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Bentley Historical Library records: 1919 - 2014 (Majority of material found within 1970 - 2002)
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All Series Level Scope and Content Notes

The records of the Bentley Historical Library were received in six main accessions 1991, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2014. Together the records comprise 79 linear feet, plus two oversize boxes, and oversize folder, three flat file drawers, and more than 16 GB of data spanning the years 1935-2014. The researcher should consult the summary box list on page vii for a quick overview of the materials in the collection.

The Administrative Records subgroup (1935-2013, 35.5 linear feet) begins with the Meetings series (1956-2012, 1.5 linear feet), which contain the agendas, minutes and correspondence of the Executive Committee Meetings, the Friends of the Michigan Historical Collection and Bentley Library, the Bentley Library's Administrative Committee, and Staff Meetings. The next set of series are organized by director (see the list above). The first subseries category is the Director's Office/Central Files, which are administrative records generated by the director and the associate director including correspondence, evaluation and planning, fundraising, physical facilities documents, and budget materials. The Staff files subseries, contains staff meetings, staff lists, staff interviews, manuals and farewell parties. The Conferences and Events subseries consists of agendas and speeches and planning material from Bentley-related conferences. Materials in this subseries from the tenure of Francis Blouin include digital materials from the Visual Culture and Archives Symposium held April 4-5, 2013 in honor of Blouin's 32 years of service to the library. The Special Projects subseries includes material regarding intensive activities undertaken by the BHL that often were in some way distinct from core functions. In many cases, a "special project" is one that received outside funding.

Vander Velde's series contains early material regarding the collecting of university records prior to the formal establishment of the UARP program in 1979.

Warner's series includes documentation of the construction of the Bentley Historical Library in the early 1970s.

Among Blouin's records are planning documents that include results of five-year reviews of the library for 1986, 1991, and 1996, and there are a number of files documenting the evolution of archival education at the University of Michigan through the 1980s. There are also papers and correspondence regarding work in 1993, which resulted in a special issue of the American Archivist devoted to diplomacy. Also of interest is documentation of the Vatican Archives Project, which resulted in Vatican Archives, An Inventory and Guide to Historical Documents of the Holy See.

The 2014 accession of Francis X. Blouin's files is divided into two additional sub-series. The first, Topical Files, 1974-2013 (3.8 linear feet), consists of a mixture of administrative, events and special projects materials, arranged alphabetically. This arrangement reflects how these files had come to be maintained in the director's office. The second, International, 1991-2012 (1.2 linear feet), contains materials related to the library's international programs and is arranged alphabetically by country. Files relating to William Wallach, Associate Director, 1958-2010, bulk 1978-2010, (2.5 linear feet), are arranged in two sub-series: Topical, 1958-2010 (1.5 linear feet) and Building Addition, 1998-2004 (1.0 linear foot).

The next series in the Administrative Records subgroup is the Non-Donor Correspondence (10 linear feet), which is arranged in three alphabetical accessions, each of which covers a period of time. This series contains several kinds of correspondence: there are letters to and from individuals who eventually become donors and financial contributors, as well as letters seeking publication permissions. Most notably, there is professional correspondence between archivists: letters exchanged between leading archivists and Lewis Vander Velde in the 1930s and 1940s, Robert Warner during the late 1960s and 1970s and by Francis X. Blouin in the 1980s and 1990. Taken as a whole, this correspondence demonstrates the growing international influence of the Bentley. Until 1987, the Non-Donor Correspondence included some reference inquiries, after 1987, these records were maintained separately by the Reference Archivist. There is also a folder compiling twenty-five years of thank you notes from various colleagues and professionals from around the country.

The Division Records subgroup (16 linear feet) contains records from the four division units at the Bentley Library: Access and Reference Services, Michigan Historical Collections, Preservation and Conservation, and University Archives and Records Program (UARP).

The Access and Reference Services, series 1961-2000 (3 linear feet) is broken down into Reference Archivist's files and Reference Reports. Files of the Reference Archivist are grouped according to the department heads. Mary Jo Pugh, Reference Archivist from 1969 to 1984, was the first Reference Archivist of the library. Her topical files include early policy, reference procedures, staff training, guides, and educational outreach activities. Nancy Bartlett was the Reference Archivist from 1985-1998. These records also emphasize reference policy, procedure, and education. The use of visual and electronic archival materials becomes more apparent. A significant number of files relate to outreach efforts within the community including a long-standing partnership with Eastern Michigan University's history program. Kathy Marquis was the third person to hold the Reference Archivist position, 1998-2002. Her records reflect student research at the library through correspondence and project files. They also contain major university issues during the time period including the affirmative action lawsuit. Reference staff development is also portrayed through the development of manuals and meeting minutes.

The second subseries in this accession is Reference Reports. The early years of reference are shown through the Work Reports. Research topics, user statistics, sample questions, reproduction requests, and annual studies were carefully documented. The Work Report format split into Monthly Reports and Annual Reports in the mid-1980s although generally contain the same type of information. The reports clearly track reference trends and use through the library's history.

Files of the Reference Archivist are grouped according to the department heads. Mary Jo Pugh, Reference Archivist from 1969 to 1984, was the first Reference Archivist of the library. Her topical files include early policy, reference procedures, staff training, guides, and educational outreach activities. Nancy Bartlett was the Reference Archivist from 1985-1998. These records also emphasize reference policy, procedure, and education. The use of visual and electronic archival materials becomes more apparent. A significant number of files relate to outreach efforts within the community including a long-standing partnership with Eastern Michigan University's history program. Kathy Marquis was the third person to hold the Reference Archivist position, 1998-2002. Her records reflect student research at the library through correspondence and project files. They also contain major university issues during the time period including the affirmative action lawsuit. Reference staff development is also portrayed through the development of manuals and meeting minutes.

Tthe Reference Reports subseries consistst of a variety of monthly and annual reports on the division's activities. The early years of reference are shown through the Work Reports. Research topics, user statistics, sample questions, reproduction requests, and annual studies were carefully documented. The Work Report format split into Monthly Reports and Annual Reports in the mid-1980s although generally contain the same type of information. The reports clearly track reference trends and use through the library's history.

The Michigan Historical Collections series (1919-2014, bulk 1935-2014, 9.5 linear feet and one oversize box) consists of seven subseries: Office Diaries; Field Program; Topical Files; Reports; Thomas Powers' Talks; Len Coombs's files; and Lost, Recataloged, Discarded or Transferred Materials. A long run of Office Diaries (2 linear feet) covers the years 1935-1963.

Early on, the diaries were relatively informative documents, often including entries describing visitors and events at the BHL. Increasingly, however, they became more like logbooks recording commonplace transactions, such as the number of letters prepared each day and the name of each letter's recipient.

The Field Program subseries, 1937-2002 (2 linear feet) begins with "trip reports" written between 1935 and 1985. A trip report is a written summary of a contact by a BHL staff member and a donor or potential donor of material. The subseries also includes "Donor Lead Sheets" for the period 1988 and 1995 which are arranged alphabetically and contain information regarding the pursuit of specific collections; and "Donor Lead Card Catalog" for the period 1960s-2000s with names, addresses, and field notes, also arranged alphabetically, located in an oversize box.

The Librarian/Cataloger Reports (0.2 linear feet) consists of reports filed by various individuals who held this position between 1955 and 1980. The Collections Committee was formed in 1992, and this subseries contains the committee's agendas and meeting summaries. This series also contains two folders of excerpts from the Regents Proceedings that reference the Michigan Historical Collections and the Bentley Library.

The Topical Files subseries (1980-2009, 1.7 linear feet) includes files that were contributed by Leonard Coombs, Marilyn McLaughlin, Thomas Powers, Ken Scheffel and others. It includes materials related to the development of the access and description systems employed by the Bentley, as well an interesting "Introduction to MHC Manual," created around 1980.

The Reports subseries (1969-2012, 0.8 linear feet) includes narrative and statistical reports related to the activities of the division including the field program, cataloging and description, and maintenance of the visual materials in the collections.

The Thomas Powers Talks subseries, (1976-2003, 0.2 linear feet) includes speaking notes for approximately 23 presentations.

The Len Coombs's files subseries (1919-2014, bulk 1967-2014, 4 linear feet) includes speaking notes for presentations, published articles and bibliographies, exhibit materials, and materials related to the development of access and description systems used at the Bentley, related content for which can be found in the Topical Files subseries.

Two boxes of catalog index cards comprise the subseries, Lost, Re-cataloged, Discarded or Transferred Materials, 1949-1989 (0.6 linear feet). This assembly was largely generated during the transition from a card catalog to an online public access catalog system, when items that had been separately cataloged were returned to their collections of origin to be described collectively in finding aids, rather than through separate entries.

The Preservation and Conservation series (1977-2010, 2.3 linear feet) contains two subseries, Microfilm Projects, 1987-2010 (2.2 linear feet) and Reports, 1977-2007 (0.1 linear foot). The Microfilm Projects subseries consist of two alphabetic sequences that span different time periods (1987-2004) and (2000-2010). They were created by archivist Ann Flowers as she prepared individual collections for microfilming. They contain correspondence with the microphotography contractors and her quality control and cost analyses. The records are in alphabetical order by collection name.

The University Archives and Records Program (UARP) series, 1973-2004, bulk 1981-2004 (7.5 linear feet) records are divided into five subseries: Agendas and Minutes, Marjorie Barritt, Nancy Bartlett, Staff Files and Manuals.

The Agendas and Minutes, 1988-2004 subseries (0.5 linear feet) contains records of periodic staff meetings. UARP's first head, Marjorie Barritt, contributed records (2.3 linear feet) that evidence the germination of the UARP program, its evolution and growth from the 1980s to the late 1990s, and the development of records policy at the University of Michigan. Together with the records of her successor, Nancy Bartlett (0.8 linear feet) and electronic records archivist Nancy Deromedi found in Staff Files (5.5 linear feet), Barritt's subseries documents UARP's long continuing interest in addressing issues revolving around the archival management of electronic records. UARP's involvement with international archival issues, including Marjorie Barritt's and Nancy Bartlett's editorial management of a special issue of the American Archivist devoted to international archives, is also well documented. Nancy Bartlett's files also contain her records of teaching the practice of appraisal to archives students at the University of Michigan's School of Information.

The Staff files subseries contains records generated by UARP staff, including assistant division head Brian Williams, electronic records archivist Nancy Deromedi, and associate archivist Marilyn McNitt. Brian Williams's files document the Bentley's work in advising the archives of the African National Congress University of Fort Hare in South Africa and the development of a collection strategy for documenting the history of medicine at the University of Michigan. The files of Nancy Deromedi, who later became head of the newly-formed Digital Curation Services division in 2011, document efforts to preserve and manage digital records, particularly the university's web presence and faculty and administration email. Marilyn McNitt's files include materials on exhibits planned by her as well as records relating to a project in which UARP provided the University of Michigan-Dearborn administration with consultation on records management and appraised and processed some of the Dearborn campus's records. The small subseries, Manuals, 1989-1994 (0.2 linear feet) includes instructions for UARP staff conducting field appraisal and processing collections. The unit's Records Policy and Procedures Manual 1993, was widely distributed throughout the university and is thus located in the "Bentley Historical Library Publications" record group, which has a separate finding aid.

The Outreach subgroup (1929-2014, 10 linear feet, 149 MG) documents various forms of public outreach and is divided into three series: Archival Education, Press Clippings, and Exhibits.

The Archival Education series (1971-2012, 1.1 linear feet) contains lecture notes, syllabi, and planning correspondence for archives course taught by Bentley staff members. Courses include the Library Science 727, School of Information and Library Studies (SILS) 600, 637, and 692, School of Information (SI) 692 Archives Practicum, and History 698 and include lecture notes from Nancy Bartlett, Marilyn McLaughlin and Mary Jo Pugh. Course topics include Problems in Archival Administration and Archival Appraisal. There are two overlapping accessions of files in this series, one containing materials dated 1971-2002 and the second 1977-2012.

The Press Clippings series (1935-1986, 0.3 linear feet), contains 20 folders of newspapers and magazine clipping that feature the Michigan Historical Collection, the Bentley Library, or a use of one of their collections. These clippings help document the early years of the MCH with publicity for Director Vander Velde and notes on various collections donated to MHC. Later folders contain official press releases from the university on prominent donations and grant awards.

The Exhibits series (1929-2014, 7.5 linear feet, one oversize box, 149 MG) is comprised of material prepared by BHL staff for both internal and external exhibits. Most of the files contain the corresponding display labels; for some there are also photocopies of source material and background information. The series is arranged alphabetically by the title of the exhibit and consists of two accessions dated 1929-2007 (7 linear feet) and 1998-2013 (0.5 linear feet). A chronological listings of exhibits, 1929-1961, and newspaper clippings regarding exhibits, 1943-1959, precede the individual exhibit files. There are five boxes of Exhibit material (images and labels on poster board) from an exhibit on Michigan in the Olympics, on Women at the University of Michigan from 1870 to the Present, and from miscellaneous images from the Bentley Library.

Researchers should note that several exhibits are individually cataloged. The latter includes University of Michigan Sesquicentennial Celebration Exhibition photograph collection, A Gallery of presidents, Goin' north: Black Detroit and the great migration, 1910-1930, and Centennial of the admission of Women to the University of Michigan exhibition. An additional group of online materials and special projects includes exhibit materials created or displayed on the BHL's website from 2001 to 2014.

The Digital Curation series, 2011-2013, includes papers written by unit staff as well as documentation of strategies and procedures employed by the unit for the processing, description, and preservation of born-digital and digitized archives. Access to these materials is provided digitally through active hyperlinks.

The Audio-Visual Material series (1967-2011, circa 6 linear feet) contains five subseries: Bentley Publication Production Files, Works of Art: Inventory and Object Files, Photographs, Audiotapes and Videotapes, DVDs, Digital Media and Films.

The Bentley Publication Production Files series (1988-2007, 1 linear foot) consists of early drafts and electronic final drafts of a number of Bentley Library publications including Bentley Bulletins. One particularly well-documented publication is The Book of Days which was both a publication and an exhibit. There is a separate finding aid for the Bentley's publications, which should be consulted for the complete run of printed materials

The Works of Art: Inventory and Object Files, 1962-2014, bulk 1975-1987 (1 linear foot) are a set of inventory files describing Bentley art objects. Documentation includes Painting Report Forms, catalogue sheet, notes on the piece of artwork and its acquisition, appraisal, artist biography notes and articles, some photographs of the artwork, and some correspondence about the art work. These files were initially created by archivist May Davis Hill and were not maintained after her departure. One file from 2014 details the framed artwork displayed at the Bentley as of that date.

Included in the Photographs series are images documenting the construction of the BHL and various ceremonies and dedications commemorating the building in the early 1970s, including several interior and exterior views by Balthazar Korab. There are also a number of files of photographs of major exhibits mounted by BHL staff, copy prints and negatives of images used in BHL publications, and informal snapshots of events, visitors and staff. The Audiotapes and Videotapes, Films, DVD's, and Digital Media series document dedications, important meetings and events, and the laying of the cornerstone for the Bentley Library. There are two accessions of Photographs (1967-1998) and (1995-2009) and two accessions of Audiotapes and Videotapes (1971-1991) and 1987-1999).

The Audiotapes and Videotapes, and Films series document dedications, important meetings and events, and the laying of the cornerstone for the Bentley Library.

The Architectural Drawings, 1965-2004 series (3 flat file drawers) is comprised of original drawings, blueprints, and blue line prints of the Bentley Historical Library. Included in the series are plans for a proposed addition to the library, 1980, and drawings related to the 2004 addition, including shelving, landscaping, and floor and site plans.

The Archived Website, 2010-ongoing series documents the collections, events, resources, events, and people at the Bentley Historical Library. In addition to information about the University of Michigan and individuals, organizations, and voluntary associations in the state, content includes policies, procedures, important news and announcements, and the overall mission of the library. The website series is arranged chronologically and includes content captured by the Internet Archive starting in 1996. Starting in 2010, this archived website will be captured on a regular, ongoing basis as part of the University of Michigan Web Archives, hosted at https://archive-it.org/organizations/934.