Library will digitize St. Theodore Guerin’s works

The Digital Initiatives Unit of the Indiana State University’s library’s Special Collections Department received a $15,453 grant to help the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Archives provide online access to Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s letters and journals. 

The project will digitize approximately 1,500 pages of original documents, translations and transcriptions and provide access to the digital representations through Indiana Memory and the Digital Public Library of America. The master digital files will be stored long term in the MetaArchive Digital Preservation Network.

This is an opportunity for the ISU library digital initiatives staff to share their expertise with community organizations,” said Cinda May, librarian and chair of Special Collections at Indiana State. “We’re working to include English translations along with the French text to make the letters and journals of Mother Theodore Guerin available to a worldwide audience.”

This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.

The letters and journals provide a variety of insights into the culture and history of 19th century America, especially in Indiana. In 1840, Mother Guerin and five companions traveled from Ruillé, France, to serve the Catholic community in Indiana.

A prolific writer, Mother Guerin kept detailed journals and wrote numerous letters describing the experiences of the French nuns in Indiana’s remote forests. Composed between 1840 and 1856, the 429 letters and three travel journals, written primarily in French with some English translations, are preserved in the Sisters of Providence Archives at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Indiana.  State students Kirsten Campbell and Jazmyne Magee were hired to help with the digitization and metadata creation.

“This is good hands-on experience for any history major and it’s always good to know more about how to analyze documents and handle data, which I am doing working about 16 hours a week on this project,” said Campbell, a senior political science and history major from St. Joseph, Ill. “Spending this much time on the project has allowed me to learn a lot about Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, too. I really didn’t know much about the college before I started, especially not its history or founding, and it’s interesting.”

Magee, a sophomore business major from Gary, Ind., travels to the Sisters of Providence Archives to scan and transcribe Mother Guerin’s works.

“I’ve acquired a lot of new skills since I applied to help with this project, like new computer software, how to input and analyze data and even a little of the French language,” she said. “The information I’ve learned is really interesting, too, and I think people will be surprised by all they’ll learn when everything goes live.”

The grant runs through June when the information is expected to be searchable through Indiana Memory and the Digital Public Library of America.

Media contact: Cinda May, librarian chair of Special Collections, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University, cinda.may@indstate.edu

Article re-posted

October 20: Debs Collection on View

Following the showing of the documentary “At the River I Stand” and q/a from Debs Foundation Award winner, civil rights/union activist William “Bill” Lucy, items from the Debs Collection were on display in Special Collections. Special Collections Department Chair and Debs Foundation Board member, Cinda May, was on hand to discuss the items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinda May to participate in unique conference on Catholic Religious Archives

Cinda May, Chair of the Special Collections Department, will participate by invitation in the “Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives: A Working Conference” to be held at Boston College, July 11-13, 2018.

 The working conference is “a ground-breaking effort by religious leaders, archivists and historians to address preservation and access issues, to identify possible solutions and to be part of developing a national strategic plan to confront the challenge.”

The conference will consist small group activities designed to feed into a scalable national strategy to address the needs of Catholic Religious Archives.

One of the conference chairs invited Ms. May to submit an application because of her work InDiPres and digital preservation.

Special Collections Summer Exhibit: “The Study and Appreciation of the Natural World

Voyages of Discovery that circumnavigated the world during the 15th-17th centuries, established trade routes and brought Europeans into contact with cultures and environments of faraway lands. While early voyages frequently served colonial and political agendas, the maritime and land explorations of the 18th and 19th centuries focused more on scientific discoveries. The crews included naturalists, botanists, zoologists, geologists, mineralogists, artists and illustrators, as well as astronomers, cartographers and surgeons. … Specialized natural history collections date back to 16th century Europe.

 Referred to as “cabinets,” these collections feature examples of mineral, plant, and animal life accumulated and displayed often with some sort of classification system. … Here at Indiana State University the tradition of scientific collection, preservation, and study continues. We invite you to view specimens from the cabinets maintained by the Departments of Biology, Earth and Environmental Systems, and Special Collections. Here is an opportunity for you to explore and appreciate the natural world.

Welcome to a world of wonders! Glimpse a few pieces when you enter the Library, then move on to the 3rd floor for more! The 1st floor exhibits allow you to experience the excitement of discovery as you meet Bill Cain, a private collector, who offers examples from his personal cabinet of fossils for your contemplation.

Summer Hours for Special Collections

Special Collections Reading Room Summer Schedule

Starting May 14th the Special Collections Reading Room will be open by appointment only for the summer months. Researchers should contact 812-237-2610 to make an appointment.

The Special Collections Department of the Cunningham Memorial Library holds the University’s unique physical and digital collections. Special Collections consists of four units: Rare Books & Manuscripts, University Archives, Digital Initiatives, and the Permanent Art Collection. These four units hold, preserve, and make accessible art, University’s history, local history collections, the world-famous Cordell Dictionary Collection, Rare Book collections on a variety of subjects, and provide digitization and data management support for the University’s Institutional Repository, Sycamore Scholars, and the community digital memory project, Wabash Valley Visions and Voices.