Newly Acquired Resources at the UConn Library

The UConn Library recently acquired permanent online access to 7 million scholarly journal articles, 3600 books, and 50 million pages of primary sources in all subjects. Unlimited access and downloads are permitted. Everything is available to all UConn, including Health and Law. 

Scholarly journals 

JSTOR Journals, Collections 12-15

JSTOR Journals, Collections 12-15

Purchase of these four JSTOR Arts & Sciences collections gives UConn a vastly expanded corpus of hundreds of new scholarly ejournals in diverse subjects, mostly starting with volume one and missing only the most recent issues. We gain access on JSTOR to these issues 2-6 years after publication. See JSTOR for title lists.

Sage Journals Deep Backfile

Sage Journals Deep Backfile

Purchase gives us the full corpus of 607 Sage-published ejournals from first volume and issue through 1998. This backfile encompasses all subjects and is especially strong in psychology, education, and the medical and health sciences. Download title list in Excel format.

American Institute of Physics (AIP) Complete Journals Archive

Purchase gives us the full text of 20 physics and related science ejournals from volume 1 to present, 1929-1998. The Archive includes 403,000 articles. See AIP for the title list


Scholarly ebooks 

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) Complete Online

164,000 pages of biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world’s most influential authors, filmmakers, and other creatives. Includes the Dictionary of Literary Biography (vols. 1-348), DLB Documentary Series (50 vols.), and DLB Yearbook (23 vols.). 

Elgar Economics Ebooks 2018 & 2019

Over one hundred monographs, handbooks, and research reviews in the field of economics. 

Harvard University Press Ebooks 2000-2015 

More than 800 titles published by Harvard University Press across all subjects. Includes hundreds of titles and course-adopted texts not otherwise available online. 

New Pauly Encyclopedia of the Ancient World

The English edition of the authoritative Der Neue Pauly, a key resource for classical studies. 

Oxford University Press Classical Studies 2010-2015

285 classical studies monographs published by Oxford University Press. 

Springer Computer Science 2015 & 2016 

All Springer computer science ebooks published in 2015 and 2016, including hundreds of monographs, proceedings, and other titles, including Lecture Notes in Computer Science. We now have continuous access to Lecture Notes in Computer Science from 2005 to present. 

Theologische Realenzyklopädie (TRE) Online

This German-language theological encyclopedia comprises 36 volumes and 2500 articles published 1976–2004. Complements Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception


Historical newspapers 

African American Historical Newspapers, 1911-2005

Cross-searchable full-text facsimile editions of the Atlanta Daily World‎ (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American‎ (1893-1988), Cleveland Call & Post (1934-1991), Chicago Defender (1910-1975), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News‎ (1922-1993), Norfolk Journal & Guide (1921-2003), Philadelphia Tribune (1912-2001), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002). 

African American Historical Serials, 1829-1922

Full-text facsimile editions of 170 unique titles and 60,000 pages of periodicals, reports, and annuals from African American religious and social service organizations. Title list

American Indian Newspapers, 1828-2016

Cross-searchable full-text facsimile editions of 40 newspapers and magazines from North American indigenous communities, digitized in collaboration with tribal councils. 

The Atlantic Magazine Archive, 1857-2014

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of The Atlantic from its first issue in 1857 through 2014. 

The Economist Historical Archive, 1843-2015

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of The Economist. Containing every issue since its launch in 1843. 

Fortune Magazine Archive, 1930-2000

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of Fortune from its first issue in 1930 through 2000.  

Financial Times Historical Archive, 1888-2016

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the FT (London edition) from its first issue in 1888 through 2016

The Independent Digital Archive, 1986-2012

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the Independent (London edition) from its first issue in 1986 through 2012. 

Life Magazine Archive, 1936-2000

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of Life from its first issue in 1936 through 2000. 

New York Tribune / Herald Tribune Historical Newspaper, 1841-1962

Complete, fully searchable, facsimile edition of this New York City newspaper from its first issue in 1841 through 1962. 

The Sunday Times Historical Archive, 1822-2016

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the Sunday Times from its first issue in 1822 through 2016. 

The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2016

Complete, fully searchable, full color facsimile edition of the Telegraph (both daily and Sunday editions) from its first issue through 2016.


Primary sources 

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Papers, 1912-1990

Parts 1 and 2 of the ACLU’s digitized archives, including newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, court files, memorandums, telegrams, minutes, and legal case records. 

American Fiction, 1774-1920

Contains the full text of more than 17,500 works of prose fiction written by Americans from the Revolution through World War I.

Archives of Gender and Sexuality Part 3

Expanding on the LGBTQIA-focused Parts 1 and 2, which were previously purchased by UConn, Part 3 hosts over 1 million pages of classic books and primary sources documenting sex and sexuality from the sixteenth through twentieth centuries. 

Early European Books Collections 1-12

Complete facsimile images of tens of thousands of books and rare incunabula printed across Europe, mostly in non-English languages, from 1450 to 1701. Complements Early English Books Online, which was previously purchased by the UConn Library. 

Making of the Modern World Part 2, 1851-1914

1.2 million pages of primary sources documenting the global shift to modernity. UConn had previously purchased Part 1: The Goldsmiths’-Kress Collection (1450-1850). 

NAACP Papers: The NAACP’s Major Campaigns–Legal Department Files, 1956-1972

Full text of the working case files of the NAACP legal department. Containing over 600 cases from 34 states and the District of Columbia, these files document the NAACP’s campaign to bring about desegregation throughout the United States. Purchase courtesy of UConn Law. 

Slavery & Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive Parts 1-4, 1490-1896

5 million cross-searchable pages sourced globally from books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, legal documents, court records, monographs, manuscripts, and maps. 

State Papers Online Collections I-IX (Complete), 1509-1714

3 million pages of facsimile images of state papers that document early modern British and European history.


Research databases 

Archive Finder

Current directory of 5750 repositories and 206,000 collections of primary source materials housed across the United States and the United Kingdom. 

CAB Abstracts Archive, 1913-1972

1.8 million records on publications in agriculture, veterinary sciences, nutrition, the environment, and applied life sciences. Cross-searchable with UConn Library’s subscription access to CAB Abstracts 1972-present, also through the EBSCO vendor platform. 

Theatre & Drama Premium | Theatre & Drama Premium – Literature Collection

Permanent access to Alexander Street Press multimedia collections Black Drama, BroadwayHD, Contemporary World Drama, Drama Texts (including Asian American Drama), Performance Design Archive, Royal Shakespeare Company, Twentieth Century Drama, Theatre in Context, and Theatre in Performance (including Theatre in Video Parts I and II). Within these collections are 13,500 full-text plays, 150,000 pages of other materials, 300 audio plays from L.A. Theatre Works, and 750 hours of filmed stage performances and documentaries.

UConn Library joins the National Digital Stewardship Alliance

NDSA Logo

The UConn Library has joined the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a consortium of partner organizations committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. Hosted by the Digital Library Federation, more than 250 members from academic institutions as well as government and nonprofit organizations, commercial businesses, and professional associations work together to preserve access to our national digital heritage.

Preserving our heritage is one of the three foundational pillars of the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) – to connect, preserve, and share. In collaboration with the Connecticut State Library, the CTDA provides access to UConn’s history and ensures the future of Connecticut’s cultural memory. The leadership and resources the UConn Library has committed to the CTDA since 2013 has resulted in over 1.45 million objects being preserved digitally from over 40 state-wide cultural institutions currently participating, and growing daily. Recently the CTDA became a Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America, expanding access to those resources on a national platform. The continued efforts placed on proper preservation is an integral part of the CTDA and why we are pleased to be a part of the NDSA. Our participation gives us the opportunity to work and grow with members of the national community to engage in stewardship of these valuable resources.

Related story

CTDA becomes Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America

The Chicken of Tomorrow and the Land Grant University


The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) connects people with the rich history found in the public institutions across America. As you may remember, the UConn Library, which runs the Connecticut Digital Archive, officially joined the DPLA as a hub for CT history in March. This is another article from Greg Colati on the kind of information you can find now that we have access through this new platform.

Written by Greg Colati, Assistant University Librarian for University Archives, Special Collections & Digital Curation

Winner of Chicken of Tomorrow Contest. (1946) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Created originally by the Morrill Act of 1861, a designated college in each state was given grants of Federal land to sell that would then be used to support practical education in agriculture and industrial arts. Although not the original Land Grant college in Connecticut (that’s another story that you can learn about here), Storrs Agricultural College was given Connecticut’s Land Grant designation in 1893, a little more than 10 years after its founding in 1881 as the Storrs Agricultural School.

Land grant universities take their practical educational and extension programs seriously, and through the 19th and 20th centuries they led the transformation of American agriculture from traditional to more scientific approaches, often running contests and competitions to encourage adoption of modern methods. “Chicken of Tomorrow” contests held throughout the country in the mid-twentieth century encouraged farmers to use scientific methods to breed larger and more meaty chickens. Contrary to what you might expect from the name of the competition, at the UConn the chickens were typically displayed butchered, plucked, and ready for cooking.

Chicken of Tomorrow Contest (Colonial Poultry House), University of Georgia. (1951). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Similarly unlucky chickens were featured at the University of Georgia’s contest held at the Colonial Poultry House at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in the 1950s. And, although the chickens held by these two boys in North Logan, Utah were definitely alive, they probably met the same fate as their Eastern cousins soon after this photo was taken.

Dennis Funk, Sam King, and Larry Nyman (Chicken of Tomorrow), North Local City Library. (1910-1929) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Arranged on tables with proud farmers and their families posed behind them, or serious student judges contemplating quality, photos of the Chicken of Tomorrow contests tend to elicit laughter from modern observers. But in their time, they were an important part of a national modernization of agriculture that fed a hungry and growing nation in the post-WWII era and illustrated the optimism and faith in science and technology that was a hallmark of that era.

Paws to Relax – Spring 2019

Paws-to-Relax returns for finals! All dogs will be on Level 1 in Homer Babbidge so stop by for a study break and relieve some stress.

And THANK YOU to all the dogs and their handlers for taking time out of their days to come and visit, and to Carolyn Mills for organizing it all for us!

Monday, May 6
1:00-2:00 – Kathy and Kammi (Keeshond)
2:00-3:00 – Claudia & Tegan (Welsh Springer Spaniel)
3:00-4:00 – Lauren & Wrigley (Newfoundland)
4:00-5:00 – Jeanne & Benny (Shih-Tzu)

Tuesday, May 7
1:00-2:00 – Laura & Penny (Chihuahua Mix)
2:00-3:00 – Laura & Summit (English Lab)
3:00-4:00 – Diane & Meka (Keeshond)
4:00-5:00 – Ed & Sawyer (Golden Doodle)

Wednesday, May 8
1:00-2:00 – Lauren & Dream (Rottweiler)
2:00-3:00 – Sandy & Grant (Golden Retriever)
3:00-4:00 – Robyn & Bo (Golden Retriever)
4:00-5:00 – Octayvia & Boo (Golden Retriever)

Thursday, May 9
1:00-2:00 – Christine & Bo (Lab Mix)
2:00-3:00 – Peter & Andy (Golden Retriever)
3:00-4:00 – Rebecca & Hunter (Labradoodle)
4:00-5:00 – Mary Beth & Witness (Golden Doodle)

Friday, May 10
1:00-2:00 -Sandy & Nutmeg (Golden Retriever)
2:00-3:00pm – Karen & Shadow (Cocker Spaniel)
3:00-4:00pm – Colin & Fireball (Golden Retriever)
4:00-5:00pm – Cheryl & Cassie (Golden Retriever)

**We make every effort to keep the schedule, but you know, dogs can have crazy schedules and you never know when they need to be somewhere else…

Humidity: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

In honor of Preservation Week, our Special Collections Conservator, Natalie Granados is sharing some of the work she does to ensure that all of our collections are getting the care and maintenance they deserve.

Humidity: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

Written by Natalie Granados (@natartlie). Special Collections Conservator – Uconn Library.

How temperature and humidity work together to affect your paper-based objects is a topic that has been discussed and devoured by conservators since the 80s. Join me in this series covering common damages to paper and books such as handling, temperature, humidity, pests and pollution.

RELATIVE HUMIDITY
“How is humidity measured?” you may wonder. This is where the term Relative Humidity (RH) comes into play. RH refers to the amount of water vapor in the air, expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount the air could hold at the same temperature. When warm air is cooled, the RH goes up. When cold air is heated, the RH lowers.

Cellulose, as the raw material of paper, is hygroscopic. This means it responds to changes in relative humidity by expanding when humidity levels are high and contracting when they are low. Paper has an attraction to water since it contains water on its surface and within its chemical structure. Surface water is eliminated first when RH is low. Once this supply is exhausted, structural water is given up.

This action caused by low RH results in shrinkage, cracking and desiccation of paper and adhesives and flaking of photographic emulsions. Desiccated paper is more easily torn when handled. It must be noted, that structural water, unlike the surface kind, cannot be regained. Other damages caused by low RH include stiffening and flaking of adhesives and emulsions on photographs.

High humidity on the other hand, can lead to insect activity, delamination, bleeding of watercolors,distortions, adhesions of coated paper, ink transfer and mold growth. Mold stains and weakens paper and leather.

Similarly, to temperature, fluctuations in RH can also lead to damage. However, the damage occurs when various parts of an object respond at different rates. Composite objects such as books, photographs and paper adhered to stretchers, cloth or board, as well as material with partial constraints like repairs and mounts, among other objects are easy targets for fluctuating RH damage.

The Canadian Conservation Institute’s (CCI) Damage Caused by Incorrect Temperature and RH guide notes that the swelling and contraction of paper in response to humidity does not cause damage in and of itself. As previously mentioned, it is the fluctuation in addition to the presence of a secondary or tertiary incompatible material that leads to trouble.

SO, WHAT’S MY RELATIVE HUMIDITY GOAL?

The 2011 Specification for Environmental Condition for Cultural Collection released by the British Standards Institute describes that below 25% RH, the risk of physical damage increases rapidly and at 75% RH and above, the dimensional change due to each 5% rise in RH increases exponentially.

Now that that’s out of the way…
The recommended RH lies between 45-65% With an allowed fluctuation of ±5%. The safe RH boundary usually cited to prevent mold growth is below 65%, although 70% has also been cited. Photographic materials require an RH between 30% and 40%.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BOOKS AND PAPERS FROM HUMIDITY
Similarly to protect from extreme temperatures, storing your objects in an archival box, folder or envelope will provide a barrier from humidity fluctuations. If box making or purchasing archival boxes are not feasible, consider interleaving book pages with acid free tissue to slow down acid degradation which is what causes paper to be fragile, yellow and crack easily.

 

 

 

 

 

Should I be freaking out about the fluctuations in RH in my stacks?
The short answer is no.

Although the goal is to keep a steady RH between 45-65%, fluctuations are inevitable due to the change of seasons or a lack of means to invest in a sophisticated HVAC system.

In Stefan Michalski’s Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Relative Humidity “proofed” fluctuation is discussed. This is the largest fluctuation that the object has ever witnessed. The “proof” is in the pudding. What this means, is that any fluctuation smaller than the proofed will cause less damage than what has been caused in the past (if any at all). The good news is that even minor changes in spaces where fluctuations have occurred, will reduce the risk of damage to your collection.

Resources:

British Standards Institute (BSI). 2011. PAS 198:2011. Specification for environmental conditions for cultural collections.

Fahey, M.2002. The Care and Preservation of Documents and Works of Art on Paper. Michigan: The Henry Ford.

Fahey, M.2016. The Care and Preservation of Archival Materials. Michigan: The Henry Ford.

Grattan, D., and Michalski, S. 2015. Environmental Guidelines for Museums. Ontario:Canadian Conservation Institute (CC).

Library of Congress. The Deterioration and Preservation of Paper: Some Essential Facts.

Michalski, S. 2016. Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Relative Humidity. Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute (CC).

Michalski, S. 2016. Agent of Deterioration: Incorrect Temperature. Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute (CC)

National Information Standards Organization (NISO).1995. NISO TR01-1995. Environmental Guidelines for the Storage of Paper Records.

National Parks Service (NPS). 2003. Part I: Museum Collections. Appendix J: Curatorial Care of Paper Objects.

National Parks Service (NPS). 2016. Part I: Museum Collections. Ch. 4: Museum Collections Environment.

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC). The Environment. 2.1 Temperature, Relative Humidity, Light, and Air Quality: Basic Guidelines for Preservation.

Temperature: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

In honor of Preservation Week, our Special Collections Conservator, Natalie Granados is sharing some of the work she does to ensure that all of our collections are getting the care and maintenance they deserve.

Temperature: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

Written by Natalie Granados (@natartlie). Special Collections Conservator – UConn Library.

On this post we’ll discuss temperature and how it affects your collection material. Knowing what causes common problems in books and paper will help you protect your treasures. Join me in this series covering common damages to paper and books such as handling, temperature, humidity, pests and pollution.

LET’S START WITH SOME SAD FACTS:It must be noted that the quality of the paper itself can be one of its causes of deterioration. Inherently acidic pulp, acidic inks, bleaching and unstable sizing all speed up degradation. Paper that presents these characteristics benefits from cold storage to slow down the chemical process causing the decay.

CHEMICAL DAMAGE
The unseen changes within paper is what concerns conservators. Hydrolysis and oxidation being the big bad wolves in this scenario.

Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction between a substance and water, resulting in the breakdown of the original substance and the formation of one or more new substances. In paper, acid hydrolysis is a continuous process that decreases flexibility and increases the susceptibility to damage of the object. Because the activity itself creates acid, the damage will increase as the process progresses.

Oxidation is a reaction between a substance and oxygen, resulting in physical breakdown. It can be caused by light, heat or pollutants and it leads to discoloration (yellowing) of paper.

TEMPERATURE
Library and archive materials respond to temperature by expanding in heat and contracting in cold. Heat accelerates damage, causes permanent distortion, cracking, change of sheen and melting of adhesives and paint. In addition, insects reproduce faster and eat more at higher temperatures.

Alas, very cold temperatures are not any better. These can make paper liable to break easily, crack or flake. Extreme variations can also be a problem. Extremes that occur faster than the paper’s rate of adjustment can lead to cockling, wrinkling, and planar distortions as well as cracking of emulsions on photograph.

GOT IT. NOW WHAT TEMPERATURE PARAMETERS SHOULD I BE LOOKING AT?
Glad you asked, the recommended temperature for spaces where human comfort is a factor is between 60-77°F. For storage of paper records with only occasional retrieval,a constant temperature within the range from deep freeze to about 64°F would be suitable as per the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Environmental Guidelines for The Storage of Paper Records. For film and color photographic material, a suggested temperature of 35°F or below has been stated.

 

Handling Books & Papers

In honor of Preservation Week, our Special Collections Conservator, Natalie Granados is sharing some of the work she does to ensure that all of our collections are getting the care and maintenance they deserve.

Handling Books and Papers

Written by Natalie Granados (@natartlie). Special Collections Conservator – UConn Library.

Improper handling and incorrect storage can have negative effects on the lifespan of your books and papers. In addition, damage is often cumulative and can go unnoticed till it’s too late. Good handling practices will reduce common damages as well as the need for a conservator. The downloadable guide (Collection Handling: Quick Tips) that accompanies this post provides tips to help you care for collections and ensure their survival for future generation’s use. Below you’ll also find general information on the books and flat materials and how they are affected by improper handling. Like the cultural superhero that you are though, you know that handling everything with care even if it doesn’t look fragile is the way to go.

Books
Keep in mind that books are subject to structural stress. Few bindings can open completely flat. For this reason, they should always be supported (with book cradles, for example) when open. When opening new or newly bound books, try not to open them from the center, as this can break the structure. Start from the front and then back, and open them gradually, section by section till you reach the middle. This slowly eases them open and flexes the new structure gently.

Flat Material
Paper is highly susceptible to physical damage such as creasing or tearing. In addition, if graphite, charcoal, pastel and/or watercolor pieces are abraded, the damage is permanent. Consider storing and moving this type of material in an enclosure or over heavy-weight paper or board.

Speaking of Enclosures
Besides protecting from temperature and relative humidity variations, light, pollutants and insects, enclosures (boxes, portfolios, sleeves and envelopes) can protect valuable and fragile material from accidents and incorrect transportation. Since objects are most vulnerable to damage when they are being moved, planned movements and proper housing will lower the chances of accidents. Make sure you have a clear route and a place to set your items ahead of time. The photos are an enclosure made to ship some materials from our Alternative Press Collection on loan.

Clean Hands and The Use of Gloves
Sometimes clean hands aren’t quite as clean as we may think. You’ll notice “Please wash your hands” signs in cultural institutions providing access to collections, but what is often not mentioned are lotions, creams, and alcohol-based hand sanitizing gels. These leave behind oils that attract dirt and dust and can stain material. Make sure to wash any residue from lotions or gels off your hands to avoid causing damage to collections.

Bear with me here while we dispel the “white glove” myth. Cotton gloves are not our buddies all the time and have fallen out of favor in the conservation community. These types of gloves are cumbersome and ill-fitting, making proper handling difficult. In addition, cotton gloves have small hairs that can catch on edges and expand tears. Finally, cotton as an absorbent material, can pick up dirt and dust and deposit it on your collections. Exceptions are made when handling photographic material, as the oil on your fingers can damage the emulsion. For everything else, handling material with clean, lotion-free hands is preferable.

Stay tuned for her next post – Temperature: What Is Damaging Your Collections?

A Sleeping Giant Wanders the Country

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) connects people with the rich history found in the public institutions across America. As you may remember, the UConn Library, which runs the Connecticut Digital Archive, officially joined the DPLA as a hub for CT history last month. In honor of DPLAFest2019, which happened over the last two days, we have another installment from Greg Colati on the kind of information you can find now that we have access through this new platform.

A Sleeping Giant Wanders the Country

View of Mount Carmel across fields, Hamden. The Connecticut Historical Society. (1890) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

View of Mount Carmel across fields, Hamden. The Connecticut Historical Society. (1890) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Have you ever seen the Sleeping Giant? From certain perspectives, this natural rock formation in Hamden, CT resembles a man lying on his back. The story of a natural feature being the remains of a slumbering human giant is a part of the mythology of almost every culture, from Norse legends, to Greek mythology, North American creation stories, and Polynesian folk tales.

According to the legend as told by Connecticuthistory.org, our Sleeping Giant received its name thanks to a local Native American creation story. They believed that “the giant rock formation embodied Hobbomock, an evil spirit who became angry at the neglect of his people. In his rage, Hobbomock stamped his foot near the current location of Middletown, which caused the course of the Connecticut River to change. A good spirit named Keitan is said to have cast a spell on Hobbomock that caused him to sleep forever, preventing any further damage to the area.”

Sleeping Giant and Sheep Creek wilderness study/environmental impact statement, draft. (1990) University of California. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Sleeping Giant and Sheep Creek wilderness study/environmental impact statement, draft. (1990) University of California. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

The Connecticut Digital Archive contains more than 100 different references to the Sleeping Giant. Looking into the DPLA we can find the Connecticut version of the Sleeping Giant combined with Sleeping Giants from:

Colorado
Wyoming
Montana
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Minnesota

to name just a few.  All of them offer a variation of on the theme of the evil spirit being subdued by sleep. Judge for yourself which one most resembles a recumbent human. These stories and more are available from the Connecticut Digital Archive and the Digital Public Library of America, brought to you by the UConn Library.

Written by Greg Colati, Assistant University Librarian for University Archives, Special Collections & Digital Curation

Tracking History Through Primary Sources: The CTDA and the DPLA

Written by Greg Colati, Assistant University Librarian for University Archives, Special Collections & Digital Curation

Charter Oak, J.E. Burkhart. The Graphics Collection, The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford. (1859) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Charter Oak, J.E. Burkhart. The Graphics Collection, The Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford. (1859) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Every Connecticut schoolkid learns the legend of the Charter Oak and understands why so many things in the state are named “Charter Oak….” What we don’t always realize is just how far the Charter Oak story has traveled out from Connecticut as the American population moved West from the original 13 colonies.

The continuing story of the Charter Oak was revealed recently when the Connecticut Digital Archive, a program of the UConn Library,  joined its 1.3 million digital resources about Connecticut history with the Digital Public Library of America’s 33 million images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States.

When we query the DPLA for “Charter Oak” we find not only the expected results from Connecticut, but some others that at first seem odd until we do some additional digging.

Charter Oak Stove & Range Company, Catalogue no. 9. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. (ca. 1909) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America

Charter Oak Stove & Range Company, Catalogue no. 9. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. (ca. 1909) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America

For example, take the catalog of the Charter Oak Stove Company of St. Louis Missouri . The Charter Oak stove was one of the most popular cooking stoves of the Victorian Era, it was manufactured by the Excelsior Stove company beginning in 1851. Giles Filley, founder of the company was born in Bloomfield, CT and named the stove after the Charter Oak to emphasize his support for the anti-slavery cause in border-state Missouri.

Charter Oak Dedication. Worthington Libraries. (1976-05-26) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Charter Oak Dedication. Worthington Libraries. (1976-05-26) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Planting oak trees as a symbol of liberty was brought along with the settlers from Granby, Connecticut who founded Worthington, Ohio in 1803. The tradition was still alive in the bicentennial year of 1976 when the Worthington Chapter of the DAR gave the Worthington High School an oak tree which was planted in soil from the site of the Charter Oak in Hartford.

Charter Oak, Iowa was founded by the American Emigrant Company of Hartford Connecticut in 1869. The Crawford County history website relates a story about the founding of Charter Oak, Iowa that has a ring of familiarity:  “Our town received its name from the American Emigrant Company which was organized at Hartford, Connecticut. The story is told that, during the time the territory was being surveyed by that company, a sudden heavy cloudburst made it imperative for the surveyor to protect his maps and papers. He bundled them up and thrust them into a hollow spot of a large oak tree.” The Charter Oak Bank of Charter Oak Iowa issued bonds with patriotic scenes, but oddly no image of the Charter Oak itself.

View of the community building at Charter Oak Park. California Digital Library. (1964-01-27) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

View of the community building at Charter Oak Park. California Digital Library. (1964-01-27) Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America.

Finally, we arrive at the Pacific Ocean, to Charter Oak Park, in the Charter Oak neighborhood of Covina California, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to local legend, and in an unusual twist to the Charter Oak tale, “lore suggests the tree towered above the rural rancho landscape of the 1800s, and served as a marker where Mexican officials buried a purloined American flag, important documents and gold.” And although there is some controversy in Covina about which tree is the actual Charter Oak, the naming of the neighborhood after the Connecticut Charter Oak is undisputed.

This story and many, many, more can be found among the primary sources available in the Connecticut Digital Archive, and the Digital Public Library of America.

 

UConn Library Exposes Connecticut’s History through Digital Public Library of America

Rows of chicken coops on Horsebarn Hill, 1923. From the Jerauld A. Manter Collection, UConn. © University of Connecticut

Historical collections from over forty cultural heritage institutions across Connecticut are now available alongside more than 33 million images, text, videos, and sounds from across the United States through the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA), a program of the UConn Library, serves up over 75,000 digital items relating to Connecticut history from state-wide heritage institutions including the Barnum Museum’s artifacts and ephemera and the Connecticut State Library’s collection of nineteenth century newspapers. You will also find UConn archival collections such as the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and the Hartford Medical Society Collection at UConn Health.

Professor Bob Asher’s car rolls into Duck Pond (now known as Swan Lake), 1972. From the UConn Photograph Collection. CC BY-NC

The UConn Library recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of the CTDA and our commitment to preserving not just UConn’s history, but Connecticut’s too. Today’s announcement furthers our work, putting us alongside giants such as DigitalVirginias and Digital Commonwealth.

“Being a Service Hub for the DPLA is a great way to connect the storied history of Connecticut with so many people, from the serious researcher, to history buffs, and everyone in between,” noted Anne Langley, Dean of the UConn Library. “It affords us the ability to expand access to the rich historical resources of UConn and across Connecticut.”

Bonded (slave) Child Labourer Carrying Clay
© Robin Romano / GlobalAware

What is just a mouse-click away when searching the CTDA? You can find glass negatives taken by brothers Clinton and Frank Hadsell capturing everyday life in the town of Avon at the turn of the twentieth century from the Avon Free Public Library. How about films from the collection of Hartford Black Panther Party co-founder, Butch Lewis, documenting community leaders during the Civil Rights Era from the Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library? For human rights researchers, the U. Roberto (Robin) Romano Papers housed in the UConn archives, documenting his ground-breaking work to raise awareness of children’s rights and child labor around the world are available.

We continue to work with institutions across Connecticut interested in the programs of the CT Digital Archive and are looking forward to the resources that will be added in the months and years to come. There are new materials to be discovered all the time so check it out today!