Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 9 (October 14, 15)

Let me preface this blog entry with a description of the tables I created last week to process the newspapers in the oversize boxes of the Mary Ann Wells Papers. To reiterate the importance of Series V, in its original order the series is a chronological newspaper collection of nearly every article and photo Wells published between 1977 and 1983. At their current level or organization, they are in the four oversize boxes listed below.

Box 1 (11 Folders) - Miscellaneous Newspapers and Magazines, 1977-1983
Box 2 (1 Folder) - Hattiesburg American, October 20, 1977 – December 30, 1979
Box 3 – (1 Folder) - Hattiesburg American, January 6, 1980 – September 27, 1981
Box 4 – (2 Folders) - Newspaper Layouts

The table for each box had the following fields:
Date: Date of publication.
Title: When Wells has a photo-feature or picture accompanying an article by a separate writer, this column lists the caption title (if there is one) in brackets. If Wells wrote the article and did the photography, then I listed the article title here.
Page: The page and newspaper section.
Subject: This is the field that was the most time consuming. Titles, especially captions, are often a deceiving play on words that would not help a researcher figure out what an article is really about. Although the goal was minimal processing, with Series V I decided that a subject field would be invaluable and was therefore worth the delay, even if it meant that I couldn’t finish minimal processing of the whole collection as I so optimistically stated last week. The subject field will be the best way for a researcher to make connections between the newspaper articles in Series V and the other series mediums (slides, negatives, photographs, subject files).
Article - Mary Ann Wells: The author of the article is Mary Ann Wells.
Article - Other: The author accompanying a Mary Ann Wells photograph is another staff writer.
Photograph - Mary Ann Wells: A photograph taken by Mary Ann Wells
(I include all the articles and photographs that appear on one page, front and back, for each row.)
First Copy: Box and folder location of the first newspaper copy.
Second Copy: Box and folder location of the second newspaper copy.

Last week, I processed Box 2 (263 entries) and a little more than half of Box 3 (140 entries). This week was more of the same. October 14th I processed 80 separate articles and photographs and on October 15th I finished Box 3 (28 entries) in short order. With more than 4 hours left in the day, I went to work on the newspaper layouts in Box 4 (51 entries). Folder 1 consisted of amazing newspaper-page glossy prints of photo- and photojournalistic-features Wells’ composed for the Hattiesburg American. I added a column to the table above to reflect articles from Oversize Boxes 2 and 3 which have a layout copy. Folder 2 provides insights into the copy-editing process. There is one oversize photograph of a young woman that has layers of negative transparencies which filter different aspects of the image. The folder also has a large page that helped Wells figure out how to crop one of her photo-features. This was a productive week and I got a lot accomplished.

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