From the Repositories
Carolyn Ravenscroft, the archivist of the Drew Archives at the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society in Duxbury, Mass. , has recently forwarded to Mary Ann Habib, her NUCMC program liaison, information about local media coverage relating to the historical society’s contribution to NUCMC’s current Web observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial, now in its second year. As described elsewhere on this page, the Web observance is a five year/five part effort to highlight program cataloging of the last quarter century, along with related visual content. The most recent installment (Part 2), "Gone to be a Soldier", featuring personal narratives of members of the Union and Confederate armed forces, has recently been mounted and features letters of John Southworth in the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society’s collection of Emma Cushing Paulding letters.
[Read and watch some of the local coverage of the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society’s contribution to the NUCMC observance, provided by Carolyn Ravenscroft].
Nan Card, curator of manuscripts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio , contacted her NUCMC program liaison with the information that since 2000 the use of the repository’s collections had quadrupled and that researchers from around the world now requested materials from the repository’s collections. This increased awareness and accessibility were due, she wrote, “in large part, to the NUCMC cooperative cataloging program.” During one particular week, scholars from Japan, Colombia, France, and Italy had all located research materials at the Center as a result of the cataloging created by the Library of Congress. Mary Ann Habib's knowledge, experience, continuous attention to detail, accessibility, cooperation, and diligence surpassed (and continue to surpass) all expectations.
Judy Janec, archivist, reports that the Tauber Holocaust Library and Education Program is a small repository with fascinating collections. “In many ways, the Library has been a hidden treasure for many years. However, since Peter Goodman began to create the MARC records that are available on the NUCMC gateway, the Library has been able to share its holdings with the scholarly community. We are so grateful for this opportunity; without Peter's assistance, it would have been impossible to make our collections accessible to researchers. Thank you so much!”
Debbie Baroff of the Museum of the Great Plains reports that lots of information has traveled from Oklahoma to Virginia, and back again since 2003, when she first found out about NUCMC and all they had to offer. “I believe my archival record keeping is more complete and better organized because of the NUCMC database. Since we don't have our collections on our website yet, giving it to NUCMC and having cataloguers putting it on the internet, for me, has to be the most perfect opportunity for a one-person archives. And it's a great way for researchers to find out what's available at the Museum of the Great Plains. Thanks for all your hard work, and the wonderful communication you send to me. It's been a pleasure!”
Kim Allen Scott of Montana State University tells that “information bearing objects should be cited as such, regardless of how many web based surrogates become available, and the library catalog is the scholar's final authority on the information required for proper citation. In Montana, our efforts to create clear and concise finding aids have been facilitated by the NUCMC team in building a true 'union catalog' of the state's rich documentary heritage. The MARC records that have come to us from our colleagues in Washington not only provide the primary discovery point for our collections, but also offer scholars the tools they need for accurate description of those discoveries.”
Anne Frantilla, deputy city archivist at the Seattle Municipal Archives tells us that “It has been great for us – without a big library system to be part of, we would not have a national presence without NUCMC.”
Jay Hyland, an archivist at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee says “The NUCMC project has enabled us to display catalog records of many of our archival collections worldwide at a faster rate than if we had tried posting catalog records on our own. Also, the association with the Library of Congress helps give further credence to the Museum and shows that we are serious about collecting materials. The staff is very courteous and helpful with displaying the information and making suggestions.”
Nicholas Noyes, librarian and Nancy Noble, archivist/cataloger of the Maine Historical Society express their congratulations to NUCMC, saying, “What a boon your project has been for all of us, especially smaller historical societies, which can’t afford access to larger cataloging utilities. Here at the Maine Historical Society we have always appreciated the work of NUCMC catalogers in creating access to our records via their printed volumes, and now online. But the greatest work that NUCMC has done for us has been in the past 5 or so years, when we finally put our manuscript catalog online. This manuscript catalog, unfortunately, was full of mistakes and incorrect headings, but with the excellent work of NUCMC catalogers Mary Ann Habib and Peter Goodman we are now able to take the information from their beautiful records and update our poor records. So, because of the efforts of the NUCMC project, we not only are providing access to our collections through the NUCMC database, but we are cleaning up our own records, and enhancing them beyond what they have been in the past. Many thanks from all of us at the Maine Historical Society!”