Thursday, February 21, 2013

Improving Access to Manuscript Materials in the Clarke

by Marian Matyn

I am approaching the end of a long project to encode finding aids of the Clarke manuscript collection. The project began in January 2009 and involves taking each finding aid and its corresponding catalog record of existing, processed manuscript collections in the Clarke, and putting the information into hyper-text language following national and international rules to make the finding aid Google-searchable online. The finding aids page is hosted by the University of Michigan, a collaborative effort between our institutions.

This is very time consuming work. It takes months to encode large finding aids. We had nearly 5,000 cubic feet of finding aids at the beginning of this project and more have been donated and processed since then. Most of the finding aids that existed at the beginning of project, as well as most of the finding aids created for collections added during the project, are now encoded. The current process is that, at the end of each month, I send copies of the encoded finding aids to the UM where they are added into the webpage. Once I’m notified that they are added and everything is technically fine with the encoded finding aid, I add the url for that specific encoded finding aid from the encoded finding aid page to the related Centra (CMU Libraries catalog) record and make sure that the public’s display view is good and the link works. To see the Clarke Historical Library Finding Aids page click, visit this website:

Encoding finding aids will become an ongoing duty because we are constantly getting new collections, which results in new finding aids. The encoded finding aids, once completed, are linked to the catalog record so you can find the Clarke’s manuscript finding aids searching Google or through Centra. Sometimes we get additions to collections. This means that the finding aid, catalog record, encoded finding aid, box labels, and manuscript location guide all have to be updated.

Recently, I updated two encoded finding aids and added a new encoded finding aid.

The new encoded finding aid was for the papers of Amos Gould. Click here for the catalog record and link to the encoded finding aid.

Amos Gould was born in Aurelius (N.Y.) on Dec. 3, 1808. Educated, he worked in the office of William H. Steward, then Governor of New York (State). He was admitted to the bar in 1832. He moved to Owosso (Mich.) in 1843. He speculated in Michigan in land, began a lumber business, practiced law, served as the attorney for the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad Company, 1852-1881, and was involved with the establishment of the Amboy, Lansing, and Traverse Bay Railroad. He was elected Probate Judge of Shiawassee County in 1844, served as Prosecuting Attorney of the same county and Supervisor of Owosso, 1844-1850. He served as a Senator, 1853-1854. He organized the First National Bank of Owosso in 1865 serving as president and owning most of the stock. He married Louisa Peck of New York (State) in 1841 and they had six children. He died May 14, 1882, a wealthy man. His brother, Ebenezer Gould, married Irene Beach in 1845. They had several children together. He was honorably discharged as a Colonel of the Michigan Cavalry, 5th Regiment in 1864. Fred H. Gould, a son of Amos', was born Oct. 11, 1857. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1878. He was involved in various business interests, including his father's bank, real estate, and raising cattle and horses. He married Josephine Fletcher in 1883 and they had three children.

His papers are 65 cubic feet in volume (in 117 boxes, 3 oversized volumes). His family papers include the records of Amos, Ebenezer, and Fred H. Gould, 1828-1936. Amos Gould's papers, 1828-1882, relate to his many business interests, including: his legal practice and positions, both in New York (State) and Owosso, and in Owosso (Mich.), his business interests in land sales; his lumber industry; his work as an attorney for the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad Company; the First Bank of Owosso records; and family affairs. Ebenezer Gould's papers include Civil War era correspondence with his wife, children, and brother Amos, business correspondence, a family scrapbook, and miscellaneous, 1845-1936. There is a diary of Fred H. Gould, 1892-1931. There are also letters from Amos Gould's brother-in-law Dr. J. N. Graham about early medical practices, including the use of chloroform in Michigan.

As for the updates to already held records, there was material added to the Joe De Bolt Vietnam Moratorium Committee Records (1967-1983) and the CMU Information Services Organizational Records (1905-2008). To learn about Joe De Bolt and his records, CMU Vietnam Moratorium Committee records click here. To learn about CMU. Information Services click here.

If you have any questions, please contact me - Marian Matyn or 989.774.3990