Drawing from more than 1,600 photographs taken in rural China between 1913 and 1917, the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University is hosting an exhibition based on the collection of the American diplomat John Van Antwerp MacMurray (1881-1960).
Nine Dragon Mountain near T’an Che Ssu, September 1914 (MacMurray Photograph Additions, Volume VI, #22)
“Capturing China, 1913-1929: Photographs, Films and Letters of Diplomat John Van Antwerp MacMurray” will be on view from Friday, Oct. 5, through Friday, Jan. 18, 2008. In addition to photos, the exhibit features sixteen-millimeter films shot by MacMurray in 1928. University of Pennsylvania historian Arthur Waldron, who has studied MacMurray’s work, delivered a well-received lecture at the exhibition’s opening on Saturday, Oct. 20.
MacMurray, a 1902 Princeton graduate, was secretary to the American Legation in Peking from 1913 to 1917 and served as U.S. ambassador from 1925 to 1929. In between, he served as counselor of the embassy in Japan from 1917 to 1919 and chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs in the State Department from 1919 to 1924. He also was a member of the American Commission to the International Conference on Limitation of Armaments in Washington, D.C., serving as principal adviser on Pacific and Far Eastern affairs from 1921 to 1922. MacMurray was a strong believer in international law, and in 1922 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published his compilation of all treaties and agreements concerning China made between 1894 and 1919. His recommendations to enforce existing treaties rather than make concessions to the Chinese Nationalists, however, alienated him from his superiors and ultimately led to his resignation in 1929.
The University Archives has posted a working draft of Record Retention Guidelines and Schedules on its website at http://www.princeton.edu/records/ (You will need to enter your NetID to access the site.)
These schedules can help you and your staff more easily access record retention and document destruction guidelines for the common sets of records in your departments. This consolidates information from several sources and I hope you will find it easier to use.
Many University employees are responsible for maintaining university records so that the University complies with state and federal requirements. Even where retention of records is not legally required, there still may be important reasons to keep them for the proper administration and documentation of University business. The University encourages all supervisors to maintain good recordkeeping systems, whether in paper or electronic form or both.
Staff at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University have recently completed a project aimed at providing online access to all of the Mudd Library’s collections, both processed and unprocessed.
In addition to a number of ambitious processing projects, in the fall of 2006 the library began a retro-conversion project, resulting in the conversion of all legacy electronic finding aids to Encoded Archival Description. Collection-level MARC cataloging was completed for all collections lacking finding aids, and the MARC records were then converted to EAD, primarily through the use of XSL stylesheets and Terry Reese’s MarcEdit software. With the new EAD finding aids, descriptive records, at at least the collection level, for all of Mudd’s collections are discoverable in the Princeton University Library’s OPAC, the Department of Rare Books and Special Collection’s EAD website, union catalogs and databases such as OCLC’s WorldCat and ArchiveGrid, and via common internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo. As of November 2007, 478 records for Mudd Library collections are available.
Staff will continue to add to the collection-level records through the creation of series, box, or file-level inventories. The Mudd Library is also currently revising accessioning procedures in order to ensure that both collection-level MARC records and EAD finding aids are produced at the time of accessioning. We also plan to increasingly link finding aids to digital surrogates of material in collections and to explore additional ways for users to interact with finding aids and the material that they represent.
For additional information please visit the Princeton University Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Finding Aids website at: http://diglib.princeton.edu/ead or contact Dan Santamaria, Assistant University Archivist for Technical Services.
I am pleased to announce the creation of this blog to keep you up-to-date on the news and activities of the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. Watch this space or subscribe to our feed for news on new collections, exhibitions, finding aids and other information concerning activities related to the Princeton University Archives and the Public Policy Papers. The staff of the Mudd Library continues to work to make our holdings accessible in various ways using both traditional and new methods, and this blog will inform you about all that is available.
If you have any comments, please use our comment feature. We look forward to communicating with the University community and beyond through this blog.
Daniel J. Linke,
University Archivist and Curator of Public Policy Papers