Showing posts from May, 2015

Clarke exhibit stuff clean up

Finally! Moving a decade of exhibit wall boards and miscellaneous out of the Clarke's stacks after photographing it all. Hopefully they can be recycled for other exhibits and art projects. Exhibit wallboards, banners, and miscellaneous that can be reused have been retained. Thanks to all the students who helped: Drake, Suli, Andrea, and Loissa. This leaves me a lot more space to store archival collections and supplies in the stacks.

Another early human ancestor is verified

There is yet another early human ancestor. This newly discovered ancestor is called Australopithecus deyiremeda. It existed in Ethiopia between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago.  "Lucy" Australopithecus afarensis existed  3.2 million years ago. There are similarities between the remains of the two but enough differences that it is clear to scientists that we are talking about a new species of early hominins. With these remains and findings it is now clear that there were three early human species living at the same time and in the same relative area. This is fascinating and sure to shake up science and the non-scientists as well. Read more about it here

a lock of Mozart's hair

A verified lock of Mozart's hair is going to auction and Sotheby's thinks it will bring in at least 10,000 pounds. Read more about it here

In the Clarke, we have a lock of of hair in this collection:
Teal Family, Family correspondence, 1851, 1869-lock of hair of a dead daughter, Eleanor Teall

Library of the future

Author Margaret Atwood is the first of 100 authors to put an unidentified book manuscript into the Library of the Future, to be published in the future, after her death. The manuscripts will be kept in trust in Oslo, Norway. 1,000 trees are being planted  so that their wood will be harvested in the future for the paper to print the books on. What a concept! The Trust, composed of leading published and editors will invite 1 author/year to contribute to the Future Library. Read more about it here

Interesting techy stories of the day

1) the UK government is selling "big chunks" of Internet addresses it no longer uses. A Norwegian firm bought the first 150,000 for about 600,000 pounds. The addresses are valuable because there is a limited number of Internet addresses available due to a naming system from the 1970s. Available addresses from the system are almost used up. The future (5-10 year) plan is that the net will move to a new, different naming scheme which will offer almost unlimited naming options. Read more about it here  I wonder when other governments will do this to shore up their assets.

2) Two "interesting" websites were hacked and admitted it recently, one is a California adult dating/sex website, Adult Friend Finder. The personal preferences and information of 3.9 of its 64 million users was hacked.  The numbers are amazing to me.  An investigation is occurring now.  Read more about it here����…

Disney Data Analyst job posting


Archivists on the Issues blog begins

A new blog is developing called Archivists on the Issues through Issues & Advocacy Roundtable of MAC.

Palmyra is next

ISIS is now in charge of the town of Tadmur, the site of the ruins of ancient Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site. I feel terrible sympathy for the people of the area and the horror they are experiencing. Historically I fear for Palmyra. Considering what ISIS did to Nimrud (damaged it, then bulldozed it, then blew it up) there is little hope for Palmyra. The Syrian government reports it saved some of the statues from Palmyra, but Palmyra is a huge, significant complex. It is pretty certain ISIS will do everything it can to destroy it. What a sad day for the world. Read more about it here

Osama bin Laden's papers-an interesting read

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) [this is a US unit of -read more about it here ] released some of Bin Laden's files which include caring letters to his family, a love letter to one of his wives, an application to join his terrorist organization, lots of English language books, including US government reports and other interesting information on financials and suicide prevention. He was totally focused on attacking the US and mad at other terrorists who implemented attacks on other countries. IF nothing else it shows even those who hate love somebody. This point reminds me of a certain British show about drug sellers.  Read more about it here

Saginaw Corp Archives summer internship w Nexteer Auto.

click here

Clinton's email again

The State Dept. says it needs until 2016 to get through all of Hillary Clinton's email to release what should be released to the public. There's a lot of it covering a lot of issues so it all needs to be reviewed. She's released 50,000 pages of printed emails and would like them released sooner rather than later. I'm sure some are seething over this. I wish she'd just released it all to a committee for review and avoided this mess. Read more about it and the issues raised by what she did using one email system for personal/work combined and cleaning her private server here

FB and Belgium

Belgium is not happy w Facebook.  The nation's Privacy Protection Commission accused FB of "dodging questions from European regulators."  FB tracks users against Belgian and UK privacy laws by refusing to recognize their national jurisdictions. FB recognizes Irish laws because its European site is in Ireland. The EU regulatory body includes German,Dutch, French, Spanish and Belgian reps. Read more about it here

USS Oklahoma dead, first identified, then marked as unidentified, now to be identified again

I include this as an article about information, suppressed information, and reopened information, and the fight to reopen it.

This is about the remains of a man, Edwin Hopkins, a fireman 3rd class,  killed in the USS Oklahoma during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  His family was initially told that his body was unidentified and buried as such. In the 1990s a veteran of Pearl Harbor found out  that some remains had been initially identified and later noted as unidentified, including those of Hopkins. Why this happened is unclear. Maybe it was just easier for the Navy with all the other stuff they were dealing with at the time. Did the DOD think it make the attack more brutal to think more men were left unidentifiable? It was harder to id people then than now. It would have taken a lot of time, money and effort. The news that Eddie's remains had been identified and buried as unidentified nearly devastated his remaining siblings. His family has fought ever since to get his remains back…

Luedtke Construction Co. arrives

Approx. 156 cu. ft. of Luedtke (pronounced Lud-key) Construction Co. of Frankfort, MI [marine construction, 3 generations] arrived and was moved into the Clarke by Frank, John, Marian, and helpless willing intern Andrea. It was exhausting. I'm not 20 anymore. There are three main series represented, bids/jobs including what became a major lawsuit in Chicago due to a collapsed tunnel; bids that weren't accepted; and miscellaneous. Another maybe 200 cu.ft. awaits transfer in the future. Luedtke creates docks, barrier walls, dredges, etc. in the Great Lakes and beyond. They've also done some work at the Soo Locks.
Can you see Andrea half way down the hall and Frank at the end of the very long pile? Now we have to inventory and shelve it. We are taking a break first.

We got about 1/2 of it shelved. The rest can wait until Mon.

Elgin Marbles

Greece is not going to sue the UK o reclaim the Elgin Marbles.

what my archives class accomplished this term

This year I had my largest archives class (19 students). Once again we tackled part of the Charles S. Bliss lumber and family papers. For their final project they each received a .5 cubic ft. box to process and for which they create a scope/contents note and box/folder listing. In the end, they withdrew just over a total of 2 cubic feet of miscellaneous doodles and notations, illegible, badly damaged, fragile, stained, mildewed or possibly moldy materials, after having photocopied the material worth keeping. The result is that  9.75 cubic feet more of Bliss is processed. This only leaves me with about 30 more cubic feet of papers to process. If I have classes in the near future of approximately 19 students it will take us at least three more years to process the boxed material. There are also over 100 mostly oversized volumes, which have been inventoried, but which still need new flags and some physical reorganization on the shelves. So, we are making progress.

Overall the students…

The next presidential library will be in Chicago

The next presidential library (center) will be at the U. of Chicago on the south side of Chicago. President Obama is pretty happy about it. Mrs. O is delighted. I hope his staff is following the rules set out in the Presidential Records Act so we don't hear lots of bad reports about missing records  or wiped servers. Read more about it here  or here

9th Annual Michigan Collections Management Roundtable

Please join us on May 20th from 9am-4pm at the Bay County Historical Society in Bay City for the 9th Annual Michigan Collections Management Roundtable Collections Conundrums: The Live Listserv.
Do you have problems with your collections? Do those ownership disputes make you want to cry? Are you pulling your hair out over those Found In Collections or donor restrictions? Does that unidentifiable thing melting on the shelf give you nightmares? Are you often found in fetal position on the floor of your office murmuring, “but I’m a good collections manager, I’m a good collections manager”?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions THEN HAVE WE GOT THE ROUNDTABLE FOR YOU!
Enjoy presentations on the topic from two fellow compatriots!
Bring your own collections conundrum questions for live crowdsourcing and discussion!
Please see the attached flyer for details and registration. All RSVPs by May 13th please to Emily Radlinski. And while we try very hard to keep this email mailing l…

MAC at Lexington, the Patriot Act, and other stuff

Had a good experience in Lexington, KY, at MAC, the Midwest Archives Conference. Basically I learned that no matter how bad the situation is, you cannot keep an archivist down, whether this involves film, A/V, digital, reorganizing an archives, or whatever. There are also lots of archivists (like me) dedicated to teaching about archives, archival literacy, and helping wannabe archivists turn into archivists. I met some nice people. Our A/V presentation panel went pretty well.

So I'm back and I have to finish grades by Weds. and then train new students.

As per usual, since I left town briefly, lots of stuff was donated while I was gone. I see piles. This is good because as of Thrs I will new students who need smaller collections to learn how to process.

Lastly, while lots of interesting news has occurred in the last few days, of particular note is a front page NYTimes story from May 7th I saw while breakfasting that may have very interesting ramifications for mass data collection, …

It's off to MAC I go

Following my Archives Administration exam tonight, I'm at MAC this week in Lexington, KY. My dear ex-student Tressa and I are part of a panel talking about audiovisual issues. Our issue is the Clarke's film project. I'm also chairing it.  It's supposed to be warm there all week- break out the sandals and sunscreen. Read more about it here

This conference will kick off the summer term. I have some new student processors to train, grades to conclude when I return from MAC, and various collections to archivally deal with in diverse ways all summer. Tressa and I hope to write an article on our film project for the AMIA  (Association of Moving Image Archivists) journal this summer. I also hope to conclude a good draft of most of my thesis. It's going to be a busy summer. Shortly after term begins I hope to present about some of my thesis research at the Great Lakes History Conference. We'll see.

recordings of Irish soldiers in WWI German POW camps

This is a very interesting WWI tidbit. Soldiers from various countries were in German POW camps.  Beginning in 1915 the Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission recorded soldiers with their own equipment-gramophone or phonograph, making  records or wax cylinder recordings of the men singing. The commission visited about 70 camps. They found men who could help, filled in questionnaires, and recorded the POWs. Some did not want to stop singing as it made them feel better. Photographs  of the men and files on them were made and many still exist. The plan was to record different voices, accents, speech patterns and use it for future research purposes. This article is specifically about the Irish who were recorded, but other groups were apparently recorded as well.  By 1919 the Commission's two leaders, Stumpf and Doegen, were utterly opposed to each other. The Commission stopped work in 1920. One of the men, Doegen, then went to Ireland in 1936 where he made more recording which are dig…



FB and net neutrality

FB has decided to make a change which some are protesting compromise net neutrality because it prefers  access to some sites and apps over others. FB founder  "Mark Zuckerberg said it was "not sustainable to offer the whole internet for free"."  If you think the Internet is free, here's a quote from Zuckerberg worth remembering... "It costs tens of billions of dollars every year to run the internet, and no operator could afford this if everything were free."   The change will be which  allows subscribers of partner mobile networks (which ones?) to use  some limited online services for free, which will require using special Android apps and some specific websites and browsers. This has already been working since 2014 in  "Zambia, India, Colombia, Guatemala, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, the Philippines and Indonesia." These are nations not known for great access to the Internet. Zuckerberg believes that providing access one way or the…

Here's an archives of an amazing, inspiring man

Christy Brown, Irish author of My Left Foot, which became a movie starring Daniel Day Lewis,  wrote and painted with his left foot. He was born with  cerebal palsy.  His family's archives were purchased by the Little Museum of Dublin  with the National Library of Ireland, to preserve the archives for the nation. It's very interesting but the paperclips, even with paper slips beneath them, bug me. Here's a link

More asbestine paint samples in the archives

More asbestine paint samples and price listings were just found in the C. S. Bliss and Company Business Records and Family Papers, 1887-1897. My poor students. What a way to end the term! Since this type of item has been found before in Bliss papers,  I made yet another call to CMU's Risk Management, Environmental Health and Safety.  Jeff is coming today to collect the samples and related materials. The paint samples are in good shape, so it is highly unlikely that any asbestos-related contamination has occurred in class or in the archives. I was not taught about asbestos in the collections in library school. Clearly, my occupation involves learning something new every day.

Asbestos-based products were used  once, before someone figured out they could cause lethal health issues, to insulate pipes and in composition with roofing tiles and paints to prevent or limit fires to buildings. This paint was supposed to be weatherproof as well as fireproof. I'm sure the asbestine paint…