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Posts Tagged ‘archives education’

  • contributed by Emily Gainer.

Photographs are amazing!  They bring back memories; they document moments in our lives; they allow us to see people that we’ve never met.  As family treasures, they are invaluable pieces of history.  From an archives perspective, photographs are fragile and easily damaged.

Print photograph and negative.

In this blog, I’ll outline 5 tips for long-term preservation of photographic prints and negatives.

  1. Handling: Oils and dirt from your fingers can damage photographs, especially negatives.  It is recommended that you wear white cotton gloves while handling photographs, but if those aren’t available, handle the photographs along the edges with clean, dry hands.Holding photograph by the edges.
  2. Identifying: The number one rule of preservation is don’t do anything that can’t be undone!  In this vein, don’t write on the back of photographs with a marker or pen.  Write with a pencil on the enclosure (folder, envelope, photo album, box).  Post-it notes are not recommended, even if you put them on the back of your photographs, because they can leave behind a sticky residue. Labeling a folder
  3. Organizing: There are many ways to organize family photographs.  It’s a personal choice, and there is no wrong answer.  When deciding how you want to organize your photographs, consider how they will be stored, accessed, and used.  I would suggest organizing your photographs by year, and then by event within each.  For example, gather all of your 1986 photographs together, and then all of the photos taken at your 1986 birthday party together, and then all of the Christmas 1998 photographs together.  Start again for 1999 and 2000.
  4. Weeding: In the archives profession, we sometimes do weeding, which is the process of identifying and removing unwanted materials from a larger body of materials.  I would urge you to consider weeding your family photographs as well.  For example, you may have duplicate copies when you only need one.  Get rid of those blurry photos!  The photos with someone’s finger over half the frame!  The photos with everyone’s eyes closed!  It might be difficult, but it can make your family preservation efforts more manageable and highlight the “good stuff”. Negatives and photograph prints
  5. Storage: Storing photographs in envelopes, sleeves, albums, and boxes is essential for their long-term preservation.  These enclosures protect against light, dust, air pollutants, and help buffer against changes in temperature and humidity.  Here are storage options:
    1. Paper enclosures help protect from light, as well as support the photographs physically. Paper enclosures include unbuffered file folders, envelopes, and storage boxes. Acid free box
    2. Plastic enclosures might be more appropriate for photographs that will be handled and viewed often.  These three plastics are currently considered acceptable for long-term storage: polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene.  (Vinyl, PVC, and magnetic photo albums are not recommended. These are recognizable by their oily feel and strong smell.)  Archival product suppliers have options for sleeves and envelopes in various sizes.
    3. Purchasing storage supplies from a trusted archival products supplier is your best bet.  We recommend Gaylord Archival, Hollinger Metal Edge, and University Products.  Materials that are safe for photo storage will be identified with P.A.T. (Photographic Activity Test). Acid free box, folder, and pencil

These tips will hopefully provide a starting point for you to preserve your family photos!  If you want to learn more about photograph preservation, I recommend this free booklet from Gaylord “Guide to Collection Care”.

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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!

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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.

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-contributed by Lizette Royer Barton, Emily Gainer, Rhonda Rinehart.

October is American Archives Month.  We thought this would be the perfect opportunity for you to “Meet the Archivists” at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology!

Lizette Royer Barton, Reference Archivist

What is your name? What do you do at the CCHP? I’m Lizette Royer Barton and I am the CCHP Reference Archivist. I spend my time helping researchers both on and off-site, creating and leading hands-on archival projects with visiting students, and going down the archival research rabbit hole.

How long have you worked at the CCHP? 14 years

How did you get started in your archives career? I took Dave Baker’s History of Psychology course as a UA psychology undergrad and began working as a student assistant in the archives. When I wasn’t accepted to a graduate program in psychology, Dave offered me a part-time job in the archives.  I discovered that archives and history were way cooler than biopsychology so I decided to go to library school instead. Upon receiving my MLIS I accepted a full-time position with the CCHP as the reference archivist.

What is your favorite part about working in the archives? Making new discoveries is always fun and I love engaging students on-site with the hands-on archival projects we create. My all-time favorite thing is probably the moment that a researcher finds something that really excites them. I love when someone gasps, stands up, claps, cheers, or runs over to my office to share their discovery (all of those things have happened in the reading room).

Describe the archives in 3 words: Content-rich, Accessible, Resourceful

 

Emily Gainer, Assistant Processing Archivist / Special Collections Cataloger

What is your name? What do you do at the CCHP? I’m Emily Gainer, and I’m the Assistant Processing Archivist/Special Collections Cataloger at the CCHP.  I spend about 70% of my time working on the archival collections, 20% cataloging books, and 10% managing the CCHP social media accounts.

How long have you worked at the CCHP? About 7 years.

How did you get started in your archives career? I started working in an archives when I graduated high school as a summer job.  I continued this summer job while getting an undergraduate degree in history.  Then, I earned an M.A. in Public History and completed 2 internships working in archives.  During my last semester of grad school, I was hired full time in an academic archives.  While working as an archivist, I also continued my education and earned an MLIS.  Including my student employment, internships, and professional experience, I’ve been working in archives for more than half my life!  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What is your favorite part about working in the archives? I love, love, love working with historical documents.  My favorite part of my job is starting to process a collection and opening the boxes for the first time to discover what’s inside.  That feeling of discovery never goes away!  It may take many months to finish organizing and preserving the collection to get it ready for researchers to use, but that initial step is exciting.

Describe the archives in 3 words: Collaborative, Educational, Active

Rhonda Rinehart, Manager, Special Collections

What is your name? What do you do at the CCHP?  Rhonda Rinehart – Manager, Special Collections

I babysit the collections, and it can be a lot of work!  As any babysitter can tell you, kids are temperamental, and archival collections are no different.  They need love (proper care and handling); they need discipline (have you ever tried straightening out a panoramic photograph?); sometimes they lose things and I have to find them (“What happened to that folder of newsletters from 1979?”); I have to make sure they stay focused (finding aids need updated to give researchers the best idea of what our collections are all about); and as any parent/archivist knows, they need space to spread their wings (collections can be like growing teenagers – never enough room) with just enough supervision to eventually stand on their own (hello, processing!).

What all those metaphors really mean is that I make the information within our archival collections accessible to researchers and other people interested in what makes them special.  This is mostly done through processing, cataloging, teaching, and collections management.

How long have you worked at the CCHP? Since June 2005 when I transitioned from being a practicum student to a full-time, real-life archivist!

How did you get started in your archives career? By not knowing where I wanted my library career to go.  I didn’t know what area of librarianship I wanted to pursue, so Kent State University’s Special Collections and Archives department made the decision for me.  I had applied for a student assistant job there, and was called in for an interview.  They hired me on the spot, and it was such a great real-world experience that I decided to extend my time in the MLIS program at Kent from one year to two, and focus on archival work.  It was the best preparation I could have had for my job at CCHP.

What is your favorite part about working in the archives? I love figuring out mysteries from collections, and putting the pieces together to make the collection whole and ready for research.

Describe the archives in 3 words. History, Knowledge, Power.

 

Rhonda, Emily, & Lizette – just another day in the archives!

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