Showing posts from December, 2010

Architectural Records-Sometimes it takes two

I received a large box of architectural records (211), 1961-1963 mostly,  of a Midland County architect, mostly of homes, churches, and local government buildings in Midland County but also in Roscommon County and of a Jewish temple in New York State. There was also a blueprint from Stockholm, Sweden. Did you know sorum means bedroom in Swedish? There is quite a variety including blueprints, tracings, notes, plans for planting greenery, presentation pieces for display, elevation views, and other architectural records. Architectural records are often difficult to handle as they are rolled and so large. It took two of us, me and my wonderful student, Cynthia, to unroll them all.   Then we piled boxes of folders on them to flatten them out. Hopefully, by January they will prove easier to handle.  It will take two of us again to organize them, folder them, measure them, and finally put them into oversized drawers. Sometimes it takes two.

This is my last 2010 posting. See you in January.

Ike's Speech found in a boat house

The Dec. 20, 2010 New Yorker has an article on "Ike's Speech," about President Eisenhower's famous "Farewell Address" of December 1960 in which he warned Americans about   a future "scientific-technological elite" who would dominate public policy and a "military-industrial complex" that would consume all our resources.  The speech, or rather multiple drafts of it, all carefully edited by Ike, were found in a boat house of Ike's speech writer, Malcolm Moos. Moos' son's wife made him get rid of the boxes, finally, which had been stored in the boat house in Minnesota for decades. The drafts show that Eisenhower suggested the speech and he and his brother, Milton, overhauled the original draft by Moos nearly 30 times. The Eisenhower Presidential Library had 8 drafts. The boat house had 21. The boathouse drafts have been processed at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, shedding new light on Pres. Eisenhower and has concerns and…

Manipulated Electronic Records A Future Challenge

Historical data being changed or stolen is a major fear of archivists. How to deal with this problem? We can see if a box is empty, but what if the data is gone from a disc or has been changed? We all know photos can be manipulated and look real. Stalin's minions inserted images of  Stalin into photos with Lenin to establish Stalin's legitimacy before computers existed. Stalin also had images of his ex-friends removed from images, once he killed them. Or, less scary example, have you removed red eye from your family e-photos or deleted a butt shot from your family e-album? In the old days you could destroy a legal paper, but the microfilmed copy remained unless you opened a reel and scratched, or expunged, the matching section off it with a razor. This legally occurred when people were found not guilty after conviction. Data manipulation and its effect on information now and in the future is a huge issue affecting and that will affect archivists, records managers, IT people, e…


We all know that Wikileaks has recently leaked a huge amount of classified US government info., some of which is available online, some of which is not. This is now a major international news story promoting much discussion in information circles, government, security, and international diplomatic channels across the world. It has and will affect our information policies in the future.

What have we learned? 1) Our government info is not well protected in today's tech savy world. Time to step up, US and reevaluate who has access to what and when and how,  improve ways to deal with high tech info, viruses, hackers, and realize that information and access issues have changed dramatically. Actually, all governments need to understand this and act accordingly. 2) Assange is a egomaniac. 3) Information must be studied in context to be fully understood especially the long-term results.

Now sites such as Mastercard (good thing I finished my Christmas shopping), Swiss Postfinance, and Pa…

UM Presidential papers story- hilarious and unnerving

Recently, while reading  the Fall 2010 issue of the UM LSA alumni magazine, I particularly enjoyed a story taken from the life and papers of UM President  Ruthven. The reason his hilarious and sometimes unnerving adventures are able to be published by the UM and appreciated by many today is because he RECORDED them. One of  the main issues archivists worry about today is that people are not recording their thoughts or ideas, adventures, or mishaps on a permanent medium. Electronic information is not permanent! Our last CMU president left the archives NOTHING. All we have are materials I copied from e-notices or the newspapers. The reality is that this lack of permanent recording of leadership will continue. At CMU the records schedule is voluntary, so nobody is required to donate his/her papers (or e-files or photos or anything) to the archives when s/he leaves or retires. By the time the e-files get to the archives, if they ever arrive, the software and hardware will likely be obsole…