Creating a Finding Aid

Hello Everyone,

Again, not much to report this week. I have been spending
the week working on the finding aid for the Woman’s Club of Claremont collection.
I have been writing the series and collection scope and content notes. These
notes summarize what is in the collection. It was more difficult than I thought
it was going to be. I found myself having to go back to my box survey, as well
as the records boxes themselves, to formulate how I was going to summarize the
contents and what I was going to include in the scope and content notes. I
began with the series scope and content notes and will finish those and move on
to the collection scope and content notes next week. There is a lot to learn
and I am really enjoying the journey. Have a great weekend!

Getting Acquainted

Hello Everyone,

There is not much to report this week. I have spent
the week getting acquainted with materials, sites, and tools associated with
creating the Finding Aid for what will become the Woman’s Club of Claremont
collection. This involves learning how to use an open source archival data
management system called ArchiveSpace. The program is fairly user
friendly and it will just take some time to get familiar with using it. I started
out slowly, a little hesitant to make a mistake, but eventually just dove in to
creating headings and writing paragraphs for the Scope and Content notes. The
Scope and Content notes will let researchers know the content of the archive,
so they can determine the material’s relevance to their research. Luckily, I
was provided many examples to follow so I just allowed the work of those that
came before me to guide my way. I am wrapping up my week happy to have learned
something new. Have a great weekend! 

More Processing Problems

Hi Everyone! 

This week I continued processing the photos. First, I laid out all the photos on the table and then split all of them into three groups: people, arts, landscape. However, the borderlines between the three categories are hard to define. For instance, a photo of an artist who is working on an art piece can be categorized as both “art” and “people,” and a photo of a person posing before stunning landscape can fall into either “people” or “landscape.” So I had to create subcategory under the existing three major categories. 

Another problem is dating the photographs. Although some of the photos are in envelops that has dates on them, the majority of the photos are scattered and cannot be dated. However, I am able to discern the events portrayed in some of the photos, so I looked up the dates of those events. But that only consists of a small minority of the photos. 

Besides, because laying the photos out and sorting them back to the boxes is quite a time-consuming process, I will work on a different schedule in order to work longer shifts on fewer days from this week onwards.

The library hosted a taco party today to celebrate the completion of the refurbishment of the fourth floor, and it was really awesome to chat with my colleagues outside the setting of the work place! 

Hope you have a good week! 


Kay Koeninger

Hi everyone,

Wow, this week flew by! I almost forgot to write a blog post because I was convinced I had already written one for the week. 

This week I finished surveying the boxes. I am ready to relabel the folders and rearrange them into new boxes!
I also spent part of this week tracking down Kay Koeninger. She was a Scripps faculty member who took interest in T.S. Eliot’s visit to Claremont and wrote an article about it in the 80s after interviewing Scripps alumnae who remembered the visit. Her letters are fascinating. I hope to reach out to her and ask her about her research.
Thanks for reading!

Back to the Books

Hello Everyone,

I have spent the week organizing and hitting the
books. I have condensed and organized all the boxes. It is satisfying to
see everything nice and neat and orderly!

Blog 1 Pic.jpg

Tidy Boxes Blog Pic.jpg

I have been reviewing the manuals on how to proceed to
the next steps, creating the Collection Description and the Finding Aid. I have
also been studying the Describing Archives A Content Standard (DACS) to
help me understand what’s next.

Blog 1 Pic 2.jpg


I am excited to move on to the next and continue this
wonderful learning experience. Have a great weekend!


Problems with Processing

Hi Everyone! 

This week, I officially started processing the Yao family papers, which is exciting but also quite challenging. Although I spent the first few weeks surveying the documents and took my time to draft the processing plan carefully, my proposed processing plan still proved to be ineffective. As I was sorting through the photographs in the collection, I realized that some photos do not belong to any of my conceptualized categories. Additionally, I discovered that when I was surveying the collection, my categorization of the photographs was not standardized. For instance, I sometimes placed the photos of Claremont boy scouts under  the “people” category, and other times under “Claremont.” Thus, facing these problems, my week was not as productive as I wanted it to be. 

However, it was definitely fun to do the detective work to find the connections between the photographs and group the relevant and related ones together. 

Since the library will be closed on Friday in recognition of Cesar Chavez day and I usually work all day on Fridays, I will only work seven hours this week. 

Hope you have a good week! 


Emily Hale & T.S. Eliot

Hello everyone,

I am still in the process of surveying the George-Eliot collection. This week I got through two boxes. 
The survey honestly has been taking longer than expected because I cannot help but stop and read every letter. Eliot’s letters at times deeply move me and at other times make me laugh out loud as if he and I share an inside joke. 
I particularly enjoy T.S. Eliot’s gossips: “Mrs. P is a type of stupid woman that I have come across before, and I know that the only way to save oneself from them in the long run is to run away.” He really hated this Mrs. P woman and I wonder if she really was as bad as he describes. 
And then there are the sweet concerns T.S. Eliot expresses about Emily Hale: “The exasperation of looking on at a situation about which I can do nothing has made me want at times to rush out into the garden and pull up all the prize dahlias and whatnots” (Eliot to Jeanette McPherrin about Emily Hale’s health and well-being 1935).
If I find more quotes I love from his letters, I will share them!
Thanks for reading! 

Ready for Phase 2

Hello Everyone, I have finally managed to make my way
through all the boxes for some initial processing. I began with twenty-seven
boxes and ended up with twenty-one boxes of sorted records. I have another pass
through to perform so I can double check my work, and a few odds and ends to fix,
but I have a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. I am looking forward to continuing
to the next phase in the processing plan next week. Have a great weekend!   

Processing Plan

Hi everyone! 

I was on spring break last week so there were no blog posts. 

As I was drafting the processing plan for the Yao family papers, I was surprised by the freedom I was given in determining the arrangement method and potential research value of the collection. Because the materials in the Yao family papers varies vastly in their forms, ranging from official documents to film rolls, I decided to generally arrange the collection into series based on the format of the materials. 

Initially I was going to determine that the collection had medium potential research value because the events Norman Yao documented as a commercial photographer did not have an inherent connection between them. But after much hesitation, I determined that the collection has high research value because it reveals much about the local history of Claremont and tells a story of an immigrant family. Additionally, the collection would be accessible to the researchers because most of the documents in this collection are well preserved and can be dated, and certain parts of the collection are even systematically labeled.

I hope one day the Yao family papers can be available for researchers and benefit them in their research. 

Hope you have a good week! 


Almost There!

Hello Everyone, I now have nineteen of the twenty-seven boxes completed
and I am almost finished with the initial phase of processing the records
boxes. I am going to try to work fast next week and may be able to finish up and
move on to the next phase in processing the collection. The volume of club records
speaks to the club’s longevity within the Claremont community. It is inspiring
to think that a club which began with a few members meeting during the First
World War to do Red Cross sewing, knitting, and community service was able to
grow in membership and purpose, and endure an entire century. The day the Woman’s
Club of Claremont moved out of meeting at member houses and into their new
clubhouse was a big event which the ladies recorded in notes and photographs. I
have included more im
ages found in a record book titled, Woman’s Club of Claremont 1924 – 1944, for your

Procession.jpg      Procession 2.jpg

Procession to the new clubhouse. Images found in a record book titled,
Woman’s Club of Claremont 1924 – 1944

Car Pic.jpg  At New Club House.jpg

At the new clubhouse. Images found in a record book titled, Woman’s Club of Claremont 1924 – 1944