Technical Services at Mudd Library: What do they do?

Ever wonder what some of the staff here at Mudd spend their time working on? Our Technical Services department has been hard at work and here is a quick summary of what they have completed!

Maureen Callahan: Public Policy Papers Project Archivist

Maureen has been supervising the final inventory work for the Bill Bradley papers, working with Dan Linke on an exhibit about Woodrow Wilson and the 1912 election, and writing help text for the new finding aids site, which is now in beta testing, (along with her usual reference and accessioning work). She is also organizing a June 26 Delaware Valley Archivists’ Group meeting about copyright, copyfraud and rights & permissions policies in archives.

Lynn Durgin: Special Collections Assistant for Technical Services

Lynn worked with ProQuest, the Graduate School and OIT to implement a policy change on Publishing Options for Princeton University Dissertations, which now allows for dissertation embargoes in ProQuest and in Princeton’s DataSpace.  She also completed processing of 13 University Archives accessions.

Adriane Hanson: Economic Papers Project Archivist

Adriane is wrapping up the 2-year grant project to process 2,500 linear feet of American Civil Liberties Union Records, which will be completed in June.  This month, she finished the finding aid for the last series, so we now have the description of the entire collection online and researchers have started to come use it, and we physically put the boxes in order.  She also started planning for the next phase of the Daily Princetonian digitization project, which will be for the years 2003-present and will repurpose PDFs saved by the Daily Princetonian staff where possible.

Christie Peterson: University Archives Project Archivist

Christie completed reconciling the results of last summer’s P collection (Princetoniana) shelf read with Voyager (our cataloging system). She continued to investigate tools and methods for accessioning and managing born-digital materials in the archives through a site visit with electronic records archivists at Yale University. She also integrated additions to 12 different collections, oversaw the processing of another collection by a Special Collections Assistant, and met with developers from OIT to plan and move forward on the creation of a new web interface for the redesigned photograph, AV and memorabilia databases.

The group also discussed readings selected by Lynn from Controlling the Past: Documenting Society and Institutions, Essays in Honor of Helen Willa Samuels. The selections (one by Richard Katz and Paul Gandel and one by Elizabeth Yakel) reflect on documentation strategy in the context of the digital age and social media.

Questions? Email: Mudd Library

Mr. Madison’s War: A Handful of Princeton Perspectives

By: Amanda Pike

Today marks the bicentennial of the official declaration of the War of 1812. While the war itself had little influence on the daily experiences of Princeton students, on occasion, these students would witness soldiers passing through town on their way to the conflict. Some of these encounters were detailed in student correspondence to family members, and these letters also address the public sentiment towards the war and the tumultuous political climate that provided its impetus. A few examples of these writings are highlighted below.

The first excerpt is from a letter written by James Mercer Garnett, Jr., Class of 1814, to his mother, Mary E. Garnett of Pittsville, Virginia. Dated June 16, 1812, two days before President James Madison (a fellow Princetonian, Class of 1771) officially declared war on Great Britain, Garnett wrote his letter while traveling through Washington, D.C. on his way to Princeton. Meanwhile, Congress deliberated Madison’s grievances with England, which included British trade restrictions with France, British support of indigenous resistance to American expansionism, impressment of American soldiers in the British Royal Navy, and British seizure of American ships.

As I probably shall not have an opportunity to write, on the way between here and Princeton; I take the opportunity while my Father is writing, to let you know we have got so far safe on our journey….I have not time to say much more now, as we are going to the Cappitol (sic) in a few minutes. Tell Uncle Mercer that the recruiting business goes on very slowly here; & that in stead (sic) of the 17 thousand men that are reported in our neighbourhood to have enlisted; the Secretary at war says there are only between three and five thousand. I fancy all the reports about what the senate have done are false, their doors are still closed; I expect we shall know what they have determined on tomorrow; the general oppinion (sic) about here is that we shall have war, although they say the public sentiment seems to be much against it….
Student Writings and Correspondence Collection (AC334, Box 9)

After several days of deliberation, the House of Representatives voted 79 to 49 for a declaration of war, and the Senate agreed by a vote of 19 to 13. On June 18, 1812, Madison signed this measure into law, becoming the first U.S. President to declare war on another nation.

The following excerpt is from a letter written by Walter Kirkpatrick, Class of 1813, to his cousin, Maria Cobb of Morristown, New Jersey dated July 6, 1812. In the letter, Kirkpatrick addresses the recent declaration of war, and the anticipated effect it will have on the college. He writes:

…War is indeed declared, yet it will not have that effect on this institution which you seemed to imagine it would have, the probability is that we shall continue here as we have done as idle spectators of the scene, since no student is obliged to perform military duty while he is a member of college ….Wednesday last a company of about one hundred soldiers passed through this place on their way to New York – They had with them 12 pieces of cannon, each piece being able to carry a ball of six pounds weight, and men followed at a considerable distance by four very large baggage-wagons guarded by about twenty soldiers…

Undergraduate Alumni Records (AC104, Box 73)

Walter Kirkpatrick letter, envelope

Continue reading

She Roars. We Record.

By: Q Miceli ’12

A year ago, after the introductory slideshow at the She Roars Conference for female Princeton graduates and students, various audience members asked President Shirley Tilghman if there was a museum or other exhibit documenting the history of women at Princeton. I remember President Tilghman directing the conference participants to Mudd Library if they were interested in learning more about the history of coeducation at Princeton. Mudd has featured an exhibit this year called “She Flourishes: Chapters in the History of Princeton Women,” However, Wikipedia articles about Princeton women created using University archives resources would enhance the online accessibility of this information, while ensuring its reliability.

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Enter the idea of hosting another Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Mudd, this time on the theme of Women at Princeton. Wikimedia Community Fellow Sarah Stierch’s recent interview on CBC Radio 2, in which she discussed the Wikipedia gender gap and the fates of articles about women in academia, inspired me to organize this even to highlight the contributions women have made to Princeton as an institution and to help close the Wikipedia gender gap.

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With help from members of the Wikimedia of NYC chapter, new Wikipedia editors teamed up with experienced Wikipedians in order to research and create articles for the history of women at Princeton, Coeducation at Princeton, and a few notable faculty and staff members. By the end of the day, we had drafts of articles in a few different users’ sandboxes on Wikipedia and an article on coeducation that is ready for expansion.

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Sophomore Anna Kornfeld Simpson wins a gold star for using the most books in the reference room while researching women engineers at Princeton!

By the numbers, we had:
*Total participants: 15
*Princeton students: 4
*Usernames created: 5

Article Creations
*Coeducation at Princeton University
*Karin Trainer
*History of Women at Princeton University
*Margot Canaday

Article Expansions
*Elaine Pagels
*Evelyn College for Women
*Addition of the first editrix of The Daily Princetonian, Anne C. Mackay-Smith ’80 and the first woman business manager, Judy E. Piper ’76

Wikimedia Commons Category
*http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Women_at_Princeton_editathon

We invite you to keep the momentum going by checking the meetup page, choosing a topic, and contributing your time and article-writing talent.

Check in with us on Twitter @muddlibrary and Facebook

The Daily Princetonian is digitized and keyword searchable

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The Princeton University Archives, working in conjunction with the Princeton University Library Digital Initiatives, has nearly completed a monumental project that will change the way researchers investigate University history. The student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, has been digitized from its inception in 1876 through 2002. The site has been available in beta for almost two years, but all issues will be loaded as of June 30, 2012. At the suggestion of The Daily Princetonian alumni board who have been among the prime backers of this project, the site is named in honor of the newspaper’s long-serving production manager Larry Dupraz, and researchers are able to perform sophisticated keyword searches that can unlock the vast richness of the daily newspaper that documents so much of the University’s history. (For the years 2002- present, users may search online via the Daily Prince site.)

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“I wrote my final paper for my Freshman Writing Seminar about how the presence of veterans on Princeton’s campus following World War II affected Princeton’s academic environment and social atmosphere,” said Jennifer Klingman ’13. “My research heavily relied on The Daily Princetonian archives, and I had to spend a lot of time and energy searching for relevant articles in Firestone’s microform versions of the newspaper. It was difficult to comb through the articles, and as a result my research was limited in scope. This spring, I wrote my history department junior paper on academic and social changes taking place at Princeton during the late 1940s and 1950s. The online Daily Princetonian archives proved to be invaluable. I was able to access the archives anywhere and at any time, and use the archives’ search function to find a number of extremely useful articles. My independent work has definitely benefited from the existence of the online archives.”

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Freelance journalist W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 states “I am able to write about the social history of Princeton in an entirely new way and have restructured my research to take full advantage of this exciting new resource. For my Princeton Alumni Weekly article on the early history of automobiles at Princeton, the Dupraz Digital Archives allowed me to identify every reference to cars as early as 1901, to pinpoint who owned them and what kinds. I would never have attempted this article without The Dupraz Digital Archives.”

Maynard’s PAW colleague, Gregg Lange ’70, regularly uses the site for his column, “Rally Round the Cannon,” which examines and appraises University history. “You can piece together the story of Princeton football or Woodrow Wilson in a dozen ways. But the unique accessibility of a daily publication allows more subtle topics to arise and recede, and for cross-generational tales to emerge. Be it Ella Fitzgerald singing at a Princeton dance at age 19, then receiving an honorary degree 54 years later; or student revolts against the clubs’ Bicker selection system in 1917 and 1940 presaging its loss of monopoly in 1968, the combination of detail and long view is indispensable in understanding the ethos of the institution over time, and essentially inaccessible without the DuPraz technology and precision. And existentially, if I never see another microfiche in my life I will die a happy man.”

Maynard added, “My regular column in PAW, “From Princeton’s Vault,” has benefited enormously. Recently I was able to identify the earliest references to Princetonians as “tigers,” which had been guesswork previously. It turns out we were wrong by a decade.

This has been an international project, with the newspapers sent from Princeton to Brechin Imaging in Canada, where TIFF images are generated using high end German cameras. The files are then sent via a hard drive to Cambodia, where Digital Divide Data analyzes the structure of each page and uses an optical character recognition (OCR) program to derive machine-readable text, which allows for keyword searching. The hard drive is then shipped to Austin, Texas, where the US office of New Zealand company DL Consulting loads the data into a content-management system called Veridian, which supports searching and browsing, online reading, article extraction and printing, and other features.

Within the library, many hands have worked for this project’s success. At Mudd Library, project archivists Dan Brennan and then Adriane Hanson have overseen the day-to-day work of the project, managing the shipment of the newspapers to Brechin, as well as supervising students with the quality control phase. University Archivist Dan Linke raised the funds from various University and alumni sources and coordinated the project.

Within the greater Library system, Cliff Wulfman, the Library’s Digital Initiatives Coordinator, took the lead in writing the Request for Proposals and then selecting and coordinating the work with DDD, as well as providing technical assistance, support and vision. The Library System Office’s Antonio Barrera designed the front end web page with Phil Menos providing server support, and Deputy University Librarian and Systems Librarian Marvin Bielawski allocated the funds to acquire the Veridian software.

The project employs the METS/ALTO markup standard, the same used by the Library of Congress’s Newspaper Digitization Project, which means that as software changes and improves, we will be able to sustain this resource for many years to come.

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Applying “More Product, Less Process” to very large collections: Mudd archivist presents at professional conference

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Recently project archivist Adriane Hanson participated in a panel at the recent spring conference of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) in Cape May, NJ. The topic of her talk was how she is handling the size of her current project, processing 2,500 linear feet of the records of the American Civil Liberties Union Records in a two-year project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
In a nutshell, this feat is accomplished by:
1. Stay on top of the schedule through careful project management, collecting metrics to have realistic data on how long each task requires, and frequently revisiting and adjusting the timeline of the project.
2. Be flexible about the workflow, examining the way you have always done things and adjusting as needed to better work with a massive collection.
3. Think of it as data management. Use tools to repurpose data from one step of the project to another, and to analyze and transform the data once the box inventories are complete.
4. Spend extra time writing descriptions about each part of the collection to provide the researcher with important keywords to search for and context to understand the significance of the section. But do not spend time on description that is not aiding in searching, such as lists of document types in the collection inventory. Time should be spent on value-added description.
The slides and text for her presentation are available here.
If you have any questions for her, you can reach her by email: ahanson@princeton.edu

University Archives featured in Princeton Alumni Weekly

Every few weeks the Princeton Alumni Weekly focuses one segment of the magazine to highlight items from the Princeton University Archives entitled "From the Vault."

The articles are researched and written by alumnus W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 who has been contributing the content to the PAW for two years. Mr. Maynard has also written a few books, two focusing on Princeton, which you can see here. The concept of the articles originated with Editor Marilyn H. Marks *86 who has an interest in the University Archives, which are housed at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. http://www.princeton.edu/mudd/

The most recent article focuses on a former Princeton alumni who was aboard the Titanic when it sank. http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2012/04/04/pages/7288/

Recently PAW photographer Riccardo Barros and Art Director Marianne Gaffney Nelson came to Mudd to photograph physical items included in the collections for upcoming issues of the PAW. Here you can see a behind the scene’s view of how those articles come to life.
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Keep checking the next few issues of the PAW to see these items explained!!
For more about the University Archives click here.

Scholarship Available for Graduate Students

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Lynd Ward, acrylic painting on Japanese paper. Cotsen Children’s Library.

The Friends of the Princeton University Library Prize for
Outstanding Scholarship by a Princeton Graduate Student
First Prize: $1,500 + Publication
Second Prize: $500 + Publication
Competition for Essays Written in the 2011-2012 Academic Year

The Council of the Friends of the Princeton University Library invites students enrolled in all departments of Princeton University’s Graduate School to compete for the Prize for Outstanding Scholarship by a Graduate Student. First and second prizes will be awarded for essays based on research in one or more divisions of the Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections–Cotsen Children’s Library, Graphic Arts, Historic Maps, Manuscripts, Numismatics, Public Policy Papers, Rare Books, University Archives, Western Americana–and/or in the associated Scheide Library, Marquand Library, and East Asian Library. Essays of all lengths and on all topics will be considered. To be eligible, authors must be enrolled in a Princeton University graduate program in the academic year 2011-2012. Essays will be judged on scholarly merit and creative use of Special Collections materials.

The winners will be announced on October 15, 2012, and the winning essays will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle.

To enter an essay in this competition, send one copy (file attachment or printout) and a completed application form to: Gretchen Oberfranc, Princeton University Library Chronicle, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library. (Electronic submissions may be sent to goberfra@princeton.edu.) Application forms are available online at www.princeton.edu/~rbsc/new/application-12.pdf. Entries may be sent at any time but must be received by August 17, 2012. For further information, call 609-258-7093 or write or send e-mail to Ms. Oberfranc.

Additional ACLU Collections Available

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There are now 3 more American Civil Liberties Union finding aids available online and accessible to the public:

Series 2: Project Files
The Project Files series contains the records of twelve of the ACLU’s projects, which each addressed an area of civil liberties violations. Project records typically consist of case files, research files, project publicity correspondence. The best documented projects are the Children’s Rights Project Women’s Rights Project, to a lesser extent the Arts Censorship Project, Capital Punishment Project, Reproductive Freedom Project.
Series 3: Subject Files
The Subject Files series contains articles, reports, court documents, and other materials collected by the ACLU during the course of their work. The main subjects are drugs, homelessness, and Supreme Court nominations, largely of Robert Bork. Other significant subjects in the series include campaign finance, discrimination, environmental equity and racism, school pension plans, state constitutions, and welfare.
Series 4: Legal Case Files
The Legal Case Files series documents the ACLU’s involvement in litigation, ranging from files collected on cases for research purposes to records of cases they were significantly involved in. The records include documents filed with the court, correspondence, lawyer’s notes, depositions and expert testimony, transcripts of the trials, newspaper clippings, and research materials on the background of the case and legal precedent.
The Legal Case Files series contains records about over 1,500 cases, with the majority being files collected on non-ACLU cases for research on the broad range of civil liberties which the ACLU investigates. Common subjects include the separation of church and state, public education, racial and sexual discrimination, injustice in the legal system, illegal surveillance and search, and protecting the freedom of speech and expression, as well as politics and voting, information access and privacy, fair employment and health care practices, and immigration. Cases which are particularly well documented include Carlos Rivera v. John Rowland about the public defender system in Connecticut and three cases about public education: Brown v. Board of Education, Charlet v. Legislature of Louisiana, and Harper v. Hunt.

For more information about the ACLU collections check out our recent post:
http://blogs.princeton.edu/mudd/2012/03/american-civil-liberties-union-records-new-series-available.html

-Adriane Hanson

American Civil Liberties Union Records: First New Series Available

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Researchers can start using some newly open American Civil Liberties Union Records ahead of schedule!

Series 1: Organizational Matters is now open for research by using the following finding aid. http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/x346d492c

This series is part of an ongoing two-year project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to process 2,500 linear feet of ACLU records, largely from 1970 to 2000. Each series will be made available as processing is completed, with the entire project scheduled to end on July 1, 2012. Look for Series 2: Project Files and Series 3: Subject Files to be made available in April.

Series 1: Organizational Matters documents the inner workings of the ACLU. These records take you behind the scenes as individuals at the national office, regional offices, and affiliates negotiate the ACLU’s official position on emerging civil liberties issues. Executive Director Ira Glasser’s papers shed light into the complicated management of one of the nation’s preeminent civil liberties organizations. Within the correspondence, meeting minutes, and position papers, you can see the ACLU shape strategies to try cases, combat restrictive legislation, and mobilize public opinion to support the ACLU’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. At 472 linear feet, this series holds a wealth of potential for anyone looking at a late 20th century civil liberties issue or the U.S. policy-making process.

The public is welcome to visit the Mudd Library to conduct research within these materials. For more information on the ACLU collections, search our finding aids, and you can always get help by emailing us at mudd@princeton.edu.

–Adriane Hanson

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Mudd Library

by: Q Miceli
A group of sixteen enthusiastic volunteers, including Princeton undergraduates, Princeton community members, Wikipedians from the Wikimedia-New York City, and Mudd Library staff, gathered in the Wiess Lounge on Saturday, 18 February 2012, to write and update Princetoniana Wikipedia articles.
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In July 2011, I participated in an edit-a-thon about the Armory Show at the Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C. A Wikipedia edit-a-thon is a gathering of individuals creating Wikipedia articles and uploading media related to a theme, events, subjects, or places. Once I saw firsthand how GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) institutions and Wikipedia can benefit one another, I returned to Princeton and my student job at the Princeton University Archives inspired to act on this experience. After discussing the idea with University Archivist Dan Linke, we decided to host an edit-a-thon in February with the theme of “A Valentine for Princeton.” The goal was to have participants update pages on Princeton’s presidents and other Princetoniana materials.
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On the day of the event, after introductions over pizza and Indian food, I gave a brief PowerPoint presentation describing basic principles of Wikipedia articles: notability, neutral point of view, reliable sources, and individual accountability. Reference Archivist Christie Peterson introduced the reference room and the sources available for participants to browse. After that, we were off!
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Choosing topics.
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Discussing the finer points of Wikipedia.
While writing articles about topics such as Seeley G. Mudd Library to the Putnam Collection of Sculpture to the East Asian Studies Department, and updating articles about the Log College, the Two Dickinson Street Co-op, and the Joseph Henry House, we used reference room publications and online resources to increase the number and reliability of Wikipedia articles about Princeton University.
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Princeton resident Mimi Omiecinski said about the event, “My family was so impressed that I was doing this today.” Wikimedian Pete took photos of the nearby eating clubs to update their pages. A Free Culture Chorus recorded a rendition of “Old Nassau”, and both the pictures and the recording are available on the Wikimedia Commons website for the event: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Editathon,_Princeton_University. We challenge any Princeton University a cappella group to upload an animoso version of “Old Nassau.”

By the numbers, we had:

16 attendees
6 usernames created
4 articles created
9 articles expanded

We look forward to holding more edit-a-thons in the future!

For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Princeton_University_Edit-a-thon