Results tagged “#CLIRWater”

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.

New Adventures

Hi everyone,

My name is Giti and this week was my second full week as a CLIR CCEPS Fellow.
I am very excited to join the team. For the past two weeks, I have been renaming and converting the PDFs in Frankish Letters Book 1 into PDF/As. It has been very interesting working with this book and tracking Mr. Frankish's business transactions and correspondences. I am very excited to see what's next!

More next week,

Metadata, metadata, metadata, and more metadata

Hi everyone,

I've managed to complete more batches of metadata with the edits I made to the template in CONTENTdm. It turns out that I could customize the metadata to my needs, and was able to pre-fill more fields than the CLIR Water team thought possible. The metadata process has been more efficient as a result of this discovery and hopefully that means the completion of Frankish Letters Book 3 by the end of the summer!

Talk to y'all later,

Angel Ornelas

Bilious Attack

In a letter from December, 1887 Charles Frankish sends his condolences to a man who suffered a "bilious attack." As someone who is interested in medical history, my interest was piqued. I looked up the term "bilious attack," and the internet returned the following Merriam Webster definition:

A. biology : of or relating to a yellow or greenish fluid that is secreted by the liver and that aids especially in the emulsification and absorption of fats - of or relating to bile

B. biology : marked by or suffering from liver dysfunction and especially excessive secretion of bile - a bilious attack - a bilious patient

C. appearing as if affected by a bilious disorder - a sickly bilious face


Apparently this man had some sort of liver disease, which was known as a bilious attack at the time. Reading further I came across this passage on the Merriam Webster website:


Bilious is one of several words whose origins trace to the old belief that four bodily humors (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood) control temperament. Just like phlegmatic ("of a slow and stolid phlegm-driven character"), melancholy ("experiencing dejection associated with black bile"), and sanguine ("of a cheerful, blood-based disposition"), bilious suggests a personality associated with an excess of one of the humors - in this case, yellow bile. Bilious, which first appeared in English in the mid-1500s, derives from the Middle French bilieux, which in turn traces to bilis, Latin for bile. In the past, "bile" was also called choler, which gives us choleric, a synonym of bilious.


It is interesting how ideas influence language, even after the ideas have gone out of vogue. For example, liver spots are not related to the liver at all and are instead caused by sun exposure, almost like a large freckle. However, liver spots were named because people once believed they were a symptom of liver problems. So even though we know they are not caused by liver disease, language has not adjusted to our new knowledge.

It is also interesting how words originally used for medical conditions, become associated with personality traits. I'm sure there is a historical reason for this, but I don't know what it is. All I know is that I've used the word melancholy many times and never meant for it to be related to black bile.

Back to the Grind

Hi everyone!

It feels good to be back from a much needed summer break. As of yesterday, I've been working on completing metadata for Frankish Letters Book III and organizing the file name tracker. That being said, I have stumbled across a lot of letters concerning the price of land and the costs associated with water development. I did not realize how expensive purchasing and developing a piece of land was until having gone through various Frankish letters. I hope to discover more cool and interesting facts next week! 

Warmest regards,

Angel Ornelas

The Plot Thickens

This week I continued to work on metadata and upload letters from Charles Frankish. Now that I have worked on so many letters, I am starting to recognize names and patterns in the documents. It is almost as if I am reading a long, abstract novel where characters and events are related to the reader through Frankish's perspective. It took many letters before I could recognize stories developing and a lot of work for me to piece the narrative back together since the letters are all outgoing mail. However, it is a rewarding and exciting feeling to open up a file and find a clue to what is happening in Ontario, California in the 1880s. Now, when I see a familiar name I get an idea of how Charles Frankish will address them, what the letter will discuss, etc. And different events develop over the course of many letters, such as the construction of the electric railway that I mentioned last week. Each letter on a certain topic updates me on the progress and setbacks that Frankish encountered so many years ago.

So Many Uploads!

This week I have done so much metadata for the Charles Frankish letters. It is incredible the amount of letters that I have been able to get through this week. I have uploaded nearly 200 new letters on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. I wish I had more to say about the letters, but most of them detail various business transactions for the Ontario Land Company. In particular these letters provide information about property values, the sale of land, and water stocks. Some of the more interesting topics include the construction of an electric railway in Ontario as well as the development of a commercial center in the new city. These letters haven't been particularly interesting to me, but the facts and figures included in these letters could provide researchers with useful data. Check them out on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library!

Good-bye Chaffey, Hello Frankish

After months of creating metadata for the Chaffey brothers, I am finally done uploading the Chaffey letters to the digital library! This is an exciting moment because now researchers can access all of the letters in our collection online. I have written blog posts before about the various historical narratives that can be gleaned from these narratives, and I hope others find that to be true the next time they visit the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. It seems odd that I have read almost every Chaffey letter in our collection and now I am done. There are no more Chaffey letters left for me to read.

Now I turn to Charles Frankish and the large collection of letters from him that we have in our collection. After the Chaffey brothers established Ontario, California they moved to Australia to start a new colony based on the success of the Ontario colony. They left Ontario in the hands of Charles Frankish who continued to develop the city. Creating metadata for Charles Frankish is much easier given the context I have from the Chaffey brothers' letters. Charles Frankish had to respond to many of the same issues that the Chaffey brothers dealt with. However, new plans were also being made as the city grew rapidly.

For example, several letters from 1887 refer to an electric railway being constructed along an eight-mile strip of Euclid Avenue. It's fascinating to read the letters in chronological order because I feel like I am watching a city being built. It's even more interesting because I have been to Ontario, and can think back to what changes the city has gone through to get from the small settlement founded by the Chaffeys and developed by Charles Frankish to the modern city we can visit today.

The Importance of Software

This week has been kind of an odd one for me. I had planned to finish up the metadata for the Chaffey letters, but I encountered some issues with our metadata software, CONTENTdm. I was in the middle of uploading a series of documents about the Colorado River Aqueduct and the Hoover Dam to the Claremont Colleges Digital Library when the metadata software started operating very slowly. After doing some trouble shooting with Tanya and the software providers, we eventually got the metadata software up and running again.

In the meantime, I've been doing some miscellaneous tasks related to the Chaffey brothers and Frankish letters. I used an excel spreadsheet to track metadata for the documents for which I couldn't use CONTENTdm. I also cleaned up some of our internal files, in particular a file which tracks the progress for each and every item that we work on. These internal files help CLIR CCEPS fellows keep track of the items in the collection that we all work on and sometimes it is nice to make sure that these files are up to date. This is especially the case because pretty soon we will have some new faces here at CLIR CCEPS. I was happy to see that for the most part these files were in pretty good condition, but it is always nice to double-check that things are complete and consistent.

The big lesson I learned this week was how important our technology, especially our software, is to this project. We use very specialized equipment and software every step of the way to get the original physical documents onto the Claremont Colleges Digital Library, so it's important that everything is working. I'm glad our metadata software is back up and running!

San Antonio Canyon Photographs

If you have been keeping track of our social media accounts, you may have noticed that we have recently started posting photographs from around 1911-1915. Last week Tanya and I went through an album of incredibly interesting photographs of the San Antonio Canyon and the Pomona Valley. The San Antonio Canyon is responsible for carrying water down to the Pomona Valley from the San Gabriel Mountains. Claremont and this surrounding area is part of the Pomona Valley. However, sometimes the Pomona Valley floods when lots of water runs down the mountains and through the San Antonio Canyon. Flooding can cause damage to homes, infrastructure such as roads, and agricultural lands. This was a huge problem in the early 20th century for local residents who primarily relied on agriculture for their livelihood.

Flood control was an important issue for people during this time and a variety of things were done to protect this fertile alluvial plain. These measures were documented and now they are part of the Willis S. Jones Papers at The Claremont Colleges Library. There are photos of streams, ditches, rock dams, cement dams, and even of the damages sustained in certain floods. This album specifically highlights the Osgoodby Dam in the San Antonio Canyon and a series of floods in 1914 that caused major damages in the Pomona Valley. I have taken photographs of particularly interesting parts of this album and over the next several weeks I will be sharing them on our social media accounts, which are listed below. Join in the conversation with #CLIRWater!

Twitter: @honnoldlibrary

Instagram: @honnoldlibrary

Facebook: CLIRWater

San Antonio Flood 1.jpg

Dwinelle Letters

In the first part of 1884 William Chaffey sent letters to C. H. Dwinelle about what it would take to set up a farm in Ontario, California. In the first letter I came across, Chaffey describes the different kinds of fruit tree available along with the prices of each type of tree. Chaffey also explains that the trees for Ontario farms come from Los Angeles nurseries which in turn get their trees from the north. The next letter, dated a couple days later was about which lots in Ontario Dwinelle was interested in buying. Apparently Dwinelle was interested in purchasing three plots of land, but the ones he was most interested had already been purchased. In the latest letter I found,  William Chaffey describes the kind of work his workers can do to set up and care for Dwinelle's land. Chaffey lists the approximate price for the materials and the labor. I found this series of letters interesting because I was able to see a little bit of the progression for someone interested in purchasing land from the Chaffey brothers during this time period.

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