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October 2007 HAVERFORD COLLEGE No. 6

Table of Contents


From the Director

by Bob Kieft

For all the bragging rights libraries like to claim--"my library's bigger than your library" or has X Y or Z rare or unique item--the modern traditions of librarianship in the U.S. manifest a strong cooperative streak. On the whole, U.S. libraries are "all for one, one for all" organizations in spite of the barriers that libraries occasionally erect to make it hard for "outsiders" to get at their collections.

Pennsylvania poses well-known geographical and political/cultural impediments to cooperation among academic libraries, and it wasn't until the mid-1990s that the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc. (PALCI, http://www.palci.org/) developed to share resources among the state's college and university libraries. Our Tri-College Library Consortium joined PALCI, and today user-generated requests through PALCI's E-Z Borrow service account for 50% of our interlibrary activity with books.

The Tri-College Consortium experience has been that resource sharing leads to more sophisticated thinking about the relationship among collections and the services that make those collections available. That has also been the case with PALCI, for which, as the result of a planning initiative during the 2004/5 academic year, I have been convening a task force on cooperative collection development.

Discussions have centered on members' general interest in cooperative approaches to the following:

  • an archiving program for print journals now in electronic form and potentially for those titles not in digital form and serial reference works
  • disaster planning and response
  • archiving print monographs according to centers of strength and collecting interest
  • digital collections creation and preservation
  • remote storage for those libraries currently short of space and, in the longer term, for the management of legacy print collections.

    Taken together, these elements are shaping a planning horizon that foresees in the next 20 years a collective sense of PALCI member holdings that

  • guarantees continued access to the greatest variety of (print) titles through
  • coordinated retention and acquisition programs, preservation/conservation/digitization programs, and coordinated disaster planning/response for materials held in
  • trusted archives distributed among libraries or held in collectively-operated depositories that
  • are connected by information systems which integrate searching, discovery, and evaluation of materials online and facilitate their delivery/access in physical and in many cases electronic form,
  • the cooperative as a whole developed and supported in partnership with government agencies, consortia, and member institutions that provide services and sweat equity to PALCI.

To realize this vision, we will have to work in the context of members' existing peer groups, affiliations, and funding mechanisms to

  • define the roles of individual libraries, kinds and groups of libraries, and other consortia (PALINET, AccessPA, etc.)
  • create unified access to holdings information
  • develop materials access/delivery systems
  • create a resource discovery as well as known-item search tool
  • agree on long-term responsibility for funding materials storage, preservation, conservation, and resource sharing
  • agree on terms for relying on trusted repositories of e-texts and for designating PALCI libraries as light/dim/dark archives of print titles
  • purchase and share e-monographs; consider joint purchasing of new printed monographs
  • ensure the preservation of print materials as most users begin in the next 10-20 years to prefer digitized versions for search, discovery, evaluation, and reading of most texts under most circumstances
  • establish a collective approach to archiving new material for future scholarship (popular works and other things we do not collect heavily now)
  • create a system of incentives to collect and preserve unusual and unique materials.

Such events as the Aberdeen Woods Conferences (1999, 2002) and Preserving America's Print Resources (PAPR, 2003), the recent North American Storage Trust discussions, and technology solutions offered by library systems, Google, and OCLC, together with policy and program developments among library consortia in the Pacific Northwest, New Jersey, Colorado, and Ohio provide PALCI with agenda, models, and new capacities from which to choose. All situate themselves in the long history of library efforts to provide the most varied resources quickly to any given reader as libraries and readers adjust to fundamental changes in the information environment.


-Bob Kieft is Director of College Information Resources & Librarian of the College


A New Haverford Web Presence

by Jennifer Grant

New Haverford College homepageOn September 18th, Haverford College launched a new website <Haverford.edu>, the long-awaited result of a two-year redesign project. Tasked with the job by former President Tom Tritton, the College has worked with White Whale Web Services, a web design company based in Oakland, CA. The new website features much more than a simple design overhaul. Many goals were outlined in its development, including the need to better represent who we are to the outside world, and to provide tools for on-campus users to better manage and present online information.

As a result, both the content and capabilities of our website will be greatly expanded. The narrative content has been significantly expanded so that “the Haverford story” is more easily told, with pages about its Quaker heritage, the Honor Code, and much about Haverford life and academics. The new, integrated campus calendar allows groups to publish their events to the calendar and see those same events display on their own website. The new site also boasts a more effective search tool using Google technology; student, faculty and organizational profiles; a news management system; an updated course information tool; and easier ways for the campus community to incorporate the overall look and feel of the College site into their own pages.

College Information Resources (CIR) has played a significant role in this project from its inception. Currently, Bob Kieft, Director of CIR, serves as web committee co-chair, along with Jess Lord, Dean of Admissions, and Chris Mills, Director of Marketing & Communications. Jennifer Patton of Marketing & Communications has been the project manager, and committee members include CIR staff Dawn Heckert, Jennifer Grant, Mary Lynn Morris Kennedy, Mary Ellen Luongo, Barbara Mindell, Matt Nocifore, and Bill Ulrich.

 

-Jennifer Grant is Applications Support Specialist


Technology Orientation for New Students

by Sharon Strauss

“I couldn’t access my course readings!” “Blackboard? What’s Blackboard?” “My computer broke and I couldn’t finish my paper.”

After hearing statements like these a few too many times, Raisa Williams, Dean for First-Year Students, approached Academic Computing about a way to help new students learn the computer skills they need to succeed at Haverford. Working with the Dean’s Office, Academic Computing devised an on-line technology orientation that introduces students to important Haverford-specific computing information, such as how to contact the Helpdesk and locate campus computer labs. It also introduces students to the Blackboard course management
system, where most course readings are stored, and teaches them how to log onto it. Once in Blackboard, students must complete a short quiz to verify that they accessed Blackboard successfully and are familiar with other essential computing information.

Students can complete this orientation at any time during the summer or when they arrive on campus for non-academic registration. Those students who complete the assignment over the summer were entered into a raffle. Winners were announced at non-academic registration. Nathaniel Blood-Patterson won a Dell Photo All-In-One printer 966, donated by Dell Computer. Alexander Cahill and William Holloway both won iPod Shuffles.

Academic Computing and the Dean’s Office have been jointly running a technology orientation every summer since 2004. In addition to teaching students important computer skills, it enables the computing center to find and resolve any Blackboard account problems before classes start. To access the web-based portion of the orientation, see <http://www.haverford.edu/acc/docs/general/orientation/>. For more information, contact Sharon Strauss (sstrauss@haverford.edu, 610-896-4916.)

 

-Sharon Strauss is Publications & Training Coordinator


New Acquisition in Special Collections

by Ann W. Upton

This past winter, Special Collections was able to acquire a copy of Thomas Eddy’s An Account of the State Prison or Penitentiary House, in the City of New York, 1801. Eddy (1758–1827), a Quaker from New York, wrote this proposal, the first on prison reform to be published in America.

Quaker activism in prison reform is a popular topic with Haverford students who are studying the history of Quakerism, and there is a long tradition of Friends’ involvement in this social concern in the Philadelphia area. Thomas Eddy, however, furthered the reform movement and influenced Friends and civil governments to work for improvements throughout the country.

Eddy visited the infamous Philadelphia Walnut Street Jail in 1796. This penitentiary, constructed in 1790, was the first of modern prisons. Women were separated from men and debtors from others, liquor was forbidden, and eventually even the dungeons were eliminated. Although the social experiment at the Walnut Street Jail failed by 1800 due to overpopulation, it served as a model for Eddy, who took the progressive elements he viewed and wrote a plan for the construction of two similar penitentiaries in New York City. Soon after Eddy’s Account was published, Newgate Prison was constructed in Greenwich Village based on his plan. Eddy’s report contains all the specifications for a modern prison including folding plates showing elevation and floor plans, and the accompanying humanitarian rationale for the features he proposed. The publication became a guide for the reform of penitentiaries that was followed as America grew larger and increasingly complex.

The acquisition of this volume has enhanced the scholarly experience for Haverford’s students and researchers, and leads to increasing appreciation and understanding of the history of social reform in America.

 

-Ann W. Upton is Quaker Bibliographer


A Conversation with Darin Hayton

by Margaret Schaus

In a wide-ranging talk History of Science professor Darin Hayton shares his thoughts about teaching, research, and critical points in history along with fascinating bits of arcana that you never learned in school.

MS: How do your students use the Library?
DH: Students exploit the Library in two ways, in print and electronically. They choose a topic and need to investigate a rare book at Bryn Mawr or Haverford as a primary source. Then they fill in the context- other books by the same author and other titles on the same topic- in an electronic fulltext database like Early English Books Online (EEBO). For students this is the best symbiotic use of rare and electronic.

Students working in early-modern history must confront a series of challenges, of which orthography and typography are only the most mundane. Those who have studied foreign languages are often not used to reading them or have limited exposure to the technical vocabulary. To help students, I started a Latin reading group. We read authors like John of Seville, who translated Arabic medical and scientific texts, including astrology, geography, and comets. Working through these texts helps students gain confidence and facility with Latin sources.

MS: What did they learn about comets?
DH: Comets and other unusual phenomena were political and religious events. In 1494 Sebastian Brant was convinced that a recent meteorite portended success for Emperor Maximilian I in his conflict with the French. After Maximilian had concluded a peace with the French, Brant used this meteorite again to argue that Maximilian would vanquish the Turks. Prodigious phenomena were epistemologically multivalent and recycled to fit new and changing situations.

Brant was not unique. Religious conflicts in the fifteenth century along with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 had intensified millennial fears. By the end of the century, Europe seemed to be on the brink of disaster. Intellectuals regularly looked for prodigious phenomena to help them understand their political and social situation.

MS: Where else do you see a need for more study?
DH: I’ve become particularly interested in Hungary, which is typically considered a borderland between full Imperial and Turkish control. This picture, however, is a product of 20th-century geopolitics and our own categories and blinders. Consider Matthias Corvinus’s court in 15th-century Buda. When Regiomontanus (from Germany), Martin Bylica (from Poland) and Hans Dorn (from Austria) worked at Corvinus’s court they were part of a European-wide network of scholars. Confusingly, nationalist historigraphies now treat Bylica as a Pole or a Hungarian rather than as a member of a broader European culture. Our own prejudices should not fragment the past.

 

-Margaret Schaus is Bibliographer & Reference Librarian


“Until Called For”: Safekeeping Materials in Special Collections

by J'aime Wells

Every once in awhile the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania places in the Philadelphia Inquirer lists of “unclaimed property,” and we are all familiar with warehouse sales of “unclaimed freight.” Readers of this Newsletter might be surprised to know that the Library's Special Collections Department also holds such items.

In previous decades, Special Collections staff arranged with community members to deposit valuable items for “safekeeping” in the Library vault. Along with rare books, manuscripts, and fine art in College collections, then, the vault also contained family heirlooms, business or organization records, and typed or hand-written book manuscripts—materials never intended to become part of the Library’s collections but allowed to “visit” for a short time, such as a family’s summer vacation, or “until called for” by their owner (past items included numerous silver sets and a stack of Beatles albums; even the ashes of James Magill were kept in safekeeping for a short time before being buried beneath the large oak at the library’s entrance!).

Over the years, Haverford’s collections of rare books and manuscripts have grown to the point where no more room is available for safekeeping items, and we have been systematically over the last few years returning long-unclaimed possessions to their owners. When I came to Haverford in August, 2006, one of the first tasks I undertook was to inventory the remaining boxes of safekeeping and to search our records for contact information about each item. This was a fun job, as I cracked open each box with no idea what I might find and then began to speak to people by email, letter, and phone to explain that we could no longer offer safekeeping and would like to return their possessions.

“1833 large cent; carbon-copied book manuscript from 1970; slides for teaching a Buddhism course…”

Some searches were easy. I found a book manuscript written by someone personally known to a Library staff member; it was easily returned. Slides picturing Buddhist temples and shrines were reclaimed by Haverford’s Religion Department for possible use in future courses. A “large cent” penny from 1833 was accompanied by a note, “deposited by the Development Office.” The note was dated 1982, and Haverford no longer has a “Development Office,” but checking with the office now called Institutional Advancement resulted in the coin’s donation to the College Archives. The penny has now been cataloged for the benefit of researchers interested in Haverford’s early years, and it may someday lend a wonderfully authentic touch to an exhibit about the year of the College’s founding.

“1796 Bible in Welsh; records of the Philadelphia Skating Club, 1940-1965…”

In some cases a simple Internet search enabled me to return items. A wonderful Welsh Bible dated 1796 was deposited by Merion Meeting in the 1940s. Luckily, the Meeting has its own website, which gave me the name of the member currently serving as clerk. On receiving our letter, the clerk was happy to reclaim the Meeting’s treasured heirloom. The “Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society” still exists and also has a website with contact information. The current officers had no idea so much of their organization’s history was preserved at Haverford and were greatly interested to retrieve their membership and financial records.

“Medal of Freedom awarded to Joseph Stokes; issues of Intercollegiate Soccer Guide annual periodical, 1930-1950…”

Some items required a fair amount of detective work but happily ended up finding their homes. I was mystified by a box of books and magazines about soccer until I found a clue on an old inventory, which referred to the “National Soccer Coaches archives.” A quick Google search turned up the website of the National Soccer Coaches Association. Like the Skating Club, the Association’s current leadership would never have thought to reclaim their property but were deeply interested.

Joseph Stokes was a Haverford alumnus who became a prominent medical doctor. He received several prestigious awards, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work on a treatment for hepatitis that saved many lives during World War II. These medals and awards were stored at Haverford many years ago by the Stokes family. We began the search with a Stokes family member for whom we had contact information, and he led us to closer connections, including the daughter of Joseph Stokes. After considering several plans for public display of the medals, the family donated them to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, an institution that itself awarded one of Dr. Stokes’ medals and still honors his memory.

“Four large leather-bound record books with completely blank pages; Hough’s American Woods; three boxes of Dunn china…”

There are a few cases that have me stumped so far. There is a set of antique china with very little in the way of records. It is labeled as the “Dunn china”; the person who deposited it has passed away, and so far we have been unable to locate any heirs. A 14-volume set of books containing hundreds of samples of American woods gives even fewer clues to its original owner or why it might have been placed with us. Perhaps most unusual of all for placement in a secure, climate-controlled vault are four large record books, nicely bound in leather but with no writing on any pages and no evidence at all as to whom they belong to.
I am pleased to say that most, if not all, of the safekeeping items are now back with the people who value them, and Special Collections has gained some new space for housing our ever-increasing body of printed and archival materials.

 

-J’aime Wells was Special Collections Executive Assistant


Staff News and Notes

Compiled by Mike Persick

Catalog Librarian Rich Aldred’s daughter Rebecca married Matthew Rankin on July 6th in Falmouth, Massachusetts. The couple lives in Philadelphia and regularly joins Rich at Phillies games. Rich is running for Township Supervisor in Thornbury Township, Delaware County.

James Gulick, Reference Librarian, presented “Material Religion: The Challenges It Poses to Libraries” at the Annual Conference of the American Theological Library Association, held in June in Philadelphia.

Bob Kieft, Director of College Information Resources & Librarian of the College, and Tom Clareson, Program Director for New Initiatives at PALINET, are convening a group, funded by a Library Services Technology Act grant, which during the next year will develop a collection development policy for a digital collection about Pennsylvania history, society, and culture. Bob continues to convene a task force on cooperative collection development for the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc. (see “From the Director” on p.1 for additional details)

The Library recently completed a project to digitize the backfile of Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS), the official journal of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). From March through July 2007, Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Bruce Bumbarger, Conservator, Evan Pugh, HC ’07, and Matthew Scheinerman, HC ’09, disbound, scanned, adjusted, and marked up the first 43 volumes of LRTS (1957-1999). The resulting PDF and HTML files have been delivered to ALCTS for mounting on its web site. The Library was recognized through a certificate of appreciation signed by Pamela Bluh, ALCTS President, and Peggy Johnson, LRTS Editor.

Diana Franzusoff Peterson, Manuscripts Librarian and College Archivist, is author of the Haverford College chapter in Founded by Friends: the Quaker Heritage of Fifteen American Colleges and Universities (Scarecrow Press, 2007).

Aaron Smith, Network Specialist, finished his Masters of Science in Information Science at Penn State Great Valley this past May.

Christa Williford, User Services Librarian, spent two months this summer in Seattle learning image cataloging and thesaurus management skills at Corbis Corporation, while also conducting an independent study on the best practices for preparing interactive 3D web resources for online teaching and learning portals for theater studies. After these two experiences, she has only two more courses remaining to earn her Masters of Library and Information Science.

CIR welcomes the following new staff members:

David Conners started on August 1st as the new Digital Collections Librarian in Special Collections. David, a Swarthmore alum, graduated from the Pratt Institute in May with his Masters of Library Science. He has an article, “The Jobs can be Found: A Response to ‘The Entry-Level Gap,’” in the September issue of Library Journal.

Jennifer Scales has joined CIR as Help Desk and Public Lab Coordinator. Jen was previously a Help Desk manager at Temple University.

Bill Ulrich is our new Web Developer/Administrator. Bill comes to Haverford from the University of Delaware.

-Mike Persick is Acquisitions Librarian & Assistant Catalog Librarian

 

PUBLISHED BY COLLEGE INFORMATION RESOURCES
HAVERFORD COLLEGE
Haverford, PA 19041
610-896-1175
http://www.haverford.edu/

 


 
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