Here at DCA, we receive a number of reference requests relating to Tufts graduates who have gone on to do amazing things. For some of these graduates, their career trajectories must have been easy to predict from the time they came to the hill. Oliver Platt and Hank Azaria, both noted actors, performed in a number of plays as undergraduates in the Drama department. Gregory Maguire, author of many books, including Wicked, completed his Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Tufts. Gordon S. Wood, the Pulitzer Prize winner who was perhaps immortalized by a certain bar scene in Good Will Hunting, graduated summa cum laude from Tufts, where he began his academic studies in history.
Sometimes, however, Tufts graduates go on to make their mark in unexpected ways. Eugene Fama, one of this year’s recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, is one such example. Fama, the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, spent his time at Tufts studying not economics but French.
However, while Fama’s eventual chosen field might have come as a surprise to some of those who knew him here at Tufts, his level of success likely has not. As an undergraduate, Eugene Fama was a busy, well-rounded, and high-achieving student. In addition to playing both football and baseball, Fama was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sword & Shield, and the Society of Scholars. He won a number of awards, including the Cotter Prize for excellence in French, and was selected for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. In his senior year, Fama received a fellowship for graduate study at the University of Chicago, where he earned an MBA and Ph.D. in economics and finance and then remained to teach.
Congratulations to Eugene Fama – yet another Jumbo making us all proud.
To see Tufts materials related to Eugene Fama and other notable Jumbos, stop by DCA Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm, send us an email, or give us a call at (617)627-3737.
DCA is pleased to announce that as of July 2013, it is preserving the historical New England Medical Center (NEMC) Archives for the Tufts Medical Center located in Boston, MA.
Please take a look at our new featured collection page for the Historical New England Medical Center Archives which also includes online pdfs for a historical resource guide and a timeline stretching back to 1665.
Browse through already digitized images regarding some of the medical institutions and check out findings aids to already existing collections at DCA.
[Guest post by intrepid student worker Tim Walsh]
Stop by the DCA display cases in Tisch Library (located near the entrance to Tower Café) and check out the new fall exhibit: Jester Hairston, A29: He and His Talents Prevailed. The exhibit, which includes photographs, correspondence, news clippings, and album covers from DCA collections including the Jester Hairston collection, commemorates the life of notable Tufts alum Jester Hairston, class of 1929.
Jester Hairston, the grandson of slaves from Bellows Creek, North Carolina, started out as an amazingly talented singer and actor in the 1920s and early 1930s. Affected by widespread racism of the time that extended into the arts, Hairston eventually also became an accomplished conductor and composer, areas relatively open to African American artists for much of the 20th century. As such, Hairston became one of a small number of African American composers whose work transformed African American spirituals into an accepted genre of choral music. He is perhaps best known as the composer of “Amen,” a spiritual so “authentic” many did not realize Hairston had composed it.
Despite the constraints of the time, Jester Hairston also had a remarkable, if sometimes overlooked, career as an actor. He first made his mark in radio, with recurring roles in the Amos ‘n’ Andy show and Bold Venture (1951-52), where he starred as King Moses alongside Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. As a television actor, Hairston was a regular on The Amos ‘n Andy Show (1951-53), That’s My Mama (1974-75), and Amen (1986-1991). Hairston also had roles (often uncredited) in over 60 films, including The Alamo (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), In the Heat of the Night (1967), Lady Sings the Blues (1972), The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976), The Last Tycoon (1976), I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), and Being John Malkovich (1999). Occasionally criticized for taking film and television roles that stereotyped African Americans, Hairston said, “We had a hard time fighting for dignity. We had no power. We had to take it, and because we took it, the young people today have opportunities.”
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Hairston was honored for his work across the US and was frequently invited as a guest conductor at high schools, colleges, and church choirs. He also made several goodwill State Department tours to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, once stating, “I will bring more love to China through American Negro folk songs than anything Kissinger can write.”
For his many and varied achievements, Jester Hairston received honorary doctorates from four schools, including Tufts, and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He will be the subject of the upcoming documentary “Amen: The Life and Music of Jester Hairston.”
This exhibit was designed and installed by Timothy Walsh, Archives and Research Assistant. It will be on display until January 2014. For more information on Jester Hairston and other notable Tufts alums, stop by the DCA on the Ground Floor of Tisch Library or check out the Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History on the Tufts Digital Library.
As Douglas Adams said, “I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be.” While anyone who knows me will attest that this quote certainly applies to my personal lack of direction, especially when driving, it also applies to my career path. I left college with a strong start in a career in retail at a major bookseller. Several years on that career path taught me patience, customer service skills, and that I didn’t like working a job with crazy hours and no time off on holidays. After that I spent five years doing medical billing for a drug and alcohol treatment facility where I learned how to do really fast data entry and that I was really interested in record keeping practices. I also learned that when I started talking about how no one was writing letters anymore and that correspondence was shifting to email and wondered what that would mean for historians in the future, people would look at me funny. So I decided to go where people understood these concerns: library school.
The plan was my husband would work and I would go to school and take care of our 1 year old son. Things didn’t go quite according to plan, and I found myself looking for a part-time job as well. And that’s what brought me to where I needed to be – Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives. Well, technically it brought me to the American Antiquarian Society and the A New Nation Votes project, but the data entry work was being done at Tufts and I was interviewed by Anne Sauer, so let’s leave it at DCA. I was so nervous for that interview. I had barely a semester of library school completed and I was just hoping that my undergraduate degree in history would make me a strong candidate. In retrospect, I really didn’t need to worry since I had five years of previous data entry experience and I’m wicked fast and accurate. So there I was at the end of the following summer when a cadre of Simmons students went off into the world and there were openings for new grad school assistants. I transitioned from A New Nation Votes to DCA proper where I promptly processed my first collection of materials. It was one box and I spent two weeks on it. Yup, that was a bit of overkill there! So there I was again – not where I thought I wanted to be, but ABSOLUTELY where I needed to be. And that continued to the summer of 2007 when two brand new positions were added to the DCA staff. I was nervous applying since I still had a year of library school to finish, but the time I had spent in the department and the work I had done (I got faster than a box every two weeks) paid off. Anne took a chance on me, and gave me the flexibility to finish my classes.
Veronica’s farewell cake featuring a Fighting Jumbo.
Thus started six amazing years as the Records Archivist for the DCA. I can’t begin to put into words how much I needed to be there as I started my career (which is a bit of bummer since this is a blog after all.) I have learned so much about the profession, about how to balance workloads and deadlines, and how to take the risks you need to take to make improvements in workflows and processes. I’ve also learned that something a professor told me when I was hired is absolutely true: in twenty or thirty years when the profession is looking back on the most innovative, daring, and influential archives at the start of the digital era, Tufts DCA will be the institution everyone talks about. That will be 100% because of the leadership of our director, Anne Sauer. She allows her staff the room to grow, to contribute, and to try the cutting edge. And she trusts us to not mess it up.
This post will get very long and I will start crying if I start listing all the wonderful people I have had the honor to work with in the DCA, so I will limit this to just one more person mentioned by name, our amazing University Records Manager, Eliot Wilczek. Eliot is a rock star in the archives profession. He doesn’t believe it, but he is. While details were being worked out for my new job at the Mass State Archives, my new boss was talking to someone from another state archives. He couldn’t say too much, but mentioned that he was working on getting someone from Tufts. The guy from the other state archive looked at him in awe and said, “You’re getting Eliot Wilczek!” And Eliot is so awesome I can’t even feel annoyed about that, because really, who wouldn’t want Eliot working with them? So my parting present to Eliot is that I promise, in print, that I will never make “Eliot Groupie” ribbons to put on the Society of American Archivists conference nametags, even though EVERYONE would would want one.
So in closing, I guess I would say that I’m leaving not because I want to go so much as I know that my new job is where I’m supposed to be. Because I would be totally insane to WANT to leave the most wonderful colleagues I could ever hope for. I’m just so glad I can still call them my friends.
With much love and respect,
Did you know that the Digital Collections and Archives holds the oral history recordings and transcripts of the West Medford African-American Remembrance Project? These oral histories were created conducted under the supervision of Tufts Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Associate Professor, Rosalind Shaw in 2005 and 2006. Topics include growing up in West Medford, school desegregation, employment opportunities, as well as a general sense of what it was like to grow up in this area as an African-American during the mid-twentieth century. Check out the Tufts Digital Library for audio and transcripts from this project.
There will be two events at the Society of American Archivist annual meeting in New Orleans about the Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives LiAM grant project on linked archival metadata.
Research Forum Presentation
Anne Sauer will give a 15 minute presentation on LiAM at the Research Forum in the Jefferson Ballroom, on Tuesday, August 13, at 1:00pm. She will review the goals of the project and give an update on the progress the grant has made.
Open LiAM Meeting
We have reserved a meeting room (Ascot Room) in the conference hotel on Wednesday afternoon, August 14 from 1:00 to 3:00pm. The is an opportunity for people to learn about the project, ask questions, and provide feedback. Space is limited, so if you think you would like to attend, please email Anne Sauer (email@example.com).
LiAM is focused on planning for the application of linked data approaches to archival description. Our goal is to better understand the benefits that linked data could bring to the management, discovery, and use of archival collections while also investigating the efforts required to implement these approaches. Central to this effort is identifying graduated approaches that will enable archives to build on existing description as well as mapping out a more ambitious vision for linked data in archives. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Last week, while others were worrying about Sharknado, I was worrying about how we were going to preserve all the Sharknado tweets, memes, and news references.
Perhaps not that exactly. But in between homages to Anne of Green Gables, I was engaged in numerous discussions about how archivists should be preserving and making big data sets and software available and accessible at the Open Repositories conference held on Prince Edward Island.
The plenary speaker, Victoria Stodden, spoke about the increasing necessity for access to research data and the code used to manipulate the data in order to reproduce and verify results. Articles are useful references that advertise research, but the data sets and code are integral parts of the scientific process and necessary to preserve as well. However, how to require submission, where to deposit, and mechanisms for equitable open access are the tricky elements to making this vision a reality.
Closing plenary speaker, Jean-Claude Geudon, envisioned a potential future where publishers would provide free access to the articles but required payment for access to the data and code. Repositories should claim this territory as their own as part of their efforts to support quality of scientific research over competition of scientific publishing.
Open access publishing is something DCA supports. It is time to look at open access data as well.
The Digital Collections and Archives will be offering two in-person training classes on managing institutional data and records on the Boston campus. To sign up for these classes send an RSVP to Eliot Wilczek (firstname.lastname@example.org). Both classes have an enrollment limit of 20 people.
July 23, 12:00-1:00pm (Bring Your Own Lunch)
Sackler 220, Boston Campus
Institutional Data 101 What’s the Right Thing to Do:
General strategies and recordkeeping rules at Tufts
July 30, 12:00-1:00pm (Bring Your Own Lunch)
Sackler 220, Boston Campus
Institutional Data 102 How to do the Right Thing:
Storing, destroying, or saving records at Tufts
April 28, 2013 marked the 75th Anniversary of the Quabbin Reservoir and the flooding of the four town that now lay at its bottom: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott. However, through the A New Nation Votes project, we have access to a piece of the history from these towns – their voting records from their founding through 1825. Here is a sampling of some of the major categories were votes from these town appear.
Lt. Governor Elections
For more information about the Quabbin, and about the Connecticut River and its Tributaries, check out the Pioneer Valley History Network’s special topic website.
June 9, 2013 is
The International Archives Day.
Exhibitions, conferences, visits, debates and other events will be organized by the International Council of Archives. and many archives and archivists across the globe to promote archives and the archives profession.
The Universal Declaration of Archives recognizes the essential, unique, collective role that archives play in accountability, transparency, efficiency, protection, and preserving the memory of individuals, institutions and communities.