My colleague and friend Barry Salmon informed me today that 79 5th Avenue, the new home of the School of Media Studies, was once the home of Edison Records’ “New York Recording Department.” Through 1929 the company’s studios were located on the 18th floor — the roof — just two floors above where SMS is now.
And according to Anna Outridge, a contributor to Julia Foulkes’ and Mark Larrimore’s New School History site, 65 5th Ave, the site of our new University Center, was, in the 1880s, a four-story brownstone housing the Edison Company’s new headquarters. It was apparently the first building to be lit exclusively by electricity.
What’s more, 2 W 13th Street, SMS’s former home, used to house printing facilities. So TNS’s architectural history is very much entwined with technology and media history — and those intersections might make for a great final project!
Edison Recording Department group on roof of 79th Fifth Avenue; Front row, Messrs. Meeker, Emmons, Cronkhite, Burt, Jaudas; Back: Hofbauer, Rabenstein, Werner, Getcliffe, Voorhis, Benzler; New York, NY Ca1909. 10.120/44. Via National Park Service
Also from Barry; I’ll update the citation as soon as I know more info.
I received the following note yesterday from Megan McShea, an archivist at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. She’s invited all of us to explore, and provide feedback on, a “Hidden Collections” program at the AAA “that aims to make archival media” — including the papers of former Media Studies faculty member Paul Ryan — “less hidden in manuscript collections, or to be more accurate, mixed-media archival collections.”
The project starts with the recognition that audiovisual media have languished in the archival repository setting, often poorly or inaccurately described or not described at all amidst its related paper records. We’re seeking to develop benchmarks and guidelines to address the problem, which I see as pervasive in archives. The focus for us has been on how to make EAD behave better to this purpose, but also how to improve our workflows and processes at all stages of collections’ lifecycle to keep media from getting hidden.
…Our project focus is really intellectual accessibility delivered in a fairly traditional way. We’re sort of thinking inside the box, leveraging existing standards. But if you’d like to know more about it or point your students to it, below are some links. It would be super for us to have more eyes on the work, the collections, and to kick the tires of the whole enterprise.
You’ll find more technical documentation here.
This was up on the Media Studies blog for anyone who might be interested.
Guantánamo Public Memory Project Collections Internship, Spring/Summer 2014
About the Guantánamo Public Memory Project
The Guantánamo Public Memory Project (GPMP) is a national multi-media project that seeks to build public awareness of the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and foster dialogue on its possible futures and the policies it shapes. Steered from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, the Project has brought together 13 national universities and their community partners to create a traveling exhibit, web platform, and series of public dialogues on the base’s history from 1898 to the present. Student teams worked with individuals who worked, lived, served, or were held on the base, and collaborated across geographical, cultural, and political context to produce this exhibit, opening dialogue on the difficult questions it raises. Each student-community team developed one of 13 exhibit panels, which together are now traveling across the country to each of the communities that created them, with public programs hosted in each place. The exhibit opened in December 2012 at New York University’s Kimmel Windows Gallery and is booked through the end of 2014 at 12 other institutions.
The GPMP team is currently working with Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library to build the publicly accessible Guantánamo Public Memory Project Collection archive, which is housed at the university’s Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research.
The Project’s digital material is housed by the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), a partnership between the University of Florida and Florida International University. The collections include documents, photographs, audio and video interviews, and other material about GTMO, documenting the social history of everyday life on the base at different moments as well as periods of crisis and conflict. The material is being donated on an ongoing basis by individuals across the country with diverse experience at GTMO.
About the Internship
The Guantánamo Public Memory Project collections internship is an exciting opportunity to gain hands-on and specialized experience researching, developing, digitizing and cataloging collections. In particular, the GPMP collections intern will work with Project staff to:
- Build digital collection on dLOC by uploading all Project’s current digital holdings and creating metadata;
- Build physical archive with Columbia Rare Books and Manuscripts library, working closely with Columbia’s Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research Librarians;
- Identify and liaise with potential donors and oral history candidates from Project database of over 300 people with direct experience at GTMO and incorporate new materials into both collections;
- Maintain internal archive of Project materials (e.g. photographs, event programs) from each exhibit venue;
- Promote collections via blog, social media and related digital platforms;
- Perform additional related research and outreach as needed.
- Ability to commit at least 10 hours/week for at least one semester
- Graduate student in library science, museum studies, history, or related field
- Experience with archival processing and knowledge of digitization standards and technology
- Background in one or more subject areas related to GTMO’s history, such as 19th/early 20th century American imperialism, Caribbean studies, refugee policy, military history, Cold War
- Excellent organization skills and ability to work independently and creatively
How to Apply
Please send resume and cover letter to Julia Thomas at email@example.com with the subject “GPMP Collections Intern” by February 14, 2014.
Please note this is an unpaid position, but can be taken for academic credit if permitted by institution/department.