Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Internships’ Category

-contributed by Ace Harrah.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ace, and I’m a new intern here at CCHP. I’m the youngest intern here yet, being only 17 years old, which means that I’m still in high school. I have Bio-Med Science Academy to thank for the pleasure of being able to work with all of the wonderful people on staff here while still pursuing my diploma. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned with you all!

My current project is researching psychologists who specialized in creativity. As you can imagine, this is a wide subject that requires a very niche interest to start researching. After all, what is creativity? How do you study such an abstract topic? I don’t have an answer to any of that, but I certainly can share what I’ve learned so far!

When I first started my research in our collections database, there was one name that kept popping up wherever I went: E. Paul Torrance. I’ve learned since then that Torrance was a psychologist who focused his studies on the creativity of children and looked to enhance the academic lives of the creative student. He felt that schools disregarded most of the students who were creatively gifted over students who are intellectually different. The main issue, he found, was that there was no way for schools to quantify a student’s inherent creative ability. Thus, he created the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), a standardized test that looked to objectively measure the creative potential of a child.

 

TTCT_MANUAL_W

Now, how does someone “grade” another’s capacity for creativity? After all, creativity is mostly immeasurable, right? Well, the TTCT supplies test subjects (or “pupils,” as the scoring sheet calls them) with different figures to build off of. The ambiguity (or lack thereof) in the shapes provides challenges for test takers and gives them an opportunity to create something entirely new with minimal constraints.

Torrance’s tests are still used today, although they are much more popular in Europe than here in the US. As a creator myself, I am personally a bit skeptical about how accurate Torrance’s tests really can be to measure one’s creativity. I think that creativity relies strongly on outside variables rather than one’s own innate ability. 

As a side thought, is creativity really something we should try to quantify? Being told at a young age that you aren’t especially creative could deter individuals from pursuing artistic education, even later in their life. Perhaps creativity is something you learn through practice. Sure, some people are born athletes, but does that mean everyone else should give up on making the team? That’s one of the best things about humans: we adapt.

What would you create based off of this image?

Read Full Post »

Contributed by Jon Endres

In my job as the main media digitization person here at the Cummings Center, I have the opportunity to hear and see things that sometimes have not been seen or heard in decades or longer. This is one of my favorite aspects of the job – outside of being able to actively do a service for the study of history – and sometimes we find things that we did not know we had, or even existed.

My most recent project involved digitizing audio recordings from wire spools. On these spools,  Dr. David Pablo Boder recorded fascinating things, from interviews with people displaced by the 1951 Kansas City Flood to speeches and radio programs.

IMG_1120.JPGThe three boxes of spools in the AHAP collection

Boder’s most famous work was done in 1946 when he traveled across Germany, Italy, France, and Switzerland and collected interviews with displaced persons–many of them Holocaust survivors–in the aftermath of World War II. Most of the recordings were uncovered in the late 1990s between the Library of Congress and the Illinois Institute of Technology, spurring much interest in Boder’s work.

Boder off trainFrom a 16mm film of Boder in Germany

There was one wire spool that was never found, being referenced in his work but not found in the various Boder collections. This spool was of Jewish songs from a displaced persons camp in Henonville, France.

As I went through the three boxes of spools that we have at the archives I began to take stock of what we knew we had on spools versus what we had no idea about. Among these “confused” wire spools was the one below.

henonville.JPG

 

The spool above had been erroneously entered into the finding aid as “Heroville Songs” when the collection was originally processed in the 1960s. It did not take me long to realize that the tin says “Henonville? Songs.” But this was no guarantee that this was the content on the spool. Even the tin itself seemed a bit unsure about its own content.

It took me a few days to get comfortable enough with the medium to put the Henonville Songs on to digitize – these are very fragile and I did not want to risk destroying history – but when I did I was blown away.

These are the missing songs Boder recorded from those survivors, recorded more than 60 years ago. The feeling of knowing what I had found and the understanding that I was  listening to something few before me had heard was a very different and personal thing for me. It felt like I was helping in some way to bring these voices to the present, voices that had become somewhat lost to the historical record.

The discovery of this single canister holding a lost recording means that  these songs can be heard again, they can be studied, and they can inform us in a new way about the experiences, the joys, and the frustrations of these displaced persons.

Below are several samples from the Henonville Songs spool. Please give them a listen, they’ve been waiting a long time.

Dr. Boder’s Introduction: Song Clip 1:Song Clip 2:Song Clip 3:

[Note: If you’re interested in hearing or using Boder’s work for research, please contact us at ahap@uakron.edu.]

Read Full Post »

Contributed by Christina Gaydos, Kent State Library and Information Science practicum student.

As part of my 150 hours at the CCHP as a practicum student, I participated in several cataloging and related projects. One of the last projects is my work with the journal collection housed here at the Archives. The Cummings Center journal collection contains a number of psychology journals, dating from the late 19th century to the present. The journals cover a variety of topics in psychology, the natural sciences, and related fields.

I participated in a small digitization project with the Cummings Center Digital Projects Manager, Jodi Kearns, to create the Psychology and Natural Sciences Journal Collection, which visitors of the Archives online repository can now access thorough the “Books and Journal” collections. Three goals of the project were to [1] bring attention to a small section of the collection, [2] begin to make this part of the collection searchable and accessible for anyone interested, and [3] help me learn a new skill in digitization and continue to practice my cataloging skills. Visitors can locate the Psychology and Natural Sciences Journal Collection under Books and Journals  at the CCHP digital repository.

ArchiveWebpage

Initially, I selected a variety of interesting journal titles to catalog and upload to Sierra, the integrated library system (ILS), a computer program that allows the archives employees to access, search for and locate materials within their collection. In order for a book, CD, movie, manuscript, puzzle, videogame, journal, box, etc to be searched for, the item in question must have its metadata — a set of data that describes and gives information about other data: the title, author, barcode number and more—added to the ILS so it can be found. This is where I come in. In the simplest of terms– to start, I created a record with the corresponding metadata for each journal, then uploaded it to Sierra. Next, Jodi showed me how to scan the journal’s front cover and content page into digital files. Finally, I created new records within ContentDM, the program used to get Sierra’s records onto the web for the public to use and search for items with the Psychology Archives. This includes the digital thumbnails of the journal cover and all of the corresponding information one might try to search for when looking for an item.

Cataloging is one of the lesser known jobs of libraries and museums, but absolutely crucial for patrons of such institutions to find information or items within their collections. I cataloged a small portion of the journal collection, and hopefully in the near future, the remaining part of the collection will also be added.

PsychServiceC

Bulletin

JourHeredity

JourInebriety

Christina Gaydos is a Kent State Library and Information Science student completing a Spring practicum here at the Archives, and will be graduating in May 2016. Her focus has been on cataloging, assisting in cataloging print and manuscript collections, amongst other projects, including work with ContentDM. Christina will begin work as a Catalog Librarian for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library in May 2016.

Read Full Post »

Contributed by Christina Gaydos.  Christina is a Kent State Library and Information Science student, completing her Spring practicum before graduation in May 2016. Christina is focusing on cataloging, assisting in cataloging print and manuscript collections, among other projects, including ContentDM.

Etiquette. The customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. AKA Manners. For a two year old, two phrases that often appear in our tiny memory banks of phrases are “Please” and “Thank you”. Manners and polite behavior, generally, were instilled upon us by our parents at an early age, so that by adulthood, we could use these skills without thinking. This training is not new, and will–fingers crossed–continue into the future. A small price to pay for continued civility within our society, right?

Now, take a step back in time with me. Manners and etiquette have not always been this cut and dry: Please and Thank you. Holding a door open. Inside voices. Sharing. Exchange of pleasantries. While cataloging a number of items from the CCHP print collection, I came across a large number of etiquette books for men, women and children. Etiquette books, really? Flip one open and you will quickly see just how complex being a polite member of society would have been some 100 or so years ago!

I am providing three interesting examples of etiquette books. The first is solely for the polite gentlemen, the second an educational read for boys and girls, and the third for both men and women alike. Be sure to look over the table of contents to see the many ways in which correct etiquette could be applied to your lives!

[1] The gentlemen’s book of etiquette and manual of politeness, being a complete guide for a gentleman’s conduct in all his relations towards society—Containing Rules for the etiquette to be observed in the street, at table, in the ballroom, evening party, and morning call, with full directions for polite correspondence, dress, conversation, manly exercises, and accomplishments. From the best French, English, and American authorities— by Cecil B. Hartley

Published: 1860

CoverPicture1

TableContent1

TabContent1

 

Yes, this is the whole title! As the Introduction will so kindly point out, gentlemen in society must effortlessly be able to assess a situation and conduct themselves accordingly– “To make your politeness part of yourself, inseparable from every action, is the height of gentlemanly elegance and finish manner” (p.4). For those of you who are curious, “manly exercises” include maintaining one’s health through riding [horses], driving, boxing, sailing, hunting, skating and cricket.

 

[2] A book for boys and girls; Our business boys / by Rev. F.E. Clark. Art of good manners / by Mrs. S.D. Powers. Business openings for girls / By Sallie Joy White

Published: 1884, 1895

 

CoverPicture2

TableContent2

TabContent2

Composed of three booklets written in an “instructive and entertaining way” to educate children on proper etiquette, our particular copy was a Christmas present to a “Clarence” From Aunt Leola Xmas 1924. Cannot help but feel overwhelming disappointment at this Christmas gift—or was our little Clarence that much of a trouble maker? We will never know!

 

PictureTitleVerso

 

[3] Book of Etiquette Volume I and II By Lillian Eichler

Published: 1921, 1923

 

CoverPicture3

TableContent3

TC3

TC4

TC5

The first thing you will notice with these volumes is the extent to which they go into detail on every aspect of important doings in society. Seemingly endless ways to subdivide proper etiquette from Dress to Traveling, Weddings to Invitations. One of the authors actually notes how ridiculous some of the codes of etiquette have become. She uses the example of a gentlemen about to save a drowning man, but upon realizing he has not been formally introduced, he continues on– leaving the man to drown, happy to have avoid a social faux pas.

The overarching goal of etiquette in these volumes, was the same– good manners and etiquette are important because they improve everyone’s quality of life and create a more polite environment. A nod to all those lovely ladies on PBS’s Downton Abbey, I certainly would have given up a long time ago.

Read Full Post »

-Contributed by Danielle Bernert.

While I now progress towards uploading some of the physical material to an online catalog, I’m not afraid to admit that I still have doubts as to some of the decisions I have made.  Is there something potentially useful that I may have missed? Or, in the opposite case, is this collection composed of materials that will fail to find an interested user community?  I guess you could say that I had a few lingering qualms as to the value of the objects I have chosen.  The term value can be a slippery slope, especially in the world of archives.  This is due to its very multifaceted interpretations.  While most would usually describe something as “valuable” in terms of money, we all have things in our lives that are worth nothing in resale value yet hold an incredible amount of meaning because of the memories they possess.  How we attribute value is completely dependent on our own personal interpretations, which can make it a very complicated concept.

Are these items of value to the CCHP archives?

 

Promotional Poster

Promotional Poster

AHAP Label

AHAP Label

AHAP Tour Sign

AHAP Tour Sign

This complexity is echoed in the professional archival field. The Society of American Archivists (SAA) lists no less than 23 different types of values, from the generalized (primary value) to something with a much narrower definition (fair market value).  Mathematical and computer values are listed as well, but there are really only two types of values that I have found to be the most important when deciding what materials to add to the CCHP collection: historical value and enduring value.  The two overlap considerably, as something continues to have enduring value due to the “continuing usefulness based on the administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential, or historical information they contain”.  These two values can be applied to much of the new CCHP collection.  There a countless letters, fliers, drawings, and speeches that, while having little to no monetary value, are kept because of the information that they reveal about the past.

What type of value would you assign to these materials?

Film Archives Pamphlet

Film Archives Pamphlet

 

APA 75th Anniversary, Hosted by AHAP

APA 75th Anniversary, Hosted by AHAP

Mock-up of AHAP Exhibit Space for APA 75th Anniversary

Mock-up of AHAP Exhibit Space for APA 75th Anniversary

For example, one of the coolest objects that I found was a box of “While You Were Out” slips for Dr. Popplestone.  These slips were interesting in that they covered a long period of time and gave me a glimpse of the ordinary, day-to-day occurrences of working at the Archives of the History of American Psychology (AHAP).  It is this great historical value that ensures their continuing preservation.

I think that this is an important topic to broach as monetary and historical value are often so tied up together that they are considered synonymous.  In museums, objects that are extremely old or connected to a significant historical event are often worth a lot of money. These objects are also usually the most interesting and shown to a greater audience, thus perpetuating the idea of direct correlation. However, after watching countless episodes of “Antiques Roadshow” I can confirm that just because something is old doesn’t make it monetarily valuable. And, in the case of CCHP, just because an object is composed of mostly paper doesn’t make it worthless. Isn’t that what the American dollar is mostly made of anyway?

 

CCHP Past

CCHP Past

 

CCHP Present

CCHP Present

 

CCHP Future

CCHP Future

*See the Society of American Archivists for other types of archival values.
** Note: It was grappling with these and other existential questions that made this internship such a great experience, and I could not think of a better place to spend 12+ hours a week for the past three months.  I have learned so much about the complexities of a collection, and how surprisingly possessive you can grow to be after working with 10 boxes of old papers for weeks on end.  Up until the end, the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology continued to surprise me with the amount of knowledge, hard work, and passion that goes into advancing the study of psychology, and I count myself incredibly lucky for being able to play a role in it.

 

Read Full Post »

contributed by Danielle Bernert.

As some of you may know, the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. While this is quite an accomplishment, I am troubled by the fact that my own one month anniversary here at the CCHP has somehow been overlooked. Don’t worry, if you act quickly and get your cards to me by next week, I promise to still act surprised.

Speaking of surprises, I cannot believe that it has already been over a month since I began work on the CCHP archives collection. Fifty years can accumulate a great amount of material, and I have spent most of my time here trying to figure out what items really capture the mission and essence of CCHP. I have sorted through floorplans, numerous newspaper articles, employee training manuals, and (my favorite) a personalized letter to AHAP founder Dr. Popplestone from a “world-famous” hypnotist, listing a complete breakdown of his show and subsequent charges. I don’t know if Dr. Popplestone ever replied.

Early plans for the AHAP space in the Polsky Building.

Early plans for the AHAP space in the Polsky Building.

 

Early plans for the AHAP space in the Polsky Building.

Early plans for the AHAP space in the Polsky Building.

I have since moved on from the gleaning process to organizing selected materials. This involves complex and standardized actions such as sorting the objects into categories, wrestling with putting together the archival boxes, and organizing materials into these boxes. Folding archival boxes aside, the most challenging part of this process has been deciding upon the best theme of organization. What is the best way to divide up these materials? I decided to focus more on the topic rather than type of object, with category topics such as “Finances” and “Publicity”. I felt as though centering certain materials on the topic would better serve researchers, as it would be much easier to find a certain event in the “Events” section, rather than a box marked “Pamphlets”. Dividing by topic may also help the CCHP employees, as the organization’s digital files are divided similarly on the server. These broad-themed divisions are called “series” in the archival world, with subsequent smaller groups that can be measured in boxes, folders, items, etc.

Example of smaller group items within a collection; in this case AHAP phone messages from 1990-1999.

Example of smaller group items within a collection; in this case AHAP phone messages from 1990-1999.

I was advised to keep the series fairly general, as this collection will continue to grow with the organization. This type of mindset is based off of the principles of extensible processing, a term discussed heavily in the book Extensible Processing for Archives and Special Collection: Reducing Processing Backlogs by Daniel A. Santamaria (2015). Extensible processing revolves around an attitude of “iterative rather than linear and one size fits all” processing, meaning that there is no set routine of steps. Rather, the archivist adjusts as the collection develops and grows. This collection is unique as it (unlike many collections) is not one square, completed amount of material. Rather, it will be added to and re-organized multiple times.

Well-known visitors to AHAP from earlier years.

Well-known visitors to AHAP from earlier years.

DSC_7917

Well-known visitors to AHAP from earlier years.

This idea of a fluid collection is somewhat new to me, as I am used to something much more static with definite boundaries. This new assemblage contains no such limits and is not so easily defined. It contains items that date from 1965 to less than a month ago. While the beginning date is clear, the end is left open, leaving room for further specification and growth. My responsibility in this extensible process to make sure there is a stable structure of organization for others to build upon yet still allowing room for flexibility and adjustment. As this project progresses and I continue to work on the creation of a finding aid and online companion, I will have to keep this idea of an extensible collection first and foremost in my mind.

Read Full Post »

-Contributed by Danielle Bernert

It’s no secret that CCHP is renowned for its extensive collection of manuscripts, media, and other materials from famous psychological research. Since the first collection of Harry and Leta Hollingworth papers was donated in September of 1966, the Center has always served as a repository for psychologists to bequeath their work so that others may learn from it. However, this year I was given the chance be a part of something completely different: starting a new collection. More specifically, I am helping to establish a collection about the CCHP itself. Since its inception on October 11, 1965, the Cummings’ Center for the History of Psychology has undergone incredible changes, one of which was the name of the organization itself (it was originally called the Archives of the History of American Psychology). With all of this rich history behind it, CCHP is more than worthy of its own archival collection, and this KSU graduate intern is incredibly excited to be a part of the whole process.

Danielle's workspace.

Danielle’s workspace.

My work began only a few short weeks ago, and I have already felt like I have been here for much longer. This is one of the things I love about archives: you always underestimate the power that archival material can have on your sense of history. You couldn’t imagine how looking at the leftover materials of events can possibly make you feel as though you were there…until you’ve looked at 300 of them. I’ve skimmed so many of CCHP founder John Popplestone’s letters I feel like we are now on a first-name basis. And I have seen so many posters, publications, letters, receipts, and photographs that it’s like I’ve worked here for years. Will I be able to write a complete history of CCHP before my brief internship is over? Only time will tell.

 

Some CCHP materials already gathered for the archives.

Some CCHP materials already gathered for the archives.

Archival fascination aside, beginnings are always a process; full of guesses, adjustments, and moments of clarity. The most challenging question by far: does this item fit into the focus of the collection? Or better yet: what exactly is the focus of our collection? After a few short weeks, these and other questions are being answered. I now know that the focus is materials that capture the essence of CCHP and its history. Even so, these obstacles cannot always be predicted. Nor can they always be solved with an easy answer. Rather, they should be answered as process unfolds. And even then, the solution is never definite. I have since learned that it helps to have a firm idea of the materials to look for, but don’t be afraid to make exceptions. There will always be a few, and it’s what keeps archival work interesting. In the end, all you can hope is that you have made the best decision for the collection and that it will reflect the greatest aspects of CCHP. Over the course of the next two months of my internship, this will be my number one goal.

Danielle “working” with CCHP artifacts (don’t worry – these are extras!)

Danielle “working” with CCHP artifacts (don’t worry – these are extras!)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »