As part of the CLIR-funded Hidden Collections grant, our interns created finding aids for archival collections in the Research Library.  PDFs of the finding aids are currently available for download.  EAD-encoded finding aids will be accessible later this year (pending final review).

Finding and building from existing resources is part of the process when writing descriptive data and contextual notes.  A natural outcome of this exercise can result in external documents that help a user locate material or simply provide general information.  Beyond a standard catalog record or finding aid, they stand on their own as useful resources.

Longtime volunteer, Valerie Thaler, spent many a month inputting raw data about the AMNH Permanent Halls.  Using the General Guides and Annual Reports for reference, Valerie has documented every name variation of these exhibition halls as they developed over time, anchoring the data to a fixed location in the museum (i.e., building number, floor and section).  Her dedicated efforts resulted in a spreadsheet with nearly 5,000 line items.  This data will form the base for name authority records to be used with the semantic web.  To view Valerie’s work and methodology for identifying hall name variants, please click the link below.

Responding to a need across the museum for a controlled list of AMNH Permanent Hall names, Iris Lee concatenated the data in Valerie’s spreadsheet to represent 104 individual halls, mapping fields to EAC-CPF. Under consultation with the library’s head cataloger, Diana Shih, Iris assigned controlled headings for the 818 variant hall names. You can view the data set in the Excel spreadsheet below.

Hidden Connections Resources

Prior to being awarded the CLIR Hidden Collections grant to document AMNH related expeditions, the team mapped existing data fields to EAC-CPF to provide the minimal structure of an expedition entity record. Below is our first working list of AMNH Expeditions with EAC fields provided to us by the Smithsonian’s Field Book Project (thank you!). For a current list of Expeditions, see the link below under: Master Spreadsheets for EAC-CPF.

A list of Special Collections (this list will be updated but gives an overview of the Library’s Special Collections, extent and means of access)  These are some of the resources that are available for researching the history and biographies that the students will be writing and will form the basis for a check list of resources to research the AMNH Archives that will be more fully developed this term.

Master Spreadsheets for EAC-CPF

Over many years, volunteers in the AMNH Library gathered data about persons and expeditions based on the Vertical Files in Special Collections. The original spreadsheet headers have been mapped to EAC-CPF elements. These “minimal” records form the basis of the more descriptive (optimal) CPF records. Below are abbreviated versions of the AMNH Master spreadsheets.


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