“So, what are you working on now?” “Well, I’m taking sixteen spreadsheets . . .”

Ok, so I feel defensive and somewhat embarrassed by what I’m working on these days. Which, as you’ll see, I really shouldn’t because it’s a very worthwhile endeavor, but not one that’s exactly in line with my prior exploits. I’m not just writing this to beg for affirmations, but on the other hand, I am looking for support to help me overcome my feelings that it’s not “enough.” Let me explain.

Continue reading ““So, what are you working on now?” “Well, I’m taking sixteen spreadsheets . . .””

The Cleveland Animal Protective League–and Biker Dog–win! Thanks to your generosity.

There was some strenuously campaigning on the ground at #SAA15 in Cleveland, but in the end it was the dog–nicknamed Biker Dog–who emerged victorious. And, more importantly, the Cleveland APL is also a winner, to the tune of $3,310 over $3,400, according to the donations you reported. I don’t think this includes the many items dropped off onsite in Cleveland, including lovingly knitted blankets for our animal friends. If you still need to donate to the Cleveland APL to “pay” for your votes, consult the Rules post for ways to make that donation.

Picture of dog with man on motorcyle
“Bikes can be seen in abundance in Athens fall and spring quarter. Slid, the puppy, rides on Tridder’s bike all the time.” From the Spectrum Green yearbook, 1981. Ohio University Libraries.

 

Thanks, all, again, for your participation, enthusiasm, and donations. While Biker Dog won out in the end, I think the Adorable Kitten was the winner of many hearts, as were all the animals who vied for the crown.

Perhaps it was the information Janet Carleton shared about Biker Dog’s companion in the photo, Michael “Strider” Hayes, that helped put them over the top:

Strider was infamous. He was known for his love of motorcycles, music, and making mischief. He was a hero several times over, having served in the armed forces as well as risking his own life multiple times to save friends and strangers. While Strider was well known for embellishing his life story, he did tour with Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Guns N Roses, Metallica, and Genesis, just to name a few. He spent many years protecting drunken Halloween celebrants from themselves during The Block Party, and once worked security for The Pope. But the best of his accomplishments are his two beautiful Amazonian children.
Feared by many, loved by most, respected by all

 

Here’s a link to the full obituary for Strider.

If you enjoyed this competition please be sure to thank Caryn Radick–who came up with the idea of helping a local shelter–and also Amy Schindler, who advised on this effort and also helped Caryn and me narrow down the list of final contestants. Thanks to the SAA Host Committee for the Cleveland meeting for their support as well.

And, yes, we may do this again next year to help a shelter in Atlanta, in conjunction with #SAA16. If so, I think we’ll be asking you to submit images from all the rest of the animal kingdom. So be on the lookout for lions, tigers, bears, goats, horses, birds, fish, snakes, marine mammals, rabbits, wombats, kangaroos, sheep, and other adorable friends for a possible cat and dog free showdown!

 

The final round: The Top Dog from the Archives vs. the Top Cat from the Archives

It was a nail-biter, with the leads changing several times over the last 30 minutes, but here are the animals you voted as Top Dog and Top Cat from the Archives. Before we pit them against each other in a battle for supreme cuteness, let’s take a moment to bask in them both, and acknowledge that all the dogs and cats we’ve seen in this competition have been extraordinary, and we love them all.

However, only one can reign supreme. Now is the time for the dog lovers and cat people of the archival world to show their support for their beloved species by voting–and donating. So far people have reported donating over $2,000 to the Cleveland Animal Protective League in conjunction with this competition. Which is amazing, but we still have this final round to go, and I expect that number to increase quite a bit when we close out voting on Friday.

As in previous rounds,  please review the Rules post and remember that we’re doing this to benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League. If you’re voting, you need to donate. And if you’ve donated, get in touch with Caryn so that she can add to our impressive total.

Voting for this round will remain open until 5 pm EST on Friday, August 21. Below is the final bracket, and you can see a larger version of either image by clicking on it.

Thanks to everyone for their support, and happy voting! Help us make all the animals at the Cleveland APL winners!


The Final Four: Who will be crowned Top Dog and Top Cat from the Archives?

My beloved Pleiku did not make it through, alas. Apparently y’all love your dogs on things. And kittens reigned supreme in your eyes. It’s the final match-up of dog vs. dog and kitten vs. kitten before we move to the contentious dog vs. cat from the archives showdown.

If this is your first time voting, please review the Rules post and remember that we’re doing this to benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League. If you’re voting, you need to donate. And if you’ve donated, get in touch with Caryn and let her know how much so that we can track how successful this little fundraiser has been.

Voting for this round will remain open until 5 pm EST on Monday, August 17. Below you will see 2 brackets with 2 cats and 2 dogs competing. (To see a larger version of any image, click on it.) On Tuesday, August 18 the Top Dog and Top Cat will face off to decide who wins it all!


Round Three: The Elite Eight contenders for Top Cat and Top Dog from the Archives!

And now there are only eight: four dogs and four cats have emerged from the fray. Did your favorite make it? Mine did.

Again, before you vote, please review the Rules post and remember that we’re doing this to benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League. If you’re voting, you need to donate.

Voting for this round will remain open until 5 pm EST on Thursday, August 13. Below you will see 4 brackets with 4 cats and 4 dogs competing. (To see a larger version of any image, click on it.) Round Four–the final decision for Top Cat and Top Dog– is scheduled to kick off on Friday, August 14.  And then on Tuesday, August 18 the Top Dog and Top Cat will face off to decide who wins it all!





Round Two: 16 contenders for Top Cat and Top Dog from the Archives

Yes, it was painful to see some of them go. George will always live in my heart. But, this is a competition, and we have to move forward. So now there are only 16 animals competing for our top spot. Will it be the dog on the donkey? The puppy on the motorcycle? The cat in the rocking chair? Ernest Hemingway’s well-fed cat? Only you will decide.

Again, before you vote, please review the Rules post and remember that we’re doing this to benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League. If you’re voting, you need to donate.

Voting for this round will remain open until 5 pm EST on Saturday, August 8. Below you will see 8 brackets with 8 cats and 8 dogs competing. (To see a larger version of any image, click on it.) Round Three  is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, August 9.

Remember to check in on the Dogs From the Archives and Cats from the Archives Tumblr blogs over the coming weeks to see the animals who were not selected for the competition, and some who are now sitting on the sidelines, like my friend George.

Based on our first round, if you’re all donating as much as you’re voting, we’ll raise a lot of money for the Cleveland APL, and that will be a beautiful thing. Now, you know what to do: vote, share, and donate!

 





Competition for Top Dog from the Archives: Round One

At last, it’s time to begin the Cats and Dogs from the Archives competition! Before you vote, please review the Rules post and remember that we’re doing this to benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League. If you’re voting, you need to donate.

Voting for this round will remain open until 5 pm EST on Sunday, August 2. Below you will see 8 brackets with 16 dogs competing. (To see a larger version of any image, click on it.) The post that follows this one will have the brackets for the 16 competing cats. Round Two is scheduled to kick off on Monday, August 3.

Many thanks to all our valiant dog and cat competitors, including the many who were submitted but were not selected. To give them a chance to shine in the spotlight, they will all be featured on the Dogs From the Archives and Cats from the Archives Tumblr blogs over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about the rules, please post a comment on the Rules post or send me a message. And now, vote, vote, vote, like a baby stoat! And give generously!

 









Dogs & Cats from the Archives to benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League: The Rules

Ok, in the next posts we’ll be kicking off the first round of the Dogs & Cats from the Archives competition, and I know you’re all champing at the bit (to use a horse metaphor) to start voting, but first let’s go over the rules.

1) While we’re all having fun here, the purpose is to raise money for the good work of the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Since the Society of American Archivists is meeting in Cleveland this year, Caryn Radick has spearheaded plans to find ways that the archival community could give back to help local animals in need. This is one of them. So, we ask you to make a donation of at least $1 for every vote you make in this competition. How you do that is up to you, and this is all on the honor system. You can donate $100 and vote 100 times. You can donate $50 and have 50 people in your office vote. You can donate $31 and vote once in each of the brackets over the next few weeks. You can donate at the beginning, and “spend” your votes in the weeks to come, or you can keep track of all your votes and donate appropriately at the end. You can make a donation of an item the shelter needs and then vote according to the dollar value of your gift. Please be honest and generous. We’re trying to help animals and the people who help them. Don’t cheat.

2) There are several ways you can donate:

  • Go to this link on the APL website (“Make a One Time Donation”) and do it online
  • Send the APL a check, made out to Cleveland Animal Protective League or the Cleveland APL, and mail it to: Cleveland Animal Protective League, 1729 Willey Avenue, Cleveland,  OH  44113
  • Buy something from the APL Amazon wishlist and it will be shipped directly to them
  • Buy something from their wishlist and bring it with you to the SAA meeting in Cleveland. There will be a collection point at the meeting–probably in the registration area–but that will be confirmed closer to the meeting

3) Whenever and however you donate, please contact Caryn (caryn.radick@gmail.com) to let her know what you gave. This is the only way we can keep track of how much money this campaign is raising, and we’d kind of like to be able to know how successful we’ve been, as well as track information that will help us plan for possible ventures in future years. (Your name will be kept confidential, although you’re welcome and encouraged to talk about donating!)

4) This will work in a “March Madness” style bracket system. So we’re starting out with 32 animals–16 cats and 16 dogs competing in 16 brackets. Working up to the start of the SAA meeting we’ll be narrowing it down to 16 animals, then 8, then 4 and then ultimately the final two: top cat vs. top dog. The final battle will take place during the week of the SAA meeting, with the winner announced on Saturday, August 22.

5) You can vote more than once for any animal in any bracket. You will also be able to track how the voting is going over the course of the competition, so if you’re really pulling for one animal, you can keep voting for him or her and try to put your favorite over the top. But remember, if you vote, you should pay up accordingly.

6)You are welcome to help promote this competition to your colleagues, friends, and patrons, but please make it clear that while it looks free to vote (and it technically is), they should make donations accordingly.

7) While SAA is assisting us in promoting this fundraising effort, this is not formally associated with SAA. So if there’s anything you don’t like about it, don’t blame them. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or contact Caryn or me (info@archivesnext.com).

Our thanks to Amy Schindler, who also has helped in narrowing down the voluminous and adorable pictures of animals submitted by a wide range of archival institutions.

Your Cats & Dogs from the Archives can help the Cleveland Animal Protective League!

Knowing how much archivists love their own cats, dogs, and other pets, our colleague Caryn Radick decided to explore ways our community could help a local animal shelter in conjunction with the SAA annual meeting in Cleveland this August. In addition to onsite opportunities to help, Caryn and I have teamed up to host a virtual battle royale between your cats and dogs from the archives!

On or about July 24 we’ll launch a March Madness style competition, in which your donations to the Cleveland Animal Protective League will allow you to vote for your favorite images of cats and dogs from the archives. We’ll start out with a “sweet 16” and by the week before the SAA meeting it will be down to the top cat and top dog battling it out for supremacy, with the winner announced on August 21. We’ll follow up with more information about how you can vote, but for now we need you to send in the best images of dogs and cats your collections have to offer.  Please send an image or a link (with no copyright restrictions, please) to kate.theimer [@] gmail.com no later than Wednesday, July 22. We’ll do the hard work of selecting the final animals for the competition, and then announce how you can support your favorites, and more importantly, support the great work of the Cleveland Animal Protective League!

Details:

1) Yes, you can send in more than one image. But please try to have only cats or dogs in each. We’re all in favor of inter-species fraternization, but not for this competition!

2) Submissions from outside the U.S. are welcomed.

3) Please provide an appropriate credit line for your image.

4) What about other animals, you ask? If this goes well, next year may see the top dog or cat take on all comers! So save your pictures of goats, horses, birds, and other remarkable creatures for next time.

What’s the best book about archives you’ve read lately?

I asked that question on Twitter and Facebook and here are the responses:

 

Big Data – A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance

Extensible Processing for Archives and Special Collections: Reducing Processing Backlogs

Ephemeral Material: Queering the Archive

The Boundaries of the Literary Archive: Reclamation and and Representation

Collecting, Curating, and Researching Writers’ Libraries: A Handbook

Dust: The Archive and Cultural History 

Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India 

Big Pharma 

Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art 

Microfilm: A History, 1839-1900

Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala 

Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa 

The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Newton’s Manuscripts 

The Hermit of Peking: The hidden life of Sir Edmund Backhouse (“he starts Bodlian Library with counterfeit books and archives from Chinese Imperial Court…”)

Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Simaite

Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace: Explorations in Canadian Women’s Archives

and of course

Archives Power: Memory, Accountability, and Social Justice

Any other recommendations?

UPDATE:

New suggestions:

All this Stuff: Archiving the Artist

Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents

If you like this list, you might want to check out this older post, when we throwing out possibilities for the archivists’ book club. Lots of good ones there too.