Nearly there

Well last week all the maps got nestled into their giant folders, now all that's left is entering a bit more information into Archivists Toolkit and some labeling. I've been working on excel sheets for the audio records and maps, but that's not very interesting so here are some photos.

These are selected from the second series' photo records of the 1975 Nag Hammadi dig:


Doesn't seem like the easiest terrain to deal with - there are photos of caves they were exploring in the rock face but it looks like they were searching in the rocky area around the base too:


A meal break - that's Jim Robinson in the center:


Here's one of the things they uncovered, I'd guess you'd really need to know what to look for. The hieroglyphs are barely visible to me:



That's all for this week, until next time!


The End is Approaching!

As the title of this post suggests, I'm approaching being done organizing and foldering my collection. I have nearly everything sorted, and I just need to label the folders and decide which boxes they will go in. I have a few things that are in the oversized box that can be taken out (as they aren't that big), but that's it for the physical stuff (I think)!

Next week I'll be finishing up and starting to enter everything into Archivists' Toolkit.

Here's another action shot--I've since moved to a larger table. As you can see, this one is a bit small.

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Until next week!


Now that's thorough

Nothing new to report on right now with processing, so here's something I found interesting while we were going through the maps and photos. One of the tubes that came with the collection was mailed from the Department on the Interior and contained a satellite image and its negative of the Nag Hammadi area.


If you can, why not get the best overview of your dig site as possible? From what I've made out of the numbers on the photo, it seems this was taken on the 21st of November 1981:


If that's the case, this was taken near the end of the expeditions, maybe they were made because the option had just become available. A cursory look at satellite history says that there have been photo satellites from as early as 1946 (, but the ability to order a photo survey from NASA may have been some time coming.


The weeks are counting down quickly now, just going to keep pressing on. Look forward to another piece of show and tell next week! Until then -


Still Archiving!

I'm still organizing, sleeving, enveloping, and otherwise archiving Ethel and Nancy's documents. I've come across more old family documents, some from as early as the time of the Civil War, which is pretty cool.

My somewhat-OCD impulses have gotten the better of me, and I'm rearranging things to try to have a more reasonable physical order, as well as a good archival order. Some of the main categories I'm using are older family/historical documents, Nancy's artwork, and Nancy's time in France. I'm also dividing up a few folders that were stuffed past capacity into much thinner folders, so none of the many photos get warped as they sit in the boxes. Once everything is satisfactorily organized, I'll number all of the folders at the same time.

Below is an old family photo. There are no names or a date on the back, but someone wrote, "Spoiled print but will give you an idea." I'm not sure if this is referring to a less-than-quality development of the photo (it looks pretty good to me, especially give how old it probably is) or the fact that no one except the young girl in the middle is looking anywhere near the camera. Anyway, I just thought it was a sort of funny and candid picture, especially since it was with a bunch of formal family portraits in which everyone looks very serious.

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Next week I'm (still) going to try to finish up with the doc boxes and get started with entering everything into Archivists' Toolkit. 

DSS in the IAC



Now that the bulk of the processing is done we're just focusing on the loose ends and the little pieces that haven't fit in anywhere else yet. There are a couple reels of super 8 film and an interesting notebook with images from an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It's put together in a way I haven't seen before - the photos are in sleeves that are hinged so you can flip each one up.


They correspond to some of the index cards that came with the collection. There isn't a huge amount of information on the Dead Sea Scrolls in the records, but there are some lectures, images, and info on the exhibition of the scrolls scattered throughout. The codices are much more well represented in this collection.

As for me, I'll keep working on the data entry portion of the processing and getting these last few things all buttoned up. Until next week!


So Many Mylar Sleeves

This week, I continued to organize, folder, and sleeve the contents of the three doc boxes I've been working on. I Mylar sleeved about 140 little photos... I got the hang of it after maybe 20 or so, and it went pretty quickly after that. Most of the pictures were from Nancy's time in France. There's a sampling of the photos (note how beautifully they've been sleeved) in the photo below.

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Nancy also had a second scrapbook, which has photos from when she was a child and also when she was much older. And of course, photos of cats!

Next week I'm going to try to finish up with the doc boxes and get started with entering everything into Archivists' Toolkit. 

It's Been a While

Hello to all! First, I must apologize for my absence on this blog as our spring break was last week and it would have been unfair of me to create a post without any substance. This post will take a different tone than in my previous posts. This entry will be centered about the technical and organizational aspect of being an archivist, an often looked over area of the archiving world.

Me and my fellow CCEPS fellow, Sara, are closing in on the end of processing the IAC collection and we have discovered the second half of the archiving universe. The first half of this fellowship brought with it the excitement of learning about new areas of academia previously left out of my mind. However, the learning has not stopped, if anything it has continued in different directions. It has continued from the scholarly to the archival realm and it still contains the same level of excitement that I was able to translate onto paper (digital really). I have been able to connect to this area of the work because the German efficiency expert inside me loves the fact that I get to organize this collection in the simplest way possible, making it easy for researchers to find what they want. Since I am unable to change the world all on my own, conquering the archival world will have to do in the mean time. 

O.K., so now to get down to the thick of it, the meat and bones of the Claremont Special Collections. The IAC collection is nearing its completion! We have placed (mostly) everything into neat folders and boxes just ready for research to be carried out on the extensive Nag Hammadi codices contained within. 


Here you can see our folders, tucked away neatly into the proper boxes. The process was a long one but filled with interesting twists and turns that included finding pictures of Henry Kissinger looking at the pages of the Nag Hammadi codex. With the processing out of the way, I am now able to focus on developing a comprehensive finding aid. This includes taking all of the information from the individual folder titles and placing them in the correct order within Archivist's Toolkit. This program allows for easy access to all of the finding aids for all the collections in the library. It also allows for me (or any archivist really) to fiddle around with the structure and content of the finding aid to ensure order and efficiency are achieved. With the toolkit, we are able to catalog all the files, maps, and seemingly countless audio tapes.


In the very near future, researchers will be able to look up the finding aid and find all that they need thanks to the tireless efforts of the CCEPS Fellows. 


The boxes for the cassettes and the index cards came in this week, so we got to work moving them in. These are mostly recordings of the regular public lectures hosted by the IAC over the years. A few of the tapes are from the Nag Hammadi expedition and seem to be of interviews with the people who discovered the codices.


Miraculously only one of these had an empty spider egg sac in it. It was a considerate spider though, it chose one of the blank tapes.


Still working through these too:


They're fun to look at; it's interesting to see all the different information that the archaeologists needed to conduct the their digs successfully. What the ground consisted of seems to be particularly important, which makes sense. They charted the types of stone and ancient building work and where they were in the site:


Wouldn't want to lose anything! That's why you went there in the first place. Next step is getting all the information put into Archivist's toolkit - series one and a chunk of series two are in there now but the cassettes are going to have to be described on the item level. Until next week!

- Sara


Even Further Adventures in Archiving

I spent most of this week sorting and deciding how to organize the contents of the last three doc boxes. Most of the remaining documents are Nancy's artwork, as well as a few family documents. I learned how to use envelopes within folders, which has made organizing small, loose things like photographs way easier.

Lisa and I walked through entering everything into Archivists' Toolkit, so I would have a better idea of how the collection would be presented to researchers. That was really helpful, and I think I have a decent idea of how I'll organize the last few doc boxes. I've also started gathering info for the bio that I'll eventually put up on Archivists' Toolkit.

I'm going to folder Nancy's artwork by medium, as there aren't enough dates for chronology to be very useful. She has scrapbooks, picture books, pastels, pencil and pen sketches, a few oil paintings, and mementos of her time in France.  

I'll leave you with an "action shot" of this table trying and (mostly) succeeding to contain all the stuff I spread out on it while I was trying to get everything organized. 

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Until next week,



Well it's suddenly the week of spring break, hard to believe the semester is already half over! The end is in sight and the proof is in those tidy boxes. This week I finished up the photos / slides and also started digging deeper into the maps. These are the most substantial thing remaining to be done, but luckily the mapmakers had an order system. Can't take chances I suppose when you're trying to keep track of a dig, seems like it'd be pretty important to know where things are. Unfortunately, some of these are so massive that we're going to have to keep them rolled up. It's always best to avoid leaving them that way but any folder big enough for these could also double as a queen-sized bed cover. Some of the maps look like they've been through the mill a bit, like the dirt-covered field notes, and must have seen a lot of use. It would be interesting to find out just how each kind was used in the course of the dig. We're still working on entering all the folder names into archivists toolkit as well, and getting some research done for the front material of the eventual finding aid. It's definitely shaping up!

Until next week -