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November 2001 HAVERFORD COLLEGE No. 28

Table of Contents


From the Librarian

As readers of this Newsletter know, the Library established a memorial fund honoring the late Michael Freeman, Librarian of the College from 1986-1999. In consultation with his family and the College, the Library decided to use the fund over several years to recognize the accomplishments of History Department students in History 361, Seminar on Historical Evidence, and in the Senior Thesis Seminar. Michael was much involved in History 361 and was himself a historian both by predilection and training. The prizes are given to students whose work demonstrates special achievement in doing research and using archival materials. In addition to these two prizes, the Freeman funds are also available to augment History Department funds that students may apply for to defray the costs of their research.


Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman, Librarian of the College, 1986-1999

In academic year 2000/2001, History Department faculty selected Caroline Boyd '02 to receive the Michael Freeman Research Prize for work done in History 361 on the letters of a Philadelphia merchant sailor to his family in the 1820s. Department faculty also selected Mary Stryker ’01 to receive the Senior Thesis Prize for her thesis on portraits of Elizabeth I. The Library extends warm congratulations to both students on their fine work.

-Bob Kieft is Librarian of the College


The Paul Strand Collection at Haverford

by William Williams

The first in an occasional series of articles featuring areas of the collections the Library is building with old, rare, or unusual items.


When I was appointed to the faculty in 1978 to teach photography, one of the first things shown to me was the photography book collection at Magill Library. The selection and range of the books were surprising and unexpected for a small college library. In addition, photography had been a recent addition to courses offered by the Fine Arts Department. The opportunity to teach a studio course was and is a challenge in a demanding liberal arts environment in which few students come to the College expecting to major in studio fine arts courses.


The challenge of designing a curriculum that meets the requirements of providing students with a satisfying studio art experience and a firm grounding in a liberal arts college was made easier by the strong photographic book collection, and a smattering of original photographs, housed in Magill Library. After reviewing the photography book holdings, most of which were published in the 1960's and later, a plan was adopted and supported by Edwin Bronner, Librarian of the College, to fill in the missing titles from 1900 on. The period from 1920 to 1950 is considered the golden age of the photographically illustrated book. It was during this era that the ability to organize photographic sequences, book design and technology came together to produce a new type of art and visual communication.

Paul Strand (1890-1976) is one of the seminal figures in modern art and photography. He was one of the first to use books and publications as the primary outlet for the dissemination of his work beginning with the appearance of his New York City photographs in "Camera Work Magazine" in 1916 and ending with the publication of "Ghana, An African Portrait" in 1976. Strand's photographic reputation was firmly established at the Twelfth Annual Exhibition of Photographs at John Wanamaker, Philadelphia in 1916. His retrospective exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from November 1971 to January of 1972, and the publication of Paul Strand: A Retrospective Monograph. The Years 1915-1968, re-affirmed his pre-eminence. The show travelled around the country, including a stop in San Francisco, where Thomas Garver (Haverford '56) supervised the installation and curated the exhibition for the M.H. de Young Museum.


In 1972, Mrs. S. Emlen Stokes gave the Magill Library an autographed copy of Strand's retrospective catalog, signed and dated by him at the Philadelphia Museum opening. This gift became the foundation on which the Library's special collection of Strand material was built. Today, the Library has first edition holdings of all of Strand's bound books beginning with Time in New England, published in 1950, and ending with his Ghana book, published in 1976.


The Library staff has tried, whenever possible, to acquire first editions in superb condition, complete with dust jacket. This allows students and scholars to experience the book as it reached its audience when first published. Currently, the Library is searching for a first edition of Strand's 1945 Museum of Modern Art monograph by Nancy Newhall, Photographs, 1915-1945: Paul Strand. This was the first critical monograph published by the Modern on a photographer. Strand's publications are beautiful in whatever medium they are published, and so is this one. For Strand, this book represents both a summing up and a new beginning. From about 1928 on, plants, and in particular Iris flowers, were to become an important part of his imagery. The dust jacket reproduces his Iris of 1928 on its front cover, with his name printed in bold type around the border of the photograph. None of the copies in the Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore Libraries has retained the dust jacket, depriving us of primary insights into the chronology of Strand's iconography, since this image is not reproduced in the book. Strand's most important publication previous to World War II was the Mexican Portfolio, published in 1940. Swarthmore College holds the second printing, published in 1967, but no public collection in the tri-state region has a first edition of this work. In 2000, Haverford alums Rafael Fogel and Michael Fogel, provided funds to purchase one of the twenty plates from the first edition of the Mexican Portfolio. The Library has placed an order with the Aperture Foundation to acquire one plate from a third printing in 2001.


The Paul Strand collection was also augmented by Thomas Garver's gift of letters from Strand in regard to Garver's work on Strand's retrospective at the de Young Museum. He also gave a copy of the exhibition check list with his accompanying critical essay on Strand's significance as a photographer. These gifts came in 2000. The Library also has holdings of Strand's silver gelatin prints made late in his career in Morocco in the 1960s and in Scotland in the mid-1950s. These two prints are the 1989 gifts of Walter and Naomi Rosenblum. The Rosenblums were friends of Strand; Walter was a student and Naomi a leading scholar and expert on Strand's life and photography.
The Paul Strand collection at Haverford is used in all phases of teaching photography and the humanities at the College. Books, prints, and letters are used in the classroom. It is fitting that the College has material by one of the seminal figures in art from the last century, who also has deep roots in the Philadelphia area, as well as Haverford College connections. The depth and uniqueness of these holdings is a prime example of how, with luck and gifts from friends, an important part of the life blood of an academic library is sustained by building on what is here, so that future generations of faculty and students can adapt them to changing needs in teaching, scholarship, and the preservation of culture.


-William Williams is Professor of Fine Arts, Curator of Photography


A View from Inside: A Haverford Alum Looks at College History

by Joanna Frang, HC ‘01

At Haverford, in the short span between the Saturday evening deadline to hand in written work and our graduation ceremony eight days later, otherwise known as "Senior Week," senior class members typically take advantage of a rare taste of "free-time" gathered together on Lloyd Green playing stickball or simply lying out in the sun. I, however, chose to spend my Senior Week in Magill Library, engaged in a "laying out" of quite a different sort. I was busy working on the layout for an exhibit entitled "Prismatic Memories: Considering the Contexts of Haverford’s Past," a project that I worked on during my senior year as a part of my job as a student assistant in Haverford’s Special Collections Library.

Special Collections is typically responsible for the development and installation of such Library exhibits, and, as a result of my two-year affiliation with the department, I was able to research and prepare the exhibit with the guidance and encouragement of Manuscripts Librarian and College Archivist, Diana Franzusoff Peterson, and Quaker Collections Curator, Emma Lapsansky. I was able to research and plan this exhibit with a grant provided in memory of Librarian, Michael Freeman. Creating the exhibit was more of a treat than a chore; it allowed me to "indulge" my academic and career interests in material culture and museums with hands-on experience.

Exhibit artifacts

Part of the exhibit entitled "Prismatic Memories: Considering the Contexts of Haverford's Past"

The exhibit took its initial inspiration from questions raised by the discovery of a medal commissioned by the Class of 1869 in memory of the Class of 1862. The journey from a commemorative medal to a "finished" exhibit was a long one, and involved more research, reading, and analysis than I anticipated. In concert with Diana Franzusoff Peterson, I initially defined what materials from Special Collections and the Haverford Archives could be used as artifacts, finally creating a definition that included not only objects, but also manuscripts, printed works, and photographs. We also created a paragraph for the exhibit that outlined the conceptual framework, and I subsequently used this paragraph to help me select and interpret the artifacts used in the exhibit.

While a major portion of my interest in material culture and objects is in the multiple ways an object can be approached and interpreted as historical evidence, our pre-articulated framework for the exhibit helped me to keep (and occasionally when I got side-tracked, re-discover) a guiding focus for my research. Despite coherent conceptual goals and focused research, the final exhibit actually only displayed about one quarter of the information I learned during hours of research and reading.

Alongside the historical knowledge I gained through research, my work on the exhibit also taught me that I have a great deal more to learn about artifact interpretation and presentation in the museum setting. It is with the insight that I gained through the rare opportunity to create and install a history exhibit as an undergraduate student at Haverford College that I now embark on my newest journey as a graduate fellow working towards a Master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, a program affiliated with the Museum Studies Department at the University of Delaware.


Special Collections: from Paper to Digital

by Bob Kieft and Emma Lapsansky


Many libraries today are considering how to make it easier for the public to have access to the information in manuscripts and other rare materials. Although scholars, students, and genealogists continue to travel the globe to work in special collections and archival repositories, libraries are increasingly looking to digital means to make more of their materials available to remote users from their home location.

Initial steps in this direction have been taken already by the Library as it has mounted finding aids for its archival collections on its website. Much of this work has been done through the generosity of J. Morris Evans ’43 (See the The J.M. and A.T. Evans Fund Project)and some of it through a Delmas Foundation grant to a group of special collections libraries in the Philadelphia area. (See the November 1996, April 1997, and November 1997 issues of this Newsletter for articles about these projects.)

Now, with the continued generosity of Morrie Evans and the SNAVE Foundation, combined with some seed money from the Mellon Foundation, the Byrn Mawr and Swarthmore Libraries will join us in taking the next step: mounting on a website word-searchable facsimiles and transcriptions of the very documents to which the finding aids point.

The Library will begin with a pilot project that, in digitizing a subset of the Cope Evans family papers, will develop protocols and standards so that we not only have a collection to serve as the nucleus for the digital archive but also a consistent technical framework by which to add to it. Taking inspiration from the leadership of such efforts as the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project, the collaborative William Blake Archive, Edward Ayers’ Valley of the Shadow project at the University of Virginia, and the retrospective work of Accessible Archives and ArchivesUSA, the project will seek to create a coherent intellectual product backed by documented and reproducible technical standards such as those developed by Columbia University (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/digital/criteria.htm), Cornell University (http://www.library.cornell.edu/preservation/tutorial/selection/selection-01.html), Duke University (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/williamson/), the University of California Digital Library's "Digital Library Standards and Draft Standards or Dreams of Standards," and others.

At this point we foresee hiring someone for two years to run the project, in tandem with two subcommittees of Library staff. The first will design a product that will be visually appealing as well as of maximum scholarly flexibility, assemble a focus group of faculty and other researchers to help shape the user’s view of the archive, and assess the software packages available for managing the central database of the project. This subcommittee will also research and make recommendations about how to conceive the collateral data that will maximize the value of the central project (e.g., investigate the possibility of using software that would be compatible for linking and/or exporting genealogical data or visual images, allow "browsing," link with such other databases as Accessible Archives, etc.). The committee will carefully examine software currently used by museums for tracking exhibitions, exhibition labels, and other peripheral information in a way that traditional cataloging software does not. They will also look for software that will allow for additions and changes as the project grows and evolves and that can be manipulated by local Library staff for inputting new information or adjusting existing records or fields. The second subcommittee will research and codify guidelines for the mechanics of creating the digital library, e.g., the optimal format, resolution, storage, and delivery system for digital files in the Tri-College context. This group will also investigate The Society of American Archivists’ guidelines and standards for EAD markup, appropriate metadata, etc.; make recommendations about formats that have worked well for other projects; assess the suitability of existing models for the collection goals and the economic, personnel, and geographical limitations of the Tri-Colleges; and consider both the ways in which we want the archive to be searchable and the structures needed to allow a user to sort the database in a variety of ways.

In addition to a project coordinator and library staff, we hope to involve student researchers in this work, not only because they can bring work skills and a sense of how users want to interact with such an archive but because this kind of creative and problem-solving research experience is a hallmark of the Colleges’ approach to liberal arts education. The project planning committee includes staff from all three colleges’ special collections departments and Linda Bills, Tri-College Consortium Special Projects Coordinator. Diana Franzusoff-Peterson and Emma Lapsansky from Haverford are joined in this planning process by Chris Densmore, Wendy Chmielewski, Suzanne Morikawa, and Pat O’Donnell from Swarthmore, and by Eric Pumroy and Marianne Hansen from Bryn Mawr.

We look forward to an exciting and challenging time in the next few years, experimenting with the Cope Evans Family Papers as we begin to build an online archive that will benefit researchers who work not only on the history of Quakers and Quakerism but on the whole range of social and historical issues with which the Quakers are associated.

-Bob Kieft is Librarian of the College and Emma Lapsansky is Curator of Special Collections


Preserving The Amazon

by Bruce Bumbarger

For each of the past several summers, the Magill Library Bindery has hosted an intern from Boston’s North Bennet Street School’s bookbinding and conservation program. (See Library Newsletter, No. 24) Under the guidance of Library Conservator, Bruce Bumbarger, the visitors develop their skills while working on our collections. As part of their work, each intern is encouraged to focus on one or two treatment procedures, and some of the projects on which they work are chosen with these in mind. Syd Fadner, this summer’s intern, asked to work on techniques used to conserve nineteenth- century cloth bindings.

William Lewis Herndon’s Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon (1854) was an ideal candidate for her project. Published by the U.S. House of Representatives, the work chronicles an 1851-52 Navy expedition through the watershed of the Amazon River and its tributaries. Consisting of two text volumes and a portfolio of maps, our copies showed extensive wear. The covers were detached, sections of the outer spine on both volumes were missing, the texts were torn and acidic, and the sewing structures had failed.
Syd began treatment by washing and deacidifying the text in buffered deionized water and magnesium bicarbonate baths. After repairing the many tears and losses with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste, she resewed both textblocks.

To rebuild the original covers, Syd used unbleached muslin, acrylic paints, and embossing with wire screen to simulate the color and texture of the original cloth. Her goal was not an exact match, as the original embossed patterns cannot be copied without great expense. Different levels of wear and color fading on the spine and sides of the books further complicated the process. After experimentation, she did produce a cloth that blended "sympathetically" with the original, and used this to form new spine pieces over which she attached the originals. The textblocks were then cased into the reconstructed covers.

The maps will now be repaired, a box will be constructed to house the text volumes and maps, and the set will be returned to the shelves of the Philips Wing, there to await the arrival of future scholarly explorers.

-Bruce Bumbarger is Library Conservator


Staff News and Announcements

by Mike Persick


Rich Aldred, Catalog Librarian, was elected in March to serve on the Steering Committee of the Innovative Interfaces Users Group. The committee primarily plans and executes its annual meeting, involving approximately 1400 attendees, to be held in 2002 in Houston. Rich's primary responsibility is Enhancements Coordinator. The Users Group compiles and submits a list of proposed enhancements to the III system software. III uses many of these requests in its software upgrades.

John Anderies, Music Librarian, will be presenting a paper entitled "Ethel Louise Lyman and the Early History of the Indiana University Music Library" at the Music LibraryAssociation Midwest Chapter Annual Meeting, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, October 18-20.

Linda Bills, who until recently served as the Tri-College Library Automation Coordinator, has had a change of job title and address. She now makes her home at Magill Library and holds the title of Tri-College Consortium Special Projects Coordinator.

Jon Mark Bolthouse has joined the Tri-College Library community as Systems Librarian. Jon Mark comes to us from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he served as Library Systems Coordinator. He will be occupying Linda’s old office in Canaday Library at Bryn Mawr College.

Bob Kieft, Librarian of the College, closed his year as Chair of the Collection Development and Evaluation Section of ALA's Reference and User Services Association with a program entitled "But I Don't Want a Book; I Need Information" at ALA's Annual Conference in San Francisco. Five panelists representing the information provider, mediator, and user communities discussed the social, economic, and technological forces that are today shaping information seeking behaviors. Bob also delivered a paper based on his work with the Guide to Reference Books for a session about the future of reference publishing at the Society for Scholarly Publishing's Annual Conference in San Francisco. November, 2000, saw the publication of his bibliographic essay "Lit Crit, Snip Crit, the Nitty Grit and the Work of Learning Literature" in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.

Norm Medeiros, Coordinator for Bibliographic and Digital Services, presented a paper entitled "Academic Libraries: Hub of Institutional Metadata Deployment" at the October meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Delaware Valley Chapter.

Julie Miran, Science Librarian, and Norm Medeiros co-authored "Glory Days: Managing Scientific Journals in a Liberal Arts College," a paper that appears in the Summer 2001 edition of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.

Mary Lynn Morris, Digital Services Librarian, returned from Pune, Maharashtra, India with her newly adopted daughter, Runa, on August 15. While in India, Mary Lynn, Runa, and Marilyn Creamer (Serials Specialist), who accompanied the new Mom on her trip, took the opportunity to do some sightseeing in India and experienced some of the sights, smells, and flavors of Pune, New Delhi, and Agra.

Mike Persick, Assistant Cataloger/Head of Acquisitions, married Jenna Brown, Business Reference Librarian at Chester County Library, in August.

Diana Franzusoff Peterson, Manuscripts Cataloger, gave a workshop called "Mediator on the Ground: Performing Reference in an Archives or Special Collections Setting" at the MARAC (Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference) meeting in Philadelphia in May.

Greg Posey, Tri-College Library Consortium Web Developer, comes to us from a marketing consulting company called TPG Telemanagement. He gained his web development experience primarily with Klatha.com Community Computing based out of Mount Airy, Pennsylvania and is excited to be able to translate his diverse interests and background into the library setting.

-Mike Persick is Assistant Cataloger/Head of Acquisitions

 
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