An interview with Lydia Lutz, digitization and metadata assistant

Lydia Lutz, Rare Books and Manuscripts digitization and metadata assistant, has been digitizing and creating metadata for the Will H. Hays collection since October of 2018. This project is funded by a National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Access to Historical Records: Archival Projects grant.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to work on this project.
I earned my Master of Library Science from Indiana University in 2017. Before realizing my passion for digitization and preservation of various artifacts, I always enjoyed watching shows on the History Channel and National Geographic about ancient papers and pieces being restored and shared with the public. Prior to coming here, I prepped materials for the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative and digitized a collection for the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University. I have worked with analog audio-visual and paper-based media. I was mostly drawn to this project because of the Hays Code. It’s a term I’d heard in passing and its definition was somewhat familiar to me. I wanted to learn more about the man behind Hollywood’s moral code and about the code’s influence on the industry. Having just come from the world of antique audio formats and watching their transformation into their modern form, I was curious about the world of film. I also knew that by digitizing the Hays Collection I would be a part of someone’s introduction or further exploration into Hays and his era. It is nice to know that your work makes difference and can be useful to others.

What have you learned about Hays or the film industry that you didn’t know?
I didn’t realize how complex the shift from silent films to films with sound – even just background music – was. I saw a documentary a few years ago that addressed the shift from actors’ and actresses’ viewpoints. From their positions, some didn’t like their voices or their voices didn’t fit the characters they portrayed. Other times their production companies would have them in a contract forbidding them from using their voices in films. The documentary did not discuss society’s viewpoint on the shift though. Judging by the correspondences and the news articles in this collection, one of the most problematic consequences of this shift was moviegoers and companies fearing the watching experience would be ruined by sound and that audio should be left to the theater. I can’t fathom living in an era where sound films would be considered a poor distraction. Seeing the transition play out through the collection was certainly fascinating.

As for Hays, I have learned that he could be very sassy in his letters to friends, which is lovely because it makes him seem less like a myth and more like a human being.

What’s your favorite item you’ve discovered within the collection?
My favorite item was a letter written on Christmas Eve 1931 to Mr. Hays regarding a highway that was going to essentially remove Santa Claus, Ind. from the map. The author was pleading that Santa Claus remain a town name because future generations of children would miss out on the wonder of passing through Santa Claus’s home. It was an eye-opening piece because I grew up going to Holiday World to see Santa and my parents went to Santa Claus Land for the same reason. Without the town these parks may never have been conceived. Perhaps this letter played a role in maintaining the magic of Santa Claus for past, present and future children and dare I say, adults.

My favorite film-related item would be production information about Lon Chaney’s silent film, “The Phantom of the Opera” simply because I love that movie.

How has working on this project shaped your views of providing access to and preserving collections?
My views on accessibility and preservation only continue to be strengthened through projects such as this. It is important for the public to have the opportunity to see how society has been shaped in order to boost their understanding of how we got to where we are. It seems cliché, but knowing the timeline of our history can change perspectives on our present. It is also fun to learn for the sake of learning. On a more serious note, though, without preservation historical cultural practices could go unnoticed by future generations and movements, such as moral codes in cinema,  could be erased from living memory.

This project has also made me realize how much work needs to be done with text-to-speech software, however. Currently, the technology has the accuracy of public TV subtitles: sometimes whole sentences are omitted and words are often unrecognizable. The technology is great and certainly useful but it has a long way to go. I hope in the near future more intelligent technology can be created in order to share even more of this and other collections.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, and Lydia Lutz, Rare Books and Manuscripts digitization and metadata assistant, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Grace Julian Clarke papers now online

One of Indiana’s most noteworthy manuscript collections on women’s suffrage is now available to the public in the ISL Digital Collections. Researchers can freely access letters from leaders of the American suffrage movement such as Susan B. Anthony, May Wright Sewall and Carrie Chapman Catt, along with other materials, in time for the women’s suffrage centennial in 2020.

Grace Julian Clarke, age 43, 1909 (OP0).

Grace Julian Clarke was a noted clubwoman, journalist and suffragist hailing from Irvington, now a neighborhood on Indianapolis’s east side. Clarke came by her political and social activism honestly, due to the examples set by her father, George Washington Julian, and grandfather, Joshua Reed Giddings, both abolitionists and U.S. congressmen. She helped establish and lead several state women’s organizations, including the Indiana General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Legislative Council, and the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana, the forerunner to the League of Women Voters of Indiana.

Pledge to pay $5 a year to the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana “until Suffrage is won in Indiana,” 1915 (L033).

Before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, Clarke demonstrated her agency as a woman in politics on numerous occasions, such as this 1912 women’s suffrage automobile tour and the GFWC presidential race in 1915. After passage of the suffrage amendment, she contributed to the American peace movement as a staunch proponent of the League of Nations.

Letter from Susan B. Anthony to Grace Julian Clarke, January 20, 1900 (L033).

Explore the Grace Julian Clarke collection and many more items regarding women’s suffrage in the state library’s Women in Hoosier History digital collection, which holds a diversity of materials “from and about Indiana women, both ordinary and extraordinary.” More information on the upcoming women’s suffrage centennial in Indiana can be found here.

This blog post was written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian Brittany Kropf. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or via the “Ask-A-Librarian” service.

From the vault: “Commentary of the Four Books of Sentences (Scriptum super IV libros Sententiarum)”

“The Four Books of Sentences (Libri Quattour Sententiarum)” is a comprehensive theology book written by Peter Lombard, Bishop of Paris, during the 12th century, circa 1150. Lombard’s four books cover the following topics: the mystery of the trinity; on creation; on the incarnation of the word; and on the doctrine of signs. During the high-to-late Middle Ages of the 13th to 15th century, it was considered one of the most important theological textbooks. Philosophers, theologians and other scholastics drafted their own writings based on open-ended questions left by Lombard.

Around 1252, Saint Thomas Aquinas, an Italian philosopher and theologian, began his study for a master’s degree in theology. Aquinas taught at the University of Paris and lectured on the Bible as an apprentice professor and bachelor of the “Sentences.”[1] Aquinas’s “Commentary of the Four Books of Sentences (Scriptum super IV libros Sententiarum),” contains original thought of Saint Thomas as he departs at times from the text he is commenting on to explore other facets of the teaching set forth by Peter Lombard.[2]

The Indiana State Library is fortunate to have a copy of the “Commentary of the Four Books of Sentences” in its possession. The incunabula, with vellum bound in as inner back strip, was printed by Hermann Lichtenstein on April 26, 1490 in Venice, Italy. It includes 150 pages with hand drawn gothic style capitals penned in a red and blue color. A notation within the front inner cover reads: “Imported from Leipsic, May 15, 1847. St. Thomas Aquinas. Printed at Venice, A.D. 1490. Joseph R. Paxton.”

This 529 year old incunabula has been visited by bookworms and contains extensive termite damage to the front cover. Despite its appearance, it’s a wonderful example of book construction and artistic expression from the early years of printing.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

[1] Davies, Brian. The Thought of Thomas Aquinas. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2009. Pg. 5.

[2] “Commentary on the Sentences.” Aquinas Institute. October 31, 2018. Accessed May 17, 2019. https://aquinas.institute/operaomnia/sentences/.

Citing archival resources

When researching for a project, it is vital to record the collections one is researching and all pertinent information for them. This is important, not only for citing your sources and the integrity of your work, but also in case you need to view the material again throughout the course of your research. Record the information below:

  • Institution
  • Collection title
  • Collection name
  • Series name and number (if applicable)
  • Box, folder, and/or volume/item number

Information about the document itself:

  • Creator or author
  • Title
  • Recipient (if applicable)
  • Date
  • Page number (if applicable)

Below are examples using collections at the Indiana State Library. Be sure to maintain consistency in your citation style whether it is based on your preference or a professor’s preference. Any information that isn’t available by looking at the folder or box your materials are in would be discoverable in the finding aid for the collection. You can find the finding aid by searching for your collection in the manuscripts catalog.

Chicago Manual of Style
Joe Rand Beckett letter to members of Battery D, December 1967, S0091, Joe Rand Beckett collection, 1917-1969, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library.

Modern Language Association
Beckett, Joe Rand. Letter to members of Battery D. December 1967. S0091, Joe Rand Beckett collection, 1917-1969. Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis.

American Psychological Association
Beckett, J. R. (1967, December). [Letter to members of Battery D]. Joe Rand Beckett collection, 1917-1969 Rare Books and Manuscripts (S0091), Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN.

For resources viewed online, you would complete the citation as above and add the access URL at the end.

Chicago Manual of Style
A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. Movement order, 13 January 1919, L359, Box 1, Folder 2, Franklin Newton Taylor papers, 1896-1963, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library. http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16066coll47/id/484/rec/3

Modern Language Association
A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. Movement order. 13 January 1919. L359, Franklin Newton Taylor papers, 1896-1963. Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis. http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16066coll47/id/484/rec/3

American Psychological Association
A.E.F. Y.M.C.A. (1919, January 13). [Movement order]. L359, Franklin Newton Taylor papers, 1896-1963. Rare Books and Manuscripts (Box 1, Folder 2), Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16066coll47/id/484/rec/3

You may need to consult the guides for your citation style to verify how to cite additional information, such as page numbers, or different kind of archival resources, such as diaries or photographs. Find out more by using the websites below or conducting your own web searches.

Chicago Manual of Style
Modern Language Association
American Psychological Association

The Purdue Online Writing Lab also has wonderful resources and guides.

You can also ask a librarian for assistance with citing your resources while doing your research or using QuestionPoint.

This blog post was written by Lauren Patton, Rare Books and Manuscripts librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Indiana State Library’s Oversize Photograph Collection now available online and in-person

The Indiana State Library’s Oversize Photograph Collection is now arranged, digitized and described, making it accessible both physically and online via ISL’s Digital Collections. The project began in early 2017 with a survey of all existing oversize photographs and a plan to arrange them all in one location and then describe, digitize and encapsulate the photographs. Previously, the photographs were stored in three separate locations according to size, but this organization was both inconsistent and unsustainable. The collection was also treated as a catch-all location for other graphic materials, including clippings, maps, artwork and lithographs. To rectify the situation, the project also involved separating out all materials which could not be classified as photographs.

Divers in Steuben County.

Over the next two years, the photographs were meticulously arranged by subject to correspond with the new organization in the General Photograph Collection, which was undergoing its own cleanup and reorganization project. The smaller photographs were captured using a flatbed scanner, while very large photographs, such as panoramic photographs, were photographed using a DLSR camera before they were encapsulated in Melinex, archival-grade polyester film, for long-term preservation. The main challenge in working with oversize photographs is, naturally, their size. The large photographs are physically difficult to handle and are stored in even larger folders. Due to their size, the photographs were often rolled or folded in the past, which can pose new conservation challenges. The final stage in the project entailed describing the images individually and uploading them to the library’s online photograph collection. The themes of images in the collection vary, but some of the most prevalent subjects include portraits of notable people, groups and organizations, and aerial photographs of Indiana and images of state parks.

Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, 1883.

Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus portrait, 1921.

With the completion of the Oversize Photograph Collection project, nearly 600 photographs are now more accessible and usable than ever before, with 582 available digitally. The project has made physical control of the collection a reality, supported the collection’s longevity by reducing handling of the original photographs, and most importantly, profoundly increased access to the collection for users around the world.

This blog post was written by Lauren Patton, Rare Books and Manuscripts librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

New manuscripts catalog available to the public

Genealogy and Rare Books and Manuscripts have successfully transitioned from Archivists’ Toolkit to ArchivesSpace, a content management system provided by LYRASIS for archival collections. Staff participated in several trainings, updated finding aids, migrated data and developed a new public user interface, here.

The catalog provides a snapshot of the Genealogy and Rare Books and Manuscripts collection areas, important resources, the opportunity to interact with social media and over 5,300 records to search. Tips are provided to help guide the user through the catalog. Patrons have the ability to receive generated citations, print PDF versions of finding aids and request materials using a generated form.

For more information, contact Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor at (317) 234-8621.

Papers of Indiana Representative Earl F. Landgrebe now available for research

“Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind. I will not vote for impeachment. I’m going to stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.”[1]

This infamous quote was given by Indiana Rep. Earl F. Landgrebe the day before President Richard Nixon formally resigned. Prior to being elected as representative for Indiana’s 2nd District, Landgrebe had served in the Indiana State Senate from 1959 to 1968. In 1968, he succeeded Charles A. Halleck as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the same election that also put Nixon in the White House.

After Landgrebe was defeated in the 2nd District by Floyd Fithian, the Indiana State Library acquired his political papers from his period at the U.S. House of Representatives from 1968 to 1974. Previously sealed, the papers were recently processed – a project of about 18 months – and are now open for research under the identifier L625.

A piece of correspondence from Nixon to Landgrebe.

Typical hallmarks of 20th century political papers include correspondence with other politicians and notable contemporary figures, correspondence from constituents regarding issues of the day and in-depth discussion and research into issues that were important to the politician and the population they were serving. Besides standard correspondence between Landgrebe, his constituents and other notable Hoosiers and the day-to-day functions of a U.S. representative, the collection includes material on several other notable topics. For example, the Indiana subject files give a snapshot of the strengths and needs of the Hoosier state during the early 1970s. Organized alphabetically by topic or state agency, these papers show how the state was handling anything from education to veterans’ affairs at the time and to what extent Landgrebe was involved.

A draft of a speech on Gold Star Mothers.

Series 2, pertaining to legislative affairs, is the deepest area of the collection. There is extensive coverage on notable issues from Nixon’s administration, including Vietnam, the draft, Watergate, abortion and OSHA. Another area of interest, particularly to Indiana researchers, is the material on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. After 1966, when the National Lakeshore was established, there were efforts to expand the boundaries of the park, which Landgrebe opposed, as he opposed most things! The first expansion bill wasn’t completed until 1976, but there is a great deal of information on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the collection from the years 1969 to 1974 when Landgrebe was in Congress.

A piece of constituent correspondence on Watergate.

In 1974, Landgrebe returned home to Valparaiso and resumed presiding over his family trucking business. He died on July 1, 1986. Despite being a contentious presence in the U.S. House as well as in his district, Landgrebe leaves behind a wealth of information about the legislation and social debates of 1970s America. This collection serves as a fruitful resources for researchers of Indiana politicians, 1970s politics, the Vietnam War, the history of Northwest Indiana and more.

[1] Pearson, Richard, “Obituaries: Earl F. Landgrebe,” Washington Post, July 1, 1986, Accessed September 6, 2018.

This blog post was written by Lauren Patton, Rare Books and Manuscripts librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Meet the intern: Abby Currier

Meet Abby Currier, one of the Indiana State Library’s newest interns. Abby grew up in New Hampshire and went to school in Pennsylvania and this is her first time in the Midwest. She says she is “thoroughly enjoying it and am glad that I can now add Indy to places that I have lived.”

Which school are you currently attending?
I am currently at IUPUI, but I graduated from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with my bachelor’s in history and Spanish in May of 2017.

What is your major?
I am a dual degree student in both public history and library science.

What is your job here at the Indiana State Library?
I work as an intern in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division.

Favorite part of the library or favorite thing about working at the library?
I like having the opportunity to discover new things and learn about the past both here in Indy and across the world.

How will this internship further your career?
I am hoping to work in an archive someday, so this is a perfect experience for me to learn about the profession that I want to enter.

Favorite place to eat here in Indy?
I don’t eat out a lot, but when I do my favorite place to go is Bru Burger downtown.

Favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show normally depends on what I am binging on Netflix at the moment, but I really enjoy “Hogan’s Heroes” and “M*A*S*H.”

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director.

Indianapolis Times photograph collection now available for public viewing

In October of 2017, the Indiana State Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Division acquired the photograph morgue of The Indianapolis Times, comprising of over 150,000 photographs dating from 1939-65. Also included were thousands of clippings and brochures, relating to international, national, state and local topics.

 

The Indianapolis Times exposed the Ku Klux Klan and its influence on Indiana state politics during the 1920s, resulting in journalism’s highest award, the Pulitzer Prize. It advocated for children’s needs during the Great Depression and helped over 4,000 Indiana residents find jobs by publishing free advertisements during the 1960s. The newspaper ran its final issue on Oct. 11, 1965. Daily circulation totaled 89,374 with a Sunday circulation of 101,000. For more information about the newspaper’s history, the Indiana Historical Bureau created a post within the Hoosier State Chronicles blog.

 

Researchers can request to view the collection by calling Rare Books and Manuscripts at (317) 232-3671 or submitting a question via Ask-A-Librarian. The newspaper is available on microfilm in the Indiana Collection. For more information about the library’s newspaper holdings, visit here.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, Indiana State Library.

Indiana State Library awarded NHPRC grant to digitize the papers of Will H. Hays

The Indiana State Library recently received a $74,880 grant to support the digitization of Will H. Hays’ papers ranging from 1914-54. Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero awarded 31 grants totaling over $4 million dollars through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The official press release can be found here.

Will H. Hays

Hays served as the Republican National Committee chairman during 1918-21 and was the campaign manager for President Warren Harding in 1920. Harding appointed Hays as postmaster general in 1921. He later became president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America from 1922-45, where he established the Hays Code of acceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience. A film from the state library’s collection was recently digitized and can be found here.

The Indiana State Library was the only state library to receive an NHPRC grant in the category of Access to Historical Records. Other awardees in this category included the California Historical Society, Purdue University, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. and more.

“Hays continues to be our most frequently-viewed collection, with scholars traveling from as far as the United Kingdom to view it. Providing digital access to this collection will undoubtedly change its usage levels. Researchers not able to visit the library due to travel implications, such as lack of funding, will have unlimited access, leading to more research and discovery across multiple disciplines,” said Bethany Fiechter, project director.

For more information on the collection of Will H. Hays, contact Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, at (317) 234-8621 or via email.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”