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Nov 3 / Matthew Fredericks

This Week in NDSA: Digitizing reel-to-reel tapes from the Burton’s Ernie Harwell Collection

Reblogged from

This Week in NDSA, Digital Liaison Mike Dutkewych continued work on an audio digitization project for the Detroit Public Library’s Burton Historical Collection. For the last several weeks, Mike and two other volunteers from the WSU School of Library & Information Science have been utilizing the school’s Digital Media Projects Lab to assess and digitize a box of reel-to-reel tapes from the Burton’s Ernie Harwell Collection. Although some tapes show signs of degradation, most are in fine shape and offer a unique (and fantastic sounding) glimpse into the early years of one of America’s most storied sports broadcasters. The students are using the SLIS DMPL’s Ampex ATR-100 reel-to-reel tape machine and Audacity 2.1.1 open-source audio editing software to digitize the half-a-century-old recordings.

harwell01harwell03 harwell02

Aug 20 / Edras Rodriguez-Torres

SLIS Gives Back Series – SLIS Student Volunteers at Temple Beth El Archives

SLIS student, Mara Powell, has been a volunteer at the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin archives at Temple Beth El for almost a year. She first started as part of a mini-practicum for LIS 7730, Administration of Visual Collections. After the project was over the archivist asked Powell to stay on as a student volunteer and she has contributed her time since.

Powell has worked on digitizing the fragile scrapbooks of the granddaughter of the Rabbi Leo Franklin (for whom the archive is named), providing rich historical context to some of their prevalent congregation members. She has assisted the Temple archivist in her research activities for her lecture about discovering the life stories of the people buried at Temple Beth El’s Lafayette Cemetery through headstone inscriptions. Through this project, some forgotten congregation members were remembered again. Powell says, “It was great to be able to contribute to this cultural history.”

She has also processed a collection from the Hebrew organization, NA’Amat, formerly Pioneer Women. NA’Amat is an organization that strives to enhance the quality of life for women, children and families in Israel, the U.S. and around the world. By organizing and creating a finding aid on PastPerfect software for this collection, she has been able to provide access for the community to research this group.

Currently, Powell is assisting in preliminary research for next year’s Jewish History Lecture.

Mara Powell



Jun 5 / Matthew Fredericks

Wayne State Alumni Magazine Feature on SLIS Alum Mark Bowden and Burton Historical Collection

Burton Historical Collection director and SLIS alum Mark Bowden, MLIS '96.

Burton Historical Collection director and SLIS alum Mark Bowden, MLIS ’96.

The Wayne State Alumni Spring 2015 magazine has a great feature story on the Burton Historical Collection at Detroit Public Library, which recently turned 100. Burton director and SLIS alum Mark Bowden, MLIS ’96, is interviewed, along with current SLIS student Devin Erlandson and SLIS faculty member and coordinator of the Archival Administration certificate program, Kim Schroeder.

The piece can be viewed here:, pages 40-48.

May 19 / Matthew Fredericks

Electronic Outages: Who Broke It? How Long Was It Broken? We’re…Tracking That, Right?

By Jennifer Wright, WSU MLIS Candidate

Wright, JenniferIn the rush to fix electronic outages as swiftly as possible, it can be easy to miss connections and overall trends in favor of focusing on the immediate concern: restoring access to users. This represents a missed opportunity to address overarching themes and longstanding issues with particular resources. This presentation provided an overview of the newly-implemented tracking process for electronic resources at the University of Michigan, which allows for greater and more detailed data than they had previously collected on which vendors’ products are failing to perform, how often, and in what ways. While the resulting data are well-placed to inform future purchasing decisions, they do raise questions about where responsibility lies when it comes to long-term issues that all parties (publishers, content providers, and institutions) are aware of, yet which none of them has fixed. Of particular note are issues regarding faulty metadata distributed widely across the purchasing environment, holdings and their maintenance as ownership of resources changes hands, and the functioning (or lack thereof) of OpenURL link resolvers with open-access content and bundled abstracts and reviews.

After several months of testing, implementation rolled out in spring of 2013, and served to support many of the initial decisions made regarding vendors and outage types tracked. Tweaks made during the learning curve phase involved deciding whether to adopt a priority system, the extent to which to utilize the timer, how do rationalize the policy decisions of other workspaces within the outages workspace, and when to enact dynamic vs. static linking. Having a programmer well-versed in the creation of Footprints implementations across the Library greatly aided both the planning stages as well as the few months of growing pains prior to the production phase.

Initial findings provided a number of surprises, ranging from the fact that, while memorably thorny to resolve, problems regarding the proxy server makeup the merest fraction of total outages. Additionally, those vendors or outage types anecdote might have ranked as occurring quite often, did not always come across that way in the statistics. Because of the inability to fix, for example, bundled content issues, tracking them and providing the appropriate response does not take long, and they do not loom large in the troubleshooters’ consciousness. However, bundled content problems account for a great number of outages experienced, though they remain unfixed either by content providers or link resolver vendors. Additionally, a number of outage types previously undistinguished from each other in the “Other” free-text problem type field have been highlighted for separate categories of their own in the future. These include User Error (where there is in fact no outage), Temporary Glitch (where the outage was momentary and unable to be reproduced by the time troubleshooters came to fix it), and Concurrent User Limits (where users are unable to access a resource because the maximum number of users are already viewing the resource). All in all, the case study serves to highlight access issues both prominent and insidious with regard to electronic resources in large institutional libraries.

Feb 5 / Matthew Fredericks

Interested in Joining a Student Group for Working with Children and Young Adults?


My name is Maeve Devlin, and I am in the process of forming a student organization for SLIS graduate students interested in working with children and young adults. The hope is to create an organization that can give you the opportunities to connect with other students with the same interests, discuss topics and ideas with fellow classmates, learn more about your career through workshops and visits from current professionals, and gain valuable volunteer and leadership experience through service projects and events.

If you are interested in this student organization, please contact me at With enough interest, I hope to have an online portion available for graduate students who are unable to make it to campus. Thank you!

Jan 27 / Matthew Fredericks

National Digital Stewardship Alliance – Wayne State Student Chapter here with another installment of This Week in NDSA!

What better way to start off the semester than with a new “This Week in NDSA…”?!
Over the summer of 2014, I had the opportunity to complete my digital practicum at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

ICPSR is the world’s largest archive of behavioral and social research data. Similar to the curatorial work done on the Mona Lisa, ICPSR researchers organize, describe, clean, enhance, and preserve data—“data stewardship.”

I helped Dr. Amy Pienta, Director of Data Acquisitions, update their data collection development plan, which provides depositors, data produces, and users with information about what types of data ICPSR accepts, intellectual property rights related to their data, and how these data will be curated and preserved. Though most social science data is accepted, ICPSR hosts and sponsors several special collections, such as: Resource Center for Minority Data, Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center, and the NCAA Student-Athlete Experiences Data Archive.

For more information, take a look at these sites:


Resource Center for Minority Data

Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center

NCAA Student-Athlete Experiences Data Archive

We hope everyone has a fantastic semester!

Christopher (Chris) Bonadio

NDSA Secretary

Jan 20 / Matthew Fredericks

Have you ever wanted to work at the National Archives or Smithsonian? Apply now!

national archives and records administration logoThe Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science Announces Expanded Partnerships with National Cultural Institutions:

In conjunction with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Smithsonian, the School is offering a condensed internship in Washington DC, various local NARA offices and Presidential Libraries.  This will happen during Wayne State’s Spring Break which is March 16-20, 2015.  This is a great resume enhancement but it is not for credit.

Candidates will be hand chosen from the pool of applicants.  This is competitive and applicants will need to be able to pay for airfare, a reduced hotel rate(in DC) and other living expenses.  The School is supportive of student fund-raisers, however, and is examining ways to assist students in coordinating bake sales or other options.

These kinds of projects can give you the edge in job searching when you graduate so please consider this great opportunity.

Please submit a resume, unofficial transcript, three references and a cover letter to the Project Coordinator, Kim Schroeder ( by February 6, 2015.
In your cover letter please mention what types of skills you offer and desire to develop.  Also, specify, which location that you prefer (see list below).
Students must have satisfactorily taken LIS 7710, had some metadata coursework or job experience and be a current student.  (In some cases, students with solid archival or historical professional background and DCM courses may be considered).

NARA Projects

Please find below the proposed project proposals for participation in Wayne State University’s Spring Break Program (March 16-20, 2015).

Facility:  Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum

Address: 200 S.E. 4th Street, Abilene, KS 67410


Project Description:

The proposed assignment is to cross-index copies of the White House Gift Unit cards for films, tapes and sound recordings to entries in our audiovisual accession logs and document the findings. The work will determine the provenance of individual items and whether those items are covered under an existing deed of gift. The proposed project will give the intern experience in archives administrative practices.

Skills needed: Knowledge of basic archival practices including accessioning.  Basic word processing is needed to update accession logs.

Facility: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Address: 4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538  


Project Description:

The project intern will have an opportunity to fully digitize a small yet historically significant archival collection from the holdings of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Tasks include preparing materials for digitization, image capture, metadata creation, digital file management, and archival description. Upon completion of the project, the resulting digital collection will be added to the Library’s FRANKLIN digital repository, opening the materials to a global online audience.  Through this project, the intern will also gain a greater understanding of the National Archives and Records Administration and the presidential library system.

Required Skills: Basic knowledge of archival theory and practice and familiarity with Microsoft Office software. Prefer experience with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat software.

Facility:  George H.W. Bush Presidential Library  

Address: 1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, TX 77845


Project Description:

Last year we hosted two gentlemen (Steve and Sean) from Wayne State and they did terrific work for us and by their own account really enjoyed their experience.

Although the duration of the program is short, we will engage the student(s) on a number of levels, include at least one day handling research and reference duties in the research room and learning about the public side of a presidential library and b) at least two days participating in a large project to rebox, preserve and relocate our unclassified holdings.  This project includes hands-on work with the records, limited preservation, the transfer/disposition of non-record materials and database management.  Finally, we will provide the student with a basic “intro to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)” course that will provide a broad overview on the FOIA process at Presidential Records Act (PRA) libraries from intake to review to the research room.  This part of the program will include readings that are provided as part of our new employee orientation.

At the end of the program, the student will leave with a solid understanding of how a presidential library manages the FOIA process.

Facility:  Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

Address: 210 Parkside Drive, West Branch, IA 52358


Project Description: 

The proposed project will involve scanning materials pertaining to Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House on the Prairie books. The papers of Rose Wilder Lane include a series of correspondence with her mother discussing, in detail, how to tell some of the Little House stories. These are the most heavily used materials in our collection and photocopies have traditionally been served to researchers.

The project involves scanning folders of correspondence and manuscripts that are either fragile or specially protected due to high risk of theft. The student will scan PDFs of the folders for easier access, TIFs for preservation purposes, create folder level metadata, and write a brief summary of their experience both for social media and inclusion in our Foundation’s newsletter.

Prefer a student familiar with metadata which will allow them, under supervision, to document their work into NARA’s online catalog.

Facility:  NARA – Chicago

Address:  7358 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60629


Project Description: 

Students will receive an overview of functions performed at National Archives Chicago facility. This will include:

  • Contribute to an ongoing processing project of maritime records;
  • Assist with reference operations;
  • Interview and observing staff in functions such as accessioning, records management, description, and outreach;
  • Contribute to an ongoing holdings maintenance project; and
  • Update our finding aids with the records they reviewed.

Some familiarity with archives, either through practical experience and/or classwork.


Facility:  NARA – Ft. Worth

Address: 1400 John Burgess Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76140.  

Project Description:

The student intern(s) will be working on our “Slave Manifest” project which consists of working with records of the U.S. Customs Service in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1807-1861. These manifests are pre-printed fill-in-the-blank forms which were required by law and captured a variety of very detailed information. They include the name of the vessel, its ports of departure and arrival, dates of certification by the collector of customs (or surveyor), the captain or master’s name, and a description of each slave on the vessel, including name, age, sex, height, name of owner or shipper, and color.

The interns will be gathering and indexing the information from these manifests by entering the data into a database. They will also assist in gathering resources to develop a handwriting guide

​ for others to use when researching these records. Our staff will be available each step of the way to train and give them the best archival experience possible. In this short time, the interns will gain experience in preservation, description, and information dissemination. ​


Facility:  NARA – Philadelphia, PA

Address: 14700 Townsend Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154  


Project Description:

The two projects listed below will allow students to conduct research and create content for public viewing on the National Archives at Philadelphia Facebook page, which will help the student gain exposure to the record holdings and resources available at the National Archives at Philadelphia and beyond, as well as get experience in the metrics of social media outreach and marketing from a humanities institution, as is in the context of the LIS program. Because the focus on outreach in March will be to complete microprojects that commemorate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the closing of the Civil War in April, the student will be working with Records of the Provost General Marshal (Record Group 110). Choices of microprojects to work on within that group will be outlined below.

Skills Required and Preferred: Strong critical thinking skills and being able to adequately write descriptive text. Being able to read old handwriting is a plus. Being able to lift 30 pounds or more is also a plus.



  1. Letters Notifying Surrender
  • Everyone knows that General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the courthouse in Appomattox, VA, on April 9th, 1865. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this event, we will explore a potentially under-researched aspect of the results of this, which would be how it affected those coordinating the troops.
  • Estimated time of completion: 20 hours
  • Posting on Facebook the week of April 6th to April 10th.
  • Steps:
  1. Identify letters / telegrams  / memoranda in the “Letters Received” and “Telegrams Received” series within RG 110 advising districts of the surrender at Appomattox.
  2. Review the “Letters Sent” and “Telegrams Sent” series to identify reactionary statements to the surrender.
  3. Scan the selected documents to the shared hard drive.
  4. Create a descriptive piece of text to accompany the scanned letters on Facebook.
  5. Ideally, this will be in the format of a photo album, therefore captions and citations will accompany each individual scan.


  1. The Offices Within
  • Create a spotlight on the functions of the Volunteer Recruiting Service.
  • Estimated time of completion: 16 hours
  • Posting on Facebook the week of April 27th to April 30th.
  • Steps:
  1.  Use the Guide to Records of the American Civil War at the National Archives at Philadelphia (which will be provided) to locate records relating to the Volunteer Recruiting Service.
  2. Compile a descriptive photo album (much like above) using records from the “Volunteer Recruiting Service” records. Look for records that might describe the various functions of the service.

3.Write a short piece to accompany the scanned documents (much like above).


  • Will teach the student the intricacies of the accessioning process, in a life-cycle environment.  And will provide a real-life, practical MPLP project, with records for which the MPLP approach was created.
  • Estimated time of completion: 40 hours
  • Steps:
  • Locate and pull accessions from the Records Center.
  • Conduct preservation risk assessment.
  • Complete other steps to meet NARA’s minimal processing standards (stable box, labeled with basic information and bar code that links to the holdings database; update descriptive information in the National Archives Catalog and narrative finding aids for accretions to existing series, or create a series description for new series).
  • Scan boxes to shelves in the Archival bay, and upload that data to the holdings database.



Smithsonian Projects


Various D.C. Facilities: Please list preference in application


Creating EAD Finding Aids for various entities including the Archives of American Art,  National Museum of American History, and the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives (National Museum of African Art).  Students would be working with EAD / AT cleanup and legacy data importing. At EEPA, they would be helping to create new finding aids.  Students would gain experience with creating and updating EAD finding aids using one or more of the following : AT, NoteTab, oXygen, MARCEdit, Excel and SI’s EAD conversion tools.


Facility: Freer Gallery of Art


Digitizing the famous art collector, Charles Lang Freer’s Manuscript Collection containing correspondence and financial information.  This material will be shared with the Freer House in Detroit Michigan.



Archival administration student Sean McConnell on his 2014 Alternative Spring Break internship at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Archival administration student Sean McConnell on his 2014 Alternative Spring Break internship at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Jan 13 / Courtney Whitmore

How was your term? Present about it at WSU NDSA’s Colloquium!

NDSAHello everyone! Fall term has wrapped up and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance – Wayne State Student Chapter hopes it went well for you!

The break between terms is a great time to relax a little, decompress, maybe even catch up with friends, family or hobbies. Eventually another term will start up again with the hustle and bustle of new courses and projects. Our student group will be holding its annual Colloquium in the spring and we urge any and all students interested to submit a proposal for a poster or presentation! The deadline for submitting proposals for this year’s Colloquium is February 8th.

Did you complete a project or assignment this term related to digital preservation? How about an internship or practicum? Do you work as a digital practitioner as part of your job? Showcasing your work while you are still a student is a great way to gain experience, confidence and exposure! Not to mention, it is an excellent opportunity to learn about what others in the field are up to and to network, network, network~!

Therefore, we’d like to send out a reminder for our Call of Proposals! The details are located below, or you can read about it on our blog:

read more…

Nov 3 / Matthew Fredericks

School of Library and Information Science Fall Open House!

Join us next week for the School of Library and Information Science Fall Open House! The Open House will take place Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 5-7 p.m. on the 3rd Floor of Kresge Library. You can RSVP by clicking on the link below. SLIS Open House Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 5-7 p.m.

The SLIS Open House is a great chance to learn more about our MLIS program (available online), career opportunities in the information profession and chat with SLIS faculty members from each of our pillars: Library ServicesInformation Management, and Archives and Digital Content Management. There will also be SLIS Admissions representatives, current SLIS students and alumni available to answer any questions you may have about what an MLIS can do for you. In addition, you can learn more about scholarship opportunities and graduate student assistantships, and tour our state of the art Digital Media Projects Lab.

WSU librarians will be demoing a pair of Google Glasses with a custom WSU-designed app! Also, WSU librarians and a current GSA will be available to provide details about the details about the Winter 2015 GSA position that is currently open. They will be accepting resumes from students in person! 

We will have an admissions representative at the Graduate Open House the Welcome Center, but the main action will be at the SLIS Open House “Meet and Greet” on the 3rd Floor of Kresge Library, so we hope you will join us there! Questions? Feel free to contact us at or 313-577-1825. We look forward to seeing you!

mj_PK_Library_Interior_021314_107   open house fall 2014

Nov 3 / Matthew Fredericks

WSU Libraries GSA Position Open for Winter 2015!

The School of Library and Information Science is happy to announce the availability of one Graduate Student Assistantship (GSA) position starting in Winter 2015 in WSU Libraries. The assistantship provides a full tuition scholarship (up to 36 credits) for a master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS), an annual $16,838 stipend, health insurance and representation by the GEOC (Graduate Employees Organization Committee). Further details and link to the job postings are below.

  • Graduate Student Assistantship Position within University Library System (Purdy/Kresge and Undergraduate Libraries)
    • GSAs provide direct user assistance at information/reference desks through in-person, phone, and virtual reference; assisting patrons with the catalog, internet, databases, and use of computers. In addition, GSAs collaborate on the development of library guides, provide information literacy instruction, and participate in special projects as assigned; such assignment may be based on interest, and can include work with discovery services, material processing, eResources, acquisitions, and digital publishing. The special project duties are facilitated by the discretion of the GSA Coordinator and/or other Staff Librarians.
    • The GSA employment experience is designed to provide a wide overview of academic library operations, with a focus on developing skills in operational areas increasing in responsibility and independence over an approximate two year period.
    • Open to both new and current students.
    • DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Sunday, November 16th by midnight.
    • For further details on requirements, download the full GSA job posting.
    • Apply at

Students can learn further details from WSU librarians and apply in person for this GSA position at the SLIS Open House in 315 Kresge Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 5:00-7:00 pm!