DISASTER PLANNING: Mold and Water Salvage

Last week I attended a workshop in Springfield, Illinois at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to learn about salvaging mold and water damaged library materials. It was hosted by Jennifer Hain Teper, Preservation Librarian and Head of Preservation Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Bonnie Parr, Historical Documents Conservator at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The workshop included an overview of mold and library materials including: sources of mold, a brief introduction to health risks when dealing with mold, and options for remediation/removal. I did not know much about mold going into this workshop, so I was interested to learn some basic facts. For example, mold grows best at high temperatures and high humidity, which is why cold storage is best for archival materials. I also learned too new terms.
Foxing and efflorescence are two types of damage often mistaken for mold, explained Jennifer Hain Teper. Foxing is the result of …

Celebrating 50 Years of Science: Fermilab

Last Thursday I traveled to Batavia, Illinois for a tour of Fermi Laboratory and its archives, hosted by the Chicago Area Archivists and Fermilab archivist, Valerie Higgins. If you are unfamiliar with Fermilab here is a brief summary from their website:
“As the United States' premier particle physics laboratory, we do science that matters. We work on the world's most advanced particle accelerators and dig down to the smallest building blocks of matter. We also probe the farthest reaches of the universe, seeking out the nature of dark matter and dark energy....Fermilab's 6,800-acre site is…managed by the Fermi Research Alliance LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.”
I only had a general understanding of what Fermilab does before this trip, so I was excited to learn more. We traveled by bus through the campus to get to the archives. On the way, I learned the first director of Fermilab, Robert Wilson, was a skilled sculpture and architecture designer. Most o…

Gateway to the West: #OMAMAC

Spring is in the air and it’s the time of year for archivists across the Midwest to commiserate and share innovations and stories from their institutions. The Midwest Archives Conference occurred in Omaha, Nebraska last week, and I was fortunate enough to attend. Having never been to Omaha I was not sure what to expect of the city, but it is a lovely town with a rich history.
One of these rich histories is the impact of Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca tribe and the landmark court ruling in his favor. During the opening session of the conference journalist and historian Joe Starita and Nebraska Educational Television producer Christine Lesiak presented Standing Bear’s story. From the MAC program:
“…Ponca chief Standing Bear, who, in 1877, was forcibly removed along with his tribe from his Nebraska homeland and marched to what was then known as Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). In an attempt to honor his son’s dying wish to be returned to their traditional burying ground, Standing Bear…

This Week in History: Part Six

Part six of This Week in History will be diving into Scribner’s Monthly: An Illustrated Magazine for the People, specifically the March edition from 1877. Scribner’s Monthly was a pictorial publication focusing on bringing art, science, and literature to the American people. Unfortunately, this publication was short-lived, only lasting from 1870-1881. Scribner’s Monthly was renamed to The Century Magazine following the sale of the company. Founder Charles Scribner came back and created Scribner’s Magazine in 1887 to compete with the highly successful Harper’s Weekly (which is discussed in Part Four of this series).

Fortunately, the March volume of Scribner’s Monthly is full of interesting articles, poetry, literature installments, advice, and a few other oddities. The headliner for March was the New York Aquarium, which opened December 10, 1876. The article has no author but the illustrations were provided by a local artist who documented their experience. 
The New York Aquarium was t…

Better Late than Never

Hi everyone!

I'm getting this blog in on the last day of the month, hence the title. USF is halfway through the semester (Spring Break is next week) and it seems people are ready for vacations.

This will be a quick one because February has been a very quiet month in the archives. I am editing metadata for the soon to be published St. Joseph College of Nursing digital collection, which I think will add a great deal to the USF community.

And that's about it for February in terms of archive projects. My other library duties are taking more time and consideration, so that's what I've been focusing on.

Hopefully March will bring lots of donations and interesting stories!

See you then.

Keep Moving Forward - 2017

Entering my third year as Archivist at the University of St. Francis, I have new responsibilities in the library and goals for the archives.
A Quick Recap
At the beginning of last year my student worker, Adjo Tameklo, and history intern, Madison Bowie, worked together to add metadata for over 500 new images for the digital collection, Sharing Our Past, A Visual History. Many of the pictures depict USF athletics from the 1970s-1980s, which had been a gap in the collection. I was also able to catalog 400 books from the Barbara A. Cooke Musical Theater Collection. Mostly autobiographies, biographies, and historical reference books the collection is available to search in the Brown Library catalog.
During the summer I became the Library Archives & Catalog Manager for the Brown Library. Along with managing the archives, I am now responsible for overseeing the cataloging and classification of materials for the general collection of the library. With my time split between two departments…


Today marks the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This event propelled the United States’ military involvement in WWII. Interested to see how the attack affected the population at the College of St. Francis, I went through three of the archive’s collections (the Interlude, Ephemera and Newspaper Clippings, and Sharing OurPast: A Visual History) to find out.
My first step was to check the student newspaper assuming there must have been something written immediately after the attack. To my surprise, I only found one small editorial written by student president, Emily Kernan. Speaking of the sudden shock, she wrote: “The psychological reaction is only natural, but we cannot rush out, grab a gun and start shooting; nor can we sit back and let out minds dwell upon the condition that have so suddenly overthrown our rather peaceful outlook upon life” (v. 14, no. 4, pg.1). Kernan stated CSF girls should continue going to classes, writing papers, taking tests, and study…