Special Collections,
The Cleveland Memory Project
The Cleveland Digital Library

We welcome you to consider a library school practicum, a history department internship, or some other type of volunteer project in Special Collections at the CSU Library. We are doing some exciting things with the Cleveland Memory Project,digitizing texts and images about the history of northeastern Ohio, and performing more traditional archival and special collections projects.

We moving fast in several important directions and have been pleased to host many student interns over the past few years, without whom we'd never have gotten this far. [STAFF]

Here are a few ideas of projects we'd like help with, but if you have some particular need, interest, or background you'd like to pursue, PLEASE tell me about it and we'll probably be able to accommodate it. Our philosophy is that graduate students and upperclass undergraduates are generally smart enough, motivated enough and experienced enough to be trusted with a meaningful amount of independent responsibility, while still learning about a particular topic or skill. We try to balance the academic with the practical and we want to utilize your experiences while teaching you new things, like html or scanning. The particular mix will depend upon the individual, but here are some possible projects:

  • Image database on the web: Our many image sites got so large that we are converting them over to an image database -- CONTENT(dm) -- and are mounting them on the The Cleveland Memory Project. KSU practicum student Brian DeLuca, for example, has just finished his project involving the Berea Childrens Home photos.

  • Ebooks and digital articles On the theory "what's a library without books?" our growing digital library includes many historic books that have been converted to digital format for the web. KSU SLIS students 0Jeff Geiger and Mia Assante are currently working on e-text projects and there are plenty of other works available to digitze. Jeff's project involves Charles Whittlesey's landmark 1867 history of Cleveland and Mia's working on a Cultural Gardens project that is flowing over to include ethnic women oral history audio files. Very valuable and rewarding projects!

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on the webWe have a pair of web-based GIS projects, developing the means to tie images and etexts to digital maps. These two projects center around either the multi-university Sacred Landmarks Partnership or the Watson Bridge Book Collection and local civil engineering hisotry. Plus, we're beginning to brainstorm about modeling the Terminal Tower complex on the web in 3D, so there's no shortage of innovative things going on.

  • Marketing/PR: Our archival collections and our constantly-expanding digital library projects are wonderful signs of growth, but we need to tell the world about them both. We need to critically examine our historical and digital collections and design services to targeted user groups. How can we best serve each of our constituent patron groups and tell them about these services?

  • Processing: If you want to examine a rare collection of materials and learn how to put it into proper archival order, we have several to choose from. Most recently, for example, we received a set of records from the old Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, formerly on what's now the CSU campus, but for decades "Rockefeller's Church." Some of these records recount meetings in JDR's office in 1868!

  • Topical Web Sites: We consider that making web sites is a part of most every project, but students with special interests in topics of local relevance can create sites dedicated to a particular historical person, place, event or theme. The emphasis in Special Collections is always on resources, so these sites would act as gateways (or pathfinders, as librarians call them) to all the know texts, images, annotated bibliographies and other materials useful to library patrons, history researchers and teachers.

  • Fund Raising: This a topic of interest to anyone? Library and historical society development is a real career enhancer and Special Collections and the Cleveland Digital Library are unique, attractive candidates around which to build a fund raising program and there are major fundraising resource available to us nearby. Come help us get a handle on this subject.

  • Bibliographies: In addition to the full-text and image content we offer via the Cleveland Digital Library, we also plan to build a comprehensive bibliography of local history resources. If you would like to do an in-depth literature survey of any of our specialty topics, this could be a good opportunity to do everyone a good turn.

  • On-line Reference: How can we plan a program of on-line reference to students, faculty, the general public, local historians, genealogists, local K-12 teachers and other area librarians, using our holdings of paper and digital history resources?

Any other ideas? Let me know if you have interests in local history collections or digital library topics I haven't mentioned. I have a long list of thoughts on this subject and we're very open to your suggestions, needs and interests. Working in academic libraries really can be fun when you're doing something meaningful to both you and us!

Call or write me, as I'm always available to discuss this.

Bill Barrow,
MA - History (Cleveland State, 1997)
MLS - Library and Information Science (Kent State, 1998)

Special Collections Librarian
Cleveland State University Library
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 687-6998 (office)
(216) 687-2449 (Special Collections)
(216) 687-9328 (fax)
/SpecColl/ (Special Collections)

Cleveland Memory Project:

Cleveland Digital Library:

Home phone:(216) 381-6017




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Last updated February 19, 2003