Manuscript Repositories Newsletter

Summer 2009

Section Updates

  • From the Chair
  • SAA Manuscript Repositories Section Agenda
  • 2008 Conference Sessions Relating to Manuscript Repositories
  • Elections and Bylaws Revision: Electronic Voting Begins July 13
  • News from Members

  • The Bancroft Library Completes Spanish Borderlands Project
  • The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow: An Online Exhibit
  • New Website for Thomas Balch Library
  • Work on Deaccessioning and Reappraisal Guidelines Going Forward, Working Group Preliminary Planning Meeting to be Held
  • New Archives and Manuscripts Processing Center
  • 2010 Virginia Forum Call for Papers
  • News from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
  • Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center Opens
  • News from the Schlesinger Library

  • Leadership and Next Newsletter Deadline


    Section Updates

    From the Chair
    Mat Darby

    Section Meeting

    If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for this year’s section meeting, slated for Thursday afternoon, August 13, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Our program will focus on how this uncertain economy is affecting archivists and manuscript repositories and how we’re all dealing with the circumstances.

    The program will open with two speakers offering their distinct perspectives on this issue: Mike Miller, Manager of the Austin History Center, will discuss his repository, its increasingly shrinking budget and strategies he has used to hedge against future decreases in funding. Joel Wurl, Sr. Program Officer for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Preservation & Access, will offer a funder’s perspective on what options are available to archivists during these tough times. To allow for more participation from section members, we invite you to use the time following their remarks as a forum for asking questions, providing comments and otherwise sharing your repository’s approaches to overcoming and adapting to budget cuts, hiring freezes and financial uncertainty. If you’d like to submit questions in advance, or have our speakers comment on specific concerns, please contact me ( ), and I’ll pass them on to Mike and Joel.

    Elections and Web Liaison

    As you’ll see in more detail below, the section has entered the world of electronic voting. Thank you to all the candidates for throwing your hats in the ring, and to Past Chair Karen Spicher and the Nominating Committee for seeking out great candidates and revising the by-laws.

    We are also looking for a new co-web liaison. Catherine Stollar Peters has served admirably for a few years and is ready to pass on these duties to another section member. If you have an interest in helping to create and manage the section web pages, please contact Catherine ( ) and me ( ) indicating your web experience.

    SAA Strategic Plan and Draft Advocacy Agenda

    SAA Council has been hard at work defining the organization’s strategic priorities for the immediate future. A first draft of the strategic plan is available here. Also available for comment is the Draft Advocacy Agenda. You can send your comments and criticism to Council at ( . If you think the steering committee should address any issues directly, please let us know.

    Facebook and Twitter

    If you haven’t noticed, SAA has dipped its collective toe into the social networking pool. Facebook and Twitter users are encouraged to visit the SAA Facebook page and Twitter feed. The section has yet to jump in, but it may be another option for communicating with section members in the future.

    Welcome to Austin

    Lastly, on a personal note, I hope those of you attending the annual meeting have an opportunity to break away, if only briefly, and take in some of what makes this city great, including visiting some of our first-class repositories. The Host Committee has an entertaining and informative blog, Austin is for Archivists, which serves as a great guide to the uninitiated.

    Annual Meeting

    SAA Manuscripts Repositories Section

    Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas

    Thursday, August 13, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

    Steering committee introductions
    Election results
    Tom Hyry, SAA Council liaison
    Program Committee liaison
    Jennifer Schaffner, RBMS liaison to SAA
    Sammie Morris, update on Section history
    Announcements from members
    2:00Forum on Archives and the Economic Downturn:
    Mike Miller, Austin History Center
    Joel Wurl, National Endowment for the Humanities
    Questions and Discussion

    2009 Conference Sessions Relating to Manuscript Repositories

    Among this year’s solid lineup of conference sessions, the following should be of interest to section members:

    Monday, August 10, 2009 - Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 9:00 - 5:00

    "Rare Books for Archivists," developed by steering committee member Katie Salzmann with instructor Michael Laird, with valuable input from Jennifer Schaffner, Helice Koffler and Jim Cartwright

    Friday, August 14, 2009, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

    "Consortia: Models for Creating Sustainable Collaborations," developed by steering committee member Rebecca Bizonet and proposed by the Manuscript Repositories Section

    Saturday, August 15, 2009, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

    "How We Appraise: When Theory Meets Reality," proposed by Tara Laver, LSU Special Collections, and the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section; endorsed by the Manuscript Repositories Section

    Saturday, August 15, 2009, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

    "More Product, Less Process (MPLP) Revisited: Choosing the Right Processing Strategy for Your Repository and Collections", proposed by Jeffrey Suchanek, Public Policy Archives, University of Kentucky; endorsed by the Manuscript Repositories Section

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    Elections and Bylaws Revision: Electronic Voting Begins July 13
    Karen Spicher, Past Chair

    This year, we are holding our first online election. Voting will take place via electronic ballot, instead of during the annual meeting. Please see the slate of candidates and the proposed bylaws below, and go to to cast your vote. The ballot will be available starting July 13.

    In addition to election of a vice chair/chair elect and three steering committee members, this year’s ballot includes ratification of revised bylaws. The revision mainly concerns implementation of ongoing electronic voting; also, formatting has been revised and numbering added for easier reference.

    The deadline for electronic voting is July 31. Members may request a mail-in ballot instead of the electronic ballot by contacting Karen Spicher, Nominating Committee chair ( , or 203-432-4205). The deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots is August 2. The results of the election will be announced at the annual meeting.

    Thank you for participating!

    Manuscript Repositories Section

    2009 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]

    Rebecca Bizonet, Archivist, Benson Ford Research Center, The Henry Ford

    Education Master of Science in Information (Archives and Records Management), University of Michigan, 2001; Bachelor of Arts (French), University of Michigan Residential College, 1994

    Professional Experience Archivist, Benson Ford Research Center, The Henry Ford, 2006-present; Processing Archivist, University of Michigan Special Collections Library, 2001-2006; Reference Assistant, Processing Assistant, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, 2000-2001.

    SAA Participation Member 2000-present; Manuscript Repositories Section Steering Committee Member, 2007-2009; Session Chairperson, upcoming 2009; Session Speaker, 2004; Student Chapter (University of Michigan) Publicity Chairperson, 2000-2001.

    Other Activities Michigan Archival Association (MAA): Member 2002-present; Interim Board Member-at-Large, 2009; Session Chairperson, 2006, 2008, and upcoming 2009; Session Speaker, 2007 and 2008; Program Committee Member, 2002 and 2008. Midwest Archives Conference (MAC): Member 2002-2007.

    Fernanda Perrone,, Archivist and Head, Exhibitions Program, Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

    Education M.L.S., Rutgers University, 1995; D.Phil., History, Oxford University, 1991; B.A., History and English Literature, McGill University, 1984.

    Professional Experience Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers since 1992 in various capacities, first as an Archival Assistant, then as a Project Archivist, and from 1993 as Archivist and Head of the Exhibitions Program. Specializes in Women's History manuscript collections.

    SAA Participation Member 1991-present; Co-Chair, Women’s Collections Roundtable, 1993-1997; Manuscripts Repository Section Steering Committee, 2004-2006; Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee, Member 2004-2007; SAA Meeting Navigator, 1997-2005.

    Other Activities Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC): Finding Aids Committee, Chair, 2003-2004; Education Committee, Chair, 2005-2007; Program Committee, Scranton Meeting, 2007; Local Arrangements Committee, New Brunswick, 2000. New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission: 2004-present. Publications: articles have appeared in Archival Issues, American Catholic Studies, Journal of Archival Organization, History of Universities.

    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]

    Heather Ball, Archival Assistant, Queens College, CUNY

    Education Master of Library Science and dual certificate in Archives, Records Management, and Preservation, Queens College, December 2009; Master of Letters, Medieval Studies, University of Glasgow, 2006; Bachelor of Arts, Medieval Studies (with minors in Math and Chemistry), New York University, 2005.

    Professional Experience Archival Assistant, Queens College, 2008--present; Awards Committee member, Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York, 2009--present; Junior Fellow Intern in the Manuscripts Processing Division, Library of Congress, summer 2009.

    SAA Participation Member 2008-present; Manuscript Repositories Section and College and University Archives Section, 2008-present; Vice-President of SAA chapter at Queens College, 2008--2009; Acting President of SAA chapter at Queens College, 2009--present.

    Other Professional Activities Member ALA, ACRL (College Libraries Section, University Libraries Section, Rare Books and Manuscripts Section), 2008-present; SLA (SLA-NY chapter member), 2008-present; NYLA, 2008-present; and Golden Key International Honor Society, 2008-present; member of a panel chaired by the Medieval Academy of America at the International Medieval Congress entitled "The Place of Digital Work in Medieval Studies: Where Are We Now, Where Are We Going?"; member of panel on the New York City Regional Archives Student Association Panel, September 2009; invited to present research at the Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference in Crete, May 2009; presented paper entitled "The Ethics of Collection Digitization" at the Digital Medievalist session at the 44th Annual International Medieval Congress, May 2009. Publications: article in Metropolitan Archivist.

    Chris Burns, Curator of Manuscripts, Special Collections, University of Vermont

    Education MA, History, University of Vermont, 2009; MS in Library and Information Science, Simmons College, 1998; BA, Philosophy, University of Vermont, 1990.

    Professional Experience Curator of Manuscripts, University of Vermont, 2004- present; Technical Services Librarian/Archivist, University of Vermont, 2001-2004; Oral History Project Coordinator, Dartmouth College, 2000-2001; Library Specialist, Lyndon State College, 1999-2000; Librarian/Archivist, Carol R. Johnson Associates, 1998-1999.

    SAA Participation Member, 2000-present. Congressional Papers Roundtable: Member, 2005-present; Newsletter Editor, 2005-2008; Steering Committee, 2008-present. Description Section: Member 2001-present; Steering Committee, 2004-2008. C.F.W. Coker Award Committee: Member, 2005-2008, Chair, 2006-2008. Manuscripts Section: Member, 2001-present.

    Other Activities New England Archivists: Member since 1996; Vice President, President, Immediate Past President, 2006-2009; Chair, Local Arrangements Committee (Fall 2005 meeting); Nominating Committee, 2003; Program Committee (Spring 2003 meeting). Advisory Committee of the Northeast Document Conservation Center: Member, 2006-present. NELINET Digital Services Advisory Committee: Member 2001-2005. St. Johnsbury Archives Collaborative Advisory Board: Member, 2001-2003. Vermont Historical Records Advisory Board: Deputy Coordinator, 1999-present.

    Deborah Dandridge, Field Archivist for the African American Collections, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

    Education Ph.D. candidate (History), University of Kansas; M.A. (History), Atlanta University; B.A. (History), Washburn University.

    Professional Experience Field Archivist for African American collections, University of Kansas, 1986-present; Instructor, History, Washburn University and University of Kansas, 1971-1983.

    SAA Participation Member, 1992-present; Program Committee, 1995, 2006; Manuscripts Repositories Section, 1994-present; Oral History Section, 1994-present; Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable, 1991-present, Co-Chair 1993-1995; Minority Scholarship Committee, Chair, 2002-2003.

    Other Activities Midwest Archives Conference: Council, 1996-1999; Archie Motley Memorial Scholarship Committee, 2004-2006. Kansas City Area Archivists: Senior Co-Chair, 1999-2000. Academy of Certified Archivists: Examination Development Committee, 1998-2001.

    Ellen Doon, Assistant Head, Manuscript Unit, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

    Education MS in Library and Information Science, Simmons College, 1997; B.A., Smith College, 1992.

    Professional Experience Assistant Head of the Manuscript Unit, Beinecke Library, Yale University, 2004-present; Archivist, Beinecke Library, Yale University, 1999-2004; Project Archivist, American Meteorological Society, 1998-1999.

    SAA Participation Member since 1997; regular annual meeting attendance; Visual Materials Section book fair Co-Coordinator, 2004 and 2005; participation in session on visual materials research, 2004.

    Other Activities ALA/ACRL Rare Book and Manuscripts Section: Member since 1999; Local Arrangements Committee, 2004. New England Archivists: Member since 1997; Representative-at-Large, 2007-2010; Program Committee Co-Chair, Spring 2009; Nominating Committee, 2004/2005; NEA Newsletter Editor, 2001-2004; Program Committee, 30th Anniversary Meeting, Spring 2003; Local Arrangements Committee, Fall 2001 Meeting; Workshop co-presenter, "Resources for New Archivists," Fall 2000 Meeting.

    Donna McCrea, Archivist and Manuscripts Librarian / Interim Special Collections Librarian / History Librarian, University of Montana-Missoula

    Education MLIS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1999); BA, (History/Humanities), University of Colorado-Boulder (1990).

    Professional Experience Manager of Archives and Manuscripts unit (under various titles), University of Montana-Missoula, 2003-present; Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, 2000-2003; Archives Technician, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Deer Lodge, MT, 1999.

    SAA Participation Member 1997-present; Committee on Education, 2006-2009 (Co-Chair 2007-2008, Chair 2008-2009); Nominating Committee, 2005; Program Committee, 2004. Presented at sessions in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Chair/Coordinator of 2008 session.

    Other Activities Northwest Archivists: Member since 2003; Mentoring Program Coordinator, 2008-present; Mentoring Committee Chair, 2007; Montana Representative, 2006-2008; Local Arrangements Committee, 2006; Program Committee (Co-Chair), 2005. Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists: Member since 1998; Treasurer, 2002-2004. Midwest Archives Conference: Member since 1997. Montana State Historical Records Advisory Board: Member since 2003. Academy of Certified Archivists: Member since 2002. Archives Leadership Institute: Attendee, 2008. Publications: articles have appeared in American Archivist (2006) and Reference Services Review (2008).

    Florence M. Turcotte, Curator of Literary Manuscripts at the University of Florida

    Education MLIS, University of South Florida, 2005; MA, Liberal Studies, Georgetown University, 1990; BS Modern Languages, Georgetown University, 1980; Modern Archives Institute, NARA, 2006.

    Professional Experience Literary Manuscripts Archivist and Assistant University Librarian, University of Florida, 2005-present; Senior Library Technical Assistant in Rare Books, University of Florida, 1997-2005.

    SAA Participation Member 2005-present; member of Manuscript Repositories Section, and Reference, Access and Outreach (RAO) Section; member of Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable (LAGAR).

    Other Activities Society of Florida Archivists (SFA): Member since 2005; Director, 2009-present; Chair of Nominating Committee, 2006-2008; presented a paper entitled "Archives, Outreach and Advocacy: Promoting and Developing Your Collections" at the 2007 Annual Meeting; chaired the Host Committee for the 2009 Annual Meeting. Publications: authored a chapter entitled "Outreach in Special Collections Librarianship" for Academic Library Outreach: Beyond the Campus Walls, December 2008. Published with John Nemmers ARL SPEC Kit 296 entitled "Public Services in Special Collections," 2006.


    Manuscript Repositories Section Bylaws

    1. Membership
    2. Officers
    3. Steering Committee
    4. Web Liaison
    5. Election of Officers and Steering Committee
    6. Meetings
    7. Amendments
    8. Enactment
    Steering Committee Assignments

    I. Membership

      1. Membership in the Manuscript Repositories Section of the Society of American Archivists is open to any member of SAA who has an interest in repositories that collect and administer holdings not generated by the organization or the institution of which the repository is a part.

    II. Officers

      1. Officers of the Manuscript Repositories Section consist of a chair and a vice chair.
      2. A new vice chair is elected each year and serves for one year as vice chair, succeeding automatically to the office of chair for the subsequent year. If the vice chair is unable to succeed the chair, a new chair is elected following the same procedures as for the election of the vice chair.
      3. The chair presides at meetings of the Section and the steering committee; represents the Section in its relations with SAA in general and with the Council and other groups within the Society; appoints Section committees as needed; submits an annual report of Section activities to the SAA executive office; and issues three newsletters annually to the Section membership.
      4. The vice chair serves as acting chair in the absence of the chair.

    III. Steering Committee

      1. The steering committee consists of the officers and six members.
      2. The members serve two-year terms, three members being elected at each annual meeting with additional members elected if unexpired terms need to be filled.
      3. The steering committee serves in an advisory capacity to the chair, and its members may be assigned specific responsibilities by the chair. The steering committee plans each annual meeting of the Section.

    IV. Web Liaison

      1. The web liaison is appointed by the chair and approved by the steering committee.
      2. The web liaison serves three years, consisting of one year as co-liaison, one year as solo liaison, and a final year working with the new co-liaison. If no one comes forward to take the co-liaison position during the solo year, the web liaison's term can be renewed until another candidate is identified.

    V. Election of Officers and Steering Committee

      1. Only members of SAA and the Manuscript Repositories Section may be nominated to serve as officers or steering committee members. Only members of the Manuscript Repositories Section may vote.
      2. The nominating and elections committee consists of the immediate past chair of the Section (serving as chair of the committee) and the three steering committee members whose terms are not expiring at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.
      3. The committee calls for nominations at least three months prior to the annual meeting.
      4. The committee ensures that there is at least one nominee for vice chair and that the number of nominees for the steering committee is not less than the number of positions to be filled.
      5. The committee announces the nominees in the last newsletter prior to the annual meeting.
      6. The committee publishes an electronic ballot at least four weeks before SAA’s annual conference. The ballot will include a provision for write-in candidates. Members may request a mail-in ballot from the committee in place of an electronic ballot. The committee will announce a deadline for receipt of electronic or mail-in ballots.
      7. Winners are determined by the majority of votes cast by the deadline. The committee determines results and announces the results at the annual Section meeting. If an election results in a tie, the committee conducts a runoff election at the annual Section meeting.
      8. Elected officers and steering committee members assume office at the conclusion of the annual meeting of the Section.

    VI. Meetings

      1. The Manuscript Repositories Section meets once a year at the annual SAA meeting at the time and place scheduled by the SAA program committee and executive office. A steering committee meeting is usually held immediately after the Section meeting.
      2. Additional meetings of the entire membership or the steering committee may be scheduled by the chair if needed to carry out the business of the Section.
      3. For the section meeting, the vice-chair takes minutes; for the steering committee meeting, the past chair takes minutes. Minutes are made available to the Section within six weeks of the annual meeting.

    VII. Amendments

      1. Any member of the Manuscript Repositories Section may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the chair.
      2. The chair will distribute proposed amendments to the membership through one of the Section newsletters. Amendments will appear on the electronic ballot that the committee publishes at least four weeks before SAA's annual conference. As with the election of officers, members may request a mail-in ballot from the committee in place of an electronic ballot. The deadline for receipt of electronic or mail-in ballots will be one week before the first day of SAA's annual conference. Only members of the Manuscript Repositories Section may vote. 
      3. A majority of the votes cast is required to amend the bylaws.

    VIII. Enactment

      1. These bylaws were revised in 2009.



    Note: This list is by no means exhaustive; it merely highlights certain assignments that are normally given to officers in the Section.

    1. Steering Committee (1st year): service on Nominating Committee; participates in Steering Committee meetings at SAA; helps set the agenda for the year; contributes to the newsletter or other activities. Is expected to attend SAA annual meeting.

    2. Steering Committee (2nd year): assists Chair and Vice Chair/Chair-elect in getting sessions of interest to Section members on the SAA program for the following year; assists in planning for the annual meeting; in a position to contribute in other ways such as liaison work with other organizations, contributions to the newsletter, etc. Is expected to attend SAA annual meeting.

    3. Vice-Chair/Chair elect (1-year position): normally acts as newsletter editor; works with the Chair and Steering Committee in establishing an agenda for the year; works to insure that sessions of interest to Section members appear on the SAA program for the following year; prepares for term of service as Chair in the following year. Must attend SAA annual meeting. (Candidates for this position are often drawn from the membership of the Steering Committee.)

    4. Chair (1-year position): with other officers sets the Section's agenda for the year; organizes and runs the annual meeting of the Section at SAA; is the key contact person between the Section and other bodies such as the SAA Council; attends special committee meetings at SAA annual meeting; exercises overall supervision and responsibility for Section activities such as special projects, the newsletter, etc.; handles administrative matters such as writing an annual report and budget request to SAA Council, etc. Must attend SAA annual meeting.

    5. Immediate past chair (1-year position): responsible for forwarding files and other information to current officers or to the SAA Archives as appropriate; acts as chair of the Section's Nominating Committee; is responsible for distributing and counting ballots and announcing the results of the balloting at the Section's annual meeting; assists as needed with ongoing work of the Section. Is expected to attend SAA annual meeting.

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    News from Members

    The Bancroft Library Completes Spanish Borderlands Project
    Anastasia Karel, The Bancroft Library

    The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley is pleased to announce the availability of online finding aids for the following collections:

    Herbert Eugene Bolton Papers

    George P. Hammond Papers

    Abraham P. Nasatir Document Collection

    These Spanish Borderlands-related collections were processed with a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission, and include research materials on the history of the Southwestern United States. The project processed a total of 310 linear feet over the course of thirteen months. The finding aids are accessible through the Online Archive of California (

    The Herbert Eugene Bolton Papers document the career of an eminent historian who, as director of the Bancroft Library and Chairman of the University of California at Berkeley's History Department in the 1920s and 1930s, was a leader in the field of study known as the Spanish Borderlands. The collection was originally processed in 1961 and now features an improved arrangement and description of his correspondence, writings, teaching materials, and other professional activities. His research materials, which are regularly used by scholars, remain in their original order. The total size of this collection, including oversize materials, is now 211 linear feet.

    The George P. Hammond Papers document the life and career of a Southwestern U.S. historian, who was director of the Bancroft Library from 1946-1965, and who wrote and published numerous books based on Spanish documents, as well as the history of California. A highlight of the Hammond Papers is his correspondence, which documents Hammond's wide network of historians in the Southwest, especially during the 1930s-1970s. The collection also documents the growth of the Bancroft Library into its present-day form, for which Hammond is largely responsible. This collection is 64 linear feet.

    The Abraham P. Nasatir Collection, at 15 linear feet, contains copies of documents from Spanish and American archives that he used to research the Spanish presence in the Missouri River Valley. These documents were used for his books Before Lewis and Clark, and The Imperial Osages, only two of his many writings from a career that spanned six decades. The bulk of his document collection was lost in a residential fire in 1985, and the materials now at Bancroft were stored in his office at San Diego State University, where he spent the majority of his teaching career.

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    The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow: An Online Exhibit
    Susanne Belovari, Tufts University

    The Digital Collections and Archives at Tufts University is pleased to announce the launching of its online archives exhibit, The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow. The exhibit's eight historical essays trace Murrow's life and work and showcase material from the Edward R. Murrow's papers at Tufts University.

    Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) is best known as a CBS broadcaster and producer during the formative years of U.S. radio and television news programs from the 1930s to the 1950s, when radio still dominated the airwaves although television was beginning to make its indelible mark, particularly in the U.S. Over the decades, numerous publications have portrayed Murrow as one of the architects of U.S. broadcast news, but in the political climate of recent years, he is increasingly viewed as a defender of rights against McCarthy-type witch hunts. The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow is an online exhibit featuring Murrow's career from his student days to his work for USIA. Additional essays focus on his private life, on the accomplishments of his wife Janet Brewster Murrow, and on the "Murrow Boys," the war correspondents who produced many of the hallmark World War II broadcasts. Using photographs, artifacts, and documents from the Edward R. Murrow Papers at the Digital Collections and Archives at Tufts University, the exhibit describes known and lesser-known aspects of Murrow's work and life, placing them in the political and historical context of his career.

    The Edward R. Murrow Papers, ca. 1913-1985, consist of approximately 55 linear feet of documents, over 320 photographs, about 1,700 books, memorabilia, phonographs, and film and audio-tape reels of various formats. Dating largely from 1934 to 1965, the material includes correspondence, personal materials, work and activities-related files, audiovisual materials, memorabilia, books, and tributes to Murrow upon his death. The papers enable patrons to research Murrow's career at the International Institute of Education, at CBS, and at the USIA and to trace major developments in the history of broadcasting at CBS and in the U.S. The exhibit can be viewed at

    A brochure about the Edward R. Murrow Papers is available online.

    The finding aid to the Edward R. Murrow Papers is also available online here.

    The Digital Collections and Archives wishes to acknowledge the support provided by Tisch College to produce this exhibit.

    Screenshot from The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow: An Online Exhibit.

    Screenshot from The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow: An Online Exhibit

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    New Website for Thomas Balch Library
    Alexandra S. Gressitt, Thomas Balch Library

    As part of a new website for the Town of Leesburg launched 29 May 2009, Thomas Balch Library has an entirely redesigned website: In addition to Collection Guides, which have been available on the website for the past two years as well as through the Virginia Heritage Project, indices to many of the library's special collections will be available for the first time outside the library. Highlights of these indices include those to the library's historic house files, visual collections, and newspapers. Many items from Thomas Balch Library's collections are featured in the online Leesburg history exhibit at Thomas Balch Library staff looks forward to regularly updating its new website with resources, including Pathfinders, to better serve its diverse public.

    New Manuscript Collection Available for Researchers at Thomas Balch Library

    The Williams Family Papers, a collection of family papers at Thomas Balch Library, has been processed and made available for research by Stephanie Adams Hunter, Library Archives Specialist. It is a remarkable collection of manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia that was given to the Thomas Balch Library by the Williams family in 2003. The collection consists of 6 cubic feet of documents and 5 oversized boxes dating from 1819-1993, with bulk dates between 1830 and 1934. In addition to the Williams family, several other families are represented in the collection-Pearce, Harrison, and Winslow. The families lived in Pennsylvania and New York, and later in Loudoun County where they were prominent members of their communities, involved in politics as well as business and society.

    The Williams family papers offer a rich trove of information about industry, banking, politics and family life. From letters of a young naval officer aboard a ship in the Caribbean during the early 19th century to correspondence from France during WWI, this manuscript collection offers a variety of research opportunities for historians.

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    Work on Deaccessioning and Reappraisal Guidelines Going Forward, Working Group Preliminary Planning Meeting to be Held
    Tara Z. Laver, Chair, Acquisition and Appraisal Section

    Reappraisal and deaccessioning have been controversial topics since at least the publication of the 1984 winter issue of American Archivist, in which Karen Benedict, Richard Haas, Leonard Rapport, F. Gerald Ham, and Jutta Reed-Scott debated the practical and theoretical merits of each. As the historical record continues to grow and repositories' resources do not keep pace with this growth, and with the example of successful reappraisal and deaccessioning projects at the Minnesota Historical Society and the American Heritage Center, more repositories are willing to consider employing reappraisal and deaccessioning as tools in managing their collections. NHPRC's funding of the AHC's large-scale project also evidences increased approval and support at the national level. Further, if attendance at SAA sessions on the topic in 2005 and 2008 is any indication, practitioners are interested in learning more about reappraisal and deaccessioning and are looking for guidance and resources. Two archivists who presented their deaccessioning experiences at the 2008 session called for the establishment of profession-wide guidelines for deaccessioning, but as Mark Greene notes in a recently published article, the archival profession has not provided guidelines or addressed the question in our code of ethics, as our colleagues in the allied professions of librarianship and museum curatorship have. Consequently, projects at archival repositories have had to rely on standards from those fields in creating their own policies. (Mark Greene, "I've Deaccessioned and Lived to Tell About It: Confessions of an Unrepentant Reappraiser," Archival Issues 30:1 (2006), 17 n. 18.)

    In February 2008, the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee presented a proposal to develop guidelines for reappraisal and deaccessioning to the Standards Committee. The guidelines produced will provide informed direction and professional sanction for archivists and repositories that choose to manage their collections in this way. They will also assist archivists to implement transparent and consistent strategic collection management, to husband their limited resources more effectively, and to serve researchers by directing their efforts to retained collections and making transferred collections available at more appropriate repositories.

    With the support of the Standards Committee and Council, the section leadership is moving forward with the effort. Since these guidelines will have broad professional application, interested professionals from across SAA, not just those who are members of the Acquisition and Appraisal Section, are invited to participate directly in their development. If you are interested in working on the project, please plan to attend a preliminary planning meeting at the annual conference on Thursday, August 13, 12-1:30. If you will not be in Austin or have a scheduling conflict but would still like to be involved, please contact Tara Laver, Chair of the Acquisition and Appraisal Section, at or 225-578-6546.

    The full proposal presented to the Standards Committee is available on the Acquisition and Appraisal Section website.

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    New Archives and Manuscripts Processing Center
    Brooke M. Black, Chief Cataloger and Project Coordinator

    A new program began at the Huntington Library in July 2008. A three-year, $700,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation brought history graduate students to the Huntington to learn how to process manuscript collections and write finding aids. This project creates a training ground for graduate students in the Huntington-University of Southern California's Institute for California and the West, and allows the Huntington Library to reduce its manuscripts collection backlog, in accordance with the national agenda of the Association of Research Libraries' "hidden collections" project.

    With this grant, The Manuscript Department started processing over one hundred collections currently waiting to be cataloged. The program's ultimate goal is to give the Manuscripts Department time to incorporate the Processing Center into the department's organizational structure and make this program sustainable beyond Mellon's funding.

    As of May 2009 the students have completed 30 collections dealing with California and the West. They have cataloged such collections as the records of the Cawston Ostrich Farm, an early tourist site in Southern California famous for feathers used in boas and hats; the papers of Nathan W. Stowell, an engineer who worked on irrigation and land development projects throughout Southern California in the late 19th century; the papers of the Bernal family, which include the letters, diaries and legal documents of a California family who owned a large amount of land in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties in the middle 19th century; and the papers of science-fiction writer Robert Silverberg.

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    2010 Virginia Forum Call for Papers
    Alexandra S. Gressitt, Thomas Balch Library

    The fifth annual Virginia Forum will meet at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, located in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on April 15-17, 2010. It will include a visit to the Mariners' Museum, adjacent to the campus. The Virginia Forum offers an opportunity for exchanges of ideas among scholars, archivists, librarians, museum curators, K-12 teachers, and all those interested in Virginia history and culture.

    The Virginia Forum invites proposals for presentations on all topics in Virginia history and culture, but the Hampton Roads area's relationship to the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, and other waterways offers a special opportunity to reflect on maritime history and culture. Proposals from graduate and undergraduate students conducting research in Virginia history are encouraged.

    The Virginia Forum invites proposals for individual papers or complete panel sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops, poster sessions, or electronic/multimedia presentations. Proposals for individual papers, posters or electronic presentations should be no more than one page, single-spaced, in standard font. The proposal should include a title, the name of the participant(s) and his/her affiliation, and an abstract of the presentation that discusses the sources used and the significance of the topic presented. Proposals for complete panel sessions, workshops, etc., should include a one-page description of the overall session, as well as a separate, one-page description for each individual presentation in the session. Additional information is available online at

    E-mail proposals, along with a one-page vita for each of the presenters, should be submitted to Deborah A Lee, independent scholar and chair of the 2010 Program Committee, at .

    Proposal Deadline: September 15, 2009.

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    News from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
    Barbara Aikens, Smithsonian Institution

    The Oscar Bluemner Collections Online site received first place in the Fredric M. Miller Finding Aid Award by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. The papers of painter Oscar Bluemner in the Archives of American Art were digitized in their entirety and total 15,815 images. The papers date from 1886 to 1939, with one item from 1960, and measure 6.6 linear feet. The collection documents Bluemner's career through scattered biographical material and personal and professional correspondence. Almost one-half of the collection consists of Bluemner's extensive writings and notes about his artwork, painting techniques, and art theory in the form of diaries, notebooks, lists, essays, and notes-many of which are also illustrated. Also found are annotated books, exhibition catalogs, newsclippings, artwork and sketches by Bluemner, and photographs of Bluemner's artwork and of architecture. Bluemner's work in architecture is documented to a lesser degree through scattered licenses, photographs, and design drawings.

    Presently, the Archives' Collections Online web site provides access to over 70 manuscript collections digitized in their entirety, totaling nearly 665,000 digital images. Collections recently added include the papers of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, Elizabeth McCausland, Dorothea Dreier, and William Page.

    Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

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    Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center Opens
    Sammie Morris, Purdue University

    Purdue University Libraries celebrated the opening of its new Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center in April with several events for donors and the public. Named after Purdue alumna Virginia Kelly Karnes (B.S., Home Economics, 1935), the Center is located on the fourth floor of the Humanities, Social Science and Education Library in Stewart Center. The facility was renovated using $2.7 million dollars raised from private donations.

    With the new facility, the Purdue Libraries was able, for the first time, to bring together in one space the rare book collections previously located in four different libraries on campus. The new Karnes Center offers increased access to collections that document Purdue University history, including the university archives and a wide variety of manuscript collections. The facility includes an instruction center where classes can learn about using primary source materials in research, and an exhibition space for displays that educate visitors about the collections. The facility has improved temperature and humidity controls and security systems for preserving rare materials, and offers expanded space for research use, storage of collections, staff offices, and exhibitions.

    Archives staff packed and moved collections of rare books, archives, and manuscripts during the fall of 2008. The Karnes Center opened to the public on January 12, 2009. A private donor reception was held on April 17 to recognize the individuals who funded the renovation. Purdue President France Córdova signed a resolution at the donor event naming the Center as the official repository for Purdue University's historical records. Grand opening events held for the public on April 21-22 included a lecture on the life of University founder John Purdue by biographer and Purdue descendant Irena Scott McCammon, as well as an open house, tours of an exhibition on John Purdue, and children's activities.

    For more information, see the Karnes Center page on Facebook.

    Photograph of entrance to Karnes Center.

    Entrance to the Karnes Center

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    News from the Schlesinger Library
    Katherine Kraft, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University

    Processors at the Schlesinger Library have been extremely busy since the fall newsletter, and are pleased to report that the following collections are now available for research (the finding aids are available on Harvard University's OASIS website):

    The papers of journalist and author Barbara Ehrenreich (1941- ) consist of nearly 11 linear feet of material, including family correspondence and biographical material; correspondence with activists and others; writings; speeches; notebooks; course materials; conference material; and publicity related to her early feminism and health care activism, as well as her career as journalist and author. Also well-documented in the collection is Ehrenreich's work with the New American Movement, the Democratic Socialists of America, and several New Left publications. The collection was processed by Mark Vassar. The finding aid is available online.

    The records of the Project on the Status and Education of Women (Association of American Colleges), 1969-1991 (inclusive), 1971-1985 (bulk), include 58 linear feet of correspondence; publications; meeting agendas, notes and minutes; government testimonies; speeches and workshop material; grant applications and financial documents; project publicity; research files including pamphlets, newsletters, clippings, flyers, and informational material; and audiovisual material. The Project on the Status and Education of Women (PSEW) was formed under the auspices of the Association of American Colleges in 1971. At its inception, PSEW was the first national project concerned with achieving equity for women students, faculty, and administrators in colleges and universities. The project functioned as a clearinghouse and research facility regarding the advancement of women's equity (as students, faculty, and staff) in higher education. Subjects addressed by PSEW in its newsletter, research, or reports were: recruitment of women students and faculty, minority women in academia, re-entry (returning) women students, child care on campus, financial assistance, discrimination, personnel policies, sex bias in research, development of women's studies curricula, sex discrimination claims in hiring and promotion at educational institutions, and affirmative action policies. PSEW staff wrote the first national reports on discrimination against women in collegiate sports, the classroom's "chilly climate," campus gang rape, students sexually harassed by faculty, and student peer sexual harassment. The records were processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online here.

    The papers of Bernice Resnick Sandler (1928- ), feminist and activist specializing in educational equity for women, gender issues in higher education, and other issues of women's rights and equality include 29 linear feet of correspondence; meeting agendas, notes and minutes; government testimonies; speeches and workshop material; appointment books; articles; research files, with clippings; photographs; and audiovisual material. Materials date from 1963 through 2008, and relate to the Congressional passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, Title IX, the Women's Equity Action League and WEAL Fund, and the National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs, among other issues relevant to sex equity in higher education. In 1969-1970, under the auspices of the Women's Equity Action League (WEAL)'s Committee for Federal Contract Compliance, Sandler filed administrative complaints against over 250 colleges and universities with the U.S. Department of Labor, charging the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance with failing to enforce compliance at colleges and universities. The publicity which Sandler generated through these complaints contributed to Congressional hearings on the topic of women in education, and led Representative Edith Green to author the legislation which eventually became Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Sandler was director of the Project on the Status and Education of Women (PSEW) of the Association of American Colleges from 1971 to 1991. She has worked with the Center for Women Policy Studies, National Association for Women in Education, and the Women's Research and Education Institute. She pioneered research into campus sexual harassment, gang rape, and a "chilly climate" for women on campus. The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from Bernice Sandler, the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of author, public health nurse, and teacher Lini M. De Vries (2.92 linear feet, 1910-2002), include correspondence, personal documents, drafts of her autobiography and other writings, public health reports, notes, and other material from her teaching and nursing careers, copies of her FBI files, and photographs. Lini (Moerkerk) De Vries (1905-1982) was born to Dutch parents in Paterson, New Jersey, and worked in that city's silk and cotton mills as a teenager. Trained as a nurse, she worked with Margaret Sanger and went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Upon her return, she was a public health nurse with rural or impoverished communities in New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Accused of being a subversive on account of her early affiliation with the Communist Party, she left the U.S. in 1949 for Mexico. She taught medicine and public health to indigenous villagers in the Papaloapan River Basin in Oaxaca; and taught anthropology and public health at the University of Veracruz and several other schools. The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of Elizabeth C. Winship, 1965-1994 (inclusive), 1983-1993 (bulk), contain 5 linear feet of material comprised of letters primarily from pre-teen and teenage readers seeking advice from Winship through her syndicated column "Ask Beth." Winship tackled various health, relationship, and sexuality issues for teens in her column which, at its peak, was published in 70 subscribing newspapers. Due mainly to her sensible and thoughtful approach to teen questions, her column ran successfully from 1963 through her retirement in 1998, when her daughter, Peg Winship, succeeded her. Starting in the 1980s she had received assisted in writing responses for the column by her daughter Peg, who signed on as co-author in 1993. Also included are clippings, reference materials, and a small number of professional and personal letters. The collection was processed by Laura Peimer. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of Caroline Iverson Ackerman (1918- ), 1927-2004 (inclusive), 1939-1949 (bulk), contain 7.85 linear feet of photographs, work files, and writings accumulated while Ackerman worked as aviation editor for Life magazine during World War II, a travel expert for Shell Oil Company, and professor at Northeastern University. Also included are maps, notes, and photographs from her personal flying trips. The collection was processed by Stacey Flatt. The finding aid is available online at Harvard University's OASIS website.

    Betty Friedan (1921-2006) was a leading feminist activist and author; her influential book The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963, and she was one of the founders of the National Organization for Women in 1966, as well as other feminist organizations. Addenda (21.27 linear ft.) to her papers, 1941-2006, include personal and business correspondence; drafts of books and articles; financial and legal documents; research and teaching notes; and organizational records of Men, Women and Media, an organization Friedan co-founded in 1988 to analyze gender parity and representation in different forms of media. Responses from friends and readers to Friedan's books The Second Stage (1981) and The Fountain of Age (1993) are included, as are reviews, clippings, and lecture material. Some material documents Friedan's involvement with feminist and Jewish organizations, as well as with New York City, Long Island, and national politics. The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online.

    An additional seventy-two linear feet of Betty Friedan's papers have recently been reprocessed. These papers date from 1933 to 1985 (most from the 1950s to the 1970s), and include personal and professional correspondence; financial and legal documents; organizational files, particularly relating to the National Organization for Women (NOW); early writings and drafts; material relating to her books The Feminine Mystique and It Changed My Life; research and teaching material; and photographs. The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online.

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), a socialist, deist, and feminist, was one of the intellectual leaders of the woman's movement from the later 1890s through the mid-1920s. Addenda (1.25 linear ft.) to her papers, 1846-ca.1975, consist mainly of family correspondence, photographs, poems, and printed material. Correspondence includes love poems and courting letters to and from Charles Walter Stetson, her first husband, and letters to and from her daughter Katharine, who was raised by Stetson and his second wife, Grace Ellery Channing. Also included are genealogies, Gilman's 1894 divorce decree from Stetson, and clippings and ephemera from Gilman's lectures. The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online at Harvard University's OASIS website.

    Sara "Sally" Lynn Hacker (1936-1988) was a sociologist and professor whose work focused on the effects of engineering education and changing technology, particularly in the fields of telecommunications and agribusiness. She was also a member of the national board of the National Organization for Women and coordinated NOW's task force on AT&T. Her papers (1951-1991, 11.68 linear ft.) include correspondence, drafts, audiotapes, photographs, clippings, printed materials, etc. The collection was processed by Johanna Carll. The finding aid is available online.

    Community and civil rights activist Ruth Marion Batson (1921-2003) was chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) from 1963 to 1966. From 1966 to 1970, she served as assistant director and executive director of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), a voluntary integration program busing students from racially imbalanced (predominantly with minority students) districts in Boston to schools in the surrounding suburbs (predominantly with white students). She was the director of the consultation and education program (1970-1975), director of the school desegregation research project (1975-1981), coordinator of the clinical task force, and associate professor at the Boston University School of Medicine Division of Psychiatry. From 1987 to 1990, she was president and director of the Museum of Afro American History (later the Museum of African American History). In 1969, she founded the Ruth M. Batson Educational Fund, which provides grants to African American students, educational institutions, and community organizations. The collection (1919-2003, 3.21 linear ft.) includes correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, speeches, writings, travel diaries, etc., documenting Batson's work as a civil rights advocate and educator in Massachusetts. Also included are reports, minutes, memos, publications, etc., from various organizations with which Batson was active. The papers were processed by Johanna Carll. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of the Dreyer family, 1778-1928, include 6 linear feet of correspondence and other documents (most in German) of members of the Dreier family, mostly merchants and pastors in northern Germany and businessmen in the United States, and their wives. The papers were processed by Christof Strauß. The finding aid is available online.

    Founded in 1917 by a group of Syrian-Lebanese immigrant women as the Society for the Relief of Syria and Lebanon, the Lebanese Syrian Ladies' Aid Society sought to raise funds and provide aid (food and relief supplies) to the suffering people of "Greater Syria" during World War I. Following the war, the organization devoted its efforts to helping new immigrants and needy Syrian-Lebanese people in greater Boston and surrounding areas (providing food, shelter, financial assistance, medical and legal support, etc.) The group was incorporated as the Syrian Ladies' Aid Society in 1920 and established its headquarters in Boston in 1929; this headquarters served as the central gathering place for the Syrian-Lebanese community for nearly thirty years as the organization engaged in weekly fundraising activities such as rummage sales, dinners, hosting plays, haflis, sahra, holiday parties, etc., to support its charitable works. A Junior Chapter for young women was formed in 1931 (and dissolved in 1949). In 1962, the group changed its name to the Lebanese Syrian Ladies' Aid Society and relocated to West Roxbury where it continues to provide charitable assistance to scholarship funds, local and national social agencies, victims of natural disasters and wars, and aid to the elderly. The records (1917-2005) include 3 linear feet of minutes, correspondence, financial records, printed material, photographs, and memorabilia items. Some material is in Arabic. The collection was processed by Bridgette A. Woodall. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of graphic and serigraphic artist Corita (1918-1986) contain correspondence, clippings, ephemera, posters, cards, broadsides, etc., dating from 1936 through 1992. Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, as Frances Elizabeth Kent, she joined the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles in 1936, taking the name Sister Mary Corita. In the mid-1950s she began teaching art at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood, California. Corita surrendered her vows and left the order in 1968 and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to pursue her art full-time. The 4.6 linear feet collection includes examples of Corita's signature artistic style of combining handwritten quotes from contemporary intellectuals with brightly colored graphic images, as well as materials documenting her commissioned work, including the United States Postal Service 22-cent Love Stamp and the Boston Gas rainbow tank. The papers were processed by Jessica Tanny. The finding aid is available online.

    The collection Letters to Ms., 1970-1998, contains letters to the editor of Ms. magazine and related documents. Created in 1971 by Gloria Steinem and fellow journalists, activists, and feminists, Ms. is a national monthly magazine, published and written by women to provide a forum for women and women's issues. The collection (27 linear feet) includes letters from women, men, and young people from throughout the United States and the world; they describe personal experiences and problems, or praise or criticize specific articles or the magazine in general. Sexist advertising appearing in Ms. and other media is a particular focus of many letters. The collection was processed by Emilyn Brown and Mary O. Murphy. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of professor, novelist, and biographer Elzbieta Ettinger (1924-2005) include 12 linear feet of notes, drafts, and correspondence relating to her research on the lives of Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt, as well as her novel Kindergarten, a semi-autobiographical work relating her experiences surviving World War II in Poland. The papers also contain documentation from her time at Radcliffe College as a Radcliffe Fellow and lecturer in the Radcliffe Seminars, and her career as Professor of Rhetoric and Literature at MIT. The collection was processed by Laura Peimer. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of social worker and domestic violence activist Susan Schechter (1946-2004) consist of nearly 39 linear feet of material related to her work as a domestic violence activist. They include correspondence, speeches, drafts, grant materials, conference proceedings, subject files, clippings, photographs, audiotapes (many consisting of interviews of battered women), and videotapes. The collection was processed by Mark Vassar. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of Florynce ("Flo") Kennedy (1916-2000), African American lawyer, feminist, activist, and civil rights advocate, document Kennedy's legal career as well as her life-long involvement with political and social causes including Black liberation, feminism, media awareness and consumer protection, reproductive rights, and discrimination. Among the first African American women to graduate from Columbia Law School (1951), Kennedy represented the estates of jazz legends Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, and became involved with the defense of various high-profile criminal cases, including Valerie Solanas (the woman who shot Andy Warhol), and Black Panthers H. Rap Brown and Assata Shakur, before eventually becoming a professional activist and lecturer. Dubbed by the 1970s popular press as "radicalism's rudest mouth," she cultivated a reputation for her distinct personal style and colorful language as a social critic. Her more outspoken actions include protesting the Miss America Pageant, organizing a "pee-in" in Harvard Yard, co-founding the Feminist Party, which nominated Shirley Chisholm for president, and initiating a law suit against the Catholic Church, protesting that its strong anti-abortion stance violated the principles governing tax-exempt organizations. The 14.45 linear feet collection includes biographical materials, some correspondence, legal documents, drafts, writings, and photographs; in addition there are hundreds of video recordings of the Flo Kennedy Show, a thirty-minute talk show that aired regularly on Manhattan Cable Television from the 1980s through the early 1990s. Processing of the collection by Marilyn Morgan was made possible by a gift from the Ardis B. James Fund. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of Irene Davall (1916-2000), feminist writer, lecturer, and political activist, are newly processed and are open for research. In 1971 Davall became the national coordinator of the Feminist Party; she also produced a syndicated column, "The Liberated Woman." The 1 file box collection includes drafts of a manuscript, "Voices of Restless Women: Speaking of Their Struggle for Change in the 1970s," compiled by Davall and Phyllis Sanders. The finding is available online.

    The papers of lesbian singer, songwriter, and activist Alix Dobkin (1940- ) contain 11 linear feet of business correspondence, fan mail, fliers and programs from concerts, subject files, t-shirts, photographs, and memorabilia, dating from 1973 to 2004. Dobkin was one of the first musicians to record music exclusively for lesbians, and she has been an outspoken advocate of women-only space. The collection includes organizational material and correspondence related to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival; ephemera and correspondence relating to lesbian and women-only music and social events; and many t-shirts from women's music events and performers. The collection was processed by Jenny Gotwals with support from the Radcliffe College Classes of 1950 and 1956. The finding aid is available online.

    The 17.3 linear feet of papers of Charlotte Curtis (1928-1987), 1928-1987 (inclusive), 1950-1981 (bulk), include correspondence, drafts of articles, published articles, notebooks, printed materials, photographs, etc. From 1950 to 1961, Curtis was a society reporter and editor for the Columbus Citizen. In 1961, she joined the New York Times, where she was a reporter (1961-1987), women's news editor (1965-1972), family style editor (1972-1974), editor of the Op-Ed page (1974-1982), associate editor (the first woman to attain the rank there, 1974-1987), and weekly columnist (1982-1987). The collection was processed by Johanna Carll. The finding aid is available online .

    The papers of Lucile Atcherson Curtis (1894-1986), 1863-1986 (inclusive), 1917-1927 (bulk), include 4.8 linear feet of correspondence, diaries, printed materials, photographs, etc. From 1917 to 1921, Curtis was an aid worker in France for the American Fund for French Wounded and the American Committee for Devastated France, for which she was awarded the Medaille de la Reconnaissance Francaise. In 1922 she became the first woman appointed to the United States Diplomatic Service; her first assignment was to the Division of Latin American Affairs in the Department of State in Washington, D.C., with site visits to Panama and Haiti (1922-1925). From 1925 to 1927, she served as Third Secretary of the Legation at Berne, Switzerland, and was then transferred to serve as Third Secretary of the Legation in Panama. Curtis resigned from the Foreign Service on September 19, 1927, to marry. She had two daughters: Charlotte Murray Curtis (1928-1987) and Mary (Curtis) Davey (born 1930). The collection was processed by Johanna Carll. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of the Stark family, 1683-1985 (inclusive), 1850-1978 (bulk) are now open for research at the Schlesinger Library. John Henry Stark emigrated from England to Boston, Massachusetts, in the mid-19th century, eventually settling in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He married Mary Elizabeth Ann A'Court; they had one son, James Henry Stark. He later married Mary Browning with whom he had a son, Frederick John Stark. Frederick Stark married Bertha Harris Scott; they had three daughters, Mary Ethel Stark, Marguerite Scott Stark, and Natalie Corona Stark. Marguerite married journalist and editor Paul Bellamy and lived in Cleveland, Ohio. Natalie married Errol Edgerton Crouter, and they lived in the Philippines; they were interned along with their two children by the Japanese during World War II, and later resided in Cleveland. The collection contains 41 linear feet of correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, financial records, photographs, etc., documenting the lives of Bertha and Frederick Stark and their daughters, as well as other members of the Stark family. Also included are four versions of the diary Natalie kept during her internment, a version of which was published in 1980 as Forbidden Diary: A Record of Wartime Internment, 1941-1945. The collection was processed by Johanna Carll. The finding aid is available online.

    The papers of Mary Lee (1891-1982), 1834-1982 (inclusive), 1915-1949 (bulk), contain 22.31 linear feet of correspondence, articles, financial files, family genealogy and correspondence by Dove and Lee family members, and photographs. Lee was a canteen worker in France during World War I, a journalist in New York City in the 1920s, and a freelance journalist, living both in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and her family's vacation home in Westport, New York, from the 1930s to the 1980s. Documentation for her two books (the award-winning World War I era book, "It's a Great War!" and History of Chestnut Hill Chapel) include typescripts, work and correspondence files, and photographs. The collection was processed by Stacey Flatt. The finding aid is available online here.

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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, 2009


    Send to Sammie Morris at

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