Library Gazette

In the 'Archives' Category...

Documenting Diversity Initiative

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 11:16 am

In celebration of National Archives Month and North Carolina’s Archives Week (October 22-28), ZSR’s Special Collections and Archives is reaching out to invite departments and student groups across campus to deposit their paper and electronic documents in the University Archives. We particularly encourage submissions from groups underrepresented in the Archives, such as WFU’s ethnic minority, LGBTQ, and international communities. We want to identify, locate, secure, and make accessible these important and at-risk historical records.

The Documenting Diversity initiative seeks to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the historical records, especially of under-represented groups. We will provide consultations and guidelines for the transfer of non-current records to the Archives.

Documenting Diversity kicks off with an Archives open house event in the Special Collections Reading Room from 4-5 pm on October 25th. Members of the WFU community will have the opportunity to see the University Archives, drop off materials, view some collections already housed in the archives, and discuss the future of a more inclusive and well-rounded University record. Light refreshments will be served. Participating departments and organizations include

We encourage all interested individuals and groups to attend the Archives open house and to contribute appropriate materials to the University Archives. If you plan to attend, please register for the event. For more information, contact Rebecca Petersen.

New MARC Records!

Thursday, October 6, 2011 2:32 pm

As the air turns crisp, I wanted to highlight some of the great collaborative work that has been happening between Special Collections and Archives and Resource Services this past Spring and Summer. In the Spring, Audra and Carolyn teamed up to begin exporting MARC records from the Archivists’ Toolkit. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

Since the Spring, we have used the new knowledge of the “MARC export” button in AT to make our finding aids available on multiple discovery layers. The original “test” finding aid was the Giuseppe De Santis papers finding aid. It can be found in WakeSpace, the catalog, and WorldCat.

As this was successful, we decided to move forward on a large scale project to make all of the newly completed finding aids available in each of these three locations. The “CRMF Project” (Church Records Microfilm) is an effort to take all of the paper finding aids (if ever created), transcribe the information into Archivists’ Toolkit, have Carolyn add name and subject headings, export the EAD to DSpace, and export the MARC to Voyager and OCLC. We examined the workflow and have successfully made the following church records (and one manuscript collection) available in all three discovery layers.:

Mount Carmel Baptist Church (Troy, N.C.) records
Sanford First Baptist Church (Sanford, N.C.) records
Zion Baptist Church (Shelby, N.C.) records
Shell Point Baptist Church (Shalotte, N.C.) records
Lee Park Baptist Church (Monroe, N.C.) records
Piney Green Baptist Church (Salemburg, N.C.) records
Hamlet Second Baptist Church (Hamlet, N.C.) records

David Smiley papers

Approximately 50 new church record finding aids have been added to DSpace and will soon be in Voyager and WorldCat. The extraordinary students in Special Collections have been working hard to continue adding information to Archivists’ Toolkit. Over 200 out of approximately 1000 church record microfilm collections have digital finding aids and are in the queue for addition to DSpace, Voyager, and OCLC.

None of this could be done without the thorough and hard work of Carolyn McCallum. She is integral to completing the steps of the workflow. We are so happy to be collaborating with Resource Services to push our materials out to more patrons and make our sometimes “hidden collections” accessible to as many people as possible. Soon one of our most highly used collections will have complete online finding aids!

Society of American Archivists features ZSR Special Collections

Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:43 am

In December 2010, ZSR Library released a new interface for finding aids describing archival collections from Special Collections and Archives. We announced the new interface in a Gazette post, where we listed some of the great features of zsr.wfu.edu/findingaids:

  • A look and feel like the ZSR website
  • Fully searchable contents, including container lists
  • Browse by keyword and title
  • Collection summary at the top of each finding aid
  • Linked finding aid sections
  • Linked keyword index
  • Expand/collapse container lists
  • Complete box and folder information

These features were added based on information gathered from a variety of finding aid user studies. Kevin and Audra worked together to demonstrate these features using the XML user interface for DSpace, instead of the default JSP user interface. Kevin created a finding aid site that looks familiar, crafted, and usable.

Kevin and Audra submitted a brief description of the new finding aid site to the Description Section of the Society of American Archivists, where it was chosen as a highlighted collection for the 2011 Description Expo. The Description Expo recognizes archival projects from around the world and we are honored to be part of this year’s group!

ZSR contributes to ASERL Civil War portal

Monday, August 8, 2011 8:25 am

Z. Smith Reynolds Library has contributed its four collections related to the Civil War to the digital collections portal “Civil War in the American South.” The portal includes digital collections from the Civil War Era (1850-1865) held by members of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). The collections contributed by ZSR are:

  • Confederate Broadsides CollectionOver 250 examples of poems written by Southerners and Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War, including some pamphlets and clippings, as well as broadsides
  • Lipe Family Civil War Letters CollectionThe Lipe (or Leib) family lived in Deep Well (now Mooresville), Iredell County, North Carolina. The collection consists of letters and poems from different Confederate soldiers
  • George L. Bright Civil War DiaryGeorge L. Bright was a band member of the 46th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Herbert E. Valentine Civil War DiaryValentine’s manuscript memoirs relate various anecdotes about his army experiences, mostly in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina

These collections have been ingested and will be harvested regularly to keep up with any metadata changes. A link to these collections as well as to our page on the Civil War in the American South website have been added to the ZSR Digital Collections page. Thanks to everyone who helped make this project a success!

Reynolda School Hiawatha Photographic Album Now Online

Monday, July 11, 2011 8:08 am

On May 25, 1921, Katharine Smith Reynolds’ school on the grounds of Reynolda House produced a dramatic version of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha. The passion play was arranged by F. E. Moore of Middletown, Ohio, and was photographed by the Holladay Studio of Durham, North Carolina. Children from the school performed the play, which included elaborate costumes, modern dance, and a musical score. The outdoor play is documented in this unique bound volume, including photographs of costumed children posing for every scene and text from the epic poem. A piece in the Reynolda Gardens’ Gardener’s Journal from Winter 2008 written by curator Camilla Wilcox entitled The Story of Hiawatha at Reynolda details the history of the photographic album and the pageant itself.

The photographic album is now available online. This volume is part of the Rare Book Collection in the Department of Special Collections and Archives at Z. Smith Reynolds Library.

Wake Forest Calendar features materials from Archives

Monday, January 31, 2011 11:48 am

For those of you who had asked me about the calendar that Lynn showed at the last staff meeting (and that Mary Reeves won) here’s some info about it and how you can have one of your own! I had posted this to our Special Collections blog before the holidays, but wanted to share it with everyone since there is some interest among other staff, too. (I think the WFU bookstore has them in stock now, but you can also order them from the Asgard Press site)…

This past summer (remember when it was hot)? we received a request from a researcher who wanted to see our collection of old football programs, especially the ones from the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. He said he wanted to make a calendar of some of the covers, and he spent several days looking through and photographing our collection. We thought that was a nice idea, but didn’t realize what a great final product would result! Lo and behold, one day a few weeks ago, I received a box of the new calendars and they look GREAT. We are excited that part of our collection made this publication possible, and we hope that lots of folks will want one for themselves. No, we don’t get any money from the sales of the calendars, but it’s a great tool for showcasing the unique materials that are in the Archives and letting people know that we are here. If you know a Wake alum, current student, or anyone who loves WFU, this would be a great gift.

Check out the link above to get more info and to order one for yourself.

USS Wake Forest Victory Pictures from Archives in Ask Sam

Monday, January 31, 2011 11:21 am

Last week we had an inquiry from Tim Clodfelter at the Winston-Salem Journal regarding the USS Wake Forest Victory ship. Someone had written in asking where to find photos of the war ship, and we just so happened to have them here. To get the full story of the ship, read the Ask Sam article.

Wake Forest History on Film

Friday, January 7, 2011 11:21 am

The new Documentary Film program at WFU has proved to be a natural match for our archival collections. Students from Dr. Cara Pilson’s graduate research seminar and first year seminar frequented Special Collections for instruction and research during the fall semester.

The FYS: History Through the Lens of Documentary Film students, pictured above, are working on a short documentary film on the WFU class of 1964.

Using archival copies of the Old Gold and Black, The Howler, photographs, and other materials from the University Archives, the students researched issues of importance to their counterparts in the early 1960s.

They then selected visual materials to put on film for their documentary project. The students were fascinated by both the similarities and differences between campus life now and that of fifty years ago. My favorite quote from a 2010 student (upon reading an OGB editorial): “I can’t believe how sarcastic they were back then!”

Working with the documentary film students this semester was a great experience for the Special Collections staff as well. Every class teaches us something new about our stuff! Seeing our materials from the perspective of documentary filmmakers is making us think about how we can improve discovery tools for the visual aspects of our collections. We look forward to many more collaborations with our new Documentary Film students.


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