New in the Archives: June 2018

It’s so hard to stay inside in June in Alaska! But we managed to get a lot done anyhow. Here’s the June 2018 wrap-up:

New personnel:

Sara Rollins, a local high school student, is volunteering with us this summer for 2-3 days each week. She’s doing a wide variety of tasks including creating an exhibit from our Rare Books collection, selecting images for our social media outlets, and lots of scanning of photographs so we can put them up on the Alaska’s Digital Archives.

Anna Leinweber, a grad student in the library program at Louisiana State University, decided to visit Alaska for her grad internship. She’s done a lot of cataloging of images for the Alaska’s Digital Archives (see below), some collection description, and spent some time working with some of our reference questions too.

Outreach:

We had a booth at PrideFest again this year. As always, we talked to lots of people both about the resources we have for research and about how they might think about their own documents and photographs being placed in an archives. (And a chance to be outside in Alaska in June, though it was quite windy.)

Our booth at PrideFest. We like our new banner and tablecloth.

Social media: We posted 29 tweets to Twitter: mostly photographs relating to #GreatOutdoorsMonth. We posted 7 times to Facebook and 4 times to Instagram (note to archivists: we need to do more Instagram!). Are you following us on those sites? Twitter: @CLArchives, Facebook: @ConsortiumLibraryArchives, Instagram: clarchives (we promise we’ll do better on Instagram).

Our volunteer Sara curated an exhibit on exploration narratives from our Rare Books holdings. That exhibit can be viewed in the Great Room of the Consortium Library.

We posted the third installment in our podcast series: this one a conversation between Gwen, Veronica, and Arlene on tourism in Alaska and how it is reflected in our collections. We also recorded two more, including a bonus episode coming in mid-July  in which Arlene talks with one of our visiting researchers about media and Alaska and archives. Our next regularly scheduled episode will be posted later in July and in that one, Veronica talks with our colleagues at the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association about what it is they do.

And in a very out-of-the-ordinary moment, C-SPAN‘s Cities Tour visited us on the 26th and interviewed Arlene about our holdings relating to the 1964 Alaska earthquake. They tell us we might just see that interview airing the weekend of July 21-22.

Grants:

Gwen was awarded an Interlibrary Cooperation Grant from the Alaska State Library and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. This grant will allow us to work with other archives to create some cooperative guides to collections across Alaska and get them posted on SLED (State Library Electronic Doorway). We did one a few years ago on where to find the records/papers of former governors of Alaska. We also finished one in June on where to find archival materials in the US and Canada (primarily Alaska & Yukon Territory) on the CANOL pipeline which was funded by UAA’s Elizabeth Tower Endowment for Canadian Studies (thanks to Veronica for applying for and getting that grant). The CANOL guide should be going live later in July.

Additions to Alaska’s Digital Archives:

The work to transfer the historic UAA images from picturingUAA to the Alaska’s Digital Archives continued. 243 images were moved over which included additional metadata and editing some of the information accompanying the photographs.

New content added to the Alaska’s Digital Archives includes:

27 images from the W. D. Lacabanne photographs.  Most of the images relate to the canneries at Nushagak in 1931. Anna the Intern did these.

22 images from McGlashan and Monsen family photographs. These mostly relate to Naknek from 1910-1950.

44 images from Emma Cameron slides. Emma Cameron was a school teacher in Nome in the late 1940s, early 1950s.

40 images from the C. H. McLeod photograph albums. Anna the Intern also did these. The photos date from about 1898-1903 and mostly relate to southeast Alaska.

Collection description:

You might recognize some of these from the above Digital Archives additions.

HMC-0670: Washington D. Lacabanne papers; 1931. 0.2 cubic foot addition of photographs.

HMC-0989: Atwood family papers; 1906-2003. 1.8 cubic foot addition.

HMC-1290: John Cloe papers; 1943-2016. Research materials related to John’s book Mission to the Kurils.

HMC-1291: Jukichi (Jack) Nishida photographs; circa 1913-1981. Photographs taken by a man from Japan who worked for a mining company in Ellamar.

HMC-1292-AHS: C. H. McLeod photographs; undated, 1898-1903. Photographs of southeastern Alaska.

UAA-0076: Enrollment Management slides; 1977-1997. Photographs of campus life at UAA.

Legacy finding aids updated:

HMC-0232: Betty Jo and Bruce Staser family papers; 1946-1985. 0.4 cubic feet. Documents from a military serviceman and employee of the Municipality of Anchorage.

HMC-0233: Harry Staser family papers; 1891-1977. 0.2 cubic feet. Family papers of an Alaskan miner and deputy marshal.

HMC-0415: Society for Technical Communication. Alaska Chapter records; 1981-1991. 1.8 cubic feet. Records of an organization for technical writers.

Collection additions and changes:

We received five new collections or additions to collections. Veronica paid a visit to the Inupiat Heritage Center in Utqiaġvik to bring them a portion of a collection that was more appropriate to their holdings than ours.

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When state fairs go international

Title page of volume 1

In 1862, the British Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Trades sponsored an international exposition in London. Exhibitors brought wares from 36 countries, and a publishing house chose 300 of the items in the exhibit to publish via tinted lithographs.

 

 

Cover of volume 1.

Which they did, in a 3-volume set with the substantial title of: Masterpieces of Industrial Art and Sculpture at the International Exhibition 1862.

 

The Rare Books collection at the Consortium Library has the first two volumes of this set. And they’re very beautiful, despite being in fairly rough shape. The edges of the pages–gilt-edged, no less–are worn and brittle, and the covers of the volumes are quite worn too, as you can see from the image on the left.

But the lithographs, well, the lithographs are really quite spectacular. Many very colorful and samples of a wide array of manufactured goods, from paisley shawls from India, to fireproof safes from Berlin, to Milanese glasswork, to British ironwork. The books lean a little toward the British manufacture side of things, but the publishers were very cognizant of the audience for these volumes and made sure to put the description pages in both French and English, so as to broaden the potential purchasing appeal.  And even the descriptions have momentary flights of fancy with insets of poetry. You start to wonder if even the author was occasionally challenged to find enough to say about a floorcloth to fill up an entire page. He occasionally got whimsical as well, as evidenced by the warning to any neophyte attempting to drink alcohol from a Danish carved drinking horn, which was to get instructions first to avoid splashing liquor on yourself (that page is on exhibit. Who could resist?)

Every so often, when I need a bit of graphical inspiration, I go and fetch the two volumes and very carefully page through them and see what there is to see. I usually come away with something. So recently, when I was doing this, Mariecris walked up and wanted to know what I was doing. And I explained that visually, this was one of my favorite books from the Rare Books collection and it was really a pity that more people weren’t aware of the treasures within it. Well, yes. Obviously it was time to take it to exhibit. Which is where it went this morning: into the cases in the Library’s Great Room. Not all: just some selected pages along with the second volume (which is in much better shape than the first).

And before you worry about any tendency I might have to destroy books in the process of exhibiting them, I should tell you that the volumes came to the Consortium Library almost completely disbound. No books were harmed during the making of this exhibit. The pages on display were already completely removed from the spine of the books and from other pages.

Exhibit cases

If you need to practice your French reading skills or want some design inspiration, whether it be ironwork, or web design flourishes, or maybe just looking for your next bit of ink, you might want to take a look.

And after we take it off exhibit, the books will be carefully put back together, wrapped up for their protection, and placed back with the other oversize rare books in our archival storage area. And once again be available for your viewing pleasure. Call # NK510.L7 1862. (actually that should be 1863: the exposition was in 1862, the volume was published in 1863. Projects like this take a little bit of time.) I hope you find it as inspirational as I do.

 

Oh, and if you’re interested in seeing it but can’t make it in, you might just want to go look at an online version.  Go to the Consortium Library’s main page, click on WorldCat (new) under Find Books, click on advanced search, type in “masterpieces of industrial art” in the title field and 1862 in the keyword field, and click search. You’ll pull up 47 hits, so look at the left-hand-sidebar, and under format, click on the “internet resource.” You’ll pull up one hit, click on the title, and you’ll be given a link to the Ruprecht Karls Universitat Heidelberg online edition of the volumes. You’ll see the three volumes listed there, and as you click on the links to them, you can go looking at individual pages.