July 2018 Archives

It takes time to do things well

I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work that I need to complete per week. Work, study, and....can pose a challenge and after all there are only 24 hours per day and I can only -realistically- use 16-17 hours of it. Multitasking seemingly offers a solution but I rather focus on one task at a time. Patience is a virtue and it takes experience to refine and master it. I believe Mr. Frankish hit the nail on the head in a letter to a Mr. Burnet, Esq., "As to improvements on your ten acres, they are not so far advanced as you appear to think, it takes time to do things well."

I salute you Mr. Frankish!

Prendergast and Friends Part 4

In this week's analysis of the Prendergast Collection, I found an interesting 1959 poll that revealed the "the geographical interests and prejudices" of Northern and Southern Californians on the proposed water program of Governor Brown Sr. (the father of our current governor). To summarize the results, Northerners felt that they would be cheated by the plan as Southerners would be given an unfair amount of Nor Cal water, while Southerners believed that the Northerners were being stingy and heartless. This document was particularly fascinating to me because it demonstrated the deeply rooted rivalry between the two parts of the state. I would be interested in seeing the results of this same poll done today, especially with the next drought looming around the corner... 

See you next week,

Nick Gordon

Filename Tracker

Hi everyone!

Unfortunately, the scanner isn't working so I'm unable to scan files. Currently, I'm in the process of creating object file and title names for potential scans. The transcripts thankfully have been converted and are ready to be renamed with their appropriate file name. Hopefully the scanner will be up and running soon!



Knowing what goods are (and where to find them)

In a letter to Work Bros. & Co. in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Frankish discusses the details of a clothing order for four hundred & fifty to five hundred dollars worth of clothing. He writes,


"And as our seasons are not so marked as East of the mountains you will understand we will want light and medium weight goods & in good goods colors that will stand California sun. We are on Santa Fe & Southern Pacific R. R. 22 miles west of San Bernardino & 38 miles East of Los Angeles------- country.  And as we are between & so near two good towns tis necessary for us to keep some good goods & at prices that will hold our people at home...... Our community is composed of a good class of people and while not wealthy know what goods are and want what they purchase stylish for the money. We have in our Town two Small stocks of clothing. Kept in general stores."


Online shipping is keeping me at home, however, I still order from far and beyond. I wonder what he would say about that.

Prendergast and Friends Part 3

I was about halfway through the fourth folder of Prendergast's second box when Tanya and I found an interesting and mysterious small piece of paper buried between several documents. How the note made it there in the first place is a mystery in itself as it seemingly has nothing to do with the Prendergast Collection. It refers to Pomona College Professor and Judge Charles G. Neely. The brief message discusses a society known as Mothers' Circle and people's plans to meet to vote next month on amendments to the California State Constitution. I did some cursory research and found nothing about Mothers' Circle, so please let me know if you have any of the pieces to this puzzle!

Until next week,

Nick Gordon

Metadata and File Names

Hi everyone,

This week I spent most of my time creating metadata and filling out the file name tracker. I am going to have to continue scanning since I have run out of TIF files to pair with their respective PDF/As. I'll see how far I can get with Frankish Letters Book 3, until next week!


Angel Ornelas

It's All About The Details

This week I continued to work on renaming the files to ont numbers and converting the PDFs in Frankish Letters Book 1 into PDF/As. Verifying the file transcripts and scans requires attention to detail, which I hope to refine even further through my tenure as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow.

Looking forward to the future!

Prendergast and Friends Part 2

This week, I continued reading and scanning through the Prendergast Collection, which so far has included heated debates over the future of water from the Coachella Valley in the 1960s and contemporary newspaper clippings detailing these exchanges. I also took a "field trip" to the Upland Library to pick up more documents for the project. I was impressed by the interior architecture and depth of their local historical archives, which I felt rivaled our own Honnold Mudd Library.

Until next week,

Nick Gordon

San Antonio

Hi everyone!

This week I worked on metadata and am becoming closer to my goal of attempting to complete the digitization of Frankish Letters Book 3. I discovered a continuous set of letters that dealt with a very important business meeting with the Stockholders of the San Antonio Water Company. I believe this is one of the many meetings that brought together businessmen and businesswomen together to discuss the development of water systems in Southern California.

Talk to you all later,

Angel Ornelas

silver lining

This morning I woke up at 5:30AM and I know that is early for most people. Seemingly Mr. Frankish was an early bird as well and used to make his way to his office at 5:30AM. One morning he found the office safe open with the contents scattered all over the office floor. However, he was able to see the silver lining in the attempted burglary. He wrote in a letter,

"....They had drilled through the outer door of the safe right opposite the lock and knocked it out of place which left the bolts free, then drilled the inner door and put in the charge of dynamite with a fuse, closed the outer doors to deaden the explosion and blew the------ lock all to fragments. Fortunately there was not a cent in the vault so their labor was for nothing and they had evidently been pretty decent fellows for their kind..."


I will take his advice and see the silver lining every day.

My Last Day

This is my last day as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow. Next week I put my graduate education to work at a new job I am very excited about! I've worked on the Digitizing Southern California Water Resources project for nearly a year and I feel like I've learned and accomplished so much. In fact, I looked back at what I have done to further the project and here are only a few quantifiable statistics about what I have done over the last 10 months:


I have scanned 1,809 pages

I have done metadata for 2,795 items

I have uploaded 1,319 items onto The Claremont Colleges Digital Library

I have posted 28 social media posts (across three different social media platforms it would actually amount to 84 discrete posts)

I have written 40 blog posts


When I look at what I have been able to accomplish just in sheer numbers, I am taken aback. I know I have worked hard during my time as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow, but to be able to quantify these tasks is amazing.


One statistic I didn't have time to track down was how many podcasts I have listened to while working here. I know it exists and I know it would startle you as much as it would startle me. Let's just say, it must be in the hundreds by now, and no, I am not being hyperbolic.


There are, of course, unquantifiable experiences that I have had during my time here. There is no statistic that properly conveys how much I have enjoyed working with Tanya, the other CLIR CCEPS Fellows, and the rest of the library staff. I consider them friends as much as colleagues and it is bittersweet to leave this position because it means I won't be able to work with these wonderful, intelligent people anymore.


The CLIR CCEPS Fellowship has been a huge feature of my graduate education. It has complemented my interests in Cultural and Museum Studies and it has provided me with skills that will undoubtedly assist me in my new job and future career. For this, I am endlessly grateful to The Claremont Colleges Library, the Special Collections, and The Council on Library and Information Resources for making my participation in this project possible.

I will leave you with a quote, written in 1887 by a resident of Ontario, California, that best expresses my feelings about my time working here. "I have been bettered in coming here. I should hope you would also."

Prendergast and Friends

Hello everyone,

My name is Nick, and I just joined the CLIR Team last week. I've been spending my first shifts analyzing and scanning the Joseph J. Prendergast papers, which so far have included surprisingly impassioned speeches on water regulation in the Coachella Valley. Some of these speeches were given by the father of California's current governor, Edmund G. Brown Sr. I admit I am curious what solution exactly emerged from these fierce governmental discussions of 1961-62, but I'll have to wait until next week to find out. Stay tuned.