University of Scranton: Special Collections Fundraiser

Here at the University of Scranton we’re doing a holiday fundraiser for our Special Collections that might interest some of you. Using digitized images from our Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, we printed a set of limited edition, custom Moleskine® notebooks that we think turned out beautifully and are $20 for two notebooks, plus shipping/handling.

Featured on each notebook is “The Proud Art Shall Conquer,” a peacock flourish by master penman Fielding Schofield (1845-1924). Schofield’s work references the motto of 19th century professional penmanship journal The Teacher of Penmanship:  “The Proud Art of Beautiful Writing Shall Conquer the Hearts of All Men.”

To help support the collection, The Zaner-Bloser Company also gave us their last remaining copies of three of their legendary penmanship manuals. The volumes are in pristine condition, and are available for purchase at the price of $70 for the set of three or $25 each, plus shipping and handling.

  • The Secret Skill of Madarasz, originally published in 1911, 84 pages
  • C. C. Canan – Collection of Penmanship, 1965 edition, 64 pages
  • Fascinating Pen Flourishing, 1951 edition, 80 pages
All proceeds from the sales of these manuals will support the care and preservation of the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection.
For more information or if you’re interested in purchasing a set of notebooks or penmanship manuals for yourself or your favorite calligrapher/artist/writer, please visit our site at, and if you have suggestions for us on how to spread the word, please let us know!

2013 Woody Guthrie Fellowship Program

The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, Inc., are pleased to announce that the application period for the 2013 Woody Guthrie Fellowship Program is now open.

The 8th Annual Woody Guthrie Fellowship, with a value of up to $5,000, will be awarded to support scholarly research at the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This Fellowship seeks to encourage unique exploration into the many facets of Woody Guthrie’s life, legacy, and contribution to American and world culture.

Scholars pursuing research related to Woody Guthrie’s life, historic context, creative works, and musical influence, as well as his philosophical, political, or humanistic ideals, are encouraged to apply for this prestigious Fellowship.
More information about the Fellowship is available through the Woody Guthrie Fellowship Program website.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2013

Please direct questions to

Conference Session Proposal: Use Statistics

As a member of the program committee for the Spring 2013 MARAC conference in Erie, Pa. (April 25-27), I’m looking for speakers to participate in a session exploring the role of use statistics in archival management. Use statistics can take the form of a tally of collections that have been requested in the reference room, web statistics revealing the amount of views of online finding aids or digitized items, or a record of material that has been used in publications and exhibits.

The topics this session could cover include, but are not limited to:

  • methods for collecting and analyzing use statistics
  • ways in which this information can influence other activities in the archives (processing, digitization, appraisal, etc.)
  • strategies for using this information to gain support from resource allocators.

If you would like to participate in this session or have any questions, please contact Matt Strauss.

CFP: Civil War Studies and the Digital (R)Evolution

The University Archives and Special Collections at American Public University System (APUS) will host its second annual history colloquium on Saturday, March 30, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the APUS Finance Center Auditorium in Charles Town, West Virginia. The colloquium theme is Civil War Studies and the Digital (R)Evolution and APUS invites scholars of all disciplines and levels to discuss and present their research on the following topics within that broader context:

  • Digital Humanities and Historiography
  • Uncovering “hidden” sources through Linked Open Data
  • Revisionism, Traditionalism, and Social Media
  • Meta and Micro History in the age of Google
  • Virtual public history and historical collections

Of course these are only suggestions; all proposals will be considered that set out to examine the implications of digital technologies and movements on the study of the Civil War-era.

To submit a proposal or for more information contact Brad Wiles at 304-724-2670 or

Submissions should include the following:

  • Name and contact information
  • Affiliation or credentials
  • Presentation/Paper topic or title with brief abstract (100 words)
  • Audio-visual or other specifications
Proposals will be accepted until Friday January 18, 2013.

Erie Conference: Graduate Student Paper Session

The Program Committee for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Spring 2013 meeting in Erie, Pennsylvania, is seeking paper and presentation proposals from archives graduate students. Students must be currently enrolled in a graduate program or have graduated in the last two years. Proposals should engage a topic of current interest to the archival community. The committee will select participants based on the quality of proposals. Depending on the number of qualified proposals, the session may be presented as either a lightning session (more than 3 speakers at 5-15 minutes each) or a more traditional session format (approx. 3 speakers, 15-25 minutes each).

Please submit an abstract of between 250-500 words, along with a paper title. Include in your submission the following:

  • Name of author(s)
  • Name and email of primary contact person
  • Name and address of your graduate school
  • Date of graduation

Please submit your proposal no later than Friday, December 21, 2012. Proposals must be submitted electronically to When submitting your proposal, please use the following subject line: MARAC Student Paper Proposal.

MARAC does not provide funding for conference expenses for speakers. However, students are encouraged to apply for the MARAC meeting scholarship awards. Please see the MARAC website for more information on the MARAC Meeting Scholarship Award and the MARAC Meeting Travel Assistance Award.
If you have any questions, please contact Charlotte Sturm ( or Jessica Johnson (, Program Committee Co-Chairs.

Archival Travels in Europe

Author: Heather A. Clewell, Delaware Caucus Rep.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation graciously awarded funds toWinterthur Library for staff training and education, the first such grant for the library. Because of this support, I was afforded the opportunity to visit the archives of three English country estates: Hatfield House in Hatfield, Burghley House at Stamford, and Belvoir Castle, outside Grantham. Although there were many country estates with archives on site, these three are relatively close to one another, facilitating a cohesive week-long tour. So contacts were made; appointments were arranged; and bags were packed as I set off in September 2011 for my sojourn.

The Old Palace at Hatfield was built by Bishop John Morton, and it was there that young Elizabeth I enjoyed her childhood. Only a quarter of the palace remains, however, as Robert Cecil, first Lord Salisbury and advisor to Elizabeth, tore down most of it to build Hatfield House starting in 1607. The present house took four years to construct and is still very much a family home for the present Lord Salisbury.

Robin Harcourt Williams is the archivist at Hatfield, and he kindly gave me a tour of the house and archives. Interestingly, the house itself is not climate controlled and was quite humid. On the other hand, the archives, which are not open to the public, are located in an underground vault that is climate controlled. There I saw letters by Elizabeth in a very neat, concise handwriting as well as documents signed by Robert Cecil and papers belonging to Lord Salisbury, who was one of Queen Victoria’s prime ministers. It is this last collection that sees the most activity. The entire archive averages 100 users per year, compared to the more than 200 yearly visitors at Winterthur. Most of the Hatfield archive seems to be processed although there were stacks of unorganized bills that I sorely wanted to sort through.

Burghley House was the residence of William Cecil, Robert Cecil’s father and one of Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted advisers. The house, built in the mid-1500s, remains a family home and is surrounded by a Capability Brown-designed landscape. John Culverhouse and his assistant, Carolyn Crookall, provided a tour of the archival collection, which is housed in various locations and, as such, is not open to the public without prior appointment. Ms. Crookall told me that all the important papers are processed and preserved, but again I saw numerous items I was itching to help sort. Only one room – a former stable that had shelves full of bags and boxes – exhibited any sort of climate control. The old tack room is also used for archival storage, but there are plans for expansion.

Belvoir Castle, located about seven miles west of Grantham, is situated on a hill, which gives a marvelous view of the Vale of Belvoir. There have been four castles on the site, dating to Norman times. War and fire destroyed the previous buildings, and the present structure was built in the early 1800s. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland and their five children reside in the castle, where they spend most of their time.

Peter Foden, the archivist, and his small corps of volunteers have their work cut out for them. The archival collection was put in some order by the 9th duke, but he died before completing his task. It is a huge collection of various items, most of which have not been processed or preserved. I saw letters by Thomas Hobbes and Benjamin Disraeli. One of the more fascinating discoveries for me was a 12th-century map of Sherwood Forest depicting castle, a deer park, rivers, streams, towns, and villages. The Belvoir Castle collection is not open to the public, and only the duke can grant permission for a researcher to see the papers.

I did not see access to computerized finding aids at any of the three collections although I must say that the Hatfield House Web site does provide access to transcriptions of documents. Although these country estates have a formidable sense of history, our archives at Winterthur are in better shape than theirs – and they have had several hundred years’ head start!

Call for Nominations

Considered becoming more involved in your professional organization?

Interested in taking on a new role in MARAC?

The Nominations and Elections Committee is seeking volunteers and nominations of members to stand for election in MARAC’s 2013 elections.

Open positions include:
– Chair
– Vice Chair
– Members at Large (four members)
– Distinguished Service Award Committee (two members)
– Arline Custer Award Committee (two members)
– Nominations & Elections Committee (three members)

Information about committees and governance is available on MARAC’s website as well as in the “From the Chair” Column in the Summer 2008 Mid-Atlantic Archivist.

We intend to close nominations on December 1. Contact a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee if you are interested in running or know someone who you think would be perfect for the job!

Workshop: Seats Available

Archival Instruction: Promoting Collections, Information Literacy and Collaboration
Date: December 6, 2012

Time: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Instructors: Jason Byrd, George Mason University and Leah Richardson, University of Chicago
Cost: $85.00

In 2011, the presenters started an outreach initiative at George Mason University Libraries using library and archival resources to collaboratively teach primary and secondary source research skills at the undergraduate level.  Workshop participants will craft learning outcomes and research assignments that are appropriate for a variety of educational levels and institutions, focusing on four key aspects: research; instruction: collaboration; and outreach.  Click here for more information and to register.

CCAHA: Hurricane Sandy Recovery

Author: Dyani Feige, CCAHA Preservation Specialist, Pennsylvania Caucus Chair
First off, I hope that everyone is safe, and my heart goes out to those of you who are dealing with damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.
I wanted to write to let everyone know that the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) offers emergency assistance for institutions and individuals with damaged paper-based collections by offering conservation treatment, technical information, training programs, and consultation services including on-site assistance at the time of, or in the aftermath of, an emergency.  If your building or collections sustained damage, CCAHA staff members are available to assist with questions and response. 

Several emergency preparedness resources are available on CCAHA’s web site.  The Mid-Atlantic Resource Guide for Disaster Preparedness lists area resources for emergency response and can be found online here.
CCAHA also has technical bulletins on salvage of art on paper, photographs, and books located here (scroll down to “Technical Bulletins” near the bottom of the screen).
CCAHA staff can provide information on damaged collections and strategies for recovering from water, fire, pest infestation, or mold outbreaks. Referrals can be provided for commercial vendors, along with suppliers of equipment and supplies needed for a recovery effort.  If you need assistance during regular business hours, please call our offices at 215.545.0613.  Outside of regular business hours, contact a CCAHA staff member on our 24-hour emergency assistance hotline at 215.688.0719.