Radio Preservation Task Force Conference Coming to Hornbake Library

On February 26 and 27, the Library of Congress’s Radio Preservation Task Force will host its first conference on the subjects of historical media archives, and the organization of educational and preservation initiatives on a national scale . Friday’s activities will take place downtown at the Library of Congress, and Saturday’s will be held at Hornbake Library North.

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Speakers will include numerous UMD librarians, faculty from various campus divisions, and several iSchool alum, as well as prominent archivists and scholars from throughout the United States. Highlights include panels and workshops on how archives can deal with audio materials, discussions about using digital tools to save our radio heritage, panels on how radio materials document race and gender throughout American history, and a workshop featuring three NEH representatives on how to find funding for archival projects.

Registration is free and open to the public, and can be completed by sending an e-mail to Kevin Palermo at kevinpalermo@gwmail.gwu.edu.

More information is available at the conference website.

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Alice 150 Featured Object of the Month: February

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, is an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898). Each month, a new item from the exhibit will be showcased.

In February, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Alice-inspired humorous presidential pamphlets featuring Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.

Through the Outlooking Glass with Theodore Roosevelt is a political commentary on Theodore Roosevelt’s attempt at a third term as a Progressive party candidate. Written in the form of a parody of Through the Looking Glass, the story consists of a dialogue between Alice and the hostile Red Knight (Roosevelt).

Frankie in Wonderland, written anonymously by investment banker, lampoons President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal in eight short chapters based on both Alice books

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll here.

Volunteer Opportunities in Special Collections and University Archives

Looking to gain experience working in a special collections library or archival repository? Special Collections and University Archives is host to volunteers and field study students looking to build up their resumes. They work closely with  library staff to make accessible some of the University’s most valuable research collections.

Current volunteer/field study opportunities include:

Archival Processing, Thomas Kahn papers

Thomas Kahn was Director of the AFL-CIO International Affairs Department. Responsibilities will include:

  • Develop processing plan for 130 linear feet of unprocessed records.
  • Assemble metadata by inventorying boxes.
  • Make recommendations regarding preservation needs and series descriptions.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Labor History LibGuide

LibGuides are online subject guides used by the University of Maryland Libraries to provide greater access to materials in our collections. Responsibilities may include:

  • Develop content for a new LibGuide on a topic such as: child labor, labor legislation, membership records, union proceedings, etc… by using existing print guides that are out of date. Content will need to be updated.
  • LibGuide should include information we have in the University of Maryland Archives’s labor collections on the chosen topic as well as resources at other labor archives and bibliographic resources.
  • There is a possibility to create more than one guide and/or write corresponding blog post and/or selecting materials and writing captions for mini-exhibit in Maryland Room.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Research Copyrights For Photos Used In Labor’s Heritage Journal

Journal was edited and printed by the George Meany Memorial Archive, 1989-2004. Responsibilities include:

  • Prepare journal for digitization by researching copyright information of photographs and terms of use. Student will review unprocessed boxes of administrative files as well as gain information from existing institutions’ websites.
  • Draft letters of inquiry for supervisor to review and send to obtain additional information as needed.
  • Student will gain insight into how publications are developed, initial research required, the importance of documenting rights for authors and photographic images used in publication.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Legacy Metadata Conversion

Collection information for the AFL-CIO Archive is located in multiple locations: retired database tables, printed finding aids, spreadsheets, and obsolete e-documents.  In the Winter of 2016, some of this metadata will be migrated into ArchiveSpace. However, it will be partially incomplete. Responsibilities include:

  • Convert legacy metadata/finding aids into EAD for ArchiveSpace.
  • Gain experience using ArchiveSpace by adding missing collection information to existing records while learning about legacy and obsolete metadata formats.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Jen Eidson, Labor Collections


Special Collections Reference Experience

Gain experience with handling reference in a special collection library. Responsibilities include:

  • Serve on the Maryland Room Reference Desk.
  • Rotate in various subject areas within special collections handling outside reference queries.
  • Evaluate reference strategies and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • There is the possibility to assist the Researcher Experience Team, a Special Collections and University Archives staff team, with special projects.
  • Student will write blog post about experience.

Contact: Amber Kohl, Special Collections Services Coordinator

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Speech to AFL-CIO

In 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and leader of the civil rights movement, spoke at the AFL-CIO’s Fourth Constitutional Convention. Though the early labor movement had a complicated history with race relations, by the 1960s the AFL-CIO and the civil rights movement had fully embraced each other in solidarity. President George Meany introduced King as “a courageous fighter for human rights” and “a fine example of American citizenry.”

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In his speech, King commented on the similarities between the labor movement and the civil rights movement:

“Negroes in the United States read this history of labor and find it mirrors their own experience. We are confronted by powerful forces telling us to rely on the good will and understanding of those who profit by exploiting us.”

“Our needs are identical with labor’s needs, decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.”

Dr. King also drew attention to the need for solidarity between the two movements: “The duality of interests of labor and Negroes makes any crisis which lacerates you, a crisis from which we bleed.”

King asked two things of the AFL-CIO in his speech: root out racial discrimination in labor unions and provide financial assistance to the civil rights movement. King’s message did not fall on deaf ears: he received a standing ovation from the delegates.

Read Dr. King’s full speech online

Watch a clip from Dr. King’s speech (starts at 15:33)

Read more about the labor movement’s relationship with the civil rights movement

Curator Pick: Favorite Item from the Alice 150 Exhibit

How could I possibly choose one item out of so many amazing ones as my favorite?! Early on, I digitized the majority of the items that are in the exhibit, allowing me time to really look through every book as I scanned it. Needless to say, I have quite a few favorites! In order for me to dwindle my list down to one, I focused on one criteria: what was the book that made me completely stop what I was doing because it was so curious? For me, that is my lasting impression of Alice from my childhood, and why I still relate to Carroll’s story as an adult.  Alice’s curiosity, the curiosity of the characters and the world that is Wonderland continues to draw people back time and time again.

My favorite would have to be Alitjinya ngura Tjukurtjarangka [Alitji in the Dreamtime], illustrated by Byron W. Sewell. I was incredibly surprised when I first picked it up to find the White Rabbit was a kangaroo!

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This was definitely one the cleverest re-imaginings of the Alice characters that I had encountered and stood on its own as a story that illustrated Wonderland in a different culture so well. Sewell’s illustrations are at once similar and arrestingly different than the traditional Alice. His characters are often ethereal, but when he does have them grounded, he depicts the earth with geometric patterns.

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Note how realistic Alice looks, but how drastically altered the rest of the characters are depicted.

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This is also a bilingual edition, translated into Pitjantjatjara and adapted into Australian English. I enjoy editions with this added factor because it reaches a whole new audience and easily teaches them a little something that could lead to something more. This item is the epitome of what this exhibit aims to represent and why I always include it as an example when I’m describing the exhibit to others.

Honorable mentions [this was inevitable!]:
1. Sakuba‘s intense and instantly classic characters:

2. Rackham‘s muted color scheme and Wonderlandians’ long, spindly features:

3. Kállay‘s warm colors and delightful tea party:

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For your listening enjoyment:

Explore this item and more works by Lewis Carroll in our Alice 150 Years and Counting exhibit, now open to the public in Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland.


Brin Winterbottom is a graduate student at the University of Maryland iSchool. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently works in Hornbake’s Digital Conversion Media Reformatting Center and is conducting her field study with the Alice exhibit team. 

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Alice 150 Featured Item of the Month: January

Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz, an exhibit highlighting the timelessness of Alice in Wonderland and the life and work of Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), will showcase a new Alice related item every month.

In January, visit the Maryland Room Exhibit Gallery in Hornbake Library to view Scientific Alician, a brilliant parody of the esteemed Scientific American magazine. Contents include Alice themed articles, plus the usual departments of Letters, Mathematical Games, advertisements, and Author notes- all parodied in Alice in Wonderland fashion.

View all the featured items of the month from Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll.

Looking Back at 2015…

2016 is right around the corner, the perfect time to reminisce on all the happenings that shaped Special Collections and University Archives in 2015!

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We’ve posted stories on our talented staff, as well as exhibits and events, like Alice 150, Halloween in Hornbake, and the Frederick Douglass statue dedication. We’ve also shared updates on our various collections, including the archives of the AFL-CIO.

Take a look at the top 5 blog posts of 2015:

5) New Exhibit: Achievements and Milestones in UMD Athletics

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4) New Exhibit: Highlights from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Archives

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3) Pride at Work records at UMD

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Labor Archivist Jennifer Eidson packs up boxes with Pride at Work’s Executive Director Jerame Davis.

2) New Exhibit: Bookends of the Civil War

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1) Take a Trip Down the Rabbit Hole this Fall

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Honorable mentions for several posts published in previous years that rank among the most popular posts of 2015:

Kelmscott Press Inspires Imitators

Kelmscott Press 'Poems of John Keats'

Books Published Before 1850

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William Morris, Walter Crane, and Socialist Art

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Here’s to an exciting new year in Special Collections and University Archives!