Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Finding Aids (special edition)

An announcement from our Collections Manager
Matt Francis

 Welcome to a very special edition of the "New/Updated Finding Aids" emails.  While we are continuing to crank out new finding aids, I want to take a moment to highlight six recent finding aids that all involve "something new" for our Special Collections Library.
Finding Aid for a Hybrid Collection (analog and born-digital):

As everyone is already aware we are beginning to receive more and more born-digital records along with traditional analog materials.  With this in mind we have recently published a finding aid that arranges and describes analog materials along with web-captured and fixed media born-digital records.  All of the materials are intellectually integrated together, so for example there is a publication series that contains digital and analog materials, as opposed to creating separate analog and born-digital series which would both contain publications.  I am hoping that this finding aid will serve as a useful example for future hybrid collection work. 

PSUA 8428 Pennsylvania College of Technology records - Located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College) is a special mission affiliate of The Pennsylvania State University, providing applied technology education. Penn College became an affiliate of the university in 1989, after establishing a national reputation for education supporting workforce development, first as a technical institute and later as a community college.

Directly linking from inventory description to digital surrogates:

Somewhat related to the above finding aid, we have republished the Thomas Benson papers finding aid so that it not only contains description for 30 linear feet of new materials, but also provides direct links to digitized materials from the inventory.  These links should increase use of materials (via remote users), help preserve the original items, and save on staff retrieval time.  I am hoping that as we increase our project digitization work that we will begin producing more finding aids such as this.

PSUA 6352 Thomas Benson papersThis collection contains materials from former Pennsylvania State University professor Thomas Benson, and document his academic work on political rhetoric, film criticism, rhetorical theory, freedom of speech, nonverbal communication, and the rhetoric of contemporary conflict. Of interest, the collection includes a large set of protest posters from the late 1960s and 1970s.

PSU Fayette - Coal & Coke Heritage Center Finding Aids now available:

Thanks to Julie's hard work down at Fayette, we now have three EAD finding aids published for three collections at the Coal & Coke Heritage Center.  The finding aids are discoverable through our finding aid portal (both the google search bar and the a-z> list), and contain data informing users that the collections are housed at Fayette.  To my knowledge this is the first time that we have integrated EAD finding aids from one of our other geographic locations into our web infrastructure, and we all owe Julie a big thank you for her processing work on these collections!

CCHC 1 USX Corporation records The USX Corporation records were given to the Coal and Coke Heritage Center upon the closure of a local USX office. Most of the materials include the name of the Corporation's partner: H.C. Frick Company. And, some items may include the Corporation's previous and current name: U.S. Steel. The collection spans the company's activities from 1840-1983.

CCHC 4 John A. Enman papersThe collection consists of three series, Collectibles; Research materials; and Writing and Publications. As the collection consists of both materials generated by Dr. Enman and resources used to research his work, it contains items dated from 1884 through 2013.

CCHC 5 Reid Moser photographsThe collection is comprised of 154 photographs taken between 1942 and 1945. They document construction and structural changes at Dearth Mine, Juniata, Leisenring #1, Leisenring #2, Leisenring #3, Robena, Shoaf, and Trotter Water Company Plant A.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 Research Travel Awards Winners

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library
2014 Research Travel Awards

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library on the University Park campus of Penn State is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014 travel awards.

Dorothy Foehr Huck Research Travel Awards were given to two outstanding proposals:
  • Georgia Aquilar, Ph.D. and architect at the University of Naples "Federico II" for use of the A.E. Bye and Francis Ferguson Papers in her proposed book on natural evolutive logics as strategic principles for designing landscapes and architectures.
  • Professor David Frank at the University of Oregon for his proposed research in the Robert Oliver Papers for his project, “Ghostwriting South Korea: Syngman Rhee, Robert Oliver, and the Symbolic Construction of the Cold War,” as well as research in the Kenneth Burke Papers.
Helen F. Faust Women Writers Research Travel Awards were given to two scholars:
  • Professor Lucinda Damon-Bach of Salem State University in Massachusetts for research in multiple literary collections for her ongoing project of a complete inventory, transcriptions, and likely digital project of Catherine Marie Sedgwick's letters.
  • Professor Alan S. Kornspan of Akron University for work in the papers of Penn State Professor Dorothy V. Harris for his project on her seminal role in the field of sport psychology.
The Albert M. Petska Eighth Air Force Archives Research Travel Award was given to:
  • Richard Muller, Professor of Military History, United States Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, for his in-depth research on the 452nd heavy bombardment group of the Eighth Air Force during and after World War II.

These awards are offered annually to any scholar using materials in the Eberly Family Special Collections Library and living more than 100 miles outside of University Park, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Archive Adventures: What's a Bucket Bowl?...and happy accidents

Though the library is usually dedicated to quiet study zones, you can't escape the highly contagious Blue-White buzz that has been spread around the whole building. So, in celebration, I've been wandering the aisles looking for history on the infamous "Bucket Bowl."

According to Lou Prato's article on the history of the Blue-White game, the "Bucket Bowl", as it was known, started in 1951 and came out of a tradition of scrimmages, intrasquad or against another school, to close spring practice. People would gather and watch these bouts informally before 1951. However, starting that year the student newspaper, the Collegian (see link for the historical digital database), presented the winning team with a wooden water bucket from 1951 until 1954, thus coining the term "Bucket Bowl" for what we now call Blue-White.

Unfortunately, this is where the trail petered out. Despite my search among our records, the Blue-White game doesn't appear again in our records until the 1980's. As disappointing as it was not to find the detailed history of the spring game, what I found instead was a delightful history of PSU football antics and animals.

In 1955, wily PSU students kidnapped the Navy mascot (Billy the Goat) from his home in Annapolis. Initial speculation pointed towards Pitt trying to frame PSU, but it later came out that the whole affair was an attempt at a hilarious entrance of a Sigma Chi float (with Billy aboard) to the PSU Homecoming game. Unfortunately for the frat brothers, officers found the goat on a farm outside State College before the big game, and Billy was returned to his university. They admitted to their "crime" readily, upset that Pitt was getting all the praise, and lamented that they had grown very attached to Billy. How did they get him quietly into a car and calm enough to travel the six hours back to State College? They doped him with ether and "scratched his neck" to comfort him on the trip.

Another example of the humorous early years, when live animal mascots were all the rage, was the 1969 Orange Bowl victory by PSU over Kansas. They didn't just bring home a trophy (and tons and tons of oranges)...they brought home a buffalo. Delighted students transported the prize back to PSU, and after some great photo shots and lots of attention, the massive creature went to his permanent home at the Erie Zoo in PA.

In other pictures, it is very obvious that the students were enamored with this big guy! 
 So, even though the history of Blue-White was sparse, I did get to have an adventure that I never would have imagined when I initially set out on this topic. It may be that in the future we will come across materials about the spring scrimmages that were hidden away in a folder or among the stacks and stacks of boxes we have on football history. Who knows? We work tirelessly to make sure we document everything we can, but there's never enough time to go through every single collection we have. That's why archives encourage researchers and do exploring as well. Who knows what you will find?

In the meantime, dream of spring and the thought of a beautiful Old Main lawn while you're waiting for the Blue-White game! We hope to see you at our event this Friday ("What's Special in Special Collections?")!

Orange Bowl(ing) in 1969.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What's "Special" about the Special Collections Library?

Below are some previews to the items we will showcase on April 11th from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. Please drop by and get an inside look at some of our collections and special projects.

Rare book curator Sandy Stelts will show you some rare and unique children’s “flap books” also known as “metamorphoses” or “harlequinades” and also demonstrate how Penn State faculty are studying and digitizing them. 

University archivist Jackie Esposito will introduce you to the Penn State sports archives and explain how we preserve our athletic history. 

Huck chair and head of the special collections library Tim Pyatt will give you a preview of the newly acquired Chip Kidd collection, which includes everything from book jacket designs to nearly one terabyte of digital records. 

Staff will also be available to guide you through our new exhibit, “Challenge Yourself: Judy Chicago’s Studio Art Pedagogy.”