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Facing Tough Times, Archive Prepares To Close

Facing Tough Times, Archive Prepares To Close: After 36 years as a standalone organization, the Philadelphia Jewish Archive Center will be shutting down sometime in early 2009 in response to a budget crunch. Its collections, which span nearly 200 years of Philadelphia Jewish history, will be absorbed into the archives of nearby Temple University.

All About Yaddo

From the New York Times an article about a forthcoming exhibition at the NYPL on the artists' retreat, Yaddo.

In 1899 Katrina Trask, desolate over the death of their four children, proposed to her husband, Spencer, that they turn Yaddo, their 400-acre estate outside Saratoga Springs, N.Y., into an artists’ retreat. He was a baron of the Gilded Age. She was a pre-Raphaelite figure who wore gauzy white dresses and wrote poetry about the days of King Arthur, and she imagined the place as a perpetual house party of writers, artists and musicians.

There was writing, there was painting and composing, but it sounds like there more than a bit of sleeping around too. Among other choice tidbits from the article..."John Cheever used to boast that he had enjoyed sex on every flat surface in the mansion, not to mention the garden and the fields. It was at Yaddo that Newton Arvin, a literary critic and professor at Smith College, met and began a long affair with the young Truman Capote, or “Precious Spooky,” as he calls him in a couple of charming letters, on display at the library. The novelist Henry Roth met his wife, the composer Muriel Parker, there, and the novelist Josephine Herbst started enduring relationships with the painter Marion Greenwood and the poet Jean Garrigue (who was also having an affair with another Yaddo resident, Alfred Kazin).

Nixon Library Celebrates Inaugurations From G. Washington to G. W. Bush

Anybody remember the Nixon inaugural??

Wonder who will be the next POTUS?!?! (don't forget to Vote)

When the next president takes the oath of office on January 20, 2009, he will continue a tradition that began with George Washington in 1789. To celebrate this ritual of democracy, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has created "Called Upon By the Voice of My Country," an exhibit looking at the history and the pageantry of presidential inaugurations. The exhibit will run from October 30, 2008, until April 19, 2009.

Among the exhibits, First Lady Laura Bush's 2005 inaugural gown, publicly displayed for the first time, on loan from the White House. Report from MarketWatch.

Photo Detectives

Today's Wall Street Journal (October 22, 2008) has a front page story about the el Paso Library, "In Old El Paso, This Detective Story Is Written in Pictures
Studio Left 50,000 Portraits Without Names; Mr. Gallegos Spots His Grandfather."
EL PASO, Texas -- Claudia Rivers is a librarian by trade, but lately she has become a detective hot on the trail of 50,000 mysteries.

Her quarries are the names behind the faces in 50,000 antique negatives left in the town's shuttered Casasola photography studio.

Who was the middle-aged matron flirting under a sombrero? Why did the young man with the butterfly tattoo pose bare-chested, clutching a can of spinach? What became of the grim-faced bride?

To identify them, Ms. Rivers has turned to the community. She's displaying the portraits -- many of Mexican immigrants taken as early as the 1920s -- on college campuses, at shopping malls and online. She also has turned the mystery into a weekly feature in the El Paso Times that asks, "Do you know the people in this photo?"

Read more about it. See: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122462120863355585.html

Lincoln Memorabilia Up for Grabs But Not to LOC

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has one less competitor for a $20 million collection of Lincoln artifacts...the Library of Congress has pulled out of the bidding.

When Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, IN closed earlier this year, the owners decided to bequeath the entire collection of Lincoln photographs, signed documents, historic textiles and other artifacts to another institution. Several museums and historical groups bid for the collection, but only a few finalists were chosen. A winner is supposed to be announced by the end of the year.

Among the memorabilia are hand-colored engravings with an image of a tousled Abe that were dropped on the crowd at the 1860 Republican National Convention. Story from Gatehouse News.

Stop rare books sale plea

Stop rare books sale plea: A CRUNCH meeting to decide the fate of thousands of rare books takes place today as pressure to save them mounts from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Cardiff Council is set to hold 11th-hour talks with academics to discuss the possibility of them retaining some of the rare texts after Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones expressed his “disquiet” over the plan to sell them off.

What’s new with DOD’s 5015.02-STD

I know this is probably a question on all our minds: What’s new with DOD’s 5015.02-STD : The Defense Department standard for records management applications is mandatory for DOD agencies, but voluntary for civilian agencies. DOD released Version 3 of 5015.02-STD in April 2007 and certified the first products under this revision this year. The National Archives and Records Management endorsed Version 3 in September.

Fight to stop rare books sell-off

An action group says it is "aghast" at plans to sell some of Wales' oldest and rarest books.
A new action group, Cardiff Heritage Friends, which includes local residents, historians, other academics, solicitors, and librarians, is calling for the council to stop the sale "of some of Wales' greatest treasures".

"Improvements will include technological advances that will benefit all library users across the city," he said.

U of Illinois Library Reverses Course on Obama Documents

Chicago Tribune reports: Documents related to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's service for a nonprofit education project started by former 1960s radical Bill Ayers were released last Friday from an archive at the University of Illinois at Chicago library. They had previously refused to release records of the project. Will the archive be fodder for the Swift Boat-types?

National Review's "Investigation" of Documents Housed in the Richard J. Daley Library

Libraries are large and complex organizations. The communications made to Stanley Kurtz, National Review (NRO) contributing editor by staff of the University of Illinois – Chicago (UI-Chicago) about the availability of the requested collection, especially comments by a part-time graduate student, are not prima facie evidence of a coverup or conspiracy. Rather, the allegations provide evidence on the state of one specialized collection in a large library with millions of individual items that is not intimately known in its entirety at the initial points of public contact.
Details here and here.

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