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October 2009 HAVERFORD COLLEGE Ser. 2, No. 1

Table of Contents


Historically Important Quaker Records Come to Haverford

by Emma Cox and Diana Franzusoff Peterson

In April 2008, the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia transferred its records from the vault at the Arch Street Meeting House to the Quaker Collection at Haverford College. This relocation follows a 1975 decision made by some 200 constituent monthly meetings within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (of the Religious Society of Friends) that they would release their archival records to the care of Haverford College Quaker Collection and Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library on indefinite loan. For ease of division, the records were deposited primarily along the old lines of separation between Orthodox and Hicksite Quakers. For their part, the Colleges provide public information and conservation for the records.

Screen shot of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records finding aid

Finding aid for the Monthly Meeting of Friends records

Although most of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting constituent meetings participated in this project, there was no mandate for them to do so. It was, then, with extraordinary pleasure that Haverford’s Special Collections Department received the original records from the Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia, one of the most historic of all the meetings. The approximately 110 linear feet of records, which were previously not readily accessible to the general public, have now been unpacked, sorted, and added to the online database accessible at
<http://trilogy.brynmawr.edu/speccoll/mm/philaomm.xml>.

Among the historical materials, which date from 1664 to 2000, are seventeenth century deeds signed by William Penn, documents relating to a land dispute that involved Benjamin Franklin, papers from Anthony Benezet’s Schools for Black People and Their Descendents, and the 1725 Affirmation of Friends’ Right to Affirm Rather than Swear. Together with birth and death records, minutes, financial records, papers relating to property and various committees, these materials offer insight into the workings of a Quaker Meeting, everything from the mundane, such as the payment of electric bills, to the socially conscious, such as helping those in need.

The business of the meeting is revealed alongside the moral and religious questions faced by the Meeting over centuries. Also transferred from the Arch Street Meeting House were records from Philadelphia’s Northern, Southern, and Western District Monthly Meetings, as well as from the Yearly and Quarterly Meetings and the Friends Arch Street Center. An index to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting records, which contains these materials, can be accessed at <http://trilogy.brynmawr.edu/speccoll/PYMindex.htm>.

These records stand as a testament to the philosophy and actions of a group of Philadelphia Quakers.  An event celebrating the history and research possibilities unlocked by these records, and the people who took such great care of them, will be held Sunday, November 8th in Magill Library.   The public is welcome.  Please contact Diana Peterson (610-896-1284) if you plan to attend.

-Emma Cox is a graduate of Haverford’s class of 2009 & Diana Franzusoff Peterson is Manuscripts Librarian and College Archivist



Experimenting with the Kindle DX

by Dora Wong

The Library’s recent purchase of a Kindle DX, the latest experiment with electronic reading devices (e-readers), focuses on user needs, collection development, and content accessibility. The screen size (9.7” diagonal) can accommodate large-format textbooks, and content is downloadable without connection to another computer. Using Sprint wireless 3G transmission, 300,000 Kindle-compatible books are available for instant purchase, of which ten percent are classified as science.

A typical new Kindle book in the sciences costs about 10-20% less than its print counterpart, though in some instances the Kindle version can be up to 60% less expensive than print. The lightness and clarity of the 16-shade electronic ink (e-ink) technology provide sharp, clear text and photographs.  The grayscale-only display, however, limits the utility of Kindle to books that do not rely on color to convey important information. 

other
Photo courtesy of http://www.homeelectronicsreviews.com

Certain Kindle features are useful for vision-
impaired users. The automatic reorientation of text with rotation of the device and the ability to adjust font size and number of words per line are helpful features for older readers. Dyslexic readers will find the experimental text-to-speech utility a real convenience, transforming publisher-approved Kindle text into audio.

The difficulty of dealing with the proprietary format of the Kindle is ameliorated somewhat with the
iPhone/iPod Touch application, which provides relief for eyes tired from reading from the Kindle’s non-backlit screen. For the professional librarian, the Kindle and its mobile application is an example of convergent technology worthy of some study.

-Dora Wong is Science Librarian



The MISO Survey

By Norm Medeiros

otherIn Spring 2009, Haverford, along with 13 other colleges and universities nationwide, participated in the Merged Information Services Organization (MISO) Survey, a web-based quantitative survey designed to measure how faculty, students, and staff view computing and library services in higher education. The MISO Survey, which is sponsored by the Council for Library and Information Resources and Bryn Mawr College, asks the following research questions:

  • What services and resources are important to our constituents, and how successfully do our organizations deliver them?
  • How effectively do we communicate with our campus communities about our services and resources?
  • How skilled are our constituents in the use of software and library databases? What additional skills do they wish to learn, and how do they wish to learn?
  • Which software and hardware resources do our constituents use, and which of these do they own?
  • What roles do our constituents play on campus?  What demographic factors identify them?
  • What benchmarks can be established for excellent delivery of computing and library services?

Haverford’s participation was strong, with response rates of 54 percent for faculty, 40 percent for students, and 61 percent for staff.   Findings indicate that the majority of computing and library resources considered important are receiving similarly high satisfaction ratings.  The results indicate that certain changes, particularly the growing popularity of Macintosh computers among students, the increased use of smart phones among all constituents, and the strong desire for campus-wide wireless, will require special attention in the months and years ahead.

The MISO Survey provides computing and library administrators with a powerful and timely means of assessing their services.  We anticipate using Haverford’s data to identify trends and make evidence-based decisions in the months ahead. 

-Norm Medeiros is Associate Librarian
& Coordinator for Bibliographic and Digital Services


ArtSTOR at Haverford

By James Gulick

Beginning in 2006, the Library began supporting faculty and student use of digital images through ArtSTOR, an online image delivery system founded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  ArtSTOR, which contains over one million images, was initially comprised primarily of images of Western art and architecture.  During the past two years more non-Western art has been added.  For example, noted Islamic Art historians Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair recently donated almost 19,000 images from their research collection.  Major museums have also contributed works to ArtSTOR.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art has added images of 8,700 artworks, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art has added 2,700 images of works from their collection with plans to add an additional 2,400 images in the future.

ArtSTOR screen capture
The ArtSTOR homepage

While ArtSTOR contains an immense number of images, professors often want to use pictures which are not in its collection.  To support faculty teaching, the Library scans requested images, catalogs them, and uploads them into ArtSTOR.  The most challenging and time-consuming part of this is the cataloging.  After an image has been scanned, it is given to Julie Coy, Visual Resources Cataloger, who is responsible for creating a descriptive record that will help users access the image.  The record includes the name of the artist, title of the piece, date it was created, and the artistic medium of the work (oil painting, bronze sculpture, etc.). Among the challenges that Julie faces are cataloging works with little available information or those described in a foreign language.  This past summer Julie cataloged almost 1,000 images by faculty request.

ArtSTOR has revolutionized the way images are used in courses.  Whereas before students were limited to viewing images projected from slides in a classroom setting, or viewing illustrations in books placed on reserve for their classes, they can now view images selected by their instructor anywhere that they have an Internet connection.  

-James Gulick is Reference Librarian and Bibliographer


Academic Resources Fair for First Year Students

Academic Resources Fair for First Year Students

The Library hosted its annual Fair on September 3rd.  Approximately 80 first year students attended.  They were introduced to academic enrichment opportunities in the Library and elsewhere on campus, and were treated to ice cream and a raffle for an iPod Touch.  Mike Riccio was the lucky winner. 

First Year Students at Academic Resource Fair First Year Students at Academic Resource Fair
First Year Students at Academic Resource Fair First Year Students at Academic Resource Fair

 

 


Special Collections 2.0


By John Anderies

It started innocently enough.  Haverford College Special Collections had decided to try our hand at what’s been called Web 2.0 communication by creating a Twitter account this past spring.  Our first message, or “tweet,” was a sort of shot in the dark.  Would anyone hear us?  Would anyone respond, or would this simply be a colossal waste of our time? 

According to Wikipedia, Web 2.0 “refers to web development and web design that facilitates interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web.”  The wildly popular collaborative encyclopedia is itself a form of Web 2.0 technology.  Other popular applications include the social networking site Facebook, the image hosting web service known as Flickr, and the aforementioned Twitter, itself a social networking and micro-blogging site.

Ideally, Web 2.0 technologies achieve a number of goals for an organization: they foster a sense of community among an institution’s users, they allow the institution to enter into casual dialogues with their users, and they give users control over the data being produced by the institution.  While we haven’t made our way very far into this last area, we are happy to see how our users have responded to our presence in these online communities.

Our presence on Twitter has grown over the last several months.  We now have numerous “followers,” users who read our brief posts and sometimes comment on them or pass them on to their own followers.  We announced the redesign of our Special Collections website on Twitter and within days the news had spread to an array of other archivists and special collections librarians around the world.  We’ve even found out about the fruits of research conducted using our collections from monitoring Twitter and have accordingly passed on the news further into the “twitterverse.”

New Special Collections Website

The new Special Collections homepage

On Facebook, we have what is called a “Fan Page,” and here we make similar announcements to the ones on Twitter.  Former student employees, alums of the College, and those who have a general interest in our materials make up our followers.  In addition to short announcements of events and happenings in Special Collections, both Twitter and Facebook feature the beginnings of longer posts, which originate in our departmental “New and Noteworthy Blog.”  This resource allows us to write more lengthy posts, highlighting specific objects in our collection, such as the Maxfield Parrish Chemistry Notebook or our unique copy of William Penn’s The Excellent Priviledge of Liberty & Property, 1687.

On the image hosting site called Flickr, we’ve uploaded several sets of photographs.  These include a selection of images of 150-year-old plaster cast busts which were rediscovered on Haverford’s campus a couple of years ago, the moving process of a large collection of Quaker meeting records, and the documentation of a minor flooding incident and its subsequent cleanup and successful building repair. 

What began as a mere test, a dipping of toes into the rising tide of new waters, has turned into a successful means of communication and engagement with our current and future users.  We invite you to take the plunge with us.

-John Anderies is Coordinator for Collections
& Head of Special Collections


Quiz Night at Magill Library

The student group “Fords Against Boredom,” aka FAB, hosted a quiz night in Magill Library after closing on Friday night, September 4th.  Hundreds of students filled the Reference Room and "Boat" to participate in a trivia game.  Photographs from the popular and fun event are below.

Students enjoying Quiz Night at Magill Library Students enjoying Quiz Night at Magill Library

Staff News

Dawn Heckert has assumed responsibility for building projects in Magill Library, expanding her title to Circulation Services & Building Project Manager.


 

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Haverford, PA 19041      
610-896-1175     
http://www.haverford.edu/library/

 

 
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