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Archive for the ‘Internships’ Category

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.

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~ contributed by Janos Jalics, Museums & Archives Studies student at the University of Akron completing a Capstone project at Hower House Museum under the supervision of Linda Bussey, HHM Director, and under faculty advisement of Dr. Greg Wilson, Department of History

Yes, that is a lame pun for history, but I thought the question was a great place to start. Everyone has heard of the armchair historian, the man or woman who sees history in a book and has multiple years’ worth of hindsight to any event they read about. For instance, it is far easier to say today that the Nazis would fail to invade the USSR today than to say that in 1941. The German Army was considered nearly invincible with their rapid conquests and the Soviet Army was considered pathetic for failing to defeat Finland in a month. For many years, I hoped to break away from this stereotype by seeing history in person, grabbing a perspective that is too absent from the perspective of that comfortable armchair.  

My first real chance to see history in person was when my dad took my sister and I to Europe for the second time. We visited Rome, Budapest, and London over the next three weeks. I was awed by such notable artifacts as the Appian Way, the Colosseum, the Battersea Shield, Buda Castle, etc. You never know what it is like to see the culture or civilization you read about until you see it in person, making this vacation a historian’s mad dash for a reunion with cousins that he/she never met. This experience pushed me to always visit a city’s nearest museum when on vacation just to acquire a new understanding of history and that is what got me to an internship at Hower House. 

I came to Hower House as a Junior History Major looking for an internship. I did not know too much about local history and I needed valuable experience in my field. Visiting the historic home and museum showed me just how powerful and influential the Howers were in Akron’s history. It showed me an experience with local history that I had only had with U.S. or world history before then aside from the Perkins Mansion. A year later, I got the internship to fulfill requirements of my Museums and Archives Studies Certificate. Every day since the start of this internship, I entered books from the museum’s collection into the database, helping to preserve them and make them more available to the public. Entering the books has been somewhat tedious since the process rarely changes, if ever. However, the chance to see history as it was always makes the story behind any given event quite rewarding.

One particular book interested me: Daring Twins by Lyman Frank Baum. I googled the author just like I had done with several of the authors in the collection because his name sounded strangely familiar.

Lyman Frank Baum, c1899, age 43

My next visit to the place was welcomed with Linda showing me a copy of Baum’s Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes.

Hower House Museum copy of Mother Goose in Prose, published 1897 in Chicago

The author had signed the copy when the Hower Family visited him in Chicago.

Inscription from Mr. Baum to
“To my young friend
Master Hower
With compliments and good
wishes of the Author
L. Frank Baum
Chicago 1898″

I realized that this made the Howers so influential that they got a copy of Baum’s book decades before he became famous.

L. Frank Baum’s “Young friend, Master Hower”
John Bruot Hower
son of Milton Otis and Blanche Bruot Howard
11 years old in 1903

Understanding local history suddenly became that much more meaningful to me. I hope to have many more similar experiences as an intern for the Hower House. 

The Hower House Museum is open to the public, so check out their website for open hours, guided tours, and other events. Or email howerhouse@uakron.edu if you have a reference or research question.

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-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?

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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.]

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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.

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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.

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-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.

 

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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.

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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.

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-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!)

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-Contributed by Nicole Dunlap.

While the CCHP (Cummings Center for the History of Psychology) library continues to grow with over 20,000 volumes from philosophy and mathematics to biographies and English literature, there remain a handful of particularly significant antiquarian books in need of repair. These tomes are significant not only because of their relevance to the history of psychology but also for their rarity and representation of earlier book printing and binding methods. Read on to learn more about the contents, condition, and curiosities of the books in the CCHP library:

We have noted what is interesting and unique about each book and what repairs are needed in the hope that these at-risk volumes can be restored to their former glory and will be available for study in the decades to come.

  1. Title: Erasmus Darwin (1794-1796). Zoonomia; or the laws of organic life. London: Printed for J. J. Johnson.

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Description: This second edition of the two-volume classic work by Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin, contains some of the earliest ideas on what would come to be known as evolutionary theory. Here, the elder Darwin speculates that all warm-blooded animals may have arisen from “one living filament.” The work also contains a catalog of diseases and treatments, as well as ideas regarding important topics such as habit, imitation, and mental development.

Physical Characteristics:

  • Volume I has 582 pages; Volume II has772 pages
  • Illuminated cover (etched in gold print)

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  • Unique stamps throughout Volume I text that appear to be watercolor

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  • Front and back covers are detached on Volume I

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  • Front cover is detached on Volume II
  • Interesting inscription at the end of Volume II that reads: “The work is done!—Nor Folly’s active rage, Nor envy’s self, shall blot the golden page; Time shall admire, his mellowing touch employ, and mend the immortal tablet, not destroy.”

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Treatment: Reattach front boards, reinforce back boards, consolidate corners of boards, clamshell boxes.

  1. Title: Pierre Bayle (1730). Dictionaire historique et critique, Avec la vie de l’auteur, par Mr. Des Maizeaux. Amsterdam: P. Brunel.

Description: This fourth edition of Bayle’s celebrated, four-volume biographical dictionary influenced the work of many important Enlightenment philosophers, including David Hume and George Berkeley. The dictionary includes lengthy discussions of everything from sorcery and Spinoza to vanity and virtue.

Treatment: Lift pastedowns and leather on boards, sew new thread through raised cords with extra on either end to lace through boards, lift spine leather alongside joint one section in to attach joint reinforcement paper, remove thickness from boards to accommodate joint paper and secure paper to both front and back of boards, reattach all lifted materials, attach toned Japanese paper to reinforce cover leather from outside. Endband/endcap choices: Rebuild endcaps and recreate endbands or reinforce and reattach existing endbands only. Clamshell box choices: regular clamshell or clamshell with built in cradle system.

  1. Title: Joseph. W. Haddock (1851). Somnolism and Psycheism, or, The science of the soul and the phenomena of nervation, as revealed by vital magnetism or mesmerism, considered physiologically and philosophically with notes of mesmeric and psychical experience. London: J. S. Hodson.

Description: This volume documents two early lectures on clairvoyance and spiritualism delivered by a well-known English physician, Joseph W. Haddock. The lectures outline Haddock’s experiences with his servant, Emma, who would frequently fall into trances accompanied by clairvoyance. Emma’s supposed abilities were used in attempts to catch local criminals as well as in the search for the lost crew of Sir John Franklin’s expedition to the Northwest Passage.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 232 pages
  • Illuminated cover

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  • Front cover is detached

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Treatment: Reduce adhesive on spine/covers to extent possible, rebuild and reattach case, mend fold out, reinforce inner joints, 4-flap enclosure.

  1. Title: Jean Belot (1640). Les Oeuvres de M. Jean Belot, curé de Mil-Monts, Professeur aux Sciences Divines & Celestes. Contenant la Chiromence, Physionomie, l’Art de Memoire de Raymond Lulle, Traicté des Divinations, Augures et Songes; les Sciences Steganographiques, Paulines, Arnadelles & Lullistes, l’Art de doctement Precher & Haranguer, &c. Rouen: Jacques Cailloué.

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Description. This early work by French author Jean Belot serves as an example of early seventeenth pseudoscientific traditions including palmistry, physiognomy, and astrology.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 432 pages in the first text; 138 pages in the second text
  • Possible vellum (calfskin) binding
  • Binding is beginning to pull away from pages

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  • Error in page numbering; the numbers go from 392 to 293 to 394

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  • Text blotted out with ink on the title page

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Treatment: Mend pages, reinforce inner joints, 4-flap enclosure.

  1. Title: Walkington, Thomas (ca. 1631). The optick glasse of humors, or, The touchstone of a golden temperature, or, The philosophers stone to make a golden temper : wherein the foure complections, sanguine, cholericke, phligmaticke, melancholicke are succinctly painted forth, and their externall intimates laid open to the purblind eye of ignorance itselfe, by which euery one may iudge of what complection he is, and answerably learne what is most sutable [sic] to his nature.       Oxford: Printed by W. T.

Description. Written by English clergyman Thomas Walkington, this slim volume is considered to be a forerunner of Burton’s famous Anatomy of Melancholy. Here, Walkington describes the four “complexions” or temperaments associated with the four humors: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic. This rare undated edition is thought to have been printed around 1631.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 168 pages
  • Very small in size
  • Soft binding; possibly vellum.
  • Binding is pulling away from pages

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  • Hole in back cover

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  • Marginal notations throughout text

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Treatment: Mend pages, 4-flap enclosure.

  1. Title: Bernard de Mandeville (1730). A treatise of the hypochondriack and hysterick diseases : In three dialogues. London: Printed for J. Tonson.

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Description. In this volume, Mandeville, a Dutch physician, describes his struggle with melancholy. The work, written as three dialogues between a physician and a male patient, presents a unique look at eighteenth-century views on mental illness, male hysteria, and what would come to be known as the “talking cure.” Scholars view this volume as significant in initiating a number of eighteenth-century British works on nervous diseases.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 380 pages
  • Spine is eroding
  • Pages are falling out

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  • Interesting illustration at end of text

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Treatment: Full rebinding (not original covers) – remove existing covers and spine leather, remove existing sewing, mend pages, find replacement/insert blank sheet for missing page 81/82, guard and rebuild textblock, resew and rebind in calf skin, 4-flap enclosure.

  1. Title: Marshall Hall (1836). Lectures on the Nervous System and Its Diseases. Philadelphia: Carey & Hart.

Description. In this early work on physiology and clinical neurology, physiologist Marshall Hall introduced terms that would come to dominate psychology and physiology including “arc” and “reflex action”. The volume was published in both the United States and London in 1836; this is the first American edition.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 240 pages
  • Front and back covers are detached

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  • Spine is eroding

Treatment: Remove spine and save if possible, clean and reline spine, build new spine piece (reattach original if possible), reattach covers, 4-flap enclosure.

  1. Title: George Cheyne (1734). The English malady, or, A treatise of nervous diseases of all kinds, as spleen, vapours, lowness of spirits, hypochondriacal, and hysterical distempers, &c. In three parts. London: Printed for G. Strahan and J. Leake at Bath.

Description. This popular eighteenth-century work by a Scottish physician outlines the author’s struggle with his own nervous illness. Here, Cheyne wrote of hypochondria and hysteria as diseases of the elite classes and the highly intelligent, resulting from a sensitive nervous system or delicate constitution. He made extensive recommendations about diet, exercise, and environment as a cure for such nervous illnesses. The work was first published in 1733 and went through six editions in 6 years. This rare volume is the fourth edition, published in 1734.

Physical Characteristics:

  • 370 pages
  • Front cover detached and back cover becoming detached

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  • Stamp on inside front cover

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  • Signature on first page

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  • Handwritten name and date on pages 1 and 212; this could be possible evidence of provenance (information about previous owners)

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Treatment: Reattach flyleaf, reinforce preferential opening in textblock, reattach front cover, reinforce back cover, 4-flap enclosure.

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