Friday, July 27, 2012

Faust Travel Award Winner talk Aug. 8th

Taryne Jade Taylor, winner of Helen F. Faust Women Writers Research Award, will speak about her research on "Remembering the Future, Redefining the Past: A Study of Nineteenth Century British Feminist Utopias" on Wednesday, August 8, in the Mann Assembly Room at 4:00 P.M. Ms. Taylor is a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of English at the The University of Iowa.

Light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Penn Staters in the Olympics

A “Discussion Roundtable on the Three Londons: Penn Staters in the Olympics” will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library. The discussion will focus on the role and history of Penn Staters in the Olympics, and the speakers will include famed Olympic soccer coach Walter Bahr (1948 London Olympics), Olympic soccer goal setter Ronald Coder (1956 Melbourne Olympics and 1960 Rome Olympics) and Hal Wilson (Class of 1951) Olympic enthusiast, collector and Libraries donor.

The discussion roundtable sponsored by the Penn State University Archives complements the current Olympic exhibit at the All Sports Museum, on display through Aug. 30. The exhibit features photographs from the Penn State University Archives and Olympic artifacts, booklets and posters from the collection of Hal Wilson.

The event is free and open to the public.

Huck Travel Award Winner to Talk about Kenneth Burke Papers

"A Guess, A Lead, and A Discovery: A Story of Serendipity in the Kenneth Burke Archives" will be the topic of Prof. Kyle Jensen's talk on Thursday, July 26 at 4:00 p.m. in the Mann Assembly Room. Jensen is from the Dept. of English at the University of North Texas and one of the 2012 Special Collections Library research travel award winners. His visit to University Park is supported by Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair fund.

 The talk is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Land Grant Act at 150 Exhibition

"The Land Grant Act at 150: Promoting Liberal and Practical Education at Penn State" is on display July 2 to Sept. 24, in the Frank and Mary J. Smeal Foundation Exhibits Hall. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The exhibition also will be open for viewing during the Technical Symposium on Land Grant Education from 1 to 5 p.m. on July 29 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, July 30, as part of the 2012 Biennial Conference of Chemical Educators (BCCE).

As Pennsylvania’s land grant institution, Penn State has a distinguished history of educational service to the Commonwealth. This exhibition, which features archival, manuscript and photographic materials from the Rare Books and Manuscript Collection and the Penn State University Archives, focuses on the educational legacy of the Penn State pioneers of land grant education Evan Pugh and George Atherton. It also showcases documentation for both the 1862 and 1890 Land Grant Acts and the academic influences and mentors, such as Joseph Priestley for this educational restructuring.

This exhibition was co-curated by Kelly Frazier (a master's degree student intern, Johns Hopkins University), Paul Karwacki (archives assistant), Sandra Stelts (rare books curator), and Jackie Esposito (University Archivist).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two Waring Films to be Screened at Arts Fest!

Two rare Fred Waring motion pictures, featuring the music and acting of Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, will be featured at 3 p.m. on July 13 and 14 at the State Theatre in State College, Pa., during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  An Arts Festival button will be required for entrance.

Syncopation (1929) was publicized as the “first mammoth all-talking screen extravaganza, featuring the world’s greatest band making their film debut in a spectacular musical drama." The film featured the band’s first female performer, Dorothy Lee along with actors Barbara Bennett and Morton Downey. Syncopation will be screened at 3 p.m. on July 13th.

Warner Brothers' Varsity Show (1937) will be shown at 3 p.m. on July 14th. Nominated for an Academy Award for best dance direction in 1937, the film starred Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians as themselves, along with a supporting cast that included Dick Powell, Ted Healy, and Rosemary and Priscilla Lane. With music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting, the dynamic selection of songs in this lively musical included "Old King Cole," sung by Johnnie Davis; "We're Working Our Way Through College," sung by Dick Powell; "I'm Dependable," sung by Priscilla Lane and Fred Waring and written by Tom Waring and Don Raye; "Love Is on the Air Tonight," sung by Buck and Bubbles; among others. The highlight of "Varsity Show" was a memorable college finale, orchestrated by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and choreographed by Busby Berkeley.

The films are from Fred Waring's America Collection, part of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library. For more visit the Waring Collection online at

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SCL Launches Digital Records Program

The Penn State Special Collections Library has traditionally collected material of cultural and historical significance in paper form, but these days just about everything is “born-digital,” and never exists at all on paper. Instead of hand-written letters, people email or text-message one another. Instead of diaries, people keep blogs on the Web. Software suites like Microsoft Office are used to create everyday documents, and even photographs, audio recordings, and video are now just files on a computer.  

Born-digital documents present new challenges for archives. Paper documents are often accessible in the same form decades after their creation. In the right conditions, paper can last hundreds of years. Electronic documents, on the other hand, may not be accessible nearly as long without the right hardware, operating systems, and software, and some forms of electronic documentation are so ephemeral they may never be preserved at all (the average lifespan of a website, for example, is estimated to be three months). Digital documents depend heavily on the technologies that create them, and as we all know those technologies are updating and changing every year.

The Penn State Special Collections Library has hired me, Ben Goldman, to grapple with these issues moving forward. As the new Digital Records Archivist, I will help ensure that we are in a position to capture and preserve today’s digital heritage for future generations of researchers. Among other things, I will be responsible for developing and implementing workflows and processes related to the acquisition, management, and preservation of born-digital holdings. I will also be contributing to the ongoing development of Penn State’s microservice-based repository system, ScholarSphere, which is being launched this Fall as a resource for Penn State researchers to disseminate their digital scholarly works. In future iterations of the platform, we hope to be able to store and provide access to born-digital archival collections.

Prior to joining Penn State, I was the Digital Programs Archivist at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC), where I started the AHC’s first formal electronic records program and managed its mass digitization program. I earned a Master’s of Science degree in Library and Information Science for Syracuse University in 2009, with an emphasis on Digital Libraries.

I am excited to be joining Penn State and look forward to tackling this challenge of preserving born-digital archives.