In this year’s annual Progress Report, we make note of the accomplishments of the previous year, as well as take a holistic view of UC Libraries since the Strategic Plan was launched five years ago. We celebrate the continued success of annual events that promote library collections and services, highlight milestones of major library initiatives and feature library spaces.
Integral to fulfilling the work of the Strategic Plan is the dedication of the faculty and staff of UC Libraries along with the investment of our donors. By highlighting the accomplishments of our hard-working staff and listing the current donors, both groups are recognized and celebrated in this Progress Report.
Finally, if all of the accomplishments listed in this report signal that we are at least on the road to transformation than we must ask ourselves the question…what’s next?
For as long as archivists have been preserving the past, they have also considered what the future holds. The future has meant many things to archivists: the role of technology, the changing faces of our users, and the reasons for why we preserve records in the first place. As part of a book review I am writing, I recently delved into the writings of archivists who have reckoned with the future by doing a quick literature search across several major journals (American Archivist, Journal of the Society of Archivists/Archives and Records (UK and Ireland), Archives and Manuscripts (Australia) and Archivaria (Canada). This pulled up around 60 citations for articles with “future” in their titles, published in these four journals.
The four archival journals I pulled citations from started between the 1930s and 1970s. Although there are scattered “future” articles during the mid-twentieth-century, there were only five before 1974. Nearly half of all future-oriented articles were published since 2000. Clearly, the millennium triggered significant professional introspection on the direction of our profession.
The history of archival futurism in the last century has often concerned the role of rapidly-changing technology in the creation and preservation of records under archivists’ care. In fact, the very first article published in The American Archivist with the word “future” in its title (1939) concerned the preservation and reliability of motion picture technology. Twenty years later (1958) brought “The Future of Microfilming,” and two decades later (1977) we weren’t quite yet at cloud storage, but we were considering “Optical Memories: Archival Storage System of the Future, or More Pie in the Sky?”
By the 80s, a note of anxiety began to creep into our archival futurism. Perhaps reflecting back cultural anxiety over the collapse of organized labor, rise of austerity measures, technological dystopias, and the late stages of the Cold War, archivists warned about “Instant Professionalism: To the Shiny New Men of the Future,” and asked themselves “Is There a Future in the Use of Archives?”
By the 2000s, the anxiety gave way to even more ominous warnings, many invoking worries of a digital dark age in which all of our bytes bite the dust. Archivists wrote about “Diaries, On-line Diaries, and the Future Loss to Archives; or, Blogs and the Blogging Bloggers Who Blog Them” and “Saving-Over, Over-Saving, and the Future Mess of Writers’ Digital Archives: A Survey Report on the Personal Digital Archiving Practices of Emerging Writers.” To give electronic records the materiality of their analog cousins, archivists used metaphors of manmade infrastructure (“Digital archives and metadata as critical infrastructure to keep community memory safe for the future – lessons from Japanese activities”) and natural phenomena (“On the crest of a wave: transforming the archival future”).
Archivists often summarize their work by saying “we preserve the past for the future.” This sentiment is visible in the titles, as nearly a quarter of the articles also contain a reference to the past, such as “What’s Past Was Future,” “Seeing the Past as a Guidepost to Our Future,” or “Metrics and Matrices: Surveying the Past to Create a Better Future.” That anchoring of archival work in the work of the past, not just for its own sake today, but also for the benefits of users we may never meet, is perhaps what gives archivists such a unique sense of perspective among the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) sector.
There is no doubt that as long as archivists still exist, we’ll keep writing about the future. But sometimes looking at our own history of archival futurism tells us more about where our profession has been than when we’re headed next.
 Dorothy Arbaugh, “Motion Pictures and The Future Historian,” The American Archivist 2, no. 2 (April 1, 1939): 106–14, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.2.2.7kv56p4206183040.
 Ernest Taubes, “The Future of Microfilming,” The American Archivist 21, no. 2 (April 1, 1958): 153–58, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.21.2.26114m62333099k3.
 Sam Kula, “Optical Memories: Archival Storage System of the Future, or More Pie in the Sky?,” Archivaria 4 (1977): 43–48.
 George Bolotenko, “Instant Professionalism: To the Shiny New Men of the Future,” Archivaria 20 (1985): 149–157.
 David B. Gracy II, “Is There a Future in the Use of Archives?,” Archivaria 24 (1987): 3–9.
 Catherine O’Sullivan, “Diaries, On-Line Diaries, and the Future Loss to Archives; or, Blogs and the Blogging Bloggers Who Blog Them,” The American Archivist 68, no. 1 (January 1, 2005): 53–73, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.68.1.7k7712167p6035vt.
 Devin Becker and Collier Nogues, “Saving-Over, Over-Saving, and the Future Mess of Writers’ Digital Archives: A Survey Report on the Personal Digital Archiving Practices of Emerging Writers,” The American Archivist 75, no. 2 (October 1, 2012): 482–513, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.75.2.t024180533382067.
 Shigeo Sugimoto, “Digital Archives and Metadata as Critical Infrastructure to Keep Community Memory Safe for the Future – Lessons from Japanese Activities,” Archives and Manuscripts 42, no. 1 (January 2, 2014): 61–72, https://doi.org/10.1080/01576895.2014.893833.
 Laura Millar, “On the Crest of a Wave: Transforming the Archival Future,” Archives and Manuscripts 45, no. 2 (May 4, 2017): 59–76, https://doi.org/10.1080/01576895.2017.1328696.
 Maynard Brichford, “What’s Past Was Future,” The American Archivist 43, no. 3 (July 1, 1980): 431–32, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.43.3.631227106ux2q512.
 Brenda Banks, “Seeing the Past as a Guidepost to Our Future,” The American Archivist 59, no. 4 (September 1, 1996): 392–99, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.59.4.92486pp6w6p20575.
 Libby Coyner and Jonathan Pringle, “Metrics and Matrices: Surveying the Past to Create a Better Future,” The American Archivist 77, no. 2 (October 1, 2014): 459–88, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.77.2.l870t2671m734116.
UC Libraries will be closed Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 for Thanksgiving, with the exception of the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, which will be open Friday, November 23 from noon – 5:00pm. Regular library hours will resume Saturday, November 24.
This closing includes the Langsam Library 4th floor space, which will close Wednesday, November 21 at 6pm and re-open Saturday, November 24 at 10am.
UC Libraries will be closed Monday, November 12 in observance of Veterans’ Day, except for the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, which will be open 9am to 5pm.
Normal hours will resume Tuesday, November 13. This closing includes the Walter C. Langsam Library 4th floor space, which will close Sunday, November 11 at 11pm and re-open Tuesday, November 13 at 8am.
“For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
Those are the final lines in Romeo and Juliet. The young lovers are dead, victims of their own passion and the enmity between the Capulets and the Montagues. Though their story is set in Renaissance Verona, it could be a tale told in any culture around the world in any era of humankind. For all the literary genius of William Shakespeare, scholars have long known that many of his plays were re-workings of stories he heard and historical accounts he read during his lifetime. Whether it was for Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, Othello, or others, Shakespeare adapted these accounts for his stage in the late 16th and early 17th centuries that now have been performed countless times for more than 400 years, and over those centuries his own words have been adapted time and again. To see King Lear presented in England or Ireland is not the same as seeing it performed in South Africa or India or China. And of course, to see it once in England or America is not the same as seeing it once again on what might be the same stage in the same year. William Shakespeare’s plays are paragons of beautiful language, infinite interpretation, and above all, compelling stories.
I recently finished taking a complete inventory on Benjamin Gettler’s papers. It’s been really interesting unpacking folders from such an ambitious and involved person. The collection largely stems from his involvement in various organizations from 1960-2003, notably the Cincinnati Transit Company, S.O.R.T.A./Metro, American Controlled Industries (ACI), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and the University of Cincinnati. There is also a large collection of political correspondence with letters dating as far back as 1959 (with Robert F. Kennedy), through 2012.
The bulk of the time spent so far has been going through each item in Mr. Gettler’s correspondence, which contains approximately 1000 items. Every piece has been examined for a sender, recipient, date, subject, and format. That was a lot of reading! It’s been interesting to read Mr. Gettler’s interests come through in his political correspondence, as well as seeing the often-contentious battles regarding S.O.R.T.A.’s operations. I must admit, it’s been hard to stop examining the documents and start writing about them. Continue reading Benjamin Gettler papers – Update on Progress
On Nov 3rd, The Red Cross will hold their second Missing Maps Mapathon at UC Libraries in 475 Langsam from 10 am to 2 pm. The information collected from a Mapathon helps the Red Cross identify the best locations to bring in emergency supplies, where to house emergency operations and what local resources they can collaborate with in emergency response efforts. In order to participate, you do not need extensive mapping experience. The maps are creating using the Open Street Map platform and you can learn quickly by watching these training videos (1. Create an Open Street Map account, 2. Learn to map buildings).
If you are interested to participate, please register here – https://goo.gl/forms/b2sAl9zlS4ajSklg1 and watch the training videos. A Pizza lunch will be provided for attendees. Please bring a drink or refillable water bottle. This is a great and fun way to get service hours if you need them.
Please contact Amy Koshoffer – ASKDATA@UC.EDU if you have questions about the event. More information is provided in the attached flyer.
Read Source, the online newsletter, to learn more about the news, events, people and happenings in UC Libraries.
In this edition of Source we celebrate Leonard Bernstein at 100 with news of an exhibit on display in the Walter C. Langsam Library. Dean Xuemao Wang writes about how the occasion of the university’s upcoming Bicentennial has led him to reflect on the contributions of four staff members retiring this fall. We announce two grants received by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine that will promote good data and good health.
University archivist and head of the Archives and Rare Books Library Kevin Grace teaches readers and students in his honors class about Extra-Illustrated Editions. Jessica Ebert, lead photographic technician in the Preservation Lab writes about her work creating visual representations of the conservation treatments performed, and housing created, in the Lab. Mike Braunlin of the John Miller Burnam Classics Library offers his experience and insights gained working in the library for 42 years. The UC Foundation writes about a unique collection gifted to the Libraries from two former professors. Lastly, the annual Books by the Banks: Cincinnati USA Books Festival, of which UC Libraries is an organizing partner, is announced in this issue.
In our second installment of the series “How UC Researchers use the Open Science Framework”, we hear from Hannah McManus, Gabrielle Isaza, and Clair Green-Schwartz, Research Associates with the IACP / UC Center for Police Research and Policy
Research Project Description or statement about your research interest
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)/University of Cincinnati (UC) Center for Police Research and Policy engages in rigorous research that has practical implications for the field and is intended to serve as a national model for the way law enforcement agencies and researchers work together to help protect communities, safeguard citizens’ rights, and ensure the fair treatment of all individuals.
There is currently a gap between research and practice, and the IACP/UC Center for Police Research and Policy seeks to play an important role in closing that gap. Often times existing research does not provide actionable recommendations that can be easily translated into specific, practical policies and practices that could enhance policing. Moreover, academic researchers often do not have access to all the data that police departments have that is necessary to conduct rigorous and meaningful research on police practices. The goal of the IACP/UC Center for Police Research and Policy is to provide a path for law enforcement and researchers to work together on studies that can drive future practices and policies.
Why did you chose to use the OSF to organize your research/projects?
The IACP/UC Center for Police Research and Policy is funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF). The LJAF is committed to funding research that meets the most rigorous standards of quality and transparency. As such, we make public our preregistration document for each project, which involves describing the research design in detail before the statistical analyses are performed. Further, we update the Center’s OSF profile as we gather more information on individual projects, and submit all applicable research materials onto the OSF for public viewing. At the end of our research projects, we include the findings either in the form of a written report or a link to a publication or preprint elsewhere. These findings must be freely available in some form, which removes the financial barriers that some may face when trying to access research. The Center’s OSF webpage thus provides a comprehensive overview of an entire research project from start to finish. And further, in the event that a research project does not lead to a peer-reviewed publication, posting the results at OSF serves a valuable informative purpose.
What about the OSF makes this tool a good choice for your project management (i.e. specific function of the OSF)?
The OSF is a useful web platform to centralize all parts of the project from initial idea to final results. It keeps a useful history of documents for us to track changes and progress over time. Ultimately, this tool is most useful in its ability to serve as a platform for transparency in research.
Please use this link for further detail about the Center for Police Research and Policy’s research projects:
By: Alex Temple, Benjamin Gettler Papers Project Archivist
I’m currently working through Benjamin Gettler’s political work, and have just finished the first of six folders on his political correspondence. So far I’ve identified 150 items, representing approximately 30 years of his work, views, correspondence, and recognition. Largely, Gettler placed his energy into the Republican party, notably towards the Reagan/Bush campaigns. His campaign aid for politicians earned him various accolades, such as an honorary address to the House of Representatives from Representative Brad Wenstrup; invitations to Inaugural Balls for Ohio Governor Bob Taft and President Ronald Reagan, and an invitation to visit the White House in 1982.