50 Years after John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

John and Jackie the day of the assassination just a few hours before it took place. This photograph was found in the Stu Udall folder as a part of the funeral invitation.

John and Jackie the day of the assassination just a few hours before it took place.
AZ 372 Papers of Stewart L. Udall, Box 109, Folder 3
Special Collections, UA Libraries

 

 

It has been a very busy month for me both here at Special Collections and life outside of work. One thing that I can share with both work and life is being surrounded by John F. Kennedy photographs, documentaries, etc.  Since last I posted I have been working on the Morris K. Udall collection to update materials to digitize and put online.  While going through the new material to digitize, I came across a section that had a folder with all the photographs of Mo with President Kennedy. This Udall collection has been a jackpot for me since my undergraduate was in history and I also have a deep appreciation for the presidents (even the bad ones).  What made this finding most exciting for me is the fact that I found it earlier this month, which happens to be the month of his assassination and 50 years after the incident.

JFK shaking hands with Mo at the White House

Here is JFK shaking hands with Mo at the White house.
MS 325 Papers of Morris K. Udall, Box 735, Folder 28
Special Collections, UA Libraries

I don’t know about all of you but since this month began, my television has had so much Kennedy programing and it has been hard to not sit and watch all of it. Then I come into work and have actual photographs that were taken by the famous photographer during the Kennedy administration Cecil W. Stoughton, which makes me feel like I have a closer connection to the President. A fun fact for those who may not know this but Cecil Stoughton was the only photographer on the plane back to D.C after the assassination, and the iconic photograph of LBJ being sworn in can be credited to Stoughton.

Here is a photograph taken by Stoughton which also includes Arizona Senator Carl Hayden in the far right.

Here is a photograph taken by Stoughton which also includes Arizona Senator Carl Hayden in the far right.
MS 325 Papers of Morris K. Udall, Box 735, Folder 28
Special Collections, UA Libraries

Moving along from Morris Udall and Cecil Stoughton, I would like to include Stewart Udall who was appointed by the President as Secretary of the Interior.  Archivist Maurita Baldock, who is my supervisor here, was interviewed last week by a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star that did a piece on some of the materials we have on JFK in our collection.  In the Stu Udall collection, there is a folder labeled President Kennedy (Death and Aftermath) which contains the invitations to the mass, letters from people offering their condolences and also notes Stewart Udall wrote to himself on a plane en route to Japan the day of the assasination which was ordered to turn back once the news broke about the President. The notes he wrote to himself really moved me because it makes you feel like you are sitting on this plane full of thought as to why this would happen and what the future would hold with Lyndon B. Johnson as the new President.  This folder is such a treasure here to have because no documentary or book can give you the actual invitation or notes that Stewart wrote on that very day.

Stu and JFK

Stu and JFK.
AZ 372 Papers of Stewart L. Udall, Box 88, Folder 13
Special Collections, UA Libraries

Here are the newspaper clippings when Stu and other congressmen were on their way to Japan and had the plane turn back once they were informed of the assassination.

Here are the newspaper clippings when Stu and other congressmen were on their way to Japan and had the plane turn back once they were informed of the assassination.
AZ 372 Papers of Stewart L. Udall, Box 109, Folder 3
Special Collections, UA Libraries

The notes Stu was writing to himself on the plane back to D.C

Notes Stewart Udall wrote on the plane back to D.C.
AZ 372 Papers of Steward L. Udall, Box 109, Folder 3
Special Collections, UA Libraries

Stewart's invitation for the Funeral.

Stewart’s invitation for the Funeral.
AZ 372 Papers of Stewart L. Udall, Box 109, Folder 3

Picture of Kennedy was inside of this Mass booklet that was for JFK's service.

Mass program for JFK’s service.
AZ 372 Papers of Stewart L. Udall, Box 109, Folder 3
Special Collections, UA Libraries

Since this post could go on forever I would like to let everyone know that I have been currently assigned to work on a display case with all these materials. So, if anyone would like to see these items in person come on in and view them. I am hoping to be done with the cases no later than next Wednesday so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Amy

p.s: I had more images but I would rather people come in to see them! =)

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Metadata

Since last writing in this blog, I have had the opportunity to finish my Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) compliant Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aid and have submitted it for review to Arizona Archives Online (visit here: http://www.azarchivesonline.org/xtf/search) an online consortium of 14 different Arizona libraries that actively submit finding aids of their collections for open access. I’ve also had the opportunity to encode a handful of other mono-serial, recently processed archival collections and these experiences have imparted upon me valuable insight into how metadata creation is an essential task of the digital archivist. The experience, eerily reminiscent of writing HTML code, has left me wanting to work more with the software and schema so as to become better familiar with all the different types of standards different archival repositories employ.

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve read about metadata for far too long. Students familiar with the literature of IRLS 515 and other classes dealing with the new age of information management will agree that this isn’t the easiest of concepts to comprehend, either. The crux of it is that metadata consists of a number of different standards and types; each one tailored to its specific task, but meant to be interoperable, nonetheless. DACS is the descriptive metadata schema used within the structural metadata style sheet that is EAD.

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It’s definitely refreshing to be able to visualize how the bigger picture of metadata actually fits within the digital archival landscape. One sees how essential its creation has become to ensuring that the public, researchers and students are able to discover the information, as well as access it. While I’ve only had the chance to work with DACS, EAD and Dublin Core (DC) metadata standards, there are plenty of them out there to go around, and having a good understanding of as many as possible can never be a bad thing.

I’ve also been busy digitizing some pictures from the University of Arizona’s Photograph Collection. The collection consists of over 14,000 photographs on topics relating to the UofA, its buildings, faculty, students and activities throughout its history. With a vast range of topics to choose from, I was tasked with selecting a number of photographs not yet digitized, but meriting inclusion within the digital collection.

Of these, many just appeal to my predispositions. The Kitt Peak Observatory demonstrates my passion for the cosmos, UA football and basketball team pictures made the cut because of my love for the game, and an aerial photograph (not yet included) of the infantile campus as the city of Tucson bourgeoned around it demonstrates how far my city has come. But by digitizing these pictures, I’m fulfilling a grander purpose than simply creating metadata. I’m sure other members of my community and I share interests and they can now partake in the use and research of these photographs, and many more, by knowing they exist. This is our purpose. So decide to stumble into the archives and take a look of the rich history we’ve got to offer for yourselves.

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Aerial photograph of University of Arizona campus, ca. early 1910s, facing south.

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Kitt Peak Observatory’s 2.1-meter (84-inch) telescope seeing light early in its installation, ca. early 1960s.

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University of Arizona 1913 Basketball Team

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University of Arizona 1913 Football Team

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Mike Bibby of the University of Arizona Wildcats playing in the 1997 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship game against the Kentucky Wildcats on March 31, 1997. If you don’t know the outcome of this game, I don’t know you. Copyright AP.

Preliminary survey of the unprocessed Gabby Giffords collection

For awhile now, I have been working on the Gabrielle Giffords congressional collection which is housed here at the University of Arizona Special Collections. It is indeed a very unique experience and a great opportunity for me to be doing the preliminary survey for this collection. The intention behind conducting my survey is to provide pertinent information, so that the lucky archivist who ultimately processes it will be given a proverbial heads-up to the nuances and the context by which the collection, preferably, will be arranged and described. To be part of the Giffords congressional collection processing endeavor is a huge undertaking. This particular collection is 133 boxes that are double-stacked upon 4.5 stacks. Albeit, it is very humbling to know that there are larger congressional collections out there as well.

GiffordsStacks

The Gabrielle Giffords collection- currently unprocessed.

Since I was tasked with only doing the preliminary survey (e.g. skimming over what kinds of items are enclosed), I feel that if I were to actually process this collection it would consume all of my time and I would most definitely need another helping hand to do so. Nevertheless, being able to simply overview these materials is quite an opportunity.

While skimming over the materials, I came by some really interesting items that were sent to Congresswoman Giffords by her constituents wishing her health and wellness. I thought since I am merely surveying the contents within the 133 boxes, that I would share with you one of the things that stood out to me and share a little history about the item in general. One of the items that I came by was a miniature hand-crank music box. Music boxes of this size first appear as children’s music boxes- a popular toy throughout the 1860s to 1900- and were built by jewelers and watchmakers. This particular music box, which is housed here at Special Collections, plays “Here comes the sun” by the Beatles; it’s from our current period as part of a trinket revival.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is a very much a loved and adored figure. As I said before, surveying this collection is, indeed, quite an opportunity. Once this collection is processed everybody will be able to catch a glimpse, as I have, into what made the then Congresswoman Giffords so personable to her constituents- those of whom call her ‘Gabby’.

This is a miniature music box that plays the song ‘Here comes the sun‘. One of the interesting items that I have come by while surveying the unprocessed Gabrielle Giffords Congressional Collection.

More than Just Scanning Photographs!

So, I have been working with the Morris K. Udall collection (MS 325) gathering materials to digitize and add to the Arizona Memory Project (AMP). I can say that I am on my second week and have 71 items, primarily photographs which will be scanned (26 have been scanned already) and hopefully added to the current collection found at the AMP website: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/landingpage/collection/uoamku

This is my favorite photo selection because it has the crew from the Challenger and Sally Ride whom is a really icon to me.

This is my favorite photo selection because it has the crew from the Challenger and Sally Ride whom is a really icon to me.

I had to create a spreadsheet for my selections and also find out the copyright status on all the photographs/materials. I am currently writing out letters to send out to those whose permission I’ll need to digitize some of these amazing photos. I will also be responsible for creating all the metadata content for all the items that are approved. Being assigned this project has given me a better feel of the process of how items that are digital are not just simply scanned in and easily available.

Top left corner is a letter of permission for the release of a photograph, below it is my spreadsheet with the items and detail for the item as well as copyright status. The right is a photo I digitize with Mo and Robert Redford!

Top left corner is a letter of permission for the release of a photograph, below it is my spreadsheet with the items and detail for the item as well as copyright status. The right is a photo I digitize with Mo and Robert Redford!

Well, I thought I’d give a small update as too what I am working on since it is probably going to be a project I will be working on until the end of this semester.

Happy Tuesday!

Amy

El Dia de los Muertos Event!!!

Okay, so all the other GAs and I just wrapped up an event for the El Dia de Los Muertos celebration and IT. WAS. FUN. Initially, we were rounded up by, Associate Librarian, Bob Diaz who coordinates some of the events that the UA Special Collections puts on. For this project, Bob wanted us to set up an installation piece in the lobby and conduct a presentation for guests the night of the event. We were indeed excited to be whisked away and put to the task. It’s super nice to be able to switch off between projects- just to break up the pace at times- and stimulate your skills and abilities elsewhere.

I have a delicate touch that materializes the form of a flower (who would have thought?). Countless numbers of these were made with Amy, my crafting pal.

Firstly, with Bob’s guidance, we discussed the design of the installation piece and decided it would look like a traditional Mexican Day of the Dead altar: flowers, skulls, candles (or at least the semblance of, since fire and rare books/ manuscripts don’t sound like they complement each other). Secondly, we did some research on the celebration in order to get a sense of what our presentations’ subject matter would entail. Thirdly, we drafted a script and devised a power point for the presentations we would give. One thing about working here at the Special Collections is that they value independent operation. For instance, we were encouraged to take artistic liberties and make decisions about the direction of this particular project as long as the parameters for the said goal were met. This made working on the altar very fun.

In order to create an altar we gathered all the festive materials (e.g. streamers, papel picado, figurines, vases, and all the paper flowers we made) and went at it in the lobby. We had tables, ladders, and chairs (TLC) set up so we could slowly but surely assemble our masterpiece with tender loving care. As daring feats, we scaled the daunting walls as we hung paper flowers from fishing line hundreds of feet in the air…just kidding. We had a great time, though, putting everything together. It definitely was a process and everyone who helped out with this installation piece had contributed invaluably.

GAs DDLM

Graduate Assistants- myself included- all posing with their uniquely beautiful La Calavera Catrina style of face paint (yeah, we’re awesome). This is our Altar de los Muertos behind us, equipped with over a million hours(!!!) of paper flower assembly and arrangement.


“Friends, lend me your ears!!!” All of us GAs presented to an attentive audience. Much easier to present with facepaint on; I wish I could do that with all my other class presentations.

The night was very enjoyable. We presented individually to an audience of 20 or so guests, who were very receptive. Afterward, everybody migrated to the lobby where our altar stands until the November 19th- Come check it out. Mariachis crooned serenades for love lost and strummed corridos for poignant recollection whilst their guests enthralled by the display of emotion looked on.

mariachis DDLM

We weren’t the only ones with La Calavera Catrina. These two were magnificient.

To get a further glimpse, here is a link to a short film made by filmmaker Aengus Anderson on the UA Libraries YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keURtu1o17g

Let’s Talk Football!

After all, it is football season! I was assigned to survey unprocessed Udall boxes to add to the Udall collection and came across some amazing photos of Stewart Udall (Stew) and President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ). When talking to Maurita and Erika a couple of days after Columbus Day I made note of a segment I saw after watching the last game of Sunday night football where they talked about changing the name of the Redskins. Erika had connected that with Stewart Udall saying that he had once advocated for changing the name in the past. Since I love football and continue to learn more about the Udall’s I did a little research about this issue.

Udall boxes I surveyed.

Udall boxes I surveyed.

Although Erika was on track that Stewart had something to do with the Redskins and name changing, it was not in regards to the team’s name. In fact, the main issue Stewart had against the Redskins was that they were still not integrated like the rest of the NFL. In March 1961, Stewart sent a letter to the Redskin’s owner George Preston Marshall stating that he was in danger of a criminal prosecution because the team violated the anti-discrimination laws.  Stewart was a very big advocate for the Civil Rights movement that he felt the need to take it to his own hands and continue the fight, especially since the Redskin’s was the team he rooted for. The issue was resolved in 1962 when Bobby Mitchell became the first black player for the Redskins.

The name changing part of this story pertains to the Redskins’ stadium which was also Stewart’s doing. One thing I found interesting was the relationship between LBJ and Stewart was not a friendly one. What made it hard to believe were the pictures I saw while surveying the boxes which contain messages from LBJ and Lady Bird to Stewart and pictures which are painting the story differently. So, when it came to the re-naming of the Redskins’ stadium from D.C stadium to RFK on LBJ’s last day of presidency, I saw a different truth to the relationship.  Of course, this was a bigger dis on Johnson because of the decade-long feud between him and RFK and Johnson thought that the stadium would have been named after him, so it was a big surprise to him when it was not. I always like to learn about the truths of the relationships between politicians, they usually are more sour than sweet.

I found this article from the Evening Star newspaper in DC, talking about this issue. We have this is our Stu Udall collection.

I found this article copy from the Evening Star newspaper in DC, talking about this issue. We have this in our Stewart Udall collection.

I guess even though the topic of the Redskins and changing their name was not something that was on Stewart’s agenda, there is still a connection to the Redskins. I would like to believe that maybe he did try fighting for the name change, but I could not find it anywhere.  If I do stumble across anything that says Stewart wanted the Redskins name changed I’ll make sure to update this post or if anyone else can find it, please feel free to share! I’ve also created a poll on the name changing of the Redskins name since it is something that has been considered for a long time now and I have my opinions on it and I’m sure many others do too.

Have an awesome day!

Amy

P.S: The collection I processed was finally completed with the pretty white labels and moved to its home on the processed side of the archive!

My excitement and collectionbeing put away

My excitement and collection being put away

Source:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2010/03/rfk_stadium_was_almost_lbj_sta.html#more

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8464699/washington-redskins-former-home-rfk-stadium-rich-history-espn-magazine