Forrestal Digitization Completes Grant’s First Phase

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First page of Forrestal's letter resigning as Secretary of Defense. James V. Forrestal Papers (MC051), Box 151. http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/MC051/c05118

First page of Forrestal’s letter resigning as Secretary of Defense, dated March 2, 1949. James V. Forrestal Papers (MC051), Box 151. http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/MC051/c05118

James V. Forrestal ‘15, known to members of the Princeton community as the namesake of the James Forrestal Campus, served as Secretary of the Navy and as the first Secretary of Defense. The Mudd Library is the home of the James V. Forrestal Papers, and Mudd recently digitized Forrestal’s diaries dating from 1941-1949. The diaries document Forrestal’s tenure with the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense. Some notable entries include Forrestal’s notes from the federal investigation of the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack and his reflections on the role of the soon-to-be formed National Security Council the day before the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. His diaries also include the letter he wrote to Harry S. Truman resigning as Secretary of Defense in March 1949. These and other diary entries, along with over 50 boxes of Forrestal’s alphabetical correspondence, are now available to researchers online by clicking on the folder titles listed in the finding aid.

The completed digitization of sections of the Forrestal Papers marks the end of the first phase of a grant awarded to the Mudd Library by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). During the first phase of the project, portions of the Forrestal Papers, Council on Foreign Relations Records, Adlai Stevenson Papers, Allen W. Dulles Papers, and George Kennan Papers were scanned with the help of an outside vendor. Over 255,000 pages of archival material are now available online from these five collections.

Our overhead Zeutschel scanner

Our overhead Zeutschel scanner

The Mudd Library is now embarking on the second stage of the project, in which we plan to complete the digitization in-house. During this phase, we will scan over 146,000 pages from the John Foster Dulles Papers. This collection is a particularly good candidate for digitization, not only because of its importance to the study of the Cold War, but also because the collection exists in a variety of formats that will make it possible for us to experiment with different scanning techniques. Some papers will be digitized with an overhead scanner, while parts of a duplicate correspondence run will be scanned through a sheet-fed, networked photocopier. Parts of the collection were previously microfilmed, so we will also use a microfilm scanner.

By the project’s end, we will have collected enough data to generate useful statistics on the rates of production and costs of the different methods of digitization we employed. These statistics will help us determine how to direct our digitization efforts going forward and will be shared with the wider archival community in the hopes that other archives can benefit from our experience.

Future blog posts will continue to detail the project’s progress. For more information about the Digitizing the Origins of the Cold War project, see some of our previous posts.

The University Archives and its Focus on Fixity

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) has designated today as Electronic Records Day and we’d like to use this occasion to provide updates about our efforts to preserve and provide access to born-digital archival records within the University Archives. I wrote about born-digital records in a previous blog post, but as a reminder, challenges unique to born-digital records include bit rot, technological obsolescence, and file authenticity.

Because the last challenge, authenticity, is such a vital piece of the archival puzzle, the Princeton University Archives recently revised its instructions for donors who transfer or donate archival materials containing digital records. You can find those procedures freely available on our website, so rather than repeat them here, it’s more useful to explain why we made the change. Our new policies better reflect a core property that helps archivists demonstrate the authenticity of digital records: fixity.

Archivists understand fixity to be verifiable evidence that a digital file has remained the same over time or across a series of events. Any number of things could impact a file’s fixity, from the purely mundane to the absolute sinister; a person opens a file to delete a punctuation mark or a virus attacks a server to corrupt every sixth block of data on a disk. To generate fixity information at the University Archives, we rely on cryptographic hash values, known in other circles as checksums. Computer programs produce these unique alphanumeric characters by using a variety of hash algorithms, with Message Digest (specifically MD5) and Secure Hash Algorithm (specifically SHA-1 and SHA-256) being the most widely used in archives and libraries.

Examples of MD5 cryptographic hash values

Examples of MD5 cryptographic hash values

With these cryptographic hash values created for each file, Mudd archivists are able to compile a manifest—yes, similar to a ship’s or flight manifest—and later verify if all the files that made it on board the ship (or disk or server or flash drive) are the same as those currently aboard; no additions, no subtractions, and no alterations.

After a transfer is complete, we can quickly verify fixity on each file using our newly installed Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED). Running a highly customized Ubuntu Linux operating system tailored to meet the needs of archivists and librarians handling born-digital records, this machine is capable of verifying checksums as well as reading most contemporary varieties of solid-state, magnetic, and optical media. I’ll share more about FRED in a future post.

Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED)

Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED)

While it’s no secret that cryptographic hash algorithms occasionally “collide”—which is to say, a program might assign the same hash value to more than one file—and that well-known attacks have occurred on different algorithms, such instances are extremely rare and an archival repository can safeguard against collision by using more than one algorithm, which Mudd most certainly does. Nonetheless, the focus on fixity is one of many ways the University Archives is working to secure tomorrow’s digital history today, by providing future users with authentic digital records. Happy Electronic Records Day!

How to Search for, Find, and View Princeton University Senior Theses

The University Archives has launched an online archive of senior theses, and now there are new ways to search for, find, and view Princeton University senior theses.

Senior theses created between 1924 and 2012:

Theses created between 1924 and 2012 are in paper format or on microfiche, and can only be viewed in the Mudd Manuscript Library Reading Room.

To find and request a thesis from 1924 to 2012:

  • Go to Books+ and enter the author’s name, title (or portion of the title)
  • When search results appear, choose “Senior Thesis” under resource type (on the left side of the screen), which will limit your results only to senior theses

senior thesis resource type

  • Choose the thesis record by clicking on the title
  • Go to the “Locations and Availability” tab, then click the blue button that says “Reading Room Request”
  • You will be prompted to log in with your netid (PU students, faculty and staff) or to create an account as a non-Princeton University Patron
  • Come to the Mudd Library to view the thesis during our hours of operation and let us know that you have a request in the system

Senior theses created in 2013:

All senior theses created in 2013 are in PDF format, but they are only viewable in full text at the computers in the reference room of the Mudd Library (i.e. “Walk-in Access”). You do not need to request 2013 theses prior to visiting the library. To see the listing for 2013 theses, visit the Senior Thesis Community page. Further DataSpace search tips follow.

Senior theses created in 2014 and in the future:

All 2014 senior theses are in PDF format, and most are accessible on any computer connected to the Princeton University network. A small percentage of theses are subject to temporary restrictions (embargo) or are restricted to computers in the reference room of the Mudd Library (i.e. “Walk-in Access”).

To search for 2013, 2014 (and future) theses, visit the Senior Thesis Community page in DataSpace.

Use the search box to enter the author’s name, the title, or keywords.

human_rights-eg

You can limit the search to a specific department by using the dropdown box labeled “In”.

WWS_human rights

To find a thesis written by a specific author:

Use the Browse button “Author” to see an alphabetical list of authors in the system.

eng_author_browse

Then click on a name to see an author’s thesis.

english_author_list

To find theses advised by a specific advisor:

Use the Browse button “Author” (which also includes advisors’ names) to see an alphabetical list of advisors in the system. Click on the name to see the theses advised by this person. Please note, there may be multiple forms of name for each advisor, so check under each of the name entries for that individual (e.g. Anthony Grafton, Anthony T. Grafton, Anthony Thomas Grafton).

If you have questions, please contact us at mudd@princeton.edu

WWI European Pamphlet Collection Now Available Online

Written by Elizabeth Bennett

1914: War Breaks Out in Europe!

We are pleased to announce the availability of a large digital collection of pamphlets documenting World War I in Europe. These pamphlets were collected by the Princeton University Library starting from the outbreak of the war, as part of a larger European War Collection, and later renamed the Western European Theater Political Pamphlet Collection. They cover a broad range of topics including the economy, the press, the military, arms, territorial disputes, and others. The collection also includes speeches, sermons, bulletins, calendars, and songbooks. It is a multi-lingual collection with material in English, German, French, Italian, Russian, and other languages and reflects the views of people on all sides of the war.
War_Facts_and_Figures

Access to the online digitized pamphlets is through the finding aid for the collection. For additional information, please contact History Librarian Elizabeth Bennett or the Mudd Library.

Allen Dulles and the Warren Commission

The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death on Friday, November 22, has brought renewed attention to the Warren Commission and its conclusions on the assassination.  Then-retired CIA Director Allen Dulles served on the commission and the Mudd Manuscript

Warren Commission; F.B.I Investigation Report: Visual Aids, circa 1964: http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/MC019/c01586

Warren Commission; F.B.I Investigation Report: Visual Aids, circa 1964: http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/MC019/c01586

Library recently digitized five boxes of Dulles’ personal files documenting his work on the commission as part of our NHPRC funded large-scale digitization project.  Images and downloadable PDFs of every folder related to Dulles’ Warren Commission work are available by clicking on any of the folder titles from the Warren Commission section of our finding aid for the Allen Dulles Papers.

 

The Warren Commission material includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, preliminary drafts of the final Commission report, clippings, articles and interviews relating to Dulles’ service on the Warren Commission. The correspondence includes incoming and outgoing notes and letters, articles and clippings. Correspondents range from members of the Commission to citizens offering their own analysis of the assassination.

The administrative material documents the official activities of the Commission. Included are minutes, agendas, financial information and memoranda, which demonstrate how the Commission was organized and its guidelines for procedures. Also included are intra-Commission memoranda as well as memoranda with other governmental organizations, including the F.B.I. and Secret Service. The findings of these two agencies, plus the Dallas police, were submitted to the Commission, and much of this material documents the life of Lee Harvey Oswald.

First page of Psychiatric Report on L.H. Oswald, 1964: http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/MC019/c01581

First page of Psychiatric Report on L.H. Oswald, 1964: http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/MC019/c01581

Over 64 boxes, and 96,900 pages of documents, from the Dulles Papers were digitized as part the NHPRC project.  In addition to the Warren Commission files, Dulles’ correspondence is now available online.  The correspondence includes letters to and from Kennedy and his brothers Robert and Edward as well as material related to Kennedy created after the assassination.

Kennan on Kennedy: “Dismal Foreboding for the Future of this Country”

George Kennan, like so many others, remembered exactly where he was and what he did upon hearing the news of John F. Kennedy’s death:

“I had been at a luncheon when I heard he had been shot, but on returning to the office shortly afterward I received confirmation of his death.  My reaction, in addition to the obvious shock, was one of the most dismal foreboding for the future of this country.  The first person I went to, to talk about it, was Robert Oppenheimer, and we both had the impression that this event marked in many ways a deterioration of the entire situation in this country.”

Kennan1

George Kennan on Kennedy Assassination, November 1968

 

Kennan, most noted for his influence on U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War and advocacy of a policy of containment, served as Kennedy’s ambassador to Yugoslavia from 1961 to July 1963.  Kennan’s correspondence with Kennedy dates from 1959 and includes an 8 page letter of foreign policy advice written to during the 1960 presidential campaign.

On October 22, 1963, exactly one month before Kennedy’s death, Kennan sent a handwritten note of encouragement to Kennedy, writing “I don’t think we have seen a better standard of statesmanship in White House in the present century.” Kennan also wrote that he hoped Kennedy would be discouraged “neither by the appalling pressures of your office nor by the obtuseness and obstruction you encounter in another branch of government,” and expressed gratitude to Kennedy “for the courage and patience and perception for which you carry on.”

 

Typescript of George Kennan's handwritten note to John F. Kennedy, October 22, 1963

Typescript of George Kennan’s handwritten note to John F. Kennedy, October 22, 1963

Kennedy responded a few days later, on October 28th saying he would keep the letter nearby “for reference and reinforcement on hard days.”  Kennedy died in Dallas only 26 days later.

John F. Kennedy letter to George Kennan, October 28, 1963

John F. Kennedy letter to George Kennan, October 28, 1963

The Kennedy-Kennan correspondence consists of 79 pages, a small percentage of the  72,545 pages of Kennan’s papers digitized as part of our NHPRC-funded digitization grant.  All of the digitized documents, including Kennan’s permanent correspondence files and unpublished writings can be accessed by clicking on the folder titles listed in the finding aid.

John F. Kennedy’s Princeton University undergraduate alumni file

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  The Mudd Manuscript Library celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s election in 2010 with an exhibition and more than 30 Public Policy collections contain material related to Kennedy.

grades and Pic

Within the University Archives, his undergraduate alumni file contains his application to the University, details his brief time on campus and reasons for his departure, and some later correspondence with and about him.

application

The first page of JFK’s Princeton Application

The file contains his application essay that is very similar to his Harvard essay, which was released in 2011. This digitized file is part of the Mudd Library’s ongoing digitization efforts.

by: Dan Linke

USS Princeton

USSPrinceton ExplodingOn October 24th, 1944 the U.S.S. Princeton (CVL-23) sank during battle.

The University Archives here at Mudd Library holds the U.S.S. Princeton [C.V.L.-23] Collection which contains research materials for the book, Carrier Down, by Marcia Clark in which the history of the U.S.S. Princeton is chronicled.

We have begun the digitization process of this collection to mark the anniversary of the tragic loss, almost 70 years ago.

We have attached the first few folders of materials Marsha Clark collected for the book, Carrier Down. The materials include typed transcripts of tape-recorded interviews, newspaper clippings, and recollections written by individual men who served on the U.S.S. Princeton [C.V.L.-23] when it was bombed October 24, 1944. The amount of materials varies from folder to folder. Once the entire collection is digitized it will be connected to the finding aid for your viewing and research.

USS Princeton Interviews Folders 1-9 including:

Abriel, Warren W.
Addison, Larry
Amonte, Salvatore L.
Arlequeeuw, Ray
Bardshar, Fred
Beckett, John
Bell, Frank E.
Bellevance, Henry R.
Blyth, Les

Related links:

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/leyteglf/cvl23-l.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Princeton_(CVL-23)

Class of 2013 Senior Theses Now Available on DataSpace

UPDATE, June 2, 2014: Class of 2013 Senior Theses are now available for viewing and download at the public computers at the Mudd Manuscript Library. Class of 2014 Senior Theses will be available throughout the Princeton University network by September 2014, with the exception of a small number of theses that are temporarily restricted, or limited to the Mudd Manuscript Library public computers.

UPDATE, October 18, 2013: At the request of the Office of the Dean of the College, access to the PDF files is temporarily suspended. Those seeking copies of 2013 theses should visit the Mudd Manuscript Library to obtain access to the theses. We will need users to provide the author’s name and department.

The Class of 2013 senior theses are now available on DataSpace at Princeton University. Senior theses are accessible in full-text, digital format from any Princeton-networked computer.

Theses can be searched using text (such as the author’s name, advisor’s name, or words in the title), or browsed by author, department, or title. Searching and browsing can happen at the collection level (Senior Thesis collection) or at the department level (e.g. English Department).

Researchers will still need to come to the Mudd Manuscript Library to view theses created before 2013. In the coming weeks, however, the data from the Princeton University Catalog of Senior Theses will be migrated to DataSpace so all of the theses can be searched from a single interface.  In due course, senior theses will be searchable in Books+. There are no plans to systematically digitize 2012 and earlier theses at this time.

Access to senior theses for researchers outside of Princeton University remains unchanged regardless of when the thesis was created or its format—a copy may be ordered by submitting a written request to the University Archives.

The creation of the digital archive of senior theses is a joint project between the Office of the Dean of the College, the University Archives at the Mudd Manuscript Library, and the Office of Information Technology.  Its intent is to broaden accessibility to senior theses within the Princeton community, as Princeton seniors consult them at a rate of about 1,000 per year to explore topics, gather ideas for possible faculty advisers, find sources, gain familiarity with disciplinary writing styles, develop research methodologies for their own theses, and understand what makes a good thesis. The archive also has the capability to capture and deliver multiple file formats including text, video, audio, and image files.

For more information on senior theses, please contact the Princeton University Archives at 609-258-6345 or mudd@princeton.edu.

 

Digitzed: Robert Lansing Papers & John Foster Dulles State Department Records

In our ongoing efforts to provide digital access to our records, we are happy to announce two additional collections have been digitized with the help of our students.

Robert Lansing (ca. 1905)

Robert Lansing (date unkknown)

The Robert Lansing Papers and the John Foster Dulles State Department Records are viewable via their finding aids.

The Robert Lansing Papers document the later years of Robert Lansing (1864-1928), lawyer, writer, and the longest serving (1915–1920) of Woodrow Wilson’s three Secretaries of State.

For the John Foster Dulles State Department Records, we scanned Series 2: Declassified Records

The two collections took a little over six months to complete.

For this project, we asked students who worked at the library’s front desk to scan documents by using a top feed and flat bed scanner when not assisting patrons. Once scanned, students would combine files together using Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Student receptionist using the top feed scanner to digitize documents.

While we continually work in house to make more of our collections available online, recently we also have been awarded a grant to have six other collections digitized. Read more about those collections and the project here:

Mudd Library Awarded Grant to Provide Global Access to Records of the Cold War