At a glance

Special Collections & University Archives

Manuscripts Division

The Manuscripts Division of the Department of Special Collections exists to arrange, describe, preserve, and make available documents and born-digital materials of enduring historic value, both as intellectual items and as historical artifacts, to support the research needs of the undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and other scholars at Stanford University and beyond. Stanford University Library subject curators actively seek out collections to enhance our holdings. Since 2009, Special Collections has been involved in developing a Born-Digital Program in collaboration with the Digital Library Systems and Services Department.

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News

Please join us in welcoming Michelle Paquette who started May 18th as our new manuscripts cataloging and metadata librarian. This fills a position vacated over a year ago when the former cataloger retired. While Michelle will be joining the Special Collection team at Stanford’s Redwood City campus, she won’t be a stranger to campus because part of her responsibilities will be managing metadata for our many digitization projects in collaboration with staff from the Metadata Department and DLSS, as well as curators and subject specialists.

Michelle received her Master of Science in Library Science degree from Simmons College and her Bachelor of Arts in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  She was a metadata resident at Amherst College’s Frost Library where, in addition to her cataloging work, she planned and oversaw data migration projects working with MODS, Dublin Core, Darwin Core, XSLT, EAD and VRA Core. As a consultant for the Frost Library over the past year, Michelle developed a data model and metadata element set for the “Timeline of LGBT Political Landmarks in the Americas.” 

San Francisco Fountain detail by Joe Thompson

As previously announced, the Ruth Asawa papers are now available. In thinking of fun and innovative ways to present certain aspects of her work, we decided to scan a small series of San Francisco architecture snapshots from her collection and upload them to the social mapping website Historypin, and also include them in their Year of the Bay local history project.  These photographs were probably used as research in creating the San Francisco Fountain in Union Square, which features many cast dough relief images of the city. Unfortunately there is no information on or about the prints in the collection. They are likely all from the 1960s, and were probably taken by Asawa (she has referred to taking pictures of the city in preparation). Architectural historian Sally Woodbridge may have also contributed. The varying qualities of the prints implies that several cameras or developers were used, and that they were probably taken over a period of time. At any rate, they collectively serve as a remarkable portrait of the city in that decade.

Chinese door god prints; officials bringing a rise in rank and a rise in official salary circa 1900.

It is with sadness that I announce the departure of our lead processing archivist, Joe Geller, who is relocating to the east coast. He will be greatly missed by all our staff on the Redwood City campus and throughout the library.

Joe started at SUL in 2006 as a curatorial assistant for Annette Keogh, the former curator for British and American Literature. During these years, I was fortunate to work with Joe as he processed several literature collections, notably:  Irving Rosenthal papers, Rae Armantrout papers, and Edward Dahlberg papers.