Following on the disaster preparedness theme of last week's post, I'd like to highlight an app that is making the library and museum preservation rounds - ERS: the Emergency Response and Salvage App created by Heritage Preservation and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training(NCPTT).
This handy mobile application is based on the Heritage Preservation Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel and provides easy to follow guidelines for responding to water damage caused by floods, leaks, storms, and fires. The great thing about this app...well, there are many, but one great thing is anyone can download it, thus increasing the chance of getting it quickly into the hands of someone who is in the very early stages of a clean up operation. The app is free and works on iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad devices.
ERS is well organized with easy to understand icons. The brief headings lead you to basic information for disaster preparation (when you know a storm or flood may be coming your way), how to stay safe when assessing the disaster site, and a glossary of salvage techniques to help non-specialists understand the terms used in the recovery guidelines. There is information about handling a wide range of materials including textiles, photographs, books, and computer disks. It even has advice for taxidermy mounts!
The Task Force icon links you to the Disaster Planning and Response resources on the Heritage Preservation website, which contain even more information: experts to call, videos, checklists, and free downloads.
Thank you Heritage Preservation and NCPTT for a terrific app!
Written by Barb Sagraves.
An Introduction to Ecological Genomics
QR74 .S78 2012
American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic
RA644 .I6 B75 2012
The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers
SF487 .U87 2011
Exploring Medical Language: A Student-Directed Approach
R123 .L33 2012
Starting, Buying, and Owning the Medical Practice
R728 .R4453 2012
Cancer Clinical Trials: A Commonsense Guide to Experimental Cancer Therapies and Clinical Trials
RC267 .B44 2012
H. L. Mencken rarely spared anyone's feelings in his writing during his life, so it was with great anticipation that his autobiographical writings were unsealed 35 years after his death. What could be so inflammatory that it had to wait for a generation to pass? Mencken deposited manuscript copies of his two autobiographies, My Life as Author and Editor, and Thirty-Five Years of Newspaper Work, with three libraries: The New York Public Library (where the bulk of his papers are held), the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, and the Dartmouth College Library. Dartmouth was honored with a copy because of Mencken's close relationship with Dartmouth alumnus Richard Mandel '26 and professor Herb West.
With tools in hand, Dartmouth President James O. Freedman, Special Collections Librarian Phil Cronenwett, and Special Collections Library Assistant John Schwoerke, cut the metal bands sealing the wooden crates and unleashed Mencken's final critical look at the America he loved and feared. They used them to complete an exhibition "Mencken Uncrated" that opened two weeks earlier. The two autobiographies were published in 1993 and 1994.
Along with the typescripts, we preserved one of the crates. You can see them by asking for Realia 218 and ML 693.
Recently some members of CART (the library's Collections Action and Response Team) visited the college's Records Management facility. Members of CART have basic training and knowledge in disaster recovery and preparedness, and participate in disaster planning for all library spaces and library storage areas. The group included Preservation Services staff and interns along with CART members from 2 satellite libraries. Our goals for this visit included discussion with Records Management staff to familiarize CART members with the high density storage facility, evaluate the current disaster plan and available resources, brainstorm to anticipate special needs in the event of a disaster, and compile a list of recommended information and items to have on site.
Upon arriving on location and having a brief introduction in the Records Management office, a member of Records Management staff gave a tour of the facility including a walk through the storage shelving, loading areas, and staff offices. Following our tour, we gathered for a group question and discussion session. CART members had many questions which spurred thoughtful discussion. As a result we identified and located items at Records Management that could be useful in a recovery effort, as well as generated a list of additional items to have on hand. Throughout the visit our Recorder kept careful notes, in particular the questions that couldn't be easily answered.
Some things to think about when creating a disaster plan are:
- Who should be notified, and in what order?
- Are there any security concerns? Do the people with security clearance have disaster recovery training?
- Is all necessary information, records, catalogs, and building diagrams available at the site as well as off site?
- Are high priority items labeled and easy to remove from site?
- Is the disaster recovery team trained and prepared to deal with all varieties of material?
- Are materials protected from automated systems on premises including sprinkler systems?
- Are all exits visible, labeled, and accessible? Are fire extinguishers visible and inspected?
- Always prioritize safety first.
For more information on disaster preparedness for libraries and archives, check out the American Library Association's Disaster Response Library Fact Sheet.
Written by Elizabeth Rideout.
Actually, there wasn't a 13th Olympiad since the year was 1944 and World War II was still in progress. Instead of holding the Games in London as planned, the International Olympic Committee held a much smaller "Jubilee" in neutral Lausanne, Switzerland to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first modern Olympiad.
Several commemorative items were issued as part of the celebration including this collection of odes by Pindar titled Olympiques (Lausanne: Èditions A. Gonin, 1944). Illustrated by Swiss artist Hans Erni, the book included all fourteen of the Greek poet's Olympian victory odes - each dedicated to a specific athlete's triumph in the ancient Olympic Games. Erni's illustrations include the mythical founding of the games by Heracles as well as selected depictions of the heros. The volume also contains a brief history of the ancient games and Pindar as well as an analysis of each ode.
Interestingly, there appears to be no mention of World War II or any explanation of the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the 1944 Games.
Ask for Rare Book PA 4275 .F8 E76 1944.
We recently acquired a small, but rich collection of letters by H.L Mencken. While Ambrose Bierce is the 19th-century's greatest curmudgeon, surely Mencken deserves consideration for the the title in the 20th century. He is known for his harsh criticism, cutting wit, and general intolerance for the American middle class (the "booboisie," as he famously called them). But in this letter from May 21, 1921, we see mourning and emotion cloaked in his typically urbane prose:
Our old dog Tessie died on Sunday. A tooth abcess [sic] developed gangrene and the horse-doctor gave her a sniff of prussis acid. She went out instantly. Tessie was 16 years old, a great age for a dog. She never married. We miss her enormously. Sunday afternoon my brothers and I buried her in the garden, and today I ordered a small tablet to be set in the wall, thus "1905 - Tessie - 1921". Tessie was a Presbyterian.
Twain could hardly have done better. The letters will join our existing Mencken Collection, ML 693, which will be the subject of another posting.
Each year Preservation Services hires students to help further the work of our department. Student workers across campus provide a valuable service to the library and college in the work they do. Here in Preservation we hire both end processing students who prepare our general collections for the shelves, and conservation students who do treatments on both new materials and items we already own. In my years in the conservation lab we have had a great group of student workers - some remain with us for all their terms on campus and others for a shorter period of time. Some have gone off into the world after graduation with plans for specific careers in a variety of fields, while others have the idea of exploring possibilities for work or a job they couldn't yet imagine.
This spring another of our student workers, Sanja Miklin, headed off into the larger world of possibilities, after she graduated in June.
In the fall of 2011, Sanja joined us in the conservation lab and worked for two terms, plus some interim periods as well. In the previous years Sanja attended a number of Book Arts Program workshops, and she displayed an enthusiasm and aptitude for working with the tools and techniques of bookbinding. Eventually she applied for work and was hired to join our team.
During her short time here Sanja worked at a variety of tasks including rebacking books (repairing books by attaching new spines). However, she was instrumental (no pun intended) in our completion of a large music score rehousing project. This long-term project consisted mostly of pamphlets needing new sewing. Despite the repetitive nature of the repairs to this group of material, Sanja came to the work each day ready to do the work needed and sought to employ methods of batch processing to efficiently move the material out of the lab. As we wrapped up this long project, it seemed somehow fitting that both Sanja's graduation and the end of this long project happened in the same month.
Last week, Sanja stopped back into the lab to complete one final bookbinding project before leaving for home. She brought in her thesis to bind; something she had spoken of doing earlier in the year during those slow months of research and writing. She needed very little help from us, just the space and tools. Since she was binding one book, she made a second smaller blank book at the same time; batch processing in action! What a wonderful thing for her to have a bound copy of her thesis, the tangible accomplishment of her long hard work in book form. And how nice to see the skills we taught her put into practice for housing her own writing. As it is with all our students, we hope she will continue to find use and value for the skills she learned here in Preservation, whether for her own projects or in her work for others.
Written by Stephanie Wolff.
We just acquired a very curious little book. Die Glasschmelzkunst (Vienna: Schultz, 1769) is a manual for 18th-century do-it-yourself chemists. It provides detailed instruction for manufacturing thermometers, hydrometers, barometers and even glass eyes. But it was figure 15 in the illustration here that caught our attention.
At first we wondered if it was some kind of little science faun to consult when things went terribly wrong, but then we dug out our German dictionary and read the text. It is a model of a Cartesian Diver, a figure with a hollow tube inside with an opening on one end. If you place the Diver in a closed container of water (a two-liter water bottle would work great, but not in the 18th century), it will float. When you squeeze the bottle, the pressure will drive water up into the tube and compress the air. The Diver's overall water displacement will change, and he will slowly dive to the bottom of the bottle (or quickly, if you squeeze really hard). It is a great way to measure pressure.
You can come in and see it now by asking for Rauner Rare TP 859.2 .B11 1769.
This week we finished re-processing the papers of Nelson Pierce Brown, Dartmouth class of 1899. The papers document Brown's career as a judge on the Massachusetts Supreme Court and his lifelong relationship with Dartmouth, including a few diaries and photo albums of his four-years as a student. After Dartmouth, Judge Brown went on to marry Margaret Tucker, daughter of President Tucker in 1903 and graduated Harvard Law. After being appointed as the Middlesex Co. District Attorney in 1912 and Assistant to Attorney General Henry C. Attwill in 1915, Brown was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1918. He served for 29 years.
But, here at Rauner, our favorite thing about this collection (besides Brown's enthusiastic desire to keep incredibly detailed and organized documentation of his life) was his budding interest in court sketching. One of Brown's self-bound trial notebooks contains a letter from a comic artist from the Boston Post, which appears to be in response to an earlier inquiry from Brown regarding mail-order drawing instruction. The artist suggests to Brown that practice is a sure-fire way to develop his skills and signs off with a little sketch of his own.
Well, apparently Judge Brown took the advice and the results are found all over the margins of Brown's trial books. They are filled with small drawings and sketches of various members in the courtroom. From lawyers to witness, no one was exempt from the artistic study of Judge Brown, it seems. Many of his sketches come complete with witty captions and quotations. And some are even treated to a full shading. We invite you to stop by to check out these cool doodles and perhaps they might inspire some work of your own!
Just ask for manuscript collection MS-189! A finding aid for the collection is available.
A few weeks ago, the Preservation Services team used one of our regular department meetings to play a board game. Yes, that's right...we played a board game at work! But lest you think we're just a bunch of slackers, let me assure you that this particular game was special, and highly relevant to our jobs. The game we played was Curate: The Digital Curator Game.
This game was created by Digital Curator Vocational Education Europe, or DigCurV for short. The game is designed to help people learn about and discuss the challenges and strategies involved in digital curation, while also having a lot of fun! It includes plenty of pertinent questions exploring issues such as staffing, funding, collaboration, and training.
The "game" part of the game is really just a ruse...a way to get people interested in having the digital curation discussion, and it worked. We all got really into it, and had a lively conversation. Some of the topics that we found especially useful were: project and workflow planning, skills needed for staff involved in curation, and listing external resources for gathering more information about digital curation.
The game is free to download from DigCurv, they just require you to register as a network member. Part of the game includes recording discussion points on a record sheet, and DigCurV’s only request is that anyone who plays the game submit these sheets anonymously, to help them better understand how the game is used and whether it’s helpful. It was definitely helpful for us, and we thank DigCurV for providing such an excellent resource for sharing and learning about digital curation!
Written by Helen Bailey.