Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives Opens Two Collections for Research

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives announces the availability for research of the Joseph Breck records and the Bachstitz, Inc. records.

Joseph Breck records: Joseph Breck (1885–1933) served The Metropolitan Museum of Art as Assistant Curator in the Department of Decorative Arts (1909-1914), Curator of the Department of Decorative Arts (1917-1933), Assistant Director of the Museum (1917-1933) and Director of The Cloisters (1932-1933). He was closely involved with the original building plans and collection arrangement for The Cloisters. Breck was associated with numerous exhibitions, most notably the Industrial Arts Exhibitions (1918-1929). Breck was responsible for many acquisitions primarily in the field of Decorative Arts. A prolific writer, he is credited with over 200 scholarly papers, pamphlets, publications, and lectures in the fields of textiles, sculpture, furniture, as well as exhibition planning, display techniques and presentation. The Joseph Breck records document his numerous roles within The Metropolitan Museum of Art and include correspondence and inter-office memos with museum staff; correspondence with collectors, dealers and lenders of objects; reports, pamphlets, catalogs and other published materials. Finding aid: http://libmma.org/digital_files/archives/Joseph_Breck_records_b18051303.pdf

Bachstitz, Inc. records: Art dealer Kurt Walter Bachstitz (1882-1949) was active in Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, The Hague, and New York City through the 1920s and 1930s. His inventory featured Old Master and modern paintings, miniatures, Renaissance bronzes, Medieval objects, classical Greek and Byzantine jewelry, and Islamic glass, and his clientele included many notable private art collectors, museums, and galleries throughout Europe and the United States. The Bachstitz, Inc. records consist primarily of correspondence and administrative and financial records relating to Bachstitz’s activities as an art dealer in New York City. The bulk of the records, which date from 1929-1931 and 1936-1937, correlate with trips Bachstitz made to the United States during those years to cultivate the New York City branch of his business and a U.S. clientele. Finding aid: http://libmma.org/digital_files/archives/Bachstitz_records_b18041048.pdf.

For information about access to these collections at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives, contact archives@metmuseum.org or visit our website at http://libmma.org/portal/museum-archives/.

News from Virginia Heritage

Virginia Heritage is delighted to announce the launch of its new website and database of finding aids! We have retooled both the front and back ends of the Virginia Heritage site. Users should notice some improvements in functionality to the portal as well as overall ease of use of the website. We added a blog and frequently asked question page for users. Currently work is being done to improve the uploading and maintenance of finding aid records.

Virginia Heritage is a consolidated database of more than 11,000 finding aids which provide information about the vast array of manuscripts and archival materials housed in historical societies, libraries, museums, colleges and universities across the Commonwealth. The continuous addition of new and updated finding aids makes this a great tool for discovering primary source materials documenting the history, culture, and people of Virginia.

The idea for Virginia Heritage emerged during a VIVA Special Collections Committee meeting in 1997. The committee’s goal was to make the unique resources of its members more widely accessible. The group decided the creation of a union database of finding aids would be a great way to accomplish this. The University of Virginia (UVA) had recently been involved in the American Heritage Project which was a shared database of finding aids describing collections documenting American history and culture. Drawing from UVA’s experience the committee began the Virginia Heritage Project (VHP). The project was reinvigorated in 2013.

Virginia Heritage is open to all libraries, museums, colleges and universities, and other cultural institutions located in Virginia that have archival holdings that they wish to share. For more information on how to join please contact Bradley Daigle (bjd2b@eservices.virginia.edu).

If you would like to contribute a blog post highlighting collections or events occurring in your Virginiarepository please contact Margaret Kidd (kiddm@vcu.edu) or Lynda Kachurek (Ikachure@richmond.edu). Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@VirginiaArchive).

News from University of Maryland

University of Maryland new home for AFL-CIO Archive

The University of Maryland is excited to share that the AFL-CIO Archive has recently been donated to us by the AFL-CIO. Formerly housed at the George Meany Memorial Archive (est. 1981) on the campus of the National Labor College in Silver Spring, MD, the entire library and archive constitute over 20,000 linear feet and are valued at $25 million. This is the largest donation to the University of Maryland Libraries ever, expanding our special collection holdings by one-third.

In Spring 2013 move preparations began, and archive and library holdings were closed to researchers beginning July 1. The move took place during the summer over the course of 27 business days (mid-July to mid-September). Approximately 3,000 linear feet was moved to Hornbake Library; 4,000 linear feet was moved to McKeldin Library; and 14,960 boxes of unprocessed records were moved to offsite storage.

The University of Maryland held a celebratory ceremony at Hornbake Library on October 1, 2013 with AFL-CIO and National Labor College officials, and re-opened the majority of the processed collections to the research community. Here is more information about the  October 1st event, and the AFL-CIO Archive.

The University of Maryland expects the full transition of the archive to be completed over the course of the next year, including steps for staffing and online access.

Mass E-mails from MARAC

Are you getting all the latest news from MARAC? If you haven’t been receiving e-mails from MARAC including information about upcoming conferences, membership renewals, and links to new issues of the Mid-Atlantic Archivist, you may have inadvertently shut off all mass e-mails from the administrator account. Luckily, reinstating these messages is a relatively easy fix.

 To start receiving MARAC e-mails again log-in to MemberClicks from the MARAC homepage, click on “My Profile” under “Quick Links” on the left side of the screen. Then choose “Contact Preferences” under the “My Profile” tab. On this next screen, make sure “I want to receive emails sent to multiple recipients” is selected, and then click “Save.” You can view a screencast detailing this process here.

 If you have any questions about mass e-mails from MARAC and/or your MemberClicks account, please feel free to contact our administrator, Tammy Hoffman, at administrator@marac.info.

News from Liberty University

New Liberty University Jerry Falwell Library in Final Stages of Construction

Preparations are underway for the Grand Opening of Liberty University’s 170,000 square-foot Jerry Falwell Library with a private ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. The library, part of a $500 million campus rebuilding project, is named in honor of Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell. It is at the heart of the campus and reflects the University’s commitment to academic excellence.

The building, reflecting the Jeffersonian architecture found throughout Central Virginia, is a state-of-the-art facility featuring the latest in technology, including a 25’x17’ media wall, perceptive pixel tables, an active learning classroom, wayfinding and social media kiosks, and TeamSpot collaborative software. In addition, a robotic automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) provides on-site storage for the oldest and least frequently used materials which can be requested electronically from the library catalog and delivered to the library Customer Service Center for pick-up in less than 10 minutes. This new system, found only in a handful of college or university libraries in the nation, will allow the library to use approximately 1/8 of the space that would be needed to house the items in traditional open shelves, enabling the library to provide more collaborative and study spaces. Students can also virtually browse the catalog for both physical and electronic resources just as if all items were physically located on a shelf next to each other. This enables students to identify materials on the same topic that may be of interest regardless of format.

The building also includes a four-story book tower with over 65,000 of the most frequently used and newest materials; a three-story atrium; a two-story traditional reading room; a number of terraces and balconies, including a green roof with a rooftop terrace; a new dedicated archives facility, including a reading room; over 30 group study rooms; an active learning classroom; a number of open learning commons areas including a scholars commons; a technology commons; a multi-purpose conference room; and a two-story café. All of the new spaces and technologies will better enable the library to provide customized and collaborative research assistance and exemplary customer service.

Liberty University, founded in 1971, is the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation, the largest university in Virginia, and the largest Christian university in the world. More than 100,000 students attend classes on its 7,000-acre residential campus and study in its thriving online education program.