Archival Description Group Wins National Award

The University Library’s Archival Description Working Group has won another award for its efforts in finding new ways to deliver information about our collections to our users. The Society of American Archivists will present the C.F.W Coker Award to the group in August for findingaids.princeton.edu, the University Library’s interface for descriptions of Princeton archives and manuscript collections. Society of American Archivists Logo The Coker Award “recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids. To merit consideration for the award, nominees must set national standards, represent a model for archives description, or otherwise have a substantial impact on national descriptive practice.” It is awarded to archives throughout North America; previous winners include the Archivists’ Toolkit project, the Online Archives of California, and the working group that developed Encoded Archival Description.

The Award Committee noted that the team at Princeton “created a complete user experience of the Princeton University collections that is elegant in its outward simplicity and robust in its search capabilities. . . . The site is, in short, a triumph of innovative descriptive practice.” Maureen Callahan, John Delaney, Shaun Ellis, Regine Heberlein, Dan Santamaria, Jon Stroop, and Don Thornbury serve on the Working Group. The site also builds on descriptive data created by many staff involved with aggressive processing and data conversion projects over the last seven years.

The site was publicly released last September. The group was also awarded the Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference’s Finding Aid Award in April. As always, our biggest reward is the use of the finding aids, and the material they describe, by our patrons, but it’s great to receive recognition for all the effort that went into developing the site.

Princeton wins MARAC Finding Aid Award

We are very pleased to announce that the Princeton University Library’s Archival Description working group has been awarded the 2012 Frederic M. Miller Finding Aid Award by the Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). The award recognizes outstanding finding aids and finding aid systems in the Mid Atlantic region. Submissions are evaluated in the areas of content, design, innovation, and adherence to descriptive standards.

Main Page for the new finding aids site

Main Page for the new finding aids site

Princeton’s archival description working group includes two Mudd staff members: Maureen Callahan and Dan Santamaria, who serves as chair of the group. Former Mudd staff member Regine Heberlein is also a key member of the group, as are Don Thornbury and John Delaney from Firestone Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and Jon Stroop and Shaun Ellis of the library’s digital initiatives group.

The group was awarded first prize in the 2012 competition for findingaids.princeton.edu, the redesigned finding aids interface for descriptions of Princeton’s archives and manuscripts collections. The new interface was the result of more than a year of close collaboration between Department of Rare Books and Special Collections and Digital Initiatives staff. The site contains descriptions of all of the archival and manuscript collections held at Princeton and includes a number of innovations including:

Images of the collection in the context of the finding aid

Images of the collection in the context of the finding aid

• Delivery of images of actual collections material directly from the finding aid interface

Contents lists that are sortable by title, date, or physical location in the collection

Enhanced topic features, listing collections related to our collecting strengths

• Better options for users to contact the library and connect with each other, including “Ask a Question” buttons for reference requests and commenting features for users wishing to request a description enhancement or share information within their own social networks

• Automated requesting of collections material from all contents lists

• Direct access to components of collections (often boxes and folders) from search results and Faceting and browsing options from search results.

In addition to the work of the team that developed the finding aids site, it should be noted the site is built on data created by dozens of library staff over the last several years. The innovations described above would not be possible without the work of these staff members in processing and describing our collections.

The award comes with a small monetary prize, which will be donated to a small historical society in New Jersey. While use of the finding aids by our patrons is our biggest reward, it’s great to receive recognition for the hard work that went into developing the site. Congratulations to everyone involved!

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

by: Maureen Callahan

The historian John Lewis Gaddis, author of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of George Kennan, has stated that the Mudd Library holds “the most significant set of papers for the study of modern American history outside of federal hands.”

This may be true, but is often only relevant to researchers who have the resources to access them. We have worked diligently to make sure people could find information about our collections, but until now, there were only a very few ways to actually study these records – come to Princeton, New Jersey and access them in the reading room, or order photocopies of what you think you might be interested in, based on descriptions in our finding aids (we also have a few collections digitized and online, and some microfilmed collections of our records may be in your local library).

We want to change this to make it easier for everyone to access our materials. Thanks to the generosity of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a taxpayer-funded organization that supports efforts to promote documentary sources, over 400,000 pages of records from six of our most-used collections will be digitized and put online for anyone with an internet connection to access. We hope that our records will become newly accessible and indispensible to international researchers, high school and college students, and anyone else with an interest in the history of the Cold War.  As Gaddis wrote in a letter of support for our grant, this kind of access “has the potential, quite literally, to globalize the possibility of doing archival research. That’s no guarantee that this will produce a greater number of great books than in the past. What it will ensure, however, is a quantum leap in the opportunities students and their teachers will have to bring the excitement of working with original documents into all classrooms.”

Collections include:

John Foster Dulles Papers

John Foster Dulles (1888-1959), the fifty-third Secretary of State of the United States for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, had a long and distinguished public career with significant impact upon the formulation of United States foreign policies. He was especially involved with efforts to establish world peace after World War I, the role of the United States in world governance, and Cold War relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Dulles papers document his entire public career and his influence on the formation of United States foreign policy, especially for the period when he was Secretary of State.

We plan to digitize the following:

Series 1. Selected Correspondence 1891-1960

Series 3. Diaries and Journals 1907-1938

Series 5. Speeches, Statements, Press Conferences, Etc 1913-1958

 

George Kennan Papers

George F. Kennan (1904-2005) was a diplomat and a historian, noted especially for his influence on United States policy towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War and for his scholarly expertise in the areas of Russian history and foreign policy. Kennan’s papers document his career as a scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study and his time in the Foreign Service.

We plan to digitize the following:

Subseries 1A, Permanent Correspondence 1947-2004

Subseries 4D, Major Unused Drafts 1933-1978

Subseries 4G, Unpublished Works 1938-2000

 

Council on Foreign Relations Records

The Council on Foreign Relations is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and national membership organization dedicated to improving understanding of international affairs by promoting a range of ideas and opinions on United States foreign policy. The Council has had a significant impact in the development of twentieth century United States foreign policy. The Records of the Council on Foreign Relations document the history of the organization from its founding in 1921 through the present.

We plan to digitize the following:

Studies Department 1918-1945

 

Allen W. Dulles Papers

The Allen W. Dulles Papers contains correspondence, speeches, writings, and photographs documenting the life of this lawyer, diplomat, businessman, and spy. One of the longest-serving directors of the Central Intelligence Agency (1953-1961), he also served in a key intelligence post in Bern, Switzerland during World War II, as well as on the Warren Commission.

We plan to digitize the following:

Series 1, Correspondence 1891-1969

Series 4, Warren Commission Files 1959-1967

 

Adlai E. Stevenson Papers

The Adlai E. Stevenson Papers document the public life of Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), governor of Illinois, Democratic presidential candidate, and United Nations ambassador. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, writings, campaign materials, subject files, United Nations materials, personal files, photographs, and audiovisual materials, illuminating Stevenson’s career in law, politics, and diplomacy, primarily from his first presidential campaign until his death in 1965.

We plan to digitize the following:

Subseries 5D, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 1946-1947

 

James Forrestal Papers

James V. Forrestal (1892-1949) was a Wall Street businessman who played an important role in U.S. military operations during and immediately after World War II. From 1940 to 1949 Forrestal served as, in order, assistant to President Roosevelt, Under Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of the Navy, and the first Secretary of Defense.

We plan to digitize the following:

Subseries 1A, Alphabetical Correspondence

Subseries 5A, Diaries

 

Digitization will occur over the course of two years, and materials will be added to the web as they are digitized. Please be in touch with us if you have any questions about any of our materials.

 

Revised Dissertation Embargo Policy in Effect

The new policy for the Publication, Access, and Embargoing of Doctoral Dissertations, which was approved on May 14, 2012, is now in full effect.

The new policy enables each graduate student to request a two-year embargo on his or her dissertation, with the potential for renewal. When approved, the embargo applies to the dissertation’s availability in ProQuest, as well as in Princeton’s digital repository, DataSpace. If not embargoed, dissertations are made available in full-text to subscribing institutions via ProQuest, and in full-text on the Internet through DataSpace.

Individuals who submitted their dissertations between August 29, 2011 and June 19, 2012 had an opportunity to request an embargo retroactively. They were contacted by email on June 19, 2012 (and again on September 7, 2012) and given until October 15, 2012 to request approval for their embargo. The dissertations that were not embargoed during this period were released to universal accessibility via DataSpace on November 5, 2012.*

The process of gaining approval for an embargo is governed by the Graduate School. Students who wish to embargo their dissertation should fill out the Dissertation Embargo Request and Approval Form, obtain an approval signature from their advisor or a committee member, and submit the form as part of the Advanced Degree Application Process. Written confirmation of the embargo approval from the Graduate School must be presented in hard copy at the time of submission to the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Details about submitting your dissertation to the Mudd Manuscript Library are here: http://www.princeton.edu/~mudd/thesis/index.shtml

*As an interim measure while the new policy was being developed, on March 23, 2012, all dissertations that had been deposited in DataSpace in the fall of 2011 were restricted to the Princeton network. Those submitted in the spring of 2012 were also limited to the Princeton network. All dissertations from August 29, 2011 and forward that were not embargoed were released universally via DataSpace on November 5, 2012.

Editing the world’s online encyclopedia: Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon Three

On October 19th, 2012 staff members of Mudd Manuscript Library once again opened the doors and archives for the purpose of composing and  editing Princeton University-related articles on Wikipedia.

For this third event of its kind, we decided to hold it during our normal business hours during volunteer weekend with the focus of enhancing Princeton athletics information.

We had a total of 11 attendees with 3 new user names created.

Here a new user learns how to create and edit articles from a Wikipedian

A number of articles were created and are still being edited.

  1. Princeton Cannon Song
  2. Class of 1952 Stadium
  3. User:Undead q/Karl Langlotz
  4. List of Princeton University Olympians
  5. Hollie Donan
  6. User:Lmd08/sandbox (Princeton Tiger Mascot)
In addition a number of articles were expanded.
  1. Lisa Brown-Miller Coaching details added
  2. The Princeton Tigers page gained the addition of:
  • Women’s Golf
  • Golf
  • First football game

Two photos from the editing were also added to Wikimedia Commons

We count this edit-a-thon as yet another success and plans are being made for future events that will include undergraduates in learning more about Wikipedia and editing.

Princeton Alumni Weekly writer Brett Tomlinson was a participant in our event and has also written here about his experience.

American Civil Liberties Union Records Processing Completed

The Mudd Library is pleased to announce that the final two series of the third subgroup of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records have been processed, and that the entire collection has been addressed is now available to the public. These materials join ACLU records long held at the Mudd Library: The Roger Baldwin Years, 1917–1950 and American Civil Liberties Union Records 1947–1995. As a whole, this collection documents the civil liberties organization’s work in areas including civil rights, children and women’s rights, freedom of speech (and all First Amendment questions), due process, the right to privacy, and church-state separation issues, and this third subgroup covers the years between 1975 and 2000 predominantly. The records are of vital historical and cultural importance to the nation, and we are grateful that the work on these records was supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Founded in 1920, the ACLU’s mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The group has been integral in myriad landmark court cases since its inception, and the collection of new materials housed at Mudd consists, notably, of records from the Reproductive Freedom Project, the Women’s Rights Project, the Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination hearings, the Iran-Contra affair, and Texas v. Johnson (the 1990 flag-burning case). The newly available records also include over 300 boxes from the ACLU’s Southern Regional office, which handled many important civil rights cases

Adriane Hanson, who managed the processing of the new ACLU materials, began in June 2010, and with the help of several Princeton students, she inventoried and processed 2,500 linear, the single largest and fastest processing project in Mudd Library’s history. Mudd Library’s entire ACLU collection, which is its largest and most used, now spans about 4,200 linear feet.

For more information, read the Princeton Alumni Weekly’s article on these new records.

The Mudd Manuscript Library Hosts its Third Edit-a-thon on October 19

In the spirit of volunteerism, the Mudd Manuscript Library will host its third Wikipedia edit-a-thon on Friday, October 19th from 12:30-4:15 p.m. during Volunteer Weekend at Princeton University.  This edit-a-thon will provide a unique, hands-on experience with University Archives collections and its focus will be on expanding and/or creating Wikipedia pages on Princeton athletics.

Students and community members with all levels of experience (including none!) are welcome to participate in this event.  Instructions for editing and contributing to Wikipedia will be provided, along with lunch and snacks. Full details of the event are available on our meetup page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/Princeton_University_Edit-a-thon_Three

We ask that you bring a laptop to work on, and, since space is limited, please RSVP to mudd@princeton.edu.

View posts on our previous edit-a-thons:

http://blogs.princeton.edu/mudd/2012/05/she-roars-we-record/

http://blogs.princeton.edu/mudd/2012/02/wikipedia-edit-a-thon-at-mudd-library/

Please direct questions to mudd@princeton.edu

 

 

Mudd Manuscript Library Annual Report: Fiscal Year 2012

Mudd Manuscript Library Annual Report, FY2012

 

Summary

The staff at Mudd Library had a very successful year in 2012 with notable highlights that include:

  • Prepared for the launch of Aeon on July 1, 2012.  This required significant work from both public and technical services staff.
  • Significant work done to upgrade access tools, in particular a new finding aids site launched in beta, and other work done to prepare for integration of EAD data into Primo.
  • ACLU project completed, with almost 2,500 linear feet of records described as part of NHPRC-funded processing project.
  • In addition to ACLU, 1,800 linear feet of other policy and archives materials described, including the Harold Medina Papers.
  • The Daily Princetonian digitization completed, with the years 1876-2002 now online.
  • Dissertation submission procedure altered to provide full-text, online access via OIT’s DataSpace.
  • Hosted IMLS intern Brenda Tindal
  • Continued high level of use of collections, both in-house and remote, with great degree of patron satisfaction, with PDF requests surpassing paper copies.

Major Activities

Public Services

In the past year, the staff of the Mudd Manuscript Library served 1,686 patrons, 211 of whom had visited Mudd prior to FY12 and 678 who were new researchers. We circulated 8,531 items (2,761 University Archives boxes/items, 5,812 Public Policy Papers boxes/items, 34 Gest rare books and 14 other items). For more on particular collections used, see Appendix A: Most used Archives and Policy collections in FY2012.

Staff also filled 354 photocopy orders totaling 39,431 pages, of which 265 orders were delivered as PDF files totaling 27,338 pages and 89 orders were fulfilled on paper, totaling 12,093 pages, so a PDF continues to be the preferred method for the majority of our users.  Scanning continues to be the default method by which we provide images for patrons and last year we filled 90 orders for 266 scans.

We responded to over 1,900 pieces of correspondence (including 882 pertaining to the University Archives and 403 to the Public Policy Papers; 16 requests for permission to quote) which arrived as follows: 1,317 e-mail; 111 telephone; 23 surface mail and 1 via fax.  Individual correspondence totals:  Maureen Callahan, 64; Christa Cleeton, 7; John DeLooper, 15; Kate Dundon, 20; Lynn Durgin, 108; Dave Gillespie, 9; Adriane Hanson, 81; Dan Linke, 207; Christie Lutz, 184; Christie  Peterson, 88; Amanda Pike, 340; Dan Santamaria, 27; Brenda Tindal, 18; Kristen Turner, 35; Helene van Rossum, 5; Rosalba Recchia, 82.   The staff also responded to more than 500 brief telephone calls.

Collectively, the staff worked with 9 different classes relating to junior papers and other research/writing projects with a total of approximately 115 attendees.

In addition, a large number of visitors took advantage of Mudd’s digital camera program as 279 patrons photographed 6,419 items from our collections, totaling 73,338 images.

John DeLooper left Mudd in September to accept a reference librarian position, and in early December, Christa Cleeton joined the Mudd staff as the new SCAIV for public services (front desk position). Christa, who had previously worked at Firestone, quickly and efficiently assumed the duties of the position, from greeting and registering patrons to overseeing student workers to carrying out special projects for Dan Linke. Significantly, Christa became the coordinator for Mudd’s social media efforts, responsible for our blogs, Facebook page and Twitter feed, all of which she has energetically attended to. She has been attending the University’s Social Media SPIN meetings, and working directly with the University’s director of social media to implement best practices and draw more attention to our social media output. Christa also assisted Lisbeth Dennis in creating a Facebook page for RBSC.

The biggest change in Mudd’s public services operations this year was the implementation of the Aeon circulation management system, done in conjunction with the rest of RBSC. All Mudd staff attended training sessions in January, with Lutz, Pike and Cleeton participating in extra training and numerous meetings regarding implementation, use, and workflow issues. Full implementation took several months, but in June we conducted preliminary tests of the system, and starting in July, began using the system.  Lutz, Pike and Cleeton worked to alert current and future Mudd researchers to the changes through our website, social media outlets, and in exchanges with patrons. Both experienced and new Mudd users have been quite receptive to the new system and particularly appreciate that they can submit requests for materials prior to their arrival at Mudd. While there was some concern among staff that we must first send researchers to the Access Office in Firestone to obtain Special Collections identification cards, we have not heard many patron complaints over the need to make this extra stop. However, this stop is a temporary measure until Mudd obtains the hardware and software necessary to create the ID cards here at Mudd.

Throughout the year, we received accolades from patrons for the quality and efficiency of the reference services we provided.

Continue reading

Mudd Technical Services Meeting Minutes: June 2012

Mudd Technical Services Meeting Minutes – June 2012

Maureen Callahan

Maureen has finished managing the Princeton Weekly Bulletin digitization project – this resource is now available online. In addition to her usual reference and accessioning work, she also created a number of orientation screencasts for the new finding aids site, and is finishing writing notes for the Bill Bradley Papers. She, Dan Linke, and (mostly) John Walako installed the new exhibit in the Millberg gallery, “The Election for Woodrow Wilson’s America,” which will be on display through the end of the year.

Lynn Durgin

Lynn oversaw data collection and processing of 2012 senior theses (completed 15 of 33 departments); implemented a new system for applying dissertation embargoes in DataSpace and ProQuest; and created ten new University Archives accession records.

Adriane Hanson

Adriane began work in earnest this month on her summer projects, preparing the next batch of Daily Princetonian newspapers (2003-2012) and the Western European Theater Political Pamphlets for digitization.  She also worked with three patrons in to use the newly open ACLU Records and is preparing to speak on the project at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in August.

Christie Peterson

Christie finalized all remaining work and reports from the P collection shelf read/reconciliation project. She created three new collections and added materials to seven additional collections in an ongoing project to assimilate all unprocessed University Archives materials. In continuing her work with born-digital materials, Christie and Dan Santamaria attended an SAA workshop on digital forensics for archivists, and Christie began work on an accessioning workflow that incorporates these materials. She also trained a new summer student on cataloging photographs in the Historical Photographs Collection database, and he restarted work on that project. Finally, Christie has announced that she will be leaving to start a new job September 1.

Dan also updated the group on the progress of various initiatives, in particular new developments with the redesigned EAD site, Primo, Aeon, and related issues.   We also discussed Bethany Nowviskie’s keynote talk at the March 2012 code4lib conference on the concept of “Lazy Consensus.”

For more information or questions mudd@princeton.edu

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