Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two grad student history conferences/calls for papers:

Third Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference

Call for Papers

Ideas and Ideology in the Global Past

The Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) committee invites graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to submit proposals for the Third Berkeley International and Global History (Big-H) Graduate Student Conference to take place at the University of California, Berkeley, on February 27-28th, 2015.

The history of ideas, from science and religion to philosophy, has a rich tradition of nation-based scholarship. Yet ideas, as non-material and communicable things, can easily move across barriers of language and space. The recent turn toward studying histories that escape national and regional frames offer historians of ideas and ideology a fruitful way to examine how concepts emerged, grew, and transformed across national or imperial borders. Historians stand to learn much about the making of the past, and the contemporary world, by examining ideas about the natural world, theology, concepts of governance, and local expertise across space and between societies. Points of entry include the migration of knowledge, the relationship between ideas and material events and processes, the resistance to and exercise of new ideas, the transference of ideas across time periods and geographies, and how ideology informs and is informed by techniques of governance.   

The following list contains a sample of potential questions with which our conference seeks to engage:
How did commercial exchange and cross-cultural interaction change definitions of what is human, divine, natural, or machine?
 How were the boundaries of scientific truth and objectivity established across cultures?
How did modes of representing ideas change to accommodate interactions among different linguistic groups?
 In what vehicles did ideas travel across cultures and polities, and how was the traffic of ideas governed?
 How did ideas about the purpose of states change as people came into contact across cultures and political boundaries?
How did the spread of empires, nation-states, or markets change basic understandings of community, class, power, value, environment, religion, accountability, identity?

When did ideas transcend cultural difference to give rise to transnational social movements?
How did the scale of human imagination change as people interacted across cultures?
This conference will consider the creation and elaboration of ideas and ideologies from diverse perspectives and time periods - from antiquity to the recent past.  We invite papers from graduate students and postdoctoral students that engage the history of ideas, ideology, and how they are realized in culture, politics, economics, science, gender, and society.  Scholars working in any subfield and any time period are encouraged to apply. 

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are interested in participating in the conference should submit a 350 word proposal and one-page curriculum vitae (in Word, RTF, or PDF format) to Participants will be asked to pre-circulate their paper drafts.  We will not accept panel proposals. Applications must be received by October 3rd, 2014, in order to be considered. Notification of acceptance will be made in late October. For additional information, please e-mail the conference organizers at or check our website at

The University of Illinois at Chicago History Graduate Society announces its 7th annual Windy
City Graduate Student History Conference: “Historicizing the State.” The two-day conference
will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago on October 17-18, 2014.
Since Benedict Anderson invited historians to envision nation-states as Imagined Communities,
scholars have wrestled with questions regarding the naturalness of the state. This conference
invites scholars to explore the historical processes of state formation.

Possible working paper topics include (but are not limited to):
Theories/Theorists of State Power
The State and Empire
National Subjectivity
Borderlands/Construction of Nation-States
State Regulation and Sponsorship of Economic Institutions and Markets
Immigration and Naturalization
Legal Analysis
Prison Industrial Complex
The “Welfare State” and the “Warfare State”
State/Non-State Militias

This year’s keynote speaker is James T. Sparrow, an Associate Professor of U.S. History at The
University of Chicago. Professor Sparrow’s recent book, Warfare State: World War II Americans
and the Age of Big Government, challenged the periodization of the New Deal as the era of “big
government” to instead argue the United States harnessed its participation in the Second World
War to vastly expand the federal government's involvement in citizens’ lives. Sparrow’s new
project, “The New Leviathan” examines American sovereignty during the atomic age. Sparrow’s
methodological interests extend to new media fields and the opportunities they provide in
capturing and preserving archival material.

This is an interdisciplinary conference. Presentations from history graduate students in all
research areas are welcome. Graduate students working on historical topics in other social
sciences and humanities are also encouraged to apply. Please send a 250 word abstract and a
short CV to by September 15th, 2014. For panel proposals, please
send a 200 word panel abstract along with paper abstracts and presenters’ CV’s. 

Irish personal data on living removed from gen. site

Too much personal data of living people was on an Irish government genealogical website,,  and has now been removed. I love how the problem was described as a "cock up", a phrase we just don't use in the US. The site was created in 2013 to help the Irish trace their families.  Info is supposed to be more than 100 years old. Part of this is no doubt to protect people who gave children up for adoption, among other difficult, emotionally challenging situations.  In reality, information was used from "contemporary civil records about living individuals." Among this information was marital status, birth dates, and maiden names. The information for those under 100 years old in age was removed. Read more about it here

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Digital Archivist job posting

Digital Archivist
Special Collections & Archives/Digital Library Development Program

The UC San Diego Library is committed to supporting academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body.

The University and the Library
With nearly 30,000 students, UC San Diego is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through excellence in education and research at the undergraduate, graduate, professional school and postdoctoral levels.  UC San Diego has been recognized as one of the top 10 public universities in the nation by US News & World Report, as well as one of the top schools for medical research.  UC San Diego is also in the top 10 of all universities in the nation in receiving federal R&D research grants.  The UC San Diego Library plays a critical role in advancing and supporting the university's research, teaching, patient care, and public service missions.

Responsibilities of the Position
The Digital Archivist is a new position shared between Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) and the Digital Library Development Program (DLDP).  Reporting to the directors of both programs (60% in SC&A; 40% in DLDP), the Digital Archivist will be responsible for leading efforts to appraise, preserve, describe, and provide access and security to born-digital materials collected by the UC San Diego Library.  Their work will have an emphasis on archival, manuscript, and other special collections materials, particularly digital content and electronic records received by SC&A.  They will also work with UC San Diego collections in the California Digital Library’s Web Archiving Service (WAS), as well as with other selected born-digital materials.  The Digital Archivist will also:

  • Arrange & describe born-digital content according to evolving best practices and the UC Guidelines on Efficient Processing of Manuscript & Archival Materials
  • Develop processes for accessioning, ingesting, processing, describing, and preserving  born-digital materials acquired by UC San Diego selectors, as well as digital materials included in personal and organizational collections;
  • Provide support for the management of born-digital materials, particularly those pertaining to UC San Diego and/or generated by units of the UC San Diego campus, advising on the appropriate capture, management, discovery, and preservation strategy for such;
  • Evaluate proposed acquisitions of born-digital material with the Program Directors, the Supervisory Archivist, and other UC San Diego selectors, as appropriate;
  • Develop & document work flow across campus and library units in order to support the preservation, access, and security of born digital materials into the future;
  • Deliver born-digital content to discovery & delivery platforms in collaboration with other library information specialists;
  • Provide direction for the organization, management, and preservation of selected web-based resources, including, when appropriate, management through the Library’s Digital Asses Management System (DAMS) and preservation through web archiving;
  • Advise on digital content storage needs;
  • Coordinate web archiving projects with appropriate UC San Diego Library specialists, CDL support staff, and colleagues from other UC campuses, as required;
  • Coordinate with metadata specialists on the cataloging of born-digital materials and their exposure in library catalogs, the Library’s DAMS, as well as other UC and national digital repositories.

Minimum Qualification

  • Professional degree from a library school or other appropriate degree or equivalent experience in one or more fields relevant to library science;
  • Strong command of archival theory and best practices, especially as they relate to the particular issues posed by born-digital content;
  • Experience processing born-digital materials;
  • Knowledge of digital forensics and other protocols used by the archival community for accessioning, ingesting, processing, describing, and preserving born-digital materials;
  • Knowledge of legal & ethical issues affecting privacy, records restrictions, and access, as they pertain to born-digital materials;
  • Knowledge of current trends and protocols in digital archiving;
  • Familiarity with metadata and other standards relevant to the control of digital materials such as OAIS, EAD, DACS, Dublin Core, MODS, PREMIS, and XML;
  • Familiarity with trends in arrangement, description & management of born-digital materials
  • Excellent analytical, interpersonal, time management, and organizational skills, as well as excellent written and oral communication abilities;
  • Ability to work creatively, independently, and collaboratively.
  • Demonstrated strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience processing analog archival materials
  • Society of American Archivists Digital Archivist Specialist certificate, or courses toward its completion
  • Knowledge of web archiving and data curation practices
  • Ability to articulate highly technical concepts and requirements to a variety of audiences
  • Knowledge of one or more programming languages such as Python, Ruby on Rails, PHP or PERL
  • Experience writing detailed documentation and training staff

Librarians at UC San Diego are academic appointees and entitled to appropriate professional leave and all other perquisites granted to non-faculty academic personnel. UC San Diego Librarians are expected to participate in library-wide and system-wide planning and governance and to be professionally active. Appreciation of, a sensitivity to, and respect for a rich and diverse academic environment, inclusive of students, faculty, and staff of varying social, economic, cultural, ideological and ethnic backgrounds, and those with disabilities.

Salary: Salary and level of appointment in the Librarian series commensurate with qualifications and experience and based on the University of California pay scales.

Closing Date: Application consideration begins August 24, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

To Apply: For full consideration, please submit applications to

Please provide the following:
  • A short application letter addressing your interest in this program and applicable qualifications
  • A resume of education and relevant experience
  • The names of at least three persons who are knowledgeable about your qualifications and/or suitability for this position
  • A personal statement summarizing your past or planned contributions to diversity; guidance for preparing diversity statements can be found at:

AA-EOE: UCSD is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer with a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity.

Cristela Garcia-Spitz
Digital Library Development Program Project Manager
UC San Diego Library
9500 Gilman Drive 0175-D, La Jolla, California 92093-0175
858.822.7906 |

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture - Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division job posting

Posted on behalf of NYU Library


The New York Public Library has an exciting employment opportunity at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture  - Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division.  If interested, please read the job description below and apply or forward to other individuals who may be interested.

Title:    Specialist II/Librarian II

Compensation Package:  Up to $51,073 per year, 3 weeks vacation, 10 sick days, 12 paid holidays, membership in the NYS Pension Plan and a comprehensive benefits/wellness package.

The Moving Image and Recorded Sound (MIRS) Division located in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture collects and preserves audio and moving image (AMI) material related to the experiences of people of African descent. The Division is central to the Schomburg Center’s mission, which is to advance knowledge and inspire lifelong learning, by the strength of its collections but also by the compelling nature of AMI materials. In a variety of formats, MIRS has amassed approximately 5,000 cubic square feet of rare and unique material that documents the major historical, artistic and cultural moments of the Twentieth Century.

The MIRS Division seeks a detail-oriented, tech-savvy and solution-minded professional.  This is a unique opportunity to be part of re-setting, managing and preserving the MIRS collection into the twenty-first century and for future generations.

Working with and under the supervision of the Curator of the MIRS Division, the responsibilities of the Specialist II/Librarian II positionare to:

  • Organize, inventory, catalog and create finding aids for MIRS’ AMI collections
  • Manage ongoing processing, metadata and collection maintenance
  • Remain current with evolving AMI standards in consultation with NYPL’s archival, metadata, preservation, conservation, cataloging and digitization units
  • Manage archiving, metadata and collection digitization
  • Conduct in-person, telephone and email reference
  • Train and mentor pages and technical assistants
  • Monitor and analyze the effectiveness of operations and participate in short and long-term divisional planning
  • Serve on relevant committees, task forces, and working groups
  • Support the Schomburg Center’s collection development strategies, public services, policies and procedures and special projects, including exhibitions and publications
  • Preform related duties as required
  • Master's Degree from accredited program in Archival Studies, Library and Information Sciences or a related field
  • Knowledge of AMI archival and library processing standards and procedures
  • Experience handling a range of AMI formats
  • Experience appraising, arranging and describing archival records, including creating finding aids
  • Demonstrated experience addressing workflow for cataloging of A/V material and/or processing backlogs of materials.
  • Working knowledge of Library of Congress subject headings, archival description and  cataloging
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work well with colleagues, donors and the public
  • Knowledge of the history and culture of people of African descent preferred
  • Knowledge of basic preservation and conservation treatments preferred
35 hours per week
Monday through Friday
Evenings and Weekends as required
 Interested applicants should apply for the position at

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wall Street hacked?

Russian hackers snuck a digital "bomb" or cyber grenade with the capacity of spying, stealing, and destroying info, which never actually "detonated," into Nasdaq in 2010.  Wall Street insists its system is safe because there is no evidence that info was stolen or destroyed. I think the fact that hackers got into the system undetected with "custom-made malware" means Wall Street has a security problem. The plan was apparently to "sabotage the stock market's computers and wreak havoc on the U.S. economy." How many people or organizations have the capacity to create such malware and pull off such an attack? It doesn't sound like they bought it on the internet or were doing it for fun. So this is sophisticated criminal computer fraud, which is very difficult for the authorities to track. Apparently it is harder to track that drug transactions. The FBI is investigating. Read more about it here

new conference idea for change-oriented archivists and librarians

I'm excited about this concept, although I'm going to wait and see what the agenda turns out to be.

The agenda will be determined by those who want to attend. I'm interested. 

I wanted to invite members of this list to take a look at the website for a new conference coming in February 2015 to Knoxville,  Tennessee. The Collective will provide attendees with new ways to learn, network and kickstart ideas with other change-oriented archivists and librarians by emphasizing in-depth discussions and workshops.

Call for Proposals: Session Proposals are now being accepted via our website.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you have – you can email me at


Kris Bronstad
Modern Political Archivist
University Libraries
Baker Center
1640 Cumberland Avenue
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3340

Friday, July 18, 2014

Something to de-accession?

Somehow we ended up with a deed of property in New York city with a detailed drawing on the side of the plot. It is large and in two pieces, each measuring 24 x 9-10 inches. Except for a few rips and being in half, it is in good condition. The handwriting is very neat. The deed dates to March 1, 1825 and records the sale of the property by Clement C. Moore of New York city and his wife Catherine Eliza to James Bennet of New York, a varnish maker, property  from 8th to 9th avenue between 21 and 22nd streets for $250.00.  It is signed by Clement and Catherine Moore with a seal, in the presence of John Hildreth (signature). James already owned a small piece of property surrounded by Moore owned property. On the back is a statement that Catherine privately agreed to the sale separately from her husband,  a process required to protect her rights, signed by John Hildreth, aCommissioner for the city New York, May 20, 1825. Also noted on the back is that fact that the deed was recorded in the city and county of New York in the Office of the Register in Lib. (Book) 193 of Conveyances p. 264 on July 26, 1825 at 9a am by the Register (no name). Interesting that he thought the time was more important than his name and signature.

 I contacted several institutions and nobody wants it because this is an individual owner's copy, not an official state copy.
Here's the whole deed.
 I like the way it is trimmed on the top with a scalloped edge. It is neat and has an original signature stamp on the bottom right corner. I'm thinking of using it for my class and talking about early paper, early deeds, and de-accessioning.
Here's the detail of the plot drawing in the deed's left margin.