Farewell!

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This is my final blog post as a CCEPS Fellow. This semester
I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of archiving the Ethel M. Reed Papers, a
process that is almost finished. I’m going to finish entering everything into
Archivists’ Toolkit (finally!) and then I’ll be done!

It’s been a great semester and I have learned quite a lot. I
knew pretty much absolutely nothing when I started back in January, and now I’m
a budding archivist. I learned not only about the physical preservation necessary
for keeping the collection in good condition (all that Mylar sleeve-ing) but
also the intellectual organization of the collection, to make it useful for a
future researcher (all that reordering of my folders of Ethel and Nancy’s
documents). And now, I’m putting it all into AT so that it can be posted online
and used by researchers in the future.

Also, I realized that I was going to post sometime about
Nancy’s work as a chemist, and I completely forgot. Nancy graduate from Pomona
College in 1944 with a degree in chemistry. She worked for the War Department
during WW II with another scientist who was working to better preserve food for
soldiers. Check out the photo below–there’s some serious science happening.

IMG_5846.JPG

There are problems and issues of all kinds related to equality
of women in STEM fields in our own day and age. I can only imagine what it
would have been like in the 1940s and 50s. Also, Ethel never married and
adopted and raised Nancy by herself. I feel honored to have been able to
process the documents of these women.

This Fellowship has been a fantastic hands-on learning
experience. My eternal gratitude goes to Lisa, for helping me throughout this
semester and always answering my questions. I’ll be starting a job full-time in
the fall, but this Fellowship has made me consider going back to school for
archival studies or a related field. 


Farewell!

Tamara Savage, CCEPS Fellow Spring 2015

Almost There!

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            I have (finally!)
officially finished foldering and labeling everything. All of Ethel’s diaries,
all of Nancy’s artwork and memorabilia from France, two scrapbooks, a
collection of historical documents, and other miscellany. Below are pictures of
my three doc boxes and a close-up of all of the labeled folders in one box.

IMG_2281 - Version 2.JPG

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            This coming
week, I’ll be putting everything into AT (and taking finals) and presenting on
my work as a CCEPS Fellow this past semester.  

 

            Cheers!

 

            Tamara

The End is Approaching!

As the title of this post suggests, I’m approaching being
done organizing and foldering my collection. I have nearly everything sorted,
and I just need to label the folders and decide which boxes they will go in. I
have a few things that are in the oversized box that can be taken out (as they
aren’t that big), but that’s it for the physical stuff (I think)!

Next week I’ll be finishing up and starting to enter
everything into Archivists’ Toolkit.

Here’s another action shot–I’ve since moved to a larger
table. As you can see, this one is a bit small.

IMG_5812 - Version 2.JPG

 

Until next week!

 

Still Archiving!

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I’m still organizing, sleeving, enveloping, and otherwise archiving
Ethel and Nancy’s documents. I’ve come across more old family documents, some
from as early as the time of the Civil War, which is pretty cool.

My somewhat-OCD impulses have gotten the better of me, and I’m
rearranging things to try to have a more reasonable physical order, as well as
a good archival order. Some of the main categories I’m using are older family/historical
documents, Nancy’s artwork, and Nancy’s time in France. I’m also dividing up a
few folders that were stuffed past capacity into much thinner folders, so none
of the many photos get warped as they sit in the boxes. Once everything is
satisfactorily organized, I’ll number all of the folders at the same time.

Below is an old family photo. There are no names or a date
on the back, but someone wrote, “Spoiled print but will give you an idea.” I’m not
sure if this is referring to a less-than-quality development of the photo (it
looks pretty good to me, especially give how old it probably is) or the fact
that no one except the young girl in the middle is looking anywhere near the
camera. Anyway, I just thought it was a sort of funny and candid picture,
especially since it was with a bunch of formal family portraits in which everyone
looks very serious.

IMG_5817 - Version 2.JPG

Next week I’m (still) going to try to finish up with the doc
boxes and get started with entering everything into Archivists’ Toolkit. 

So Many Mylar Sleeves

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This week, I continued to organize, folder, and sleeve the
contents of the three doc boxes I’ve been working on. I Mylar sleeved about 140
little photos… I got the hang of it after maybe 20 or so, and it went pretty
quickly after that. Most of the pictures were from Nancy’s time in France.
There’s a sampling of the photos (note how beautifully they’ve been sleeved) in
the photo below.

IMG_5814 - Version 2.JPG

Nancy also had a second scrapbook, which has photos from
when she was a child and also when she was much older. And of course, photos of
cats!

Next week I’m going to try to finish up with the doc boxes
and get started with entering everything into Archivists’ Toolkit. 

Even Further Adventures in Archiving

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I spent most of this week sorting and deciding how to
organize the contents of the last three doc boxes. Most of the remaining
documents are Nancy’s artwork, as well as a few family documents. I learned how
to use envelopes within folders, which has made organizing small, loose things
like photographs way easier.

Lisa and I walked through entering everything into
Archivists’ Toolkit, so I would have a better idea of how the collection would
be presented to researchers. That was really helpful, and I think I have a
decent idea of how I’ll organize the last few doc boxes. I’ve also started
gathering info for the bio that I’ll eventually put up on Archivists’ Toolkit.

I’m going to folder Nancy’s artwork by medium, as there aren’t
enough dates for chronology to be very useful. She has scrapbooks, picture
books, pastels, pencil and pen sketches, a few oil paintings, and mementos of
her time in France.  

I’ll leave you with an “action shot” of this table trying
and (mostly) succeeding to contain all the stuff I spread out on it while I was
trying to get everything organized. 

IMG_2237 - Version 2.JPG


Until next week,

Tamara

Blog Post: Cats Edition

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I was out sick last week, but I’m feeling much better now…
So here is the promised cats post!

I spent some time last week putting Nancy’s many scrapbook
pages in Mylar sleeves, as well as sorting through and making notes about the
other contents of the three doc boxes. There are scrapbook pages, handmade
cards, picture books, sketches, and memorabilia from Nancy’s time in
Paris–needless to say, she was an artist (more on that next week).

Nancy’s scrapbook has lots and lots of pictures of cats
(about a third of the pages have cats on them), but there are also other
things: pictures of her home, places she visited (mostly state parks around
California), and holidays.

The cats have fantastic names. Some of my favorites are
Lucifur (with a ‘u’ instead of an ‘i’ because he’s FURry, of course), Fluffy
Mae Simpkins Reed, Roderich “Rod” Vich Alpine Dhu, Carmichael Reed, and
Chiquita.

They were obviously a big part of her and her mother’s
lives. My guess is that they were rescue cats, since they have so many of them
and they are all different types–big fluffy cats, smaller, short-haired cats,
and jet-black Lucifur.

 

Now, for some pictures of cat pictures!

 

Here’s a whole page of cats:

Whole Page.jpg

 

If you thought I was kidding about the great names:

 

Rod.JPG

Two cats… one has its arm around the other! These two were
often pictured together.

 

Hugs.JPG

What a pretty kitty…

 

PrettyKitty.JPG

That’s all for the cats (for now…), folks. Nancy was both a
chemist and an artist–next week’s post will feature both of those things.

 

Until then,

 

Tamara

Further Adventures in Archiving

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            I finally
finished flagging and organizing Ethel’s diaries! Final tally is 149 volumes
(!), including 4 ledgers. See the picture below for the finished product. I’m
still impressed by how consistently Ethel wrote in them.

IMG_5787 - Version 2.JPG

            Once I finished
up with the diaries, I started on an oversized box with mostly family school
documents. Some are certificates of attendance and merit, and some look like
proto-report cards. These are from Lizzie and Minnie Reed when they lived in
New York. The box also contains Nancy’s junior high and high school diplomas
(from Claremont Junior High and Claremont High), as well as her diploma from
Pomona College (class of ’44). See the photo below for a vintage Pomona B.A. There
might be some reorganization of the materials in this box, since there are some
documents that are pretty small and really don’t need to be in such a large
box.

IMG_5783.JPG

            I’ve also
started on Nancy’s scrapbook. The pages are currently in Manila envelopes and
I’m in the process of transferring all of them to Mylar sleeves. There are
pictures of Nancy and Ethel, their home in Claremont, and lots of pictures of
cats.  Below are pictures of Nancy and
Ethel. It’s nice to have faces for the names, as I’m going through their stuff!
What I think is most interesting about the photos is that they are recognizably
photos of Claremont… the exteriors of the houses haven’t changed all that much
in the past 60 years!

Nancy (below):

IMG_5794.JPG

And Ethel:

IMG_5792.JPG

Next week’s post will feature the
cat photos. Get ready… 

Ethel’s Diaries, Continued!

    This week, I continued flagging all of Ethel’s diaries. Each diary has a flag now, but some still need to be turned sideways, and one box still needs volume numbers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any of the missing diaries, so there are a few gaps of a few months each in what is otherwise an impeccable record. Ethel wrote almost daily entries for decades.
    The fourth box of diaries was only about one-third full, and I could already see that the diaries were beginning to slump. They have now been moved into a (temporary) new home, pictured below, where they fit much better.

IMG_5782.JPG

    Ethel also had a few ledgers, in which she recorded daily expenses and occasionally her income. There are only three or four ledgers, and they are not as consistent as her diary entries. One of the ledgers is pictured below. Her ledgers could be useful for someone who wanted to study what people bought in the mid-twentieth century or the prices of such things.

IMG_5774 - Version 2.JPG
 
    Next week, I’ll finish up the diaries and start on some family documents and Ethel’s scrapbooks.

Continue reading “Ethel’s Diaries, Continued!”

Diving into Ethel’s Diaries

This week, I spent time flagging Ethel’s many diaries. Each
diary needs a flag that has the volume number and the date range. There are
about 130 of them total, I think. They start in 1893, are written somewhat
sporadically until 1907, then very consistently from 1907 until 1968.

I’ve probably flagged about 90 out
of the 130, so this task is to be continued next week. You can see my progress in
the photos below. I still need to turn all the flags sideways, since having them
stick up means the shoebox top doesn’t close all the way. It was convenient to
be able to see the previous flag as I was going through this process, though. I
also need to fill in the volume numbers in the first box, as I was hoping some
of the missing diaries would turn up (there are a few obvious breaks in the
chronology where one diary should be), but no such luck so far.

IMG_5767 - Version 2.JPG

Trying to read Ethel’s handwriting
(see photo below) has been a bit of an adventure, even when all I need to find
is the date. However, due to Ethel’s diligence in keeping her diaries, I was
able to look at the first entry of the next diary in order to find what the
last date in the previous diary should be, which made it a bit easier.

IMG_5773 - Version 2.JPG

She was religious about recording
the weather; that’s how she starts each entry. She then writes about what she
did that day, which often includes visiting friends and reading. Sometimes there
is a list of purchases on the last few pages of a diary.

Below is a sampling of some of the
notebooks she used. They are all different shapes and sizes and styles, but she
only ever used a pencil to write.

IMG_5772 - Version 2.JPG

Until next week!