Clinton for President Committee

With the 2016 Presidential race really beginning to gain speed, I thought it might be fun to visit another Clinton who once upon a time ran for the title of our Commander-in-Chief: Bill Clinton, husband of current Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. Former President Bill Clinton first ran for office in 1992, going up against then President George H. W. Bush (in an ironic twist, Bush’s son Jeb Bush is running as a GOP candidate). The Hall-Hoag collection contains some items from Bill Clinton’s 1992 fundraising campaign. What I found most interesting about the items from former President Clinton were the glaring similarities to political campaigns today – the abundance of mail items that encouraged the recipient to vote for the candidate, and the many ways he will bring “change” to the United States.

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The above pages are excerpts from a 7 page document found in the collection. And, as his postscript clearly shows, dual-party disdain was just as prominent 25 years ago as it is today. Bill Clinton, like many current candidates, implores his supporters to commit to him and his campaign with a monetary donation. And, also like many candidates today, he entices support and giving with something in return. In this case, a lapel pin (of which the collection unfortunately does not have).0494_001

 

 

 

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Madison’s Experience as a Hall-Hoag Intern

Hello! My name is Madison and I have been working with the Hall-Hoag Collection since mid-September as an intern from Simmons School of Library and Information Science. I was initially drawn to the project because of this blog, so I’m really excited to contribute to it!

Since the start of my internship, I’ve been working with the oversized materials, which are all of the items that don’t fit into standard-size archival storage boxes. While sorting through these boxes, I came across lots of different kinds of items, including tons of newspapers, event posters, protest banners and signs, phonograph records, and the occasional reel of film. Before I started the project, the items in the boxes were in folders, but they were not in any kind of order. First, I went through each box and recorded every item into a spreadsheet. Then, I sorted all of the items in my spreadsheet in alphabetical order by organization name. Finally, I re-sorted the boxes so that every item reflected this order.

This was a big project, but I loved it! Taking inventory of each box gave me the opportunity to look at every single oversize item in the collection and decide what the best way to organize them would be. This was all new territory for me, and I loved learning how to format everything in a way that was understandable and useful.

After I was done organizing all of the boxes, Jordan taught me how to do some basic digitization! This final step of my project involved scanning some of the photos in the collection and using Photoshop to enhance them so that they’re as clear as possible. While some of these photos had captions or handwritten notes that specified where and when they were from, some of them did not and remain unidentified. Here are the results!

Labeled "MIT 10/9/69" on the back, with the name "Robin Hahnel," "Pete Bohmer," and "Allan Silverstone" handwritten along the bottom, presumably identifying some of the subjects.

Labeled “MIT 10/9/69” on the back, with the names “Robin Hahnel,” “Pete Bohmer,” and “Allan Silverstone” handwritten along the bottom, presumably identifying some of the subjects.

 

 

The caption on this photo explains that the man holding the sign is Josef Mlot-Mroz, a Polish anti-communist activist. Here, he is being ejected from a church for disrupting a memorial service.

The caption on this photo explains that the man holding the sign is Josef Mlot-Mroz, a Polish anti-communist activist. Here, he is being ejected from a church for disrupting a memorial service.

 

Handwritten notes on the back of this photo suggest that this photo depicts Josef Mlot Mroz staging a counter-protest outside of a Boston hospital. Along the right-hand side of the photo, protesters from Medical Professionals for Peace in Vietnam look on as Mlot Mroz burns a Russian flag.

Handwritten notes on the back of this photo suggest that this photo depicts Josef Mlot-Mroz staging a counter-protest outside of a Boston hospital. Along the right-hand side of the photo, protesters from Medical Professionals for Peace in Vietnam look on as Mlot-Mroz burns a Russian flag.

 

Since I am very much a beginner when it comes to Photoshop, I chose to keep it simple and adjust the contrast and brightness on each photo until all of the signs were as legible as possible. The second photo, depicting Mlot-Mroz’s ejection from the church, had some fading that only affected one half of the photo. I chose to blend the line down the middle of the image so that this contrast would be less visible. While all of the photos have some small amount of visible damage, they are still in great condition, which really helped make the scanning and editing process much smoother than it would have been with very damaged photos.

As my time with the Hall-Hoag Collection comes to an end, I’m so grateful to Jordan and everyone else who I’ve met since I started this internship. I’d never attempted photo editing or archival organization before, so this has been an amazing and informative experience for me. Since I want to be an archivist myself someday, learning how to make decisions about the organization of a collection was invaluable to me. I had a wonderful time working with this collection, and I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned here and apply it to my future career!

 

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Hall-Hoag Website Survey

Hello loyal Hall-Hoag blog followers! For those of you affiliated with Brown, we would love to have you help us out with testing the new Hall-Hoag Research website. The aim of the website is both to inform users about the Hall-Hoag Collection, and to assist researchers who are interested in utilizing the collection. To connect to the website, you must be connected to the Brown VPN, which can be done here (http://library.brown.edu/libweb/proxy.php).

Website link: https://dblightcit.services.brown.edu/hall-hoag/

Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2HWX8QV

Please complete the survey in its entirety, which allows us to obtain the widest breadth of information possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Project Archivist at jordan_jancosek@brown.edu.

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Nasty Secretary Liberation Front (Processed World)

One of the things that I find most interesting about this collection are the connections within the materials. For example, this week’s post was to highlight a flyer titled, “Nasty Secretary Liberation Front,” which appeared to be an organization. However, when conducting research to find more background information about the organization, I found that the Nasty Secretary mock leaflet was actually the work of a group called the, “Union of Concerned Commies,” more widely known today as Processed World magazine.

Processed World, as described in the history section of its website, was officially founded in 1981 by a group of dissidents in their early twenties from San Francisco’s Financial District, who were wholly unsatisfied with the notion of climbing the corporate ladder. Choosing to work as temp’s to avoid “business/yuppie professionalism” allowed the group to pursue their own innovative agenda. The group’s mission is best described verbatim from its website: “Thus, from the start, the project’s expressed purpose was twofold: to serve as a contact point and forum for malcontent office workers (and wage-workers in general) and to provide a creative outlet for people whose talents were blocked by what they were doing for money.” [1]

Going further down the research rabbit hole, I discovered that Processed World actually stems from another previously formed group, the Union of Concerned Commies. The UCC was founded in 1979, as a “left-libertarian intervention into the anti-nuclear movement.”[2]  The group utilized attention-grabbing tactics, such as cartoons, clever t-shirt slogans, and clever flyers. The UCC eventually took on more of a “theatrical” protesting-style, satirical in nature. For example, the group would re-word lyrics to patriotic and armed forces songs, and would attend anti-war and anti-nuke rallies performing in an egregious manner.

An example of Union of Concerned Commies proopganda

An example of Union of Concerned Commies propaganda [3]

The UCC’s aim and mission became lost for some members, and many of its constituents left the group or went in a different direction. A few of the former UCC populace already had a vision for continuing the spirit of the UCC. Chris Carlsson and Caitlin Manning (two former members of UCC) produced the satirical leaflet Nasty Secretary Liberation Front. One side was titled “Inner-Voice,” (an obvious play on an “invoice”) and on the other, “Rebellion Behind the Typewriter,” an essay exhibiting the lack of collective action in the secretarial field.

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Nasty Secretary Liberation Front  was an example of what was to follow in the magazine Processed World (PW), founded in 1981. [4] PW’s aim was to act as a community publication, uniting like-minded individuals against the monotony of professional society and to encourage critical thinking and artistic exploration.

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The last known issue was printed in 2005. Please feel free to peruse their website here: Processed World . I wasn’t disappointed, and I don’t think the reader will be either.

 

[1] http://www.processedworld.com/History/history.html

[2] http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Union_of_Concerned_Commies_1979-1980,_agit-prop_theater_and_flyers

[3]http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Union_of_Concerned_Commies_Crisis_and_its_uses

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Processed_World_(magazine)

 

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Summer 2015 Recap

Summer is quickly nearing its end, and with it another chapter of Hall-Hoag work. This summer, with the help of a great team of student workers, the last of the letter boxes were put in continuous alphabetical order. The students, in small teams, worked on some of the largest groups of letters (A, C, and N) and some of the smallest (Q, W, Y, and Z). During this work, the students were able to consolidate the “A” boxes down from 106 to 95, the “C” boxes down from 168 to 153, and the “N” boxes down from 111 to 105. Through this continuous alphabetizing the collection was further condensed by 30 boxes creating more organization within the collection and less unnecessary boxing.

If you have been an avid Hall-Hoag follower, then you are aware what continuous alphabetical order is and how hard the students worked to achieve it. To bring anyone new to the blog and project up to date, continuous alphabetical order requires alphabetizing all of the folders containing organizations of one letter. The C’s, for example, contained over 24,000 folders in 168 boxes. These folders were alphabetized within each individual box, but not across the entirety of the “C” boxes. The students had to first go through all 168 boxes, and organize the folders in small groups creating perfect, continuous alphabetical order from box 1 to box 168. They then had to re-box the newly alphabetized folders, and lastly go through and update the database with the new (and final) box number.

The work may sound monotonous, but it is work vital to systemizing the collection in the best way possible for researchers and the like. Arranging in continuous alphabetical order and updating the database to reflect the location of each folder  makes research much more efficient. When a researcher visits the Hall-Hoag website (coming Winter 2015), they will be able to click on an organization, see all of the folders in that organization, as well as which box they reside in, making re-calling the boxes from offsite storage much easier.

The inside one of the perfectly alphabetized, correctly filled "C" boxes.

The inside one of the perfectly alphabetized, correctly filled “C” boxes.

"C" boxes numbered, alphabetized, and ready to be shipped back to the Annex.

“C” boxes numbered, alphabetized, and ready to be shipped back to the Annex.

 

The work that was completed this summer allows us to move forward with the next and final projects of the Hall-Hoag Collection. With a team of student workers we will focus on researching the roughly 30,000 organizations found in the Hall-Hoag collection. This research will include finding any background information on the organizations, as well as searching for its VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) as well as its Library of Congress linked data authorities or other vocabularies. The information supplied from our student workers will be imported into the FileMaker Pro database, which will eventually be exported and updated on the website.

I think that should be all for now. Looking ahead we have some great organizations to be highlighted in the coming weeks, so stay connected for more Hall-Hoag!

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