In March we began to minimally process the collection. Before we could get to this stage we had to create the series and subseries for the collection. The DDN collection is made up of the holdings of two separate newspapers; The Dayton Daily News (DDN) and the Dayton Journal Herald (JH). Each paper had its own system for keeping track of its archive. When the papers merged, there was little effort to integrate the filing systems together. We discovered that there were seven different filing systems for the collection. The challenge was to arrange the collection so it could be used by a researcher while at the same time, paying respect to original order. The following is the list of series and subseries that we decided on.
DDN Collection Series and Sub-Series
I. Personality Files
a. Personality A-Z
II. Subject Files
a. Dayton Daily News
b. Journal Herald
3. Pamphlet Files
III. DDN Corporate Papers
a. Corporate Papers
IV. AP Proofs
a. AP Proofs
V. Negatives and Microfiche
a. Negatives and Microfiche
The Personality files are loose documents, folders in record storage boxes, and folders in filing cabinets devoted strictly to people. It is a mix between the DDN and the JH folders, a clear indication that at least some integration occurred while the collection was used by the paper. These files are mostly photos and are held in 119 filing cabinets and 43 record storage boxes. The Personality Files series is created with a merger of two filing systems used by the paper; Personality Files and the Obituary Files. The 119 filing cabinets represent the “main” Personality Files collection into which the Obituary Files will be integrated. By integrating the items into the larger Personality Files cabinets, we maintained the original order established by the paper. The Obituary files originated from the Personality Files, placing them back into their original location would not negate respect des fonds.
The storage conditions and composition of the Subject Files is similar to the Personality Files; however the subject files are about things and events. The five of the seven original filing systems are located in this series. The Subject Files account for 73 filing cabinets and 242 record storage boxes. Unlike the Personality Files, there exists no single “Subject Files” filing system into which the five filing systems can be neatly integrated. As such, there are five subseries to this series.
Subject Files Subseries A: DDN Color Photos and Clippings
The DDN Color Photos are thirteen filing cabinets with folders labeled alphabetically. The folders contain color photos of events and things. The DDN Color Photo subject files cannot easily be integrated into the other subseries as the other series rely on numeric and alpha-numeric systems—not an alphabetical one. The DDN Clippings are small envelopes containing news clippings about various events. These are located in fourteen filing cabinets in alphabetical order. The clippings are articles related to the photos in the DDN Color Photo subseries.
Subject Files Subseries B: JH Alpha-Numeric, Numeric and Pamphlet Files
The JH Alpha-Numeric files are the largest series in the Subject Files; consisting of 42 filing cabinets and 148 record storage boxes. This subseries is mostly photos but roughly a third of it consists of clippings in large envelopes. The files are arranged using an alpha-numeric system unique to the paper. The system is not standard in either the library science or archival professions, but it closely resembles cataloging that one may find in a library environment. Each topic has its own number and the letter after the number states gives the sub-topic under the umbrella of the main topic. The sub-topics are listed in alphabetical order within themselves. There is a workable index to make the process of finding things manageable.
The numeric files are comprised of four filing cabinets and 34 record storage boxes. The filing cabinets contain small envelope size folders that hold clippings. The record storage boxes contain large folders with photos. The Numeric Files are labeled with by a numeric system with numbers in the 100-thousand range; the subject is also listed on the folder. The small folders (in the filing cabinet) are listed in alphabetical order (by the subject) with both the subject and the 100k number indicator. The number on the small folder (contains the news clippings) corresponds with the numbers on the larger folders (large folders contain the photo associated with the news clipping).
The Pamphlet Files are the final and smallest subseries in the Subject Files series. The Pamphlet Files are located in 24 record storage boxes. The pamphlet files are clippings in small envelope size folders, the small folders were then placed inside larger folders and the topic name was typed onto the large folder. One small folder may contain seven or eight small folders, which in turn can contain several dozen clippings each on a topic. This subseries can likely be merged with the DDN Clippings in the future, but per time constraints, we decided to simply place the large folders in alphabetical order in record storage boxes.
Series III: DDN Corporate
The DDN corporate papers include payroll and other information about the Dayton Daily News as a corporate entity. It includes payroll ledgers, framed photos/letters of important individuals, and scrapbooks of pictures and new stories. It is located in ten record storage boxes and three filing cabinets of microfilm.
Series IV: AP Proofs
The Associated Press (AP) proofs are an assortment of “laser print” photo proofs. The bulk of this material relates to the first Gulf War and events in the Middle East. The newspaper library staff never integrated this material into the subject files, which is where it would have been housed. There are thirteen boxes of AP related material. We determined that it should be kept as a separate series for several reasons.
1. The DDN nor WSU own the copyright on these photos so they need to be treated differently from the rest of the collection
2. They were not produced by the DDN and, as such, don’t fit well into the rest of the collection.
Series V: Negatives and Microfiche
The negatives and microfiche are located in 20 record storage boxes. These are mostly negatives of photos in the collection by DDN photographers and microfiche of clippings discarded from the JH Subject Files. The microfiche is literally piled all over itself in the record storage boxes, some in alphabetical order, but much with no order whatsoever. The negatives are also kept in record storage boxes however they are all in alphabetical order, neatly labeled, and have tabs to guide the researcher. The folders holding the negatives are likely acidic and it may be worthwhile to move them into a proper sleeve. Accomplishing this is doable, but it is time consuming.
Series VI: Slides
The DDN collection of slides consists of alphabetically arranged color slides of both personalities and subjects. Located in four filing cabinets, the slides are housed in small envelopes that contain one or multiple slides on a given topic. The sleeves holding the slides are of unknown quality and may be acidic. However there does not appear to be any damage or deterioration.
Series VII: Miscellaneous
The Miscellaneous Files, located in 75 record storage boxes, consists of unidentified loose material and folders placed randomly into boxes. We came across this random material during the Jan-Feb analysis of the collection, from which the series were made. The material in this series can be integrated into other established series. However, due to the amount of unidentified loose material, it would take a considerable amount of time from the two-year grant. There appears to be no serious preservation concerns (the only notable instance is that photos are not in sleeves or folders).