Share in our discoveries across three projects as we work to provide the first intellectual access to our hidden treasures relating to work and labor in early 20th Century New England, the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair and its period, and Boston local TV news.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cataloging Throughout New England

One of the definite pluses of networked online software is the opportunity to engage a cataloging team regardless of proximity. The CLIR Project was glad to welcome Tim Rohe, Simmons College GSLIS graduate student on as a part-time cataloger after his fine work as an intern.

Because we are using CollectiveAccess (and previously used the OpenWebWorks item-level webform created by Jack Brighton), I am able to create copies of pertinent file information and send materials to Tim in Massachusetts. Tim Rohe has been an invaluable addition to the CLIR cataloging team, and his finding aids and item records attest to his original cataloging skills.

Below, please enjoy his recent discoveries:

"I got a weird sense of deja vu the other day while I was working on a film from a former Executive Director of the Maine Development Commission. The footage I was looking at was shot at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. In the film, a marching band passed in front of the Maine pavilion and that’s when it hit me. I could swear that I had seen this before. It turns out that I had. I remembered that another collection I had worked on contained some footage from the 1939 World’s Fair. When I went back and looked at the footage from the previous collection, I was struck by the similarities between the films. It’s very possible that the two cameramen were standing right next to each other when the footage from each collection was being shot. While I was looking through my notes to find which film in the previous collection contained the footage I was looking for, I started to notice other similarities between the two collections as well. Both of them had footage from an event organized by a sporting camp where people dress up in costumes and act out scenes in and around an old narrow gauge train. I looked at a map of Maine and the two creators of the collections lived pretty close to each other. I started to wonder if they knew each other.

Since then, I have noticed other similarities across other collections that I’ve worked on, which started to give me a strong sense of community about Maine. Many of the films from the former director of the Maine Development Commission were promotional films produced by the commission in an effort to entice people from around the U.S. to spend their vacation in Maine, claiming that the state has any kind of vacation you could want on offer. He worked for the State of Maine for forty years and I can see why they kept him around so long: he was good at his job. The films certainly worked on me. After watching all the footage of people skiing down scenic mountains, relaxing at sporting camps on the porches of their lakeside cabins after a fishing trip and enjoying wonderful, fresh food at clambakes and lobster shacks along the shore, I’m sold. I want to go to Maine!"

-Tim Rohe, CLIR cataloging assistant.


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