September Scoop on Special Collections & Archives

We’re starting a new feature here on Illuminations, a monthly “Scoop” as a quick way to share what our different areas have been up to over the last month and keep you up to date and informed about what our hard working staff are up to!

Special Collections & Archives

For several months, Burt Altman, Archivist, has been engaged in a project to reprocess the Paul A.M. Dirac Papers. The work has involved shifting and reboxing his vast collection of personal and professional correspondence, calculations, articles, photographs, and travel files, as well as his late wife Margit’s papers. These materials were housed in archival boxes, many of which were underfilled, so that the folders couldn’t stand upright, and there were preservation issues with storage of photographs and several photo albums. Also, most photographs were not properly described in the finding aid, which impeded access. These activities will insure better long-term preservation and more efficient access for this extremely significant collection. To continue providing access during this project, a note was placed in the catalog record and in the finding aid informing researchers that preservation and rehousing is being done, and if materials are needed, to contact Burt or the Special Collections Reading Room. Burt is happy to report that as of the last week of September, nearly 65% of this collection has been reprocessed, and the project will be completed sometime in October.

Hannah Davis, archival assistant in HPUA, disbinds a book for better storage and access.
Hannah Davis, archival assistant in HPUA, disbinds a book for better storage and access.

Heritage Protocol & University Archives

Outreach: HPUA attended the Emeritus Coffee Chat and celebrated the 100th birthday of 1936 FSCW alumna and emeritus chemistry professor, Kitty Hoffman. We had a great time hearing stories and sharing memorabilia with alumni!

Preservation and access: We disbound two books that contained West Florida Seminary catalogs from the late 19th century and they will be digitized and added to the Digital Library. The catalogs provide a unique look at our predecessor institution, and will be an invaluable resource for researchers interested in the West Florida Seminary.

Claude Pepper Library

This month, the Claude Pepper Library brought a new collection into its stacks. In 1990, Larry Durrence was named a Visiting Professor at FSU with a full-time assignment with the Florida Tax & Budget Reform Commission (TBRC). In January 1991 he was then promoted by the Commission members from Senior Analyst to Executive Director for his remaining term with the TBRC. This past Friday the 26th, Mr. Durrence donated three boxes of material related to the work of the Commission during his time there. The collection will be processed and made available to researchers by the early spring of 2015.

The Pepper Library also hosted Dr. G. Kurt Piehler’s ‘The American GI in War and Peace in World War II” class on the 18th of September. Coming in as part of a larger tour hosted by History Liaisons Sarah Buck-Kachaluba and Bill Modrow, the history seminar class was introduced to Claude Pepper and his work during the Second World War while a member of the US Senate. The class was also able to hear an excerpt of a Pepper speech given in late June of 1941 which warned of the dangers of the Nazi threat.

Cataloging & Description

Amy Weiss, Head of Cataloging & Description, taught a workshop entitled “RDA without tears” to help put RDA coding into a practical perspective. A lot of RDA training is very theoretical in orientation, but this class was intended as a “how to” class.  Three members of the medical school library joined up for the class, as did one of the serials catalogers. We went over the basics of the RDA record in the MARC format, and we discussed “hybrid records” where some features of RDA are used in an AACR2 record.

The Authorities/Catalog Management Unit and Linda Brown in Serials finished the ASERL Documents Project. To explain, Florida State University Libraries is a member of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). Last year, the ASERL libraries were asked to select three areas to catalog for the Centers of Excellence – an ASERL program envisioning the creation of comprehensive collections of U.S. government information from each Federal government agency. FSU’s 3 ASERL collections are Economic Development Administration (1965-) Call number is C46… approx. 400 items, Federal Security Agency (1939-1969) Call number is FS2… approx. 3,000 items and the Library of Congress Country Studies Call number is D101.22:550- approx. 316 items.

Digital Library Center

The DLC started several new projects this month. The Florida Handbook from 1947-2012 and Florida State College for Women scrapbooks were in the DLC for digitization. Image quality control continues on the Florida Flambeau images and we’ve started a pilot project for the loading and metadata creation of the issues in the FSU Digital Library. We completed the digitization of the latest batch of papers from the Paul A.M. Dirac collection which now goes into post digitization processing before loading into the FSU Digital Library. We also attended the History program mixer event hosted in the Special Collections Exhibit Room and enjoyed introducing the DLC to the faculty and students in that department.

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