Nearing the end

Well, my time here as a CCEPS Fellow is nearing its end. Last week all three of us CCEPS Fellows had the pleasure of giving a presentation on what we have been doing the past semester. Giving a presentation is a fantastic way to punctuate our time at CCEPS. It allowed us to give our own insight into the work we have been doing behind the "glass wall" and what it has meant to us individually.

For me, this was a way to gain the crucial skills and experience necessary to make it to the next level in my academic and professional endeavors. My presentation centered on that Nag Hammadi portion of the IAC Collection and what I have learned from it. Going through this collection gave me the chance to learn about a religion I had no understanding of but faced it with an unbridled enthusiasm that I made a point to mention in the presentation. The eagerness I had at the beginning of the semester never waned as the end approached. 

Not only was I able to learn about a subject I know nothing about but I was able to learn more about myself as a historian and archivist. I was able to test my knowledge gained in the classroom in a real setting. The setup of the program forces you to think about your next move and to not be afraid to reach out to peers or superiors when things become overwhelming. I was also able to learn and expand on my own capabilities as a student and professional. 

Despite my time at CCEPS coming to an end, there is still much to be done. Not in the sense of moving boxes and organizing a collection but in the small details that remain. One thing to keep in mind is that there is always work to be done that can improve a collection and its finding aid. This improving extends beyond the collection and to an archives as a whole. An archive is more than just a storage room for history. It gives life back to forgotten histories and shows that the value of archival collections can go beyond that of the researcher and can reach the public in new ways. 

Here, I have attached a direct link to my presentation should you want a brief glimpse at what I discusses: 

Winding Down

This is the final week for the Spring CCEPS program, and it's been a great experience. The IAC records presented challenges, but I feel like I've learned a lot from working on it. The archiving classes I took during and prior to starting here taught me about the challenges that can come up, and the different approaches you have to take to different kinds of materials. It's almost never going to be all neat 8 1/2 x 11 pages. Processing this collection let me gain experience working with oversize and difficult items, cassette tapes, learn how to sleeve photos, film, and slides. Archiving is very hands-on, and it was great to put all the theory into practice.


So it's time to say goodbye and move on to the next thing - I'm heading to Haines Alaska this summer to start an archives internship at the Sheldon Museum! I'm excited to continue working with archives, and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to work here with Lisa and the Special Collections crew this semester. It's been a fantastic learning experience and I can't wait to keep honing my skills. Thanks to all who've been following the blog and make sure to keep an eye on it for the next group of CCEPS students!

- Sara



This is my final blog post as a CCEPS Fellow. This semester I've had the privilege and pleasure of archiving the Ethel M. Reed Papers, a process that is almost finished. I'm going to finish entering everything into Archivists' Toolkit (finally!) and then I'll be done!

It's been a great semester and I have learned quite a lot. I knew pretty much absolutely nothing when I started back in January, and now I'm a budding archivist. I learned not only about the physical preservation necessary for keeping the collection in good condition (all that Mylar sleeve-ing) but also the intellectual organization of the collection, to make it useful for a future researcher (all that reordering of my folders of Ethel and Nancy's documents). And now, I'm putting it all into AT so that it can be posted online and used by researchers in the future.

Also, I realized that I was going to post sometime about Nancy's work as a chemist, and I completely forgot. Nancy graduate from Pomona College in 1944 with a degree in chemistry. She worked for the War Department during WW II with another scientist who was working to better preserve food for soldiers. Check out the photo below--there's some serious science happening.


There are problems and issues of all kinds related to equality of women in STEM fields in our own day and age. I can only imagine what it would have been like in the 1940s and 50s. Also, Ethel never married and adopted and raised Nancy by herself. I feel honored to have been able to process the documents of these women.

This Fellowship has been a fantastic hands-on learning experience. My eternal gratitude goes to Lisa, for helping me throughout this semester and always answering my questions. I'll be starting a job full-time in the fall, but this Fellowship has made me consider going back to school for archival studies or a related field. 


Tamara Savage, CCEPS Fellow Spring 2015


Lisa showed us how to encase a photograph in mylar this week - the satellite photo I wrote about a few weeks ago:


The operation was successful. There are a huge number of photographs in the collection so we're not going to have time to do that this semester, but we got to learn how to encapsulate a photo that doesn't fit into any of the standard mylar sheets.

Other than that I've just been labeling the folders, adding last things to archivist's toolkit and working on the finding aid.

Also, if you find yourselves in Claremont on Friday the 8th at 2:30, myself and the other two CCEPS students will be giving presentations on our work this semester. It will run until about 4pm, come check it out!

Later -


Almost There!


            I have (finally!) officially finished foldering and labeling everything. All of Ethel's diaries, all of Nancy's artwork and memorabilia from France, two scrapbooks, a collection of historical documents, and other miscellany. Below are pictures of my three doc boxes and a close-up of all of the labeled folders in one box.

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            This coming week, I'll be putting everything into AT (and taking finals) and presenting on my work as a CCEPS Fellow this past semester.  





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!