January 28, 2011
It’s always interesting to try to pin down an answer to a question when you have incomplete information.
Example: You’re given names of three faculty members and asked when and what they taught. Hint: we think it was about 20 years ago.
Let’s see… We don’t have files by faculty names.
- College catalogs have the faculty listed.
- 20 years ago, let’s start with 1990 — nothing.
- Check catalogs going back 10 years at a time.
- Find one of the names in 1978. (20 years???)
- With each name there is a date for the year they started. Great, now go forward every year until they are no longer listed, then you know when they left.
The dates I came up with were 1967-79; 1961-66 and 1958-1965. Next problem, what courses did they teach?
- The courses are listed, but not the instructors.
- Check to see if there are any other faculty files anywhere.
- We have a some files described as “biographical information”.
- Find 2 names out of the 3.
- First has back type information only.
- Second…I can tell you what he was paid, when he asked to be excused from attending commencement. What’s this, a letter from the registrar telling him what rooms he was assigned for one semester, with the courses listed.
Well it’s better than nothing!
May 27, 2010
Sometimes it’s difficult to wake up and look at a new way to complete a task. My great thanks to Sara Greenleaf for the wake up call.
We have a faculty member who is a John Ruskin scholar. He often travels to Europe to “walk in Ruskin’s footsteps.” To prepare he has had a student worker come to special collections to use the 39 vol. of the works of John Ruskin.
- The student goes through the index and finds references to all the places the faculty member will visit.
- Next to get out the books, usually all 39 vol. and mark the pages that require copying.
- In the past, they were photocopied.
- Now, I photo them on the camera stand to protect the bindings.
Along comes Sara who searches out digitized volumes on the internet. She found all but two volumes at http://www.archive.org. Now the student gives the list of pages searched in the index to the professor and he can take it from there. I can’t believe the number of hours of work that were just saved.
You would think that, since I do digitization projects and refer students to digital books online, that I would have thought of it. I’m sure glad that Sara did.
November 4, 2008
We’ve received our first check for scans, so perhaps the policy won’t kill our reference stats.
PDF/A is working for me again. Andrew Lyons from the help desk had to totally uninstall Adobe Pro 8.0 and reinstall. Everything is back to normal now. Yay, Andrew.
October 29, 2008
Up to this point all the copying and scanning we have done for researchers has been free. It was decided that we needed to get some return for our time and supplies.
I checked with all of my “buddies” on the SAA Lone Arrangers list to see how others handle it. The responses varied widely from no charge, to $20/hr research fees. There seemed to be a lot around the $0.25/page level. The one I wanted just asked for a donation and gave contact information on how to send the money.
After a discussion this is what we ended up with:
There is a minimum charge of $5 per request. This includes up to 20 black and white copies or scans of standard size.
Make checks payable to:
Warren Hunting Smith Library Associates
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
334 Pulteney St.
Geneva, NY 14456
I wanted to go with the donation because then I wouldn’t have to track anything. I worked out a procedure with our secretary that when I send the “Policy” to someone I will cc: her. She will notify me when she receives a check and I will send the materials.
I have a feeling this is going to cut down on the number of requests we receive. It will be interesting to see what happens.
February 13, 2008
I’m beginning to wonder if I should keep a record of everything I ever find for people, and where I found it, since they don’t seem to keep track themselves. In this case it’s photos pulled from a 17 box collection on an uncataloged subject. Sometimes I feel lucky to fulfill the request the first time. To remember a year later, how I tracked it down requires a younger brain I guess.
Any of you have a system for this kind of thing?
October 2, 2007
I decided to use the display cases to promote American Archives Month, so I found some of our treasures to share. We have four cases so we have:
- Lithograph and letter from the Civil War letters of Edward Taylor
- Scrapbooks of alum and poet Evelyn Hunt Tooley
- Examples from our programs collection
- Examples from our stereograph collection
Meanwhile, in the cage, student worker Pete Murphy and I have spent the whole afternoon searching for any mention of something call the “Hobart Crescent Club” and if the Women’s Collective Center was ever called the “Emma Goldman Center.” We have found nary a word on either thing. I guess today we are the unsuccessful history detectives.