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Our Monday Adventures…

16 Mar

Today we had some donor appointments. We love getting to know our community in Tucson.

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Halloween Part Two!

31 Oct

FullphotoHalloween

Every year, the archivists pick a costume that incorporates archives’ signature white gloves. This year we picked Minnie Mouse! We even have a Minnie Mouse connection in the archives – The Fox Theater hosted the Tucson chapter of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1930s. Check out the adorable photo of some Tucson Mouseketeers at an event at the Fox below.

 

PC173_B2_F6

Fox Theater Photograph Collection – PC 173. Circa 1931-1932. According to the back of the photo, the mouse dolls were won in a drawing at a Mickey Mouse Club event at the Fox Theater.

Map Musings: Unveiling the Lenon Collection

13 Dec

In early December the Library and Archives welcomed what may be the single largest archival collection to be acquired in at least 50 years – and perhaps in the history of the archives! We are excited to announce the newest collection at the Arizona Historical Society: The Robert Lenon Map Collection! This collection will be an amazing resource for people interested in mining and minerals, geography, family and property history, and Arizona history as a whole. We will post periodically about this new addition, including our adventures in transporting a 600-cubic-foot map collection from Patagonia to the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, so keep an eye out here for more information!

 Part of the Robert Lenon Map Collection in its new home at AHS-Tucson. It’s in full view in one of our galleries, so if you come by the museum you will get to see it in person and watch the progress as we begin to process it!

Part of the Robert Lenon Map Collection in its new home at AHS-Tucson. It’s in full view in one of our galleries, so if you come by the museum you will get to see it in person and watch the progress as we begin to process it!

This blog post is brought to you by the letter ‘C’…

31 May

For card catalog! Our card catalog is still sometimes the best way to find what you’re looking for. Archivists and librarians of yore took the time to create this card catalog which indexes in detail many of our photographs, manuscripts, journals, and newspapers. At the time this was the best way to capture this information and it still proves invaluable today. In part because of the dramatic increase in records production in recent years – both digital and paper – it has become impossible to continue to catalog everything in this level of detail; however, it is great that we can take advantage the vast amount of knowledge that is contained in this card catalog. In many cases you can find an individual or location in the card catalog even if it doesn’t appear elsewhere. This is especially useful when looking for individuals or specific addresses.

The card catalog in our Reading Room.

The card catalog in our Reading Room.

For example, if you just searched the online catalogs for ‘cats’ (‘C’ is also for cat!), you would find some great photo files, including one called Subjects-Camels and Cats, but you would miss this adorable photo of a kitten cuddling up to an oil lamp that only appears in the card catalog:

PC 107, Reynolds Photograph Collection, 1885-1920, b1f14. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

PC 107, Reynolds Photograph Collection, 1885-1920, b1f14. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

 

Here is an example of the detail that can be found in the card catalog entries:

Detail of the card catalog index card for cats that led to the discovery of the photo above.

Detail of the card catalog index card for cats that led to the discovery of the photo above.

Even though online catalogs have made searching so much easier, it’s important to remember to check the card catalog!

May Day

30 Apr

May Day, of course, is a celebration of the beginning of summer. It has roots in ancient celebrations, like the Celtic festival of Beltane, and is sometimes celebrated today with the May Pole Dance and the crowning of a May Queen, among other things.

Girls dancing the traditional Maypole Dance, taken at Davis School, circa 1905. Portraits-Peyron-Araneta Family, #62632. As always, if you’d like to purchase reproductions of any of our photographs, please contact us at ahsref@azhs.gov.

Girls dancing the traditional Maypole Dance, taken at Davis School, circa 1905. Portraits-Peyron-Araneta Family, #62632. As always, if you’d like to purchase reproductions of any of our photographs, please contact us at ahsref@azhs.gov.

However, libraries and archives have capitalized on the double meaning of May Day as a distress call (and the date’s convenient location at the end of Preservation Week), to use it as a day to raise awareness about disaster preparedness. In the archives we take all sorts of measures to ensure the longevity of our records – there are lots of things we are able to predict and expect: acid free enclosures slow deterioration of archival materials; maintaining stable environmental conditions helps protect archival materials. But we also have to be prepared for the unexpected – fire, flood, weather.  So for this year’s May Day we, along with archival institutions around the world, are taking extra steps to make sure we will be prepared in the face of a potential disaster.

At AHS-Tucson, we are observing May Day by:

-Checking the batteries in the flashlights we have placed strategically throughout the stacks in the event of a power outage.

-Continuing work on a larger scale project to create an emergency plan for all AHS Library and Archives locations

-Starting an emergency kit to be placed in the collections area.

 

Our brand new Emergency Kit!

Our brand new Emergency Kit!

Among other things, our emergency kit will include the following items:

-A copy of our emergency plan

-Plastic sheeting

-Forms for documenting recovery measures

-Pencils, clipboard

-First Aid kit

-Nitrile gloves

-Masks

Do you want to learn more about May Day and emergency plans for archives and archival collections?

The Northeast Document Conservation Center has lots of tools for creating a disaster plan and a suggested list of contents for an emergency kit.

These are just a few of the things we’re working on to ensure the safety and security of our collections. To learn more about May Day and emergency preparedness check out the SAA’s information on May Day activities and
the Council of State Archivists’ May Day information page.