Archiving Pro Tip: Erasing
Hopefully it should be no surprise that paper is made up of pulp derived from fibers of wood (or sometimes other fibrous materials such as grasses or cotton). These fibers are layered and pressed in a way that means each fiber is positioned in its own unique direction. Keeping this in mind, there is actually a trick when erasing a mistake made with pencil. While a lot of people may move their eraser quickly side to side, or up and down, this is not the most efficient way to erase. The best way is to move your eraser in a circular motion, both clockwise and counter-clockwise. By moving the eraser around in this manner it shifts the fibers of the paper in all directions, which means all of the tiny little fibers can be fully massaged by eraser! Be sure to try this trick next time you need to make a quick correction!
week I have been mainly scanning documents. In my opinion, tif files require
special care as completing the excel file is by far a more daunting task. But
of course one learns from experience.
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Computers of Yesteryear, Epilogue: Organ Harvesting
At the end of their painful journey, the aging machines will not shut off gently and surrounded by 8-bit lovers, rather, a more gruesome fate awaits them. Their plastic shells will be shattered, components ripped apart from their motherboards; then, chips and wires will be melted in the smoldering flame for metals, from the common to the rare. At the end of the conveyor belts, elements are recycled and again put together for newer, better electronic parts. When they are finally connected in a new casing and the power button pressed, a new unit is born; the cycle continues.
Irrigation on the Bear Valley…
This week I started working on a collection from the A. K. Smiley Public Library. The items that were present here so far consisted mainly of letters that were exchanged between Jas T. Taylor, who was then the engineer in-charge at the Bear Valley Irrigation Company and the various suppliers to the company. Some of the key elements that I noticed in these exchanges were the quick implementation of proposed developments. Due to this, apart from letters, some of the exchanges took place through telegrams where a majority of them had only a day’s difference.
The key companies that I have seen so far were the California Marble and Building Stone Co., Union Lime Co. (which was mainly involved in mining activities) and the Spreckels Bros. Commercial Co. When I did a little research, I found out that the Spreckels Bros. Commercial Co. mainly dealt in establishing a trade between the mainland United States and the Hawaiian Islands. As I begin to work further on the items, I am curious to find out the nature and purpose of these exchanges and what the outcomes were. As we can see, even though the broader topic mainly connects to the Bear Valley Irrigation Company, there were other major companies as mentioned above that also played a key role in the irrigation process.
During his editing exchanges with his editors and publisher, Irving Wallace was sent the following clipping from the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
The clipping is from an unknown date, though it would have been sometime in 1970-1973 while he was working on The Fan Club. Apparently Wallace had reason to create a mock personal ad for his book. One of Wallace’s editors on the project sent him the clipping as a model and suggesting that Wallace needed to change the size of the font he was using for the heading. So, in this particular exchange, the content of the clipping was completely irrelevant and yet what happens to be in this particular clipping is truly fascinating and could easily serve as inspiration for the latest mystery thriller.
The first personal ad reads:
My 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, & 14th amendment rights have been violated. For an unexplained reason I have been subjected to overt & covert physical surveillance, undercover intelligence gathering, maintainance [sic] of files & dossiers, intimidation & harassment. I urgently need public intervention to investigate as I cannot afford legal costs to protect my rights. Eleanor Hemstreet, 213/361-5361.
The first sentence would make a great opening for a mystery thriller. I can just imagine all kinds of interesting possibilities of what was happening here. Of course, there is always the possibility that whoever took out this personal ad was imagining these things for any number of reasons. But what if she wasn’t?
It is a wonder Mr. Wallace did not pick up on the content of this personal ad and write his own story about it. From the work of his that I have seen thus far, including research notes and observations, he found inspiration in pretty much everything. He was keen to observe people when he was looking to flesh out characters for his novels. Sometimes I find his research notes to be more interesting than the novel he produced from them (sorry Irving!).
Computers of Yesteryear, Part II: Disconnected
Back with the outdated computers of the libraries, these suffering creatures are about to be burdened even more. With the terminal condition of low HDD, these machines can barely function properly without life-support systems in the form of physical servers to help them handle the increasingly complex tasks from updated software. However, just like a camel’s back, even moderately sized servers can’t hep these computers keep up with carrying the continuously growing number of clogged files. Only when these poor units were about to give out that their owners decided to hook them up with fancier aid, the cloud. However, the damage is done and due to their falling health, they may soon be, well, disconnected.
This week I have worked on scanning the Bear Valley Mutual
Water Company Reports. Thus far, I have opened box number 13, which may not
mean much to some – except if 13 makes you nervous! For me, everything has been
going well so far and I am hoping to finish scanning the content of this box
before the end of the week. After all in Italy, 13 is considered to be a lucky
number. Fare tredici! It means to do 13 and hit the jackpot!
Fallen Angel on the Run: https://fallenangelontherun.com/2018/09/08/fare-tredici/
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Brother of the Alpha Kappa Lambda
On September 7th, 1914, John Laurence
Seymour became an initiated member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity. Founded
as a national fraternity on April 22, 1914, Seymour became an early inductee of
the organization. UC Berkley would be the Fraternity’s only chapter until 1921
when their Gamma chapter was founded at the University of Illinois
Champaign-Urbana. Today AKL boasts 39 chapters and colonies, 1,064 active
members, and 26,187 alumni members.
Seymour frequently made contributions to the
Fraternity’s publication The Logos.
He wrote a poem for the first issue of the The
Logos, originally called the Diamond,
in January of 1915. In the November 1926 edition, Seymour provided the opening
article, “Opera and Life”, followed by a second part titled “Opera in the
United States” in the June 1927 edition. Seymour contributed again in May of
1929 with a piece titled, “Some Interesting Spots in France.” Finally,
Seymour’s accomplishments were highlighted and applauded in the February 1926
edition by a former Senior Grand President of the Fraternity.
Below is a copy of Seymour’s original initiation
For more information about Alpha Kappa Lambda
Fraternity, be sure to visit their website: http://akl.org/
Archiving Pro-Tip: Folder Numbering
An important part of archiving is folder
numbering. Each folder is given a number based on its position within a box. So
for example, the 5th folder in box 2 would be labeled, “folder 5,
box 2.” During the early phases of processing a collection, it can be tempting
to label a folder as soon as it is full and placed in a box. However, the best
time to number folders is toward the end during the process of creating a
Frequently, when archival collections are taken in
by an institution, items within that collection are not organized in any
particular order. In order to make the collection as accessible as possible to
researchers, some kind of order needs to be made of the collection. This means
dividing the collection into a few different series that intellectually make
sense. Common series groupings include biographical information,
correspondence, and photographs. Each collection is unique, as is each
archivist, so series titles and groupings vary from collection to collection.
Series can change throughout the processing stage depending on what items the
Oversized or oddly shaped items are another factor
to take into consideration while folder numbering. Even though intellectually
the oversized items may belong to the correspondence series, they will not fit
into the same size box as the other items. These items will be pulled and
placed in a separate oversize box. However they will remain in order with the
rest of the series item on the actual folder list. The folder list will notate
the separated location.
All of these factors affect what a folder is
numbered, and that is why the numbering process should not begin until the
creation of the folder list. Otherwise, you may have to renumber your folders
multiple times, taking up precious archival time.