Results tagged “#CLIRWater”

Final Week....

This is my last week in the CLIR CCEPS Fellowship program. The program has helped me hone my skills both as an individual and as a working professional. Through the one year I have worked here, I have been able to understand time management, team work and professional ethics which are key elements for any career seeking individual. Freedom in the work space and being able to adapt based on fellow team members' workflows also played a crucial role in this program. Being able to use the Hasselblad camera and experiment with lighting techniques for different archival materials was my most favorite part of the program.
Tanya has been a great mentor for me throughout the program in making me understand the process right from scanning till uploading the materials into the collection. Her patience and understanding helped me grasp the process quicker and stay ahead in the work front. I would like to thank her for looking at me as an individual and as a team player.


An end to an end,
Another search for one thing:


This report is reported to report the fact that the report for the newly reported reports has been reported to the person in charge of reporting these reports to another committee responsible for reporting the final report in the form of a physical report. The report should also report the fact that the word "report" has been reported more than what the reporting guidelines would recommend in a report, for the amount of reports with metadata, that is. Lastly, it is reported that the grammar might make no sense whatsoever, reportedly.
This week I continued working on the metadata for the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. The items I uploaded this week were mainly telegrams, telegraphs and a handful of letters. They were sent between James T. Taylor, the chief engineer at the Bear Valley Irrigation Company and the Spreckels Bro's Commercial Company.

The subject that was mainly exchanged was the shipment of a specific type of cement known as the 'Willingham' cement at the rate of $3.55. Usually cement prices are measured per ton, but in the materials I worked on, it was not mentioned clearly on what metric basis they were measured in. In 2018, the price of a ton of cement was approximately $125.00. Also, I was unable to find any solid information on what the 'Willingham' cement was. The shipping of the cement was done using railroads. Thus, in the telegrams or telegraphs, the number of cars of cement being shipped was stated, which was usually followed by a reply confirming the arrival of materials. When the term 'cars' were mentioned, it referred to the railway cars.

One unique letter that caught my eye was a reference letter for a Mr. Marcus A. Byron for a job at the Bear Valley Irrigation Company. Having come near my graduation and as I will be moving into the zone of job hunting where reference letters are a key factor, this letter rather reminded me to change gears and pick up some speed on my career front.

Yellow File Folders

In the room where I work in
Lived a man who sharpened pencils
And he wrote down the numbers of files
In the land of file folders
So we put documents in them
Till we run out of space
And we shoved them back in boxes
With our yellow file folders

Thank you!

There always comes a time when one has to say goodbye to their colleagues and this task may prove to be a difficult one. This week, several thoughts were going through my mind as I was deciding what to blog about on my last day as a CLIR CCEPS fellow. But now, when the actual moment has arrived, I can't think of anything except two words, 'Thank you!' I can't tell you how enriching my last year has been here at CLIR CCEPS. My mentor, Tanya, has been a great source of motivation and support. There are several fellows who have supported me to complete my tasks in a successful manner (You know who are!) and I am grateful to them. I always worked harder because of their support. My entire journey has not only been the most enriching but also fun-filled. I am going to miss the days spent here and I will utilize what I have learned in my future endeavors.

Once again, thank you all!

This week I continued working on the metadata for the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. The items consisted of a mixture of letters, lists, receipts and postal cards. The lists contained the raw materials that were required for construction of the flumes, such as lead and varnish. The letters mainly addressed issues concerning the functioning of the flumes, especially during trial runs and the necessary alterations that had to be made with respect to the dimensions of the flume for better runs. Most of the letters also had a confirmation note from the receiver confirming the arrival of the note, which was new in the items I have digitized so far in this collection. 
This week I continued working on the metadata for the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. The items consisted of a mixture of letters, receipts and memorandums. The letters were sent between James T. Taylor, one of the investigators who had to ascertain the most reliable and at the same time the cheapest water supply to the City of Perris and the California Marble & Building Stone Company.
The subject discussed through the letters was the supply of crushed rock. The amount of rock was measured in yards. The rock was delivered to the Bear Valley Irrigation Company. Transportation was done through railroad cars. The interesting aspect was as to how the rates of the rock per yard changed based on the time of the year. Between the months of January and June, the rates were moderate but gradually increased towards the end of the year. But towards the end of the year, the transportation costs had also increased due to unavailability of railroad cars as they were used for transportation of coal.
The receipts were the payments for the rock along with the transportation costs. The memorandums mainly had information regarding delays in delivery or requesting for further supply of rocks from James T. Taylor. I wonder why this change in price, and how the season would affect the quality of the rock and transportation costs. Hopefully, through items I will be working on in the following week, I will be able to get an answer.

Memorial Day

For the past few weeks, I have been updating and renaming files for Frankish Letters Book 5. Most of the letters I worked on were written in 1887. This made me wonder how Mr. Frankish would celebrate Memorial Day. After some research, I discovered that until 1890, Memorial Day was celebrated in all the states of the North. It was only after World War I, that the holiday changed to honor the memory of all Americans who died in any war - not only Civil.

Pocket Watch

Yesterday I came across a letter written by Mr. Frankish to Mr. C. W. Filkins. I wanted to learn more about Mr. Filkins and found the following cool story about him. The year is 1888. One morning, a man named, John Oakes, walked in a bank and demanded to know if he had any money on account at the bank. When he was told that he did not, he shot the cashier and Mr. Filkins who was standing about six feet away. Filkins was wearing a pocket watch that day, which saved him as the bullet hit the watch. The pocket watch was damaged but a Swiss Jeweler fixed it for him 18 years later. Needless to say that Mr. Filkins was very proud of the watch.  


How a pocket watch saved a Riverside businessman's life in 1888 bank robbery:

Challenges of Frankish Letters Book 5

I could definitely make use of software that is well equipped to decipher Mr. Frankish's handwriting. In the meantime, Tanya has been a great help in deciphering them. Thanks Tanya!
This was my last week before I take a break for my final exams. I continued to work on the metadata for the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. The items that I uploaded this week mostly consisted of letters, telegrams and receipts. The main subjects that were under discussion through the various formats of written communication were of payments that had to be made to certain parties, negotiation of rates for supply of goods, shipments of goods and water supply for irrigation. I also had the opportunity to photograph and edit a few oversize items. Using the Hasselblad camera after nearly 6 months was exciting. I also had the opportunity to look at the new Phase One camera that will be used henceforth for photographing oversize items. I hope I get an opportunity to work on the Phase One camera after I come back from my finals week.

Your basic needs

Working with the camera can be physically and emotionally draining. You may wonder what can help to ease the process. Here are a few tips that may make your trips to the camera room a little easier. First, coffee can help. Drinking a few cups before the photo shoots may give you anxiety but will help you stay alert. Second, be prepared to spend a few hours in the camera room. It will take a few tries before you get that perfect shot. Nothing will ever be perfect; but after a few hours, you will get close to what you want. Third, bring power bars as you may need to skip lunch or grab a late one - a very late one. Finally, bring a friend who actually knows everything about using a camera.

Don't send anyone unless he is very good

Have you ever struggled to fold laundry, vacuum or clean ovens? If yes, you may have something in common with Mr. Charles Frankish. In 1891, Mr. Frankish was searching for someone to do household work. Someone who would be very quick and very clean. In a letter to L. A. Fawn, he wrote, "...Now don't send anyone unless he is very good as I won't pay anything to one who is no good." 

Land, water and money....

This week I continued to work on the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. Since I was working on the metadata, I had read through some of the items in order to form a description. While doing so, I found an interesting item. It was a letter sent between a landowner and James T. Taylor (sometimes also referred to as Jas T. Taylor), one of the investigators who was selected by a board of committee members to investigate and ascertain the most reliable and at the same time the cheapest water supply to the City of Perris.
The landowner stated in his letter that he had around 80 acres of land located in the Alessandro district and wanted water supply given by the Bear Valley Water Company at a reasonable price in order to irrigate his land. Since I had never heard of the location, I started to do a little research on the Alessandro district and found out that irrigation in Southern California was begun by Spanish Mission priests in the beginning of the 19th century. The means of construction for irrigation was crude and narrowly limited along with a lack of experience and technology. The developments in advanced irrigation had only begun by around 1870. One of the reasons why the Alessandro district became an attractive location for irrigation was because it was all upon one plain, sloping south toward a basin whose immediate bottom is occupied by a great rugged cluster of granite hills i.e. the plain slopes from the surrounding hills to the base of this interior group in the San Jacinto Valley, making it an ideal place of irrigation.
Considering these facts, I was able to understand why many landowners wanted to irrigate large portions of their land. Because of the requirement of water supply, the Bear Valley Water Company and the Bear Valley Irrigation Company were later established leading to establishments of residents forming a whole mini-economy.

End II

Got final papers,
Gonna have to take time off,
Be back in summer.
While looking for an item to post on the social media page, I discovered an interesting newspaper article from the California Water Documents collection on the building of the 'Colorado Aqueduct'. The article talks about the speeding of the work related to building of the aqueduct by certain citizen groups and the engineers. The idea of the aqueduct was conceived by William Mulholland but the construction was headed by Frank E. Weymouth, the Metropolitan Water District chief engineer. This aqueduct was one of the largest projects that existed in California during the Great Depression. This project had given employment to more than 10,000 people in a year. It was one of the primary sources of drinking water for Southern California.
While I was doing research on the Colorado Aqueduct, I was directed to the page of the 'Los Angeles Aqueduct' that was the basis for the movie 'Chinatown' (1974), directed by Roman Polanski. The movie talks about the murder of the chief engineer who refuses to build an aqueduct, which was set on the background of the water wars that existed in California. There were a lot of controversies surrounding the 'Los Angeles Aqueduct' as it had completely sabotaged the agricultural land that existed in Owen's Valley. 'Chinatown' (1974) being one of my favorite movies and screenplays, I was highly intrigued on finding an item on similar grounds.

More about scanning

Previously I raved about scanning a book. Most books are relatively easy to scan. Nevertheless, caution is required as one should not apply pressure to books in order to flatten them for image capture as it may break the spine of the book. Still, a brittle piece of paper needs more care. The texts may be obscured by persistent folds which need to be flattened by weights. Items that are oversized need special attention and may instead need to be photographed. Overall, scanning seems to be an art in its own right.
Open the lid up 
Paper in, now paper out 
Light on, now light off 
Switch up, switch up 
Tell me what folder you're on now
Zoom in, now zoom out 
Type up, now type more 
Print up, print up 
Tell me what box you're on now

Approval Pending

We regret to inform you, the five people that somehow bother to read any of this, that the publication of this post is delayed until our censor return. Due to the writer/employee/student/prankster's extremely high level of immaturity, we have to review each submission carefully multiple times to weed out any potentially offensive language and innuendo hidden in various pop culture references and dank memes. As a token of our sincere apology, please click on this message and bask in the vast, white, empty space of nothingness right below the text. (Note: glue paste is provided at the physical location of the library.)
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