Archives News – August 2014

Another summer just came to a close in the Archives, but it was not without its many activities, as always…

On August 2, we gave a presentation on the Wright Brothers and gave a tour of original Wright Brothers materials to attendees of the WSU Alumni College.

August 4 was a very busy day. We had a group of visitors from a local genealogical society. We hosted a presentation and tour of resources for a group of local 4th grade teachers. And we gave an overview of the Archives to a group of international students who were touring campus. Later that evening, at the Huffman Prairie Aviation Society meeting, Don Willis presented “To The Moon and Back.”

Archivist Gino Pasi sharing some of our resources with a group of school teachers, Aug. 4.

Archivist Gino Pasi sharing some of our resources with a group of school teachers, Aug. 4.

On August 5, one of our digital projects — the 91st Observation Squadron World War I Photographs — was completed and made available online in CORE Scholar. (More info & photos concerning this project can be found in our original announcement.)

In mid-August, two of our archivists, Toni Vanden Bos and Lisa Rickey, traveled to Washington, DC, for training in the preservation of electronic records, by the Society of American Archivists. They documented part of their trip with the aid of a miniature cut-out of Wilbur and Orville Wright. One of the photos is below; you can see more on Twitter under hashtag #WilOrvDC. Lisa stayed in DC to attend the annual SAA conference as well (#saa14).

Orville and Wilbur flying high en route to Washington, DC, Aug 9.

Orville and Wilbur flying high en route to Washington, DC, Aug 9.

Toni Vanden Bos and Lisa Rickey at the Washington Monument, Aug. 9

Toni Vanden Bos and Lisa Rickey at the Washington Monument, Aug. 9.

On August 13, the Archives served as a host site for the Certified Archivist examination given by the Academy of Certified Archivists. Six archivists sat for the examination, and we hope they all receive good news on their results!

On August 19, we met with new faculty members at the New Faculty Orientation Fair under the Dunbar Library overhang. We shared information about the Archives’ holdings and how the Archives can support teaching and learning.

Archivist Gino Pasi at the New Faculty Orientation Fair, Aug 19.

Archivist Gino Pasi at the New Faculty Orientation Fair, Aug 19.

On August 24, we celebrated our 1-year “Twitterversary” — one whole year of sharing the Archives’ news, collections, & mission via Twitter as @WrightStArchive! On the day of our Twitterversary, we had 262 followers!

SCA_Twitter_ScreenShot_2014-08-24_Twitterversary

August 25 was the first day of Fall semester, and you know what that means: more hours that you can visit the Archives! We are now open on Wednesday evenings until 9:00 and Sundays from 1:00-5:00. (You can also check our hours for a particular day anytime on the online calendar.)

The start of Fall semester also brings us a new group of student workers. We were so pleased to welcome our new student workers: Fayelee Conley, Sara Fisher, Samantha Green, and Leigh McCormick; and to welcome back for another year Adam Becker and Nina Herzog. All of our student workers this year are graduate students in the WSU Public History program. We look forward to working with all of them this year!

The Archives coordinates the contents of the large exhibit cases throughout the Dunbar Library, and in August we assisted reference librarian Kathy Reynolds in the creation of a spectacular exhibit about this year’s WSU common text, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Kathy’s exhibit is engaging and eye-catching, and you should check it out next time you are on the second floor; it is just around the corner from the elevators:

We look forward to finding out what September and the rest of this academic year will hold for us!

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Upcoming Event: Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society Meeting on Sept. 8, 2014

The next meeting of the Huffman Prairie Aviation History Society will take place this coming Monday, September 8, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.

At this month’s meeting, Dennis Carter will present “Low Cost Target Drone” (view PDF flyer).

The meeting and presentation will take place at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center at 2380 Memorial Road (intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Road), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. There is ample free parking, and light refreshments will be provided.

You can view the upcoming schedule of meetings and speakers anytime at :  http://www.libraries.wright.edu/community/outofthebox/events/huffman-prairie-aviation-history-society/.

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It’s a Dirty Job, But Somebody Loves to Do it!

Cleaning is rarely on the top of anyone’s list of favorite things to do, but it is a necessary part of our existence. In the archives, cleaning is particularly important for preservation of the collections. Dirt and dust can settle on photographs and scratch or become embedded in the emulsion or top paper fibers of the image. Handling bound volumes covered with a layer of dust and then opening to the pages, can easily result in dirty fingerprints transferred onto pages. Dirt and dust can also attract pests and be carriers for air pollutants and mold spores. In short, cleaning not only helps combat the stereotype of dusty archives and makes us feel neater, it is an important part of preventive action in preservation.

This summer we were fortunate to have Karis Raeburn, a new graduate of the Public History Program at Wright State, volunteer her professional skills to us. As luck would have it, Karis has experience cleaning rare books and ledgers at the Tower of London. On top of that, Karis said words I never thought I would hear in the archives, “I LOVE to clean books!”

Among other projects, Karis worked on researching, cleaning and rehousing collections of general store ledgers dating back to the late 1800s to early 1900s. A HEPA vacuum with variable speed control is used to capture the dirt and dust that is swept off with a soft brush. Vulcanized rubber sponges are used in cleaning other areas of the ledgers.  When cleaning books, it is important not to brush too hard, which can actually push the dirt deeper into the material. It is also important to clean the text block (edges of a closed book’s pages) while the ledger is tightly closed, and brush away from the spine.

Karis Raeburn cleaning a general store ledger from the 1800s

Karis Raeburn cleaning a general store ledger from the 1800s

Since dust and dirt can also harbor inside, the pages are swept clean with a soft brush. Inside is where all the fun, interesting history resides. Karis found some wonderful drawings in the back of one of the Strayer General Store (Logan County, Ohio) ledgers.

Karis Raeburn discovers original drawings of two men in the back of a Strayer General Store ledger while cleaning.

Karis Raeburn discovers original drawings of two men in the back of a Strayer General Store ledger while cleaning.

 

Strayer ledger drawings

Strayer ledger drawings

After cleaning, the difference is noticeable to archivists and patrons alike, and the volumes’ physical condition is improved. We can all literally breathe a little easier.

If you want to learn more about proper cleaning methods for books, the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has a helpful preservation leaflet covering the basics at http://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/4.-storage-and-handling/4.3-cleaning-books-and-shelves .

 

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