Ellis Island Preservation Assessment


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  • Give a little background about what IS at the library and what is NOT. For example, the original documents relating to immigrants during peak immigration period. NO ORIGINAL IMMIGRATION RECORDS ARE LOCATED IN THIS LIBRARY. Mention BOB HOPE? LOL
  • Give a little background about what IS at the library and what is NOT. For example, the original documents relating to immigrants during peak immigration period. NO ORIGINAL IMMIGRATION RECORDS ARE LOCATED IN THIS LIBRARY. Mention BOB HOPE? LOL
  • Give a little background about what IS at the library and what is NOT. For example, the original documents relating to immigrants during peak immigration period. NO ORIGINAL IMMIGRATION RECORDS ARE LOCATED IN THIS LIBRARY. Mention BOB HOPE? LOL
  • Note that the Museum Services division as a whole relies HEAVILY on volunteers and interns. George Tselos, Supervisor said that if it were not for the interns and volunteers, he would not be able to move forward with new programs or collections.
  • Ellis Island Preservation Assessment

    1. 1. Ellis Island Immigration Museum <br />Research Library & Special Collections<br />April 2011 Preservation Assessment<br />
    2. 2. About the Research Library & Archives<br /> The Research Library contains books, unpublished manuscripts, periodicals, oral history interviews photographs, video, poetry and research files relating to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, immigration history and the National Park Service. <br />Bob Hope Memorial Library <br />Reading Room <br />
    3. 3. The Oral History Project Library and Studio<br /> The Ellis Island Oral History Project interviews are available to researchers and the public. The Oral History Library is located on the 3rd floor of the Museum. There are computer stations in the Library where you can access complete interviews and transcripts. <br /> Unfortunately, do to budget cuts and being short-staffed, the Oral History Library has been closed for over a year and the well-equipped studio is rarely used. A partnership with New Jersey City University will allow students studying Recording Engineering to help out so the studio will get used once again. <br />Oral History Studio<br />Oral History Library<br />
    4. 4. Budget & Operations<br />Budget<br /> As a government operation, the Supervisor could not tell us (wasn’t aware of) the budget. “I ask for something. Sometimes I get it, most times I don’t” – George T.<br />Hours<br /> The Oral History and Research Library is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People with specific requests should make an appointment in advance. <br />
    5. 5. Staffing/ Hierarchy<br />Museum Services Division includes:<br />Reference Services<br />Reference Library, Archives, Oral History Center<br />Exhibits<br />Maintain permanent exhibits & put up temporary exhibits<br />Collections <br />Handle objects donated to the museum & artifacts<br />Research Library & Archives - 5 FT staff members: <br />1 Supervisory Archivist <br />2 Library Technicians<br />1 Archives Technician<br />1 Photographer/Audio Technician<br />George Tselos<br />Supervisory Archivist<br />
    6. 6. Building Environment <br /> <br /> <br />Climate<br /><ul><li>Temperature and humidity cannot be controlled</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Conditions are not monitored or recorded on a daily basis </li></li></ul><li>Recommendations -Climate<br />Short-term <br />Begin monitoring conditions by recording the temperature and humidity at least once a day.  Although, temperature and humidity cannot be controlled at this point collections can be moved to the most stable environment until a climate controlled environment can be provided.  <br />Long-term<br />Set up a budget to work toward establishing a climate controlled environment, even if completed only one room at a time.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br />
    7. 7. Building Environment <br />Light <br /><ul><li>Large windows without blinds or UV filters in the archives</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Reading room has glass ceiling, documents are temporarily being stored in this room without protection from light </li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Ceiling does not have covering or UV filter</li></ul> <br />
    8. 8. Recommendations - Light<br />Short-term<br />Move documents from areas that are exposed to light until a solution to the light issue is in place<br /> <br />Place blinds on all windows to keep the light out<br /> <br />Long-term<br />Install UV filters on all windows and light fixtures<br />
    9. 9. Building Environment <br />Fire and Theft<br /><ul><li>As part of the National Park Services, fire inspections are conducted at least annually
    10. 10. NPS checks and installs all fire extinguishers and alarms</li></ul> <br />Insects and Rodents<br /><ul><li>A pest control company is contracted through facilities </li></ul> <br />
    11. 11. Recommendations<br />Fire and Theft<br />Have broken locks on compact shelving repaired and make use of existing working locks<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />Insects and Rodents<br />Continue use of pest control company to monitor and treat for insects and rodents <br /> <br />
    12. 12. Building Environment <br />Water Damage<br /> <br /><ul><li>Reading Room has several areas marked from leaks which have not been repaired</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Archives have signs of water damage on ceiling and walls from a previous leak which was repaired</li></ul> <br />
    13. 13. Recommendations<br />Move all maps and documents from the rooms that have had leaks in the past <br /> <br />Do not store maps or other documents on the floor even temporarily  <br /> <br />Determine the source of the leaks and have them repaired<br /> <br /> <br />
    14. 14. Collections - Storage<br />Maps & Photographs<br /><ul><li>Maps stored in oversized folders 
    15. 15. Some maps placed in mylar when in use 
    16. 16. Post-its were used to mark place in archive folder
    17. 17. Photos & negatives were stored in mylar 
    18. 18. Photos were not stored according to size but subject (unless oversized) </li></li></ul><li>Shelving & Placement on Shelves<br />Shelving<br />Enamel-coated steel shelving used throughout Research Library. Shelving has locks due to being in a mixed use (public/staff only) area. One lock observed to be broken.<br />Placement<br />Regular-sized bound volumes stored vertically and oversize boxes stored flat. Boxes were not stacked too high. <br />
    19. 19. Collections – Reformatting Options<br />Many research requests are made by the public for photos, interviews, videos and other materials housed within the Museum Services Division. To minimize damage to originals, copies are always used. Originals are housed on a separate hard drive. <br />Some of the most common requests are for information pertaining to ancestors featured in Museum exhibits.<br />Several digitization projects have been started, but due to budget and personnel, they are still in limbo.<br />
    20. 20. Recommendations- Collections Storage<br />Map Usage and Storage<br />Maps should be housed in mylar any time they are taken out for use. Post-its should not be used to denote location in archives since they can fall off. A system of using a plastic paper clip and paper attached to the mylar would be a more efficient method. <br />Photographs/Audio/Video <br />Changing formats and degradation have caused some of the A/V materials to be unreadable. Equipment for cold storage has already been purchased (but unused for many, many months). Priority should be given to this project over cataloging. Store materials most at risk and make digital copies for everyday use.<br />Shelving<br />Fix broken lock since often the public wander into the “Staff Only” areas<br />OPAC/Organization<br />The main issue is that there is no OPAC. The system currently being used is ProCite, a bibliographic tool. No one outside (or inside) the library (except the Library Technicians) can find material they are looking for. <br />
    21. 21. Organization: Appraisal & Accession<br />Appraisal<br /><ul><li>Only documents pertaining to Ellis Island itself and its history.</li></ul>Accession Record<br /><ul><li>None present. Only the majority of correspondences are kept.</li></li></ul><li>Recommendations<br />Accession Records- Since these are non-existent, they should begin to keep proper records of what they accept from people. This makes it easier to know what to accept and for researchers to know where the documents came from. <br /> <br />Short term- Correspondence records should be at least be organized in a uniform manner.<br /> <br />Long term- Begin a new Accession Record of all incoming documents.  Eventually add in previous accessions. <br />
    22. 22. Arrangement & Description<br />Arrangement<br /><ul><li>That which is processed follows standard Archival rules.  
    23. 23. However, much has not been processed.
    24. 24. Many of the documents, themselves are not formally labeled or in a proper place.
    25. 25. Many photos are digitized, but not cataloged.</li></ul>Description<br /><ul><li>Again, good descriptions for processed collections.
    26. 26. No finding aids are available and can only be accessed by the archives technician.</li></li></ul><li>Recommendations<br />Arrangement- No more Post-its! <br /> Keep all objects (e.g. maps) in their proper location, unless being used. <br />Make sure to label all incoming documents, once processed.  <br />Should hire a librarian, if only temporarily, or teach the librarian technicians to process new collections and rearrange older ones.  <br />Description- Need to make finding aids public. This will ease up the stress upon only the archival technician able to retrieve documents. <br />Should have interns put what is already written searchable, and have librarian technicians translate the inventory into a finding aid. <br />
    27. 27. Fundamental Issues<br />Collection Policy <br />Due to the absence of a formal collection policy, the facility accepts most materials donated. A written policy would allow them to decline gifts that do not fit into the mission of the library.<br /> <br />Staff Characteristics & Training<br />There are no trained librarians on staff which presents a problem with adhering to the standards of library & archival collections care. <br />Disaster Planning<br />Since the library & archives are part of the NPS, their disaster plan is to follow the NPS guidelines in the event of emergency. <br />Financial Assistance <br />Since Ellis Island is a National Park and under governmental control, most outside resources are not allowed to be used. Exception- Bob Hope Memorial Library<br />
    28. 28. Questions?<br />