10
Nov16

DRS Milestone: 100,000 Files!

Posted by: Sarah Sweeney

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King Husky Celebrates his first birthdayWe’re happy to announce that the Digital Repository Service (DRS) now contains more than 100,000 files! We reached this milestone earlier in the month as files were being uploaded into the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción collection for Archives and Special Collections.

The 100,000 files stored in the DRS cover a broad range of topics, from dissertations about drug delivery systems, to images of specimens collected from the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, to student posters produced for the 2016 Research, Innovation, and Scholarship Expo. New material is being added every day, so be sure to check in regularly to see what projects Northeastern’s faculty, staff, and students are working on!

As we celebrate this milestone, here are a few highlighted statistics to share with you:

  • In total, DRS files have accumulated 170,786 views, 165,997 downloads, and 2,326 audio or video streams.
  • The most popular files are from the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity (PONS), which is a psychological test that measures a subject’s ability to interpret nonverbal cues. Collectively the PONS materials have been viewed 2,464 times, downloaded 2,099 times, and the videos have been streamed through the DRS 806 times.
  • Archives and Special Collections’ Digital Collection has the largest number of files (53,407), as well as the highest total views (60,984) and downloads (47,604) for all files in a single community.

Onward to 500,000!

Posted in: Online Collections

12
Oct16

BPS Desegregation Project: EAC-CPF Records and Access

Posted by: Michelle Romero

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Head and shoulder portrait of Elizabeth Coup.

Guest Post by Elizabeth Coup

Throughout the summer and fall of 2016, I am working with Northeastern University’s Archives and Special Collections and more specifically their portion of the materials that have been scanned for the Boston Public Schools Desegregation Project, creating EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context – Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families) records.  I am doing this work as part of an independent study for the Simmons College Library and Information Science master’s program, culminating more than two years of practical and intellectual study with this project, which is supervised by Katherine Wisser, Chair of the Society of American Archivists EAC Working Group.

Coming into the program at Simmons, I had a master’s from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in art and architectural history and several years as a sports journalist, thus an interest in written analysis and description was long engrained. Discovering archival standards for description and encoding description only furthered this focus, and the relationship between entities (who might also be creators) and archival materials or records struck me from the moment I heard of it. In the ensuing years of coursework and as an early professional processing collections at the Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, and at the Center for the History of Medicine, where I am presently a processing assistant, this interest only expanded. How do we think about the records we arrange and describe? How do we make the choices for describing them? And then, on the other hand, how do we describe the entities that are related to the record—but also might be related to one another? How does describing entities and relationships between them improve access to archival materials? It is these final questions that I am exploring with my ongoing project.

In fall 2015, I met with Giordana Mecagni, the Head of Northeastern University’s Archives and Special Collections, for a project that was part of my regular coursework in the Simmons College Library and Information Sciences master’s program. During our conversation, she told me about the Boston Public Schools Desegregation Project, which immediately struck me for multiple reasons, one of which was that it might be just the project for which encoded description specific to creators, rather than materials, might be extremely useful. It is a significantly sized online collection not just from Northeastern’s archives, but also across multiple local and regional archives, and with a range of creators that spans from national and regional political figures to lesser known activists and neighborhood organizations. Thinking about describing the relationships between these creators—or entities—as well as providing users with access to additional description not of materials, but of entities, became the impetus for this project.

The project began this past summer, when I began working with Giordana Mecagni, Michelle Romero, and Daniel Jergovic to create an EAC-CPF template that could be used not only for entities related to this project, but also for all entities related to Northeastern collections. Furthermore, I established a list of all primary entities associated with the BPS Desegregation Project materials at Northeastern, and then met with Giordana and Michelle to prioritize a group for which records would be created first. The ways to think about prioritizing came from two directions: the importance of the entities within the historical context of BPS Desegregation and relevance to Northeastern’s archival holdings. Considering these concepts, we came to a list of some thirty-two entities, which range from members of government and national social justice organizations to neighborhood groups and local activists, and I stepped into the biographical research portion of the project.

Screenshot of data gathering spreadsheet.

Screenshot of data gathering spreadsheet.

Simultaneously, we began the process of reviewing the EAC-CPF template I created, based on examples from other locations exploring the standard, such as “Connecting the Dots,” a Yale-Harvard collaboration relating to describing lexicographer Samuel Johnson and his circle, and those who collected their materials, as well as the Field Book Project at the Smithsonian Institute Archives. I also looked at the more open and flexible templates being created at present for institution-wide usage at Harvard Libraries, including the Center for the History of Medicine, which is in the process of creating a template and defining guidelines at the present. With these in mind, I created a sample entry, which has then been adapted and edited through email exchanges and meeting with Northeastern staff and Kathy Wisser. We hope to have that template solidified in the coming weeks, so that I can begin producing records for those priority entities.

creenshot of EAC-CPF template.

Screenshot of EAC-CPF template.

Perhaps the most challenging (and interesting) consideration throughout the research and template creation stages is the concept that EAC does not in fact describe archival materials, but the entities themselves. For these reasons, LCSH subject headings make less sense to describe the entities than, say, occupations authorities. When writing biographical or historical notes, the note is not exactly what one might create for a finding aid; it is not related to the materials in the collection but to the entities’ entire biography or history. What we as archivists write for finding aids might be just one chapter of what should appear in an EAC-CPF record. Still, the hope is that EAC records provide better access not just to the entity, but to archival materials, both created by this entity and by entities that might be related to this individual or corporate body, also described in EAC-CPF records. In a blogpost describing the Field Book Project at the Smithsonian, Tammy Peters wrote, “EAC-CPF helps outline an historical social network. Not only can a researcher find links to materials from that one person for whom they started their search, but they can also find resources concerning the organizations and people associated with that person.”[1] Thus, though one is describing an entity—a person, corporate body, or family—one is doing so within the context of archival description.

Screenshot one of Citywide Educational Coalition EAC-CPF record.

Screenshot one of Citywide Educational Coalition EAC-CPF record.

 

Screenshot two of Citywide Educational Coalition EAC-CPF record.

Screenshot two of Citywide Educational Coalition EAC-CPF record.

The challenge, of course, with using a new standard, is to make it work specifically for an institution and its needs, and to understand how best to do that. Within the project, I am working closely with Northeastern staff and Kathy Wisser to ensure that we not only create useful records that provide improved user access to archival materials, but also create best practice guidelines and a template which archivists, student workers and interns can all use going forward. Thus, the project is not just one that lasts a bit longer than a semester, but instead creates practice that will move into the future with Northeastern’s Archives and Special Collections.

[1] Peters, Tammy, “Historical Context and Connections,” http://nmnh.typepad.com/fieldbooks/2012/09/historical-context-and-connections.html

Posted in: African-American Studies, Archives and Special Collections, Online Collections, Serendipity

5
Oct16

October is Open Access Month!

Posted by: Hillary Corbett

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Open Access Month header

 

In October the Library celebrates Open Access Month—a time to highlight the importance of making research and information more accessible without cost. Events throughout the month will showcase many ways in which people here at Northeastern and around the world are working to make Open Access a reality, including projects in which you can participate! 

Open Access Month: Schedule of Events

Download a PDF schedule!

 

Zotero in 30 Minutes
Tuesday, October 4, 2:00-2:30
DSC Media Lounge

Learn about using Zotero, one of the most well-known free, open source citation management tools, to organize your research. Track and gather all of your research in one place and automatically format citations and bibliographies—bring your laptop to get started right away.

DH Open Office Hours
Wednesday, October 5, 12:30-1:30
DSC Media Lounge

Understanding copyright and fair use in the Digital Humanities will be the focus of this week’s regularly scheduled DH Open Office Hours.

Citizen Science in Action with Zooniverse
Thursday, October 6, 4:00-7:00
DSC Media Lounge

Want to see how easy it is to contribute to citizen science research?  Drop in for a hack-a-thon style session and work with us on a Zooniverse project!  No prior experience is necessary. We’ll provide guidance (and pizza!), just bring a laptop or tablet to participate. More info available here! Refreshments will be served.

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Wednesday, October 12, 4:00-7:00
DSC Media Lounge

Join us to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of under-represented groups in Massachusetts and U.S. history. This hack-a-thon style session will focus on editing and updating Wikipedia pages in a group setting. You do not need any prior experience with Wikipedia to participate. We’ll provide guidance, just bring a laptop or tablet to participate. Refreshments will be served.

Managing Your Research Output for STEM Graduate Students
Thursday, October 13, 11:00-12:00
422 SL

Learn how and why to share your conference posters, presentation slides, codebase, and other products of your graduate research. Bring your questions about author rights, copyright, theses/dissertations, and anything else relevant to managing your output! We’ll provide info on resources available for you at the Library and elsewhere on campus.

DSG/NULab Fall Welcome Event
Monday, October 17, 3:00-6:30
90 SL

Join the DSG and NULab at 3:00 for a keynote by Dan Cohen, Founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America. This event will also feature lightning talks by Northeastern students, staff, and faculty about their recent work in digital scholarship, from 4:00-5:15. It will end with an informal reception where you can continue the conversation with area colleagues. Because space is limited, please register at bit.ly/DSGNULab2016 by October 10. Refreshments will be served.

Decoding the Dragon
Wednesday, October 19, 12:00-2:00
DSC Seminar Space

Learn to read Northeastern University’s only medieval manuscript with faculty member Erika Boeckeler. Write Gothic letters with quills, tweet using medieval texting (aka abbreviationes), get a parchment souvenir and a Gothic henna tattoo. Level up through activities to become a “scribe” and contribute original research that will integrate into the manuscript’s website. We’ll provide guidance (and pizza!), just bring a laptop or tablet to participate. Refreshments will be served.

Sourcing Multimedia for Your Course
Thursday, October 20, 10:30-12:00
140 SL

The Internet offers a variety of public domain and Creative Commons images, movies, and documents that may be used to support teaching and learning. Learn strategies for finding relevant media and crediting the media appropriately.
Hosted by Academic Technology Services

Creating Interactive Open Educational Resources
Friday, October 21, 1:00-3:00
140 SL

This course will show you the basics of using Storyline to create interactive educational resources. You’ll learn how to incorporate open source multimedia, create your own text, audio, and image content, and create interactive features. Finally, we’ll discuss options for publishing on the web and posting to open educational resource aggregator sites.
Hosted by Academic Technology Services

Storing and Sharing Files Using the Digital Repository Service
Monday, October 24, 2:00-3:00
DSC Media Lounge

Did you know the library can help you preserve your project and research materials, while also making those materials accessible on the web? This session will introduce faculty, staff, and students to the Digital Repository Service, the library’s trusted resource for storing digital materials created or acquired by the Northeastern community.

Data Management Plans and the DRS
Tuesday, October 25, 12:30-1:30
DSC Media Lounge

How can you effectively share and preserve research data while fulfilling grant requirements?  This session will describe the library’s support for research data management, including the DMPTool as an option to generate data management plans, and the Digital Repository Service as an option for preserving and sharing research data. Refreshments will be served.

Film Screening & Discussion: The Internet’s Own Boy
Tuesday, October 25, 4:00-6:00
90 SL

Join us for a screening of a special one-hour edit of this documentary about programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. An audience-guided discussion will follow the film. Refreshments will be served.

Archival Collections Transcribe-a-thon
Wednesday, October 26, 4:00-7:00
DSC Media Lounge

Digitized collections of manuscripts and ephemera need help from human eyes to be more useful to readers and researchers. We’ll highlight several major archives where anyone can participate in transcribing digitized materials online and get you started on some of these fascinating projects, which range from historical restaurant menus to explorers’ logbooks to anthropologists’ field notes. Drop in at any point during the session and bring a laptop or tablet to participate. More info available here! Refreshments will be served.

Hypothes.is in 30 Minutes
Friday, October 28, 11:00-11:30
DSC Media Lounge

We’ll go over the basics of how to use this open-source annotation tool in your research and teaching! For more information and to sign up for an account in advance, visit hypothes.is.

Posted in: Library News and Events, Scholarly Communications

22
Sep16

Welcome New Library Staff

Posted by: Jennie Robbiano

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Welcome new and returning students, faculty and staff!  The library is pleased to announce new staff members to support your research, teaching, and scholarship.

 

Bopp, MelanieMelanie Bopp – Access Services Librarian Melanie Bopp comes to Northeastern from the University of New Orleans where she worked as the Head of Circulation Services.  At Northeastern Melanie oversees evening/weekend services at the Help and Information Desk, coordinates building security services, and contributes to a variety of projects and initiatives that improve your experience in Snell Library.  Melanie has a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University.  Prior to working in libraries Melanie taught English in Japan. Reach Melanie at m.bopp@northeastern.edu.

 

 

Sarah ConnellSarah Connell – Sarah Connell has joined the Women Writers Project (WWP) in a new staff role as Assistant Director, where she served previously as Project Manager.  Currently Sarah is also Assistant Director of NULab.  For the WWP, Sarah brings a wealth of experience in women’s writing, digital humanities pedagogy, text encoding, and project management.  In her new role she will focus on a recently funded “Intertextual Networks” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Sarah completed her PhD in English at Northeastern in 2014, with a specialization in early modern Irish and British literature and digital humanities.  Reach Sarah at sa.connell@northeastern.edu.

 

Lindley HomolLindley Homol – Research and Instruction Librarian Lindley Homol comes to Northeastern from the University of Maryland where she provided teaching and research support to online and distance users.  Lindley’s work has included creating and assessing online learning objects and collaborating with faculty and university administration to identify and replace traditional textbooks with open education resources.  At Northeastern Lindley supports students and faculty in Education.

Lindley has been very active in the library profession.  She presented at recent national conferences including last spring’s Computers in Libraries conference and Catholic University’s Annual Symposium on Scholarship and Practice, and has published articles relevant to the profession for the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Keeping Up With series and the Journal of Academic Librarianship.  Lindley has a BA in English from Pennsylvania State University and an MA in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.   Reach Lindley at l.homol@northeastern.edu.

 

Jon ReedJon Reed – Communications and Outreach Specialist Jon Reed comes to Northeastern from James Madison University where he worked as Communications Coordinator for the James Madison University Libraries.  Jon draws on solid experience working with stakeholders on a variety of communications initiatives to help promote library services and collections.  Jon has a BA in History from James Madison University.  Reach Jon at jo.reed@northeastern.edu.

 

 

ThomasNicoleSquareNicole Thomas – Access Services Librarian Nicole Thomas comes to Northeastern from Boston University’s Pardee Management Library where she worked as the Circulation Supervisor.   At NU Nicole oversees daytime services at the Help and Information Desk, and plays a key role on a variety of fronts including managing systems that help students and faculty reserve and utilize study spaces in Snell Library.  Originally from San Francisco, CA, Nicole has a BA in English from the College of Wooster and an MA in Library Science from Simmons College.  Prior to libraries, Nicole worked in administration at the University of San Francisco School of Law.  Reach Nicole at ni.thomas@northeastern.edu.

 

WilliamsBSquareBrooke Williams – Research and Instruction Librarian Brooke Williams comes to Northeastern from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she worked closely with undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty to support teaching and learning.  Brooke brings expertise in designing and implementing online library instruction modules, experience teaching in credit-bearing information literacy courses, and experience mentoring students immersed in capstone projects. Brooke has a BA in American Studies/English from Skidmore College and an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  At Northeastern Brooke supports students and faculty in Communications Studies and Journalism.  Reach Brooke at b.williams@northeastern.edu.

 

Posted in: Library News and Events, Serendipity

15
Sep16

The Media and Boston Public Schools Desegregation

Posted by: Jessica Bennett

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Unpublished photograph by Clif Garboden September 1974

Unpublished photograph by Clif Garboden
September 1974

When the court-ordered desegregation of the Boston Public School system led to controversial practice of busing in the 1970s, the local and national media covered it prolifically. Pictures of protests and school buses flanked by police officers made for eye-catching footage. But as Phase II of Busing approached in September of 1975, some residents felt they were being unfairly represented.  Citizens of Charlestown complained that “the national media is always throwing up that we’re a violent people” as Newsweek reporters camped out to see “the second act of Boston’s national spectacle.” To some extent, the Boston Phoenix, did the same.[1] However, very few pictures of anti-busing protests appear in the paper. Those that do create an impact; one chilling example however shows a group of young white men standing around a burning effigy captioned with a racial slur published on September 16th.

The Boston Phoenix, September 16, 1975

The Boston Phoenix, September 16, 1975

The Boston Phoenix instead chose to focus on individuals, a piece on Judge Wendell Garrity, the federal judge who ordered the desegregation, ran on September 9, 1975 and an article written by Tom Sheehan, ran on September 16, 1975, titled “Three Families in the Midst of Busing” which profiled three families dealing with busing in different ways. The Hollis family, an African-American family being bused from Jamaica Plain to Charlestown, the McDonoughs, a white family being bused who supported the endeavor, and the Wrenns, a white family who opposed the decision. Even the articles regarding the protests focused on police officers and how they dealt with the protester’s attitudes towards them rather than the protesters themselves.

Alongside these articles Boston Phoenix readers looked into the faces of those taking part in the drama; school committee members, police officers, parents, and most all, the children. One of the most prolific of these photographers, capturing the faces of these players was Clif Garboden.

The Boston Phoenix, September 16, 1975

The Boston Phoenix, September 16, 1975

Clif Garboden began working for the Boston Phoenix as a freelancer in the late 1960s, eventually coming on the staff full-time. Garboden rose  to the position of Senior Editor by the time he left the Boston Phoenix in 2009. During the turbulent years of the sixties and seventies, Garboden took his share of photographs of events but many times he focused on the individuals involved. While he was still a college student at Boston University, his photographs captured speakers, musicians, and professors for BU News. Even at that early point in his career, his photographs show the events occurring without losing the individuality of the people in the crowd.

His work during Busing is no different. The September 9th article on Judge Garrity includes not only a photograph by Garboden of the school committee in session which gives a sense of their work environment but the next page also provides close-ups of the members, their large name plagues dominating the foreground and their expressions betraying their thoughts and emotions of the subject matter. In the article “Three Families in the Midst of Busing”, Garboden photographed the pro-busing family the McDonoughs. While the photographers of the other two families chose to portray their subjects in the midst of action, Garboden’s shots are portraits, leaving it up to the reader to make their own judgement. This is not simply an editing choice, the Garboden Negative Collection, now available at Northeastern University’s Archives, shows that every shot he took was framed in this manner.

Anti-Busing Rally, Charlestown, August 1975 Unpublished Photo by Clif Garboden

Anti-Busing Rally, Charlestown, August 1975
Unpublished Photo by Clif Garboden

The Garboden Negative Collection offers a peak into the editorial practices of the Boston Phoenix.  Garboden did take photographs of an anti-busing rally in Charleston but none of them ever made it to the paper. He took pictures of the reporting being done by the television news stations, possibly for an article regarding how the rest of the media was portraying the events. Instead, one of the most beautiful pictures he contributed to the Busing articles shows a lines of children, mostly Asian-American lined up at a bus stop in Chinatown accompanying an article by Nancy Pomerene. Although only one was published, the negatives show the amount of time Garboden took trying to preserve the sweet smiles of children who just wanted to go to school.

In the midst of the hullabaloo Garboden and the Boston Phoenix tried to highlight the stories of those overshadowed by the rest of the media and their collections allow those narratives to remain for future generations.

 

 

 


 

[1] Dumanoski, Dianne. “Charlestown – ‘My Town” – Braces for Busing.” The Boston Phoenix, September 02, 1975.

Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Collections, Serendipity