This week I worked on the front matter. Some of the process is just transferring data that already exists, or compiling it. An example of this is creating the date range in which the collection fits. I had already been looking out for the earliest date just because I was interested to know- there is a copy of something that was made in the 2000s but it is of a 1950s art piece so the earliest date in the collection is a letter from 1961. The items on the front matter that take the longest time are the written sections including scope and content, or what is cover what is included in the collection, and an abstract. One of these written parts is the biographical information. This is called the Hertel Collection, but Michael Woodcock’s important contribution of materials as well as the inclusion of some of his own items, means he is included in this section. For the biographical materials on Hertel, he had written his own short biographical account of his life in the 1990s that provided a lot of information about his life, that would not be included in any other place. Most career bios available for researchers would not include many stories from their childhood, but Hertel writes about significant moments as a young person that he can pin point as the origin of his interest in the environmental art, “the Chinese style,” and “the Mexican impressionist element” in his art. Writing a short bio for others to reference is not only helpful, but it is a great opportunity for someone to shape and influence the way they are remembered in situations such as this collection. One can add the small details that others may not know, or would skip over, but personally, are very impactful in a lifetime.
It’s weird to think this is the last blog post for CCEPS for me. I have learned so much this semester! Last week, presented about my fellowship to library staff, faculty, my friends and a few guests. It was great to meet Katy Hertel, Carl Hertel’s daughter who donated much of the collection. Also, one of his former students from Pitzer came to watch the presentation. Unfortunately all of the pictures did not show up on the screen, but most of the photos used were ones that I had posted on this blog. There was some discussion after the presentation about how to bring the materials into the community, and we talked about how many of Hertel’s former students may have more information and material that could be added to the collection. It seems that there is an opportunity to use the archive to connect Pitzer alumni to their alma mater. Much of the Pitzer experience is about the people in the community, and figures like Hertel relate students, faculty and staff across generations.
I realize that I have not actually posted a Picture of Carl Hertel, so below is a photo of him (standing left) with the 1988 Art seniors. This is not from the collection, but it is on the Pitzer Flickr page. I was aware of information related to Hertel in the Pitzer archive, but when completing the front matter in Archive Space, I realized that this collection is part of a large network of materials in Claremont. In Special collections, there are various collections including the Pitzer History project and the Richard Barnes collection, that are associated. The CCDBL, Pitzer Art Gallery, and Scripps’ Denison Library also has materials that would help a researcher interested for more about Hertel. And who knows what could be at CGU!
This experience at CCEPS has been fantastic. For someone, like myself, who is interested in archiving and preservation as a future career possibility, this is a great way to get experience and/or expand on existing knowledge. Working on a collection I found connected to as a Pitzer student was not only motivating but I was always interested in what I was doing. I learned a lot of the activity that goes on in an large archive like Special Collections, from the classes that come in to the other materials housed there. Thanks to Lisa and everyone on Special Collections for an awesome and semester!
Next week I have the presentation regarding my time a CCEPS. In these last weeks, I have started to reflect at how far I have come this semester, and this presentation only supports that. It is also make the little remaining time left this semester very real. There are still things to do before this collection is ready for use, but it will be exciting when it finally gets there!