Showing posts from May, 2017

Michael Flynn will provide investigating committee with some documentation

Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn has decided to provide some documentation to the Senate intelligence committee related to his links to Russia. as well as some personal information related to his businesses.  He asked the committee to narrow their request before he complied.  The committee is investigating Russian links to Trump's campaign operatives, Flynn, Manafort, Stone, and Page, and now two more people connected toTrump are being investigated. Flynn idid two things and later failed to declare them when legally required: 1) getting payments from Russia's state-run TV station, and 2) registering as a foreign agent when he indirectly lobbied for Turkey (he took payment for a Dutch company aligned with Turkey). Both of these events occurred through his Intel company that he and his son run providing information for businesses and governments. So far, Flynn sought immunity, pleaded the 5th, refused and then bargained about releasing documents. Flynn…

Frances Margaret Fox letter

Recently we received an addition to the papers, 1877, 2011 (27.5 cubic ft. in 57 boxes, 1 Ov. folder) of Frances Margaret Fox (1870-1959), a noted Michigan children's author of fictional and true stories, from Mackinaw City.

During the winters, Frances went to Washington, D.C., where she met a lot of fascinating people who told her interesting stories which she then intensely researched in the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and National Archives. She also wrote to people pursuing other stories and supporting documentation. Many of her stories were initially published in religious (sabbath school) and secular magazines for children. Her Little Bear stories were particularly popular and were eventually published as separate books by Rand McNally & Company. She was a nationally recognized authors from at least the 1920s through the early 1950s. Her non-fiction books about birds and the migration of flowers to the U.S. were very popular with adults. The Clarke has 63…

Memorial Day and our Veterans

Memorial Day is celebrated this weekend. Although decorating soldiers graves is an ancient custom,  the custom became a national mourning ritual, Decoration Day, in the U.S. during the Civil War. It was a ritualized, recognized day to decorate the war dead because of the unprecedented numbers of dead at the time, most of whom died far from home and their families who could not visit their graves, who could not identify or ship remains home, and many families never knew for sure where their loved ones were buried. Memorial Day is documented in some of the collection sin the Clarke.

Also in the Clarke there are a lot of primary source collection documenting veterans of wars, mostly the Civil War and World War I, although there is some material from World War II and Vietnam, and one collection mentioning the Korean War. These collections also document veterans organizations and the women's organizations that supported the veterans. There are posters, official government records…

Robotic police

Advances in information and robotics have led to Dubai now having robotic police officers. The robots will not replace human police officers. "People will be able to use it to report crimes, pay fines and get information by tapping a touchscreen on its chest." The information the robots collect will be shared with other "transport and traffic" police. The robots will be used in malls and other large population center locations, mostly for ease of access 24/7 for customer service. This is the first step in using robotic police in some capacity. Maybe someday they will advance enough where they can be used for information gathering, crowd control, and terrorism prevention. This reminds me of a scifi tv show, Continuum, where the cops wore suits which scanned information and people for behavior and information, shared the information with an advanced network which  fought crime and terrorism, masking what was really a police state controlled by information. Read more …

Dorothy Hodell Brooks Family Research Collection, 1882-2016


FCC votes on rule changes affecting net neutrality

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has voted to change net neutrality rules enacted in 2015.

So, what does this mean?
Members of the FCC believe that the changes, removing the 2015 rules, will benefit consumers and the marketplace.

Firms that pay more will have their data travel faster to reach consumers quicker. That means smaller, poorer firms may suffer and lose customers.

Some companies (Comcast and Charter among them) have "pledged" to treat all data equally, so no special fees for faster treatment.

FB and Google support the rule changes.

 Read more about it here

Friday wrap up

Friday, today I put away 4 carts full of Russell Kirk (see yesterday's post) after checking and amending the finding aid. Over half of the collection is processed, but some of the unprocessed, once rehoused, will have to be interfiled. Here is a photo of the Kirk waiting to be processed, on the far right, bottom 4 shelves, and the next section of shelves to the left is all the Kirk that has been reprocessed and rehoused (almost a completely full 7 shelves-worth).

12 boxes of withdrawn materials were shredded today so I can finally see the floor. Since the used boxes will now be staying here without their contents, I suddenly have an excess of boxes.

I am also recycling the really old, beat up, or non-archival boxes.

So you can see I cleaned up the room.
Suddenly I can see the floor in most of the processing room for the first time in a year. Holy smokes! Next week our janitor, Dennis, will vacuum the now empty space for me. I can't wait!

Also I graciously got a AD-strip to ch…

Russell Kirk collection

A good chunk, slightly more than half of the Russell Kirk collection was reorganized and rehoused last term. There are still a number of boxes that have to be processed and then interfiled into the middle of cart two, so I cannot label what has been re-processed yet. We reorganized it into Materials Kirk Created/Edited and Materials created by Others. To date, 48 boxes and 1 large Oversized folder (4 carts full of materials) have been re-processed. The finding aid has been amended. I also went through and wrote notes on the remains of the old finding aid for the next processor/s. I'm double-checking it against the boxes today and then I'll shelve the boxes for now. About 15 cubic feet of various formats remains to be processed. I plan to have students complete the re-processing and the finding aid next term. Once the collection is reprocessed and rehoused, labeled, almost all of the collection, for the first time, will be open to researchers. The only exception will be letters…

Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver at the end of the term

Another collection I wrapped up at this end of the term was encoding the next three series of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver's papers.

Sulaiman "Suli" Albinhamad processed three series of Justice Weaver:
The Per Curiam series, 1995-2006, 14 cubic feet (28 boxes)
Disqualifications of Judges (DQs), 1995-2009, and undated, 2 cubic ft. (in 4 boxes)
and [Geoffrey] Fieger Articles and Dockets, 1994-2009, and undated, 1.75 cubic ft. (in 4 boxes)

For those of you not current on your Latin and legal terminology, Per Curiam is defined as a decision (or opinion) ruling issued by an appellate court of multiple judges in which the decision rendered is made by the court or at least a majority of the court acting collectively and unanimously. Per Curiam is Latin for “by the Court”. Per Curiam rulings are issued in the name of the Court, rather than by individual judges or a judge. Typically, the Court deals with issues deemed non-controversial.

These three processed ser…

Cleaning up the processing room at the end of the term

After the students leave in May I usually have a couple of weeks in which I try to clean up the processing room and make sure everything in it is cataloged, has a great finding aid, and encode the finding aid. Here is part of what I completed last week.

Dorothy Hodell Brooks Family Research Collection, Approx. 3 cubic ft. (in 2 boxes, 2 v., 2 Ov. folders, 2 display boards, 1 Ov. photograph, 1 shadow box)   This collection contains materials related to Brooks' research for her book, A Certain Sadness: The Untimely Deaths and Family of David and Romie Hodell in 1920s Rural Newaygo County, Michigan. This research mainly involved Hodell family history, focusing on the people and events surrounding the murder of her uncle, Romie Hodell, and her grandfather, David Hodell. Included in the collection are genealogies, photographs, copies of newspaper articles and telegraphs, correspondence between family members, and research notes. With rare exceptions, most of the materials w…


After the cyber attack Friday that hit 150 countries, affecting hundreds of thousands of computers, the damage appears to be slowing. Only a total of $38,000 was paid to whoever launched the ransomware attack, using WannaCry ransomware. Costs to those affected who pay promptly are supposed to double after three days, so we'll know by later today if the situation deteriorates. Some specialists believe another attack will happen today (Mon.). Major companies that were  hit include: FedEx, Germany's rail network, Spain's telecommunications operator, Russia's interior ministry, and parts of the UK's National Health Service. Many IT security people apparently ran a lot of checks and set new codes in place in an attempt to limit ongoing damage. Microsoft says WannaCry was developed by the NSA and stolen by hackers. Read more about it here

Update: Similarities in codes may link the attack to prior attacks  but instead of being b…

subpoena issued for Michael Flynn's papers

While the records of a US president and vice-president are now public papers (thank you Presidential Records Act of 1978, effective in January 1981), those of their advisors are not. Therefore to get the papers of Pres. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to further investigate the Russia connection/influence in the recent presidential election, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued first a voluntary and now a formal subpoena for his documents after he voluntarily refused to comply. Read more about it here

Seeking researchers