Herbert Hoover, Former Geologist and Engineer

31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover is remembered as the leader of America through the first few brutal years of the Great Depression. While his 1929-1933 term did not revive the country’s economy, his visions to harness the water-power of the American Southwest were a success. This is undoubtedly related to his career before presidency as a mining engineer, and his original education in Geology from Stanford University. 

Below is a 1932 photograph of President Hoover and other notables involved in the Water Projects touring the diversion tunnels near Boulder City, Nevada. This is the future site of the Hoover Dam, an American engineering feat.
NARA Series: Boulder Canyon Project Series, 1948-1966. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292774

End of the Year Speech

So 2018 has been one of the most fascinating years of my life. Many great things happened this year. I took on big challenges which will potentially shape the rest of my life. I had the opportunity to work with great CCEPS-CLIR people and learn from them. Above all, the words “Euclid Avenue” now has a special place in my heart.

Thank you everyone. Stay tuned for 2019 because it will be even better than 2018! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

My last week.

This is my last week at the CCEPS. The fellowship went so fast and it is hard to believe today is my last day. I wanted to thank you everyone for helping me on the way and making this such a great experience! I had the privilege to start processing John Seymour’s papers and I cannot wait to see the final outcome of this project once it is all finished.  While I was working on Mr. Seymour’s correspondence I found many of his Christmas cards and greetings. I hope your Christmas is just like on the card below – Merry, Happy, and Bright! Happy 2019! Hope to see you around next year! 



2,000 Scans Completed!

Today marks the completion of the 2,000th scan of the All-American Canal Project Histories at NARA. The first 1,000 pages were completed the week of September 10th. Below is a photo of the 2000th page. Printed in 1947, this page comes from a larger packet that was given to contractors looking to offer bids to work on a section of the canal. At the time, work needed to be completed to reinforce the flood zone embankments. 

2000th scan.JPG
NARA Series: All-American Canal Project Histories, 1948-1954. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292770

Last Week!

This Wednesday, I presented on the Yao Family Papers at the Founders Room. When I arrived in front of the room, I immediately noticed a familiar face. It was none other than Norman Yao’s son, the donor of the collection, Peter Yao. I have seen so many photos of him in the past year, as a child or a young adult. Although he certainly had aged, the way he looked did not change very much and was highly recognizable. I exchanged a few pleasant words for him, and felt really honored that he came to my presentation. Many librarians attended the presentation, and I was pleasantly surprised to find my academic advisor there too. 

In the presentation, I talked about the history of the Yao family, the contents of the collection, the themes of Yao’s photography, and my favorite items in the collection. The other two fellows presented on a LA composer and the novelist Irving Wallace. I really enjoyed the event. 

As I am studying abroad next semester, this week might be my last week working for CCEPS. The past year had been really fun and I learned a great deal in the process. As an aspiring historian, when I first saw primary sources such as the collection, I was inclined to invent stories for the items. However, I gradually learned that as an archivist, I had to assume the innocence of the items, and let future researchers give them meanings. This “post-modern” mentality had been refreshing in the sense that metanarratives were forbidden and fragments were celebrated. 

Hope you have a fruitful final week! 



Here’s an auspicious Cantonese junk boat for your good luck. 

Last Week before the Break!

Being the last week of work for this semester, I was able to work on both photography as well as do metadata. Some of the items had black dots on them and they had to be re-photographed. Apart from that, I continued working on the metadata and I was happy that I was able to upload a majority of the items that I had completed.
Overall, the CLIR-CCEPS fellowship has been a great experience for me so far. I hope to continue next year.


I had the opportunity to attend
the CCEPS (non-CLIR) presentations on Wednesday. I was taken aback by the sheer
amount of information and historical photographs presented by the students.
What surprised me most was that even though I have been working with two of the
students, Marcus Liu and Justyna Misiewicz, I was not
really aware of the resources they were working on. Overall, a great





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Are You Afraid of Heights?

Circled in red in the photo below, three surveyors with minimal safety gear are preparing anchorage lines for an aerial tram in Boulder Canyon. 

While workplace safety is a legal obligation with all forms of employment in 2018, such concerns were rarely considered in 1931. Case in point is this photograph of these surveyors nonchalantly triangulating points along the sheer cliffs of the canyon without harnesses. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the institution in charge of the creation and enforcement of workplace safety regulations, would not come about until 1971, forty years after this photograph was taken.
NARA Series: Boulder Canyon Project Series, 1948-1966. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292774

Final presentations.

This week our CCEPS team had our culminating presentations. It was really interesting to learn about what other students have been working on during this semester. Marcus Liu, talked about processing the Yao Family papers and Clark Noone, about the Irving Wallace papers, and I was sharing my experience with processing the John Laurence Seymour papers.  Thank you everyone for coming, we had a nice audience of people. Looking back on this fellowship, I am very thankful I had this opportunity to experience something new, try something I have never done before and rediscover the library and its special collection. Thank you everyone for helping me on the way and for your support. Next week will be my last as the CCEPS Fellow. It went so fast and it is hard to believe this semester is almost over.