If this does not display correctly, please visit http://www.lib.purdue.edu/inside/ to read it online.

Previous issues may be found at http://www.lib.purdue.edu/inside/archive.html and the Libraries Intranet at http://intranet.lib.purdue.edu/display/HOME/INSIDE

Global Goal



Dust. Quiet. White gloves. History. These are a few things people think about when they think about archives and special collections. Like any other library collections, though, archives and special collections are intended to be used. There are two major differences, however. The first is that archives and special collections often cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. Instead, there is simply a gap in the evidence of our history. The second difference is that archives and special collections, by their nature, have enduring value — this means they continue to be relevant for research indefinitely, and therefore need to be preserved so they remain available for use by future generations. 

The challenge for archivists comes in balancing the need to safeguard and preserve the unique items in our care, while providing as much access to them as possible. Over the past several months, the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) staff have participated in a variety of activities to increase access to the collections. I thought I’d share a few with you.

Sin-American Symposium 2013The 6th Sino-American Comparative Literature Symposium brought scholars from around the world to Purdue in May. As part of the Symposium, David Hovde, associate professor and Research and Instruction Librarian, provided a presentation and special viewing of rare books from the Bruce Rogers Collection as well as archival materials showing Purdue’s long history of educating Chinese students. The visiting scholars, many of whom were from China, were particularly interested in a 1950 Purdue PhD dissertation in Physics written by Chia-hsien Teng. Teng, also known as Deng Jiaxian, led a team that developed the atomic bomb. He has been called the “Father of China’s Nuclear Program.”

Windsor Women event 2013Part of the mission of ASC, as the University Archives, is to document the university experience over time. Photos, documents and memorabilia depicting student life enrich our understanding of Purdue history. This spring, an event was held at Windsor Halls to celebrate 79 Years of Windsor Women. Stephanie Schmitz, France A. Córdova Archivist for the Women’s Archives, and Renee Gaarder, graduate assistant, created a display of items relating to the history of women’s residence halls at Purdue. The approximately 150 alumnae who came back to campus for the event were fascinated by the historical photos, postcards, cord skirt, dance cards and related items that brought back fond memories of their Purdue days. Several women donated items to the Susan Bulkeley Butler Women’s Archives as a result.

Continuing in the theme of traveling collections, items from the George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers recently returned to Purdue from a year-long stint in Washington, D.C. Amelia Earhart’s helmet, smelling salts, prenuptial agreement and a variety of photos and documents were on loan as part of a special exhibit, “One Life: Amelia Earhart,” on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.  Earhart’s papers are part of the Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives, which seeks to document and preserve the contributions of Purdue faculty, staff and alumni to aeronautics and astronautics.  Selections from a recent acquisition, the papers of alumni astronaut Jerry Ross, were included in the Purdue University Press’s book, ebook, and app, Spacewalker. Partnering with Digital Programs, ASC created a special online exhibit for the Jerry Ross Papers, including digitization and online access to many films taken by Ross while in space. Tracy Grimm and Neal Harmeyer curated the online exhibit in conjunction with a physical display, and hosted a highly successful Open House for Kids. Within a few hours, the space in ASC was full of excited children and adults, who answered trivia questions about Jerry Ross, viewed the exhibit, and enjoyed popcorn while watching Jerry Ross’s movies.

Although the majority of ASC’s collections are similar to those of Jerry Ross, including historical films, documents, photos and memorabilia, increasingly new acquisitions include born digital material (material that was originally created in electronic form) that needs to be preserved and made accessible. Collections of alumni and faculty papers often include material such as flash drives, CDs, or DVDs of documents, presentations, images and films. As part of a national effort led by the Society of American Archivists, Carly Dearborn has begun surveying the digital collections in ASC. Her work was recently featured, along with surveys from 22 other institutions, as part of the Jump In results posted by the Society of American Archivists. The ultimate goal of digital preservation is not simply to preserve the digital information, but also to provide access to it. This becomes a challenge when dealing with collections of personal papers which often contain a multitude of various copyright holders as well as potential privacy issues.   

In addition to inventorying the collections already in ASC’s custody, there is a need to know what historical materials are currently held across campus in the various departments. Lauren White, Project Archivist for University Records, has been methodically surveying the documents, audio-visual and digital records of the various University departments. Her work entails meeting with department heads, faculty, and administrative assistants in each department to identify what records they create and maintain that have historical or research value. She evaluates the size and significance of holdings by each department, the level of use of the records by the department, and any risks to the records caused by their current storage environments or management. So far White has completed six departmental surveys. The end result of this two-year project will be a report on the state of historical records on campus, with priorities set for collections that would benefit from additional preservation and collections that have high research or historical value and should be made more accessible. This will enable the University and the Libraries to plan for improved management of historical documentation, as well as future space needs.

 As we look towards the road ahead, ASC has several ambitious goals in the coming year. In collaboration with the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Tracy Grimm, the Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archivist, will begin planning for a long-term exhibition at the Children’s Museum dedicated to Purdue astronauts. Elizabeth Wilkinson, Processing and Public Services Archivist, will be working throughout the fall semester with Dr. Kristina Bross’s new Honors course, “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Writing,” to provide students with hands-on experience conducting research using primary sources for writing papers. On the technology front, in partnership with Digital Programs, we will be upgrading CONTENTdm, the software used for e-Archives. The Purdue Libraries has joined MetaArchive to preserve the Libraries collections in e-Archives, e-Pubs, PURR, and Habri Central. Carly Dearborn is leading the team that is preparing the content in these repositories for ingest. We have also signed on to be charter members of the forthcoming ArchivesSpace product for producing online finding aids to archival collections. ArchivesSpace works like an online catalog for archival material, and because it is well indexed by Google and other search engines, researchers worldwide can easily locate unique collections held by Purdue.

Although we certainly have our share of dust, and we take pride in providing a quiet research environment for in-depth study of our collections, Archives and Special Collections is evolving to meet changing research needs in much the same way as the rest of the Libraries. Through partnerships, both on and off campus, digitization of collections, creation of online exhibits and finding aids, experimentation with new publishing models, and creating an infrastructure for preserving and providing access to born digital collections, we are constantly exploring new ways to provide access to our unique and distinctive collections while also protecting and preserving them for the researchers of the future.


Infrastructure Goal



Stewart Saunders 2013When I left the Ohio State University Libraries in 1977, a few colleagues chided me about leaving a “great university” to go to a “cow college” in West Lafayette. That was just snobbery on their part, but I do have to admit that in 1978, not only did Purdue shut down at 6 p.m., so did Lafayette and West Lafayette. Well, 35 years and 6 months later, I am still here, and it has been a great professional experience for me.  I guess you call that “putting down roots on the farm.”

I began work in the Humanities, Social Science, and Education Library (HSSE) as reference librarian and as liaison librarian for the departments of history and foreign languages and literature. In those days the reference desk was quite busy; I provided reference services during daytime, evening and weekend hours. I also provided bibliographic instruction for classes in history, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Comparative Literature.

In 1984 and again in 1990 I traveled to the Niger Republic as a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) consultant on documentation services for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN). This was part of a 10-year contract that Purdue’s International Programs in Agriculture had with USAID to develop agricultural research capabilities within INRAN.

In 1988 I was appointed head of the HSSE Bibliographic Unit; a couple of years later the HSSE Serials Unit was also assigned to me. In 1989 Dean Emily Mobley asked me to represent the Purdue Libraries on the Collection Development Officers committee and on the Preservation Librarians committee of the Committee on Instructional Cooperation (CIC). As a member of the CIC Preservation committee, I administered a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded project to preserve older library holdings on railroad history. The CIC responsibilities were handed over to Cheryl Kern-Simirenko when she became the Associate Dean of Libraries in 1994.

In 1999 I was appointed to the Planning Committee for the renovation of the HSSE Library. This involved defining library functions for specific spaces within the HSSE Library, writing a Request for Proposal (RFP) and working with the contractors and Auxiliary Services until the project was completed.

In 2005 and again in 2008 I surveyed the students and faculty of the West Lafayette campus regarding their satisfaction with Purdue library services.

In 2007 I, along with Judy Nixon and the entire HSSE staff, planned and executed the transfer of books and journals from the Psychological Sciences Library and the Consumer Sciences Library to HSSE Library.

In 2011 I was appointed as the liaison librarian for the departments of mathematics and statistics. During these 35 years I have contributed to library literature through research and publication.

Many of you have asked me: “What will you do in retirement?” I would like to say, “Nothing, absolutely Nothing!” But we know that is not true. I will cultivate my garden. I will do repairs to my house and two barns.   I will have more time for wife, children and grandchildren. I will do some more writing, especially on 17th century France. I have even thought of buying a skateboard.

Thank you everyone for an enjoyable and memorable 35 years.



Infrastructure Goal



A note from Beth McNeil: Following last summer’s continued series about “Successful staff transitions,” INSIDe will once again include feature stories about staff throughout the Libraries who continue to take on new roles, duties and responsibilities as we move forward with implementing our Strategic Plan and meeting the needs of our users.

If you'd like to share your experience, please contact Teresa Brown at tmabrown@purdue.edu.

Hicks repository 2013The Future of Print in the Purdue University Libraries
Suzanne M.Ward
Head, Collection Management

Years ago in library school one of my required classes was collection building. I can’t remember now if the word “weeding” was ever mentioned but, if it was, it would have been just a quick remark about withdrawing older editions of reference works. For most of the long history of academic libraries, collection management has largely consisted of selecting, acquiring, organizing and maintaining materials along with some other activities such as budgeting, collection assessment and gathering statistics. The notion that collection management might one day also include de-selection of print material would have shocked my library school professor to the core, and probably rattled my younger self, too.

A few of the largest academic libraries in America (e.g., Chicago, Harvard, Stanford) have made commitments to maintaining and preserving their enormous print collections both for the possible future needs of their own constituents as well as that of scholars everywhere. Other academic libraries, like Purdue, have realized that, apart from special collections material and material in areas of specialized subject strengths, much of the older print collection is seldom used locally, is widely available elsewhere for loan if needed, and, in the case of many journals, is available electronically from stable and reliable sources. The space that these print collections occupy can often be repurposed for more user-centered activities, such as group study space or classrooms. Libraries also benefit in the long term from lower maintenance costs if the physical collections can be reduced without harming the collection’s overall integrity.

Here at Purdue we are currently working in two major areas to reduce the print collection. First, as we acquire electronic back files, selectors review the title lists and identify those print journals we need no longer keep because we now have stable and perpetual electronic access to the same content.

The second effort is a plan to withdraw older books which historically have no- or low-use and which are also widely held elsewhere, especially by our consortial partners. The Libraries hired a consultant, Sustainable Collection Services (SCS), to analyze our older books and compare them to WorldCat holdings. SCS provided various withdrawal candidate lists which are currently being reviewed and processed for withdrawal. We are being careful not to withdraw books if Purdue has the only copy in Indiana; if they fall into one of several areas of collection strengths; or if a reviewing selector recommends that we keep certain titles. 

Users have almost universally embraced electronic journals, possibly because most articles are relatively short and can be easily printed. Electronic books pose some challenges, however, including the fact that some users prefer print for various reasons; publishers impose downloading and printing restrictions; some e-book platforms are easier to navigate than others; and not all books are available in digital format. There are many advantages, too, such as: they are available 24/7; they don’t take up shelf space; and they can be purchased and made available very quickly. So while the Purdue Libraries prefers electronic journals in most cases, it is neither feasible nor possible to move to an all-electronic book collection at the moment.

Years ago, my student-self envisioned a future library career of buying (print) books to meet user needs. I never imagined that by this stage in my career I would be managing a print de-selection project and simultaneously coordinating a plan that allows our users to select which electronic books to add to the collection (patron-driven acquisitions). It’s exciting to wonder what changes the next few decades will bring.


Infrastructure Goal


Amy Van EppsAmy Van Epps
Associate Professor of Library Science, Engineering Librarian
Engineering Library

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
A. The opportunity to work with students and help them navigate the library resources, get a better handle on their research question through information discovery, and the joy of their appreciation upon finding useful materials and strategies.

Q. How long have you worked in the Libraries and at Purdue?
A. 13 years in August.

Q. What is one unforgettable experience that has happened to you or your coworkers while working in the library?
A. Discovering a leak in the building roof drainage system that meant we had water in the Goss room while we still had our rare books in that space.

Q. What is your favorite book, website, movie or database?
A. “The Number of the Beast,” by Robert Heinlein

Q. Coffee, tea, water or soft drink?
A. Coffee and water.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. Hiking, kayaking, and camping. Reading science fiction and fantasy.


Libraries FacebookLibraries NewsLibraries TwitterLibraries YouTube

You will notice the use of these icons before the article that are symbolic of our Libraries strategic goals.

Goal LearningLEARNING: Libraries faculty lead in information literacy and learning space implementation, research and scholarship.

Scholarly Goal SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION: Libraries facilitate and enhance the continuum of the scholarly communication process.

Global GoalGLOBAL CHALLENGES: Libraries faculty lead in international initiatives in information literacy, e-science, information access and data management and collaborate on Purdue's global initiatives.

Infrastructure GoalINFRASTRUCTURE: Libraries staff working together to enhance the users experience, raise awareness of Purdue Libraries and recognize the continued learning and successes of our knowledgeable staff.



To view all Purdue job postings visit the Purdue employment page. If you have additional questions, contact Julie Hillgrove or 49-42903.



Women at Work: Celebrating the Legacy of Purdue Women Engineers Exhibit
Archives and Special Collections
March 4-July 31
HSSE 4th floor

Customer Service Workshops
June 27
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
HSSE Conference Room
Register here

July 10
1:30-4:30 p.m.
HSSE Conference Room
Register here

July 18
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
HSSE Conference Room
Register here

July 26
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
HSSE Conference Room
Register here

July 30
1:30-4:30 p.m.
HSSE Conference Room
Register here

Please register to attend one of these sessions. For questions contact Julie Hillgrove or 49-42903.

Purdue Day at Indiana State Fair
Friday, August 9


Jake R. Carlson, "Opportunities and Barriers for Librarians in Exploring Data: Observations from the Data Curation Profile Workshops." Journal of eScience Librarianship 2(2): Article 2, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2013.1042

Jake Carlson, Lisa Johnston, Brian Westra and Mason Nichols, “Developing an Approach for Data Management Education: A Report from the Data Information Literacy Project” International Journal of Digital Curation Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 204-217, 2013. doi:10.2218/ijdc.v8i1.254



Exponent, June 10
Library Information

Journal and Courier, June 15
Homemakers conference celebrates centennial with a look back, forward

Journal and Courier, June 17
Dean’s Bible Part of a Century of Purdue History

Purdue Today, June 17
Purdue treasure 'The Deans' Bible' to get home in university archives

Greenfield Daily Reporter, June 18
Bible handed down among Purdue University deans for century placed in school archives

San Antonio Express, June 18
Purdue archives gets Bible handed down among deans

San Francisco Chronicle, June 18
Purdue archives gets Bible handed down among deans

Purdue Exponent, June 24
Women's archives hold long history of Purdue women

Huffington Post, June 26
Wealthier College Students Share, Connect More On Facebook: Study


Triple Citrus Rosemary Almond Shortbread Bars
Visit the Libraries Intranet



Copy for the July 10 issue is due by July 8. Send to tmabrown@purdue.edu


Comments and suggestions are invited. Send information to Teresa Brown/INSIDe/STEW 264, 49-47178 or tmabrown@purdue.edu

©2013 Purdue Libraries. All rights reserved.
Please request permission before reprinting any portion of this newsletter