Archival Processing at the South Street Seaport Library Roger Yerburgh LIS 698 Seminar and Practicum Spring 2012
The South Street Seaport Library History• Founded in Late 1960’s• Mission and collection policy changed many times through its history• Library run by marine historian and interns until 2004• Museum of the City of New York took over Museum and Library (18 Month contract) in 2010• Carol Clarke and Anne DiFabio hired as Project Archivist and Assistant Archivist to inventory and establish intellectual control over collection (First trained archivists/librarians to work in the Library)
The Collection (General Inventory in Progress)• 32,000 Ship Plans• Several Thousand Photographs, Negatives, and Slides• Manuscript Collection-80 Linear Feet• 2,000 Reference Books• Several hundred boxes of institutional archives• Many thousand periodicals• And Much More (many odds and ends, the result of not having a clear collection policy)
The Project: Processing The Charles Lawesson Collection• Charles Lawesson New York Area Maritime Historian and Author• “The New York Built Marine Engine”• “Williamsburgh and Its Ferries”• 13 Linear Feet, mostly Maritime History Research Materials• Mixed Materials from 1939-2010: Manuscripts, articles, photocopies, images, shi p plans, ephemera etc.
Challenges• Preservation Issues/Treatment• Establishing Provenance of Materials• Finding “Original Order” in mixed up materials• Recognizing Research Areas, trying to think like Charles Lawesson
The Series• I. Personal• II. Research• III. World’s Fair• IV. Oversized• V. Photo Collection
II. Research Subseries• Subseries A: Williamsburgh Ferry/New York Ferry History• Subseries B: New York Built Marine Steam Engine/Steam Engine History• Subseries C: Ship Building, including: Ship Building, Ship Design, Dry Docks, Ship Launching and Brooklyn Navy Yard• Subseries D: Steam Ships, including Steam Ship Lines, Steam Ship Lists, Steam Ship Images• Subseries E: Ships (General), including Cruise and Shipping Lines, Clipper Ships• Subseries F: New York Area Maps, Atlases, and Directories• Subseries G: Industrial History, including Iron Forging, Steel Working, Coal and Fuel, transportation, and Mechanical Terms• Subseries H: Illustrations and Drawings• Subseries I: Miscellaneous and General History
The Processed Charles Lawesson Collection and Finding Aid• 11.5 Linear Feet• 431 Folders• 25 Page Finding Aid