Call for Applicants!

Chronicling Resistance invites applications for its Activist-Curator Fellows. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on September 18, 2020.

We’re seeking local activists and cultural organizers interested in how historical materials can strengthen and support their community work. We want you to fill our reading rooms, then use what you find there and in your communities in the present to co-curate a series of public programs that tell stories of Philadelphia’s social, political, artistic, religious, and scientific resistance—historically and present-day. Details here: http://resistance.pacscl.org/about/activist-curator-fellowship/

As archivists and special collections professionals, we acknowledge our role in creating the historic record and the necessity of attending to the ethics of protecting confidentiality while documenting protests and police abuse.

PACSCL events are designed to create learning and professional development opportunities for those employed at PACSCL member institutions. They also serve to create networks and improve collaborations among PACSCL staff and communities.

Images for October and November calendar pages as described in image caption.
Book of Hours, Use of Rome, Philadelphia Museum of Art 1945-65-13. Page-turning interface on the desktop, left; manuscript downloaded to a tablet and page enlarged to show detail. Now you can read your manuscripts on the bus!

Turn pages on your desktop!
Download entire manuscripts to your tablet!
Compare pages from different manuscripts using IIIF!

Earlier this fall, the BiblioPhilly project team uploaded all 475 manuscripts to the Internet Archive, offering new possibilities for researchers and the general public. The collection, which can be reached at http://archive.org/details/bibliotheca-philadelphiensis, can be searched by date, topic/subject, holding institution, and language. Manuscripts can be viewed in the Internet Archive’s page-turning interface, or downloaded in a range of formats.

For the illustration above, we chose the November calendar page from Philadelphia Museum of Art 1945-65-13 (because it’s November). You can see it here: https://archive.org/details/1945_65_13/page/n35 . Shown at left, the page-turning interface on the desktop. Shown at right, the pdf version displayed on an iPad and zoomed in to show detail.

In addition, placing the BiblioPhilly manuscripts on Internet Archive makes them IIIF compliant — fully interoperable for comparison, annotation, and portability, as noted by Stanford Curator of Manuscripts Ben Albritton @bla222). Albritton offers a brief and clear tutorial in this Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/bla222/status/1175097259907633153?s=20 . The Internet Archive also provides a FAQ here: https://archive.readme.io/docs/ia-iiif-faqs

The project is now complete — except for any additional manuscripts PACSCL member libraries may acquire or uncover in their collections, and except for two exhibitions that will be mounted in early 2020. More about the project:

BiblioPhilly was generously funded by a grant from the Hidden Collections initiative of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The Hidden Collections initiative in turn is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

What better way to celebrate all those members of the House of Representatives in white at last night’s State of the Union address than to celebrate the new collections added to our In Her Own Right Database.

More than 600 new records, representing photos, letters, diaries, school records, and much more, cover women’s activism in medicine, abolition, suffrage, education, and poor relief.

Read more about these new collections at the project blog, and then search the database for individual items.

View of Wolfgram Memorial Library at night

View of Wolfgram Memorial Library at night

The PACSCL Board of Directors recently accepted the membership application of the Wolfgram Memorial Library of Widener University, welcoming the organization as its fortieth member.

“The Philadelphia area enjoys the intellectual and economic contributions of a robust higher-education sector, and the records held at Widener University’s library will add an important new dimension to the history of education in our region,” said Ronald Brashear, chair of the PACSCL board.

“Widener University’s Wolfgram Memorial Library is eager to be part of a regional, professional community that focuses on expanding access to unique materials in special collections and building cooperative programs amongst members,” noted Deb Morley, director of the Wolfgram Memorial Library. “We look forward to working with PACSCL as we further develop and expose our collections, contribute our special knowledge to and learn from this network of regional archives and special collections.”

Double exposure of a funeral procession, described in the caption

Charles Hyatt’s Funeral Procession, 1930. Legend tells us that college photographer Arthur V. Knott takes a picture of cadets training with cannons and fixed bayonets but fails to develop the film. Later, when Gen. Hyatt dies, Knott photographs the caisson bearing the general’s body using the same film. The resulting double exposure creates the effect of cadets guarding the casket of their former president. Widener University Archives.

Adds Jill Borin, University Archivist and PACSCL member representative, “Our archives collect, preserve and share print and digital materials — papers, photographs, scrapbooks, student newspapers, audiovisual items, and memorabilia. These materials relate both to Widener University and its predecessor institutions. Our digital collections, now with nearly 10,000 items, include the history of Widener and its predecessors, as well as the history of Chester, Pennsylvania.” These digital items can be found at http://digitalwolfgram.widener.edu/digital/ . The library utilizes OCLC’s CONTENTdm for digital collections and ANDORNOT’s InMagic database. It collaborates with Widener’s Pennsylvania Military College (PMC) Museum on campus on library-museum projects and initiatives.

The Wolfgram Memorial Library also houses Widener’s Sexuality Archives, including books; journals, magazines, and newsletters; pamphlets; audiovisual materials;  personal papers, and ephemera. The Sexuality Archives are managed by Molly Wolf. For further information, see http://widener.libguides.com/sexualityarchives

The archives are open to all by appointment Monday through Friday, 9-5. The library’s website can be found at http://www.widener.edu/wolfgram

The PACSCL Board of Directors recently accepted the membership application of the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center, welcoming the organization as its thirty-ninth member.

“Philadelphia has been a city of firsts in the struggle for equal rights for LGBT individuals, and the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives has been instrumental in documenting these efforts.” observed PACSCL board chair Ronald Brashear (Science History Institute), in announcing the Board’s decision. Current PACSCL members, including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Temple University, also have collections that complement those of the Archives.

“The John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives is Philadelphia’s most extensive collection of personal papers, organizational records, periodicals, audiovisual material, and ephemera documenting the rich history of the area’s LGBT community,” said John Anderies, Director of the Archives, whose mission is to collect, describe, interpret, and provide access to publications, personal papers, organizational and business records, audiovisual materials, and ephemera created by, dealing with, or of special interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. “Our collections include materials from around the world, but preference is given to items that document the lives of sexual minorities in Delaware, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania.”

The Archives serves a broad range of users, including the LGBT community of Philadelphia and  the Delaware Valley, scholars/researchers from around the world, activists and artists, students from area K-12 schools, undergraduate and graduate students, teachers at area schools, local history researchers, journalists, writers, and documentarians, and William Way LGBT Community Center staff.

Topics represented in the collections include LGBT history and culture, generally; LGBT history in the City of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, specifically; the homophile and early LGBT rights movements; feminism and feminist organizations; and HIV/AIDS and its impact on the local LGBT community. The primary formats collected include manuscripts, printed texts, photographs, graphics, artifacts and objects, textiles, audiovisual materials, artworks, and born-digital materials. The time period of the collection ranges from the 1920s to present, with heaviest emphasis from the 1960s on. The collection is approximately 800 linear feet and growing.

The Archives makes use of ArchivesSpace as an archival management and access system ( https://wilcoxarchives.org/) and have recently launched an Islandora-based digital repository ( https://digital.wilcoxarchives.org/). The Archives mounts between 3-4 material exhibitions each year in the Archives Gallery located in the lobby of the Center. Its online exhibit, “Speaking Out For Equality,” is based on the groundbreaking exhibit the Archives mounted at the National Constitution Center in 2014-2015 ( https://sofe.wilcoxarchives.org/). A second traveling version of “Speaking Out For Equality” was mounted in collaboration with the Independence National Historical Park at the Liberty Bell Center during the summer of 2018.
The Archives are open to all by appointment during the general operating hours of the William Way LGBT Community Center ( Monday-Friday, 11 am – 10 pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12 pm – 5 pm).