Parting is such Sweet Sorrow

Book repair

Book making
As the words of William Shakespeare elaborate, this will be my final blog post of the summer. Tomorrow will be my last day here at Special Collections as the Diane Werley Smith ’73 intern and it is amazing how fast the summer has flown by. For the past few months I have learned and experienced so much and I am grateful for every moment. From processing the letters of a World War II housewife, Lillian Quinn, to rehousing and digitizing dance cards, it has been a busy and fulfilling summer. I believe one of my favorite projects was my work with the dance card collection. After having begun the project this Spring semester it has been wonderful seeing it come full circle; being rehoused and transformed into a digital collection. I can’t thank the staff of Special Collections enough for the great opportunity and all the help that they gave me. Also thank you to my fellow interns for the good times, and fantastic pie times J I’m looking forward to the fall! So for the last time, Avery over and out. Cheers!                                                  
Envelope from the Lillian Quinn Letter Collection
Dance Card rehousing

Our first day

Shall We Dance?

Hello readers! The summer at Special collections is flying by and next week will already be my last week here as the Diane Werley Smith intern ’73. Though the weeks are winding down, we still are busy as bees here in Special Collections. As I said in my last post, I finally finished the rehousing of the Dance Card collection, and the next step taken my Alexa and myself was to start scanning and digitizing the cards for a digital collection. We chose to digitize 56 from around 80 dance cards to serve as highlights of the collection, for their aesthetics and unique charm. From that point we went through the tedious task of scanning each card, some just the front and cover, others multiple pages. After that we learned from Catherine how to create metadata for each card and to upload them into a digital collection. Just today I finished uploading the last of the cards that Alexa and I have been working on for the last few weeks. The next step for this and next week will be some additional corrections and proof reading. We decided to title the collection, Shall We Dance ~ The Gettysburg College Dance Card Collection. I’ll be sure to let you all know when the collection is primed and ready for viewers. So far the project looks great and both Alexa and I are excited for everyone to enjoy these small pieces of Gettysburg College history.

In other news, I finally got to rehouse the Lillian Quinn Letter Collection into new binder boxes. The letters are now really happy in their new home with their finding guide and are ready for eager researchers JThat is all for today but be sure to tune in next week for the last updates on my, and the other interns’, projects. Ta-Ta for now! 

Would you care to Dance?

Dance cards rehousing solution. 12 Trays in total!
Howdy readers! There are so many updates here in Special Collections. As of late, I, and the other interns, have received cataloguing training from Kate and Carolyn and soon I will begin cataloguing the pamphlet collection. Also, I have continued work on a finding guide for the Lillian Quinn letter collection.
Most exciting, however, is my work on the Dance Card Collection. When I started working in Special Collections during the past spring semester I was given the task of rehousing the dance card collection. The collection spans from Gettysburg College from the late nineteenth century to the mid-20th century. With the help of Mary and Amy, I came up with a housing solution and for the rest of the semester and into the summer I worked on creating the housing. The housing consists of constructing a tray and forming compartments for the individual dance cards. This housing will keep the cards covered and will keep their chords from getting tangled up. Finally last week I finished the rehousing project and the dance cards are now happy.  I am excited for researchers to look at them in the future.
Dr. Birkner’s papers
Along with that, Alexa and I have been working on organizing and inventorying papers from the office of Dr. Michael Birkner. As you can see from the photo it is quite an undertaking but a good practice in inventorying and organizing. That is all for now folks and tune in later on to hear about all of the adventures we are having here at Special Collections! Cheers!

Book Repair, Letters, and Pamphlets… Oh My!

Hello Readers!
A lot has been going on in Special Collections since my last blog post, so I’ll get you up to speed. As mentioned in my first post, I and the other interns created our own book. It was an awesome project and I learned to appreciate books as physical masterpieces and not just the words inside. I made my book with a black cover, and the end pages were made from homemade paper.
My poor bandaged book.
The spine after reattaching it
Most recently, I and fellow intern Alexa have been working with Special Collections Conservator, Mary, repairing damaged books. The book I was given was titled Peter Parley’s Tales About Asia, which was written for children’s education in geography and culture. When I received the book, the covers were detached or becoming detached and pages were falling out. The poor book was in bad shape. The basic rule I gleaned from this whole book repair process was that in order to fix a book, you pretty much have to break the book even more. It seems counterintuitive but Mary assured us that everything would be fine. In order to repair Peter Parley I went through a dozen different steps; taking off the spine, peeling up the covers on the boards, re sewing the binding, adding new hinges, filling in any tears or holes that were found in the book, etc. We also had to tone paper for new spine covers and hinges( pretty much playing around with paint to match a color to the original shade of the book), which was my favorite part of the process. I was also able to wash some of the pages to take away some discoloration. Throughout the process, the work table, between both my work and Alexa’s, looked like the scene of a book massacre. But once we finally finished yesterday it was all worth it and the books were much happier! Here are some pictures of me and Alexa at work as well as my book in its repaired state, but be warned… the pictures are rated BV for book violenceJ.
Filling in any tears or large holes with Japanese paper
Finished book from the front cover


For my other projects, I have finally read through all of the correspondence in the Lillian Quinn letter collection, and  I am in the beginning stages of creating a finding guide. What I find interesting about Lillian Quinn is that I do not actually like her personality; I find her to be an annoying busybody. She does provide an interesting perspective of World War II from the eyes of a woman as well as the experiences of those on the Pacific Coast during the war, but I just can’t bring myself to like her. Though I am not a fan of Lillian’s character, these letters really do make her come alive, for better or for worse J and I am excited for other researchers to read through the letters to see what they think of Lillian and her experiences!

In addition, I am continuing work on the Pamphlet collection, and I have just finished inventorying all of the pamphlets that have not yet been inventoried. At this point I am moving onto cataloguing the pamphlets into our database and eventually finding a new way to house and organize them. It is amazing how much time it takes to go through 950 pamphlets!

As you can see, my internship has started off with a bang and there is never a dull moment. I will bring this long winded post to a close and please tune in again to see what else I will be doing here in Special Collections. Cheers!


Hello Everyone!!

 My name is Avery Fox and I am the Diane Werley Smith ’73 intern for the summer of 2015. My opportunities in the Musselman Library Special Collections include a spattering of  conservation, archival, and cataloguing projects and getting an introduction to all of the activities that take place in Special Collections. I will be working closely with the staff experiencing first hand all of the work that goes into the organized and preserved collections. So far I have begun work on a collection of letters from Lillian Quinn, a woman who lived in the World War II era, as well as a project with the pamphlet collection. In addition, I and the other interns have been working with Mary, the Special Collection’s conservator, on a variety of conservation projects.  There is more to come on these projects as the summer progresses, and I’ll be sure to post pictures!

For some background, I am from Lancaster, PA and I will be a senior at Gettysburg College in the fall. I am a History major, and once I finally get down to the registrar’s office, I will declare an Anthropology minor. I also spent a semester abroad in Bath, England in the fall semester of 2014. Other than academics I am a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, the Senate Representative for the Gettysburg College Dance Ensemble, and a fitness instructor. Gettysburg is my home away from home and I’m so happy that I have the chance to stay on campus over the summer to work in Special Collections. Tune in throughout the summer to read about all the awesome projects that I will be completing. Until then, Cheers!