EXTRA! EXTRA! WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES RECEIVE ARCHIVES OF DAYTON DAILY NEWS…
WILL UNDERGO BASIC PROCESSING WITH A GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS AND RECORDS COMMISSION…
The story of a city is drafted in the myriad experiences of its citizens; it is forged on the face of its architecture and geography. It is taught in its schools and exported through its enterprise. Perhaps nothing encompasses all of these elements like a city’s newspaper. A newspaper not only reports and interprets events; it provides a lens through which the cultural essence of a city can be viewed. By reading the headlines and viewing the pictures in the newsprint we can discover the spirit of times gone by and discern the historical record of a city. The purpose of this blog is to show that the Dayton Daily News collection is not just an assortment of photos and articles; the collection tells the story of our town, the story of Dayton.
The story of how the DDN collection came to Wright State began in May 2008. Wright State Special Collections and Archives were notified that we had been selected as the repository for this significant, amazing, and really, really big collection. The collection was located on the third and fourth floors of the rear of the DDN building at the corner of 4th and Ludlow in Dayton. Newspaper staff vacated the downtown building and moved to S. Main St. across from NCR approximately 2 years ago. The presses in the downtown building have been silent since 1999 when they moved production to a new plant in Franklin. The building was a ghost town, no water, no heat, no air conditioning, just electricity. It had been mothballed. Needless to say, this wasn’t the best environment for the collection.
In June 2008, we spent two days conducting a preliminary inventory to get a handle on what was there, its size and condition, and gather information to enable us to develop a processing and preservation plan. Remember when I said the environment wasn’t good for the collection? Well, it wasn’t fit for humans either. When we worked in the building in June, the temperature was in the eighties outside, so you can imagine how hot it was inside. There was no air moving anywhere, odors from the presses downstairs wafted upstairs, and there were no bathroom facilities. Bottles of water, towels to wipe the sweat away, and masks were the order of the day.
In November of 2008, the archives Staff prepared to move the collection to the WSU Kettering Center for Excellence in downtown Dayton. We boxed up loose materials on top of filing cabinets over 2 days. The move was finished by December. The archival material took 12 truckloads to get to the new destination. It encompassed 250 file cabinets and 200 plus records center boxes. Wright State President, Dr. David Hopkins, formally accepted the donation for the university in February of 2009.
In May 2009, Wright State was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The grant allowed for the hiring of a full time archivist to perform basic processing on the collection, as well as a position for a part-time graduate student assistant. The project archivist began in November of 2010 and the collection is currently being arranged into proper series within the DDN filing system. The collection is roughly 3500 cubic feet in the form of 250 file cabinets and 200 plus records center boxes. This blog will detail the progression in gaining physical and intellectual control over the collection.
I hope you enjoy the WSU DDN blog, made possible by the NHPRC.