The Digital Collections and Archives is happy to welcome Kendra Ciccone, who started at the DCA on August 18 as a term Processing Archivist. She will be spending most of her time working on the records of the Institute for Global Leadership and the Center for Health, Environment & Justice.
Kendra comes to Tufts from the National Archives regional office in Waltham. She also has worked in the archives at Brandeis University and at the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Minute Man National Historical Park. Kendra has a MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Please feel free to stop by the DCA to say hello to Kendra.
DCA’s fall exhibit, From the Deck to Downtown: Commemorating 120 Years of the Boston Floating Hospital is now on display in Tisch Library (located near the entrance to Tower Café). The exhibit features photographs, publications and the original charter of incorporation from two recent DCA acquisitions: the Historic New England Medical Center archives (MS099) and NEMC Archives—The Boston Floating Hospital (MS213). The exhibit celebrates the 120th anniversary of what is now the Floating Hospital for Children, the pediatric unit of the Tufts Medical Center.
The New England Medical Center was established in 1930 by uniting the Tufts College School of Medicine, the Boston Dispensary, and the Boston Floating Hospital for Infants and Children (BFH). In fact, from the BFH’s founding, students of the School of Medicine served on board the medical ship. In 2008, NMEC was renamed the Tufts Medical Center, reflecting not only its close relationship to Tufts, but also its mission of being a community based, teaching and research hospital.
The Boston Floating Hospital was founded in 1894 by Congregational minister Rufus Tobey. Tobey discovered from Boston Board of Health reports that children under the age of five were most vulnerable to illness and death during the summer. Moreover, he observed mothers and their children taking respite from the heat on his walks home from work each evening. Learning of a successful hospital boat in New York, Tobey set up a similar enterprise in Boston. It sailed around Boston Harbor every summer from 1894 until 1927, when, sadly, the boat burned. A partnership with medical organizations in Boston, including the Tufts College School of Medicine, revitalized the hospital as a land-based facility, located in the Jackson Memorial Building at 20 Ash Street. It was renamed the Floating Hospital for Children in 1965 and became NEMC’s official pediatric wing.
Innovations on board the BFH were plentiful, including the establishment of a milk lab. Research by Alfred Bosworth contributed to the development of the first synthetic milk product, commonly known today as Similac.
This exhibit was designed and installed by Elizabeth Mc Gorty, Project Archivist for the Historical New England Medical Center archives. It will be on display through January 2015. To learn more about the New England Medical Center and its history, be sure to visit DCA on the Ground Floor of Tisch Library, or check out the T-NEMC portal on the Tufts Digital Library, which includes a timeline, historical resource guide, and some digitized photographs from these collections.
On to Illinois
Posted on August 20, 2014 by Eliot Wilczek | Categories: features | |
Susanne Belovari, Archivist for Reference and Collections in the Digital Collections and Archives, is leaving Tufts on August 20 to accept a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagn. Susanne will serve as Archivist for Faculty Papers, a tenure-track librarian/archivist position.
Susanne joined the DCA in 2005. During that time she has led our work on managing, preserving, and providing access to many of our flagship collections. These include the Edward R. Murrow Papers, the Jester Hairston Papers, the Ernest Hartman Papers, the photographic collection of Melvin Munro, the records of Cultural Survival, and the historical records of the New England Medical Center and associated medical institutions. Susanne has greatly improved the DCA’s reference services; brought many classes into the archives to help students learn Tufts history using primary sources; and put together numerous exhibits, including a remarkable exhibit on Tufts athletics that is now on display at the Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness Center. Before coming to Tufts Susanne worked as Archivist and Historian for the Holocaust Victims’ Information and Support Center, Jewish Community of Vienna. Susanne has a PhD in Comparative Sociology and History, a MA in Sociology, and an MS in Library and Information Science, all from the University of Illinois.
We wish Susanne well on her new endeavor. We will miss her insights and knowledge about our collections, her international perspective, her cooking and good humor, and her keen sense of Tufts history and social justice.
Tufts DCA is proud to welcome a new addition to our office: the Samuel Berger Exhibit Case! Generously donated by the Berger family, the case will display items from the Samuel Berger Tufts Memorabilia Collection (MS159) on a rotating basis.
Dr. Samuel Harry Berger (1948-2009) graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1973 before beginning an accomplished career as a pediatrician. Because of the strong connection he developed with Tufts during his years in medical school, he began collecting Tufts memorabilia related to all of Tufts’ schools and colleges and became well versed in the history of the university. Dr. Berger passed away on January 19, 2009, and his wife, Marlene Berger, generously donated her husband’s collection of memorabilia to DCA in 2013.
Stop by the DCA on the Ground Floor of Tisch Library to view the exhibit, which features items from the Berger collection related to sports at Tufts, representations of Jumbo (the university’s beloved mascot), and images of Tufts buildings. Highlights include athletics letter patches, a Jumbo charm bracelet from 1934, early 20th century Wedgwood china with images of Jumbo and iconic Tufts buildings including Ballou Hall and Goddard Chapel, and a 1947 calendar featuring photographs of the Tufts campus alongside the text of “Along the Row,” the title poem from a book of poetry about Tufts by former professor John Holmes.
This exhibit was designed and installed by Leah Edelman, Archives and Research Assistant, in May of 2014. It will be on display until further notice. For more information on the Samuel Berger Tufts Memorabilia Collection, stop by the DCA on the Ground Floor of Tisch Library.
There will be a lot written and said about Terry Cook following his passing yesterday. He was a Canadian archivist whose theories of appraisal have shaped archival theory. I suspect that his archival legacy will focus on his many contributions to the field. But while I deeply admire his writing and thinking, my memories of Terry revolve around his generosity of spirit.
My first introduction to Terry Cook was reading his article “The Archive(s) Is a Foreign Country: Historians, Archivists, and the Changing Archival Landscape” for a paper in my Introduction to Archives course. I have stars and “YES!” and exciting thoughts annotated throughout my copy of the article.
Later that fall, two colleagues and I reached out to him asking if he would moderate a panel we were proposing for SAA. Our collective research was around the intersection of archival practice and social justice activism and his work was foundational for all of us. When he courteously accepted our request he became more than an archival legend; he became a mentor to three young archival students on the cusp of becoming professionals and a friend whose passion for social justice nurtured our own.
Back: Terry Cook, Verne Harris. Front: Jasmine Jones, Amanda Strauss, Erin Faulder
We presented our panel In Pursuit of the Moral Imperative: Exploring Social Justice and Archives in August 2012. Nearly two years after the experience what I recall most vividly are the incredibly kind, welcoming, and supportive words that he used to introduce us. Following the panel we went to lunch with him and his old friend Verne Harris. Our conversation was invigorating and valuable. When we discussed archives-related topics, both Terry and Verne pushed us to think more deeply about the issues, questioned our assumptions, and validated our methods. But Terry also wished to know us as individuals with our own stories and to share a piece of himself with us. He was a man who wanted to encourage us because he recognized the vital importance of many perspectives in the world and in our profession. He had a gracious spirit whose own work did not diminish others’ and who welcomed disagreement and discussion.
That day marks my entrance into this profession. His presence in that day has shaped my work and will continue to shape my thinking. My words seem inadequate to recognize the impact that day in particular, and Terry more specifically, has had on my life. So I end with a picture of his inscription to me in my copy of Verne Harris’s book Archives and Justice, the forward of which was written by Terry.
For Erin, Carry the torch high! Terry
The annual Murrow Forum is one of the highlights of the year for the Digital Collections and Archives because it holds the two largest Murrow related archival collections in the world: the Edward R. Murrow Papers and the recently donated and now digitized Janet Brewster Murrow and Edward R. Murrow Family Papers.
Moreover,the Murrow family comes to campus each year to attend or participate in the Forum and to visit the archives.
This year’s 9th Annual Murrow Forum hosted Ariana Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, and chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group on April 16th. Even before her arrival, the choice of Ms. Huffington as this year’s speaker started a lively and interesting debate about modern journalism and who now counts as a journalist in the Tufts Daily from February 25th, 2014.
Among topics discussed by Ms Huffington and Jonathan M. Tisch was the history of her blog and news site, the manner in which Huffington Post allows the participation and incorporation of myriad writers and views, blogging for free but keeping the copyright, blog anonymity, print and digital media, and life-work balance among others.
On Monday, I left the DCA office for the last time, ending 10 years as director, 16 years in the archives, and 20 years working for Tufts University. It’s hard to know how to process leaving a place after so long, but after a few days to reflect, I know there are a couple of things I will really miss.
First and foremost, my colleagues! The DCA staff is like none other. Smart, creative, dedicated, ambitious – ready to take chances, try new things, and continually move forward. DCA has attained truly remarkable achievements for a very small program: the Tufts Digital Library, dramatically expanded collections and services, and all of this while engaging in research on electronic records and linked data and archives. I’ve been asked, many times, how we were able to do so much. It’s all about the people – staff in DCA, and colleagues across the libraries and the university who gave us space and support to follow where our creativity and ambition took us. What a great place to work! I cannot thank my colleagues enough for making my time at Tufts so exciting, positive, and productive. I’m going to miss you!
And yes, I’ll miss our collections, even the quirky ones. Jumbo’s tail, icky and not at all photogenic, but the most requested relic of Tufts’ history. Transcripts and student records – not sexy, maybe, but vital to documenting the education of so many thousands of Tufts students over more than 150 years. Newsletters from grassroots environmental organizations, documenting communities’ struggles for environmental justice. The Early American election data gathered by Phil Lampi and made available through the New Nation Votes project (with the American Antiquarian Society and NEH). And more.
My sentimental favorite is the Melville Munro photograph collection. Munro had an extraordinary talent for composition and capturing light, and while his primary subject was daily campus and student life, he left us thousands of images that both document Tufts and, in many cases, are stunningly beautiful. This image, of Jackson students stitching a service flag during World War I is one I am taking with me to my new job.
What’s that new job? I’ll be trading in the steady and true brown and blue of Tufts for Cornell’s Big Red. Coming to Ithaca? Look me up at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections!
Here at the DCA we manage a lot of material. We have images, folders of documents, ground breaking shovels and other three dimensional objects, digital files, books, and A/V material. In order to manage the material effectively, we need a system that helps us identify, describe, and locate it all.
In 2010 we undertook a project to replace our old collection management system with a new tool that would help us do our job better. This tool is an open source web-based application called CIDER (source code can be found on GitHub.) However, creating the application was only the first step of replacing our old system. We also had to migrate all of the data that existed in the old system to CIDER.
The migration process was no small feat. We had over 600 collections to migrate. Some collections had only a handful of records. Others had thousands of records. We had to standardize, clean up, check the accuracy, and transform all of the existing data before we could import it into CIDER. Once it was in CIDER, we had a complex QA process to ensure that every piece of information was migrated accurately and completely. Each record was touched at least four times before it was considered complete. It took some excellent coordination, motivation, and commitment from those who helped the process go forward and the staff who had to work in an environment where our our data was in two different places at once!
We are happy to announce that the migration and QA process is now complete and we wanted to share some statistics from the process:
- There were nearly 250,000 records migrated as part of this process.
- The first collection was frozen in the old system to prevent changes to the data was on December 20, 2011.
- The QA process was finished on the final collection, 26 months later, on February 24, 2014.
- A quarter million records in 616 collections averages to about 406 records per collection.
- On average, we were able to migrate approximately 2200 records per week.
- Three people worked part-time on the first step of migrating data from one system to another
- Six people worked part-time on the final QA steps.
Time to pull out the tinsel and throw a party!
Many of us did not know that Tufts had a beautiful small bronze by Rodin. In fact very little was generally known about the sculpture except its plaque reads “Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Gilbert-Brought from the Rodin Atelier by Mrs. Abigail Adams Homans, mother of Mrs. Carl J. Gilbert.”
Laura McCarty, Senior Art Registrar of Tufts Art Gallery, asked Susanne Belovari (Archivist for Reference and Collections) to do provenance research regarding ‘Despair.’ If one can date the figure to the early years of Rodin’s work, if he supervised the casting, and if the foundry was by Alexis Rudier, the piece would not only have a tremendous value as an artifact but also in monetary terms.
The bronze at Tufts is based on a figure originally called Shade Holding Her Foot (known as Despair/Désespoir after 1900) and was apparently a study for Rodin’s The Gates of Hell.
McCarty and Belovari quickly identified a version of the sculpture in the authoritative Rodin catalog by the Musée Rodin; a figure that was cast in 1902 and that appeared to be similar to the Tufts bronze in form, size, and markings.
After some research into the family of Abigail Adams Homans, it became clear that the most likely person to have purchased the figure was Abigail’s uncle, Henry Adams. Adams had been instrumental or at least helpful in introducing Rodin to American buyers and US museums. Boston figured prominently in this history: from the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, Henry bought Psyche for his niece Louisa Hooper and then in 1902 Elizabeth Sherman Cameron (wife of Sen. Don Cameron) and Henry helped Henry Lee Higginson to purchase two Rodin marbles and three bronzes, the “first substantial group of Rodin’s sculptures for an American collection.” Both Hooper and Higginson lent their sculptures to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, together eventually ten figures.
Susanne then searched through the published letters of Henry Adams and particularly those with his life long friend Elizabeth Sherman Cameron with little success. Since about 30% of the letters to and from Henry Adams have not yet been published, however, she proceeded to look through the microfilm of the Adams Family Papers, held in the archives of the Massachusetts Historical Society and other repositories. And here in the letters between Henry and Elizabeth, she found the details of the purchase of Despair/Désespoir which clearly identified the figure to be dated from 1902, to be one of only two known early casts by Alex Rudier, and cast under the supervision of Rodin himself.
In the fall Laura and Susanne sent copies of the letters and documentation to the Comité Auguste Rodin in Paris, which corroborated the findings with their own research. Not only will a photograph of the authenticated bronze at Tufts be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Critique de l’Oeuvre Sculpté d’Auguste Rodin (Critical Catalogue of the Sculptural Works of Auguste Rodin) but the Tufts community can now enjoy this rare piece on its campus.
Today is my last day at Tufts DCA, and I keep dwelling on all the things I love about this place. There’s what I I love about Tufts University; today on my way into work, as I walked past the straw bales they put against trees so local kids sledding down the hill won’t hurt themselves, I thought about how one of the things that drew me to Tufts in the first place was how it is a member of the surrounding community. There’s also DCA, and everything I will miss here. Of course there’s the people and the work and everything that we’ve accomplished in the time I’ve been here, but let’s face it, it’s easier to blog about my favorite elements from our collections. Therefore I present for you:
Deborah’s list of five treasures she’s enjoyed finding in our collections, in no particular order:
- “Outerbridge Horsey“. I know this record doesn’t look like much but I am so fond of Mr. Horsey. He’s my favorite name in the entire A New Nation Votes project. One thing I love about the Outerbridge Horsey family is that they understand how truly wonderful the name is: Outerbridge Horsey VII is alive and a practicing architect in Georgetown.
- “Dog with sign protesting new dorms“, 1978. How can anyone not love this beautiful dog, who is very adamant that there should be no dorms.
- “The Ginger-Beer Man“, 1890. This gregarious fellow has been my go to image for testing search for years.
- “Marine Technology Transfer and the Law of the Sea“, 1984. This is a doctoral dissertation, submitted to the faculty of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, by the current dean of the Fletcher School. In between that dissertation and his current position as Dean, he was NATO Supreme Commander Europe. I am always so fascinated by the non-academia experience of the Fletcher faculty.
- I don’t have any particular favorites from the This I Believe collection, but I like the collection so much not just because I’m proud of how much work we put in to making this audio + transcript interface have lovely usability and accessibility, but because the content in general makes the 1950s real to me. Here’s a nice sampling: Annie Fisher, 1954, Nazrat Farooki, 1954, Vita Sackville-West, 1953, Yaroslav Chyz, 1952, Louis Brandeis, 1952, Violet Bonham Carter, 1952. What I love about This I Believe is how it blends famous people and regular Joes so seamlessly, without any presumption by either the show or the speakers that the two classes of speakers are any different from one another.
Diane Pilson, November 1979