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David Null, Director University Archives and Records Management Services University of Wisconsin-Madison National Archives Preservation Conference, March.

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Presentation on theme: "David Null, Director University Archives and Records Management Services University of Wisconsin-Madison National Archives Preservation Conference, March."— Presentation transcript:

1 David Null, Director University Archives and Records Management Services University of Wisconsin-Madison National Archives Preservation Conference, March 26, 2009

2 Considered by many as the father of wildlife management and of the United States’ wilderness system. Leopold was an educator, conservationist, forester, philosopher, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. Author of A Sand County Almanac Includes essay “The Land Ethic” “A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of land.”

3  Born in Burlington, Iowa, 1887  Attended Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, 1904/5  Attended Yale Forest School, receiving Master of Forestry, 1909

4  Joins U.S. Forest Service in 1909, assigned to Apache National Forest, Arizona Territory  Transfers to Carson National Forest, New Mexico Territory, in 1911. Instrumental in having Gila National Forest designated as first official wilderness area, 1924  Transfers to U.S. Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI in 1924

5  Accepts appointment to new chair of game management in the Department of Agricultural Economics, 1933  1939 becomes chair of new Department of Wildlife Management  Dies of a heart attack while fighting a grass fire on a neighbors farm, April 21, 1948  A Sand County Almanac published posthumously in 1949 by Oxford University Press

6  Donated to University Archives in 1960s  Some from Department of Wildlife Management, some from Leopold family  Collection consists of 27.6 cubic feet (83 archives boxes), 12 journals, 7 diaries, 1 scrapbook, 3 reels of microfilm, 5 folios, 3 cases, 1000 photos, and memorabilia.

7  Founded in 1982, by Leopold’s children: Starker, Luna, Nina, Carl, and Estella  Family’s literary rights assigned to the foundation

8  Who should apply: University Archives or Leopold Foundation?  Leopold Foundation was conducting a $7,750,000 fundraising campaign  Few private foundations seem to apply for these types of grants

9  Aldo Leopold Foundation applied for grant, in cooperation with the University Archives  Awarded two-year, $110,530 matching grant, Jan. 2007  The ALF hired the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center to do the digitization  UW-Madison General Library System/UWDCC agreed to donate $25,000 in scanning costs

10  UW Digital Collections Center in existence since 2001, currently funded by UW-Madison and UW- System  At the time of the application had digitized over 1,300,000 pages of text and over 40,000 images. Very good at estimating costs, timelines, etc.  So had very good infrastructure for the project


12  Already had an EAD guide to the collection, but needed revision  Hired a graduate student to go through the physical collection and also revise the EAD guide  No additional metadata was added  Online equivalent of paging through a folder or a journal

13  Digitized using UWDCC’s Electronic Facsimile Text (Pageturner/EFacs)  Images were done in JPEG 2000, so can zoom in closely  High resolution tiffs and metadata stored in 3 locations.

14  Graduate student went through all papers Made sure materials were in order Flattened, removed staples, etc. Marked anything needing special attention Took materials to digitization site Brought materials back and reviewed them

15  Bill Meier, “On the Paper Trail with Aldo Leopold,” Leopold Outlook Winter 2008 /paperTrail.shtml /paperTrail.shtml Leopold wrote out, longhand, a first draft, and then he frequently attached to that draft small slips of paper that contained comments, criticisms, revisions, or references to maps and figures. Because of the poor state of much of the tape, staples, pins, paperclips, and other fasteners he used, each of these slips had to be removed (often they concealed the original writing beneath them). What followed was like putting together the pieces of a puzzle: we had to communicate with scanners how best to capture each stage of Leopold’s thought process in order to present to an online audience the evolution of his ideas from one version of an essay to the next.


17  Digitized journals/diaries first because of condition heavily used, edges fraying, bindings loosening many pages have small photos pasted in lots of pencil maps, illustrations, etc.


19  Pine Cone Game management bulletin published 1915-1931 4-page issues on newsprint, quite fragile Conservation estimates from Wisconsin Historical Society run from $650 - $5000 depending on treatment


21  Photographs: will be around 1000  Memorabilia: http://digicoll- mBib/LeopoldArchives/gallery_LeopoldArchives.h tmlhttp://digicoll- mBib/LeopoldArchives/gallery_LeopoldArchives.h tml


23  Estimates from the UWDCC for digitization have been pretty accurate, actually somewhat lower than expected  Running about $ 1.40 per page (varies with type of material, e.g. journals vs. letter)  Includes actual scanning, plus document preparation, metadata, project management, quality control, etc. (total of 17 items)

24  Digitizing other Leopold materials: Robert McCabe Collection Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology Collections from Leopold Foundation Others

25  Most textual material is digitized, all live by April  Photos are the major remaining part  Leopold Foundation is working on their own web pages Do more publicity and assessment

26 “I should add that the beauty of having this archive on- line was made abundantly clear when I looked into the Charles Elton papers at the Bodleian, with Julianne Warren. Nothing whatsoever is on-line, except a list of what they have, some of which looks potentially very important to her project and to mine (they are somewhat related). So one of us is going to have to go to Oxford to dredge this archive, and that's even harder than going to Madison. The contrasting experience with the 2 archives made me realize how digitizing archives will revolutionize research and make archives much more valuable.”


28  The Aldo Leopold Archives:  EAD Guide: lib- leopoldpapers lib- leopoldpapers  Aldo Leopold Foundation: http://www.aldoleopold.org  David Null, UW-Madison Archives:

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