Stories indexed with the term ‘archives’

Column: Two-Year Milestone

Editor’s Note: The monthly milestone column, which appears on the second day of each month – the anniversary of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s launch – is an opportunity for either the publisher or the editor of The Chronicle to touch base with readers on topics related to this publication.

Letter from The Ann Arbor Chronicle to the Ann Arbor District Library

Letter from The Ann Arbor Chronicle to the Ann Arbor District Library.

Last month I trekked over to the Ann Arbor District Library to hand-deliver a paper document to the library’s director, Josie Parker. It was a letter that stated our intent, as owners of The Ann Arbor Chronicle, to grant all necessary legal authority to the AADL to preserve public access to our publication’s archives, in the event that The Chronicle closes or that we get hit by a bus.

It was an important decision for us, and one we didn’t take lightly – “we” being me and my husband Dave Askins, who’s editor and co-owner of The Chronicle. For me, The Chronicle has always been a convergence of the professional and the personal. Launching the publication on Sept. 2, which is also our wedding anniversary, reflects that connection. So choosing how to ensure the preservation of The Chronicle’s archives was more than a business decision.

The corpus of civic affairs and local government reporting that we’ve compiled in The Chronicle’s first two years, we believe, is a community asset worth preserving. During my tenure at The Ann Arbor News, I was always appalled at the condition of the archives there, neglected and deteriorating in a basement space we called The Cage. I was thrilled when the AADL negotiated to become caretaker of that massive collection, some items dating back to the late 1800s. Given the AADL staff’s obvious competence and eagerness to dig into the project – organizing more than 1 million items – it seemed a natural fit to ask that they consider shepherding our much less space-demanding slice of local journalism, too.

The Chronicle, of course, was born digital, and at this point would fit on a thumb drive. Although we’d likely be classified by most folks as “new media,” in many ways we embrace an ethos that runs contrary to current trends. And that’s why I liked the idea of walking a few blocks to the library and handing over a letter – a physical artifact that outlines the hopes of a digital future. And on this occasion of The Chronicle’s second anniversary, I’d like to chew on that notion a little more, and talk about what its implications might be. [Full Story]

Monthly Milestone: Archiving Ads, Bylines

Editor’s Note: The monthly milestone column, which appears on the second day of each month – the anniversary of The Ann Arbor Chronicle’s launch – is an opportunity for either the publisher or the editor of The Chronicle to touch base with readers on topics related to this publication.

Dave Askins

This is an example of a future Chronicle "house ad." The drawing was done by former Ann Arbor News artist Tammie Graves, and the ad itself was designed by Laura Fisher.

In last month’s milestone message, I focused on the idea that part of The Chronicle’s aspiration is to establish a valuable archive of our community’s civic history. The corpus of The Chronicle comprises an independent record of the events of our public bodies, the words spoken at their meetings and their actions taken.

This month I’d like to focus on a different aspect of the accumulating Chronicle archive. One is advertisements – different ads are inserted “on the fly” every time a new page is loaded. So will they be archived in any meaningful sense?

Another angle on The Chronicle archive are the bylines that appear in the publication. Our publication was launched by two people, who reported, wrote, and edited all of the articles.

The collection of bylines now includes a fairly robust collection of freelance writers. And this month I want to tell you about a byline that you won’t be seeing here for the next long while, perhaps ever again – but it’s for all the right reasons. [Full Story]

Culinary Archive Donated to University

Longtime Ann Arbor residents Jan and Dan Longone have donated over 20,000 documents in culinary history to the University of Michigan.

Jan Longone

Jan Longone, giving remarks at a June 8 reception: "Culinary history is a subject worth studying and fighting for." (Photos by the writer.)

At a June 8 reception at the Hatcher Graduate Library in front of more than 200 guests, UM provost Teresa Sullivan accepted the donation on behalf of the university, saying that the Longone collection turned UM into a “national leader” in this “emerging field of scholarship.”

Sullivan noted that the archive extends far beyond collections of recipes, and provides valuable insights in such areas as the study of gender roles, regionalism, health, diet and cultural identity.

The Clements Library will house the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive, as the collection is formally known. Kevin Graffagnino, the library’s director, said that the “groundbreaking donation … vaulted the Clements into the forefront of culinary history.”

In remarks during the June 8 reception, Jan Longone said she had long believed the new field “was a subject worth studying and fighting for.” She is also curator of American Culinary History at the Clements. [Full Story]

Traverwood Library to Close for 8 Days

The Ann Arbor District Library's Traverwood branch.

The Ann Arbor District Library's Traverwood branch will be closed starting Thursday, Aug. 20 and reopening on Friday, Aug. 28. (Photo by the writer.)

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Aug. 17, 2009): The Traverwood library branch will close Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. and remain closed until 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, the result of difficulties with a floor resealing project. It’s connected to a two-day closure earlier this month, when sealant incorrectly applied to the branch’s hardwood floors failed to dry.

Josie Parker, the library system’s director, announced the unanticipated closing at Monday night’s board meeting, but it was a different closing that stands to have a longer-term impact on the library: The recent closing of The Ann Arbor News. Parker and the board discussed plans by the owners of The News – Advance Publications – to give the library most of its archives. Though no formal agreement has been reached, the board authorized up to $63,000 to lease storage space for bound newspaper copies, newspaper clipping files and most photo negatives. Parker called the digitizing, organizing and use of the archives an exciting, major undertaking, with “huge implications” for the library.

At Monday’s meeting, Parker also told the board about a live webcast she’ll be making next week as part of an international library conference – a reflection of AADL’s growing reputation as a model for library programming and technology.

But of most immediate concern to library patrons will be the Traverwood closing, and that’s where we’ll start our report. [Full Story]