Odds and Ends

Hi folks! A few weeks back I mentioned the ephemera tucked away in the Willis Jones field notes and figured I’d highlight some findings this week. Some of these artifacts may provide crucial insight into Jones’s life and the time and place he occupied. Some of it could be random garbage. Let’s have a look!


A slip of paper with C S Hutson & Co letterhead noting that something had been checked.


Symbol or meaningless doodle? No one in CCEPS could identify what was drawn on the back of this envelope.


Arithmetic scratch paper. From the past!


A receipt from a map company.


Notation on the backside of the map receipt.


A tiny map.


More scratch paper! Why did I post this?

And there you have it. I’m about halfway through the box and can only wonder what strange treasures await.

An Evil Beauty: Flower Staples

Hello! My name is Elika and I graduated from Pomona in May. I started working on the project last week, and this is my first blog post! So far I’ve done a lot of taking staples out of documents to scan them, and then subsequently scanning them, which brings me to what I’m going to talk about today: flower-shaped staples. 

In order to scan the documents, the flower staples have to be taken out. The only problem is that they’re very unwilling to move, and prying them off of the documents takes a bit of effort. I’ve found the best way of doing this is flipping the document over so the petals are visible. Then I approach each petal with a slightly frightening level of determination, and slide the staple remover under it to make the petals fold over. After all the petals have been folded, the flower is now a crumpled circle, and can be pushed through the other side. Voila. I haven’t been able to find any history about these staples, but it does seem that they were used many decades ago, according to the vintage scrap booking blogs I visited. Enjoy!

Blog Entry 008; My first photo album

This week I used the book scanner in the Special Collections Reading Room to scan a photo album about the San Antonio Canyon. The digital surrogate is in individual TIF files that I will learn how to combine and convert into PDF files when I come back from vacation on June 19th. Normally when I scan resources with the book scanner, the digital surrogate is in PDF format. However, making the digital surrogate start off as a TIF file is a slightly different process that I prefer.

The process starts by aligning the page you want scanned on the book scanner (in this case making sure there is no glare on the images from the light in the room) and importing the image from the scanner into Adobe Photoshop. Cropping and rotation may be required for fine tuning but other than that I saved and labeled the image correctly and proceeded to scan each individual page. I did the odd pages first so that I wouldn’t have to keep rotating the photo album, and then after all of the odd pages were complete I went forward with the even pages.

Since my resource was a photo album, TIF files (in my opinion) are more clear and in depth than PDF files. The high resolution (600 dpi; Color Photo) captures the perfect essence of each photograph along with the typed out captions that are cut out of paper and glued near the images. This photo album has been my favorite resource thus far to create a digital surrogate for because I love photography. I took a photojournalism class in middle school and ever since I have considered photography one of my favorite hobbies. The elements of photography that show up in this fellowship are elements that I will always cherish.

Adventures in Summer Scanning

Hi all!

My name is Michelle. I’m a new student worker at CCEPS working on the CLIRWATER project. I am a history masters student at CGU studying post World War II California history. This is my second time working in an archival setting. I previously volunteered at the A. K. Smiley Library last summer, and to my surprise upon being hired, the A. K. Smiley Library is also participating in this new project.




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This is my third week of work and I have finally dived into a collection. Currently I am working on the Imperial Valley Records, Box 1, which contains documents that relate to water issues in Imperial County, California.

As you can see in the map below, Imperial Valley is located at the southernmost part of California, bordering Mexico and southern Arizona.

Imperial Valley.PNGMost of the documents I’ve scanned so far were produced by the Imperial
Irrigation District which manages water to this day for this county.
Some of the referenced infrastructure includes canals, dams, and levees. Some documents include tables which record the amount of water moving through canals or dams, often including how much water is lost due to seepage or evaporation.

Coming into this project, I knew that water plays a key role in the development of southern California in the 20th century. However, scanning items from this collection has helped me realize the value of this project. Digitizing these water documents will of course provide future scholars a new point of view for analyzing California history. In addition, these documents could prove useful with the threat of climate change looming. Though most of California has narrowly managed to come out of the drought with this past winter’s record rain and snowfall, the drought will inevitably return. Urban planners, civil engineers, environmentalists, politicians, and everyday citizens could use these documents to uncover new solutions to old water issues.

In the mean time, I still have several more folders to work through. Next week, I’ll provide some pictures of my favorite sources from this box.

Until next time!


Side Quests

Hail and well met, good Internet traveler! Welcome once more to CCEPS, where but through the alchemy of scanning do we transfigure documents of yore into digital treasures of the fuuuuuture.

Ahem. Sorry, been playing D&D on my off time.

Anyhoo, not much to report this week. I finally got around to inserting those images from the camera room into their respective PDF documents, so they’re ready for uploading and metadata tagging. I also removed some metal fasteners from another collection with the aid of a micro-spatula and +3 dexterity. And, as always, scanning the Willis S. Jones field notes continues. Pretty sure it’s the main campaign at this point.

I don’t have any cool archival items to share this week, so here’s a photograph of that micro-spatula I used earlier:


It does +5 loosening, and can remove up to level 3 rusted staples.

Okay, I’ll stop.

Blog Entry 007; The Hidden Document

IMG_1675.JPGIn last week’s blog post I talked about metadata and how I am beginning the process for my digital surrogates. Turns out when I was gathering all of the physical copies of my digital surrogates I had overlooked one source. When I was looking at the transaction list on my Aeon account and checking off each physical copy with their transaction request number, I noticed that one transaction number did not have a corresponding physical copy in the pile that I pulled. I reviewed our storage shelf for the “missing” document. When I found it I had no recollection of ever scanning it and I was slightly disappointed in my oversight. Thankfully I caught the oversight and I have enough time to create the digital surrogate for it. And of course there is one oversized item in the document that requires me to become reacquainted with IMG_1676.JPGthe camera room. Just when I thought it was smooth sailing from here (reviewing the digital surrogates and creating subject terms and descriptions for them), I have to do a mini crash course on creating a digital surrogate. One positive note that I enjoy is that this special surrogate will allow me to do an uninterrupted process of physical copy to digital surrogate to metadata creation. The first 16 digital surrogates that I created did not have such a smooth route, there are days and even weeks between their scanned dates and metadata processing dates. Hopefully by the end of this fellowship I will have 17 complete copies of digital surrogates and corresponding metadata forms.