Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Finding the Needle in the Haystack

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

A constant challenge for digital archivists is identifying potentially sensitive material within born-digital archives. This content may be information that fits a known pattern (for example, a 3-2-4 number that likely indicates the presence of a social security number), or sensitive keywords that indicate the presence of a larger body of sensitive information (for example, the keywords “evaluation” and “candidate” in close proximity to each other may indicate the presence of an evaluation form for a possible job applicant).

Digital archivists use a number of tools to screen for potentially sensitive information. When this information is found, depending on the type of information, institutional policy, legal restrictions, and ethical issues, archivists may redact the information, destroy it, or limit access to it (either by user, or according to a certain period of time). Continue reading Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Finding the Needle in the Haystack

Julia Marlowe – A Cincinnati Girl Learns To Be Juliet

By: Sydney Vollmer

Julia MarloweOn August 17, 1866, Sarah Frances “Fanny” Frost was born in Caldbeck, England to John and Sarah Frost.  As Julia Marlowe, she died at age 84 in New York City’s Plaza Hotel.  Between those two events, she discovered passion, love (multiple times), and fame.

The future Shakespearean actress was born into a relatively normal family.  She had four siblings, three sisters and a brother and her parents owned a general store while also working in the trades of needlework and boot making.  Her father sometimes got drunk and her mother always got frustrated with him.  At the age of 5, though, all of that “normalcy” changed for Marlowe.  It was the year that her father whisked the family away to America.  Plenty of people were immigrating to America during the 1870s, but Marlowe’s father did so to stay out of trouble.  During an impromptu horse race between her father—where he was most likely drunk— and one of their neighbors, Mr. Frost allegedly took out his competitor’s eye with his whip.  Knowing that he would surely face prosecution if he stayed, he immediately took his wife and children to America.  Once arrived, they first settled in Kansas, but soon moved to Portsmouth, Ohio with the new surname “Brough,” which was the maiden name of Julia’s mother.  Later on, the family would find out that the competitor had been playing a cruel joke and there had not been any reason to leave so urgently. Continue reading Julia Marlowe – A Cincinnati Girl Learns To Be Juliet

The Taming of the Rude

By: Sydney Vollmer

You know by now that 2016 the year of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and that the Archives & Rare Books Library is celebrating it in a big way by highlighting their Shakespeare holdings.  BUT it’s also Women’s Week at the University of Cincinnati!  Surprisingly, the two have something in common, but we’ll get to that.  For the next few days, the topic of feminism will be spread gender equal opportunity or representationacross Main Street all the way from TUC to the Rec Center.  Women’s Week is a nice enough concept.  I believe in strong females, and I certainly consider myself worthy of any opportunity a man is given.  There’s always that stigma about feminism though…a stigma that being feminist means triumphing over men.  And that’s where my problem lies both with feminism and with Women’s Week because last night, I saw a picture of a girl on Main Street holding a chalkboard that referred to boys as stupid.  My definition of feminism has a lot more to do with mutual respect and a celebration of differences rather than drawing a line between the two sexes and saying one is better than the other.

Taming of the Shrew title page

Continue reading The Taming of the Rude

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Making Sense of It All

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

When archivists first make contact with a large group of records, they often perform some form of appraisal. You might think of appraisal as being the calling card of the much-loved PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, in which average people realize that Great Aunt Milly’s painting is a valued masterpiece – or a total dud.

Unlike appraisers, when archivists appraise something they generally aren’t assigning a monetary value, but seeking to articulate the value of the records and the information they contain. The Society of American Archivists defines (http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/a/appraisal#.V2hA1jXERmM)  appraisal as:

  1. ~ 1. The process of identifying materials offered to an archives that have sufficient value to be accessioned. – 2. The process of determining the length of time records should be retained, based on legal requirements and on their current and potential usefulness. – 3. The process of determining the market value of an item; monetary appraisal.

Continue reading Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Making Sense of It All

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Much Ado About Digital

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

Within the archives profession, “Digital Archivist” is one of the fastest-growing job titles (http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol31/iss2/5/). The Society of American Archivists offers a Digital Archives Specialist curriculum and certificate (www2.archivists.org/prof-education/das).   And library and archives conferences abound on topics of an electronic and digital nature – like Saving The Web (https://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/news/save-web-2016.html), the Digital Library Federation (https://www.diglib.org/), and the Software Preservation Network Forum (http://www.softwarepreservationnetwork.org/spn-forum/).

So what does a digital archivist do? Every digital archivist’s responsibilities will look slightly different depending on institutional mission, priorities and resources. As the first link indicates, there isn’t even professional consensus whether a digital archivist is one who works with digitization of analog material (like paper documents and manuscripts, rare books, maps, etc), or someone who works with “born-digital” materials. In many institutions, both of those responsibilities may be within the Digital Archivist’s charge. As UC’s Digital Archivist/Records Manager, my responsibilities center on working with born-digital archives, digital preservation, and overseeing UC’s Records Management program. I also work closely with my colleagues in Digital Collections on digitization projects (http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/).

Continue reading Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Much Ado About Digital

A New Rackham-Illustrated Volume in the Rare Books Collection

By: Bridget McCormick

Hans Christen Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805. Hans Andersen Sr. died in 1816, leaving his son and a wife, Anne Marie. While Andersen was not born into wealth, he was finely educated, which has led to speculation that he was secretly an illegitimate child of the Danish royal family. These rumors have never been confirmed.

Cover of Andersen's Fairy TalesInner Cover of Andersen's Fairy Tales

By 1819, Andersen returned to school supported by a benefactor named Jonas Collin. At the time, he was working as an actor.  However through Collin’s encouragement, Andersen began to write. Despite the support, during this period of Andersen’s career, his work was often discouraged by teachers. Continue reading A New Rackham-Illustrated Volume in the Rare Books Collection

ARB’s “50 Minutes” Series Return Next Week

By:  Kevin Grace

The Archives & Rare Books Library will usher in its 7th year of the “50 Minutes” lunchtime talks this August with “A Skeleton, Some Lions, Pigeons, and Gods! The Seldom-Noticed Art in UC Architecture.”

The talk is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, at 12 noon in 814 Blegen and as always, the “50 Minutes” presentations are very informal and conversational.  Bring your lunch, relax, ignore the clock on the wall which is invariably an hour behind (though we may climb on top of the piano beneath it and change the battery this year), and enjoy a look at the history and culture of the “hidden” campus.  Not advertised in the title, we will also be looking at semi-naked people in the architecture.

50 minute talk, August 2016

Continue reading ARB’s “50 Minutes” Series Return Next Week

Of Provosts and Our Past Year: A Couple of New Lists on the ARB Website

By:  Kevin Grace

ARB Annual SummaryAs part of its work in documenting the heritage and ongoing changes at the University of Cincinnati, the Archives & Rare Books Library maintains a number of useful lists on its University Archives page in addition to finding aids and exhibits, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives.html.  We keep up with the heritage of deans in our various colleges, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives/deanslist.html, as well as annual reports, the Board of Trustees, UC presidents, and campus history.

With the recent resignation of President Santa Ono, who became the new president of the University of British Columbia, there were a number of changes as Provost Beverly Davenport became UC’s interim president and CCM dean Peter Landgren became Interim Provost.  We’ve added to our lists with one of the University of Cincinnati’s provosts and chief academic officers throughout UC’s history, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives/provosts.html. Continue reading Of Provosts and Our Past Year: A Couple of New Lists on the ARB Website

What Fools We Mortals Be

By:  Sydney Vollmer

Rackham, What Fools These Mortals BeWe all remember Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  What a little imp.  Well, actually, he isn’t quite an imp.  He’s more of a hobgoblin.  In fact, Puck is less a name than a species.  Throughout mythology, “Puck” is interchangeable with “Robin Goodfellow.”  The names come in different forms among various languages, but they all translate roughly to either “pixie” or “hobgoblin.”

Throughout A Midsummer Night’s Dream, poor Puck is given orders to put spells on people he doesn’t recognize and things go awry.  His willingness to perform, and then correct, shows his true obedience to King Oberon.  However, if you aren’t King of the Fairies, a puck may not be as obedient.  Pucks have a knack for being temperamental.  It’s said that they’ve been known to do some minor household chores if they take a liking to you, but the helpfulness stops as soon as you offend them. Continue reading What Fools We Mortals Be