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2010 ends on a very positive note for UCMP:
A website award and a collections grant!
The Mellon Foundation CLIR grant
We are very excited to have received a grant of $236,200 from the Mellon Foundation to catalog our archives. The funds are administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) through their "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Building a New Research Environment" program. In recognition that "libraries, archives, and cultural institutions hold millions of items that have never been adequately described," the CLIR awards grants in order to support innovative and efficient description of material considered to be of "high value to scholars."
The UCMP archives are an underappreciated treasure trove, providing the paleontologic, geologic, historical, legal, and sociological context for our several million fossil specimens. They document the lives of prominent western pioneers, such as Annie Alexander, Joseph LeConte, J.C. Merriam, and John Muir, and have bearing on the history of higher education, natural resources, public policy and public administration, as well as the establishment of many western National Parks, State Parks and National Forests. They include detailed field notes and annotated papers and maps made by more than 300 scientists and students, some of which document localities that are now lost or destroyed. Thousands of original drawings, newspaper clippings, and photographic documentation of specimens and field sites exist in a wide variety of formats (lantern slides, glass photo plates, large format negatives, 35 mm slides, negatives and prints). For example, we have photographs of the artwork of William Gordon Huff, who sculpted the paleontological exhibits for the Golden Gate Exposition of 1939 and 1940. These photographs provide critical documentation as most of this artwork is now missing and presumed destroyed. Also included are the professional correspondence, research notes, libraries, and manuscripts from internationally acclaimed UC faculty, dating from the end of the 19th century to the present. These records represent the primary archive of this type of scientific work on the west coast.
A photograph from the UCMP archives of William Huff's sculpture of Procamelus, a Miocene North American camel. The sculpture itself was probably destroyed decades ago.
The grant will provide several semesters and summers of graduate student support, funding their work in the collections, and will result in increased access to these extraordinary hidden collections. Special thanks to Mark Goodwin, Judy Scotchmoor and Pat Holroyd who were invaluable in putting the proposal together.