It is the beginning of the end. I am just finishing up my time as a CCEPS Fellow. So far, I have had a fantastic time learning about archival work. I have worked on 7 different collections, each with a variety of materials. I have learned many ways to preserve items and use the most out of the resources at hand. Most importantly, I’ve had a great time working here. Before I depart at the end of the semester, I wanted to share a little bit about what I learned when arranging a collection.
1) Keep in mind the researcher. The researcher will be using these collections, so arrange it in such a way that it presents the important information upfront.
2) Keep it simple. Again, researchers will be using the collection. Make it easy to follow and arrange it in a way that is logical.
3) Try to conserve your resources. If two photographs can fit in one sleeve of mylar comfortably, just cut the mylar in half! But don’t cut the photographs…
4) Pay attention to the details. There are A LOT of little details, but if you are consistently double checking your work, it’ll save quite a bit of time in the future.
5) Learn about the materials. The collections are all very interesting! When arranging collections, it becomes so much more interesting if you know more about it. There is so much information to learn!
6) Take care of yourself! Make sure you either eat before or plan a lunch break because you’re not allowed to bring food into the archives. The food may ruin documents. In addition, bring a sweater just in case! The archives are kept a little bit cooler to help preserve materials.
7) It may sound cheesy, but have fun! This is a great learning experience and opportunity!
I am so grateful for being a part of the CCEPS program. I have been able to learn so much in such a short period of time. I have never had the opportunity to work this closely with so many primary sources. It truly is a fantastic opportunity and I would recommend it to anyone!
This week I started a new collection filled with over 80 citrus labels. Many of these labels are quite rare and were generously donated by Alice Oglesby. The most interesting aspect of these labels from citrus boxes is that the majority of them are from Claremont and Pomona. I am currently a senior at one of the Claremont Colleges, so I have spent quite a bit of time in the area, but I never fully realized its rich history until now. Exactly where one of my favorite restaurants is today used to be a packing house that would ship local lemons, tangerines, navel oranges, ruby red grapefruits, and other citruses across the country. The citrus labels in the collection range from as early as the 1890s to the 1940s. After learning about this history, I decided to dig a little bit deeper.
The California Fruit Growers Association was established in 1893, only six years after the city of Claremont was founded. It wasn’t until 1909 when the Packing House was built. The Packing House became more than just a place for shipping of fruit. It became somewhat of a town center, selling other items useful for the citrus growers. The height of business in Claremont was between the 1920s and the 1950s. By 1972, the production halted and the building was sold.
The Claremont Packing House today
I have loved working on this collection. Through looking through the citrus labels, I have been able to see beautiful artistic renditions of what Claremont used to look like about 100 years ago. I feel as though I have gotten to know the city I have been living in for the past 3 years so much better.
Information found on: http://claremontpackinghouse.com/history.htm
I am just finishing a new collection I began working on this week that I am very excited about! This new collection is about social movements throughout the 20th century in the United States, which is my area of study. It is the beginning of the collection and it will expand over time. As of right now, there are materials from the Civil Rights movement from as early as 1938, the Chicano movement, the United Farm Workers, Zoot Suit riots, and the Young Lords Movement. Some of my favorite materials are paños hand drawn by prisoners. These paños have stunning details and are beautifully presented.
I was very excited to begin learning more about these documents and materials. At first, it was difficult to find an arrangement that is suitable for an expanding collection; however, after some work, we decided to arrange it based on the social movement the material belonged to. In order to help preserve some of these materials, I placed the posters and photographs in mylar sleeving. This technique will prevent people from touching the original material too often. I then arranged everything into folders, some of which I had to make myself, and labeled them. I then entered the information onto Archivists Toolkit.
My favorite aspect of working with this collection is that it presents the struggles people experienced in order to create a better society. Often times, the 1960s are represented as a time full of hippies and great music; however, much of the social change we see today stems from the efforts of people in the 1960s. It took great effort and resistance to make the difference we see in the world today. Although there is a great way to go, the people of the 1960s and before have allowed us to be able to create a better world.
See you all next week!
This past week has been very exciting while working in Special Collections. I began working on a new collection about punk flyers from San Francisco and Rancho Cucamonga in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. There were over 80 flyers with names of local bands, bands from the U.K. and Canada, and some pretty famous bands. There were also flyers from a large variety of venues all around San Francisco, like the Mabuhay (Fab Mab), On Broadway, Berkeley Square, The Savoy, and more. Not only were the venues and acts very interesting, but the art on each of the flyers was unique and dramatic.
While looking through the flyers, I was able to get a little more insight into the Punk scene during this time in San Francisco. I was able to learn a little bit more about this little pocket of counterculture during the 1970s and 1980s, which had a large impact on music and culture today. Also, I got to learn a little more about some popular bands before they became super famous, like the B52’s, the Dead Kennedys, U2, and the Talking Heads, and about the venues they performed at, and the flyers that were used to advertise them. I also learned about some smaller bands that had great names, like Psychedelic Furs, Peter Accident and the Duck Revolution, and Shankin’ Babylonians. I had a great time looking through all of the art on the flyers and understanding more about this counterculture. Next, I will be working on a collection about Social Movements, which is very exciting!
Last week, I finished the Koike Collection on Japanese American Internment. This week, I am continuing the trend and I have been working on two smaller collections. I just finished working on the Yamano Japanese Internment Collection and another collection on Japanese American Internment is in progress. Unlike the Koike Collection, this collection had very little information on it. Very few photographs had captions and dates on it. Most of the photographs were of several unidentified people. As someone who was trying to arrange this collection, it was a little bit frustrating. In the Koike Collection, I was able to learn so much about Kenzo Koike and have a small glimpse into his life. On the other hand, this collection does not have quite as much information. I had to do more and more research without much reward in learning more about the collection. This made it more difficult to arrange the collection. However, it was a really fun challenge! I had to be much more creative in placing materials together in a way that would make sense to the researcher.
Eventually, I did it! It was a more challenging collection to work on, but I feel like I learned quite a bit through the process. Not every collection is going to be perfect and easy to organize. All I can do is arrange it to my best ability.
I am just finishing up working on the Koike Collection. This week, I finished arranging all of the folders, labeled them, and put them all up onto Archivist’s Toolkit! It is very exciting to have almost finished arranging a collection from start to finish. By going through the Koike Collection, I was able to learn quite a bit about Kenzo Koike’s life. Although, as someone who is simply arranging the collection, I do not have to do too much research on Koike’s life, I found it very interesting and wanted to learn more and more. Through extensive internet research, I was able to answer many of the questions I had about Koike, who died in 2010, but there were a few mysteries that I am still trying to solve.
The first mystery is of the missing brother. Kenzo Koike moved from Seattle to Los Angeles in 1932. There are multiple photographs and portraits of the Koike family before this time with 2 parents and 4 sons, while in Seattle. However, right before the move to Los Angeles, the eldest son is no longer included in any of the photographs. In addition, Kenzo Koike labeled many of the photographs, saying the names of his brothers and parents, but the eldest brother’s name is never mentioned, despite being in these photographs. The eldest brother would have been in his late teens at the time of the move. He may have stayed up in Seattle, Washington and worked up there. On the other hand, because of the lack of documentation on this oldest brother, where the other brothers have some files in this collection, perhaps maybe he died. There are many possibilities of what could have happened to this brother. A mystery that may never be solved.
Another mystery is of the Milwaukee Hotel. The Koike Family, before moving to Los Angeles, has multiple photographs outside of the Milwaukee Hotel in Seattle. There is even a card to Kenzo Koike’s mother mentioning this hotel. After doing a bit of research, I found that this hotel is in China Town in Seattle. People saw this hotel as the beginning of China Town and an area of the city where immigrants could be welcomed into. I am not sure if the Koike Family was drawn to this hotel for this specific reason, or if the family had other specific connections to it. The world may never know.
Although I have a few questions left unanswered, it has been an amazing experience being able to sort through these materials and arrange them in a way that will aid future research.
I just finished my 2nd week working on the new Koike Collection. It is a fascinating collection! It contains mostly photographs and portraits from 1921 to 1948 centered on Kenzo Koike’s life. Through looking through these photographs and the documents in the collection, I feel as though I have gotten some insight as what it was like to be a Japanese American before and during World War II. Koike was born in 1920 in Seattle, Washington, and moved in 1932 to Los Angeles. He attended Junior High, High School, and College in Los Angeles. A year after graduating college, in 1942, Koike and his family were sent to Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming. He was only able to leave the internment facility by being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. It wasn’t until 1945 when Koike was sent as a translator/ interpreter to Japan. He took some amazing pictures during his time in Japan. He was also able to visit many of his relatives.
Although it has been really fun working on this collection and going through all of the photographs, it has been quite a bit of work! I’ve had to sort and arrange all of the materials and place them into folders. I also created series to organize all of the materials and make it easier for researchers to navigate. I photocopied a few newspapers and military documents. The most difficult task this week was to take out the nails of picture frames to place the photographs in mylar to help preserve them. I got to use a real Archivist’s Toolkit!
I’ll keep you all updated on how arranging the Koike Collection goes!
I am just finishing my 2nd week working at CCEPS! It has been an amazing experience! This week, I pretty much finished arranging the Kruska Japanese Internment collection and entered it into Archivists ToolKit to make it accessible to researchers. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this collection. It has a wide variety of materials. Some of my favorite things to look through were the newspaper clippings, some of which are from 1905 when the Japanese Exclusion laws were just being put in place. Some of the photographs are also very interesting! They depict some aspects of life in the Relocation Centers and Internment camps. There is even a photograph of the Manzanar High School band!
Today, I just started surveying the Kenzo Robert Koike materials. Although this collection is also on Japanese American Internment during World War II, it feels very different from Kruska’s collection. Koike’s materials are all from his time before and during World War II and are personal to Koike. Most of the collection is photographs, which are very interesting. Some are very graphic, like the photograph of 10,000 dead bodies or the ruins of bombed cities in Japan. But others are quite comical. For example, one photograph is captioned “This man wanted me his picture take. Looks too stupid to be a cousin.” It has been interesting to see his journey from Washington, to L.A., to an Assembly Center in Pomona, to a Relocation Center in Wyoming, to joining the military, to Japan. Working with this collection, you really get an insight into life as a Japanese American before and during World War II. After surveying these materials, I proposed to arrange them into 4 series; photographs, personal records, realia, and postal materials.
Next week, I will start arranging and titling folders. I am so excited to be working with this collection!
I’ll keep you all updated!
I just finished my first week at CCEPS! This week, I started arranging a collection called the Kruska Japanese Internment Collection. To begin the week, I read and took thorough notes on the Processing Manual, but then I began working with this collection. This collection has a HUGE array of materials. Some of them are very interesting, like a sign from one of the Japanese Internment facilities, and a tea towel, and a scroll, which was hung in Manzamar Internment Camp. Some of the materials are not so interesting, like printed web pages used by the collector to do research.
I began my journey with this collection by surveying all of the materials. Much of the collection was already arranged and placed in folders; however, I went through all of the documents, artifacts, and materials to think of a way to arrange all of them in an order that made sense. This was difficult because there is a huge variety. At first, I proposed to arrange the collection into similar categories, like having the newspaper clippings with other newspaper clippings. I was trying to create the most logical order I could think of. I then photocopied newspaper clippings, some of which were completely falling apart, like those from 1906 and 1907 about the Exclusion Laws being created in California. Often, it is best to photocopy newspapers in order to preserve the information being presented. I also sized some folders to fit large documents that were not originally fully covered. I did this to help preserve these materials. I also labelled and dated all of the folders, which took a while because there are a bunch of folders, many with only a single item inside.
After looking over my processing proposal, Lisa came up with a great idea to arrange the collection in a series, like Newspapers and clippings, photographs, postal materials, printed matter, realia, and reserach materials. Having the collection organized this way will make it easier for a researcher to find what they are looking for. Today, I re- arranged the materials into this new order and soon I will put it all up on Archivist Toolkit!
Overall, it was been a fantastic first week! I was able to work with some interesting materials and think of creative ways to organize the collection. I’m very excited to continue!