Special Collections Unbound

Welcome Hanna Ahn!

Hanna Ahn
March 14, 2021
by Josh Schneider
We are very happy to welcome our new Assistant University Archivist, Hanna Ahn! Hanna comes to us from Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in Chicago, IL, where she most recently served as the University Archivist.

Parker on the Web 2.1 Launches

Parker 2.1 home page
March 3, 2021
by Benjamin L Albritton

When Parker on the Web 2.0 launched in 2018, it was the culmination of a long-term development plan to host an international collaborative project on sustainable infrastructure at no cost to the user. The engineering effort was immense, and that effort paid off: we saw a nearly 10-fold increase in visitors to the site, and the incorporation of IIIF functionality to the Parker manuscript content allowed the digital objects to be used in a myriad of new projects, from AI-driven initiatives like handwritten text recognition and feature recognition, to crowdsourcing transcription projects, and aggregation and reuse across multiple platforms. While Parker 2.0 was a technical success, the intellectual content of the site - the painstakingly-crafted descriptive metadata produced in the late 2000s that drove Parker on the Web 1.0 - was not fully added to the new platform. Thanks to the encouragement of dedicated Parker on the Web users and scholars, we were able to prioritize a large-scale reassessment of the project descriptive metadata, identify gaps, and restore the manuscript descriptions to their full glory - improving the discovery functionality for the site and providing users with rich descriptions for every manuscript in the collection. Parker on the Web 2.1, released on March 3, 2021, finally completes the migration of the project from a stand-alone site built on bespoke software and using a customized and unique metadata structure to a sustainable and extensible collaboration built on open source software and common metadata standards.

Introducing the Black at Stanford Anthology

Western Civilization protest
February 17, 2021
by Josh Schneider

Black at Stanford: An Anthology of Black Activism and Community at Stanford, is a new collaborative archive launched by the Black Community Services Center and the Stanford Archives.

Queerly Audible History: The Don Lucas Mattachine Society Tapes

MSSMEDIA0029 tape back
February 12, 2021
by Franz Kunst

Working in a large archive means you're always discovering collections - sometimes even collections that are already open and available. In this case, it was a group of audio tapes related to 1950s gay rights organization the Mattachine Society. In the midst of preparing for a vault move, we came across a tape labeled “Reel #6” which had been misfiled and listed as lost. After considerable sleuthing the reel was finally returned to its rightful box.

Strauss Bridge Plans available for research

Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge over San Joaquin River at Mossdale, California.
February 5, 2021
by David Krah

Strauss Trunnion Bascule Bridge over San Joaquin River at Mossdale, California. Image courtesy of Special Collections, Stanford Libraries.


Peter P. Blank announces retirement as Photography Curator for Special Collections with the Stanford Libraries

Peter Blank
February 2, 2021
by Robert G Trujillo

After a combined 21+ years of service with the Stanford Libraries, Peter P. Blank has announced that he will retire May 31, 2021. Peter was appointed to a three-year term appointment as the Libraries first Photography Curator in the Special Collections Department of Stanford Libraries on June 1, 2018. Prior to working in Special Collections, Peter served in a variety of professional positions in Stanford’s Art & Architecture Library, including as Head Librarian. He worked two terms with Stanford Libraries, first from 1993 to 1996 and more recently since 2005.

(in brackets): new Spotlight exhibit just posted!

sample slate
January 21, 2021
by Laura Wilsey

Special Collections is excited to make available a new Spotlight exhibit site: (in brackets) by Gavin Younge: Know Their Names - Youth Uprising in Cape Town, South Africa.

Stanford Libraries first acquired the records of Art Com in 1997; they are held in the Department of Special Collections. This collection included an exhibit called {in brackets} by Gavin Younge.

ePADD Version 7.3.5 Alpha now available

ePADD logo
January 14, 2021
by Sally DeBauche

The ePADD development team is excited to announce the release of version 7.3.5 alpha!

ePADD is free and open source software developed by Stanford Libraries' Special Collections & University Archives that uses natural language processing and machine learning to support archival appraisal, processing, discovery, and delivery for email of historical or cultural value.