Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Archives’ Category

contributed by Rhonda Rinehart.

Welcome to the Cummings Center’s new blog series presenting basic preservation and conservation practices. We’re kicking it off with some Do’s and Don’ts for caring for your own personal keepsakes and family treasures. No technical stuff here — just pictures and a few tips to get you started on your way to becoming a preservation pro in your own home!

DO NO HARM

The preservation mantra: DO NO HARM
If it can’t be undone, don’t do it.

Don’t do anything to your keepsakes that can’t be reversed such as using pens (see above image), staples, metal clips, or tape which can leave behind permanent marks, holes and residue. And no eating or drinking around any items that you love! The goal is maintain your items as close to their original forms as possible.

Clockwise left to right: Don’t take a book off the shelf by pulling it from the top; when handling photographs, wear gloves — don’t handle with bare hands; storing large books with the spine facing down will cause them to become misshapen; don’t expose anything you want to keep in direct sunlight.

DON’T LAMINATE — ALWAYS ENCAPSULATE!

Lamination – NO! Encapsulation – YES!

Lamination was a popular way to keep paper items from being exposed to excessive handling and environmental changes in temperature and humidity. But lamination is permanent because the lamination process seals paper items between two sheets of transparent plastic material, melting to form a seal when subjected to heat and pressure. The laminate material also breaks down over time, damaging the document trapped inside the melted plastic.

The encapsulation process uses a non-reactive polyester film to hold paper items in place. It does not use heat to adhere to the paper or to seal the pieces closed, but rather simple double-sided tape to tape edges together and enclose the materials inside. The tape can be removed or replaced at any time to open up the two pieces of polyester and allow easy removal of the item inside.

Clockwise left to right: DON’T stack vinyl records flat on top of one another, but DO store flat anything that’s recorded on tape like old home movies or VCR tapes; don’t under-fill or overfill paper items stored in folders; store audiovisual recordings in appropriately sized individual non-metal containers.
Places to NOT store your family treasures!

Most people store their family mementos and heirlooms in the basement, attic, or garage, but it is best to keep these items away from areas that are not climate controlled like the living spaces of your house are. Avoid large fluctuations +/- 5 degrees in temperature and +/- 5% in humidity. The ideal temperature for items and people to cohabitate is between 68-70 degrees. Film based materials generally like cold storage (a freezer is best). Even if your materials aren’t organized, keep them away from areas that would attract pests and have high levels of heat, humidity, or sunlight.

Follow these basic guidelines and you’ll be able to keep your family treasures around for generations to come!

Read Full Post »

contributed by Lizette Royer Barton

Welcome to the third installment of CCHP Pandemic Projects. These fully digital learning projects give students a way of engaging directly with primary source, historical material. They are useful for teaching history, historical research skills, history of psychology, information literacy…the sky is the limit!

Volume I tackled Asylums and Epidemic Diseases and in volume II we tackled Eugenics and the Census. Both of those projects were geared more towards college students. Volume III is more adaptable to K-12 students but also works for college students. Critical thinking knows no bounds!

In this next installment, we explore something many of us are intimately familiar with right now: being alone, slowing down, taking a pause.

So let’s dig in.

Psychologist Martin Reymert (1883-1953) was an immigrant from Norway. He immigrated to the United States in 1925 to serve as the head of the psychology department and director of the psychology lab at Wittenberg College in Springfield, OH. He moved on to Mooseheart, IL in 1930 to establish the Mooseheart Laboratory for Child Research and he remained the lab’s director until his death in 1953.

Martin Reymert in his office at the Mooseheart Laboratory.
Martin Reymert papers, box M1228, folder 6

Reymert’s manuscript collection is very interesting for several reasons, including the insight it provides about immigration and American life from an immigrant’s viewpoint.

Martin Reymert was interviewed by a Minneapolis radio station on this topic and the three page transcript is the document we will analyze for this project. You can access all the materials you need for this project including a document analysis instructor’s guide, a document analysis sheet, and the radio transcript in full text here: American Psychosis and Creative Laziness.

The reason I selected this radio transcript for a Pandemic Project is because it provides a perfect opportunity for us to talk to our students about isolation during the current health crisis.

Martin Reymert papers, box M2896, folder 4

…average Americans are afraid to be alone….we are always rushing into some one crowd or another…it takes an awful lot of mental sanity to squarely face ones’self in solitary moments….

Martin Reymert papers, box M2896, folder 4

…creative laziness….apparently doing nothing and experiencing the sacred moments of inspiration, new ideas, etc.–in short, the sort of things that are the actual dynamos for the world’s progress.

The COVID19 health crisis has forced us to face ourselves in solitary moments. How are we handling it? And almost more importantly, how are our students handling it? Can we use this transcript from the Martin Reymert papers to reach out to our students and check on them under the guise of an archival document analysis project? I like to think so.

We can use Reymert’s ideas of “American psychosis” (inability to be alone) and “creative laziness” (inspiration by way of solitary reflection) as the starting point for a discussion with our students about how THEY are coping. Of course, the difference here is that we are in isolation through shelter-in-place directives and social distancing, rather than simply choosing to be isolated.

The document analysis sheet I created for this project can (and should) be adapted to best suit your needs as an instructor. This project can be adapted for use with middle school and high school students or undergraduate and graduate students. If you’d like a bit of help with that reach out to me directly. I am happy to help! (lizette@uakron.edu).

A note to instructors and students: we would love to hear back from you if you have used any of these projects in class. Your feedback helps us as we continue to develop archival projects that can be completed remotely.

To access more CCHP remote learning materials click here: CCHP Pandemic Projects.

Read Full Post »

contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

The United States conducts a census every ten years with the goal of counting every single resident of the U.S. The data is used to determine disbursement of all kinds of federal monies and even more importantly, it determines the number of representatives each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. Participating in the census is super important so if you haven’t done it yet, get to it for pete sakes! See here.

So census data is used for distributing money and determining representation – good things! – but could that same data be used for not-so-good things? What do you think?

I did a search for “census” across our collections and ended up going way, way down the rabbit hole.

It all started here:

Journal of Heredity, CCHP Books & Periodicals collection

What is the Journal of Heredity? It’s the official journal of the American Genetic Association, a group that is still very much active today researching genetics. Of course, “American breeding and eugenics” has long since left their journal, their research, and their mission but in 1919 eugenics was considered true science by many and its influence on politics and policy, along with numerous other facets of America life, can’t be denied.

First things first, how to access this journal. We have a short run of this title in the archives’ Books and Periodicals collection. We digitized the pre-1923 volumes and they are available in full-text in the online repository here. These early journals are really incredible in regards to plant variety and genetics (seriously, do a search for pawpaws!). And they’re also very interesting in regards to the history of immigration and American life. Do some browsing and have some fun!

Ok, back to the census and the article I want you to read. You can access it via a shared OneDrive folder here,- The Journal of Heredity, May 1919, Vol. X, No. 5. (skip ahead to page 18 of the pdf).

Laughlin, H. H. (1919). Population Schedule for the Census of 1920.

I think this article is an excellent jumping off point to have a discussion with your students about eugenics and eugenicists’ influence on American life, especially immigration policy.

I mentioned a shared OneDrive folder above. In that folder you’ll find The Journal of Heredity and document analysis sheets for each of the following project ideas. Access everything here: CCHP Pandemic Projects: Eugenics and the Census.

Project 1: Have your students read the article and report back. What was most interesting? What was surprising? What would you like to know more about? What questions do you have?

Project 2: Focus on the census. What data was collected on the 1920 census versus the data being collected on the 2020 census. Is the same data being collected? If not, what is different? Any ideas why certain questions are no longer asked?

Project 3: What was the ERO lobbying for to be included on the census and why? Why would “pedigree studies” be important to eugenicists?

Here is a clue:

Project 4: A document analysis that is less about the content of this particular article and more about Harry H. Laughlin and the Eugenics Record Office. And if that’s something of interest you could also assign this article (It is excellent!) – Allen, G. E. (1986). The Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, 1910-1940: An Essay in Institutional History. Osiris, Vol. 2, 225-264.

Project 5: An investigation of how census data and eugenics influenced and shaped the Immigration Act of 1924 (aka the Johnson-Reed Act). For those of you that didn’t know, the Johnson-Reed Act enacted quotas on immigration, not to mention it banned immigrants from Asia all together. How does the census fit in? The quotas on immigrants were based on census data! Specifically, 2% of the U.S. population of immigrants from their country of origin as recorded via the 1890 census was used as the basis of the quota of immigrants that would be accepted from that country starting in 1924.

Allen (1986) is a valuable resource for this one too since it dives deep into Laughlin’s “lobbying” on behalf of eugenics, notably that he testified before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization. You could also read Milestones, 1921-1936 from the Office of the Historian . And check out this awesome resource from DOCSTeach via the National Archives – The Impact of the Immigration Act of 1924. This is more geared towards students in grades 7-12 but it’s pretty cool and all of us, regardless of age, could benefit from that resource.

Some things to think about and ask your students:

(1) Why did they go all the way back to the 1890 census to get those population numbers instead of more recent data? Ask your students to do some initial research on immigration in the United States between 1890-1924. Were there large influxes of immigrants coming from specific countries?

(2) What was the effect of these quotas on immigration numbers? Were some countries more affected than others? How did those 1890s numbers affect specific groups?

(3) Were these quotas adjusted throughout the 1930s and 1940s in order to take into account the mass exodus of people fleeing Nazi Germany? Most folks would say, “Yes. of course. The United States wouldn’t keep these quotas and turn away Jewish immigrants.” But is that the truth? Ask your students to answer that question.

(4) Are there any parallels today? I’m sure your students can dig up examples of how both so much, and so little, has changed in the discussion of immigrants and immigration in America.

A note to instructors and students: we would love to hear back from you if you have used any of these projects in class. Your feedback helps us as we continue to develop archival projects that can be completed remotely.

As always, if you’d like to work together to create a more concrete project using the Journal of Heredity please reach out to me directly – lizette@uakron.edu. I’m happy to help!

Read Full Post »

  • contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

I’d like to revisit what the CCHP can offer to remote users, especially instructors, during these bizarro times in which we are living. I’m being ambitious and making this a series of blog posts. First up, the asylum reports.

A few months ago I wrote an invited column for The General Psychologist, the newsletter for the Society for General Psychology (APA Division 1) titled, “Primary Sources in the Classroom: Project Ideas for Investigating Mental Health Care in the United States Through Digitized Asylum Reports.”

You can read my Division 1 column for numerous project ideas using our Cushing Memorial Library Collection of Asylum Reports. Remember, our asylum reports are digitized and available as full-text, word-searchable PDFs in our online repository. You can take away some ideas from that column or you can work on creating your own projects. Maybe you’re just bored and want to research asylum reports for the heck of it – do it!

All that being said, I’d like to introduce a specific project and provide some resources and ideas for how you can make it work with your students.

Asylums and epidemic diseases

We are living through a global pandemic right now but disease and illness in the enclosed, often overcrowded spaces of asylums was common. I did word searches for keywords like pandemic, epidemic, influenza, small pox, cholera, and a few others. I went through my hits and decided to focus on two specific asylums – Topeka State Hospital in Kansas (1915, 1919, 1923) and the Government Hospital for the Insane, also known as St. Elizabeth’s, in Washington, DC (1914, 1921, 1926). I took the date of the reports in my searching into account and selected reports before and after the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.

Topeka State Hospital, 1919

You can access the reports through the links above. You can also access the reports in a shared OneDrive folder here. Download the PDFs from either location and get to work!

Reports typically provide statistics, including physical illness and death, about the patients in their care so that is a great place to start.

Identify epidemic diseases (influenza, small pox, typhoid, etc.) in the reports. Look for how many patients contracted one of those diseases and how many died from it. Compare the data from one report to the next. What changed during the years in between? Did the population of patients increase or decrease? Did the illnesses within the asylum mirror what was happening outside of the asylum? Did vaccinations increase? Were they vaccinating? Did vaccinations for the disease in question even exist?

If a report specifically mentions the 1918 Influenza Pandemic – what does it say? How widespread was influenza within the asylum? How did it compare to the illness outside the asylum? What steps were taken to mitigate the spread of disease? Were staff affected?

Both Topeka State Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s were designed according to the Kirkbride Plan – an architectural design that included numerous wings for patients and patient activities. This design may have provided less opportunity for distancing as compared to another asylum style known as the Cottage Plan. Have your students do a bit of research on these two design styles in order to determine the pros and cons of each during an epidemic.

If you are digging any of these ideas and would like to work together to create something a bit more concrete for use in your class please reach out to me directly – lizette@uakron.edu. I’m happy to help.

Read Full Post »

contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

Our online repository recently got a face lift. Did you notice?

And since many of us are cooped up at home due to COVID-19 we might as well do some searching together in our pj’s. Feel free to grab a cold beer and some cheez-itz (yes, I am very high brow) and join me for some archival search strategies!

Here is the new homepage.

This is much too tiny for you to see. Just go to collections.uakron.edu and see for yourself.

A couple things right off the bat. Some “housekeeping items” if you will.

The platform we use for our repository is shared by other units on campus. You’ll notice a list of UA departments across the top – UA DigColl Home, Cummings Center (Hey! That’s us!), Archival Services (The University Archives. NOT us!), and University Libraries.

And since that is the case, an ADVANCED SEARCH is your friend. Go ahead. Click on your new friend, Advanced Search.

Advanced searching. Woohoo! Treat yourself to handful of cheez-itz.

In the image below you can see that each collection in the repository is “clicked” and here is where you want to start unclicking the collections you do NOT want to search. The collections inside the red square are all CCHP collections, aka collections housed in the Archives of the History of American Psychology.

The collections inside this red box are housed within the Institute for Human Science and Culture (IHSC). The IHSC is the “educational arm” of the Cummings Center and is housed on the third and fourth floors of the Center. The Campbell Postcards and the Forman Collection of Bags are both used onsite by students in our Museums & Archives Certificate Program for real hands on experience in museum exhibition. Very cool.

The “What Makes Us Human” database is fun. The final exhibit of the National Museum of Psychology asks visitors to answer the question, “What makes us human?” Visitors write down their answers and leave them for others to enjoy. Then we scan them and upload them here for everyone to enjoy. My very favorite answer of all time is “pants.”

And finally, PsycCRITIQUES. We host PsycCRITIQUES (virtually) and you can access over 43,000 articles and reviews published in PsycCRITIQUES. Word to the wise though: ALWAYS unclick this unless you want to search there specifically because no matter what search term you use it’s likely you’ll get hits in PsycCRITIQUES.

PsycCRITIQUES – my friend and enemy when it comes to research

The bread and butter of the CCHP is the manuscript collections aka the personal papers of psychologists and the organizational records of Psychological Organizations. The Finding Aids database is what you want if you’re interested in manuscript collections.

Be sure only the finding aids collection is clicked and then hit save.

Then at the bottom of the page you can further narrow your search. I just did a blog about Anne Anastasi. You could search across “all fields” for Anastasi which will provide results for any time her name pops up in any manuscript collection. Or, if you’re interested in her manuscript papers specifically click “title” since the name of the psychologist is in the title, and type in “Anastasi.”

Searching across all the manuscript collections for “Anastasi” bring back 16 hits. And check out some new cool information that comes up with your search in this new interface.

All the collections pop up alphabetically on the right and you can scroll through them. And on the left you can see the titles and creators of collections. Sometimes the creator and title of a collection are the same but not always. Anyway, you can see right away what collections are included in the search and you can click now or scroll through the finding aids on the right.

One last thing about finding aids. Say you’ve decided to scroll through the Anne Anastasi finding aid so you click her name from the list.

In the old contentDM interface you could immeditaly start scrolling through the finding aid but now you have to click that icon with the arrows up on the right hand side. That will open the finding aid in a new window and make it searchable.

You can either enter something specific in that search bar or you can scroll through the finding aid waiting for something to pop out at you.

Start browsing. Have some fun. Take the first steps of a new research project. Take notes (collection name, box number, folder number) and get back to us once the Archives opens up again.

In the meantime, back to my beer and cheez-itz.

Monitor and keyboard unearthed from the depths of the Barton attic. This ol’ lady just can’t search properly on a laptop.

Read Full Post »

contributed by Brittany Hujar – Intern at the CCHP.

As a graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Library and Information Science, I knew I wanted to concentrate on the digital aspect of preservation. I have always been attracted to history and the act of preserving it; my other master’s degree is in Art History. In the digital era, we see media that is being developed to help progress the institutions of archives, while other media are dying out. I think it is important for archivists and historians to be aware of the importance of digital preservation to preserve the mediums that have the potential of becoming lost, damaged, or obsolete. When I decided to intern at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP) I was excited to delve into their film and photograph collection. This was my chance to be hands on with the material and the digitization process.

With older audio/visual materials, it is important to digitize and migrate this media into a digital format. At my internship, I am digitizing Walter Miles’ films. Walter Miles was an American psychologist. His collection came to the CCHP in August of 1982, and his extensive collection (with a finding aid of 777 pages!) covers his work from 1928 to 1965. I have digitized about 20 of his films in the collection, which focus on his work between 1928 and 1957, including his development of the two-story rat maze, patient examinations, and home movies from this time spent in Istanbul.

The goal of digitizing this collection is not only to preserve the quality of the film, but also to increase public access. Some of Miles’ films have already been digitized, but our original telecine could only scan at a resolution rate of 1024 by 768. In the 1990s and 2000s this scan resolution would have been fine, due to most televisions and computer monitors not having a very high resolution. Now, with a Cintel Backmagic film scanner, we can scan the film at very high resolutions. 2304 x 1712 for 16mm film and 3840 x 2160 for 35mm film. Many smaller institutions don’t have access to scanner of this type so they have to send film out to be digitized.The CCHP has the only Cintel Blackmagic scanner in Summit County. The machine is able to scan 16mm, Super-16mm, 35mm and Super-35mm film. So far, I have had the pleasure to work with 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film.

The first step in the digitization process is to inspect and “clean” the film. One thing that you wouldn’t expect from film sitting in a container all the time is that it would be dusty. We use white gloves to make sure not to get our grubby hands on the frame and smudge the film. It is important to inspect the film by checking for any shrinkage and to make sure that the splices are in good condition. Film that is not kept in proper conditions falls victim to different elements that can damage the film, such as shrinkage and vinegar syndrome. Vinegar syndrome occurs when the film starts to deteriorate and a chemical reaction happens, producing a vinegar odor. Luckily, the Miles films have been kept in excellent condition with only a few that needed resplicing or shrinkage.

A splice is where two films have been taped together, either due to film editing or damage. If a splice is not repaired in the inspection process the likelihood of breaking when the film is run through the scanner increases.

All of the Miles films are 16mm silent films in black and white and color. After inspecting the film, I then load it onto a film scanner and run it at 11 frames per second. The amount of time each film takes to scan depends on the length of the film. I try to inspect a film while one was being scanned, but sometimes the content of each film was interesting to watch, so that wasn’t always the case. The film scanner captures each frame as its own high-resolution image and imports into the program DaVinci Resolve. After the entire film is captured, I then export it to our media drive.

The process is straight forward but intricate. However, it is an important one for the preservation of audio/visual materials. It’s a process that takes time, care, and knowledge.

Read Full Post »

contributed by Lizette Royer Barton.

In case you haven’t been following along, we’ve been been highlighting the first five women presidents of the American Psychological Association for a series in honor of Women’s History Month. Working in reverse order we’ve blogged about Florence Denmark and Leona Tyler.

Up next: Anne Anastasi.

Anne Anastasi (1908-2001) served as the third woman president of APA in 1972 – a full 50 YEARS after Margaret Floy Washburn, the second woman president of APA, served in 1921.

Anastasi started college at Barnard at 15-years-old. She earned her PhD from Columbia in just two years at 21-years-old. She chaired the psychology department at Queens College CUNY before she was 35 and she was a full professor at Fordham University in 1951 at the age of 43.

Anne Anastasi was a BOSS. As illustrated by this photograph.

Anne Anastasi, 1967, David P. Campbell Still Images collection

Anastasi is most well known for her work in psychological testing and the psychology of individual differences. The New York Times dubbed her the “Test Guru of Psychology” in her obituary. She wrote THE book on psychological testing, titling it simply Psychological Testing (1954).

The Anne Anastasi papers contain lot about testing and a lot of material from her time in various roles of APA governance. But you guys already know that about her so how about something else?

In 1936 Anastasi started a research project titled, “An Experimental Investigation of Artistic Behavior in the Insane.”

Anne Anastasi papers, box M4812, folder 3

In 1938 she applied for additional grant funding to continue the project. She asked for $3,800. They gave her $1,000 and she made it work.

Anne Anastasi papers, box M4812, folder 2

“Experimental Approaches to the Psychology of Art” included 4 angles from which to gather materials. Let’s take a closer look at angle 4.

The fourth angle was an “experimental investigation of the drawing behavior of insane patients under controlled conditions….” The patients were provided with crayons and paper and asked to draw: (1) a free choice drawing; (2) an abstract subject; (3) a concrete subject; and finally (4) to copy a sample design.

Here are the specific instructions the investigators used.

Anne Anastasi papers, box M4812, folder 7

The abstract subject was danger and the concrete subject was a man.

During the years Anastasi was working on this project alongside fellow psychologist (and husband) John P. Foley, there was a lot of interest in art done by patients with mental illness, specifically those in asylums. There was interest in art as a form of therapy and also interest in the public exhibition of art created by patients.

In fact, the Federal Art Project, a division of the the Works Progress Administration, held an exhibition titled, “Art and Psychopathology” in Harlem in 1938. The art exhibited was created by patients at Bellevue Hospital and speakers at the formal opening included staff from Bellevue, the WPA, and the Harlem Community Art Center.

Anne Anastasi papers, box M4812, folder 7

Following the research project, Anastai and Foley eventually wrote a manuscript titled, “Artistic Behavior in the Abnormal” complete with numerous full-color examples of patient art. I was so excited to learn that but as I dug through the folder I saw rejection letter after rejection letter. Every publisher said the same thing, the book would simply be “too expensive” with all of the full-color art. Anastasi and Foley published several articles about the research but to the best of my knowledge a large-scale full-color manuscript never came to be. What a bummer.

Anne Anastasi did so much in her long career. I cannot even begin to scratch the surface in a blog. I didn’t even mention her work in vocational guidance and culture-free testing (to which she said there was no such thing!).

Instead I’ll end with this.

In 1967 Anastasi was granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor and at the convocation she presented a paper titled, “The Special Role of Psychology in a Liberal Education.”

Anne Anastasi papers, box M4822, folder 12

The purpose of the paper, I think, was to convey the importance of the scientific method and how psychology can teach that to a variety of students in a variety of ways. And while I did read the whole paper I just couldn’t get that first paragraph out of my head.

It stuck with me though likely not for the reasons Anne Anastasi may have wanted. In describing the field of psychology she also perfectly describes womanhood. Just sub the word “women” for psychology and you’ll see what I mean.

It is a curious paradox that society expects both too much and too little from psychology. One one hand, too much is expected in ways that are fanciful and unrealistic….On the other hand, too little is expected insofar as the genuine contributions that psychology can make to the development of responsible and effective members of society remain largely unrecognized.

Happy Women’s History Month, Dr. Anastasi.

Anne Anastasi, 1992. Donald Dewsbury Still Images collection, V118, folder 3

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »