~Daily Journal~ Week 14

December 3, 2012: Sorting and first draft of finding aid SCC submitted. 5 1/2 hours

State Council of Churches re-labeled and ready to be placed on their permanent shelves.

State Council of Churches re-labeled and ready to be placed on their permanent shelves.

Brigette was gone today, but I had plenty to do!  I was able to get through the final sorting of the last 5 boxes of the SCC collection.  It is now all re-housed and beautifully organized and has been rounded out to 10 boxes and 5 linear feet.  The largest collection I have been able to process, regardless, I finished the history note, scope and contents and the contents list and submitted the finding aid to Brigette for review.  I took some pictures of the more interesting state council of churches logo’s that I found.

December 4, 2012: FCC DAM and cataloging, FCC blog post, SCC folder labeling. 4 1/2 hours

I uploaded the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America Records, 1905-1971 finding aid to the Burke Library website so I have done DAM for three items now.  I also cataloged the  collection in Voyager, which means the CLIO record is now visible (as you well know).  The collection was tweeted from the Burke Library twitter account and a status update was posted on the Burke Facebook page.  Thankfully Brigette is willing to sit down and walk me through all the steps.  It is complicated and I’m sure I would have to do this a dozen more times before I actually would be able to do it without the help of a cheat sheet.  I also wrote out my blog post on the Bethlehem steel strike and did the final touches on the labeling of the folders for SCC.  I am just waiting to hear back from Brigette on my SCC finding aid so it can be sent to Ruth for final submission and hopefully I will be able to do the DAM on that next week, it would be nice to end everything on time for my final presentation.

Total hours: 10

Running total: 134

~Daily Journal~ Week 13

November 27, 2012: SCC sorting and new folders, additions to the FCC finding aid. 5 hours

I started the morning writing labels on a large number of folders in preparation for beginning to start the sort on the SCC collection.  I completed the beginning portions of the finding aid and began writing out the organization for the contents list.  I was able to finish re-foldering and sorting two of the seven boxes before I got final feedback from Ruth on the FCC finding aid.

I was asked to expand on the historical note. I researched information about Charles Macfarland, Josiah Strong and William I. Haven and added information about them to the note.  Other than that the changes were minimal.  I enjoy seeing so little red on my FA’s now.

I also requested the 2nd box of FCC collection which had been placed on their permanent home in the archive stacks.  The box contains papers relating to the Bethlehem steel strike of 1910 and I wanted to dig a little deeper into the papers for my blog post about the collection.  I snapped a few photographs before having to leave.

State Council of Churches collection initial form

State Council of Churches collection initial form

Total hours: 5

Running total: 124

~Daily Journal~ Week 12

November 19, 2012: FCC history, scope and content.  Final finding aid submitted. 5 hours

I worked on the final draft of the finding aid for the FCC (Federal Council of Churches).  I added the history and scope and content notes.  I submitted the draft to Brigette for review.

November 20, 2012: FCC labels and correct finding aid.  Inventory of SCC and research on history.  5 hours

I received the corrected copy of the finding aid back from Brigette.  I made the changes requested and resubmitted it.  Ruth Tonkiss is on vacation so I won’t be able to get her final approval until after Thanksgiving, when I return on Tuesday next week we should be able to do the DAM on the finding aid and get it up online.  Yay!  The most interesting stuff in this collection has to do with the Bethlehem Steel Strike of 1910 and the little bit of research I did on who seemed to be the owner of most of these papers; Rev. Rockland T. Homans.  I think I will focus my blog entry on these two things.  I labeled the boxes (which are just 3 small boxes)

Final home for the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America Records (FCC).

I began the inventory on my next collection State Council of Churches.  It seems to mostly consist of bulletins from various state councils around the country.  Shouldn’t be too difficult to organize.  Amazingly I was able to complete the Work Plan and the Inventory.

November 25, 2012: Research on SCC.  2 hours

I brought home a couple of the books listed on my Work Plan and took some notes which I added to the bottom of the work plan.  I’ll use these notes to develop the history portion of the finding aid. Hopefully the finding aid can be completed tomorrow.  Then I can work on my FCC blog entry.

Total Hours: 12

Running Total: 119

~Daily Journal~ Week 11

November 12, 2012: Organization of FCC materials, label folders, copy newsprint, etc..  5 hours

I began by labeling a large number of folders with the title WAB: Federal Council of Churches Records.  I then placed in the folders materials I found regarding each committee, commission, department, conference, meeting and sorted the members papers.  I copied newspaper articles, placed the originals in Mylar sleeves or envelopes.  After my initial sort, which included taking metal pins and paper clips that bound material together out, as well as trying to figure out where 6 or 7 loose papers seemed to fit.  I found where they went for all of them except one, which I still have no idea what it is supposed to go to, it’s a budget sheet from minutes of some sort, but there is no date or title included on the sheet.  Some of the materials were fragile and degrading.  Some of the materials were in pretty good condition.  I found some very interesting materials on the Bethlehem Steel Strike and some good newspaper articles on unity.  I got through creating the final sort for 1 full box

November 13, 2012: Final FCC sort, Finding aid completed except for History and scope and contents note.   5 hours

I finished my final sort and labeling of the folders today.  The final FCC collection rests in 3 boxes.  Since much of the material was originally scattered in random boxes and mislabeled or non-labeled folders it was difficult to maintain original order of the materials.  I sorted the commissions, departments, committees, conferences and meetings alphabetically (for the folders) and then by date (within the folders)  For the members papers I kept them in their original order as far as subject, but then ordered them by date as best I could within the folder.  There was one whole section for the Greenwich Conference on Church Union that was the conference’s papers all in a bound folder like thing.  That is the only thing that definitely kept its original order.  I moved the papers into 4 new folders with a photocopy of the title of the original bound folder.  Next week I will finish the history portion and scope and contents note and submit it to Brigette and Ruth for final approval and then do DAM and cataloging.  I might work on the history and blog post this weekend at home.   My final collection will be the State Council of Churches Records.

Total hours: 10

Running total: 107

~Daily Journal~ Week 4

September 24, 2012: Label folders, re-folder materials, remove all metal. 3 1/2 hours

I did much the same stuff that I worked on last week Friday.  I was able to finish the first 2 1/2 boxes.  I am amazed at how long it takes to relabel things so that my handwriting is neat.  I am anxious to get back to finishing this part of the organization.  I am really enjoying it, more than I thought that I would.  I am getting nervous about the finding aid though.  I have done a little research and as far as I can tell “American Bilateral Conversations” is not an organization but more of a label linking like documents together.  I think I am going to have to do a little bit of research on each of the organizations involved.  Like “The American Baptist Convention’s Commission on Christian Unity and the Bishops Commission for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs.”  It’s quite a mouthful and I’m not even sure I’ll find anything on it.  The more interesting part of all of this is to come.  I hope I can write something that makes sense and is useful.

September 28, 2012: Crossing Borders lecture and exhibit at The Jewish Museum. 2 3/4 hours

Crossing Borders lecture by David Wachtel, Senior Consultant for Special Collections at The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary and Senior Consultant for Judaica at Sotheby’s.

I was so impressed with this exhibit, it is fantastic.  Crossing Borders is done in conjunction with the Bodleian Library.  I am sitting here trying to describe to you what is in this exhibit and I’m finding it difficult to pare it down into a small journal entry.  I think a quote my tour guide gave the group sets up the idea behind the exhibition quite well.

“Writing did not take place in a vacuum, but is a reflection of various cultures and propensities of various times and it provides a window on the mentality, preoccupations and tastes of the people who were responsible for it in it’s variegated forms.” ~Leonard Boyle, Oxonian Latin palaeogrpaher.

These manuscripts are not only beautiful, they are evidence of more than just what is written down in them, they show the prevailing artistic tastes, cultural mores and give a window into the minds of people who created them.  They are more than words on a page they are proof of individual tastes (one example was from a manuscript that was illuminated by the owner himself) and history.  I enjoyed the lecture.  I loved how they were able to integrate modern technology seamlessly along with these old manuscripts.  A number of iPads were located in each room.  Each one contained high quality images of other pages of the books on display.  One room contained around 6 iPads all to show each page of the Kennicott Bible that was on display.  You could zoom in and look at tiny details.  It was wonderful.  I hope I get a chance to go back and look at things a little more carefully.

This fable was about Chatty Turtle, who fell from his ride after making comments about people who were passing by. Moral: Silence is golden.

Total hours:  6 1/4

Running total: 39

~Daily Journal~ Week 3

September 17, 2012: Reorganization of files, Part 1   3 1/4 hours

I began with the Protestant conversations series, since that is only one box and I figured I’d be able to go through it faster.  That was a misconception.  It took me most of the 3 hours to go through and organize that one box.  Only because there were a number of loose articles, that needed to be placed correctly.  Thankfully there was a “List of Conversations” that I had found as I was making an inventory of the contents.  Using that list I was able to not only determine which conversations the articles were supposed to go to, but I could also place authors with the articles.  Granted this is the catalog librarian coming out in me and it is really the researchers job to figure that information out.  In the end the articles will go in the correct folder and while I know the authors of the papers, that information will probably not make it onto the finding aid.  Thankfully that “List” will be noted at the very beginning of the Finding Aid and it will be the first folder in the collection. I got through this box and the very first box of Roman Catholic Conversations with the American Baptist Convention.  I put post it notes on the boxes to state their new number and I also made a note of the topics of any significant papers in each of the folders.  This is to help determine if the collection is going to be organized according to date or topic.  I also made a list of books that are going to be separated out of the collection.  These books were cross referenced with CLIO to make sure they were part of Columbia University’s collection already.  They were also cross referenced with WorldCat to determine if there were other copies in other locations.  So if there was a pamphlet that was available offsite at Columbia, but the only other copy was in the Netherlands, we decided to keep the pamphlet with the collection regardless of the fact that it could have been requested through CLIO.  I am keeping track of the books by grabbing citations via Zotera (an app that will grab the citation information of reading material and save it to a library on their server, which you can later use to form a bibliography.)  I copied the bibliographical information from Zotera and made a word document entitled “Separated Items.”  I also listed the Columbia Libraries call number and bibid number.  This way the location and presence of the books in the library can be verified before the books are officially separated from the collection.  A notation of the presence of these books will be noted in the finding aid and the exact list of separated items will be placed in an appendix at the end of the finding aid.

September 18, 2012: Reorganization of files, Part 2   3 1/4 hours

I finished with the reorganization of the folders.  I continued with my same method, as I moved folders from box to box.  I also continued to make a note of the topics of the articles within each folder.  Although about half way through the rest of the reorganization I had determined that it would the wise decision to organize by date and just make a mention of notable topics in the finding aid.  I also continued checking CLIO and WorldCat on the books included in the collection to determine if they were to be separated out or if they were to remain a part of the collection.  In the end there are around 15 books that will be separated out of the collection.

I find myself distracted by some of the papers that were written for consideration at these ecumenical conferences.  I am impressed with the sentiments and recognition of the necessity of unity within all members of the church every where.  I just wanted to record a few of the statements I found in just my brief time sorting through the material.  Keep in mind most of these papers were written in the late 60s.  (Also I have “retouched” the papers in the photographs to get rid of the text that doesn’t apply to what I’m talking about.  I wanted to just show you what the papers look like, but I didn’t want the distraction of other portions of the paper in the photograph.  You can of course look at all of these papers in the collection as soon as I finish the finding aid)

Daniel J. O’Hanlon, S. J. “The Ministry and Order of the Church”
Credit to WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, Series 1, Box 4, Folder 16, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

I like the simple realization that what these church leaders are attempting to do isn’t easy, but that division is a problem worth trying to fix.

 I love Glenn E. Baumann’s statement about the right to worship within Inter Christian marriages.

Glenn E. Baumann, “The Churches and Their Attitudes Toward Inter Christian Marriages “
Credit to WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, Series 1, Box 5, Folder 2, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

Monsignor Henry G. J. Beck has similar desire for unity rather than division on this same topic.

Monsignor Henry G. J. Beck, “Proposed Pastoral Guidelines for Inter-Christian Marriages”
Credit to WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, Series 1, Box 5, Folder 2, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

A couple of quotes from papers I just enjoyed reading, one because I liked the corrections that were penciled in and the other is just a great quote.  (I am unsure of the author as it is not listed on the paper…but it might be on that list!)

Unknown, “The Ordination of Women”
Credit to WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, Series 1, Box 5, Folder 4, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

I don’t know if you can read the words that are “carroted” in at the end but it says “respond creatively to…”  It is obvious that unity in all aspects was a difficult task.

I just like this last quote.

Robert McAfee Brown “Order and Ministry in the Reformed Tradition”
Credit to WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records, Series 1, Box 4, Folder 16, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York.

I wanted to just give you a taste of what is in this collection.  It is fascinating and relevant even today, as ecumenical discussions are still on going, so of the topics remain the same and some of the topics are new, but the idea behind unity in the church is still a driving force.

September 21, 2012: Label folders, re-folder materials, remove all metal.   3 hours

I began the process of re-housing the material and starting the finding aid.  After a discussion with Brigette it was concluded that organization will be in two series (Series I: Roman Catholic conversations and Series II: Protestant Conversations.) Within those two series it will be alphabetical according to denomination and then by date.  Since that was how my initial re-organization was set up, it is now a fairly easy process of recording on the finding aid each box and it’s folders, as well as labeling new legal size folders appropriately and then removing staples and paper clips of the papers going into each folder.  The staples are removed from pamphlets as well as the regular papers.  I love the staple remover it is awesome.

It is difficult for me to figure out how I am going to eventually be able to move to a “More Product, Less Process” (MPLP) way of creating the finding aid. I am so much attuned to item level description that it is difficult here at the beginning to wrap my head around general box description. I’m glad I am starting out on a collection that I am being allowed to describe to the fullest extent.  It is not quite item level, but it is definitely folder level.  I hope that I can figure out how to process according to MPLP standards.  I think it might be difficult.

I do have to say that I am enjoying all this organizing though.  It is quite fun.

Total hours: 9 1/2

Running hours: 32 3/4

~Daily Journal~ Week 2

September 10, 2012: Inventory 3 3/4 hours

6 boxes of the WAB: American Bilateral Conversations Records Collection

I started my inventory of the collection today.  I was able to get through 2 1/4 boxes.   To begin with I am making a very detailed inventory, since I am trying to get an idea of what this collection is about.  I’ll post a copy of the inventory when I finish the job.  Additionally I found out that I would be able the librarian viewing of the exhibit of “Crossing Borders” at the Jewish Museum on the 21st instead of coming into the Burke.  I had to register today.  I’ll talk a lot more about the exhibit on the 21st but until then if you’re interested in seeing a preview, here is an article in the NYT that talks about it.

September 11, 2012: Inventory Part 2 3 1/4 hours 

After a very sad train ride into the city this morning that put a nice big delay in my schedule and a damper on my mood, I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to finish the inventory, but I was lucky!  I was able to get through everything in the boxes.  By the time I got to the last two boxes I stopped being so detailed in the description, since it was pretty much the same sorts of things.  Plus I was now familiar with what the collection was about.  Here is the final inventory.  [pdf]

September 14, 2012: Work Plan finished/Finding Aid begun 3 3/4 hours

I created a work plan, [pdf] which according to the process Brigette has created to help with organization has 6 parts to it.  I will summarize those points below.

1. Statement of the research potential of the collection
2. Description of the current physical state of the collection
3. Appraisal (why is this in the archives?)
4. Recommendations for organization
5. Description of preservation needs of any special formats
6. Finding aid elements, divide into series, etc..

After I had finished I sent it to Brigette for review and then had a discussion with her regarding any points she wanted to bring out.  Most of the discussion was based on the future organization of the collection and how to make the finding aid.  They have a template (how awesome is that!)  So I am able to just follow the template.  As I noted at the end of the work plan I am going to start with just a basic organization of Roman Catholic led conversations followed by Protestant led conversations.  Once that is in place I need to start checking paper topic, each research paper’s availability in other mediums to determine if the paper remains in the collection or is separated out.  Once that is done I will have another discussion with Brigette so we can decide whether to just arrange the remaining materials by date or if a topical arrangement would be better for those trying to find these materials.  I’m looking forward to work on Monday.

Total hours: 10 3/4

Running total: 23 1/4