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Reminisce at the FSU Heritage Museum

September 19, 2014
Werkmeister Reading Room, FSU Heritage Protocol Museum

Werkmeister Reading Room, FSU Heritage Protocol Museum

We are happy to announce that the Heritage Museum has reopened for the fall! Located in the Werkmeister Reading Room in Dodd Hall, the Heritage Museum has photographs, ephemera, and artifacts that document the history of FSU.

Students Reading in Dodd Hall Library, ca 1950s

Students Reading in Dodd Hall Library, ca 1950s

Dodd Hall, arguably one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, was built in 1923 and served as the library for the Florida State College for Women, and then for FSU until Strozier Library was built in 1956. It was named for William George Dodd, who joined the FSCW faculty in 1910. After the library moved into Strozier, WFSU housed its studio there. In 1985, the Claude and Mildred Pepper Library opened in Dodd Hall, and remained there until the library moved to the newly built Pepper in 1998.

Renovations began to improve the former library space in 1991. Named Professor William H. Wermeister and his wife, Dr. Lucyle T. Werkmeister, the Werkmeister Humanities Reading Room opened as a quiet space for students to study. In 1997, the Werkmeister Window, the crown jewel of an already-gorgeous space, was installed. The stained glass window was designed by Professor Emeritus Ivan Johnson and crafted by Bob and Jo Ann Bischoff. The window took over 10 years to build and contains over 10,000 individual pieces.

Regular hours for the Heritage Museum are Wednesday-Friday 12pm-5pm, with special extended hours until 7pm on Fridays before home football games. Museum tours are also available by appointment. Hope to see you there!

Cataloging and Description: A New Era

September 18, 2014

We continue our introductions of the FSU Special Collections & Archives division with the Cataloging and Description department.

The faculty and staff of the Cataloging and Description department

The faculty and staff of the Cataloging and Description department.

The Cataloging and Description Department supports the academic programs of Florida State University by organizing and describing print books, e-books, video recordings, streaming video, microforms, maps, and other monographic materials purchased or received by the library. Four librarians, two library specialists and four library support staff catalog 36,000 titles per year following national standards of bibliographic control and in keeping with established cataloging practices and priorities. The department works with Acquisitions to load e-resource packages, which add thousands of records to the library catalog each year. Original records are contributed to OCLC, an international bibliographic database. FSU contributes nearly 1,000 original records per year. The department participates in international cooperative cataloging programs including NACO (Name Authority Cooperative) and SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative) through the Library of Congress. We contribute 500 to 600 records every year to the national authority file. Two units – Complex Cataloging and Authorities/Catalog Management collaborate to create workflows and apply the latest technologies in its routine work and projects.

A sample of new technical work for Cataloging and Description are the ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations). Instead of receiving MARC (Machine-readable Cataloging) records for the ETDs, we receive non-MARC metadata and convert it into MARC so it can be loaded into the online catalog for users to find. Data conversion is also key to another recent job, the London project, where we are processing a file of records that were converted from the Access database the FSU London branch library uses for their local catalog to MARC records for FSU’s main campus catalog. After the records have been processed, they will be loaded in the FSU catalog so that professors and students visiting London will know whether or not they need to bring a given book with them. Librarians Annie Glerum and Yue Li and Library Specialist Dominique Bortmas have been working on these projects.

Remodeling the Dirac Science Library has been a major concern for the University Libraries. When the Libraries received funding for compact shelving, weeding the collection quickly became a priority. Librarian Ruth Ziegler and Library Specialist Nakia Davis collaborated with the University of Florida and worked out a withdrawal plan to remove 62,000 unwanted volumes from the catalog using global change. Reports were given to Collections Access so that they could remove books from the shelves for resale or to discard. Using this method, books did not have to be moved to the Catalog Management unit and there was considerable savings of time and effort.

Rare Books and Special Collections materials are cataloged in Cataloging and Description. When the University Libraries acquired a complete run of books published by the Grove Press Department Head Amy Weiss assembled a team of catalogers (Melissa Burel, Tim Kanke, Valeria Kosmynin and Annie Glerum) and instructed them in Special Collections cataloging. The team was able to get the books cataloged in time for a special event planned around the collection this past spring.

Ordinary cataloging is not what it once was. Cataloging of most English language materials is done in conjunction with vendors who supply both the books and the bibliographic records, as well as physically processing the book with property stamps, security strips, and barcodes. After two years of working with the Coutts/Ingram, we have changed vendors to Yankee Book Peddler (YBP). YBP will supply electronic and print books with accompanying MARC records. We will continue to do quality control checking to make sure all books have full records.

Cataloging and Description called 711 W. Madison Street home

Cataloging and Description called 711 W. Madison Street home

Cataloging and Description loads catalog records for large e-resource packages, e-books and streaming media. This can be a complicated process. FSU is part of the shared State University System (SUS) Libraries catalog. Loading electronic records requires coordination between the schools. Librarian Ruth Ziegler works with FSU’s Apryl Price, E-Resources Librarian and with FALSC (formerly FLVC). Collaboration with the other schools who have purchased the same materials is sometimes necessary when errors occur in batch loading.

There are still some traditional cataloging functions performed in Cataloging and Description. We receive books which are not yet cataloged and which require original or close to original cataloging. Most of these books are in foreign languages, but not all. Many of the books are held by very few United States libraries, with FSU being one of a very few copies held. In cases like these, FSU performs a public service by providing high quality cataloging for these materials so that they can be located by scholars throughout the country.

A traditional cataloging task which is taking on new significance is authority control. Authority control provides the underlying structure of the catalog. It’s something that most users and librarians don’t think about. It’s a very important component in cataloging and the post cataloging process. Authorities are established forms of personal, corporate, conference, geographic names, subjects, uniform titles and series records that link to records in the bibliographic file. This involves using the Library of Congress authority file from which we follow established access points. New access points are set up when there is a conflict in the Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF). In this way, works by a single author or on a given subject can be found together in the catalog. In current thought about the future of cataloging, authorities will become linked data, which will associate each name or concept with a number or code so that items can be linked out to the web and not just collocated in a catalog. From the traditions of library cataloging, come the innovations of tomorrow.

Introducing the Claude Pepper Library

September 16, 2014

The Claude Pepper Library was established in 1985 as the official repository for the Claude Pepper Papers, a unique and multi-faceted collection of manuscripts, photographs, audio/video recordings, and memorabilia documenting the life and career of U.S. Senator and Congressman Claude Pepper (1900-1989).

A campaign card from Claude's 1938 senate bid.

A campaign card from Claude’s 1938 senate bid.

Since that time, the holdings at the Claude Pepper Library, located on West Call Street on the FSU Campus, have grown in size and scope. The Pepper is currently home to 17 collections with varying focuses including the papers of lobbyists, governors, political action groups and those dealing with landmark legal cases.

Our staff consists of Claude Pepper librarian Robert Rubero, archives assistant Mallary Rawls and part time assistant Maria Meade. The mission of the Claude Pepper Library is to support and advance research, teaching and engagement by acquiring, preserving and providing access to collections dealing with the political history of the State of Florida on national and local levels for use by students, faculty and researchers worldwide.

Tallahassee National Organization for Women parade banner ca. 1970's.

Tallahassee National Organization for Women parade banner ca. 1970’s.

At the Pepper Library we also enjoy posting to our Facebook page and enjoy updating our followers through our “Today in Pepper History” posts. More importantly, we offer patrons a firsthand experience with primary source materials from a variety of creators, all giving a glimpse into the political landscape in the State of Florida with a range of over 75 years. The Pepper Library has regularly hosted archives training sessions, class tours and guest lecturers and plans to continue these events in the future. There is also a museum component located in the Pepper Center which chronicles the life of Senator Pepper and is based on his book, Eyewitness to a Century.

Recent projects include the online ingestion of over 6,000 photos from the Pepper Papers, all of which can currently be seen in the FSU Digital Library.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as we bring you more great examples from our collections here at the Pepper Library!

Former Florida governor Spessard Holland during World War I ca. 1918.

Former Florida governor Spessard Holland during World War I ca. 1918.


Introducing Heritage Protocol & University Archives

September 12, 2014

Heritage Protocol & University Archives (HPUA), housed in Special Collections & Archives at Florida State University Libraries, maintains the official repository of university historical records. The archive holds publications, records, photographs, audio-visual, and other material in physical or digital form created by or about Florida State University. We also archive the student experience through the acquisition and preservation of materials created or acquired by alumni while they were students at the university.

Greetings from Florida State College for Women, see full description here.

Greetings from Florida State College for Women, see full description here.

Our staff consists of Heritage Protocol & University Archivist Sandra Varry, Archives Assistant Hannah Davis, and part-time assistant Colin Behrens. We are also fortunate to have Graduate Assistants Rebecca Bramlett and Katherine Hoarn with us for the fall.

Our mission is to preserve and share the history of FSU with everyone – our FSU community and the public at large. We have a great time posting photos and interesting tidbits on our Facebook page and interacting with our fans as well as attending events on and off campus to promote HPUA. We provide images and information to news and media outlets as well as to researchers. On campus an important job we have is to provide not only historical records preservation for official records, but to provide that material to the university for everything from reports or events, or to help staff do research for projects. Factual data for administrative purposes is important, but we also get to do things like help celebrate the 100th birthday of an alumnus (two so far this year!).

Poster from a performance by Deathcab for Cutie at FSU. See full description here.

Poster from a performance by Death Cab for Cutie at FSU’s Club Downunder. See full description here.

We receive photographs, scrapbooks, and everything you can imagine from loyal fans, alumni, and their families from all over the world. The actual items come from all periods of time across our 163 year history. The combined knowledge base of student and university created records plus our professional archival staff makes us the place to come for Florida State History!

Recent projects include the digitization of over 300 posters from Club Downunder. All HPUA digital collections can be seen in the FSU Digital Library.

Our fall exhibit exploring the life and times of Florida State College for Women students through their scrapbooks is in the works and will open up mid-October in Strozier Library, and we look forward to seeing you there!

1927 Faculty Baseball Team. See full description here.

1927 Faculty Baseball Team. See full description here.


Introducing Ourselves

September 10, 2014

The Special Collections & Archives division of Florida State University Libraries includes Special Collections & Archives, Heritage Protocol & University Archives, the Claude Pepper Library, Cataloging & Description and the Digital Library Center. The division advances research by acquiring, preserving and providing access to primary and secondary source materials through our different areas.

Our division is large; over 20 people under five different umbrellas, each with their own focus. Over the next month, we’ll be introducing our different hats to you as we re-launch this blog as a way to share our daily work, our special projects and our events and exhibits with the FSU community and beyond.

We’ll start at the top: Special Collections & Archives.

This is the name for the entire division but it is also the name for the area in the division that holds the rare books, historic maps, photographs and unique manuscripts collected by FSU Libraries since its beginning. We’re located in the Special Collections Reading Room in Strozier Library.

Headed by Associate Dean Katie McCormick, Special Collections & Archives is home base for Burt Altman, Archivist, William Modrow, Rare Books Librarian, Lisa Girard, Collections Manager and Krystal Thomas, Digital Archivist. Many student assistants as well as the faculty and staff in other areas of our division assist us in our daily work and projects.

Students work with Special Collections materials during a class taught by Bill Modrow.

Students work with Special Collections materials during a class taught by Bill Modrow.

In classes, programs and exhibitions, we support active learning and engagement through use of our collections. We conduct class-specific sessions and work with professors to make sure we’re enhancing the curriculum and help students with primary source material-based projects. One example of this is our collaboration each year with the Museum Objects class on campus who take over our exhibit room to get hands on experience with planning, installing and promoting physical and digital exhibits.

The faculty and staff of Special Collections work hard to create and maintain discovery tools for our materials and are constantly re-evaluating and editing our finding aids, library catalog records and digital collection records to make sure our materials are easily findable.

We’re also always on hand when materials are being used in the Reading Room to answer any questions and de-mystify even the most challenging of our collections. We know using our collections is unique for many of our patrons so whether it’s a one on one research consultation with our materials or a short tutorial on navigating our online finding aids, we make sure you can find what you need.

One of our staff talks through what needs to be digitized for a patron.

One of our staff talks through what needs to be digitized for a patron.

We are lucky to have varied collections for patrons to use. We hold one of the largest collections of French Revolution and Napoleonic research materials in the world in order to support the Institute on Napoleon & The French Revolution at FSU. We also have an extensive collection of children’s poetry and literature in the John Mackay Shaw Collection and a large Florida history collection in both books and manuscript materials. Our rare book collection stretches from the earliest cuneiform tablets to the artist books being produced today.

We’re also well aware that we live in the 21st century and we have many avenues open to us to share our materials with those patrons who can’t make it to Tallahassee. The FSU Digital Library (FSUDL) holds many items from Special Collections & Archives and will continue to add more as we work to make our collections more and more accessible, as well as searchable, for our users. In this work, we often digitize materials for patrons who need images for publications or special projects that we can then bring in to the FSUDL.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce the other parts that make up the Special Collections & Archives division at FSU!

Happy Birthday Claude Pepper!

September 8, 2014
Claude Pepper speaking before a Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies rally ca. 1940

Claude Pepper speaking before a Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies rally ca. 1940

Born on September 8, 1900 in Camp Hill Alabama, Claude Denson Pepper was a devoted public servant who served the state of Florida for over 40 years as a member of the Florida House of Representatives (1926-27), the US Senate (1936-1950) and the US House of Representatives (1963-1989). During his time in the Senate, he was a proponent of President Roosevelt’s New Deal Legislation and was instrumental in the passing of the Wage and Hour Bill as well as the Lend Lease Act.

In the House of Representatives, he served as an impassioned advocate for elder rights, health care and for strengthening and protecting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other government sponsored programs on behalf of millions of Americans. He died in Washington D.C. on May 30, 1989 and was the 26th individual to have lain in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Senator Pepper’s collection resides within the Claude Pepper Library at Florida State University and reflects the many of the challenges and changes that took place in American life throughout his distinguished career. You may see a complete finding aid of the collection here. Topical strengths within the Pepper Collection include aging, Civil Rights, crime and drug prevention, National Health Care, New Deal Legislation, Lend-Lease, McCarthyism, U.S. foreign and domestic policy, welfare and worker’s rights.

The Pepper Library is currently working on re-housing several portions of the Pepper Papers as well as digitizing and making available the Pepper Photograph Collection, portions of which are currently available in the Florida State University Digital Library.

Stay tuned for more posts on the life and papers of Senator Claude Pepper on this blog as we continue to bring more of this great collection to your fingertips. Happy Birthday Senator Pepper!

The Start of a New Season

September 5, 2014

The defending national champions Florida State University Seminoles host a sold out football home opener this weekend against the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

In the 1950s and 1960s, FSU played the Bulldogs of the Citadel fairly often when both schools were part of the Southern Conference. The homecoming game of 1955 featured the Citadel and a rather useful program which laid out definitions of penalties and a referee hand signal guide.

Hand Signal Guide from the 1955 Homecoming Program [see full description]

Hand Signal Guide from the 1955 Homecoming Program [see full description]

The 1962 game versus Citadel, following the Citadel’s 1961 championship year, was also FSU’s home opener that year and was widely discussed before it was played. Here, FSU HB Terry Hollman is brought down by two Citadel defensemen during the game.

Florida State HB Terry Hollman is brought down by a partially obscured player for The Citadel, as Cadet center Mike Reardon (55) rushes to assist. [See full description]

Florida State HB Terry Hollman is brought down by a partially obscured player for The Citadel, as Cadet center Mike Reardon (55) rushes to assist. [See full description]

In the wake of that game, The Grandstand Coach, a weekly publication of the FSU Boosters, recapped the game in comical fashion.

Comic from the Grandstand Coach - The Citadel Edition [see full item]

Comic from the Grandstand Coach – The Citadel Edition [see full item]

Here’s wishing the team a great weekend! Go Noles!


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