Skip to content
Nov 5 / Allia McCoy


This is an opportunity for a graduate student to work with a unique information work!

The Damon J. Keith Center, in partnership with The Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures, is seeking graduate students to assist with several research and outreach projects related to the tax foreclosure crisis.

The Coalition’s work focuses on the following problem: From 2011-2015, 1 in 4 Detroit homes have been subject to property tax foreclosure. We have not seen this number of property tax foreclosures since the Great Depression. More troubling, a recent study found that over this period the City assessed between 55%-85% of Detroit homes at rates that violated the Michigan Constitution, placing the unprecedented number of property tax foreclosures in disrepute. For more information, read this op-ed in the New York Times: Students can expect to do impactful work directly related to solving the ongoing property tax foreclosure crisis in Wayne County.

Projects include but are not limited to:

Helping Detroit home owners file a property tax appeal, and conducting legal research connected to the property tax foreclosure crisis in Detroit. 

Requirements: Applicants must be current Wayne State University Graduate students with stellar research and writing skills, who are able to work independently and meet deadlines. Please indicate in your cover letter the number of hours per week and the time period during which you would be available to work. Please submit a cover letter and resume to Nicholas Norton <> and Peter Hammer <> no later than November 15, 2019. The rate of pay is the standard rate for law faculty research assistants, $12 per hour. 

Oct 7 / Matthew Fredericks

Alternative Spring Break Staycation at the Reuther

By Colleen Cirocco

            Have you ever romanticized a career only to realize that your expectations did not match reality? Friends and family members of mine have gone into careers such as nursing, teaching, and massage therapy, investing time and money into degrees and training, only to discover that the actual day-to-day was not what they expected. Instead of feeling a self-satisfied glow from helping people, they were often met with environments that left them feeling unappreciated and rundown.

I worried a bit about this for myself when entering the archives program, having never actually worked in a library or archive. I entered the program knowing that I connected to the broader mission of preserving the public record, providing access to researchers and students, and shaping collective memory through the inclusion and amplification of marginalized voices. That all sounds very well and good, but would I actually like doing the work? Would it be boring and tedious? Would I be any good at it? I decided that the only way to find out would be to actually immerse myself in the role of an archivist—but how? I work a traditional 9-5 office job, which conflicts with the urge to drop everything and explore a new career. Luckily, SIS provides an amazing opportunity for working adults, and to all students, to have short term, immersive learning experiences in archival settings through Alternative Spring Break.

This year I participated in ASB through a project at the Walter P. Reuther Library and Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State. I was given the task of processing a small collection from start to finish, from doing an initial inventory to creating a finding aid on ArchivesSpace. The collection itself was compelling and challenging. Compelling because it was the personal papers of a prominent Detroit educator, activist, and poet, Murray Jackson. Challenging because it led me to question the ethics of my role as a white woman in deciding how the life of a black man should be cataloged and described in perpetuity. Power comes with every archival decision, and was I the right person to have this power? These types of theoretical knots had been intriguing thought experiments during class discussions, but now I was in the role of the active agent. Luckily I had two great mentors, Shae Rafferty and Sarah Lebovitz. Sarah related her experience of processing a similar collection in the beginning of her archival career, and was able to talk through my discomfort both theoretically and practically.

I also saw behind the curtain and felt what a 40-hour work week was like in an actual archive. The pacing was different than my for-profit job, the purpose was different. I wasn’t there to meet a bottom line, I was there to advance knowledge and to honor the history of Detroit. Leaving at 5pm from my regular office I often feel completely exhausted and insignificant. Leaving at 5pm from the archive I actually felt energized and that I had contributed something valuable to the world.

 I ended the week with a tangible, professional accomplishment, a published finding aid in a university archive that I will be able to discuss in future job interviews. More importantly, this experience helped me realize that after seeing the day-to-day life of an archivist, the role still excites me. My instincts and admiration of the lofty goals of the profession put me on the right path, and I’m grateful for those who helped me see that this is a real job that I can see myself happily doing.

Sep 26 / Matthew Fredericks

Alternative Spring Break at Michigan State University Archives

By Erin Zimmerman, MLIS Student

Michigan State University Archives, East Lansing

While the assignment itself, a week of doing shelf reads at the Michigan State University Archives, did not sound particularly glamourous, it did provide the opportunity to get a feel for the entire archive.  We could have spent the entire week with our clipboards and measuring tape in archival storage, but our internship supervisor, Ed Busch, took every opportunity to ask us about our interests, have us join in their regular activities, and sit down with their staff to observe them at work.  I would not have imagined learning so much while working on a shelf reading / catalog clean-up project.

The basis of our responsibilities was taking a clipboard with a paper inventory through storage and noting the presence or lack of items on the inventory as well as taking the dimensions of the containers.  I will forever have a vague knowledge of the basic dimensions of “standard” archival boxes.  It was also nice to brush up on my basic measurement skills.  Of this process, I think the greatest surprise for me was that it was paper based and not on a laptop or tablet, but it makes sense to me now because it was easy to divide the list between us, they have a paper copy to refer to, and it really was easy to look at and make notes on.  I have even decided to do a paper inventory this year where I work based on how well this seemed to go.

While doing the inventory, I was able to identify some records that needed correction.  Items listed in the wrong location; different shelf, different range, even different building once.  There were a few things that were not on the shelf and a couple different items that were on the shelf that needed records.  Then there were the mysterious things that would have to be further explored after I left.  The most useful discovery we unearthed was a step in their workflow with ASpace they were not aware needed to be taken that was leaving “ghost” accession records as they had only been using it for a few months.  I found this to be really rewarding because on a short internship it is hard to see the benefits of your work.  Catching that early on in their transition process made my time there seem immediately valuable.

Outside of the actual inventory process we were invited to join a staff article discussion, toured the university library which included a special section on Turfgrass, had a demonstration from the audiovisual archivist, explored Archive-It, toured off-site storage to check for water-leaks, and I also sat and observed the cataloging archivist.  I had discussions about AV software as well as hardware, the transition from Archivists Toolkit to ASpace and the pros and cons so far, past water damage, and so many other topics.  The entire staff was welcoming and friendly, so I felt very comfortable going to them with my questions about the project I was working on, anything they had shown me regarding their own projects, or just something I was curious about in the archival field. 

Overall, this internship was full of opportunities that kept popping up to experience something new all throughout the week.  Of course, I am the type of person who would have been content in storage with a clipboard and a measuring tape the whole week, so everything else was a bonus.

Sep 26 / Matthew Fredericks

Alternative Spring Break at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

By Belle Teesdale, MLIS Student

           My Alternative Spring Break assignment took me to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was very excited to intern at a presidential library because they have always been an interest of mine (especially as an American History major in undergrad). Additionally, all of my archival work experience has been in academic libraries or museums, so I was really looking forward to working with archives in a government institution.

            Throughout the week, my main project focused on the first step of processing Gerald Ford’s Congressional Papers. Specifically, I worked on Series B, the Legislative Files. This project mostly focused on preservation issues—re-foldering materials, removing rusty paperclips and staples, and photocopying materials that proposed a threat to the archival documents such as newspaper clippings and thermofax copies. This project allowed me to work with archival materials hands-on and really sift through the materials to understand what I was looking at. Some materials I simply paged through while I spent some time reading others. I found it very enjoyable to read letters from the mid-1960’s that were written by elementary school children asking Governor Ford for help on their school projects.

            When I wasn’t working on my main project, I met with different staff members at the library who explained to me what their position entailed and what their average day looks like. I met with the Audiovisual Archivist who showed me the varying types and sizes of photographs, audio, and moving images the library houses, as well as Archives Technicians whose roles ranged from supervising the Reference Room and interacting with patrons, to declassifying presidential records. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Reference Room because I got to act as a mock researcher—I filled out the same forms they would, I watched an intro PowerPoint on what I could and could not take with me in the room, and learned about how to properly handle the materials. The documents I decided to view as mock researcher were related to Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme who was part of Charles Manson’s cult and attempted to assassinate President Ford back in 1975.  

            The most memorable part of my week was assisting my supervisor, Stacy (the Archivist), with reference requests. One request came from a college student from Sweden who was looking for a particular message related to the National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, and Spain. After Stacy did the detective work of narrowing down which boxes this document might be in, I got to look the folders one by one searching for this specific conversation. I was able to find the single document the researcher needed within my first box! It felt so satisfying to find exactly what I was looking for in addition to assisting a researcher. After we sent a copy of the document to the researcher, we received a very enthusiastic and pleasant reply back thanking us for our help. This experience reminded my why I enjoy archives in general—the handling, organizing, and preserving of documents, but also the act of making them accessible to the public and assisting researchers with their questions.

            My week at the Ford Presidential Library was a fantastic experience and I feel very fortunate that I was able to be involved in this opportunity. I loved being able to work with archives in person and to learn about the National Archives and Records Administration in depth. I had really missed working in the stacks, sifting through old, and sometimes forgotten, materials, and helping researchers.

Sep 25 / Matthew Fredericks

#ALTSB19 – Maryland State Archives

By Ana Corral, MLIS ’19

Reblogged from

This past March I got to spend a few glorious days in Annapolis, working with the lovely staff at the Maryland State Archives as part of the Alternative Spring Break Program with Wayne State.

The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program is a fairly new program to Wayne State; it was started in 2013 in the School of Information Science (SIS) and is led by Kim Schroeder. ASB allows current SIS students to immerse themselves in a week-long internship at different state or national repositories (think NARA and Smithsonian) around the country and gain valuable archival and library experience.

After much anticipation and excitement (the ASB program played a large role in my selection of the Wayne State program) Cara and I were both accepted to the Maryland State Archives.

Oh, yes, Cara! Cara, is another online graduate student at Wayne State whom I have grown close to and discovered that we are “LIS twinsies” as she so fondly likes to say. We both started the program in 2018 and have similar interests in LIS and archives; whereas I lean toward digitization, user studies, and teaching with primary sources, Cara leans toward metadata, transcription, and digitization. We have had at least one class together every semester since starting the program, have collaborated on countless group projects together, and when we found out we had the opportunity to physically meet and partner-up, we jumped at the chance and requested to be placed at the same location.

Can you tell we struggled with selfies?

Once in Annapolis, we explored a bit, got lost (multiple times) including on the first day of work (eek!), and altogether found Annapolis a beautiful and mellow city, full of history, red-brick buildings, friendly people, and Old Bay Seasoning.

Our week started on Monday, March 11th, at the Hall of Records, where we were greeted by the Director of Imaging Services, Corey Lewis. After introductions and and overview of the archives, we went to work straightaway, clearing up over 220 gigabytes of server space and removing redundant image files that very first day. To my delight, not only did Cara and I collaborate well online, we also worked extremely well in-person, moving through the clean-up and QA/QC processes seamlessly and without issues.

After the server clean up, our focus for the rest of the week was contributing to the digitization of the Chancery Records, Index 59, which includes mortgages, foreclosures, divorces, petitions, and records of infant defendants. (Yes, I did mean infant defendants). We digitized over 1,200 index cards a day and completed 10 drawers for a total of over 11,000 index cards. Each drawer required an initial review for upside down cards, staples (turns out tiny brass staples used to be a thing) and anything else that would prevent a smooth and efficient scan process. We encountered a total of nine scanning errors the entire week, leading to a 0.09% error rate. Not to toot my own horn, but…

This was an amazing experience and I must say, I feel as though I learned just as much in one week as I have in an entire archival course. To see the theories and practices that we read about in articles and hear about in lectures and see them put into practice was truly edifying. Meeting with digital archivists and the Digital Imaging Services team, observing what they do, seeing them run the microfilm, and treating us as professional equals was just the breath of archival air that I needed to keep me going as I finish up my LIS program.

Meeting with Corey and discussing current issues and trends in the field, asking all of my millions of archival questions, and learning that the Maryland State Archives base their digitization program off Australia’s (Australia, the forefront of digitization!) was a gratifying way to soak-up the practical information behind all the processes and procedures we have been learning at Wayne State over the past year.

We finished up our wonderful week of learning, scanning, dark rooms, conservation labs, QA/QC, of playing with OCRABBYY, finding aids, Kodak scanners, and flatbed scanners, by strolling around beautiful downtown Annapolis and having a delicious meal at the Iron Rooster.

ASB, what else can I say? Thank you for a sublime learning experience, and giving Cara and I the opportunity to return to Maryland, work in the State Archives, and bask in the awe-inspiring presence of primary source material and cutting edge technology.

Thank you to Kim, Emily, and Corey for placing us and thank you to the Maryland State Archives and the rest of the Imaging Services Department for including us and making us feel like a part of the team, even if it was just for a week. And an extra thank you to Mrs. Spang, for helping fund the program.

Here’s to hoping we will be back soon!

In case you are interested, here is direct link to Chancery Records we scanned, S1431-8 through S1431-17.

Sep 25 / Matthew Fredericks

MLIS Practicum at Eastern Michigan University

By: Samuel Schmaltz

            My time with Eastern Michigan University gave my valuable experience with handling collections that expanded on what I had learned through my masters program by giving me practical examples of archival principles and gave me a chance to provide access to a large collection of archival materials.  Working with Eastern also helped me work to achieve a personal goal of making sure that valuable information is not lost and is made available to a public that can make use of it.  The experiences I gained from my time with Eastern will surely be valuable for many years to come.

            The collection that I was managing, a collection of materials from Eastern’s communication division, contained a vast array of materials in several different formats and containing footage of many different subjects.  Creating a finding aid for a collection like this that houses thousands of items gave me a valuable real world experience of the implementation of the More Product, Less Process approach.  Often working by myself meant that I often had to make independent choices in categorizing material when information regarding where it belonged was scarce.  Material would occasional have a very simple label, such as an individuals name and nothing more.  Cataloging material like that required me to learn to make difficult choices regarding arranging items on my own, increasing my ability to work independently.  On a more personal level, I found value in being able to work with a collection containing such a diverse range of formats, some of which I had never seen before.  Working in this collection has given me a better look into the history of a/v materials and how many diverse types of material were created throughout that history.

            I was also given a first hand experience of how many steps are required to complete arrangement of a collection.  Physical arrangement and descriptions via A Space were both required, occasionally putting me in positions were multitasking was necessary.  If I had focused on arranging material first and only then began describing the materials, I would have quickly run out of space to work with.  Working with EMU’s collection gave me experience with being able to work in a flexible manner in order to produce an optimal workflow. 

            This practical experience was extremely valuable for me, but finishing the collection was worth it in it’s own right.  The collection contained material on athletics, speeches, events, lectures, Eastern original programing and more.  The vast array of subjects held in the collection mean that the material could be found and used by a wide variety of different people for a wide variety of different purposes.  Sports enthusiasts could look up noteworthy games from Eastern’s past while those looking up the history of person who was influential to Eastern for academic purposes could find lectures made by that person, or events that person participated it.  The varied nature of collection makes it a valuable resource and something that was important to make available. 

            My motivations for joining the MLIS program were to make sure that valuable information could be protected from being lost to time, and my work with Eastern gave me a practical example of working towards that goal.  The lessons that I learned while working on the Collection for the division of communication will be helpful to me in my future endeavors and help me preserve and make available other collections of valuable information in the years to come.  Working with EMU was not only valuable on a personal level, but helped me feel like I was contributing to a bigger picture in the field of information science.  

Collection Boxes: Before and After


Sep 24 / Matthew Fredericks

Internship at National Archives and Record Administration in Chicago

By Brian Schamber, MLIS Student

My internship with the National Archives and Record Administration at Chicago was a very informative experience and made contacts with some fantastic archivists. Over the course of five days I worked on two major projects as well as other minor projects and helping the staff where help was needed.

My first project was humidifying and flattening records of a court case regarding the chair of the women’s committee to the World’s Columbian Exhibition, totaling to about 2 folders worth of materials. I was trained to use the humidification tank and flatten the records in a safe way, a process which took about two days to do. Once the records were flattened we scanned them for a patron who requested copies.
The other major project that I worked on was the creation of an exhibit which outlined the history of the Dodge Chicago Plant, which built B-29’s during the Second World War, was purchased by controversial car designer Preston Tucker in the 1950’s and would ultimately be the area were the National Archives Chicago facility would be built. The exhibit was put into
three display cases in the lobby of the building, next to their exhibit on the Charters of Freedom.

Each panel would talk about a section of the properties history, starting with the factory, then Tucker’s factory, and finally the National Archives records facilities in the Chicago area. For this
project I worked closely with one of the archivists pulling boxes of materials, and find documents, maps, and photos to scan and put up for display. I helped the archivists prepare and mock up the layout for exhibit, and create labels with citations for each document used in the exhibit. This process took all 5 days and the archivist is still working on finishing the exhibit.

I also shadowed two other archival technicians while one was accessioning a collection and the other while they were performing reference help to patrons. For the accessioning project I learned how Federal archivists accession records series and the type of paperwork and computer programs that they utilized to establish intellectual control over their vast collections.
With the other archival technician I shadowed showed me how reference work is conducted via email, since the majority of contact with the archives is done digitally. She showed me how they respond to emails and what types of requests are made most frequently, which were
naturalization records.

Over my time in the Chicago Regional headquarters I couldn’t help but compare my experience to my internship two years ago at NARA’s College Park facility. The latter of the two was a vast network of archivist and reference staff, state of the art conservation laboratories, and administrative cubicles, while the Chicago Regional facility was much more akin to a small archives that I was used to volunteering in. The entire archival staff also did reference work, and each person helped out where they could, which was quite amazing to witness the array of jobs one person did each day. I think that this experience opened my eyes a bit to range of tasks that an archivist can do in one day, and it’s one of the aspects that I now look forward to in a career.

Sep 23 / Matthew Fredericks

My Time at the Walter P. Reuther Library

By Chris Wisswell

Nine weeks ago, I started working in an archives department for the first time as an intern at the Walter P. Reuther Library which is part of Wayne State University.  I had no idea what to expect or what I would and should be doing.  I wasn’t too nervous; I was more excited about the new opportunity. 

The Walter P. Reuther Library is actually an archives.  It houses papers and collections relating to the labor movement in the United States, women’s rights and civil rights.  Wayne State University’s archives are also kept in the building.

I was assigned a collection of items that came from the home and offices of Mildred Jeffrey, a political and social activist who called Detroit her home.  Mildred, commonly known as Millie, died in 2004 and the collection was donated to the archives around the same time period.  The collection consisted of twelve boxes of photos, videos, audio cassettes, negatives, personal papers and various types of ephemera.  The ephemera varied; political campaign buttons, travel movie slides and t-shirts were some of the items.   The collection was given to the archive as is; there was no rhyme or reason to how it was placed in the boxes.  Photos were with photos and tapes were with tapes but they were not in any order and items that didn’t belong were also thrown in.

The first thing that needed to be done was to go through everything and sort it into general groups.   Photos over here, videos over there, etc.   Once we knew what we were dealing with, we had to decide how the collection would be broken down.  What would a series consist of and what level would we describe?  And how much would be described at each level?   It was decided that the contents would be broken down and described as follows:

  1. Photographs
    1. Events – folder level description, each folder holds an event
    1. Individual Shots
      1. Color Photos – one folder for all color photos
      1. Black and White Photos – one folder for all black and white photos
    1. Mildred Jeffrey with One Other Person – Female
      1. Color Photos – one folder for all color photos
      1. Black and White Photos – one folder for all black and white photos
    1. Mildred Jeffrey with One Other Person – Male
      1. Color Photos – one folder for all color photos
      1. Black and White Photos – one folder for all black and white photos
    1. Mildred Jeffrey with Group of People
      1. Color Photos – one folder for all color photos
      1. Black and White Photos – one folder for all black and white photos
    1. Mildred Jeffrey Not in Photos
      1. Color Photos – did not have time to sort these to the folder level, each size was put in a small archive box
        1. 3 ½ inches x 5 inches and smaller
        1. 4 inches x 6 inches and larger
      1. Black and White Photos – did not have time to sort these to the folder level, they were placed in a box
    1. Scrap Books – scrap books created by or given to Millie.  They were placed in a box for further processing
    1. Negatives – placed in box for further processing.
    1. Personal – placed in a box to be returned to family.  If they do not want the items, it will be processed and added to the collection
  2. Audio
    1. Cassettes – individual item description based on title written on cassette by Mille Jeffrey.  Numbers will be added at a later date in order to keep it in order
      1. Cassettes with Title
      1. Cassettes with illegible Title
      1. Cassettes without Title
    1. LP – individual item description based on cover
    1. Magnetic Tape – unsure what is on it, archive is going to review them later
    1. Microcassettes – unsure what is on it, archive is going to review them later
  3. Moving Images
    1. DVD – individual item description based on cover
    1. Reel-to-reel – unsure what is on it, archive is going to review later
    1. VHS – individual item description based on cover
    1. Computer Software – individual item description based on title written on it by Millie
  4. Computer Software
  5. Micro Floppy Disk
  6. Ephemera
    1. Textiles – individual item description
    1. Stickers – individual item description
    1. Buttons and Pins – individual item description
      1. Political Campaign Buttons and Pins
      1. Political Events and Organizations Buttons and Pins
      1. Delegate Identification
      1. Miscellaneous Buttons and Pins
    1. Miscellaneous Ephemera – individual item description

The order that I processed the collection was as follows: ephemera, computer software, moving images, audio and photographs.  Because time was limited, I was not able to process the complete collection like I hoped to do.  However, the archive was happy with what I was able to do and seemed appreciative.    Once the rest of the collection is processed and added to the digital collection, my supervisor at the practicum will email me the link so I can view the finished product.  I cannot wait to see it.

I enjoyed my time at the Walter P. Reuther Library and learned a great deal about archiving as a career.  It is definitely interesting and I can see myself doing it in the future.

Sep 23 / Matthew Fredericks

Processing the Congregation Beth Ahm papers at the Jewish Community Archives (JCA)

By Laura Williams, MLIS student

The Practicum experience as a MLIS student was some of the most valuable hours of the program. Throughout the summer, I saw how the theories and best practices taught in the courses came to life as I processed a new collection from start to finish.

My practicum was spent at the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives of the Jewish Federation of Metro-Detroit or, for short, the Jewish Community Archives (JCA) in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Robbie Terman is the Director of the JCA and was an incredible guide during the practicum. My current job is also at an archive that collects and makes available Jewish collections, so I was automatically excited to expand my knowledge and learn from another part of the community in order to build skills for a topic I am passionate about.

Though I was able to get my hands dirty (literally) with a few different projects like working with 16mm film from the mid 20th century, my main project was to process the Congregation Beth Ahm papers. Congregation Beth Ahm is a synagogue located in West Bloomfield, with an incredibly rich history. I have passed the building hundreds, if not thousands of times in my life, but never knew much about it, until now! From the beginning, I realized that this was not an ordinary collection or even organization. Unlike the synagogue collections I have worked with in the past, Beth Ahm is actually a combination of about 8 different synagogues that merged over 120 or so years in Detroit. “Ahm” is an acronym, and was originally Abraham Hillel Moses, which were the three biggest, or final three synagogues that merged. This aspect of the collection created a vast amount of decisions about how to organize, file, and name the documents for potential researchers. Due to the many organizations under the Beth Ahm umbrella, consideration was made for those users that may be only looking at the papers of one of the merged synagogues and not simply Beth Ahm’s history since the late 1970s when the final merge occurred. Along with the guidance of Robbie Terman, I created a system that defined rules for organization as I put myself in the mind of a variety of researchers to best organize and describe the collection.

There was a lot to learn, not only about how to process in a small archive, but I learned a lot about the Metro-Detroit Jewish community. Beth Ahm’s story added many pieces to the bigger picture of how the community came together, moved, adapted, and even changed its practices. One example that stuck out to me was when I discovered some of the congregants actually sued the synagogue after the Board of Trustees instituted a new policy that allowed mixed-gender seating. For background, in traditional or orthodox Jewish synagogues, it is common practice to have separate areas for men and women. This new policy was a big change for a synagogue that had been traditional, but it shed light on the larger community’s shift toward a more progressive or liberal Judaism.

It was incredibly valuable to work with an archivist that is a “lone-arranger.” Ms. Terman was able to offer valuable insight, tools, and creativity within an archive that has one professional and has to advocate for her department within a larger institution. Ms. Terman also took time to show me how she has found resourceful ways to digitize and migrate videos for her oral history website, and proved that low budget does not mean impossible. By piecing together skills she has picked up in her information professional career, Ms. Terman has found how she can use a free version of one type of software and pair it with another to achieve the same goal as purchasing an expensive option. I am grateful that I was able to take in not only this example but many others from Ms. Terman through my hours spent at the JCA.

Image of the court case against the change to mixed-gender seating
Projector used to view 16mm film

Projector used to view 16mm film

Jun 6 / Matthew Fredericks

Calling Archival Students for Summer Projects

SIS has at least four projects for the summer.

If you are interested in one of them, please email Archival Program Coordinator Kim Schroeder with “Summer 2019 Projects” in the subject line.

1) Grosscup Anthropology Museum – WSU – Detroit

  • We just got a few hundred slides that Gordon had at his house that we need to digitize. They’re from the Fort Wayne excavations in the 1970s.
  • We have started taking our manuscripts out of the manila folders they were in and putting them into acid-free folders, labeling them and putting them in hanging file folders. This needs more work and we also two drawers labeled ‘oversized’ and I don’t even know what’s in them
  • We have a collection of papers from Bunny (a former professor) that were stashed in the archive that we need to sort out (it is basically her whole office – about 6 or 7 boxes plus two full file cabinets). When I asked the university archivist if she would take it she said they would, but they need us to give them some general sense of what we have in each box before we give it over. I’ve seen some materials in skimming that are from her time on the board of some national organizations and I think we should actually send those off to those organizations for their own archives. Anything that can be done to help us move this project forward is excellent.
  • We could really use some finding aids for different archaeological sites. Right now everything in the archive is just in order by manuscript number, and the numbers are based purely on when we cataloged it. So if we could start putting together some lists for sites that compile information on manuscripts, field notes, photographs, artifact catalog sheets, etc… that would be very helpful. There are some on our website that are similar, but many are likely inadequate (if you look at our online collections some of them have something similar:
  • We are trying to improve our use of Past Perfect – if someone wants to help us make a user guide (I’ve been meaning to) for our collections, that would be a great project as well. I would say someone can work on entering data into past perfect for us as well, but it always ends up being pretty complicated if you don’t know about archaeology, so I would only give a project like that to someone you feel could manage that.

Hours of Operation: By Appointment during the week

2) Second Avenue Baptist Church – Underground Railroad Site – Detroit

Finishing the inventory of the archives of this historic church which was organized in 1836.

Properly packing and storing memorabilia.

Hours of Operation: By Appointment during the week

3) Hellenic Museum – Detroit

The museum has quite a lot of donations that have not been inventoried and I was wondering if you have any students who might be interested in helping me with this project over the summer and also possibly into the Fall? If there is a student who is interested, I am hoping to get the items inventoried, photographed and into a database (likely PastPerfect).

There are also items in the museum without labels (currently on display!) I also need help researching these items and creating the text.

Hours of Operation: By Appointment during the week

4) Judson Center – Royal Oak

This almost 100 year old social services organization would like to create an inventory of its archive and get a budget recommendation for supplies and digitization.

They are also interested in having a history of their organization written up for their 95th anniversary which is this Fall.

Hours of Operation M-F 9-5pm

5) Freer House – Detroit –

Assist an iconic house in research regarding its construction and art. Also, the Director was a founding member of Preservation Detroit so there is some research needed on that history.


Kim Schroeder
Coordinator, Archival Program
Lecturer and Career Advisor
Wayne State University
School of Information Sciences
Faculty Advisor for National Digital Stewardship Alliance
313 577-9783
Career Advising Page