2020 Western Archives Institute

Conrad Schmitt Studios

I was very excited last week while processing an addition to my church (St. John Episcopal Church, Mount Pleasant, MI)'s historic collections in the Clarke that I found information about the creator of its stained glass windows. The paperwork clearly states that the company made all of St. John's stained glass windows including those representing the 7 Sacraments, St. John the Apostle, and our 4 triangular shaped stained glass windows representing the 4 Evangelists. While the files had been stored in old historical folders, no current parishioners recalled the name of the company. Additionally, I found out that the same company had created our tabernacle. What an awesome find!

Here are the last Holy Sacraments the last 3 windows represent
Here's our St. John the Evangelist window demonstrating the gorgeous colors, craftsmanship,and design of our church's windows

CMU Cross Country, Track and Field

The Cross country films and projector came from a larger collection that I transported from CMU Cross Country, Track and Field last week. I'm going back this week to hopefully get more of it. When the assistant head coach said there was a really big box, I had no idea he meant the size you could put a couple of tubas in.

The collection includes photographs, photograph albums, clippings, history files, programs, as well as plaques and some trophies, which the CMU Museum is reviewing. We believe there are more photographs below the plaques, but I could not move and reach them all by myself. Individual student athlete awards will be returned, if possible, to the athletes by the coach.

With the films and by the time I finish processing I estimate that there will be about 7 cu.ft. of materials with what I have now. I photocopied acidic clippings and removed photos from frames Fri afternoon.
My goal is to get these to h.s. or CMU art students to use for their projects. 

 I had …

Cross country films

I recently learned about a genre of film I knew nothing about and had never considered because I'm not sporty. Before there were online how-to videos there were how-to, inspirational movies for sports. I never knew suspected they existed.

From CMU. Cross Country, Track and Field I recently brought to the Clarke several 16mm films.
They are all probably motivational films for cross country athletes, but they could be of CMU athletes. We will check. The only identified film for which I can find a description is The Harriers, 1960s, which sounds pretty interesting. Its a 25-minute film from Humboldt State University created by 2 students and their then coach, Jim Hunt.  The is raw footage set to banjo music of student runners "running their hears out" dangerously through a herd of elk, at Clam beach for nationals, slipping in mud, etc. The coach showed it to inspire at his running camps (something else I had no idea existed). The film was used to fund raise to send athlete…

hauling collections during nasty winter weather

On Weds I had the pleasure of meeting Jake Huss, a recent CMU grad, who is now the Historical Programs & Exhibitions Manager at Midland Center for the Arts. Weds was a freezing cold day, 18 degrees with a chilling wind. He hauled a literal van load of oversized exhibit wall boards to us that we created awhile ago relating to the development of the chemical business in Midland and Isabella counties. The boards had been in Midland's storage. While light in weight, they were very awkward to maneuver. We had to hold them vertically to get through doors and then carefully pick our way through our current exhibit . Most of them were so large that they were very difficult to manuever  on carts.
I am very grateful that one of my recent students and another CMU grad, Lindsey Rogers, happened to return to visit me that day and graciously helped Jake and I haul materials into the Clarke, as did one of our current students, Ailee Hansen. A number of people I do not know held 2 sets of ext…

leaving a footprint: OCRIE squirrel

As an archivist I have some ways that most people don't of coping with stress: shredding, moving boxes and volumes, folding or unfolding boxes or box tops, and, my personal favorite, processing a collection which is a real disaster. This helps me focus on the issue at hand and accomplishes something positive and usually cleans up and/or empties what was a densely packed and messy area. Sometimes I like to squish a stress-relieving objects. So one day in early Fall Term 2019 I selected a  stress-relieving squishy squirrel toy from a table of informational and other items for OCRIE (CMU's Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity) that was temporarily in the Park Library hall.

Periodically I squish the squishy squirrel. It is small, fits perfectly in my hand, and it is very cute. I'm not sure why OCRIE selected a squirrel, but it works for me. Who doesn't want a cute, squishable squirrel on their desk? It's so handy there, patiently sitting, cute enough to mak…

John L. Wagner prints

While my processing room is newly cleaned, the hall way is not.

What a view to return to after break, and yet so typical. Literally every time I leave the building something comes in for me to process.  After discussion yesterday, these older,  damaged, mostly oversized and variously sized prints of John L.Wagner's of Michigan lighthouses taken from an airplane, will be replaced by new, smaller, uniform size prints from the same negatives which will be rehoused in newer, better, lighter-weight frames. This will make the framed images easier to use and store, and they will available for institutions to request for exhibit purposes, which is John's hope. Having images of the same size is easier for institutions to arrange in various ways on their available wall and exhibit space, which varies from one room and institution to the next. We already have a map cabinet full of his oversized negatives and will be receiving more negatives, probably in assorted sizes. John's gorgeo…