The year is nearly at its end and, like many others, we’re in a reflective mood here at the Archives. As such, we’d like to share some of our accomplishments and highlights of 2013.
First, we would like to thank our gracious donors! We’ve received fantastic collections this year, as well as monetary donations, which help us better care for our materials. Staff have arranged and described over 300 cubic feet of materials, on topics such as Lansing politics, the home video industry, nuclear testing, and international students at MSU.
Great strides have been made to increase the accessibility of our collections. Over 1000 catalog records have been uploaded and/or updated in WorldCat, a global catalog of library collections. Descriptions of over 2500 MSU Archives’ collections are also available through ArchiveGrid. Collection guides on topics such as the American Civil War, and both World Wars, have been updated to better aid researchers. Additionally, finding aids for nearly all of our collections are available online and are keyword searchable through a Google search box on our website.
Amazing progress has also been made to digitize our holdings and make them available online. We have added 300 letters and photographs to our Civil War website and 4300 pages of letters have been digitized. The website continues to be a popular resource for users throughout the United States. Our National Endowment for the Humanities grant funded Vietnam Project Archive is progressing on schedule. This year, nearly 30,000 pages have been digitized. In the future, these documents will be available online, providing easy access to a significant resource to researchers worldwide. There are a few other, smaller scale, digitization projects we have completed for our On the Banks of the Red Cedar website, including MSU commencement programs from 1862 through 1962, Beside the Winding Cedar, and The Eagle.
Throughout the year MSU archivists have engaged the community in a variety of ways. We have conducted two tours, hosted eight classes for introduction to archives sessions, wrote articles for the MSU Alumni magazine and the Insight newsletter, and created fun exhibits about MSU history in Conrad Hall. We participated in many fantastic events, such as Autumn Fest, the Great Dairy Adventure, Grandparents University, and Alumni LENS.
Disaster struck in August, when heavy rains caused a water leak in Conrad Hall. Thanks to a combination of disaster training, environmental monitoring, communication, and teamwork, we were able to quickly contain the situation. Best of all, no archival materials were destroyed by the flood.
Finally, we have seen rapid growth in the number of people following us on Facebook and Twitter, as well as an increase in traffic on Flickr, our websites, and this blog. Thank you to all who took the time to read our posts, view our photos, and share them with friends and family. We appreciate all of the interesting questions and comments, and hope that you all continue to interact with us via social media in the coming year!