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.
The thing I love most about working in Archives and Special Collections is the opportunity I get to glimpse into the lives of individuals and get a sense of their thoughts and feelings. I’m particularly interested in learning about the interior lives of women, especially as women are often underrepresented in the archival record, including in Stanford’s own collections. I did a (very rough, very inexact) examination of about 2300 collections held by Stanford’s Manuscripts Division, looking specifically at collections 1 box or more. Looking only at collections centered around a particular individual or family, the rough math worked out to about 72% of collections centered on men, 22% centered on women, and 6% centered on families. Again, these numbers aren’t exact, but the collections are undoubtedly dominated by men.
With that said, I’d like to highlight some moments from the lives three women represented in our collections: Edith M. Garretson Davies, Nellie Kono, and Marilyn Lyttle.
Please join us in welcoming our new Digital Archivist, Sally DeBauche, who will start work on April 2nd. Sally will be responsible for reviewing workflows and for making the acquired- and born-digital materials that are received in Special Collections available for research. She will join Stanford's ePADD project team as well as become involved with other projects related to digital materials. While she will be based primarily at the Library’s Redwood City facility, you will also see her on campus.