Results tagged “#CLIRWater”

Last Week before the Break!

Being the last week of work for this semester, I was able to work on both photography as well as do metadata. Some of the items had black dots on them and they had to be re-photographed. Apart from that, I continued working on the metadata and I was happy that I was able to upload a majority of the items that I had completed.
Overall, the CLIR-CCEPS fellowship has been a great experience for me so far. I hope to continue next year.

Presentations

I had the opportunity to attend the CCEPS (non-CLIR) presentations on Wednesday. I was taken aback by the sheer amount of information and historical photographs presented by the students. What surprised me most was that even though I have been working with two of the students, Marcus Liu and Justyna Misiewicz, I was not really aware of the resources they were working on. Overall, a great experience!

Are You Afraid of Heights?

Circled in red in the photo below, three surveyors with minimal safety gear are preparing anchorage lines for an aerial tram in Boulder Canyon. 

While workplace safety is a legal obligation with all forms of employment in 2018, such concerns were rarely considered in 1931. Case in point is this photograph of these surveyors nonchalantly triangulating points along the sheer cliffs of the canyon without harnesses. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the institution in charge of the creation and enforcement of workplace safety regulations, would not come about until 1971, forty years after this photograph was taken.

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NARA Series: Boulder Canyon Project Series, 1948-1966. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292774

End, a Haiku

Scanning old papers,
Inputting metadata,
And I'm still not fired!

Complications of Thin Paper

In a previous post, I discussed the difficulty of working with very thin "onion skin" paper. In this post, I would like to show what happens when printing is done on both sides of thin paper. The photo below is from the 1947 Project History of the Coachella Division of the All-American Canal. Note how the printing on the reverse side of the paper can be seen through to the front of the scan. While it does not make the front illegible, it does make the task of reading the document a bit more challenging. Imagine trying to read this document if you had a learning disability such as dyslexia, the extra letters could severely hinder the reader. 


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NARA Series: All-American Canal Project Histories, 1948-1954. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292770

Up(loaded), Up(loaded), Up(loaded) & Away!

This week I spent a lot of time uploading files onto CONTENTdm Project Client. In other words, I watched the culmination of all of my work from the past few months make its way into the world. It is exciting to think about what some of these documents could be used for. Maybe someone will use them for a project, paper, or maybe even a book. The other day I was in a meeting with my advisor and he was even curious about what he could use some of the documents for. I am excited to think that someone might actually be able to access these documents that were previously only available in the Upland Public Library. Although uploading these large files on CONTENTdm Project Client is a little tedious, it is nice to see all of the documents uploaded!

The culminating presentation was a new and interesting experience. One thing that surprised me as a presenter was the type of audience that was present. Being a Masters candidate, the audiences that I have presented in front of so far are usually professors or fellow students. But the audience that was present on that day had consisted of archivists, staff from the special collections, as well as other people who work in the library and a few general audience members (that includes students from the Claremont Colleges). I felt the audience was responsive during my presentation, especially when I was comparing maps and sharing my knowledge and experience with water wars in Southern India. I was very keen on talking about the movie 'Chinatown' (1974) directed by Roman Polanski. While I was doing research for my presentation and forming comparisons between the water wars that existed in Southern India to the one in Southern California, I figured that there was a pattern in the flow of water (from the north to the south) in both the countries, which I also mentioned during my presentation.

The culminating presentations made by my fellow students were all very intriguing and informative. I could see that each one of them had a different perspective on the whole issue of water in California. Rather than talking about the processes that were involved, which would have brought a layer of similarity between all the presentations, each of the CLIR Fellows chose a particular issue from the documents they were digitizing in the CLIR project and compared it to the work they were doing in their respective careers while also giving their perspective on the issue at hand. Additionally, it was very satisfying to see the audience pose questions towards the end of the program as this indicated that they actually paid attention to all the presentations and were able to remember them till the end.

Apart from the presentation, the rest of the week consisted of continuing my 'meta' work from the Willis S. Jones Papers. I also look forward to my last week before the winter break. 

Rainy Days

Yesterday it was raining like crazy.  It was a day that won't soon be forgotten.  I know what Mr. Frankish would say.... something like "rainy days are great." I know he would be excited about it. I get it. I know we need rain. But I only love rain in the movies. In "the Shawshank Redemption" after crawling through piles of mud and trash, Tim Robbins emerges into "a glorious, hammering rain that seems to sum up the spirit of freedom." But of course, that is just in the movies. Rain damaged my moccasin shoes last year. Yes, it was my fault for wearing them. But really, if I was in a movie, I would still be wearing them this year.

 

Presentation Completed!

I am pleased to announce that the CLIRWater Presentations went wonderfully! It was so amazing getting to see students, library staff, and representatives of other CLIRWater partner institutions come and support the fellows presenting. It was my first time seeing what collections other fellows were working on. Their presentations did not disappoint! Learning about other waterways in Southern California, and founding fathers of various Inland Empire cities was indeed the highlight of the day. Below is a photograph of myself presenting on Tuesday.

A-prsentation photo.jpg

How to capture the breadth of a recently surveyed land before the invention of the digital camera and its movable viewpoint? Water Project worker B.C. Noe approached this challenge with a do-it-yourself solution, involving a steady hand and a little tape. Like his composite photo below, the photos in this collection which portrayed panoramas, often of the untouched landscape before the beginning of a project (similar to Fortification Mountain and Hemenway Wash in the Boulder Canyon series), were regularly framed photos attached at the sides. This imitated a modern splicing effect and folded out over the report page.
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NARA Series: Boulder Canyon Project Series, 1948-1966. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292774

Presentation Never Changes

Since the ascension of our Holiness, Lord Gates, when PowerPoint was first introduced to mankind, too many humans have been forced to sit through the constant stream of colorful slides filled with text. During the war for the attention of the millennials, for a brief moment, Prezi was thought to be the new champion, with its seamless flow of giant texts, to tiny a** pictures, back to humongous rotating letters, and back to slightly angled and edgy Youtube videos; but no, PowerPoint remained strong, even with the mounting effort from Google to replace it with Slides and the promise of easier distant collaborations (and we all know how effective group work is). On 2018-12-04, in the Hobbit-sized Keck 3, PowerPoint was once again wielded to mesmerize a curious crowd. Life goes on, but presentation never changes. 

Knowledge Production and Subject Terms

Today is the day! This morning the CLIR CCEPS fellows--myself included--presented to library staff and friends. Each presentation was interesting and highlighted the variety of experiences people had throughout the duration of their time with the fellowship. After the presentations, the floor was open to questions from the audience. During that time, someone asked about the process of assigning particular subject terms as a way to push some of those categories to fit new modes of knowledge production. Particularly, the person asked if subject terms like "colonization" had been used. Here is my response to that question: I have been wrestling with that thought throughout my work on the CLIR CCEPS project. I am wary to apply those terms because in many ways it traps the information within an epistemological field that is ever-changing and is gaining popularity. Assigning those subject terms--like colonization--now can help current students, researchers and patrons obtain that information. However, the online data will last forever, and therefore all of the subject terms assigned to that document will be linked to it permanently. It's incredibly hard to think about how to both push the metadata process to be more accommodating of particular kinds of knowledge production, especially those that work to critique structures of power, while simultaneously thinking about the implications of circumscribing certain documents within categories whose knowledge production and outcome we have yet to know. I will continue to ask myself, as I assign subject terms to metadata, what knowledge is this producing and what knowledge is it obscuring?

Post Thanksgiving..

Post Thanksgiving week started out in a brisk pace, where I began working on certain oversize items, which required to be re-shot. Since the Hasselblad Camera had some functional issues, we had to shift to the Canon-Rebel camera, which required a different setting in order to take pictures indoors. Through the middle of the week, I started working on my culminating presentation. While finding out information for the presentation, an interesting fact that I was able to figure out was that there is no valid biography of Willis S. Jones. Finding out about Willis S. Jones was an eye-opener, which I plan to present during my presentation. 
Through the further end of the week, I continued working on my meta-data on the Willis S. Jones papers. Since, it was a continuation of the determination of water prices for certain regions surrounding the Temecula region, there wasn't any new information that was particularly interesting. 
During the Boulder Canyon portion of these water projects, old and new technology was used when deemed necessary. It is interesting to note the use of diesel-powered compressors to level grounds for creating highways and pathways for railroads, then opting for older steam-powered locomotives to haul building materials to the dam's construction site. 
The irony is not lost in using the new methods to make way for the old.
Below are pictured the 19th-century style, 90-ton locomotive used in this 1929 report, hauling materials by the car at 50-tons each and the newer diesel compressor that makes new railways possible (both shown as the bottom image on each page).
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NARA Series: Boulder Canyon Project Series, 1948-1966. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292774

A Great Week

This week, I have been working on my presentation while continuing to work on the metadata. I consider it a great week particularly since my data was saved. :)


#CLIRWater Presentation

As is the case with my fellow fellows, this week has been spent preparing for my final presentation on what I have worked on this semester. Working on the presentation was an interesting experience, trying to balance information about the actual process of digitizing while also illuminating the materials in the collection proved tricky. It will be exciting to show the public examples of what materials have been digitized. It will also be a joy to spend time with my other colleagues who have been working on similar projects. The digitization process, as well as archiving, can be extremely lonely. Any chance to mingle with others and break up the isolation is wonderful. 

Since I typically like to provide you all with a photo, please enjoy this lovely photo which begins the 1947 project history!

coloado river water enters coachella valley 1947.PNG
NARA Series: All-American Canal Project Histories, 1948-1954. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292770
Comrades! Rejoice, for our glorious Hasselblad 501CM will be restored and shall join us in our final battle to capture cwd00691! The mechanical unit might be old and bogged down by dirty crumbling leather specks, but like our CLIRWater Motherland, it shall persist along our other decade-old hardware and put an end to that annoying Pauba Ranch map! Sure, we were set back multiple times going against the grain in the last 3 months, even with the employment of the newer, flashier Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR with its 600ppi setting, but we shall not surrender (because we need our paychecks) and we shall march right back to the gate of the Camera room! For the Noir Army is the strongest! Для Родины!

Culminating Presentation

This week I spent time working on my culminating presentation for the CLIR CCEPS Fall 2018 semester. The topic of my presentation will be similar to my blog post from October 25th, which discussed how the San Antonio Water Company Oral History Collection interacts with the things I have learned in my class (Re)learning the Love of the Land. In creating the presentation and writing some of the slides, I realized just how much work there could be done with the interviews that I digitized. They are important tools in understanding this region's history and conceptualizing why it came to be this way. I hope that other people might find the documents as useful as I did in thinking about the world. The valuable analytical tools that I have gained from my class have been sharpened through this fellowship and I am very excited to share what I have learned!

Post-War Canal Maintenance: Part 2

Last week it was discussed that during World War 2, all non-essential maintenance on the All-American Canal was halted. By the end of the war, a large section of the banks of the canal had become overrun with vegetation such as willows, and arrow weeds. To combat these issues, an accelerated program of maintenance and rehabilitation was inaugurated in 1946. While last week we saw the maintenance on some of the gate rollers, this week are 2 photos showing how the overrun vegetation was managed. 

Workers on amphibious vessels used flame throwers to burn up the excess flora along the banks of the canal. The photos below show this removal process, as well as give a close up look as to what the amphibious vessels looked like when out of water. 

clearing out vegatation.jpg
DUCK MOUNTED WEED BURNER ENTERING ALL-AMERICAN CANAL ON ROCK SURFACED RAMP BELOW ALAMO CHECK, JULY 24, 1946.jpg

NARA Series: All-American Canal Project Histories, 1948-1954. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292770


Operations officer's log, Stardate 96487.89. We have been tasked with updating the new memory core of the USS CLIR with metadata, presumably to better catalog the files from the CLIRWater optolythic data rod. So far, it has been proven to be extremely difficult to work with, unlike the standard isolinear ones. Needless to say this will be a tedious assignment, something even the Borg might find irritating. The wrap reactor has also been experiencing some new technical difficulty, our deuterium injectors are quite outdated and Starfleet Command has not responded to our request for a new M/ARA. With any luck, we will complete inputting all the metadata before experiencing any wrap core breach.
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