The semester is almost over and there’s a lot to do before
it ends. As a student I have been busy working on wrapping up coursework and
writing final papers. But as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow I have also been working on a
culminating project for the semester.

Next Wednesday, December 6, I will be doing a presentation
about my experiences along with the rest of the CLIR CCEPS Fellows. Each person
will speak on a different topic that interests them and directly relates to
their time here at special collections working on the CLIR Water documents. The
event will be held at 2pm in the library’s Founders Room.

At first I was overwhelmed with the idea of presenting my
thoughts on the project to digitize this huge collection of documents relating
to water resources in Southern California. Even though I have been here almost
an entire semester, at times I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of
the collection. However, in thinking more about the upcoming presentations I
have realized I have a wealth of thoughts and ideas about the project.

I won’t tell you what my topic is yet though! No spoilers!
But if you want to come you can always check out the Facebook event here:


Since it is Thanksgiving week I thought I would talk about
the things I am thankful for as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow.

1. Tanya, the Special Collections CLIR Digital Project Manager:
Tanya is the driving force of the CLIR Water Project. She uses her knowledge
and expertise to guide the CLIR CCEPS fellows. Without her, the project would
not be possible. I am thankful for her because she has taught me an immense
amount about archives, libraries, and special collections.


2. The Other CLIR CCEPS Fellows: I could not tackle the task of
digitizing and uploading this collection by myself. The other CLIR CCEPS
Fellows are similarly dedicated to making this collection of water documents
accessible on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. I am thankful for them
because of their hard work as we work together to complete this project.


3. The Special Collections and Claremont Colleges Library
Staff: The staff here is always friendly and ready to help me with any issue I
may have. I am thankful for them because as a student and as a worker they are
always able to share knowledge and insight.


4. Podcasts: Whenever I am working on the more monotonous
tasks, like scanning a large document, I like to listen to podcasts. They keep
my brain busy while I do less exciting tasks so I never get bored at work. I am
thankful for podcasts because they keep me entertained.


5. Technology: I’ve already talked about technology in a
previous blog post, but it is so vital to what we do here. I am thankful for
technology because it makes my life easier.


6. The People of the Past: Where would we be without the people
of the past? We could not do research about water resources in Southern
California if the people in this area had not written letters, drawn maps,
created documents, completed reports, or recorded any of the material that we
now possess. I am thankful for the people of the past for documenting their
lives and activities so that we could learn about them today.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting started with the CLIR Water Project

Hello, fellow followers of the water history of Southern California!

I’m Aalia, a freshman at Pomona College, and I recently joined the CLIR Water team here at good old Honnold-Mudd library. During my first two weeks, I have been working with Book 1 of the Chaffey letters. I checked the scans of the original letters against their transcripts to make sure the files were paired together correctly, then filled in some of their metadata in the Excel spreadsheet tracker.

As we know, there are hundreds of these letters, so I didn’t really get to read each one- if I had, I’d be working on that same task right now, and for the next several days! But I did get to skim a lot of the documents, and it was fascinating to get a glimpse into a different era and its form of communication. My freshman critical inquiry course this semester revolves around letters and the role they play in our lives and societies, so I’ve been thinking about the purpose, context, and form of various letters for the past couple months. Applying this thought process to the Chaffey brothers’ correspondences has made me observant of the particular language they use and how it conveys their meaning, the openings and closings of each letter, and the tone the writers use when dealing with different issues. The opportunity to explore these themes as I compiled rows and rows of metadata definitely spiced up the job.

So far, I’ve learned how to work on metadata and how to convert PDFs to PDF/As. I’ve also realized that Excel can be tricky- I accidentally messed up the configuration of a spreadsheet when I was trying to add rows- so I am trying to be even more careful with these little details!

See you after Thanksgiving,

The Plan is Complete

Hello Everyone, I spent this week formulating a
proposed processing plan. This entailed quite a lot of reading and research,
and I learned a great deal about creating a plan for arranging
a collection. The processing plan really boils down to figuring out the most
logical and expeditious way to break down and arrange the collection in such a
way that future researchers can easily access the
collection and quickly locate the records they are attempting to find. 
I still felt a little apprehensive – I was nervous about making a mistake – but
Lisa Crane reminded me that the processing plan is a “living document,” 
 and that the plan will
evolve as the processing is being conducted. So, there are no mistakes, just a
starting point in an ongoing process. This revelation made me feel much more
confident and I was able to propose a plan that, I hope, is based on sound
reasoning. I am eager to receive feedback on my proposal, make any recommended
changes to the plan, and start processing the collection.

Among the wonderful
events and activities put on by the Woman’s Club of Claremont over their long
and productive history, there were many fundraising events for worthwhile
organizations. One of these events was the 1962 Spring Celebrity Hat Sale to benefit
the Well Baby Clinic. The Woman’s Club asked celebrities to donate hats for the
benefit, and the club received some interesting donations from notable public and historical figures of the time including, but not limited to, Jackie Kennedy and the wife of Dean Martin.

Letter From Jackie Kennedy.jpg
Jackie Kennedy donates an autographed steel engraving.

Mrs Dean Marrtin Letter.jpg
Mrs. Dean Martin donates her husband’s new album.

Level three!

I’ve begun metadata on the Chaffey Letters, Book I! I’ve never been into video games much but I assume that the feeling of passing a level you tried over and over to pass is the same feeling I’ve felt these past two days. I suppose I should clarify what level one and two were, as well. 

Level One: Scanning. The Chaffey Letters (Book I and II) took an extremely long time to scan. Each book had such a large number of extremely thin and fragile paper. 

chaffey bhs.jpg

Level Two: Breaking up the letters. Along with the Chaffey Letters, Ontario City Library provided us with transcripts for each letter. The past few weeks I have been breaking apart the letters, from one large pdf with all the letters into individual pdfs for each letter (as well as individual pdfs for each transcript).
Level Three: METADATA! Now that the sources are scanned and separated I have begun metadata so the hundreds of Chaffey Letters we have can go live (that’s how you win this video game, in case you were wondering). With the letters we have to attach their transcripts and process them as ‘compound objects,’ so the letters will be able to be viewed on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library with the transcripts.

Here’s to many more hours on metadata!

till next time, 

Learning Through Osmosis

I’m becoming a historian through osmosis. After a couple of
weeks of creating metadata, I have an increasing understanding of the documents
and the context in which they exist. I already knew some things from scanning documents
and looking for interesting tidbits for social media and blog posts.

Now that I’m creating metadata, my understanding of the topics
in our collection has increased tenfold. This is the nature of creating
metadata, I am trying to synthesize information contained in the document so
that when it is uploaded researchers browsing our collection will be able to
filter through the material.

It is obviously interesting to learn about major
events like the construction of the Hoover Dam, but it may be more
surprising to hear that my favorite things to learn about are the less
narratives. This week, for example, I created metadata for a series of
written between 1935 and 1938 between the City of Ontario and the
Water District of Southern California.

During this time the Colorado River was seen as the solution
to the water scarcity problem in Southern California. Increasing numbers of
people settling in the area meant increasing amounts of water was required for both
agricultural and domestic use. Southern Californians looked east to the
Colorado River, one of the largest rivers in the United States for assistance.

A dam in the Boulder Canyon was proposed and subsequently an
aqueduct leading to Southern California. The Metropolitan Water District of
Southern California was responsible for the building of the Colorado River
Aqueduct. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
originally encompassed Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Compton, Fullerton,
Glendale, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Marino, Santa Ana, Santa
Monica, and Torrance. Later on it would include dozens of Southern Californian
cities including Ontario.

This series of letters, however, gives a smaller,
intimate, and incredibly interesting history of this time. According to
from the City of Ontario, several city streets had been damaged by the
of the Colorado River Aqueduct. The letters addressed to the
Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California requested that they cover the cost
required to
repair the city streets. This correspondence continues with the
Water District of Southern California’s denial of responsibility of the
Between 1935 and 1938, the City of Ontario and the Metropolitan Water
of Southern California send letter after letter until a conclusion is
made. According to one of the final letters, an Ontario City
Council meeting passed a resolution that freed the Metropolitan Water
of Southern California from liability for the damage done during the
construction of the Colorado River Aqueduct.

As I created metadata for these items, I was intrigued by
this story. Although it is not a major event in the history of Southern California, it
is an interesting narrative that could very easily have been lost to time. Instead
I am able to make these letters available to researchers through the Claremont
Colleges Digital Library.

Social Media, but like from the past?

Inspired by Kiera’s blog about social media, I began to think of the Chaffey
brothers and their use of advertisement and marketing in order to
attract attention to their “Colony.” As we saw in a past blog of mine, the Chaffey
brothers had produced pamphlets about their “City that Charms.” They
truly created a sort of paradise area for people to come, to live and to
prosper. “It’s like Social Media, but old.” *said in a high pitched voice*
They really did have their own forms of social media, their own forms of
putting information out there. Nowadays if we have an idea we have an immediate outlet, but it wasn’t always that easy.
In the letter below one can see how
advertising was very important to the Chaffey brothers.


They had advertisements all around the area, and even in Canada. In another letter
you can see the amount of people from Canada interested in the Colony
the Chaffey Brothers created.


they really had a vision!

Until next time,

Making a Plan

Hello Everyone, this week I finished the box survey
and began formulating a processing plan. To facilitate this next step in the
process, I had to figure out the answers to two fundamental questions: What is
a processing plan and how do you make one? After some sage advice from Lisa, I
relied on the tried and true practice of research, research, research! Developing
and Maintaining Practical Archives: A How-To-Do-It Manual
by Gregory S. Hunter,
the “Bible” of creating archives, and A Glossary of Archival & Records
by Richard Pearce-Moses, are providing valuable information and
will help guide me through the process. After some initial reading, I had to just
jump in and begin filling out the processing plan. I am learning as I go and
enjoying every moment.

Blog 3 Pic 1.jpg


I came across some interesting information regarding
the Junior Woman’s Club of Claremont. The club was started in 1933 with the
Woman’s Club as its sponsor, and focuses on philanthropy, community service,
and building leadership skills in young women devoted in the group. Two items
of interest are the Club’s History and Purpose, and the GFWC (General
Federation of Women’s Clubs) Junior Pledge written in 1916 by Helen Cheney
Kimberly of California. I found the Junior Pledge to contain some profound
language and concepts, encouraging the young women of the group to be loyal, do
better in their work, be honest and courteous, and to “live each day trying to
accomplish something – not merely to exist.” Pretty amazing!      


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 The Junior Club of Claremont’s History and Purpose.


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The Junior Pledge was written
in 1916 by Helen Cheney Kimberly of California, and was adopted in 1930 at the
GFWC Convention as the National Junior Pledge.

Social Media and Accessibility

One important aspect of archival work is
making information from primary sources accessible to people. For the
most part this priority manifests through the creation of finding aids,
the opening of reading rooms, and the establishment of
digital libraries. The Honnold Mudd Library implements all these
features in order to invite scholars to use the Special Collections.
However, there is another way to make primary sources accessible to
potential users: through the use of social media.

Social media makes archival and special collections
accessible not only practically but also intellectually. In a practical
sense, social media accounts can help promote repositories and
encourage use by scholars and other individuals through
the more traditional means listed above. However, it also allows social
media users to engage with primary sources intellectually. The social
media presence of a repository can be a direct way of disseminating
easily digestible pieces of information taken
from primary sources. By offering this engagement with primary sources,
social media makes these sources more accessible to an increasingly
wide audience.

Social media is a great way to share fun facts,
short stories, images, and developments–this is how many individuals use
accounts like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Special collections
libraries and archival repositories can use social
media in similar ways. In the case of the Honnold Mudd Library and
Special Collections we use our social media accounts to share images and
videos of the collection, interesting information found in certain
documents, and new development for projects like
the CLIR Water Project. In this way, social media users engage with the
collection much as how they would use a finding aid, visit a reading
room, or browse a digital library.

There are two social media projects I have been
developing since becoming a CLIR CCEPS fellow: #TypographyTuesday and
#WaterWednesday. These hashtags are used by our Twitter, Instagram, and
Facebook accounts. #TypographyTuesday and #WaterWednesday
usually include an image from the collection paired with a little
background information. I like to take advantage of the visual elements
of the documents I come across in the Caldifornia Water Documents
collection when I post to social media so that my posts
are eye-catching. If this blog post caught your eye and you would like
to follow #TypographyTuesday and #WaterWednesday here are links to our
social media accounts.




Getting My Groove On

Hello Everyone,

I am happy to report that I have settled into a
comfortable groove this week as I continue to perform the box survey for the
Woman’s Club of Claremont archive. I am learning as I go, making smarter
decisions, and working at a much quicker pace. I have managed to conduct the survey
on 26 of the 27 boxes, and will be ready to move on to step two in the process
next week. I have come across some interesting items that demonstrate not only
the enduring historical significance of the club, but also how the club has
made intimate connections with their community over the last century. The Woman’s
Club of Claremont has touched every era, and left the community better,
stronger, and enriched for the interaction.

 A history of the Woman’s Club of Claremont was recorded
in 1960. The group unofficially began meeting in 1917, during the First World War,
to do Red Cross sewing, knitting, and community service. The group became an
official club after the war in 1919. There are photographs of the club and its
building from the earliest years which are an interesting contrast to the way the
building looks today. The comparison shows how the Woman’s Club grew as the
community grew, and speaks to the intimate and integral relationship between
the club and the community. I know my understanding of the Woman’s Club will
expand as I continue processing the archive, and I look forward to delving
deeper into process, and the club, next week!

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History, circa 1960.


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found in a record book containing meeting minutes titled, Woman’s Club of
Claremont 1924 – 1944

Blog 2 Pic 3.jpg 

Club of Claremont today.