IMLS Archival Fellow: Brenda Tindal

Brenda Tindal for HM

Brenda Tindal is one of nine archival fellows chosen from a very competitive applicant pool to participate in Increasing African American Diversity in Archives: The HistoryMakers’ Fellowship, Mentoring, Training and Placement Institute, described by Harvard University Professor and pre-eminent African American scholar Henry Louis Gates as“a wonderfully innovative program.” The program addresses the “appalling low proportion” of African American archivists, which despite decades of effort has increased by only 1% in 22 years–from 1.8% as recorded in the Society of American Archivists (SAA)’s 1982 survey of its professionals, to 2.8% in 2004 as recorded by the A* Census.

As an archival fellow in residence at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, Tindal is actively engaged in processing archival material, research, reference services, appraisal and collection development, pedagogy, and outreach initiatives. Her work “advances Mudd’s commitment to making the University Archives and the Public Policy Papers accessible to patrons who include faculty, students, visiting scholars and researchers, and genealogist, among others,” says Tindal. It also allows her to “hone invaluable skills and continue to develop a greater literacy of the many facets of archival work within an academic library.” Additionally, Tindal adds, the Increasing African American Diversity in Archives fellowship program has also given her the opportunity to “build upon her expertise in African American history and culture, while cultivating relationships with like-minded archival practitioners, who have a vested interest in diversifying the profession and the nations archival holdings.”
The goal of Increasing African American Diversity in Archives is to provide African American archival collections with African American archivists and other archivists qualified and interested in working with African American collections. Ultimately, the program seeks to "increase the visibility of the archival profession and African American collections through public programs/outreach efforts," says Executive Director and Founder of The HistoryMakers, Julieanna L. Richardson.
“I am delighted Brenda is part of the Mudd staff,” said University Archivist Daniel J. Linke. “She brings a passion for documents grounded in a deep understanding of their historical context. In just the first few weeks she has been here, she has been fantastic in the classroom working with students, and I expect her time here will benefit us as well as her.”
Speaking on the importance of the program, Tindal says, “an initiative of this magnitude is ingenious and has the potential to redefine the industry by addressing the paucity of African Americans in the archival profession, and in turn, elevate the unique perspectives that we bring to the domain of library and information science.”
Brenda Tindal is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts (American Studies) at Emory University, where she is completing a dissertation entitled “’What Our Common Past Had Done to Us’: Landscapes of Memory, Representation, and Enactments of Movement Widowhood, 1963-2006.” Tindal has worked on numerous archival projects, including the Alice Walker Papers and the organizational records of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University and the Andrew J. Young Papers at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

Meet Mudd’s Jimmy Lu

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Name: Jimmy Lu ’13

Major: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Title/Duties: Special Collections Student Assistant. I copy and scan documents to fulfill patron orders. I deliver files to offices that are too valuable to be sent via campus mail. On occasion, I also watch over the library’s reading room, lest patrons misbehave.
Recent projects: Digitization of Trustees Minutes. From the old volumes of early 1900s to the confidential records of the recent years, I contribute to humanity’s transition from our reliance on paper to a bondage to electronics.
Worked at Mudd since: Summer 2010
Why I like my job/archives: It’s a nice change of pace from my coursework. I can perform my duties while letting my mind drift and wander. The immersion in the history of Princeton is also very enjoyable. Seeing the old documents that have survived from Princeton’s baby years strengthens my connection to the prestigious institution. Additionally, the short distance between the archives and most of my classes suits my lazy self very well.
Favorite item/collection: The Daily Princetonian Records. Nothing covers the many aspects of Princeton and the happenings inside the Orange Bubble as completely as the student newspaper. It’s interesting to see the changes in the writing quality, the focus of the articles, and the temperaments of the student body through the many decades.

American Civil Liberties Union Records Processing Project Update

The Mudd Library has reached an important mile stone in the ACLU Records Processing Project: completing the collection inventories. We now have a list of what is in each of the 2,500 boxes in the collection. These boxes remain closed to research until July 1, 2012 pending a review for restricted materials. However, researchers wishing to access the collection before that date may request up to ten boxes be reviewed for immediate release. For further information, please contact the Mudd Library at For more information on the project, you can read our previous blog entries
We also welcomed a new staff member to the project this summer, David Gillespie. Dave has a background in American and military history, with varied archival experience including research assistant at the Strategic Studies Institute, intern at the Gettysburg National Military Park Archives, and intern on the House Divided project creating a digital collection on Dickinson College during the Civil War Era. On the ACLU project, he is responsible for reviewing the legal case files within the collection for any restricted materials, which account for about 65% of the records. Through this review, we expect to be able to open the majority of these materials on July 1.

Meet Mudd’s Brandon Joseph


Name: Brandon Joseph ‘12

Major: History, with Certificates in African American Studies and American Studies
Title/Duties: Project Archivist Assistant. It is my responsibility to help the archivists at Mudd arrange and process collections. My duties include collecting details related to the contents of collections, rehousing and arranging collections, and creating folder lists for finding aids that guide researchers. Occasionally, I monitor the welcome desk, reading room, and page materials for patrons.
Recent projects: For the past year, I’ve been working with Adriane Hanson on the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records processing project. Before the ACLU project, I worked on the George S. McGovern Papers and the James V. Forrestal Papers.
Worked at Mudd since: January 2009, the beginning of the second semester of my freshman year.
Why I like my job/archives: Mudd is a relaxing place with a great staff. I enjoy coming into Mudd and engaging with the library’s collections in the middle of a hectic day of class. Also, as a history major and researcher, I am fascinated by some the materials that are unearthed as I help process a collection. At times, some of the materials that I come across at Mudd haven’t been seen or touched in decades. It’s fun to be a part of the recovery of lost information as I comb through the collections at Mudd.
Favorite item/collection: The collection of Historical Photographs, which provide a visual timeline to campus events of the past. It’s interesting to see how the buildings I live and work in on campus have developed over time. The Daily Princetonian Collection is another favorite of mine. I enjoy reading about how Princetonians from different eras digested and dealt with the social and administrative issues that arose on campus.

Student Question: What is the favorite part of the collections at Mudd? I love to check out the letters sent to the public officials and organizations that have collections at Mudd. I feel as if the letters from the general population in particular serve as a great way to measure public opinions related to a given topic. While processing the McGovern papers, for example, I found hundreds of letters from concerned citizens from across the nation. Some asked the presidential candidate to endorse a particular opinion, some praised McGovern for his work and wished him well during his campaign, while others blasted McGovern because of his policies. There were even tons of letters and drawings from school children organized by teachers from around the country. The letters in collections provide access to perspectives that may have been lost over time.

Meet Mudd’s Q Miceli

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Name: Q Miceli ’12

Major: Religion, with certificates in Creative Writing (Poetry) and Judaic Studies

Title/Duties: Technical Services Student Worker. My duties include sorting current University-generated publications as they arrive at Mudd in a process called “accessioning;” entering doctoral dissertations into a database (I used to pack dissertations on CDs to ship to ProQuest, before the University started accepting dissertations online); digitizing collections and running a macro to match scanned folders with physical barcodes; packing collections to send to offsite storage and scanning the box barcodes to discharge them; looking up duplicates in the library catalog; moving boxes; paging materials for patrons; and sometimes monitoring the front desk and reading room.

Recent projects: This past academic year, I made a folder list for part the James Hugh Keeley, Jr. Papers (MC 191) using Archivist’s Toolkit (and a mask and gloves, since these papers had been stored in a chicken coop and sustained severe rodent damage during that time). This summer, as with summer 2010, I cataloged over 1,000 senior theses, double-checking the information in the departmental databases with the physical copies of the theses, assigning each thesis a number, and shelving the boxes of theses. Most recently, I sorted the University-generated accessions by sponsoring department in the accessions drop box.

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Worked at Mudd since: I started in May 2010 and worked full-time for most of the summer. Then I continued as a technical services student during the 2010-11 school year and for June 2011. After a ten-week internship with the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, I returned to Mudd for the 2011-12 school year. It’s going to be difficult to leave Mudd when I graduate!

Why I like my job/archives: “The world is quiet here.” -Lemony Snicket. The hum and energy of people working to make materials more accessible brings me a sense of peace and shows me that there can be order in the universe. I like how archival work mixes the physical (moving boxes) with the intellectual (creating intellectual order out of a collection of materials). I think the immediate goal of archives is to maintain a repository of well-ordered information that is accessible to patrons, and I like knowing that my work contributes to an ultimate goal of a well-informed public.

Favorite item/collection: It’s a toss-up between the Senior Thesis Collection (AC 102) and the Arthur J. Horton Collection on Coeducation (AC 039). While cataloging the Class of 2010 and the Class of 2011 senior theses, I read many a student’s independent work and saw how much students have learned (or not!) in their four years. I scanned part of the Arthur J. Horton Collection on Coeducation, and some of the ill-informed comments regarding the ultimate goals of females attending universities–i.e., women only go to college to get their “MRS” degree–made me laugh and feel thankful that the university’s attitude towards non-males has improved since then.

Student Question: Besides your senior independent work, what else from your time as a Princeton student would you like to keep in “Princeton’s Attic?”
I would donate my diaries and collages from my time at Princeton in order to make another primary source available to researchers who want to document the experience of undergraduates on campus. These materials would serve as a counterpoint to the critical part of my senior thesis. In the event of someone trying to extrapolate from my senior thesis my views of the world twenty years later, I would donate them posthumously, in neatly ordered boxes so as to save some student worker the trouble of deciphering my handwriting. I would also donate the original note cards for the recipes that I developed in the Witherspoon, Pyne, and Lockhart kitchens for use by future undergraduates hankering after dorm-friendly cake.

Bonus Question: Why “Q?” Short answer: I was one of five Stephanies in my high school graduating class, and since I went to school with the same people from first grade on up, we had different nicknames to distinguish us. Long answer: I began collecting plush cats when I was four. When I was five or six, I thought, instead of calling myself a pet owner–for I viewed my cat collection as my pets and playmates–I should call myself Ownie. Ownie is a either feminized or diminutive version of owner. Like the nickname Suzy Q, my mother (Joanne Naples ’85) began calling me Ownie Q. Then my brother shortened that to Q. I’ve been known as Q since high school, and that’s how I sign the Honor Code.

ACLU Archivists Across Time


Paula Jabloner (left) and Adriane Hanson meet for the first time at the 2011 Society of American Archivists meeting in Chicago. Jabloner managed Mudd Library’s first ACLU records processing project in the mid-1990s that addressed 1,200 linear feet of records and identified additional historical records. Hanson is now addressing 2,400 l.f. of ACLU records, including those identified by Jabloner. Both projects were supported by the NHPRC.

University Records Manager joins the Princeton University Archives staff

On January 3, 2011 we welcomed Anne Marie Phillips to the Princeton University Archives staff. Anne Marie is Princeton’s first University Records Manager, her appointment underscoring Princeton’s commitment to maintaining its records at a level of quality that will best support the work of the University and ensure the comprehensive documentation of Princeton’s history. Though part of the Archives, Anne Marie’s portfolio is to serve the entire University community’s records needs.


Anne Marie is responsible for expanding and improving Princeton’s current records management program, which was created in conjunction with the Office of General Counsel and other University administrative units, and consists of records transfer information and procedures, as well as a General Records Schedule. Records transferred to the Mudd Manuscript Library are accessioned, processed, and made available as a component of the University Archives function of Mudd. Anne Marie will be updating and expanding the General Records Schedule, creating specialized schedules for records that are unique to various administrative units, and developing and providing a constellation of policies, procedures, and services that will make it easier for University staff to determine what to do with the records they create and use as they perform their jobs.

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Meet Mudd’s Christie Lutz


Name: Christie Lutz

Title/Duties: Assistant University Archivist for Public Services

I am responsible for overseeing and coordinating public services at Mudd Library. This includes managing our general reference account; handling a variety of in-depth remote and in-person reference inquiries, from researchers within the University community to those around the world; introducing Princeton undergraduate classes to and assisting them with the use of our materials; and scheduling and working with staff and student assistants in order to maintain day-to-day services. And of course,”other duties as assigned.”

Recent projects: Helping curate our current exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University Archives.

Worked at Mudd since: 2005, but was a project archivist here also from 2000-2002, and was a graduate student intern in 1999. I was promoted to my current position in September 2008.

Why I like my job/archives: Each day is different, bringing new challenges, opportunities to engage in varied subject areas, and interaction with unique, interesting and surprising documents, photos, and objects. At Mudd I’ve had the opportunity to process material ranging from Adlai Stevenson campaign materials to Brooks Bowman’s (composer of the standard “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”) personal papers. As someone with an American Studies background, I find Mudd, and archives generally, a wonderful place to work. Also, at Mudd we’re embarking on digital and other technological initiatives that are allowing researchers to access and use our holdings in new ways, and we’re opening up new avenues for collaboration with users and colleagues on and off campus.

Favorite item/collection: I always have fun working with the Princeton University Archives Memorabilia Collection, especially when it comes to curating exhibitions. The experience of looking for appropriate objects for exhibits can be like sifting through a Princeton-themed (and curated) thrift shop.

Meet John DeLooper

DeLooperName: John DeLooper

Title and Duties: Special Collections Assistant

I provide public service at the reception desk, including registering patrons, recording the circulation of materials and photocopy orders, and assisting visitors to the Mudd Library with initial reference inquiries. I also respond to e-mail reference questions, and create and maintain databases that aid in the compilation of monthly statistics for Mudd’s circulation and public service operations. In addition, I schedule classes and meetings in the library’s classroom, and work on other assorted projects such as assembling exhibitions and the James A. Baker III Oral History Project.

Recent projects: I contributed the 1983 case for the 2008 Alumni Exhibition, and created a new database to handle our circulation that will replace the old DOS-era system in use since 1992.

Worked at Mudd since: August 2, 2007.

Why I like my job/archives: I wanted to work in a library/archives setting because I enjoy helping others find information. Working with our collections is like working with history hands on, and I get to see the results of the work everybody puts in at the Mudd Library through the enthusiasm and joy researchers show when we help them find an unexpected resource or item.

Favorite item/collection: Historical Photograph Collection–seeing how the university, its buildings, and students have changed over the years is a way to step into the past and make history feel alive. It is amazing to see both what has changed and how much remains constant.

*Please note that as of September 2011, John has moved on to become a reference archivist at Hudson County Community College. We wish John the very best in his endeavors in his new professional position.*

Meet Dan Linke

LinkeName: Daniel J. Linke (“Dan”)

Title and Duties: University Archivist and Curator of Public Policy Papers. Oversee the operations of the Mudd Library which includes reference, technical services, exhibitions, and collection development, as well as representing and promoting Mudd Library within the University and to the public at large.

Worked at Mudd since: December 27, 1993. Promoted to current position July 2002.

Ongoing projects: Directing the James A. Baker III Oral History Project; planning the celebration of the University Archives 50th Anniversary in 2009; and advocating for an electronics record management program, in conjunction with a full-time records manager to be hired.

Why I like my job/archives: Mudd’s holdings are broad and deep, in both the Public Policy Papers and the University Archives, and something interesting is always happening at Princeton. As a manager, I am also grateful for my smart and self-motivated staff.

An interesting work anecdote: For the Baker Oral History Project, I arranged to have former ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson interviewed by former Washington Post White House correspondent Lou Cannon. It was a pleasure sitting in the room with these two people who were old friends swap stories about covering the Reagan administration. Donaldson was exactly as you saw him on TV with David Brinkley back in the day: brash, funny, and quick, but with a certain impish charm.

Favorite item/collection: There are many. At the moment, when I give tours, I like to show Jacqueline Kennedy’s letter to Adlai Stevenson dated Dec. 4, 1963, Earl Gideon’s letter to the ACLU, and the Princeton flag that Pete Conrad ’53 took to the moon with him on Apollo 12.

Other information: I am one of three “Dans” working at Mudd, and though born the earliest, I do not like being called “Old Dan.”