September 1 2009
I spent the day at the Nebraska State Historical Society (NSHS). Tom Mooney gave me a document box (05. cu. ft.) and an oversized box to process. Inside were the papers of the Pi Tau Delta Fraternity of Lincoln, Nebraska. This fraternity no longer exits, however, during its lifespan it marked an interesting period in working-class Nebraska history and seems important to our knowledge of the historical landscape of voluntary associations in the Middle West. The fraternity was unique in that it was not associated with any college or university, but instead was designed as independent organization for young men who were not necessarily going to attend college. Designed in a fashion similar to the Masons, the Pi Tau Delta's enjoyed a brotherhood and had to do, as a part of their mission, service for the public and explored ways of expending what they saw as their civic duties. The young male membership ranged in age from 18-24, all of whom were engaged in the club's many recreational activities. Interestingly, the fraternity did not discriminate by race or religion, and it was non-partisan. Tom went on vacation and left me to organizing and processing the small collection. I did so and created a finding aid. I would post it here, but need to ask him first, as he plans to post it on the NSHS website. (He also needs to look it over first).
Today I created a rough timeline for completion of the Malone Center Papers Project. I also ordered the archival supplies that I would need to complete the processing. Here is the rough outline that I have created for the Malone Project:
Week 1 Determine materials needed to complete processing of papers.
Week 2-3 Create Container lists for all box's contents.
Week 4 Describe original organization of collection (if possible) and create or recreate an organizational schematic. (If practical obtain feedback from Tom)
Week 5 -8 Adjust schematic and PHYSICALLY MOVE items in collection to their new locations.
Week 9 Write a formal description of the collection and its series, etc.
Week 10 Write a Description, Background, and Scope and Contents Note for the Collection.
Week 11-12 Create a PowerPoint on the Malone Center Collection and share copies with the USM and the Malone Center.
Week 13 Process the Photographic Collection (for preservation only).
Week 14 Physically arrange photographs and write a description of the photo collection.
Week 15 Process the artifact collection (plaques, wall hangings, etc.) for preservation only, and write a description to add to the finding aid.
Alina of Preservation Products and I went to the company warehouse. I hand selected items that I needed. Alina submitted the invoice to T.J. McDowell, Executive Director of the Malone Center. The total cost for supplies came to $273. dollars. The only items that Preservation Products does not have that I still need are SPACERS to help items fit more securely within boxes. I need to find spacers before leaving the collection as finished.
I picked up the archival supplies today. Over the weekend, I purchased a shelf that will hold most of the grey (.05 cu. ft.) document boxes. I had previously used similar boxes to file the collection's board minutes, and so placed the remaining board minute files in document boxes of a similar kind. I arranged the boxes by year and created labels which I also affixed to the side panels. I shelved the board meeting minutes in chronological order beginning with 1946.
A positive development has emerged. Ms. Florine [Jackson], fondly referred to by Malone Center staff as Ms. "Flo" is very interested in Malone Center and community history. As a longtime member of the Malone Community of Lincoln, Nebraska and given her status as an elder, she can contribute a great deal to the present project of preserving the Malone Center Papers. For example, on my first day at the Center this fall, Ms. Flo was busy hanging plaques and awards that the center, its teams, and staff members had won over the years. When I noticed that Ms. Flo had also cleaned up the trophy case, I decided to show her the many boxes of photographs that had been taken at the center over the years. She was interested and began naming people in the photos. Thus, a side project has emerged, in which Ms. Flo--armed with white cotton gloves is going through hundreds, if not thousands of center photos and lightly writing the names of individuals on the back of the photographs.
September 8 2009
Bought another shelf today. Took it to the center. I will accommodate the photograph collection well.
September 9 2009
I worked at the NSHS again today. The name of this collection is Seymour Smith. I surveyed the Smith Collection (.05 cu. ft). The papers are primarily memorabilia, articles, speeches, and some correspondence regarding William Jennings Bryan, politician and noted creationist and a staunch defender of Prohibition (of liquor). Bryan moved to Lincoln, Nebraska around 1887 and by the turn of the 20th century Smith had become acquainted with him through the state Democratic Party's political machinery. By day's end, I created a container list (hand written) for about 2/3rds of the collection.
September 14 2009
Went to North Carolina over the weekend to pick up some of my research and personal items from storage. On Monday, I spent the day at the NSHS. I enjoyed working on the Smith Collection and accomplished a lot. I finished the hand written container list. I then went through the loose correspondence (a pile of letters) and ordered them chronologically and listed who they were from and to. Immediately, an organizational schema appeared to me. The collection had two major components. There were the papers, memorabilia, and articles about William Jennings Bryan (this became series two). Then there were the correspondence, articles, and papers of Seymour Smith as he defended, lectured, and corresponded about W. J. Bryan (this became series one--Smith is first because it was his collection). I started arranging the papers into folders and was all but done in about an hour. I now need to type a finding aid describing the logic behind the arrangement (which I also believe reflects to a large degree original order).
September 15 2009
I am at the Malone Center today, and will get started on my container lists for the 25 ft. or so of manuscript material. (This will not be as difficult as it sounds because in 2007, I placed most related materials into folders within the boxes and labeled them).