Showing posts from April, 2017

HST 583


de/re/installing Denison

Lots of planning has led up to today's deinstallation of the Denison collection items which have been on exhibit for two years, since Mark Prindivlle and Andrea Howard changed the exhibit cases.

As part of her internship this term with Janet Danek and me, Crystal Wood has been busy all term thoughtfully considering themes, a first, for the exhibit cases. Today we empty and clean the exhibit cases, put the items that were on exhibit away safely and properly so we can find them in the future, and install a new exhibit-new items, new labels with context, documenting all our steps along the way and not breaking anything! More later!

Mrs. Smith's calling card case and calling cards

An addition to the Joseph Rowe Smith collection. Here's Mrs. Smith's calling cards and calling card case.

For more information see Joseph Rowe Smith, Sr., Family Papers,8231920, and undated. 1.5 cubic ft. (in 3 boxes)  The men were active army officers.

Joseph Rowe Smith, Sr. (1802-1868) was a U.S. Army Brigadier General.. Smith was happily married to Juliet by 1829. They had at least seven children: Louisa (June 1830- ), Joseph Rowe Smith, Jr. (April 18, 1831-1911? ), Elizabeth (March 21, 1832- ) [all three born in New York (State)[, Caroline (August 18, 1833-August 25, 1834), Warren (December 30, 1834-January 2, 1835) [both born and died at Fort Mackinac], Henry W. Smith (died 1869), and Horace (dates unknown).

Joseph Rowe Smith, Jr. (1831-1911?) graduated from the University of Michigan (U of M), class of 1848. He earned an A.B. and an A.M. He also earned a degree in medicine from the University of Buffalo, New York. Junior entered the army in 1854 and served …

rain in the archives

Today is such a rainy, headache-inducing day that I thought it would be interesting to see how many primary source collections document rain in some way. Three collections specifically document historic rain and they are all from soldiers, two serving in the Civil War, one in WWI.

Hodgdon, Max R., Papers, 1912-18, documents plane modifications in WWI to cope with rain and mud.

Rogers, Alonzo R. Papers, 1861, 1888, includes a letter to "Sister" from Alonzo in Camp opposite Chattanooga (Tenn.) dated Nov. 6, 1863 describing rain, homesickness, constant skirmishes, food and leaving for Bridgeport.

 Young, Charles B. Correspondence, 1864, 1865. His last letter to "Dear Family", dated Dec. 22, 1864, notes that his comrades drove Rebels farther back, captured troops and artillery, were on night manuevers, the battlefields were covered with dead and wounded soldiers, rain soaked supplies, that he has been sick. 

Obama dogs disaster preparedness video rocks

President Obama's library has yet to be built, but there is information online preparing us for this and documenting his time as president here Under photos and videos there is a section on the first dog-Bo. To help pet owners prepare for disasters, there is a video called Get Prepared with Bo and Sunny. If you click on Bo and Sunny photos and underneath the large photo go to the last image in the line, about 4 clicks move the images along, there is a video introducing Sunny and the next (last image) is the disaster preparation video. It is pretty funny. I particularly like the paws on the keyboard and luggage and disaster survival kits with their names on them. They even know how to take their own photos! Enjoy it here  

historic CMU commencements

During the stress of the last few weeks before finals, some CMU students are  thinking, I wish exams were over, my papers done, and I had already graduated.

I know you want to get all dressed up, pose for a formal group photo and get your beautifully wrapped sheepskin like these happy early graduates. They look so amazing! All 6 of them!

There are a number of primary source collections in the Clarke documenting CMU graduations or graduating classes or commencements.  In the collections, the experience is titled either graduation or commencement, and this carries over into the catalog description.

Commencement or Graduation is documented in:
multiple CMU photos in various collections and formats.

statistics, including graduation, are recorded in the CMU. Office of the President. Annual reports of the State Board of Education, 1927, 1994.

Also we have many collections consisting mostly of printed degrees or diplomas on vellum of students who graduated over the decades.


Crypt and coffins of archbishops of Centerbury found

Builders renovating a museum found a hidden crypt. The crypt contained 30 lead coffins, indicating high status. They were stacked on top of each other Some have names on them. One had what initially appeared to be a gold crown on top of it, which turned out to be a bishop's mitre.

In order of their terms in office the remains of archbishops found include:
Richard Bancroft, in office 1604-10, 
Thomas Tenison, 1695,1715
Matthew Hutton, 1757-1758
Thomas Secker, 1758-68 had his internal organs buried in the churchyard
John Moore, 1783-1805, and his wife;
Frederick Cornwallis, 1768-1783

another coffin contains the remains of an ecclesiastical court judge of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dean of Arches, John Bettesworth, 1677-1751

The most important man in history listed above is archbishop Richard Bancroft,who served in office 1604-10, but most importantly was the chief overseer of the publication of the new English translation of the King James Bible, a process which began in 1604…

NSA hacked an international banking system

The US National Security Agency (NSA) hacked into the Swift global banking system. This allowed the NSA to monitor financial transactions, tracing people linked together by nefarious and illegal deeds. Data documenting the tools used to hack the banking system was released online by Shadow Brokers, a hacking group.  This may be the second most important disclosure of NSA activity and tools regarding data hacking since Snowden informed us in 2013.  Experts believe this all actually happened. If the bank system was hacked and monitoring software implanted, it allowed the NSA to monitor financial transactions in all the banks in its system. The bank, headquartered in Belgium, has banks in Bangladesh, Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, and Qatar. .
Read more about it here

Proof found of people living during the ice age in British Columbia changes historical understanding

Archaeologists are stunned to have excavated the remains including fish hooks, atlatl (a piece used to launch spears farther and with more force), and a hand drill to light fires, of a village in remote Western Canada (British Columbia) that existed during the Ice Age. CNN covered the fact that it had been found, but I wondered what the heck prompted them to dig down so far (2.5 meters) in remote Western Canada. There are probably mosquitoes there the size of trucks. I can't even imagine how they got to the site. They probably had to fly and kayak in. Well, archaeologists went looking because the ancient habitation of the area is part of the oral tradition of the Heiltsuk Nation. Their oral tradition is that some of their ancestors lived there long ago.  Interestingly the ancestors picked some land that never froze. Archaeology now supports the Heiltsuk Nation's oral tradition. Everyone is excited. Because of the age of the site, which predate the pyramids, the find is changin…

Callisto Group

In 2016 a group hacked the UK's Foreign Office.. The FO is not saying if data was taken and experts think it was more a spear-phishing attack, to get passwords and user names. The hacking domains were created by the Callisto Group. Callisto has attached mostly government sites, think tanks and journalists and is linked to China, Russia and the Ukraine. Read more about it here

Architectural records class night

Had a great  Archives Administration class last night courtesy of Tawny Ryan Nelb learning all about architectural records. Tawny lectured and informed, they viewed and touched various types and formats, and put together their own media ID chart with preservation information. Then everyone had 1 hour of processing time for their final project box. It's getting close to the time for the processing to conclude. Some of the boxes are done or nearly done. Others have a way to go yet. 

Here are examples of architectural records and how they are stored in the Clarke.

MAA Annual Meeting coming up

WWI collections in the Clarke

On April 2, 1917 Pres. Wilson led the US as it entered into the horror of WWI, the war that changed everything as war went from horses to vehicles from personal to mechanized combat to just during the day to 24/7.

I've written about the collections in the Clarke for MAA's newsletter Open Entry. Although we declared war on April 2, the war for the US occurred after April 2, and came to involve men and women from across the US, at home, on the front lines, in hospitals, in multiple countries. It change social mores, families, relationships, boundary lines, concepts of war, and so much more.

Here's the article I wrote for MAA about our WWI collections with some photographs.