Houghton Library

Theodore Roosevelt Collection E-Newsletter

Number 6
June 2011

Wallace Finley Dailey, Curator
Address: Houghton Library/Harvard University/Cambridge MA  02138
Telephone: 617.384.7938
Fax: 617.495.1376
E-mail: wfdailey@fas.harvard.edu

The Theodore Roosevelt Collection, housed in Harvard's Houghton and Widener libraries, is a major resource for study of the life and times of the 26th president of the United States. The collection originated as a research library opened in New York City by the Roosevelt Memorial Association in 1923. It was presented by that organization (known since 1953 as the Theodore Roosevelt Association), to Harvard University, Roosevelt's alma mater, in 1943. The collection includes manuscripts, archival resources, printed works, pictures, and ephemera relating to both his personal and professional life.

PRINTED WORKS:The original collection catalog, primarily for books and other printed works but also including records for certain archival files (which together make up what became known as the Roosevelt class), came to Harvard on cards with the collection itself in 1943. Included are listings for printed ephemera (clippings, pamphlets, periodical extracts, etc.) not cataloged directly in HOLLIS (although currently indexed in HOLLIS Aquabrowser), amounting to about fifty percent of Roosevelt class holdings. The cards were published in facsimile in 1970 as the DICTIONARY CATALOGUE AND SHELFLIST, and the resulting volumes are now visible online, as reported in the last newsletter. Since then, as promised, the Table of Contents has been reworked so as to provide index terms (or class numbers, for the shelflist) that allow the user to arrive within two or three pages of the desired catalog entry or entries.

The online supplement to the DCSL for works cataloged or recataloged since 1970 is an OASIS finding aid (Theodore Roosevelt Collection: books, pamphlets, periodicals) in shelflist order. Since the last newsletter it has been enlarged by 100 items for a total of 1800, records AAA1701-1800 consisting chiefly of listings of relatively recent monographs.

PHOTOGRAPHS: The ongoing project to scan the collection's photographs in VIA has yielded three more groups, cataloged by Houghton Library's Susan Wyssen, and consisting of 340 images for a total of 3700:

Sloan Simpson photographs of Theodore Roosevelt on a western trip, 1905
Alexander Lambert photographs of Theodore Roosevelt on a western trip, 1905
Theodore Roosevelt Collection photographs: presidency--second term, 1906-1909

These are listed in short form under: Pictures at the collection website, in order to provide instantaneous links to the VIA database.

MANUSCRIPTS: Last year Harvard concluded an agreement with Dickinson (N.D.) State University, under which Dickinson would sponsor the creation at Harvard of digital images of selections from the collection. These are to be displayed on Dickinson's website as part of its Theodore Roosevelt Center virtual library, and on the Harvard website through the appropriate listings in HOLLIS, OASIS, and VIA. The first phase of the project has been completed as scheduled, with the digitization of all Theodore Roosevelt autograph mss. in the collection as listed in OASIS. Twenty-seven OASIS finding aids include listings for 2600 items linked to 14,000 color digital images of diaries, nature notebooks, letters, and speech, article, and book drafts.  (For access limit by repository: Theodore Roosevelt Collection, limit to finding aids with digital content, set display option for 50, and select digital content as each finding aid is displayed.) There will follow additional digital images for Roosevelt mss. found in other Houghton Library collections.

Alison Harris, Roosevelt Project Cataloger/Metadata Specialist, sees the materials safely to and from the Imaging Services lab, does quality control, and supplies the metadata and linkage that make possible the display of the scanned manuscripts. She has contributed her own observations on her work as found on the Houghton Library blog.

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