Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Internship Program/Summer, 2008

Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library welcomes applications from current graduate students in library science, information studies, preservation, archives or a related program for its newly constituted internship program. The program has been designed to provide practical experience to current graduate students interested in pursuing a career in technical services in a special
collections setting.

The Beinecke Library, one of the world's largest buildings devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, is Yale's principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books as well as strong collections of historical materials. Its collections are internationally known and heavily used by scholars from around the world. For further information about the Beinecke Library, consult the
library's web site at: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke.

Responsibility for receiving, accessioning, processing and cataloging as well as the preservation and conservation of materials in the Beinecke, regardless of format, resides with the Technical Services Department. Printed Acquisitions, Preservation, Manuscripts, Metadata and indirectly the Rare Book Cataloging Team are all units in
Technical Services.

Interns will work in an area of their specific interest and have the opportunity to learn more about how special collection libraries and major research libraries are organized and function. Interns will undertake and complete a project based on their interests, skills and the needs of the Library.

The Beinecke Library has four internships available for the summer of 2008, and is looking to host an intern in each of the following areas(see the list at end for additional details):

- Archival and manuscript processing
- Digital library and metadata development
- Preservation
- Rare book cataloging and acquisitions

Interns will work closely with staff in each of these areas and will be integrated into the broader operations of the library through tours, meetings with staff in the Beinecke Library and the Yale University Library, and participation in special projects as available and necessary.

Eligibility and requirements

- Applicants must be current graduate students in good standing in a library science, information studies, preservation, archives or related program
- Applicants must have completed at least three courses before the start date of their internship
- Applicants must commit to 10 consecutive weeks of employment between June 1st and August 31st, 2008
- At the end of the internship, interns will be required to submit a final report describing their experiences or participate in an exit interview
- Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.
- Successful applicants will need to pass a security background check

Interns will receive a stipend of $7,500 to be used for housing,travel and other expenses. The stipend will be divided into three payments: one upon starting, the second halfway through and the third upon completion of the internship.

The Library strongly encourages applicants from underrepresented communities to apply.

Applicants should submit the items below by Feb. 29, 2008, with a decision made in the beginning of April. Successful candidates will be contacted in the beginning of April.
- Cover letter indicating internship area preference, as described below
- Current resume
- Three letters of reference and contact information, including one from your current institution
- List of completed classes (unofficial transcripts accepted)

Send these to:

Diane Y. Turner, Associate University Librarian for Human Resources
Staff Training & Community Development
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
fax: (203) 432-1806
email: hrlibrary@yale.edu,:

Please send any questions concerning the internships to hrlibrary@yale.edu


Archives and manuscript processing
- Arrange, describe, and preserve manuscript collections from the Yale Collection of American Literature, the Yale Collection of Western Americana, and/or the General Collection of Modern Books and Manuscripts.
- Create inventories and collection level descriptions encoded in EAD and MARC.
- Participate as needed in Manuscript Unit initiatives related to archival processing, accessioning, and manuscript cataloging.

Digital library and metadata development
- Gain a broad introduction to digital library development, metadata, and mass digitization programs with an emphasis on the digitization of rare books and archival materials in special collections
- Create metadata records across a wide range of materials that may include medieval and renaissance manuscripts, modern manuscripts and photographs, books, artwork, and maps, according to local and national cataloging standards including AACR2, LCSH, LC Authorities, and AAT/TGM II
- Develop and manage structural metadata using software such as MS Excel
- Working with library staff, design and implement web interface usability studies of digital library technologies and make recommendations on web-interface improvements
- Receive a broad introduction to various types of modern digital capture equipment (e.g., large format digital camera, flatbed scanner and film scanner), and gain an overview of scanning and editing workflows

Rare book acquisitions and cataloging
- Broad introduction to technical services functions for rare books with an emphasis on rare book cataloging for a wide range of material from the 15th century to the present
- Introduction and experience using Voyager, OCLC/Connexion and other bibliographic databases
- Introduction and experience with AACR2, DCRM(B) (Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books)), LCSH, genre headings, and authority control.
- Specific projects will depend on a person's language skills,cataloging background, and interests (e.g. early books, artist books,maps, serials, or music)
- Acquisitions workflow including accession records, physical processing and tracking of materials prior to cataloging.

Preservation and conservation
- Condition assessments and treatment proposals
- Collection surveys, including printed materials, manuscripts,photographs, and A/V materials
- Coordinate environmental monitoring program and analyze data
- Liaise with vendors, including RFPs, contracts, and proposal reviews, for conservation treatments, housing, reformatting, and mass deacidification
- Assist with disaster preparedness and planning
- Aid in developing documentation including policies, procedures, best practices for workflow

Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer
See: http://www.library.yale.edu/lhr/jobs/intern/brbl-intern.html

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The What? Family??

This photograph on the LC Flickr site is titled "Coney Island, the Whole Drand Family" but someone has realized that it actually says "the whole Darnd family" and what a family! Take a close look and you'll see the children aren't children at all--they're monkeys!

Thank you, John, for bringing this photo to my attention.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's All About Access

Vachon, John,, 1914-1975, photographer. [Grand Grocery Co.], Lincoln, Neb. [1942]

Check out this post on the Library of Congress blog. LC is now using Flickr to post images.

If all goes according to plan, the project will help address at least two major challenges: how to ensure better and better access to our collections, and how to ensure that we have the best possible information about those collections for the benefit of researchers and posterity.

You can find their Flickr account here. I am enrolled in a class on copyright this semester and I was especially interested to note that LC will "include only images for which no copyright restrictions are known to exist."

And as the blog poster wrote the really exciting part will be when people begin tagging the photographs! See "The Commons" for more information.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dear readers....

An article in last Sunday's Oregonian newspaper, written by Jim Carmin, the John Wilson Special Collections librarian at Multnomah County Library, which is entitled
Dear readers, The letter must not die begins

The practice and art of writing letters is dying; for most of us it may already be dead. E-mail has taken over. Written communication in our daily lives now is made up of snippets of prose stored on our electronic desktops.

I agree that letter writing has become a lost art. It's rare to get one in the postal mail. A huge amount of communication is done using email. A great deal is also done through texting on cell phones and there's a lot of communication done through wikis and blogs as well. The problem with all of those is there's no way to really save it unless one is willing to print it out. And somehow, a pile of printed out text messages, even if they are love notes, just doesn't have the same cachet. I cannot imagine keeping them, tied with a ribbon, as one might with handwritten notes. An email just doesn't have that "magical" value.

There certainly seems to be more communication now but it seems harder to find anything which is thoughtful, reflective, and creative. I also have realized that even though I have only been using computers for the past 15 years or so I find it more difficult to compose a letter when writing by hand than when typing. I can copy and paste, easily insert additional sentences, and use a spell check feature when I write an email or write a blog or wiki post. My brain seems to be working differently. Or perhaps that's just age.

And there's no time lag with emails. I wrote a note to Mr. Carmin thanking him for his article and the irony, of course, was that I wrote him an email and not a handwritten note sent by postal mail. If I'd done that it would have taken one or two days to get there. I'd have had to find a stamp and make sure I remembered to actually mail it. With an email I only had to hit "send". That, too, is a lost part of the "magic". There's no delicious anticipation waiting for the postman to deliver the day's mail to see if there's a special personal letter.

NOTE: The online version of the article does not include the illustrations of a letter written by Charles Dickens or a postcard from Allen Ginsberg to William Burroughs. You'll need to find a print copy of the article to see those. You can find it in Section O, on page 10.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Two Roads: Ancient/Future Libraries

This article, Future Reading:Digitization and Its Discontents , by book historian Anthony Grafton and published in last November's New Yorker, is a fascinating read.

I especially intrigued by his description of the two ways that we now have to access information:

For now and for the foreseeable future, any serious reader will have to know how to travel down two very different roads simultaneously. No one should avoid the broad, smooth, and open road that leads through the screen. … If you want deeper, more local knowledge, you will have to take the narrower path … The narrow path still leads, as it must, to crowded public rooms where the sunlight gleams on varnished tables, and knowledge is embodied in millions of dusty, crumbling, smelly, irreplaceable documents and books.

When we digitally reformat our historical collections or build institutional repositories for new digital material, we are merely reinventing the old. There are historical precedents for such practices—in ancient and medieval librarianship and, in the more recent past, the historical manuscripts tradition—that show us how in the past libraries and archives supported a range of textual activities that enabled the sharing of knowledge.

Archives and Ethics

The Center of Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin held a conference on "Archives and Ethics: Reflections on Practice" last November and offer archived videos here .

I know that digitization is the hot topic now, that along with Web 2.0 tools, but perhaps we should be spending more time thinking about the basics-- how we capture records, how we make them available, and especially, what do we do when they reveal proprietary or controversial evidence. The complex technological issues are easy when compared to dealing with ethics.

The website offers other archived videos as well on topics such as the Googlization of everything and intellectual information. You may want to check out those topics too.

A current schedule listing future lectures can be found here .

Friday, January 4, 2008


I've just discovered an archives encyclopedia wiki, Archivopedia , which includes a free job board, a resume bank for both students and professionals, a list of blogs for and by archivists, news and trends in archives as well as a search engine for primary source documents.