet” or “antique collector,” scouring crime logs at police stations looking for the perfect victim he could sell in a 20,000-word feature without anyone saying the person in any way deserved the gruesome crime committed against them.

 

As he later told Kohls, “I got trapped in it because most people won’t cover sex crimes, most people can’t get people to talk. I was hired to be a fluff writer and I discovered that almost anyone would tell me anything.”5

 

Bowden’s work not only earned him his Pulitzer Prize nomination, but his many later books documenting life on both sides of the Mexico-United States border earned him a Lannan Literary Award for Non Fiction.6 He and his vivid suffer-no-fools style can also be heard in this 2010 segment of The Takeaway talking about murders of journalists in Mexico and the policies he believed led to the lawlessness in the border city of Juarez. 

 

In a 2010 interview he described his style of reporting on border issues to Meredith Blake of The New Yorker: “The way I was trained up, reporters went toward the story, just as firemen rush toward the fire. It is a duty. As it happens, I am a coward and would rather write about a bird or a tree. But, I don’t know how to be aware of such a slaughter and not report it.”7

 

Bowden died in 2014.8 After working for several New England newspapers, Jack Dew went to law school and now practices law.9

1 Lengel, Kerry. “Tucson aruthor Charles Bowden on ‘Murder City’”, The Arizona Republic, 2010, April 9. Accessed December 19, 2019.

 

2Kohls, Ryan. “Charles Bowden.” Whatiwannaknow.com, 7 December 2012. Accessed December 19, 2019. 

 

3The Pulitzer Prizes. “Finalist: Charles Bowden of Tucson (AZ) Citizen”, pulitzer.org. Accessed December 19, 2019. 

 

4Bowden, Charles. “Torch Song: At the peripheries of violence and desire”, Harpers, 1998, August, 43-54.

 

5 Kohls, op. cit.

 

6Lannan.Foundation. “Charles Bowden: 1996 Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction”, lannan.org. Accessed December 19, 2019.

 

7Blake, Meredith. “The Exchange: Charles Bowden on Juarez, ‘Murder City’”, newyorker.com, 2010, May 18. Accessed December 19, 2019.

 

8Yardley, William. “Charles Bowden, Author With Unblinking Eye on Southwest, Dies at 69”, The New York Times, 2014, September 4, B18. 

 

9Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. “Jack Dew”, bsfllp.com. Accessed December 19, 2019.  

Katyn Massacre Records Show Need to Prioritize Disclosure of Historical Information with Significant Public Interest

On February 25, 2020, the Wilson Center commemorated the 80th anniversary of the executions by Soviet intelligence forces of over 22,000 Polish prisoners in the Russian provinces of Smolensk, Kalinin, and Kharkiv in Ukraine. The prisoners represented a majority of Poland’s governing elite—military, police, and civil society leaders captured in 1939, when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany invaded and divided Poland by secret diplomatic agreement. A long history of deception and denial about who killed the Polish patriots began in the spring of 1943, when Nazi troops—then invading Russia—discovered and verified the Soviet atrocity at mass graves in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk.

At the Wilson Center commemoration, the Polish History Professor Andrzej Nowak recounted how the Soviet Union falsified investigations to blame Nazi Germany for the Katyn Massacre—and that following the western alliance with the Soviet Union to defeat the Nazis, such distinguished leaders as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declined to acknowledge Soviet responsibility. In 1943, Prime Minister Churchill explained to a Polish diplomat that although it was obvious, the Allies would never admit Soviet responsibility, because that would compromise their cooperation in the war against the Nazis.

In 1951, as Cold War tensions increased between the United States and the Soviet Union, the U.S. House of Representatives established a Select Committee to investigate which nation perpetrated the Katyn massacre, and whether any American officials had covered up the relevant facts. Chaired by Rep. Ray J. Madden (IN), the Congressional investigation found the Soviet Union entirely responsible for the executions. The Madden Committee also concluded that if American officials had not deliberately prevented public disclosure of evidence regarding Soviet responsibility since 1942, contemporary U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union might have been different.

Ironically, hopes for an improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) resulted in a return to the same official neglect of the Katyn records by U.S. officials that had prevailed during the alliance of the Second World War.  It was not until 2011 that Congressional Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH) and Daniel Lipinski (IL) requested President Barack Obama to release all pertinent U.S. Government records, and the National Declassification Center (NDC) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) led a multiagency project to identify and review records documenting the Katyn Forest Massacre.

Coordinated by the NDC, the Government-wide search included photographs and film, as well as the line-by-line review of documents, from the records of the Department of State, the War Department, the United States Army, the Office of Strategic Services, Congress, and the prosecution of war crimes committed in the Second World War. In September 2012, the NDC declassified and released over 1,000 new pages of previously unavailable materials for public access. NARA also provides online access to a selection of 100 scanned Records Relating to the Katyn Forest Massacre, and an online finding aid to a selection of the records.

As well as commemorating the sacrifice of Polish patriots, echoes from the Katyn Forest underscore the need to prioritize the review of historical records for timely public release, consistent with the mandate of the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) since its establishment by Congress in 2000.  Subsequent PIDB recommendations have urged Federal agencies to prioritize historical records for public access and consideration by policymakers, see: Transforming the Security Classification System (2012); Transforming Classification Policy Forum (2009); and Improving Declassification (2007).

In Setting Priorities: An Essential Step in Transforming Declassification (2014), the Board recommended the implementation of a centralized approach to the declassification of historically significant records based on topics of the greatest public interest.  It would be useful now to evaluate the progress made on the declassification of Federal records relating to the specific topics recommended for review in that report.

By completing the special project to disclose the Katyn Forest records, the NDC demonstrated its ability to coordinate the identification and declassification of records across the Federal Government. Prioritizing historical records for declassification and improving these efforts remains crucial to overcoming the bad consequences of Government secrecy, which Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the sponsor of PIDB’s founding statute, argued can impede American democracy by “making it much harder to resolve key questions about our past and to chart our future actions.”

Black History Month: Notable University History Collections

February is Black History month and for those interested in studying Black History at Florida State University, we thought we would highlight a few of our collection in Heritage & University Archives.

0214201047
BSU Scrapbook, 1990-2008.

Perhaps the most obvious place to look, and one of our more informative collections on the topic, is our Black Student Union collection. This collection contains items from previous organizational campaigns, financial information, and a very large scrapbook. This collection has received several additions in the past couple of years, adding to this information, and will continue to grow.

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FSU Black Guild Players in a promotional photo for the production of “The Colored Museum,” 1989.

The Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection and the Florida Flambeau/FSView Photograph Collections are some of Heritage & University Archive’s best resources for a visual history of the university. Among the photographs are images of Maxwell Courtney, FSU’s first African American graduate, and the Black Players Guild.

Boardman Letter
Letter to John Boardman from Doak Campbell, 1957.

Lastly, an important group of records for any research on campus history, are the Presidential Files. This is several different collections covering several of FSU’s Presidents and include topics related to almost every aspect of the university. An extremely important file on John Boardman is present in the Doak Campbell Administration Files detailing events surrounding Boardman’s expulsion from FSU after inviting three African American students to a Christmas Party on campus. The entire file has been digitized and is available on Diginole.

For any questions or reference help regarding these collections, you can email the Heritage & University Archivist, Sandra Varry at svarry@fsu.edu.

Sunshine State Digital Network New Local Site

The Sunshine State Digital Network has a new local site. This page aims to highlight the “rich history and culture” of Florida through user-friendly search technology and pre-made collections. SSDN.DP.LA, the new local site, has many filters that make searching and sifting through content an easy and enjoyable experience. Some of these filters include contributing institution, date range, type of content, language, or more. Users can uncover content ranging from text, images, videos, audio clips, books, or more.

The new local site has 4 highlighted, curated searches for users to browse. Users can look through search results focused on the Caribbean, Civil and Human Rights, maps of the state of Florida and its local communities, and Florida’s environment. Users can access these pre-made searches straight from the homepage of the new local site.


This is the Browse by Partner page of the new SSDN.DP.LA site.

Another unique feature to the new local SSDN site is the browse by partner tab. In the upper left hand corner of the SSDN.DP.LA page is an option to browse the content via the contributing institution. All 21 contributors are available to browse through. This browsing option makes it easy to access a specific contributor’s content or discover a new contributor whose content you have never accessed before.

“They all will follow…I’m Moses”

Provocative since his group’s 1987 debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show, Public Enemy front man Chuck D. was always ready to push the envelope —from his controversial socially conscious lyrics to his willingness to challenge the music industry and his hip hop contemporaries.1 

 

In the Spring of 1999 Public Enemy was ready to shake up the music industry again by being the first major recording act to release an album for download over the Internet before it hit brick-and-mortar stores. At odds with its long time label Def Jam Records over releasing some new songs on the Internet without the label’s permission, Public Enemy teamed with Internet label Atomic Pop to release There’s a Poison Goin’ On… via download at least a month before it became available in stores.2 

 

On the Media guest host Rick Davis talked to Chuck D. in May 1999 about Public Enemy’s headfirst leap into the digital age. As always, Chuck D. delivered an interview full of insight into the music industry and bravado about “the biggest envelope I’ve pushed,” for what he termed “…the most important move for music [since] Dylan went electric in ‘65.”

 

Chuck D. told Davis that fans would be able to choose different prices for the album, starting at five dollars for the basic album, depending on what extras they wanted included with it. Noting the exorbitant expense of selling a profitable album by traditional means, he said, “If the highway is full you’ve got to take the side road to go where you’ve got to go, and this is what the Internet is. It’s the side road.”

 

Davis asked about other rap artists of the time like Sean “Puffy” Combs and Dr. Dre, who had supplanted Public Enemy as industry powers and best selling major label hip hop acts. Chuck D. provided a withering response about power: “I have all the power in the world. I’m a free man. It’s like I’m a black man in 1866. Whether you live in the house with the master and eat the best food you still can be a slave. I’m not a slave. More power means what? Who grants them more power or who takes the power. I’m the person who takes the power by fighting the power.”

 

He added, “I’m the leader in this format, so they all will follow. I’m Moses…They’re probably going to follow the road that I’ve set for them. Their future will probably prosper from the road I helped build. Just as they’ve prospered off the road I built before.”

 

It was four years before Apple introduced its iTunes Music Store, the first successful music download service that didn’t rely on pirated content3, but there was Public Enemy in 1999, pushing an entire industry into its future.  

 

1 Strauss Neil.  “Rap Revolutionaries Plan an Internet Release”, The New York Times, 1999, April 16, E5.

 

2 Erlewine, Stephen Thomas “Public Enemy: Biography & History”, allmusic.com. Accessed February 9, 2020.   

 

3 Pogue, David. “State of the Art; Online Piper, Payable By the Tune”, The New York Times, 2003, May 1, G1.

Las funciones ocultas de Windows

Esta función oculta de Windows te permite copiar y mover archivos más rápido
Aunque Windows está diseñado para ser un sistema operativo sencillo y tener todas sus funciones claras, también cuenta con una gran cantidad de funciones ocultas. Estas funciones normalmente son fruto de experimentos que nunca llegaron a acabar en la versión final del sistema. Y por lo general, permiten a los usuarios más avanzados trabajar mejor con el sistema operativo y ahorrar tiempo al realizar determinadas acciones que, de otra forma, serían más lentas. Como, por ejemplo, copiar y mover archivos.

Cuando hacemos clic con el botón derecho del ratón sobre un archivo o carpeta, dos de las opciones que solemos ver son la de copiar y la de cortar. Copiar nos permite crear una copia del archivo en otro directorio, mientras que la de Cortar nos permite mover el archivo o carpeta de un directorio a otro.

Sin embargo, si solemos usar estas funciones muy a menudo, puede que nos interese habilitar estas dos funciones ocultas de Windows 10 que nos permitirán ahorrar tiempo. Las opciones de «Copiar a» y «Mover a» que, por defecto, no están disponibles.
Cómo funcionan las opciones «Copiar a» y «Mover a» de Windows

Estas dos opciones aparecen en el menú contextual de Windows, cuando hacemos clic sobre cualquier archivo o carpeta del PC. Y nos permiten copiar el archivo o moverlo directamente a una carpeta del sistema.
Opciones Mover a y Copiar a en Windows

Cuando elegimos cualquiera de las dos opciones nos aparece el típico explorador de Windows desde el que debemos seleccionar dónde queremos copiar o mover el archivo. Podemos navegar por los discos duros y demás directorios, además de crear nuevas carpetas.

Mover a carpeta en Windows 10
Al pulsar sobre el botón «Copiar» o «Mover», se realizará la correspondiente tareaActivar estas opciones ocultas de Windows 10 Por defecto, estas opciones no vienen activadas en ninguna edición de Windows. Ni siquiera en las versiones profesionales. Por lo que si queremos poder usarlas tendremos que activarlas manualmente desde el registro de Windows. Para ello, abriremos el registro desde Cortana ejecutando «regedit», y nos desplazaremos hasta el siguiente directorio:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
Aquí, haremos clic con el botón derecho sobre «ContextMenuHandlers», y elegiremos la opción «Nuevo > Clave».

Crear nueva clave de registro de Windows


Cambiaremos el nombre a la nueva clave que se ha creado por «Move to«, sin las comillas. Seleccionaremos esta clave del registro y, haciendo doble clic sobre el valor «Default», le daremos el siguiente valor:

{C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}

Valor de regedit para Mover a carpeta de Windows

Con esto ya tenemos la entrada «Mover a la carpeta» en el menú contextual de Windows. No es necesario ni siquiera reiniciar el PC. Los cambios se aplican al momento.

Ahora, el proceso para habilitar la entrada de «Copiar a la carpeta» es similar. Crearemos de nuevo una nueva clave dentro de «ContextMenuHandlers» y le daremos el nombre de «Copy to«, sin comillas nuevamente.

Entraremos en esta clave, haremos doble clic sobre la entrada «Default», y le daremos el siguiente valor:

{C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}

Aceptamos los cambios y listo. Sin necesidad de reiniciar, los cambios ya estarán reflejados en nuestro menú contextual de Windows 10.
Cómo quitar estas opciones

En caso de que más adelante nos arrepintamos y no queramos que estas dos nuevas opciones estropeen la apariencia del menú contextual de nuestro Windows, podemos volver a ocultarlas.

Lo único que debemos hacer es volver al editor de registro de Windows, desplazarnos hasta la ruta HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers y eliminar las claves «Move to» y Copy to» que creamos en los pasos anteriores.

Eliminar clave de registro de Windows

Al hacerlo, estas dos opciones desaparecerán directamente del menú contextual.

El Archivo del Exilio Español en Francia está en peligro?

La destrucción de una parte de los archivos republicanos en Francia data de 1997
https://elpais.com/    
      

El archivo departamental de Toulouse precisa que se trató de “documentos administrativos” y que fueron eliminados una década antes de la Ley de memoria histórica

Refugiados españoles en la biblioteca de Villa Don Quichote de Toulouse, antiguo campo de Récébédou, 29 de octubre de 1945.

Refugiados españoles en la biblioteca de Villa Don Quichote de Toulouse, antiguo campo de Récébédou, 29 de octubre de 1945. ENRIQUE TAPIA FUNDACIÓN PABLO IGLESIAS

¿Está destruyendo Francia de manera activa el archivo del exilio español sin que actúen las autoridades españolas competentes en materia de memoria histórica? El archivo departamental de Haute Garonne, donde se sitúa Toulouse, la denominada “capital del exilio español” por el alto número de republicanos que se instalaron en esta sureña ciudad francesa a partir de 1939, es una de las principales fuentes de consulta de los historiadores e investigadores interesados en esta época. Un artículo del diario Abc afirmando que la institución había destruido “de forma masiva y aleatoria las fichas policiales y judiciales” de los refugiados españoles sin que haya actuado el Gobierno de Pedro Sánchez ha suscitado polémica en España. Salvo que, según la directora de los Archivos, Anne Goulet, la historia se remonta a otra época, a la era del Gobierno de José María Aznar y antes en cualquier caso de la aprobación de la Ley de la memoria histórica.

“La destrucción de esos artículos se remonta a más de 20 años, en 1997-1998, y no en 2019” y además “solo concernió a documentos administrativos y no judiciales o policiales”, precisó Goulet a EL PAÍS. La destrucción de documentos no iba destinada exclusivamente a los archivos de republicanos, sino que se trataba de “expedientes de extranjeros, expediciones de permisos de residencia” y fue una respuesta a la “necesaria clasificación de almacenes de archivos con el objetivo de acoger nuevos fondos”, aclaró por escrito. La medida fue realizada siguiendo una “nota de los Archivos de Francia” del 12 de abril de 1991 y una instrucción de los ministerios de Cultura e Interior del 5 de julio de 1994 “recomendando el muestreo de los expedientes de extranjeros”. En conversación telefónica, Goulet rechazó que estuvieran obligados a consultar a Madrid antes de dar este paso que, de todos modos, sucedió una década antes de que se aprobara la Ley de la memoria histórica, en 2007.

“El procedimiento es pedir autorización a los servicios que nos han proporcionado los documentos. No tenemos que pedir la autorización del Gobierno español, sobre todo porque se trata de expedientes extranjeros, no de españoles, había otras nacionalidades y no vamos a pedirle autorización a cada uno de los gobiernos, esto no funciona así”, zanjó. En todo caso, Goulet manifestó su pesar por lo que pueda haber supuesto la destrucción de dichos documentos en materia de memoria histórica.

“Lamentamos que esta operación de clasificación haya sido realizada sin discernimiento, en detrimento de la memoria de la comunidad española ampliamente representada en Haut-Garonne y de este evento trágico de la historia española”, indicó. Los archivos departamentales conservan en todo caso “numerosas otras fuentes sobre este periodo y especialmente sobre el exilio republicano que —aseveró Goulet— no han sido ni serán destruidos”. La política al respecto ha variado de forma sensible en las últimas décadas, aseveró. “Desde los años 2000, los archivos departamentales hacen todo lo posible para asegurar la preservación en las mejores condiciones de todos los documentos relativos a este periodo”, dijo.

La noticia de la supuesta destrucción reciente de archivos había sorprendido a los historiadores y asociaciones del exilio republicano en Francia. Sobre todo porque las fichas judiciales son muy importantes en una época como en 1939, cuando entraron en Francia con La Retirada casi medio millón de refugiados españoles y las autoridades de Toulouse estaban bajo el régimen de Vichy que colaboraba con las fuerzas de Franco. “Es una documentación necesaria para la historia española y también para comprender muchas cosas, para ver las relaciones franco-españolas de aquel momento”, comentó la periodista Evelyn Mesquida, autora de La Nueve. Los españoles que liberaron París, y que está a punto de publicar otro libro sobre los republicanos españoles en la Resistencia. La que probablemente sea la historiadora de referencia de esta época, Geneviève Dreyfus-Armand, también manifestó su extrañeza ante la relevancia de los documentos presuntamente destruidos y la forma en que supuestamente se había realizado. “En todos los archivos públicos del mundo democrático siempre hay eliminaciones de archivos porque hay una cantidad exponencial de ellos, pero en Francia son muy controladas y obedecen a reglas muy precisas”, señaló.

En un comunicado, el Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte explicó este lunes que el Gobierno no tiene constancia de estas destrucciones y, tras solicitar información al Servicio Interministerial de Archivos de Francia (SIAF), este organismo ha señalado que el caso está siendo objeto de investigación y ha solicitado un informe oficial al respecto. El comunicado de Cultura destaca también la estrecha colaboración entre ambos Gobiernos en materia de patrimonio documental de los dos países. En ese sentido, recuerda la firma de un acuerdo para desarrollar un programa relativo a los archivos de la Guerra Civil española, del exilio, de la resistencia y de la deportación.

Con independencia del contenido de la respuesta solicitada al SIAF, el ministerio recuerda que el expurgo de documentos está sujeto a una normativa rigurosa de eliminación y , en el caso de valor histórico, conlleva la copia digital del documento.

Digital Transformation: Exploring AI

Have you seen the administration’s 2020 Federal Data Strategy? It emphasizes the need for federal agencies to leverage our data as strategic assets. Action 8 of the plan specifically speaks to improving data in order to support artificial intelligence (AI) research in federal agencies. Good data is a critical building block for AI. As you would expect from the National Archives and Records Administration, we have focused on standards from the beginning of our existence.

Daytona Beach branch of the Volusia county vocational school.”, 4/1942. National Archives Identifier 535579

For the last two decades, we have been transforming our accumulated knowledge for the best use in the digital era. Recently, we hired our first Chief Data Officer, who will participate in the federal CDO working group, bringing ideas back from other agencies to NARA for consideration, and who will help us prioritize data projects that will support our AI research. 

Staff from across NARA are collaborating and learning together about the potential for AI to support the Agency’s mission. Members of NARA’s AI exploration team include archivists, project managers, IT specialists, outreach liaisons, records managers, and digitization specialists. This diverse body will bring a critical variety of viewpoints that we must consider as we investigate how we should harness the power of emerging technologies such as AI. 

Press and spectators gathering after United Nations Charter is signed, 6/26/1945. National Archives Identifier 100310939

To ensure a basic level of understanding across our diverse team, NARA is holding an “AI for Business” meeting, where our IT staff will provide presentations and demos that help to define and differentiate terms like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and neural networks for those without an IT background. 

Interior of the 3M Co. (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) Plant Showing an Employee Working on one of the Products. National Archives Identifier 558372

Some of the questions we will ask as we continue to explore potential uses of AI, include: 

How can we use AI to better meet our customers’ needs?
What are our peer institutions doing with AI? 
What are the ethical implications that we need to consider? 
What additional training will staff need to prepare for using AI?  
Can AI enhance our crowdsourcing efforts?  And more…

Interior of the 3M Co. (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) Plant Showing an Employee Working with one of the Machines. National Archives Identifier 558375

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence hold extraordinary promise for improving our digital future. As we work to explore the possibilities of applied AI to support NARA’s mission, I will continue to post our progress. In the meantime, what are you doing with AI? 

Desclasificación de documentos del Archivo Secreto Vaticano sobre Pio XII

El 2 de marzo se desclasificarán dieciséis millones de documentos del archivo secreto del Vaticano sobre Pío XII
http://www.infocatolica.com/

Los archivos secretos vaticanos referidos al Pontificado del Papa Pío XII serán abiertos a los investigadores a partir del próximo 2 de marzo. Mons. Sergio Pagano explica en una entrevista que se han tardado unos 15 años en organizar casi dieciséis millones de documentos.


El 2 de marzo se desclasificarán dieciséis millones de documentos del archivo secreto del Vaticano sobre Pío XII


(SIC/InfoCatólica) La labor que permite la apertura de los archivos fue notable: los archivos desclasificados suman casi dieciséis millones de documentos entre los que se encuentran ciento cincuenta y un mil textos de la Secretaría de Estado y 538 sobres separados tanto sobre temas individuales como institucionales.

El Prefecto de los Archivos Secretos del Vaticano, Mons. Sergio Pagano, ha concedido la siguiente entrevista a Radio Vaticana:

¿Cuál ha sido el proceso que ha llevado a la situación actual?

La espera de muchos investigadores de todo el mundo ha durado, se puede decir, unos 14 o 15 años. Este es el tiempo que han necesitado mis colaboradores, archiveros y el resto del personal para preparar toda esta enorme cantidad de documentos: numerarlos, seguir su protocolo y preparar los inventarios.

Estos últimos, en lo que respecta al Pontificado de Pío XII, hoy están todos en forma digital. Así que los estudiosos los encuentran en nuestra sala y pueden consultarlos vía «intranet», es decir, vía web en las salas del Archivo Apostólico Vaticano. La espera es comprensible, porque el pontificado del Papa Pacelli es muy relevante y crucial. Llega en un momento de la historia de la humanidad lamentablemente devastado y ensangrentado por el último conflicto mundial, pero también por todo lo que ocurrió dentro de ese conflicto e inmediatamente después de su conclusión.

Obviamente, el dramático tema del Holocausto viene inmediatamente a la mente y por lo tanto los judíos esperan muchas revelaciones de esta apertura. Pero en los fondos relacionados con el Papa Pacelli hay importantes documentos sobre las relaciones de la Santa Sede con los regímenes totalitarios, sobre los acuerdos con las distintas naciones. Se puede entender mejor la posición del Papa y de la Santa Sede con respecto a ciertas políticas religiosas, con respecto al comunismo y al absolutismo. Y también se conocerá todo el gran trabajo del Papa Pacelli en el frente de la caridad. Puedo atestiguar esto en primera persona, pues he ordenado yo mismo el fondo de Caridad que cuenta con más de 8.000 sobres en los que hay miles y miles de prácticas caritativas.

Es impresionante cómo Pío XII recibió ofrendas de varios fieles católicos de todo el mundo, especialmente de los Estados Unidos, y prácticamente el mismo día las redistribuyó inmediatamente, a quienes las necesitaban, tanto a particulares como a parroquias, orfanatos, hospitales, pero también a universidades e institutos de investigación. Un verdadero río de dinero que era, digamos, el río de su caridad.

Prácticamente todos los que pidieron ayuda a la Santa Sede la obtuvieron y tenemos el testimonio de esta enorme obra de caridad en este Fondo de Caridad y en el fondo de la Comisión de Socorro. Publicaremos dos poderosos inventarios, editados por el Dr. Di Giovanni y el Dr. Roselli, que muestran también el otro aspecto de la enorme caridad llevada a cabo de forma más organizada a través de la Obra de Socorro.

Por supuesto, también abriremos los archivos de la gran Secretaría de Estado de Pío XII. Estos fondos también son esperados por los investigadores para profundizar la doctrina del Papa Pacelli, su pensamiento. Basta pensar en sus encíclicas o en el hecho de que es el Pontífice más citado por el Concilio Vaticano II. Su doctrina, su teología y su práctica pastoral siguen siendo fundamentales hoy en día y espero que con la apertura de estos nuevos fondos puedan ser estudiados adecuadamente.

¿Podríamos obtener nuevos documentos que prueben el trabajo de la Iglesia bajo el papado de Pío XII para salvar a los judíos durante la Shoah?

Sin duda alguna. Por lo que entiendo hay muchos. Hay muchos documentos que contienen el agradecimiento del pueblo judío. Y hablo, obviamente, de judíos no bautizados, que permanecen en su fe, que agradecen al Papa Pacelli por la ayuda prestada. Hay numerosos testimonios de la ayuda prestada por los simples cristianos, así como por los institutos religiosos y los propios obispos para salvar la salvación de esta pobre población tan cruelmente perseguida.

Naturalmente también hay voces disonantes sobre este aspecto, hay en el lado judío la evocación del llamado problema de los silencios de Pío XII. Pero, a este respecto, los nuevos documentos también proporcionarán una nueva explicación más detallada.

Conocemos la historia de este pueblo perseguido y el Holocausto y por lo tanto entendemos muy bien que los judíos esperan tanto de estos documentos que ahora son accesibles. Lo importante, en mi opinión, es que el estudio de estos documentos, como los demás, se haga de manera justa, objetiva, científica e histórica. Entonces, por supuesto, cada uno tendrá su propia opinión.

En este contexto, ¿cómo encaja la jornada de estudio en el Augustinianum?

La apertura fue anunciada por el Santo Padre hace ya un año, cuando recibió en audiencia al personal de los Archivos Vaticanos. Pero para preparar adecuadamente desde el punto de vista archivístico esta nueva apertura de fondos, a diferencia de lo que había sucedido con las aperturas anteriores, se pensó en organizar una jornada de estudio específica, precisamente en el Instituto Patrístico Augustinianum, cerca de la columnata de San Pedro.

En esta ocasión, los archiveros de los Archivos Vaticanos, pero también los archiveros de otros archivos de la Santa Sede, presentarán su trabajo de preparación de los documentos y la posibilidad que ofrecen estos documentos en relación con nuevas investigaciones.

Para este día, ya hemos tenido la participación de más de 200 personas entre historiadores e investigadores y también hay un gran grupo de estudiosos judíos. Nuestro objetivo, con este evento, es servir a los investigadores ofreciéndoles una visión general de los nuevos fondos y posibilidades de investigación, de las herramientas preparadas, para que cada uno pueda entonces seguir su propio camino, hacer sus propias investigaciones, sacar sus propias conclusiones, naturalmente con la mayor libertad.

Acelerar la escritura en memoria flash modificando el sistema de archivos

Modificaciones del sistema de archivos para acelerar la escritura en memorias flash
https://almacenamientoit.ituser.es/

WD my passport SSD

Un equipo de ingenieros informáticos de Corea ha desarrollado un nuevo esquema de árbol para el sistema de archivos de los SSD y las memorias flash que permitiría acelerar el rendimiento de escritura secuencial. Para ello han optado por una estructura de nodos en cascada que reduce las operaciones de escritura innecesarias y acelera el rendimiento en estas operaciones.

Para organizar los datos en el sistema de archivos del almacenamiento flash se emplea una estructura denominada arbol-B (B-Tree), similar a la de las bases de datos o sistemas operativos. Pero los esquemas empleados hasta ahora provienen de los sistemas de archivos tradicionalmente utilizados en otros soportes de almacenamiento, y en el caso de los SSD y las memorias flash genera ciertos problemas.

Uno de ellos se manifiesta en los procesos de escritura secuencial, porque la propia naturaleza de la memoria de estado sólido obliga a realizar un proceso de borrado previo de las celdas seleccionadas para la próxima escritura, y las estructuras de árbol tradicionales introducen un retraso en el proceso que afecta al rendimiento. La industria no desconoce este problema y desde la creación de los SSD se han propuesto diferentes esquemas de B-tree para el almacenamiento de estado sólido.

Ahora, un grupo de ingenieros coreanos de la Universidad de Hanyang, en colaboración con especialistas de las compañías SK Hynix y FW Nextgen Tech, han propuesto un nuevo esquema que pretende mejorar el rendimiento logrado hasta ahora en las escrituras secuenciales. Su idea se basa en la utilización de nodos de datos en cascada, en vez de las clásicas estructuras de árbol convencionales.

Según las explicaciones que han publicado en su artículo, su esquema “reduce el número de operaciones de escritura y mejora las escrituras secuenciales mediante el empleo de nodos de memoria en cascada. La estructura del índice B-tree propuesta retrasa las actualizaciones para los nodos B-tree modificados y luego realiza escrituras por lotes en cascada”. Según las pruebas que han realizado, empleando análisis matemático y ciertos experimentos, su esquema de árbol logra mejorar el rendimiento de cualquier otro existente, especialmente en las tareas de escritura secuencial. Y, teniendo en cuenta que en la investigación participa un miembro de juna importante compañía de memoria, cabe esperar que este avance acabe viendo la luz.

Los Archivos en la Memoria Colectiva de la Ciudad

Los archivos salen al rescate de las historias anónimas de Barcelona
https://www.lavanguardia.com/


Los equipamientos recopilan todo tipo de documentos para “completar” el pasado de la ciudad

Una ciudad es un gran escenario en el que hay una trama principal, pero alrededor de la cuál pasan otras muchas cosas que complementan a la historia protagonista, que la enriquecen, que permiten entender mejor la intriga estrella… Los archivos de la ciudad, el histórico, el contemporáneo o el fotográfico, pero también los de cada uno de los distritos, se reivindican como cuidadores de todas esas historias, que no se pueden definir como secundarias, pero que ayudan a entender la principal.
Custodios de la memoria colectiva piden, eso sí, colaboración ciudadana: las donaciones son su cimientos, los recuerdos anónimos, para ellos, lo pueden ser todo. “En estos momentos nos interesa mucho la documentación relacionada con el feminismo o con todo lo que tiene que ver con los movimientos LGTBI”, subraya el archivero jefe del Consistorio, Joaquim Borràs. “Intentamos que la gente sea consciente de que hay mucha información que está en las familias, en las asociaciones y entidades que es parte también de la historia de la ciudad. No sólo es la información y la documentación que produce el Ayuntamiento”, añade el responsable municipal que defiende con pasión el papel de estos equipamientos en la suma de la construcción de la memoria colectiva.

Porque la historia de la ciudad, argumenta, son también los dietarios de las hermanas Amat que dibujan, con palabras, los años 20 del siglo XX y el estallido de la Guerra Civil. O las obras manuscritas de José Casellas, el autor teatral de finales del siglo XIX cuyas creaciones estuvieron perdidas más de medio siglo… Lo son también las fotografías de Carme Garcia que desde la azotea de su casa –su marido no veía bien su pasión y mucho menos que se profesionalizara– reflejó la ciudad de 1935 hasta mediados de los años 80… (a partir de sus fotos se ha editado un libro: Carme Garcia. Des del terrat ).
En la actualidad, los equipamientos municipales atesoran y preservan más de 60 kilómetros de documentación –es la distancia que sumarían si se pusieran una al lado de la otra todas las cajas que están en los estantes–, así como unos tres millones de fotografías. Unos archivos que no están llenos de polvo y en los que sus empleados no trabajan con manguitos. Tampoco huelen a humedad o a naftalina.
De hecho, lo que buscan es ser lo más permeables posible. “Estamos abiertos a escritoresinvestigadores… A todos los ciudadanos, eso sí, con cita previa”, apunta Borràs, que explica que los archiveros también hacen, literalmente, trabajo de campo: paseanpreguntan y abren más de un container a lo largo del día… Y, además, cuentan con una red de captación de contenido, a través de cronistas de barrios, historiadores y entidades.
“Si se enteran de que alguna documentación corre peligro, ha fallecido una persona que puede aportar información interesante o puede desaparecer una entidad o un comercio centenario se ponen en contacto con nosotros”, explica. El objetivo, por el que trabajan, es que los propios ciudadanos sepan que hay un espacio al que llevar sus recuerdos. “Una donación es un reconocimiento, un ejercicio cívico de reconocimiento”, sentencia Borràs.
Durante el año 2019, los archivos de Barcelona recibieron más de medio centenar de donaciones: varias colecciones y más de 127.000 fotografías. Entre estas, unas 700 en régimen de comodato por 20 años que pertenecieron al archivo de la familia Martí Codolar, cuyos actuales propietarios son los salesianos. “Es una colección de fotos familiares, pero también las del primer zoo de Barcelona. Forma parte de esta colección una imagen de la visita de San Juan Bosco a Barcelona”, añade Borràs, que también exhibe con orgullo otra donación, en este caso, del archivo municipal de Sant Andreu, un pergamino municipal de 1426.
“Un historiador local que había sido becario del archivo lo encontró en un mercado de libros y documentos antiguos de Vic. Consideró que tenía que estar en el archivo y lo compró. Nosotros lo incorporamos, lo conservamos, lo restauramos, lo digitalizaremos y lo pondremos en nuestro catálogo en línea”, explica el archivero jefe de la ciudad de Barcelona. “Para nosotros es muy importante porque completan la visión que tenemos muchas cosas”, insiste Joaquim Borràs.

Imagen de uno de los dietarios de las hermanas Amat de Gràcia
Imagen de uno de los dietarios de las hermanas Amat de Gràcia (César Rangel)

“A veces nos traen una parte de la documentación: a veces muy cuidada otras veces en bolsas. Pero siempre valoramos la importancia de la documentación para la memoria del distrito, del territorio o de la ciudad. Depende del valor va a un archivo u otro… Y si se trata de pergaminos antiguos va al histórico”, apunta, por su parte, Glòria Gimeno, responsable del archivo municipal del distrito de Gràcia.
Y lo afirma justo delante de un grupo de dietarios, recientemente donados, que van del año 1923 a 1937 y que escribieron las hermanas Amat: solteras, creyentes y de Gràcia.
“Hemos estado trabajando toda la tarde en el jardín sin haber oído un solo tiro en todo el día y a eso de las siete se han oído varios y nos hemos entrado en la galería. Allí, a las siete y media, llaman al timbre, va Rosina a abrir y vemos a cuatro hombres armados que nos dicen que abramos la puerta. Rosina la abre y entran en el recibidor uno apuntando con el revolver preguntándonos si teníamos armas y donde estaban los hombres de la casa…”. El texto reproducido es parte de lo que una de las hermanas escribió el 22 de julio de 1936.

Se dieron por desparecidas durante décadas

Gràcia conserva las obras teatrales de José Casellas

“Estos dietarios nos los trajo un familiar de aquellas hermanas. Vimos que eran importantes y firmamos un contrato de cesión”, añade Gimeno, mientras, con delicadeza muestra otro de los tesoros (todos son tratados como tal) más recientes de su archivo: las obras manuscritas de José Casellas, autor teatral de finales del siglo XIX, que también llegó a estar al frente de uno de los teatros de Gràcia.
“En este caso fue una persona que llamó al distrito y habló con la técnica de cultura. Le dijo que tenía unas obras de teatro de su tío abuelo que habían estado en la buhardilla muchos años. Llamaba por si algún grupo amateur del distrito quería representarlas…”, explica Gimeno que apunta que, en este caso, se da la circunstancia que son unas obras de teatro de las que el archivo ya tenían constancia… Porque durante décadas habían estado desparecidas, desde que Casellas murió, entorno al año 1936.

Una de las obras manuscritas del autor teatral José Casellas
Una de las obras manuscritas del autor teatral José Casellas (César Rangel)

“Hay un escrito de un señor en una revista en la que se queja de su muerte, sin pena ni gloria, que se había tenido que vender su biblioteca y que lo único que había conservado eran todas sus obras de teatro en una maleta”, continúa la trabajadora municipal. “Si no fuera por donaciones se particulares a lo mejor no tendríamos imágenes de la nevada de 1962 en Gràcia”, añade.
La archivera también muestra el cuaderno de la escuela de una niña –Rafaela Calvo– que donó su hija, Glòria Picazo, que data del año 1937 y que recoge una redacción de la entonces menos sobre la Guerra Civil: “Si tienes paz todo está tranquilo y en cambio si hay guerra siempre tienes aquella preocupación…”.
El cuaderno sirvió para ilustrar una exposición sobre la infancia y la contienda en el año 2019. Se conserva en el archivo de Gràcia junto a varias carpetas de documentación sobre la mítica editorial Bruguera, que cedió al archivo Helena Larreula, viuda de Vicenç Palomares que fue trabajador del sello durante décadas: redactor, autor de guiones… Y también coordinador de títulos emblemáticos como Mortadelo y colaboró en tebeos como Tio vivo El Capitán Trueno.
Palomares ya ejerció en vida de cronista de la mítica editorial: en el archivo está parte de su vida. “Tenemos entre otras muchas cosas las cartas que se intercambió con Ricardo Sanz, que estuvo en la revuelta de La Canadiense”, manifiesta Gloria Gimeno. Una relación epistolar con el escritor, pero también dirigente anarquista (uno de los fundadores del grupo anarquista Los Solidarios, el de Buenaventura Durruti y Juan Garcia Oliver), que se alargó durante décadas mientras Ricardo Sanz estaba en el exilio.
“¿Quién iba a decir que del fondo sobre una editorial iban a salir todas estas cartas?”, pregunta la archivera. Y es que, no siempre todo es lo que parece o se puede pensar inicialmente. Pasa también con el fondo de la Cooperativa de Tejedores a mano de Gràcia, que donó al archivo de este distrito el último presidente de esta entidad que se fundó en 1876. Una documentación en la que abunda el material gráfico sobre actuaciones teatrales durante los años 20 y la Guerra Civil (su sede fue el Teatreneu).
Recuerdospequeños tesoros del pasado que están abiertos a escritores o investigadores dispuestos a descubrir, también, viejas historias… Quizás olvidadas, pero gracias a los archivos, vivas.
Autor: BARCELONA

PIDB Reauthorized by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 retroactively reauthorizes the Board from December 30, 2018.  As a result, Board members whose terms were set to end between January 1, 2019 and December 30, 2019, are extended for another year. The current authorizing legislation extends the terms of James E. Baker and Trevor W. Morrison to June 9, 2020; John F. Tierney to June 28, 2021; Kenneth L. Wainstein to September 7, 2020; and Alissa M. Starzak to February 14, 2022.  There are currently three Presidential appointment vacancies and one Congressional appointment vacancy.

In addition to extending the terms of current members, the NDAA removes the sunset provision from the previous authorization, and requires the Board to hold four in-person meetings each year.  The Board’s previous authorizing legislation expired on December 31, 2018 and the Board ceased operations.

The Information Security Oversight Office still provides all logistical and program support.  The Board members and ISOO are preparing for an initial teleconference to discuss the legislation, plans for an initial meeting, and options for an agenda.

“The Radio Equivalent of Muhammad Ali”

When New York radio legend Frankie Crocker died of pancreatic cancer in Miami on October 21, 2000¹, his was just the latest death of an influential African American disk jockey that year, including Martha Jean Steinberg, Rosko, Jocko Henderson, and Jack “The Rapper” Gibson.

On November 10, 2000, On the Media contributor Rex Doane memorialized Crocker and gave a brief history of the influence of African American disk jockeys.

Crocker arrived in New York in the late sixties and worked at rhythm and blues powerhouse WWRL and at WMCA during that station’s waning days as a Top Forty leader. In 1971, as FM was beginning to overtake AM for music programming, he moved to WLIB-FM to serve as both program director and the afternoon drive time host. Soon WLIB-FM changed its call letters to WBLS and Crocker was developing a smoother, more sophisticated format than the machine gun pace of AM pop music radio. Crocker recruited and groomed radio newcomers Vy Higginson (the first female pop music disk jockey in New York), Fred “Bugsy” Buggs, and Ken “Spider” Webb to host what the station called “the total Black experience in sound.”² It was a format eclectic enough to mix Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Billie Holiday, Johnny Mathis, and Kool and the Gang. As BLS knocked perennial number one WABC from its ratings perch and the station’s audience grew more diverse, he introduced non-black acts like New York New Wave darlings Blondie and British punk rockers The Clash to his listeners. It was the beginning of the format that became known as Urban Contemporary.³

On the air Crocker was, as New York Daily News writer David Hinckley explained to Doane, “the radio equivalent to Muhammad Ali.” He called himself “The Chief Rocker,” “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” and “Hollywood,” and told his listeners, “If Frankie Crocker isn’t on your radio, your radio isn’t on.” As with Ali, it was up to his competitors to prove it wasn’t so. 

Doane’s remembrance also discussed the importance of Crocker and other African American disk jockeys played in their communities. Howard University professor William Barlow told Doane, “The DJs were a significant player in the black community. . . A [DJ was a] civic leader. . .a mobilizer. . .a relayer of information pertaining to the community. . . black radio DJs filled a huge vacuum in terms of providing civic leadership and morale.” New York hip hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy has talked about Crocker’s influence on his Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, where during the summer with the windows open you could walk down the street and hear Crocker’s show uninterrupted for blocks. 

Doane’s retrospective has many airchecks of Crocker, and Crocker can be heard in a long form interview with WNYC’s program director Richard Pyatt in the WNYC archive during this late 1973 episode of Visitors From the Other Side. 

 

1 Williams, Monte. “Frankie Crocker, a Champion of Black-Format Radio, Dies” The New York Times, 2000, October 24, C23.  2 Barlow, William. Voice Over: The Making of Black Radio. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999, 233-235.  3 WBLS. “WBLS –  ‘In A Class By Itself’ – The 1970’s, Frankie Crocker, Building a Station”. youtube.com, 2019, June 11. Accessed February 14, 2020.

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Related links from the New York Public Radio Archive:

On the Media, 1993-2000

Visitors From the Other Side

Love Your Pet Day – Means Family Home Movies

Today on National Love Your Pet Day, Special Collections & Archives celebrates not only our own pets, but those of our collection creators as well!

Dog and people at beach, 1954
Means Family and dog at beach, 1954. From MSS 2018-004, Box 9, Reel 6.

MSS 2018-004 includes home movies from the family of Dr. Bruce Means, many of them featuring summer road trips throughout the United States. The 1954 film shown above starts off with footage of the family dog at the beach (presumably Florida) and, at around the 9 minute 15 second mark, shows the same dog again, playing in the snow (possibly in Alaska).

Home movies are a growing part of our personal papers collections. To ensure access to commercially obsolete media, FSU Libraries partners with expert film preservation firms to produce high-quality digital versions for use in our Digital Library and by users like you.

This particular movie is from a set of films donated by Dr. Bruce Means of the FSU Department of Biological Science in 2019. The Means family films can show us not only a mid-20th century family at play, but also serve as documentation of many US locations that have changed considerably since. This kind of “accidental” secondary value is a significant part of why archivists choose to collect and preserve archives in the first place!

To learn more about Dr. Bruce Means, his family, and his work, visit the finding aid for his collection.

Vintage Valentines in the Archives

Valentine’s Day gained popularity in the United States with the introduction of mass-produced Valentines cards around the middle of the 19th century. Most of these early cards have long since disappeared, but we are fortunate to have many examples of early 20th century valentines here in Special Collections & Archives.

Aside from being a repository for manuscripts and rare books, Special Collections & Archives is also the home of the Heritage & University Archives for Florida State University and its predecessor, the Florida State College for Women (FSCW). A popular pastime for the students of FSCW was to construct scrapbooks full of precious items from their everyday lives. These scrapbooks are full of photos, articles, notes, and other ephemera that provide a snapshot into what life what like at that time. Some even contain valentine cards from the time period. 

Valentine
From the Florence Gregory Walker Collection

This valentine is found in the scrapbook of  Florida State College for Women student Florence Gregory (B.A. Sociology, 1940) and dates to circa 1931-1937.

Antique Valentine
From the Florida State University Melvene Draheim Hardee Center for Women in Higher Education Collection

This valentine is found in the personal files of Dr. Melvene Draheim Hardee. The card is from Dr. Draheim Hardee’s childhood and dates to approximately 1920.

Heart-shaped Valentine
From the Marion L. Stine Collection

This valentine is found in the scrapbook of  Florida State College for Women student Marion Laura Stine and dates to circa 1917-1921.

To My Valentine
From the Annie Gertrude Gilliam Scrapbook

This valentine is found in the scrapbook of  Florida State College for Women student  Annie Gertrude Gilliam and dates to circa 1925-1931.

My Valentine
From the Janet MacGowan West Collection

This valentine is found in the scrapbook of  Florida State College for Women student Janet MacGowan West (BS 1922) and dates to circa 1917-1954.

Wishing you a happy Valentine’s Day from Special Collections & Archives!

Special Collections Spring Intern

My name is Darby Freeman. I am a senior at UNCW studying English Literature and Philosophy. I have worked at the Randall Library circulation desk for just over two years and began an internship in the Special Collections department at the beginning of this semester.

I was first introduced to Special Collections by a professor who took our class to the department after assigning a lengthy research paper. We did an activity that involved stringing together events to form a cohesive narrative. I thought it was cool to watch a story reveal itself as we went through all of these different types of literature, written by unaffiliated groups, that came from a variety of locations.

I have always enjoyed my job at the circulation desk because I love being around books and literature. I handle books daily, whether I’m checking them in or out, collecting them for patron holds, or reshelving them. This has led me to discover many fascinating books that I otherwise would’ve never encountered, be it fictional, historical, or theoretical. When I first heard about the internship in Special Collections, it felt perfect for me. It’s like taking the job I already knew I loved and making it more interesting and in-depth. Since beginning work at the library, I’ve been curious about a career as a librarian or archivist, and by working in Special Collections I have an opportunity to try out archival work and see if I enjoy it (spoiler alert: I do).

My job as an intern in Special Collections is to document, process, and arrange collections either purchased by or donated to the department. Processing involves documenting and researching the topics and historical context of the collection. After the initial documentation and research, I arrange the collection, which entails organizing the materials in a way that promotes understanding and accessibility. The arrangement is vitally important to the integrity of the collection; if related materials are separated from each other, it is harder to understand the context of the collection as a whole. Archivists are basically the gatekeepers of history, so it is imperative that they accurately represent the contents of a collection and provide any necessary context to encourage more thorough understanding.

So far, I have worked on The Camera Shop Records, Virginia Harriss Holland World War II Memorabilia, and H.J. Southwell Murder Correspondence. It’s been interesting reading about history that happened only a couple of blocks from where I currently live. Some were easy to research, like the H.J. Southwell Murder Correspondence, which had significant news coverage that spanned nationwide. The Camera Shop Records, however, was more difficult because most of the information about the owner could only be found in his obituary. I enjoyed both collections.

This work requires that the processer be detail-oriented and exercise critical thinking skills in their assessment of the collection. I had some exposure to these skills prior to beginning the internship, but I’ve never had an environment quite like this to test them. Since starting the internship, I have gained a better understanding of what it means to be detail-oriented towards something completely unfamiliar to you. Additionally, my analytical and critical thinking abilities have been tested in ways they previously never were. Normally, I analyze a text, and use critical thinking skills to extract meaning, and then scan for details to support my thoughts. Special Collections processing feels like the reverse. I have to pay attention to every detail so that when I’m thinking critically and analytically, I am able to piece together the fragments of history present in a collection.

Blog Category: 

Join us on a Presidential Libraries Road Trip!

In celebration of Presidents Day, we are featuring a series of Citizen Archivist tagging and transcription missions using Catalog records from each Presidential Library: a Presidential Libraries Road Trip! Join us online as we virtually travel the country throughout February, bringing you records from the Presidential Libraries across the National Archives. 

Through this project, we are sharing more of the incredible resources held at each Presidential Library, highlighting records available in the Catalog, and encouraging citizen archivists to tag and transcribe these items to make them more accessible and findable online. Learn more on the Citizen Archivist dashboard

We first announced this project through our National Archives Catalog newsletter. Each issue of our email newsletter highlights the descriptions and digitized records available for online access, as well as tips on the Catalog’s features and functionality. The newsletter also provides updates on our crowdsourcing and citizen archivist programs, and shares stories of how online access shapes efforts in research and education.  

Previous editions of our newsletter have also featured:

Connecting with Customers is an important strategic goal for the National Archives. Our newsletter helps us engage with our audiences to share more about the records available at the National Archives, while encouraging citizen archivists to make these records more accessible by adding metadata through tagging, transcription, and comments. 

Every two weeks, we reach more than 160,000 registered users, researchers, and citizen archivists through our newsletter. Join us and subscribe now!

The Peak of Enchantment!: Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort

“Don’t fail to visit Grouse Mountain. Its wonders are proclaimed by the thousands who have been there. It gives you a thrill such as you have never known before and as you will never know again unless you return – which you probably will.” Such is a sample of the marketing campaigns aimed at visitors and residents of the Vancouver area in the late 1920s and early 1930s by the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd., the records of which can be found here at the Archives.

Crown, Dam, Grouse, and Dome Mountains, with the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort Ltd.’s road drawn onto it, ~1925. Reference code: AM76-F02-: CVA 257-1

The company, which was incorporated on November 27, 1924, sketched out an ambitious plan in its prospectus which was published about a year later in 1925. Its aim was to build and operate “a first-class hotel and encampment” on the plateau near the summit of Grouse Mountain, “with tourist camp facilities for summer and winter amusements and sports.” The chalet itself was billed as “modern in every respect, with plumbing, heating, electric lighting and water supply, telegraph and telephone service.” Indeed, the fruition of the chalet and facilities did come to pass, with the resort opening on October 23, 1926. The company’s prospect to bring investors a good return on investment did seem promising given the stunning setting of the resort combined with the exponential increase of motor tourists, particularly American tourists, visiting the Vancouver area in the 1920s, and the easy access to the North Shore with the then newly completed Second Narrows Bridge in 1925. (Previous to the completion of this bridge, the only way to connect to the North Shore from Vancouver was to take a boat.)

Page from the Chalet guest register. For the Resort’s first year anniversary, they held a special gathering which included celebrating Charles “Dad” Quick’s 107th birthday. Photo: Bronwyn Smyth. Reference code: AM76-F18

It was clear, however, as early as 1928 that the company’s fortunes were not amassing nearly as quickly as anticipated. In November of that year, a committee of Vancouver businessmen was formed to create a plan to save the company from bankruptcy. An interim receiver was appointed, and the company continued on.

In September 1930, the barge Pacific Gatherer hit the Second Narrows Bridge, causing major damage, resulting in the closure of the bridge. The combination of this closure and the beginning of the Depression placed further pressure on the company’s finances.

Skiers heading into the Chalet, ~1928. Reference code: AM1376-: CVA 167-2

The company underwent a reorganization of its operations in June 1933 in a final attempt to save it. The reorganization and more stringent management seemed to help, as a memo written near the end of August 1933 by Leo Shelly the new manager indicated that he was optimistic about the future of the resort with several factors contributing to a better financial state, but warned that prudence was still needed. Within a few weeks, however, on September 8, 1933, the property was put up for tax sale. This gave the company a two year period in which it was required to pay its tax debt to the District of North Vancouver.

Interior of the Chalet, ~1926. Reference code: AM54-S4-: Out P230

In June 1934, the Second Narrows Bridge reopened. The number of visitors to the resort increased substantially, helping its desperate financial state. However, despite the upswing in business, there wasn’t enough time for the company to offset the losses suffered to the company’s finances during the bridge closure years before the two-year debt repayment deadline rolled around, and on September 8, 1935, Commissioner JM Fisher ordered the road to the resort closed.

Some of the company’s printed promotional material. Photo: Bronwyn Smyth. Reference code: AM76-F27

Although from a financial perspective, the company was not successful, guests of the resort found it a delightful place to visit. During the years that the resort operated, there were many activities in which to partake. In winter, on offer was skiing, skating, tobogganing, bob-sledding, curling, dog sledding, and snowshoeing, and in summer, hiking and horseback riding were on the menu. Dances were also held frequently throughout the year. The chalet itself welcomed visitors, whether day-trippers or overnight guests, in its restaurant. The resort played host to special gatherings, ski competitions, and the occasional celebrity, including a day-trip from Winston Churchill in 1929.

The Archives acquired the Grouse Mountain Highway and Scenic Resort fonds in 1972. The fonds contains material from 1924-1935, including survey notebooks, certificates of shares, company correspondence, ledgers, publicity material, the company prospectus, and photographs, all of which can be viewed in the Archives Reading Room.

Editor’s note: This post was adapted from an article written by Chak Yung that originally appeared in Archives Newsletter Volume 5, Number 2: Fall 2009

Black History Month: Celebrating Black Authors

Black History Month is upon us and it is time to reflect, recognize, and revere the numerous contributions that black authors have made to our society. Therefore, it is our pleasure to highlight some influential black authors (whose works we have in the stacks at Florida State University Special Collections and Archives).

Maya Angelou

  • Occupation: poet, singer, activist
  • Born: April 4, 1928
  • Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Quote: “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”
  • Famous Works: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (1969), “And Still I Rise” (1978), “Phenomenal Women: Four Poems Celebrating Women” (1995)
  • In Special Collections: “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” (1993) (Gontarski- PS3551.N464 L54 1993)

Source: Jack Delano

Langston Hughes

  • Occupation: poet, novelist, playwright, activist
  • Born: February 1, 1902
  • Hometown: Joplin, Missouri
  • Quote: “An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.” 
  • Famous Works: “I, Too” (1926), “Montage of a Dream Deferred” (1951), “The Weary Blues”(1926), “Let America be America Again” (1936)
  • In Special Collections: “Shakespeare in Harlem” (1942) (Vault- PS3515.U274 S5), “Black Misery” (1969) (Gontarski- PS3515.U274 B5 1969), “The Dream Keeper and Other Poems” (1994) (Shaw- PS3515.U274 D74 1994), “One-Way Ticket” (1948) (Rare – PS3515.U274 O5), and more.

Source: Tullio Saba on Flickr

James Baldwin

  • Occupation: novelist, playwright, poet, activist
  • Born: August 2, 1924
  • Hometown: Harlem, New York, New York
  • Quote: “It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
  • Famous Works: “The Fire Next Time” (1962), “If Beale Street Could Talk” (1974), “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (1953), “Notes of a Native Son” (1955)
  • In Special Collections: “Letter from a Region in my Mind” (1962) (Rare- E185.61.B196), “School Readings by Grades” (1897) (Shaw – PE1117 .B281-B286 1897)

Source: U.S. Coast Guard

Alex Haley

  • Occupation: writer
  • Born: August 11, 1921
  • Hometown: Ithaca, New York
  • Quote: “In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”
  • Famous Works: “Queen: The Story of an American Family” (1993), “Mama Flora’s Family” (1997)
  • In Special Collections: “Roots” (1976) (Rare- E185.97.H24 A33), “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (1965) (Grove- E185.97.L5 A3 1966b)

Source: United States Library of Congress

Zora Neale Hurston

  • Occupation: author, anthropologist, filmmaker
  • Born: January 7, 1891
  • Hometown: Notasulga, Alabama
  • Quote: “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
  • Famous Works: “How It Feels To Be Colored Me” (1928), “Sweat” (1926), “Mules and Men” (1935)
  • In Special Collections: “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (1937) (Florida- PS3515. U789 T5 1969), “Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography” (1942) (Florida- PS3515.U789 Z5 1971), “Tell My Horse”(1938) (Florida- F1886 .H87 1938), and more.

Source: Christopher Drexel on Flickr

Toni Morrison

  • Occupation: novelist, essayist, book editor, professor
  • Born: February 18, 1931
  • Hometown: Lorain, Ohio
  • Quote: “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”
  • Famous Works: “Beloved” (1987), “Song of Solomon”(1977), “Sula” (1973)
  • In Special Collections: “Five Poems” (2002) (Rare- oversize PS3563.O8749 A6 2002), “The Big Box” (1999) (Gontarski- PZ8.3.M836 Bi 1999), and more.

Pictured above are just a few of the pieces we have in Special Collections by these authors. (Slide 1: “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by Maya Angelou, Slide 2-3: “Shakespeare in Harlem” by Langston Hughes and signed, Slide 4-6: “Letter from a Region in my Mind” by James Baldwin, Slides 7-9: “Five Poems” by Toni Morrison)

By no means is this an exhaustive list of the amazing black authors whose works we hold on our shelves. Here at SCA, we have a plethora of black literature including novels, poems, children’s books, and historical materials. Black History Month is the perfect time to delve into these works, so head to Special Collections in Strozier and let us know what you want to read. We look forward to seeing you here!

Beauing Around

Our Creative Fellow has been doing a deep research dive into a book that we all love: the Linguistic Atlas of New England, a multi-volume title documenting regional accents and dialects in New England circa 1931-1933. Researchers visited 213 communities and asked 416 people what words they used to describe common situations (for instance, “lightly raining”) and also how they pronounced common phrases. Pronunciation was documented via a modified version of IPA transcription and printed directly onto maps, with a sidebar listing respondents’ words and phrases.

In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, we thought we’d highlight some of the pages in the Linguistic Atlas documenting interpersonal relationships.

First, here is the record of how respondents asked, “May I escort you home?”

May I Escort You Home

Don’t miss the very sweet response next to 29: “That’s what you say if you want to shine up to a girl after [prayer meeting].”

Presumably after having a nice time escorting someone home, a couple may end up “courting” or “sparking.” (You can see the “delightful” Rhode Island accent in the IPA transcription of “sparking” below.)


I’m not sure how I feel about referring to a marriageable young woman as “good sparking wood,” but I guess no one asked my opinion.

There’s also the (possibly more serious?) “Keeping Company,” including the memorable “beauing her around.”

Keeping Company

If you’ve been keeping company with someone nice, you may find that you become quite fond of her.

Fond of her

Maybe you even want to make things official?!




Of course, SHE may not want to make things official. She might even… GIVE HIM THE MITTEN!

Gave Him the Mitten