March 2018 Archives

Kay Koeninger

Hi everyone,

Wow, this week flew by! I almost forgot to write a blog post because I was convinced I had already written one for the week. 

This week I finished surveying the boxes. I am ready to relabel the folders and rearrange them into new boxes!

I also spent part of this week tracking down Kay Koeninger. She was a Scripps faculty member who took interest in T.S. Eliot's visit to Claremont and wrote an article about it in the 80s after interviewing Scripps alumnae who remembered the visit. Her letters are fascinating. I hope to reach out to her and ask her about her research.

Thanks for reading!

Zoey

Back to the Books

Hello Everyone,

I have spent the week organizing and hitting the books. I have condensed and organized all the boxes. It is satisfying to see everything nice and neat and orderly!

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I have been reviewing the manuals on how to proceed to the next steps, creating the Collection Description and the Finding Aid. I have also been studying the Describing Archives A Content Standard (DACS) to help me understand what's next.

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I am excited to move on to the next and continue this wonderful learning experience. Have a great weekend!


 

Success

I've been experiencing the mid-semester blues lately, especially leading up to the completion of my master's thesis. Success and failure have been looming themes in my life recently, and as if the Chaffey Brothers could read my mind I came across this letter:

"We notice that it is your deposition always to lean on others and we say in all kindness that if you are going to make a success especially in this country you must stand alone and depend upon your own judgement and rely upon your own strong hand to make business go.

We do not feel it to be our duty to you or to outsiders to omit & point out the fact that if a man wants or expects success he must take hold of the plow and never look back, bending all his efforts and energy towards the land in view.

We will adhere strictly to a guarantee up to this time, but beyond it you must decide to act for yourself.

We shall always take pleasure in affording you every possible assistance in either a friendly or a business way, but all your decisions must be from yourself & for yourself."

It's a good reminder that I have a lot of work to do to finish my degree. My fate is in my own hands and my commitment to complete my work can't falter at the finish-line. If you are also struggling to find the motivation to work I encourage you to take hold of the plow and never look back!

Week Three

Hey everyone,

This was my third week exporting and renaming PDF files from Frankish Book 1 and I'm almost done! There were 500 scans that needed to be exported and 500 transcripts that needed to be renamed and paired. I am about to hit page 470, so only 30 more to go! It has been very interesting working with this book and tracking Mr. Frankish's business transactions and correspondences.
Nothing new to report other than that!
Have an awesome weekend!
Hazel

PDF/As

Hi everyone!

This week I spent my time converting files to PDF/As. The conversion process has been rewarding as well. I now better understand the need for PDF/As. Although it is a repetitive and tedious process, it is important that PDF files are converted into PDF/As. Interestingly, I came across some PDF files that contained large transactions. The PDFs were from Chaffey Letters Book II. Although numbers on a letter dated in late 1800s doesn't sound appealing, it is fascinating to observe the value of land during this time.

Until next week!

Angel Ornelas

Problems with Processing

Hi Everyone! 


This week, I officially started processing the Yao family papers, which is exciting but also quite challenging. Although I spent the first few weeks surveying the documents and took my time to draft the processing plan carefully, my proposed processing plan still proved to be ineffective. As I was sorting through the photographs in the collection, I realized that some photos do not belong to any of my conceptualized categories. Additionally, I discovered that when I was surveying the collection, my categorization of the photographs was not standardized. For instance, I sometimes placed the photos of Claremont boy scouts under  the "people" category, and other times under "Claremont." Thus, facing these problems, my week was not as productive as I wanted it to be. 


However, it was definitely fun to do the detective work to find the connections between the photographs and group the relevant and related ones together. 


Since the library will be closed on Friday in recognition of Cesar Chavez day and I usually work all day on Fridays, I will only work seven hours this week. 


Hope you have a good week! 


Marcus

Emily Hale & T.S. Eliot

Hello everyone,

I am still in the process of surveying the George-Eliot collection. This week I got through two boxes. 

The survey honestly has been taking longer than expected because I cannot help but stop and read every letter. Eliot's letters at times deeply move me and at other times make me laugh out loud as if he and I share an inside joke. 

I particularly enjoy T.S. Eliot's gossips: "Mrs. P is a type of stupid woman that I have come across before, and I know that the only way to save oneself from them in the long run is to run away." He really hated this Mrs. P woman and I wonder if she really was as bad as he describes. 

And then there are the sweet concerns T.S. Eliot expresses about Emily Hale: "The exasperation of looking on at a situation about which I can do nothing has made me want at times to rush out into the garden and pull up all the prize dahlias and whatnots" (Eliot to Jeanette McPherrin about Emily Hale's health and well-being 1935).

If I find more quotes I love from his letters, I will share them!

Thanks for reading! 

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File Verification

Hello Everyone,

This week I worked on verifying that the transcripts of the Frankish Letters Book 2 match the correlating scans, and I am happy to report that they do!

While I have been working on this, I have found myself reflecting on the intricacy of the penmanship of the letters. The handwriting is very beautiful and artistic.

Until Next Time,
Sydney

Ready for Phase 2

Hello Everyone, I have finally managed to make my way through all the boxes for some initial processing. I began with twenty-seven boxes and ended up with twenty-one boxes of sorted records. I have another pass through to perform so I can double check my work, and a few odds and ends to fix, but I have a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. I am looking forward to continuing to the next phase in the processing plan next week. Have a great weekend!   

Scans and Conversions

Hi everyone!

This week I spent my time scanning letters from Chaffey Letters Book III and converting files to PDF/As. The scanning process was a slow and rewarding one. I became more familiar with executing quality scans that are able to capture the archive in its entirety. Not only has the scanning process allowed me to become more familiar with quality control and archival digitization, it has allowed me to gain a deeper insight into Chaffey's transactions and personal remarks. The conversion process has been rewarding as well. I now better understand the need for PDF/As.

Until next week!

Angel Ornelas

Week Two

This week I continued to worked on Frankish Letters Book 1. As I did last week, I separated individual scans from a larger PDF file, paired them with their transcripts, and renamed them to match with each other. As I was checking to see if the transcript and the scan matched, I found myself reading little sections of each document and I observed something interesting! In some of the documents it looked like Charles Frankish was developing or already had a relationship with the recipient of the letters, leading to many P.S.'s at the ends of business letters, that were personal messages. I remember one of them asked if the recipient's wife was feeling better and another referenced "snakebites" (quotes included in the letter), which could be referring to actual snakebites, but could also be a secret code word for something else! I thought that was pretty interesting, like maybe they were worried that someone else might look at their letters to try to find some important business deals. I don't consider myself a conspiracy theorist but I definitely think this might be a possible theory! Anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing more personal correspondences from Mr. Frankish as I transfer more of these business letters.

Buying Land in Ontario

I have been interested for quite some time about the logistics of settling in Ontario in the 1880s. While creating metadata for the Chaffey brothers' letters I have gotten a better sense of what life was like in the early days of the colony. However, more specific details about the cost of land or the average living wage are rarely mentioned outright. Recently I discovered a letter that shed light on some of these questions.

In a letter from 1883, George Chaffey outlined the prices for different types of parcels of land.

For small town lots located on the main Avenue (what is now Euclid Avenue) the price is $100.

For a large town lot located on other streets the price is $100.

For 2.5 acre lots within the "townsite" the price is $625.

For 10 acre lots within the "townsite" the price is $2500.

For 20 acre lots on the main Avenue the price is $4000.

For all other lots 10 acres and more the price per acre is $150.

For settlers who make "substantial improvements within a year from date of purchase," a discount of $25 would be negotiated. Usually the Chaffey brother expected half of the payment to be paid in cash and the rest would be paid through 1-, 2-, or 5-year payment plans with 10% interest.

After a settler purchases land, George Chaffey recommends that the person moves to Ontario in the autumn, before the first rains of the season. This gives settlers time to "put up his barn and house, purchase his hay, grain and tools and get things in proper shape to begin work." Once the first rains of the season start it will be time to start "plowing and planting his land."

Processing Plan

Hi everyone! 


I was on spring break last week so there were no blog posts. 


As I was drafting the processing plan for the Yao family papers, I was surprised by the freedom I was given in determining the arrangement method and potential research value of the collection. Because the materials in the Yao family papers varies vastly in their forms, ranging from official documents to film rolls, I decided to generally arrange the collection into series based on the format of the materials. 


Initially I was going to determine that the collection had medium potential research value because the events Norman Yao documented as a commercial photographer did not have an inherent connection between them. But after much hesitation, I determined that the collection has high research value because it reveals much about the local history of Claremont and tells a story of an immigrant family. Additionally, the collection would be accessible to the researchers because most of the documents in this collection are well preserved and can be dated, and certain parts of the collection are even systematically labeled.


I hope one day the Yao family papers can be available for researchers and benefit them in their research. 


Hope you have a good week! 


Marcus

Spring Break Scanning

This week I continued scanning Frankish Letters Book 2. I am just over half way through scanning the book. I am very excited about this, and I think I might finish scanning the book by April!

This week I scanned letters from July and I noticed that Charles Frankish wrote less letters in July than in June. I find this very interesting and I wonder if it is because on average more business was conducted in June than July. Hopefully as I continue to read the letters I will find out.

More Next Week,
Sydney

Scanning!

Hello Everyone!

This week I continued scanning Frankish Letters Book 2! It went really well. I am proud to say I have learned how to use the book scanner. I am excited to continue working on this project and seeing it develop. 

All the best, 
Sydney 

Almost There!

Hello Everyone, I now have nineteen of the twenty-seven boxes completed and I am almost finished with the initial phase of processing the records boxes. I am going to try to work fast next week and may be able to finish up and move on to the next phase in processing the collection. The volume of club records speaks to the club's longevity within the Claremont community. It is inspiring to think that a club which began with a few members meeting during the First World War to do Red Cross sewing, knitting, and community service was able to grow in membership and purpose, and endure an entire century. The day the Woman's Club of Claremont moved out of meeting at member houses and into their new clubhouse was a big event which the ladies recorded in notes and photographs. I have included more images found in a record book titled, Woman's Club of Claremont 1924 - 1944, for your consideration.


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Procession to the new clubhouse. Images found in a record book titled, Woman's Club of Claremont 1924 - 1944.

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At the new clubhouse. Images found in a record book titled, Woman's Club of Claremont 1924 - 1944

Frankish Letters Book 3

Hi everyone,

This past week I started scanning letters from Frankish Book III. It has been really interesting working hands-on with archives. The experience so far this week has been very insightful. The delicate nature of Book III has made me more conscious of the work that archivists conduct. The book scanning process is also interesting. The positioning of the book is critical to scanning a clear and legible letter page from Frankish Letters Book III. I am really looking forward to continuing this work and having more hands-on experiences with archives.

Hope everyone has a great Spring Break,

Angel Ornelas

First full week!

Hello,

My name is Hazel and this week was my first full week as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow. It has been really awesome to see all the different steps that go into uploading just one document. I spent the first half of the week looking over scans and transcripts for the Chaffey Letters book II, making sure that everything in that file was oriented correctly. Then for the last half of the week, I started separating individual scans of the Frankish Letters Book I from the larger ongoing PDF. After I separate a scan then I rename it and pair it with the corresponding transcript. I have found that through working this week, I have learned a lot about the systems within which I will be working for the remainder of the semester, as well as more about the team. I'm super excited to see what's next!

-Hazel

Swindlers

On July 18, 1884 William Chaffey wrote a scathing letter to C. N. Ross. Because it is so juicy, I thought I would include the body of the letter:


Reliable parties inform us that you made statements which no gentleman much less one with whom our relations have been so friendly would have uttered and we are at a loss to understand it. What right had you to accuse us of being swindlers? Did we ever swindle you in any way, or have we ever taken any mean advantage of you?

Unless we hear from you, about this matter and you apologize we shall be compelled to...have you do so in a way which will not be very pleasant--or inexpensive.


I personally suggest reading it out loud in your most intimidating voice. Unfortunately, I have no context for what happened before or after this letter explaining why C. N. Ross called the Chaffey Brothers swindlers. I am hoping that as I continue to go through these letters this mystery, as with all the mysteries I have found among these letters, is solved.

The more I read about the Chaffey brothers the more I consider them as pretty ruthless business men. The possible allusion to litigation is also interesting to me--were the Chaffey brothers planning on suing C. N. Ross? Or was something more nefarious going on when he wrote "we shall be compelled to...have you do so in a way which will not be very pleasant--or inexpensive?"

These are the letters I am most excited to read. They break up the monotony of everyday business transactions but they also inspire me to continue to ask questions.

Week of March 5-9

Hi all,

Today I worked on scanning more documents from the Ontario Mutual Water Companies Collection. A lot of them were excluded from the digitizing process because they contain sensitive information. For example, I couldn't scan insurance documents, tax receipts, invoices, and so on. This led me to think about whether the things I was leaving un-scanned would have an impact on the work of a historian or researcher. I sometimes like to think of these documents as puzzle pieces, or clues in an investigation, but it's hard to tell how significant each one might be. I'm sure someone with more historical context would be able to distinguish this more accurately, but for now I'm left wondering!

Best,
Aalia

Connecting with Claremont

Hi Everyone, 


I have been working as a CCEPS fellow for three weeks now, and I am done surveying the first half of the Yao family papers. Having examined so many Norman Yao's photos of Claremont, I gradually developed a deeper sense of connection with the college town. When I ascended the stairs on the south side of the Honnold/Mudd Library, a black and white photo that Norman Yao took in the late 1960s flashed in my mind. Four students about my age were walking down the stairs, chatting; one was fixing her hair, while another student was staring north at Mt. Baldy. For a brief moment, I felt that had I waved at them, they would have waved back at me. In other instances, as I walked around Claremont and saw the places photographed by Norman, I felt like I was visiting places that I had seen in movies or read about in novels. But Claremont is not a distant and strange place, but the city where I reside. Yet, seeing the town through the lens of a camera and with a historical dimension prompted me to take a step back from my many frustrations with Claremont in my daily life to view myself as a part of its changing history and appreciate the many beauties of Claremont. 

Moving on, I will be processing the Yao family papers. Basically, I will draft a processing plan, rearrange the documents under different themes and evaluate their research value. 


Hope you have a good week! 

Marcus


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Claremont students during a protest

Processing Plan

Hello everybody,

I made a processing plan this week. I read the OAC Guide to the Kruska Japanese Internment Collection and the Guide to the Addison M. Metcalf Collection of Gertrude Steiniana for reference and now I am fascinated with both collections. (Dr. Allen told me that a Picasso painting of Gertrude Stein is housed at UCLA special collections! How cool!) 

CCEPS work honestly does not feel like work. It's mainly just me fan-girling over fascinating, age-old documents. But back to T.S. Eliot, the three series are correspondence, photos and memorabilia, and printed materials. Ruth George Collection of T.S. Eliot is a very small collection, so I will have time later on to work on an online exhibit. 

I am excited for next week (though because of spring break, I will only work two days of the week). I plan to meet with librarians of both Honnold-Mudd and Denison to further discuss my plan. 

Thanks for reading!

Warmly,

Zoey

Frankish Letters Book II

Hi everyone,

This week, I finished breaking apart the transcriptions from Book II of the Frankish Letters. I was really intrigued by the way transactions were handled. Many of the letters contained references to property, land usage, etc. I have definitely become more familiar with the ways in which business was handled through letter-writing. I am really looking forward to start scanning archives next week! Now that I got a handle on understanding the relationship between transcriptions and archives within the CLIR Water project, I am excited for the rest of the semester!

Talk to you all next week,

Angel Ornelas

Student Appreciation!

Hi all,

This week I continued working on the task of converting Chaffey Letters Book 2 into PDF/A format. On Wednesday, I also attended an appreciation event for students who work at the library, which was so fun! There was free pizza and candy, I met some new people, and we played Pictionary (my team won)! It was nice to see how much students do to keep the library running and to feel appreciated.

Best,
Aalia

Scanning Frankish Letters

Hi All,

This week I worked on scanning pages and matching the transcripts to Frankish Letters Book 2. This week I also had the opportunity to read some of the letters! Charles Frankish wrote many letters a day, and I have noticed that he regularly writes to the same people. I think it is very interesting that these letters can help us better understand the business relationships that Charles had. I am excited to see the other people Charles worked with.

More next week,
Sydney