One of the parts of the collection I arranged this week was the assortment of Dick Barnes correspondence with Hertel. In this age of technology, it is advised to be careful what you may put online or send to people because “you never know who is going to read it!” Most people do not consider this when writing letters, yet the same idea still applies because it could end up in an archive, where you never know who is going to read it. I began to think about this as I saw some of the letters referring to opinions about controversies at the college. I have come across a few documents that will require some level of confidentiality, so I learned about different options for sealing, redacting, and requests reviewing for few materials that fit such description. The pictures below are two examples of the drawings sometimes included in the margins of the letters written from Barnes.
This week I also began going sleeving photographs. Most of the photographs are from the classes Hertel took to the deserts for an external studies semester program. The photographic materials are a variety of sizes as evidenced below. These photographs provide a complement to the syllabus and proposal documents I already have seen in the collection with a visual example of the projects and places Hertel used for his interdisciplinary and experimental approach to education.
This week, I focused on creating folders for the Woodcock contributions to the collection. The most difficult part was when I was down to the final pieces. While most everything could easily be categorized, there were a few pieces that were left at the end. It took me some time, but with advice from Lisa, I was able to come up with folders without having to name any “miscellaneous.”
I also started into the rest of the Hertel collection, including the hundreds of 35mm slides, part of which is pictured above. Many of the slides are labeled or are already in groups, but there are still a number of loose ones. Looking at these to create some sort of order has been interesting. The photo below is one I found particularly interesting. The scene is an event possibly on the mounds at Pitzer College with a gigantic face and arms in the background. Hertel has documented quite a few of these types of events with large artistic objects, assumed to be made by students and faculty, for festivals, marches, etc. I wonder what happened to these massive pieces? Have they been destroyed? Are they in someone’s garage? As I continue with the slides next week, I hope to come across more slides that could hint to at least what the events were!
After Last week’s survey and creation of a processing plan, this week I was able to begin the process of arranging items! I started into the papers first because they will take the longest and require the most effort for intellectual arrangement too. Yesterday, I spent a while going through the various forms of correspondence between Hertel, Woodcock, and their circle of people by which they are surrounded. With such a long career at Pitzer, Hertel has correspondence with multiple college presidents, various faculty members, and students from different generations.
Working with the letters, especially the communication between Woodcock and Hertel, requires a bit more than I would have considered before CCEPS. It is not just arranging by person, but it’s finding the actual date with clues of content that its the year of 30th anniversary of the Wilderness Act or based on the surrounding materials with matching stamps and types of paper. The letters had to be un-enveloped, many with photos that requiring sleeving. With correspondents that are creative as they are, the format of correspondences take numerous forms including collages and cards they have made. Within letters Hertel would include photos, newspapers, or materials from where he was. The above photo is from one of his letters from Shanghai in the early 1990s. Included is calligraphy, brochures, pamphlets, a rating of the hotel, and a guide to addressing back pain. The last part I am unsure as I can not read it.
Until Next week!
Originally Written 2/7/16:
Above is a box from Michael Woodcock’s Route 66 class from around 15 years ago. The class collected materials representing this section of the the famous highway that we commonly recognize as Foothill Blvd. Some highlights not seen in the picture include an In-n-Out Christmas to go bag, sunkist candies, and Pitzer memorabilia.
The box represented a larger theme for me this week. I had the opportunity to survey a variety of materials and learn how they are stored. There are DVDs, CDs, reel to reel, cassettes, film and even a floppy disk. In order to list what is in the collection I had to learn some AV basics like how to distinguish 8mm and Super 8mm film.
This weeks challenge was to begin to develop a plan of how this collection should be arranged ideologically and physically. I focused more time than expected on the physical arrangement part- there are so many different types of boxes! Although I have an outline of the collections arrangement, I am interested to see how this will change over time when I begin the process.
Originally written 1/29/2016:
First week of CCEPS done!
This week I got a look behind the scenes at Special Collections beyond what I had been able to see as researcher in previous years. After looking at a few collections, I decided to spend my time with CCEPS working on the collections of Carl Hertel, the late Pitzer and CGU professor of Art and Environmental Studies and, as I recently discovered, a Pomona College graduate ’52. I have done research projects on Pitzer’s history and also contributed to the Pitzer History Project, so working with materials of such an important figure in the Pitzer community is a special opportunity. I am in the process of surveying the materials, which has been interesting and fun to see bits of Pitzer culture over a range of about 30 years. I have heard references to the external studies program in which students lived and studied in the New Mexico for a semester, but now I have seen photos, projects, lessons, etc, for the course. It makes me wish we still had such a program! So far the challenge this week was the control of my curiosity to read every single word, look in detail at every single photograph, and so on. If I did that, I would never have made it past the first box! There is such a variety of materials in format and topics, there is so much to learn and so much to do! I am excited to see what next week brings.