With the University Archives making more and more collections available online, I'd like to take the opportunity to highlight some of the novel ways in which these materials are being used by researchers. What follows is a recent report from Ed Feigenbaum, Kumagai Professor of Computer Science Emeritus, about how his papers in particular are yielding interesting connections:
The Undergraduate Theses collections for Physics and Engineering Physics are now open for deposit. This year’s crop of top undergraduates in the Department of Physics and in the Engineering Physics program have the distinction of being the first undergrads to deposit their theses in the SDR. These two are the first of several honors theses collections opening this quarter. (The School of Education is assembling their collection together now, and two other departments may follow suit.)
Librarian Stella Ota manages the collections, working with faculty, staff, and the selected students to use the Self Deposit application. She has been collecting digital honors theses offline since 2010. When the ETD system launched in fall 2009, Stella had a vision for using a similar process to collect the Physics undergraduate theses for access and preservation in the SDR. Yet without a deposit interface, it proved to be challenging to track down each student, to have them sign a hard-copy deposit agreement, to collect the PDF files by thumbdrive or email, and to create the metadata. The Self Deposit workflow promises to make the whole process of collecting and archiving these works more systematic, more secure, and more efficient.
On April 17th the Stanford University Libraries held a special talk by architect, designer, and sustainable growth pioneer, William McDonough, co-author, with Michael Braungart, of the exciting new book: The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance. We are pleased to be able to share the video of the event.
Since the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation system launched in November 2009, Stanford's PhD and Engineering graduate students have had the option to submit their culminating works either online or on paper. For many students, the choice is easy to make: electronic submission is convenient, quick, and costs nothing whereas the traditional option requires producing multiple printed copies of the thesis and paying an accompanying fee (starting at $126).
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently completed reformatting the audio tapes contained in the Betty Grover Eisner papers, held by University Archives. Eisner was at the vanguard of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs in her psychotherapy research during the 1950s and 60s. The majority of the tapes document long, multi-hour therapy sessions, with patients on mind alterting substances. Because of the content, which is often sexually explicit, these tapes are restricted; those interested patrons who want to listen to these tapes should contact the University Archivist for more information. A handful of tapes do have worldwide access however, including this cassette of a talk Eisner gave at a UCLA psychology seminar exactly 42 years ago.
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab has recently finished reformatting the 440 audiocassettes in the Fred Ross papers, an immense body of audio documenting the training meetings held by labor organizer Fred Ross Sr. Housed in Special Collections, the digitized audio focuses extensively on house meetings in the 1970s and 80s, an organizing technique Ross developed and taught. A small portion of the tapes include Cesar Chavez, who Ross hired and trained in the early 50s. Chavez later went on to form the National Farm Workers Association, but Ross always remained a mentor and strong influence. "As time went on, Fred became sort of my hero," Chavez said. "I saw him organize and I wanted to learn."
Professor Zephyr Frank and his fellow researchers have created a fascinating (and easy to use!) visualization of the slave market in Rio de Janeiro. This web-based visualization was published as part of an article in the Journal of Latin American Geography, but the data itself was not made available.