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The Live-In Librarian

When Dave Sheppard helped out in the Warren (IL) High School library as a teenager, he didn’t know he would one day live in a library. However, on Saturday, Sheppard will be introduced to the community as the new librarian at Oneida’s (IL) Greig Memorial Library, and the first male in a lengthening list of live-in librarians.

Local taxes and other funding add up to a small library budget, so the library board’s solution continues to be an offer of living quarters plus a small salary.

Sheppard, who also works full time at Walmart, and his wife, Lois, will move into the library sometime after the holidays. A Gerlaw native, Sheppard and his wife have lived all over the Midwest, but currently live in his parents’ former home, a 130-year-old house in Gerlaw. They previously owned a paperback exchange bookstore in Monmouth which was behind the Warren County Public Library.

As he provided a tour of the six rooms on the upper level of Greig Memorial Library on Wednesday, Sheppard seemed comfortable with the concept of living in a library, an option that had not occurred to him before his response to the ad for his new position.

Dream Job for 91 year old Librarian

Herb Jorgensen stands alongside a shiny, red 1931 Packard -- a stereotypical gangster car built when he was 12 years old.

Gazing across the car collection, the 91-year-old archivist for the Blackhawk Museum knows he's enjoying a car buff's dream job.

The Blackhawk Museum, the brainchild of Blackhawk developer and car collector Kenneth Behring, opened its doors in 1988. Now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, the museum boasts two spacious buildings and about 100,000 square feet of upscale exhibition space that plays host to a rotating display of nearly 100 automobiles.

For the past 22 years, Jorgensen has overseen the building of the museum's modest-size research library, a collection that currently stands at approximately 100,000 publications. Many are in excellent condition, while others, including a 1904 Auto Car magazine, have covers that are a bit dog-eared and showing their age. All of them, however, provide a glimpse into the history of a machine that has changed the world.

"It probably is as good a library on old cars that you'll find anywhere," Jorgensen said. Story from Contra Costa Times.

Schomburg Center in Harlem Acquires Maya Angelou Archive

Schomburg Center in Harlem Acquires Maya Angelou Archive
a total of 343 boxes containing her personal papers and documents — have been acquired by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The trove has notes for Ms. Angelou’s autobiography, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”; a 1982 telegram from Coretta Scott King asking her to join a celebration at the King Center; fan mail; and personal and professional correspondence with Gordon Parks, Chester Himes, Abbey Lincoln and her longtime editor, Robert Loomis.

The acquisition is to be officially announced on Friday by New York Public Library officials at a news conference with Ms. Angelou, said Howard Dodson, the executive director of the Schomburg.

Audit shows records at National Archives at risk

An audit prompted in part by the loss of the Wright Brothers' original patent and maps for atomic bomb missions in Japan finds some of the nation's prized historical documents are in danger of being lost for good.

Nearly 80 percent of U.S. government agencies are at risk of illegally destroying public records and the National Archives is backlogged with hefty volumes of records needing preservation care, the audit by the Government Accountability Office found.

Full article

For Baseball Archivists, a Tag Ends Every Play

There are more than 500 possible tags to choose from, and among those chosen at that moment were “ground out,” “from knees,” “last out,” “premier plays,” “milestone call” and “hugging.”

Strangely, one tag not offered was “no-hitter.” Maybe soon.

This is how baseball’s archives are created now — not by merely storing videotapes on a shelf, as it has been done for decades, but by a team of “loggers” whose job is to watch every game as it happens (2,430 during the regular season, and up to 41 in the postseason) and add computerized notes on every play, no matter how ordinary.

“Your archive is only as good as what you know is in it,” said Elizabeth Scott, M.L.B. Productions’ vice president for programming and business affairs.

Full article in the NYT

What Is To Become of Kafka's Manuscripts? Kafka's Last Trial

A tale of eccentric heirs, Zionist claims, a cat-infested apartment and a court fight the author would have understood all too well. Lengthy (ten page) history and explanation of all the players in the disposition of the works of Franz Kafka; article by Elif Batuman in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.

Original Nuremberg Laws To Be Transfered to National Archives

From The Washington Post: The National Archives said Tuesday that a California library is transferring to the Archives the two original sets of the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the Nazis' spare, anti-Semitic manifesto endorsed by Adolf Hitler that helped lead to the extermination of 6 million Jews during World War II.

The laws are being transferred by the Huntington Library, in San Marino, where they have been held since they were placed there by Gen. George S. Patton Jr. in 1945.

Gen. Patton presents the infamous laws to Huntington chairman Robert A. Millikan in 1945.

Each set of the 1935 laws is typed on four pieces of paper, said Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper. One set is believed to have been signed by Hitler.

One section, the so-called "laws for the protection of German blood and German honor," forbade such things as marriages between Jews and Germans, and extramarital relations between Jews and "subjects of the state of Germany."

A Look Back: Watergate Exhibit Becomes a Point of Contention at Nixon Library

Now that the Nixon Library is controlled by the National Archives, some library supporters have firmly objected to how the incident that caused Nixon to leave the presidency is presented there.

The National Archives put together searing recollection of the Watergate scandal, based on videotaped interviews with 150 associates of Richard M. Nixon, an interactive exhibition that was supposed to have opened on July 1. But the Nixon Foundation — a group of Nixon loyalists who controlled this museum until the National Archives took it over three years ago — described it as unfair and distorted. The Foundation does not have veto power and by law serves only in an advisory role. The final ruling will be made by officials of the National Archives within the next few weeks.

The foundation’s objection has left the exhibition in shadows, both figuratively and literally. The sign says “Please excuse our dust: We are currently building a new Watergate gallery.” New York Times reports.

Guardians of the nation's attic

Guardians of the nation's attic
The National Archives keeps watch over 10 billion historical records. And its treasure hunting team keeps watch over collector shows and EBay for the scraps of valuable history that have been stolen.

LOC and Partners Preserving the Internet

This week in Washington, DC, the Library of Congress is gathering its "Digital Preservation Partners" for a three-day session -- one of a number of such meetings the library has been holding under a broad initiative called the "National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program." Its multi-year mission is "to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations."

It's what Dan Gillmor of Salon calls a non-trivial task, for all kinds of technical, social and legal reasons. But it's about as important for our future as anything I can imagine. We are creating vast amounts of information, and a lot of it is not just worth preserving but downright essential to save. Gillmor's role this week, and at a workshop he joined last year, is to be thinking about the news.

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