The Croppening

Over the past several weeks I’ve scanned a bunch of field notes. When I make a scan, it usually looks something like this:

(Apologies for the poor image quality)

Note the negative space around the item.The reason for this is a) the book scanner’s framing tool is somewhat clumsy (you can’t move individual lines of the frame box) and b) jagged white lines sometimes appear along the edges of the frame.

crop5.JPGKinda hard to see, but it’s there.

Anyway, if I box the frame scan too close to the object during the image capture, those white lines are then too close for me to safely crop out later without eating into the item (you want a little negative space in the finished scan, so the reader can see the whole of the item). Hence, lots of negative space.

And so I’ve been in the process of revisiting the field notes, one page at a time, and cropping them to an aesthetically pleasing item-to-negative space ratio. So this…

crop8.JPGNow looks like this:

(Again, ugh, that image quality. I promise I’ll learn about screen capturing one of these days)

One down, I’m-afraid-to-even-count more to go!

The Silent Killers

The past few weeks of my CCEPS internship has been comprised of me sorting and cleaning up the folders and boxes in order to create a cohesive system for researchers to easily find what they are looking for within the collection. I have been slowly relabeling and re-foldering the records into acid-free folders, which will help preserve the records.

 The picture below show box before rehousing (right) and you can see how the folders to not match and the folders are overstuffed. What you can not see is the newspaper clippings and staples that are inside each folder. These items may not seem harmful, but over time can cause severe damage the records. The majority of newspapers are not meant for longevity and are made out of low quality wood pulp, which is very acidic. Good storage is critical to the preservations of newspapers. However, if a newspaper or clipping is left within a collection, the acid can transfer and destroy other records. It is important for an archivist to replace the clipping with the photocopy of the clipping. The clipping can either be thrown away, or be preserved for those who wish to study the material used to make newspapers. Staples are an another item that can cause irreversible damage. Many staples can rust, causing permanent staining on paper records. In addition, other office items such as clips, rubber bands, binder clips, straight pins, tape, and post-it notes can all cause physical or chemical damage 
As an archivist, it is my job to preserve these records for future research. So what I have been doing these past free week is removing staples, newspapers, office binders, and taking out anything that could potentially damage the records. In addition, I have been keeping track of photographs which will need mylar sleeve protectors.The box on the left show records that have been successful rehoused into new acid free box, acid free folders, with no staples, and no newspapers.
RJC blog 5.1.jpg

140 Characters: Is It Enough?


week we took a field trip to the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles,
California. We talked with David Keller, records management and imaging services,
and Monika Medina, external affairs, media, and communications. We wanted to
learn about the twitter campaign for MWD’s 75th anniversary of the
construction of the Colorado River Aqueduct. This campaign involved “live-tweeting”
as individuals who helped with the construction and coordination of this water
delivery project to promote the anniversary celebrations.

turn, we shared about the CLIRWater project in order to gain insights about
what we should do in order to promote the freshly digitized archival
collections. Having thought on this issue, I have realized that marketing archives
via social media requires thinking about the different purposes of each website
and making the correct choice. Monika shared that we must think about the
demographics of each platform’s audience. We must ask ourselves, which platform
would efficiently and creatively draw viewer’s attention to the archives? Who
are we marketing to?

am interested in seeing how this aspect of the CLIRWater project will develop.
I am personally only on a few different social media platforms, but talking
with David and Monika has helped me realize that the websites are more
different than I had previously realized. Being a frequent user of twitter and
tumblr, I am familiar with these platforms. However, for a professional project
in which you need to attract
hits/viewership, this requires rethinking how you manage social media. Suddenly
“live-tweeting” as historical characters requires thinking about how to make
the most of 140 characters while also capturing the tone/accuracy of the historical
people and events these tweets are meant to reflect. Not as easy as it might
sound on first blush. 


Hello readers! This will be my last blog post as today marks my last day as a CLIR CCEPS fellow. This experience has taught me skills I didn’t have before – now I consider myself an experienced scanner, photographer, and metadata creator. This fellowship also made me realize the amount of work that goes into archiving materials that scholars can easily access on a computer, something I very much took for granted before the fellowship. Lastly, I’ve thought a lot about water during the past two months, as a result of working with documents saturated with discussions about it. I can’t help but think about how pertinent something like access to water is in our current climate, one in which leaders openly deny global warming and the reality that human actions have the capacity to damage the environment in real and catastrophic ways. I can go to the water fountain that is twenty feet away from me and get cold, clean water on a hot day, and I can do this because of the foresight of individuals who came long before me. Without this foresight, and what to me is at its core compassion for human and non-human life, disaster will ensue, and this is both irresponsible and cruel. Thank you to everyone for a great experience, and for the care you put into your work!