Manuscript Repositories Newsletter

Summer 2008

Section Updates

From the Chair

SAA Manuscript Repositories Section Agenda

2008 Conference Sessions Relating to Manuscript Repositories

Section Listserv Subscriptions

Manuscript Repositories Section Slate of Candidates

News from Members

Newly Renovated George Mason University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Reopens

The NEH Funds the Creation of a Rhode Island Union Database of EAD Finding Aids

'Their Bellies Are Being Satisfied': Agriculture and Rockefeller Philanthropy

Marquette University Publishes Dorothy Day Diaries

Ransom Center Acquires 77 John Steinbeck Letters

Schlesinger Library Announces New Collections Open for Research

Martin J. Hillenbrand Papers Now Open for Research

Connecticut Historical Society Receives NHPRC Grant

Binghamton University Libraries Celebrate the Acquisition of Molly Peacock’s Papers

Professor Gillan Donates Papers, Books to the Libraries

Photograph Found in Faulk Papers Sheds Light on Civil War History

Blogs Allow the Public a Window into the World of Archival Processing: The Chew Family Papers Project

Collections Documenting the American Art World Now Available to Researchers

Edward W. Nolan Photograph Collection Available Online

Northwest Digital Archives Seeks New Members

Special Collections News from The College of William and Mary

Virtual Card Catalog Launched at The Filson Historical Society

Preservation Conference Planned for the Fall

What’s in a Name?: Seeking New Title for Section Newsletter

Leadership and Next Newsletter Deadline


Section Updates

From the Chair
Karen Spicher

SAA’s annual meeting in San Francisco is approaching, and we’re finalizing plans for our Section meeting on Friday morning, August 29, 9:00-11:00 a.m. (please see the draft agenda below). The program will include what promises to be a very interesting and interactive presentation on the expanding use of web 2.0 tools by archivists. We will hear from a panel of three speakers who are involved in innovative projects exploring how 2.0 tools can enhance reader access, extend outreach to a wider public, and help archivists identify and describe materials:

Kate Theimer, creator of the ArchivesNext blog, will moderate the panel, and will provide an overview of the most common web 2.0 tools and how archives are using them, as well as a brief discussion of her own experiences blogging about the archival profession.

The North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received the archive of photographer Hugh Morton, estimated to hold 500,000 photographs and 60,000 linear feet of motion picture film. It will take years to process the collection, and Morton's photographs are widely known and are in high demand now. To bridge that gap, the photographic archives staff launched a processing blog, "A View to Hugh." Stephen J. Fletcher, Photographic Archivist, will share insights about the experience.

Paul Hedges, Information Technology Director, Wisconsin Historical Society, will briefly discuss the Wisconsin Historical Society's use of Flickr for images in its collection and as an ad hoc web development tool, and will provide a preview of the Society's new web site and faceted search solution.

Following the panel’s presentations, we’ll have plenty of time for questions and discussion. Advance questions and discussion topics, whether in response to our speakers’ web sites, or concerning your own experiences with 2.0 tools, are very welcome. Please send them to me ( ), and I’ll share them with our speakers.

Also on our agenda is the election of a new Vice Chair/Chair Elect and three Steering Committee members. Full information about the candidates is included in this newsletter. Thanks to all of the candidates for volunteering to run, and to Past Chair Beth Bensman and the Nominating Committee for assembling this excellent slate.

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SAA Manuscript Repositories Section

Annual Meeting * San Francisco

August 29, 2008, 9:00-11:00 am

Agenda (draft)
Steering committee introductions
Section listservs
Implementation of online elections
Program liaison
Jennifer Schaffner, RBMS liaison to SAA
Announcements from members
9:30Panel on Archives 2.0 Projects:
Kate Theimer, ArchivesNext
Stephen Fletcher, University of North Carolina
Paul Hedges, Wisconsin Historical Society
Questions and Discussion
10:50Election Results

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2008 Conference Sessions Relating to Manuscript Repositories

In addition to our meeting, conference programs of interest to Manuscript Repositories section members include:

Sunday, August 24, 9:00-5:00

"Implementing More Product, Less Process," workshop developed by Dan Santamaria; endorsed by the Manuscript Repositories Section

Thursday, August 28, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

"We're Ignoring That: Collection Development and What Not to Collect," developed by Elizabeth Slomba; endorsed by the Manuscript Repositories Section

Thursday, August 28, 10:30 a.m. - noon

"Getting Our Hands Dirty (and Liking It): Case Studies in Archiving Digital Manuscripts," developed by Catherine Stollar Peters (now our Co-Web Liaison), Michael Forstrom, Gabriela Redwine and Melissa Watterworth; endorsed by the Manuscript Repositories Section

Saturday, August 30, 9:30 - 11:00 am

"Trash or Treasure? Experiences with Deaccessioning and the Implications of Digitization," developed by Steering Committee member Tara Laver and Past Chair Beth Bensman

Saturday, August 30, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

"Less Process, More Pixels: Alternate Approaches to Digitization and Metadata," developed by Tara Laver

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Section Listserv Subscriptions

This year, SAA launched new email discussion lists for all sections and roundtables. Everyone who joins the Manuscript Repositories Section is automatically subscribed to our listserv, and will receive announcements from section leaders about our newsletters, meetings, and other business.

The listserv may also be used as a forum for discussion. When the new listserv was introduced earlier this year, everyone’s subscription was set to a "nomail" default setting for messages sent by members other than leaders. If you’d like to use the listserv for discussion with other members, you can do this by contributing and reading posts online, or you can update your default settings to receive posts by email in either single or digest mode. See Official SAA E-Mail Lists for more information and for instructions on viewing and updating your settings.

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Manuscript Repositories Section

2008 Slate of Candidates

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Candidates

The Vice Chair / Chair Elect serves a three-year term: Year one as Vice Chair and editor of the Newsletter; Year two as Chair of the Section; Year three as immediate past chair and Chair of the Nominating Committee. (2) [Select 1]

Katherine Colligan, Archivist, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Education: Certificate of Advanced Study, Archives and Digital Preservation, University of Pittsburgh, 1999; MLIS, University of Pittsburgh, 1998; BA, University of Pittsburgh, 1995

Professional Experience: University of Pittsburgh: Archivist, Archives Service Center, 2000 - Present; Adjunct Faculty, School of Information Sciences, 2000 - Present; Steering Committee, Women’s Studies Department, 2004 - Present; EAD Associate, Digital Research Library, 1998-2000

SAA Activities: Manuscript Repositories Section, 2003-present; Steering Committee, 2006-present; Standards Committee, 2007-present; Co-chair, Women's Collections Roundtable, 2001-2006; EAD Roundtable, 2000-present; Description Section, 2000-present; Key Contact Representative for Pennsylvania, 2004-2006; District 2 Representative for Membership, 2006-present; SAA Student Chapter Faculty Liaison (University of Pittsburgh), 2004-2006

Other Activites: Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference: Workshop presenter, "Archival Description", 2008, and "EAD", 2004, Chair, Program Committee, Scranton, 2007, Education Committee, 2007-present, Arline Custer Awards Committee, 2008-present, Local Arrangements Committee, Pittsburgh 2004, Program Committee, Gettysburg, 2003; American Library Association: (ACRL) Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, 2004-present, Co-convener of Manuscripts and other Formats Discussion Group, 2007-present, Women’s Studies Section, 2004-2006; Member, Manuscripts Society, 2003-2007

Sammie L. Morris, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University

Education: MLIS, University of Texas at Austin, 1998; BA, Louisiana Scholars’ College, 1996

Professional Experience: Purdue University, Head of Archives and Special Collections, 2007-present Acting Head of Archives and Special Collections, 2005-2007 Archivist, 2003-2005; Dallas Museum of Art, Archivist, 2000-2003; Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Humanities Research Associate/Archivist for Ann Richards Papers, 1999-2000, Archives Assistant, 1998-1999

SAA Participation: SAA member since 1997; Metadata and Digital Object Roundtable, Steering Committee, 2006-present Co-Chair, 2005-2006; Manuscript Repositories Section Steering Committee, 2005-2007; Museum Archives Section, Newsletter Editor, 2000-2003; Guidelines Committee, 2000-2003

Other Activities: Academy of Certified Archivists, Member since 2000, Chair of Nominating Committee, 2007-present Nominating Committee Member, 2006-present; Midwest Archives Conference, Member since 2004, Membership Committee, Indiana representative, 2006-present, Program Committee, 2005-2006; Society of Indiana Archivists, Member since 2004, Executive Board, 2007-2008, President, 2005-2007, Vice President, 2004-2005

Articles have appeared in Archival Issues, Provenance, Archival Outlook, and forthcoming in American Archivist; Curriculum development and instruction in archival theory and practice, Purdue University, College of Liberal Arts.

Steering Committee Candidates

The Steering Committee members serve two-year terms. The first year, they work on the Nominating Committee, compiling the slate of candidates. The second year, they work with the Chair to plan the Section’s program at the Annual Meeting. (6) [Select 3]

Barbara De Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Education: BA, Stetson University; MS, Simmons, Beta Phi Mu; Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, 1982; Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, 2004

Professional Experience: 1975- 1986 -- Research Assistant, History Department, Harvard University; 1986-1999 -- Research Associate, History Department, Harvard University; 1999 -- part-time archivist, Waltham Public Library, Waltham, Massachusetts; 1999-present -- Curator of Manuscripts, William L. Clements Library

SAA Participation: SAA member since 2002; has attended 5 annual meetings.

Other Activities: Discoveries of America: Personal Accounts of British Emigrants to North America on the Eve of the Revolutionary Era. ed. Barbara DeWolfe (Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997).
Midwest Archives Conference member.

Andrea Gietzen, Assistant Archivist at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

Education: MSI, University of Michigan, 2006; MA, Art History and Criticism, SUNY Stony Brook, 1993; BA, Art History, Oakland University, 1990

Professional Experience: Assistant Archivist at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, 2007- present; Information Resources Assistant Senior at Digital Library Production Services, University of Michigan, 2002-2006; Photograph Cataloging Specialist at the Benson Ford Research Center, The Henry Ford, 1993-2002

SAA Participation: SAA member since 2003; Active in SAA student chapter at University of Michigan, 2003-2006

Other Activities: Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, member since 2007; Midwest Archives Conference, member since 2003; Michigan Archival Association, member since 2003; Presented a paper titled "Slippery Slides and Faulty Family Memory" as part of the Graduate Student Paper panel at the MAA annual meeting in June, 2006

John Hyslop, C.A., Assistant Division Manager, Long Island Division, Queens Borough Public Library

Education: MLIS, University of Texas at Austin, August 1996; BA, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, December 1992

Professional Experience: Long Island Division, Queens Borough Public Library, Queens, NY; Assistant Division Manager, November 1998 to present; Archivist, December 1996 to November 1998

SAA Participation: Member April 1995 to present; Visual Materials Section, Member, December 2000 to November 2002; Reference, Access and Outreach Section, Member, December 2002-November 2004; Philip M. Hamer -- Elizabeth Hamer-Kegan Award Sub-Committee, Member, August 2004 to August 2006, Chair, September 2006 to August 2007; Manuscript Repositories Section, Member, December 2004 to present; Description Section, Member, December 2000 to present; Labor Archives Roundtable, Vice Chair/Chair Elect, September 2007 to August 2008

Other Activities: National Historical Publications and Records Commission, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007; Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), Documentary Heritage Program, Board Member, October 2007 to present

Member: Society of American Archivists; Academy of Certified Archivists; Mid Atlantic Region Archives Conference Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York; Queens Historical Society; Queens Jewish Historical Society

L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, Librarian, Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library

Education: MILS, University of Michigan; BA, Wake Forest University

Professional Experience: University of Delaware, Coordinator of Manuscripts Unit, Special Collections Dept., 1990-present, Congressional papers project archivist, 1988-1990

SAA Participation: SAA member: 1988-present; Congressional Papers Roundtable: member, 1988-present; Steering committee member, newsletter editor, Webmaster, chair (2003-2004); Manuscripts Section: member, 1992-present; Description Section, Steering committee, 1995; Women's Collections Roundtable: Member, 1990-present; SAA Continuing Education Workshop, co-instructor (with S. Hamburger) "Managing Literary Manuscripts: Identification, Arrangement, Description," 2005-present

Other Activities: MARAC,Delaware Caucus chair (1990-1992) Steering committee, Numerous program and local arrangements committees, Program editor, 2000-2002; MAC, Member, 1987-present; ALA/ACRL RBMS Member, 1988-present, Co-chair, Manuscripts and Other Formats Discussion Group, 1990-2003; AAUW; CDXVIIC

Walter Ray, Political Papers Archivist, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Education: Ph.D., Theology, University of Notre Dame, 2000; M.Div., St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, 1992; M.A., Russian, Middlebury College, 1992; M.A., International Relations, Boston, University, 1986; B.A., Economics, Grinnell College, 1981; A.A., American College in Paris, 1979

Professional Experience: Political Papers Archivist, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2006-present; Assistant Professor, Sacramental Theology and Worship, The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, 2000-2005; Assistant Archivist, University of Notre Dame Archives, 1998-2000

SAA Participation: Member, 2006-present; Member, Congressional Papers Roundtable Steering Committee, 2007- present

Other Activities: Member, Midwest Archives Conference, 2007-present; Member, North American Academy of Liturgy, 1998-present; Member, Society of Biblical Literature, 1997-present

Elizabeth Russey, Manuscript Processing Archivist, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Education: BA, St. Olaf College, 1999; MA/MLS, University of Maryland, 2002

Professional Experience: Project Archivist, Union Theological Seminary of New York, 2002-2004

SAA Participation: Society of American Archivists: member, 2001-present; Georgia Key Contact, 2006-present; Holmes Award committee, member, 2006-present

Other Activities: Society of Georgia Archivists, Member, 2004-present, Board member, 2007-present, Annual Meeting chair, 2006-present, Program committee, member, 2004-2006, chair, 2006-2007

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News From Members

Newly Renovated George Mason University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Reopens
Bridget Burke, George Mason University

A secure and pleasant reading room, improved space for consultation with researchers, and expanded exhibit and collection areas define the recently renovated Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) unit of George Mason University Libraries. Located on the second floor of Fenwick Library on the Fairfax, Virginia, campus, SC&A provides access to unique manuscript and archival collections, rare books, and the GMU Archives. Researchers from the Mason community, the Metro region, and around the world use SC&A's collections, which are especially rich in theatre, urban planning and regional development, transportation, and Northern Virginia and Washington political life.

Core collections include extensive material relating to the Federal Theatre Project, and the Planned Community Archives, which document new towns and planned communities around the world, with an emphasis on Reston, Virginia. SC&A's new facility offers expanded opportunities for classroom instruction, programming, and exhibits. It also improves access to the University Dissertation and Thesis Services Coordinator, and to the Libraries' Oral History Program and University Records Management service.

Visit the SC&A blog to see photographs of the new facility and learn more about Special Collections & Archives collections and services.

Photograph of the new Special Collections & Archives Reading Room at George Mason University.
The new Special Collections & Archives Reading Room

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The NEH Funds the Creation of a Rhode Island Union Database of EAD Finding Aids
Jay Gaidmore, Brown University

The Brown University Library, in partnership with the John Carter Brown Library, Providence College, Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island State Archives, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, University of Rhode Island, and Westerly Public Library, has received a two-year grant from the NEH to create a statewide union database of finding aids, entitled the Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online (RIAMCO). Through the application of EAD, RIAMCO will contain finding aids from more than 300 collections held in archival repositories across the state. This project has been designated by NEH as a "We the People Project" for "promoting knowledge and understanding of American history and culture."

For more information, visit the Project wiki at or contact the project director, Jay Gaidmore, at or (401) 863-6414.

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'Their Bellies Are Being Satisfied': Agriculture and Rockefeller Philanthropy
Nancy Adgent, Rockefeller Archive Center

A recent in-house exhibit about Rockefeller agricultural philanthropy is now available in abbreviated form on the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) web site at and a related article is in the 2008 RAC Newsletter. (Researched and written by Nancy Adgent, RAC project archivist, the online exhibit was designed by Rockefeller University web site architect, Michael Mallari.) The Center’s rich holdings provide a wealth of resources documenting the Rockefeller family’s personal interest in farming as well as their philanthropic initiatives through the General Education Board (GEB) domestically and the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) globally.

The Rockefeller Family Archives includes photographs and correspondence illuminating their personal agricultural endeavors, from John D. Rockefeller, Sr.’s youthful business of raising and selling turkeys, to Jr.’s upgrading the family’s Pocantico Hills farm into a modern, efficient operation, to Jr.’s sons’ involvement in a variety of agriculture-based enterprises in the U.S. and abroad. Although they do not bear the Rockefeller name, several organizations, including the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the American International Association for Economic and Social Development (AIA) and the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC), American Farmland Trust, Winrock International, and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, owe their existence to Rockefellers.

The GEB was chartered in 1903 to aid education in the U.S. "without distinction of race, sex or creed." While not specificially aimed at counteracting Jim Crow laws, during the program’s early years many projects focused on African-Americans, both improving individual farmers’ practices and establishing community production and marketing cooperatives through a network of traveling "demonstration agents’" In its later years, the GEB emphasized funding higher education facilities such as agriculture department laboratories and supporting studies of specific industries, e.g. forestry and veterinary science. The GEB collection documents not only the results of its programs, but also shows the organization’s transition from a micro to a macro approach toward enhancing the agricultural economy.

By the time the Rockefeller Foundation formed the Office of Special Studies in cooperation with the Mexican Department of Agriculture in 1943, scientific farming practices in the United States were considered advanced, and countries struggling with food production inadequate for population growth clamored for assistance. The RF Archives includes evidence of their work in almost every country and demonstrates that the organization’s intent was not to simply throw money at a situation, but rather to supply the tools and expertise for solving interrelated, multi-faceted problems of poverty, food production, health, and education. A phalanx of scientists along with engineers, educators, and sociologists tackled a plethora of issues: plant genetics, entomology, agronomy, equipment, training, and cultural. Although research typically began with a country’s primary food grain, such as corn in Latin America, it expanded to other crops including wheat, sorghum, millet, potatoes, and rice. In addition to supplying specialists, the RF funded experiment stations and higher education based on U.S. land-grant institutions. In some cases, the host government paid for local staff and facilities; in other instances, the RF collaborated with the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Green Revolution reaped its share of criticism, and that too is reflected in RF materials. From fostering the Green Revolution to nurturing Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug, the RF’s role in attempting to conquer hunger is well-documented in its collection at the RAC

Agriculture continues to be a central theme in the Rockefeller philanthropic repertoire through programs such as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (a collaboration between the RF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Winrock International, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. The RAC expects that its future accessions will continue to substantiate the Rockefeller agricultural legacy.

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Marquette University Publishes Dorothy Day Diaries
Submitted by Phil Runkel, Marquette University

Marquette University Press has published The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day, a 700-plus-page, fully-indexed compilation of the personal diaries of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. One of the largest volumes ever published by Marquette University Press, the book was published in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Catholic Worker movement on May 1, 1933.

Biographical information about Day is widely available, including in Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries’ Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection, but the diaries show the human, everyday side of Day. The diaries begin in 1934 and continue until a few days before her death in 1980. Day had specified that her diaries and family correspondence would be sealed for 25 years after her death.

In 2004 Marquette’s archives staff selected Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books, to edit the Day diaries. He was selected for his publishing expertise and for knowing Day during the last five years of her life. "Sometimes her reflections were prompted by happiness, sometimes by sorrow," writes Ellsberg in the book’s introduction, "but mostly her diary entries were an expression of her intense interest in life and her responses to what was happening around her." "The diaries give the reader a sense of the human side of Dorothy," said Head of Special Collections & University Archives Matt Blessing about Day’s diary entries. "Here’s one of the leading Catholic activists and intellectuals in the world having to deal with moody teenagers and cleaning up after her grandchildren."

Day, a radical journalist who converted to Catholicism, edited the Catholic Worker newspaper from its inception until her death in 1980 and many regard her as among the most influential lay people in the history of American Catholicism. The Marquette University Archives began to acquire the records of the Catholic Worker movement in 1962. The collection includes the personal papers of Day and others involved in the Catholic Worker movement, records of Catholic Worker communities, photographs, audio and video tapes and other materials.

Currently, Ellsberg is editing a second volume containing Dorothy Day's selected letters. Copies of letters in other repositories are eagerly sought, especially for the period 1916-1932. Please contact Phil Runkel at (414) 288-5903 or .

For information on ordering The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day please visit

Cover of book about Dorothy Day titled The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day.
Cover of book about Dorothy Day titled The Duty of Delight: The Diaries of Dorothy Day.

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Ransom Center Acquires 77 John Steinbeck Letters
Submitted by Steve Mielke, The University of Texas at Austin

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin has acquired 77 letters from John Steinbeck to Henry S. White, recording a regular correspondence between two business associates and close friends.

Dating from October 1948 to August 1949, the almost daily correspondence documents a difficult period in Steinbeck's life. Early in 1948, Steinbeck's closest friend, Ed Ricketts, died from injuries he received in a car accident. Shortly thereafter, Steinbeck's second wife, Gwyn, announced she was divorcing him.

Steinbeck fell into a creative slump and involved himself in the film industry in an attempt to invigorate his career. He formed a production company called World Video with White, Robert Capa and Phil Reisman.

"The letters offer insight into Steinbeck's everyday life and his emotional state during this period," said Thomas F. Staley, director of the Harry Ransom Center. "They not only reveal Steinbeck's day-to-day activities and concerns related to the production company but also provide knowledge about his personal life, family concerns and emotional difficulties, financial troubles and his travels."

In one letter, after expressing concerns about the finances of their company, Steinbeck writes, "Right now my nerves are pretty bad. The discipline of the film held me down and now that it is done the lid is a little bit off. I think I must get back to work or violent play very quickly.

"There is no really valid reason for going to New York except the pleasure of seeing you and Betty and a few others. I still have a feeling of revulsion about the city which of course has to do with G[wyn]. That will take some time to get over. The cold blooded planning of that thing becomes more apparent all the time... I'm kind of used up Henry and will be for a little while until I get ironed out inside. The scars are deeper than I thought."

Nearly all of Steinbeck's letters are handwritten on ruled, yellow paper and are in good condition. Steinbeck's handwriting is neat but small and sometimes difficult to read. Steinbeck notes in one of the letters, "I'm sorry you have trouble with my handwriting. I just don't like the typewriter."

The acquisition also includes 50 typed carbon copies of White's responses to Steinbeck from the same period and a transcription of the full correspondence.

The correspondence will be added to the Ransom Center's existing Steinbeck collection, which includes the manuscript for "East of Eden" and a concurrent daily journal, a similar journal for "The Grapes of Wrath," notebooks containing versions of "Tortilla Flat" and "The Pearl" and more than 360 letters from Steinbeck to editor and friend Pascal Covici.

A finding aid of the Ransom Center's Steinbeck collection is available online at

John Steinbeck. Photo by Toni Frisell, c. 1965, New York.
John Steinbeck. Photo by Toni Frisell, c. 1965, New York.

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Schlesinger Library Announces New Collections Open for Research
Katherine Kraft, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

The following collections are newly processed and open for research at the Schlesinger Library; finding aids are posted on Harvard University's OASIS site.

The papers of the Cannon Family of Cambridge, Massachusetts, contain 28.25 linear feet of diaries, datebooks, conference material, and extensive personal correspondence documenting the life of Ida Maud Cannon (1877-1960), a pioneer in the hospital social service movement in Boston, Massachusetts, and published and unpublished stories, essays, articles, and correspondence of Cornelia James Cannon (1876-1969), an author, community activist, and mother of five children. Cornelia (Radcliffe College, A.B. 1899) married Ida’s brother, Harvard professor Dr. Walter B. Cannon, and lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with their children and Ida. The papers cover a variety of topics: a single woman working during the first half of the twentieth century; life of a Radcliffe College student; the family of a Harvard professor; children and their upbringing; travel in the United States and abroad; etc. The correspondence between Cornelia and her husband Walter, written while he served as a military doctor in France during World War I, is exceptional. The papers were processed by Stacey Flatt.

The papers of Mary Matteson Wilbur (1872-1957) contain 10.84 linear feet of diaries, correspondence, writings, artwork, genealogy research, and photographs relating to the life of Mary Matteson Wilbur and the Matteson family, as well as correspondence and personal items from Mary's husband, Hollis Wilbur, and their children: Elizabeth (Cressey), C. Martin, and Halsey. The Wilburs lived in Japan, China, and Korea, while Hollis was a YMCA secretary for forty years. Mary was very active with the Daughters of the American Revolution while in Shanghai, and also wrote many unpublished stories and novels. Also included is Mary’s book about her mother and family history, Memories of Mary Hulburt Matteson. The papers were processed by Stacey Flatt.

The papers of Mary Ingraham Bunting-Smith (1910-1998), geneticist and fifth president of Radcliffe College, consist of biographical material, appointment books, notebooks, speeches, and correspondence mainly related to her work in the field of women’s education both before and following her tenure at Radcliffe College. The collection was processed by Mark Vassar with funding provided by Ethel and David Jackson.

Cartoonist Marjorie Henderson Buell (1904-1993), who drew under the name "Marge," was the creator of the popular comic "Little Lulu," as well as other one-panel cartoons and comic strips. Little Lulu ran in the Saturday Evening Post from 1935 to 1945, and then became a major marketing figure, gracing Kleenex advertisements, Paramount short films, and many children’s toys and products throughout the mid-twentieth century. The Marge Papers (15.5 linear feet) include business contracts, correspondence with publishers, agents, etc.; fan mail; scrapbooks; published cartoons and comic strips; original artwork; Little Lulu products such as paper dolls, crayons, hair bows, mittens, etc; comic books in English and various foreign languages; early drawings including those in high school yearbooks and literary magazines; family autograph albums and Bible; motion pictures of Little Lulu Kleenex advertisements; etc. They were processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956.

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Martin J. Hillenbrand Papers Now Open for Research
Jill Severn, The University of Georgia

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies is pleased to announce that the Martin J. Hillenbrand Papers are now open for research. Ambassador Martin J. Hillenbrand served for thirty-five years as a professional United States Foreign Service Officer, including service in Burma, India, Mozambique, Hungary, France, and Germany. He was appointed as the first U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (1967-1969), Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (1969-1972) and Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany (1972-1976). The collection consists of Hillenbrand’s personal papers and provides an overview of his life and career in diplomatic service. The papers also document his academic career at The University of Georgia (1982-1997) and involvement in international diplomatic organizations. Of particular interest are his personal, hand-written journals and notebooks, which begin with adolescence and extend through retirement. This collection joins over 120 collections documenting public policymaking and political culture centered in Georgia available for research at the Russell Library. View the finding aid for this collection at

Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Willy Brandt speaking with Ambassador Martin Hillenbrand, circa 1973.
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Willy Brandt speaking with Ambassador Martin Hillenbrand, circa 1973.

Ambassador Martin J. Hillenbrand and Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Frank Cash at an airport, circa 1973.
Ambassador Martin J. Hillenbrand and Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Frank Cash at an airport, circa 1973.

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Connecticut Historical Society Receives NHPRC Grant
Barbara Austen, The Connecticut Historical Society

The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) is excited to announce that it has received an $88,959 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The grant, awarded in May 2008, will help CHS undertake the ambitious project of cataloging 900 collections (approximately 600 cubic feet) and enter the records into CHS’s online catalog.

With only 18% of manuscripts currently having an online catalog record, researchers must use both the card catalog and the online catalog to locate materials. Funds from the NHPRC grant will be used to hire a Project Archivist to assist in creating online catalog records that will ensure that CHS provides easier access to a greatest number of collections.

The project will focus on account books and collections larger than 0.5 cubic feet. Collections currently scheduled to be cataloged include the correspondence and financial records of Jeremiah Wadsworth, Commissary General of Purchases for the Continental and French Armies; the papers of the Talcott family of Glastonbury, which contains significant town records; correspondence and records of Connecticut Historical Society’s first librarian and noted book collector Thomas Robbins; town records for Stonington, Norwich and Middletown, Connecticut; a collection of handwritten musical scores attributed to Herman Katims; personal papers of Connecticut Governors Gideon Tomlinson and O. Vincent Coffin; and records of the Mayflower Descendants, Connecticut Sons of the Revolution, Neptune Twine Company, and Berlin Iron Bridge Company.

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Binghamton University Libraries Celebrate the Acquisition of Molly Peacock’s Papers
Jean Green, Binghamton University

Binghamton University Libraries are pleased to announce the acquisition of Molly Peacock’s papers and manuscripts. Ms. Peacock, an internationally recognized poet and Binghamton University alumnus (Harpur ’69), will have her sixth volume of poems, The Second Blush, published by W. W. Norton and Company in June 2008. Additionally, Ms. Peacock served as one the of the creators of the Poetry in Motion program, past president of the Poetry Society of America, and author/performer of The Shimmering Verge, a one-woman show that she has performed at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and Off-Broadway at Urban Stages in New York City. (Please visit Ms. Peacock’s web site,, for additional biographical information.)

The formal announcement of this significant acquisition occurred on February 6, 2008, during a gala gathering of BU’s library supporters and Ms. Peacock’s distinguished friends at The Penn Club of New York. The evening’s highlight occurred when Ms. Peacock came to the podium and read "The Flaw," a new poem from her forthcoming book.

Speaking at this celebration, Ms. Peacock said, "My literary papers have found a home at Binghamton University Library, which is perfect. That’s where my papers were longing to be, since I found a home at Binghamton University for four years, between 1965 and 1969. And that was the time I found myself as a writer."

John Meador, Director of University Libraries, expressed his gratitude to Ms. Peacock and told the audience that as academic libraries embrace similar digital futures, it will be the unique papers and manuscripts comprising their respective Special Collections that ultimately will distinguish one library from another. In this instance, Ms. Peacock’s papers are particularly noteworthy for their completeness. She admitted that evening, "I have to confess to you that I have been saving my literary papers since the age of twelve. And when I got to Binghamton, and realized I had an overweening ambition for a working class girl from Buffalo, some day to be listed in the Table of Contents of the Oxford Book of American Poetry, it dawned on me that I had better start saving stuff. I saved my college notebooks from Binghamton, and every draft of every poem I’ve written since then."

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Professor Gillan Donates Papers, Books to the Libraries
Bern Mulligan, Binghamton University

Professor Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Director of the Binghamton University Creative Writing Program, recently donated her papers to the Binghamton University Libraries. Professor Gillan, a renowned poet, short story writer, and essayist, has been a member of the Binghamton University faculty since Fall 2001. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Poetry Center and the Cultural Affairs Department at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, New Jersey, for twenty years.

Professor Gillan has written eleven books of poetry and co-edited four poetry and fiction anthologies with her daughter, Jennifer. She has written poems in Italian and translated poems into Italian. Her poetry, stories, and essays have appeared in dozens of anthologies and numerous magazines and journals. Her papers include her personal journals from 1954 to 2007; nearly all of her published work; drafts of poems and stories from 1957 to the present; DVDs, CDs, and audio tapes of programs in which she was featured; forty years of correspondence with well-known poets, fiction writers, editors, and scholars; feature articles on her and reviews of her work; photographs of her with many of the most prominent poets of the last thirty years; and the Poetry Center and Cultural Affairs Department archives.

Much of Professor Gillan’s work deals with her Italian-American heritage. Her poetry collection, Italian Women in Black Dresses, has appeared in three editions. She also has been heavily involved in promoting multicultural writing in her classes and publishing multicultural writers in her anthologies.

Since 2002, Professor Gillan and the Creative Writing Department have held two annual contests, the Milton Kessler Poetry Book Award and the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. From the submitted entries to these contests, she has donated more than 100 poetry and fiction titles each year to the Libraries’ literature collection. She has also donated titles to the Broome County Public Library and the Elmira Correctional Facility Library.

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Photograph Found in Faulk Papers Sheds Light on Civil War History
Gerald Chaudron, PhD, Mississippi State University

One of my recent projects has been the processing of photographs in the Charles Johnson Faulk Papers acquired from the late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of Vicksburg, Mississippi. This collection has such a large number of prints, contact sheets and negatives within it that it has had only a preliminary inventory until time and staff could be found to process it fully. Until recently Mitchell Memorial Library Special Collections at Mississippi State University has been unable to deal with photographic images as well as we would like. Thus I had only broad subject terms and date ranges to work from as I started looking at the photographs scattered liberally through the Faulk Papers.

Charles Faulk (1915-1990) not only reported on the happenings around Vicksburg and the Mississippi Delta but also took excellent photographs to accompany his stories and appreciated old photographs. He knew the photographer J. Mack Moore, a local legend, and ensured his huge collection of glass-plate negatives was preserved; a few examples are in Faulk’s collection. As I looked through the negatives and images of Faulk’s own work, I found most were from the 1930s on, including some wonderfully evocative photographs of small town life in the 1950s. In the middle of the eleventh box, in a group innocuously described as "Photographs, 1940s-1980s and undated" I noticed an envelope from Moore’s Studio, Great Bend, Kansas. Inside was an old photograph of an unusual-looking steamboat. Below the image was written "U. S. Steamer, Baltic. M. M. B." Intrigued by the initials at the end of the title, I did some research.

The Mississippi Marine Brigade (MMB) was a little-known unit of the Union armed forces that saw service on the rivers north and south of Vicksburg during the American Civil War. Brigadier-General Alfred W. Ellet commanded this brigade of mounted infantry, cavalry and artillery on a fleet of steamboats and ram ships under the overall, if often tenuous, command of Rear-Admiral David Porter. Its purpose was to raid Confederate-held territory in response to the Confederate’s own guerilla tactics. The soldiers of the MMB were stationed aboard five transport steamers: Autocrat, B. J. Adams, Diana, John Raine and Baltic. The Baltic was a 624-ton, 186-foot long wooden-hulled side-wheel packet steamer built in New Albany, Indiana, in 1857 for the New Orleans trade. Like the other transports, the Baltic’s coal bunkers were expanded and the boilers were protected with heavy timbers. The cabins from the lower deck to the hurricane roof were shielded by two layers of two-inch thick oak planks with holes for rifles and large doors which could be opened for ventilation. This explained the odd appearance of the Baltic in the photograph. The pilothouse had sheets of boiler iron around it for protection. Each ship was fitted with a crane that could drop a gateway wide enough for two horses to disembark, and a hot-water hose to repel boarders. The ships could carry around 125 cavalry, with horses, and 250 infantry.

Organized in late 1862 in St Louis, the brigade comprised 527 infantry, 368 cavalry and 140 artillerymen, far fewer than originally intended. By the time the small fleet was ready for action, the justification for its creation had almost disappeared. The Union forces largely controlled the Mississippi and the brigade’s activities were confined to engaging scattered Confederate units and harassing civilians on their irregular raids, gaining it an unsavory reputation. Poorly led, inadequately supplied and subject to the vagaries of changing river levels, the fleet had little impact on the military campaigns they ostensibly formed a part of in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. The brigade was finally disbanded in August 1864.

As for the Baltic, after suffering heavy artillery fire near Greenville, Mississippi, in May 1864 it was fitted with heavier guns but these proved too much of a strain on the decks and the gun crews were largely ineffective in any case. Ellet was forced to send the Baltic back to St Louis for repairs, but not before it suffered further damage from Confederate shore batteries along the way. It does not appear to have served again with the MMB. The ship sailed to Mobile, Alabama, as a transport and was surveyed there in June 1865. Found to be in poor structural condition, it was sold in 1866. Taken back to St Louis, the Baltic was dismantled the following year.

I have searched for other photographs of the MMB fleet but so far I have found none. This photograph of the Baltic may be the only one documenting the ships that participated in one of the more obscure campaigns of the Civil War. It is a fascinating reminder that photographs tell important stories and plug important gaps.

Hearn, Chester G. (2000). Ellet’s Brigade: The Strangest Outfit of All. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, Chapters 10-18
United States. Navy Dept. (1908). Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series 1, v.22. Washington: Government Printing Office, pp.226-227
Way, Frederick, Jr. (1983). Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994. Athens: Ohio University Press, p.37

U. S. Steamer, Baltic. M. M. B.
"U. S. Steamer, Baltic. M. M. B."

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Blogs Allow the Public a Window into the World of Archival Processing: The Chew Family Papers Project
Natalie Whitted, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Chew Papers Project archivists and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) invite the public to share in the process of processing a large collection of family papers through the project blog: With the blogosphere ever expanding, this medium allows archivists to introduce a broad audience to important collections and to the work that archivists do to make these collections accessible.

HSP received a generous two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to preserve and improve access to the Chew Family Papers, a collection spanning approximately 400 linear feet and 300 years. The Chews were involved in many events significant to the shaping of the Commonwealth. Samuel and Benjamin Chew served as legal counsel to the Penn family, participated in negotiations with the Lenape Indians and the Six Nations, and were involved in the dispute over the Pennsylvania-Maryland boundary line (later the Mason-Dixon Line). The Chews were one of the largest slave-holding families in the Mid-Atlantic. Their papers document the lives of many slaves and their families, as well as the practice of slavery in the domestic sphere and on their farms. Before the project began, these documents sat bundled in boxes, inaccessible to researchers. As we process the collection, it is exciting to see new history come to light.

The Chew Family Papers Project blog highlights interesting finds in the collection and our experiences processing the papers. Project Archivist Cathleen Miller, Project Archival Processor Natalie Whitted, and Conservator Tara O’Brien regularly contribute posts. From time to time, interns working on the project add their thoughts as well. New posts usually are added weekly and each includes text and one or more images that may be enlarged for closer viewing. Recent posts include notes on the representation of children in the collection, eighteenth and nineteenth-century perceptions of womanhood, a map found to have been mended long ago with pieces of a letter that tells a story of its own, the introduction of our new mold cleaning technician, and Benjamin Chew III’s proposed designs for military garb. We have received positive feedback from readers who enjoy following the Chew family’s escapades as well as ours as we process.

HSP has two other blogs that are also available to the public: HSP’s Hidden Histories (, highlighting the depth and scope of HSP’s collections, and the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative blog (, which documents a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to assess backlogged archival collections at 22 Philadelphia area archives, libraries, and museums. All HSP blogs are also accessible, via the Society’s web site, at

The project unfolds ...
The project unfolds ...

List of Indian chiefs signatures, Report of the Committee of the Council appointed to enquire into the complaints of the Indians at the Treaty at Easton the 8th of November 1756
List of Indian chiefs signatures, Report of the Committee of the Council appointed to enquire into the complaints of the Indians at the Treaty at Easton the 8th of November 1756

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Collections Documenting the American Art World Now Available to Researchers
Jonathan Lill, The Museum of Modern Art Archives

In 2006, The Museum of Modern Art Archives was awarded a two-year grant from The Henry Luce Foundation to process several important collections relating to American art. The first collection processed was the Calvin Tomkins Papers comprising the original research, secondary materials, drafts, and correspondence produced over Tomkins' forty-year career as an art journalist, primarily for The New Yorker magazine, and for his major biographies of Robert Rauschenberg and Marcel Duchamp. Additionally, the collection contains nearly 500 audiocassettes of interviews with notable artists and members of the art world.

The second collection processed was the Richard Bellamy Papers. Richard Bellamy was a noted gallery owner, art dealer, and beloved personality in the New York art world from the 1950s until his death in 1998. The papers comprise business records and artist files beginning with his stewardship of the Hansa Gallery, one of the first cooperative galleries in New York City, to the five-year lifespan of the famous Green Gallery, which helped launch Pop art and Minimalism, and through his creation of the Oil & Steel Gallery, which promoted the work of sculptor Mark di Suvero and numerous other artists. The collection contains valuable evidence related to the early careers of many now famous artists and documents a particularly fertile period of growth in the art world.

The third major collection processed was the Scott Burton Papers. Burton was a seminal figure in the world of performance art in the 1970s and a leader of new innovations in minimalist sculpture and public art in the 1980s. The papers provide a detailed look at his working method, his development and maturation as an artist, and document his entire artistic output.

During the period of this grant, The Museum of Modern Art Archives placed all of its finding aids online with cross-collection search capability. The finding aids to the above collections can be viewed via the archives web site, The finding aid for the Calvin Tomkins Papers won second place in the 2007 MARAC Fredric M. Miller Finding Aid Awards.

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Edward W. Nolan Photograph Collection Available Online
Dieter Ullrich, Central Washington University Archives

The Edward W. Nolan Photograph Collection is now available online at This collection contains images of communities in the State of Washington and the American Northwest from the 1860s to the 1930s. It also consists of landscapes and cityscapes across the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. The photograph collection was purchased from Edward W. Nolan by Central Washington State College (now Central Washington University) in 1976 but was not processed and cataloged until last year. Mr. Nolan is collector of a rare photographs and author of numerous illustrated books and guides related to Pacific Northwest history. The images were scanned from the many photographic prints and postcards held in the collection. The images visually document the many cities, towns and villages across Washington State and American Northwest during the latter part of the 19th Century and early half of the 20th Century. An inventory of the entire collection can be viewed at

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Northwest Digital Archives Seeks New Members
Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Northwest Digital Archives and the University of Oregon

The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA), a program that provides enhanced access to archival collections and facilitates collaboration among archives, libraries, and museums in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, seeks new members for its Northwest-based program.

The NWDA web site is located at There, researchers can find information about archival collections through keyword, subject, repository, and genre searches. The database offers researchers the ability to find information about collections across institutions, at a greater level of detail than is available through any other tool. The collection information is also exposed to search engines. In May 2008, researchers retrieved the 4500 finding aids on the NWDA site 22,931 times. NWDA at present hosts only finding aids, but is planning for a digital services program that will also offer access to digital content.

Founded with NEH and NHPRC funding in 2002, NWDA became part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance in 2007. Members pay annual fees based on institution type that cover the costs of technical, administrative, and fiscal support services. For complete information on the benefits and costs of membership, see

Current NWDA member institutions are the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Gonzaga University, Idaho State Historical Society, Seattle Museum of History & Industry, Whitman College, Montana Historical Society, University of Montana, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington, Washington State University, Lane Community College, University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska State Library’s Historical Collections, Whitworth University, Lewis & Clark College, the University of Idaho, Portland State University, the Washington State Historical Society, the Seattle Municipal Archives, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Willamette University, Western Oregon University, Portland Community College, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Central Oregon Community College, and Oregon Institute of Technology.

For additional information, please contact Jodi Allison-Bunnell, NWDA Program Manager, Orbis Cascade Alliance at (406) 829-6528 or

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Special Collections News from The College of William and Mary
Bea Hardy, The College of William and Mary

Presson Archival Fellowships
The Special Collections Research Center at the Earl Gregg Swem Library of the College of William and Mary is pleased to announce its inaugural class of John M. Presson Archival Fellows. The three Fellows, chosen from a national applicant pool, are Maria Booth, a graduate student in history at William and Mary; Sarah Dorpinghaus, who is finishing her master's degree in library and information science at the University of Iowa; and Mark Sgambettera, a recent graduate of the master's program in library and information science at Queens College in New York. The Presson Fellowships provide summer work experiences for students interested in pursuing careers in archives or special collections. The 2008 Fellows will work on several projects, including processing collections, conversion of legacy finding aids to EAD, and a preservation survey.

Bucktrout Daybook and Ledger
Over the last two years, the Swem Library at the College of William and Mary has worked with Professor Terry Meyers to take the Bucktrout Daybook and Ledger held by the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and produce a web site that contains not only scholarly content about the historical and social significance of the work, but also build into the site a transcription of the text. Richard Manning Bucktrout was an undertaker, among many other things, in Williamsburg, Virginia, during the Civil War and provides what may be the only account of the involvement of many soldiers and regiments in the Peninsula Campaign. Not only does this work provide an historical context for these soldiers, but it also records important clues to the daily lives of a small town during the mid-nineteenth century. These include spellings of words as they were spoken ("draw" was the spelling for drawer), the social fabric of the small town, and invaluable information about the value of money. The project used XML encoding standards and involved four graduate students, four undergraduates, and one volunteer to complete the encoding, imaging, and final presentation of this material. The resulting web site is available online at or via the SCRC's Collections Database.

From The 'Burg To Berlin And Beyond: World War II At Swem Library exhibit
Swem Library at the College of William and Mary presents the exhibit, "From the 'Burg to Berlin and Beyond: World War II at Swem Library." Using letters, diaries, posters, photographs, sheet music, and other materials from Swem's Special Collections Research Center, the exhibit provides a general overview of the War, with a special emphasis on the College and Williamsburg. The exhibit is on display through September 14, 2008.

New Staff
The Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary, is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven Bookman to the position of University Archives Specialist in the Special Collections Research Center. He received his Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland where he worked in the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the University of Maryland Libraries. He also interned in the Special Media Services Division at the National Archives and Records Administration preserving photographs and at the Virginia Historical Society's Virginia House while a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Virtual Card Catalog Launched at The Filson Historical Society
Suzanne Maggard, The Filson Historical Society

The Filson Historical Society, an independent research institution located in Louisville, Kentucky, has recently launched a test version of its new Virtual Card Catalog. This web site features both EAD finding aids and electronic versions of the Filson’s catalog cards, which describe manuscript material to the item level. This new resource is available at

The Virtual Card Catalog reflects The Filson’s traditional and very detailed cataloging methods. The Filson’s Special Collections staff creates three records for each collection. Like other archives, The Filson staff creates a finding aid and a MARC record for their online catalog, but they also create catalog cards. The catalog cards provide details on the material in each folder, and sometimes, even each item in a collection. Staff members create cards for subject headings and significant people connected with the collection. The text of each card provides details on which items or folders within the collection contain material on that subject or that person. In some cases, the text of the cards contains quotes from the material within the collection. With this kind of detailed cataloging, researchers are able to assess how valuable each collection will be to their research before they begin looking at the collection. They also can often go directly to the folder that holds the item or items of interest, saving them valuable time and effort.

Yet, in the Twenty-First Century, it is not enough to have these wonderful resources only available onsite. To solve this problem, The Filson’s Special Collections staff devised the Virtual Card Catalog, which allows researchers to search both our catalog cards and our finding aids. The Virtual Card Catalog allows researchers to search collections by keyword or browse by subject, personal name, or by the title of the collection. Whichever method a researcher chooses to use, when he or she clicks on the title of the collection, they will be shown its finding aid. The researcher, then, simply needs to click on "View Catalog Cards" within the index terms section of the finding aid to see the same catalog cards for the collection that they would find in our card catalog.

At the present time, the site only contains about 140 of The Filson’s manuscript collections, but it is fully functional. The Filson has plans to expand this site in the future, and make such comprehensive information regarding its manuscript collection available through its web site. We welcome researchers to explore the Virtual Card Catalog and provide feedback.

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Preservation Conference Planned for the Fall
Robert James, North Carolina Preservation Consortium

"Cultural Respect in Preservation and Conservation"
North Carolina Preservation Consortium Annual Conference
November 20, 2008      8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Preservation and conservation of collections in libraries, archives, museums, and historic sites are guided by professional ethics, standards, guidelines, and best practices. This year's North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC) annual conference will address the issues of cultural respect. Objects of material culture often hold intangible values for the community of origin. Do collection institution leaders honor these values with policies of respect and community collaboration? Some artifacts may not be intended for use or view by the public. Do collection institution caretakers place restrictions on access and exhibition? Some communities may wish to use artifacts in traditional ceremonies and rituals. Do collection institution stewards approve such requests? Some communities believe their cultural objects should deteriorate naturally. Do preservation and conservation professionals permit this to happen? We often profess to champion diversity in our collections. Do we respect multicultural perspectives on the preservation and conservation of heritage collections? Is there a moral imperative to preserve and conserve books, manuscripts, documents, photographs, film, sound recordings, art, and artifacts? Please join us for presentations and discussions on these and other issues of cultural respect and heritage preservation.

Invited Speakers
Michele Cloonan, Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts

Marian A. Kaminitz, Head of Conservation, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, District of Columbia

Karen L. Jefferson, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center

Corine Wegener, President, United States Committee of the Blue Shield, Associate Curator Architecture, Design, Decorative Arts, Craft, and Sculpture, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Who Should Attend
All personnel working in libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and other heritage institutions will benefit from this conference, as well as college and university faculty, and students in library and information science, archives, public history, museum, conservation, and related disciplines. Community advocates for respect in heritage preservation are also welcome.

For more information on the conference and the NCPC, please visit or contact Robert James, NCPC Executive Director, at (919) 660-1157 or

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What’s in a Name?: Seeking New Title for Section Newsletter
Mat Darby, Newsletter Editor

While Manuscript Repositories Newsletter is direct and to the point, perhaps something a little more creative is in order. If you have a way with words, why not send in your suggestions for a new newsletter title. You can send your ideas to me at .

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Leadership and Next Newsletter Deadline

Manuscript Repositories Section




News items, articles, letters to the editor, and comments are welcome.


Next Newsletter deadline: October 1, 2008


Send to Vice Chair

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