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Archive for the ‘Tools and Tips’ Category

Students! SCUA collections can help you win the Undergrad Research Award!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Did you know you can be awarded $1500 for a great research paper? Check out http://library.uoregon.edu/general/libaward.html for details.

Several students have used SCUA collections to win this award. For example, Shelley Grosjean won in 2011 for A “Womyn’s” Work Is Never Done: The Gendered Division of Labor and the Creation of Southern Oregon Lesbian Separatist Communities.”

Poke around on our website or dig into Northwest Digital Archives.

Please let us know if we can help you find materials. We really, really like to see our collections in use!

Did you know…ArchiveGrid has some nifty searching tools

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

ArchiveGrid is a database that harvests information about manuscripts, archives and special collections from around the world. It’s run by OCLC, which manages the primary database used by libraries and special collections throughout the world.

Yup, SCUA records are in ArchivesGrid too, courtesy of Northwest Digital Archives. Spend some time poking around: you can browse by topic, find a repository by zip code, and narrow your search in several useful ways. They’ll even help you get in touch with a repository to request research assistance. A nifty new interface should be rolling out in a month or so, stay tuned.



Tag cloud added!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Check out our new tag cloud on the left side navigation bar. We tag collection posts to help both staff and users identify collections based on subject area.

The larger the tag, the more collections have that term attached.

Search the 1940 census by name!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Check out the Time story here.

So far it looks like searching by name will be available for New York, NY.

If you are interested in helping to make the census searchable by name, you can volunteer to index names here.  There are five partner organizations with volunteers across the country.

Census day!

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

As we posted back in February, the 1940 census as of today, April 2, 2012, is free and available online through the National Archives and Records Administration.

Check out NARA’s 1940 census webpage here.


Using archives: a guide to effective research

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has a great new guide out for Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research (pdf).

From the SAA website for the guide:

Archives exist both to preserve historic materials and to make them available for use. This guide addresses the second purpose by outlining the functions and procedures of archives, and is designed both for first-time archives users and scholars who have already conducted research in archives. The content covers:

  • How archives function
  • How to identify appropriate archives for your research
  • How to access historical materials and research at an archives

Repositories and their collecting scopes and practices may differ, but the principles in this guide should assist you in accomplishing your research goals at any archival institution.

Table of Contents (click the “Using Archives A Guide” image to go directly to the SAA page.)

We will also have a link on our website shortly.

Official 1940 census website now available

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

The 1940 census will become available to the public on April 2, 2012. Check out NARA’s blog post about the opening as well as the official webpage for the 1940 census.

This is the first time census will be available digitally upon release. Check out the great introductory video on the official webpage.

Finding aids available in ArchiveGrid

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

All our finding aids that go into NWDA will also now be available in ArchiveGrid! This has multiple benefits including:

  • expanding the user base of who will discover our finding aids and fabulous collections
  • allowing users who typically search NWDA to search with ArchiveGrid to discover additional materials of interest outside of the region

ArchiveGrid, once a fee based program, will be free and open for all for all now run by OCLC Research. ArchiveGrid connects you with primary source material held in archives around the world. You will find historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. ArchiveGrid also helps researchers contact archives to request information, arrange a visit, and order copies.

ArchiveGrid includes archival collection descriptions from WorldCat bibliographic records and from finding aids harvested from contributors’ websites.

Check out the beta version for new enhancements and features. This prototype system from OCLC Research is in its early stages of development, and we’re interested in your comments and suggestions. We’ll be updating the site regularly with more archival descriptions and more features, so check back with us to see what’s new.


Update on February 16, 2012: See the following two announcements regarding NWDA finding aids in ArchiveGrid

Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA) database

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA) provides enhanced access to archival and manuscript collections in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington through a union database of Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids.

SCUA contributes our online finding aids to NWDA to make them accessible on the web. To date we have 572 finding aids in the system. Over the past year we have developed new, enhanced procedures that will enable us to add more finding aids than ever before to NWDA.

The Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology defines a finding aid as:

n. ~ 1. A tool that facilitates discovery of information within a collection of records. – 2. A description of records that gives the repository physical and intellectual control over the materials and that assists users to gain access to and understand the materials.

Put more simply, a finding aid is a document that provides information about a specific collection.

There are many ways to search NWDA and on an upcoming post we’ll have tips for locating our finding aids.

SCUA also has paper finding aids available in the Paulson Reading Room. Many collections only have a paper finding aid to date. Even some collections that have NWDA finding aids may have paper finding aids with additional information or more detailed information.