July 18, 2006

July 14, 2006: Friday picked up where Thursday left off. We have had a great influx of student help from Wayne State, U of M and Michigan State. Doug Elbinger of Elbinger Studios is working with the Archives to digitize his collection that he will donate. Our most recent student, Cathie Toshach, myself and Doug met to talk about doing digital contact sheets for Doug to review and approve for future use. Cathie has a great photographic background which will be a great asset in the project. Doug is a protégé of Tony Spina. Tony credentialed Doug as a teenager and sent him on assignments he couldn’t make. One of these was the Beatles first trip to Detroit. We are beginning to digitize his political material including governor’s photos, presidential trips to Michigan and other notables such as Jimmy Hoffa and Henry Kissinger. We are extremely excited about this partnership.

After Doug left I pulled my stuff together to head out to Ann Arbor. My first item of business at the Bentley Historical Library was to drop off the blueprints of the Ransom Olds Residence. These are the only known paper copies of drawings by the architect Darius B. Moon. I think this is the first house to have an attached garage. Ransom could drive his car into the “autoroom” on to a turntable and then spin it so he could drive straight out again. A local paper, the City Pulse wrote an article on the drawings.

Jim Craven and Ann Flowers (pictured) will be doing the restoration which will include paper repairs, mulberry paper backing, and encapsulation. Hopefully we will have these back in several months so we can begin using it for educational programs.

Before I left the Bentley, Karen Jania and I spent some time discussing the recent MAA meeting in Frankenmuth. I delivered the keynote address that challenged the group to think creatively about its future. As I told Karen, this sort of “encouragement” can only work with an enthusiastic president. Karen has taken the challenge and already expanded on some of the ideas outlined in the address. As a reminder, the MAA listserv is heating up with good discussions. Check it out whether you are a MAA member or not. Only a year into this job, I am excited about the growing relationship with places like the Bentley. I currently am a mentor in the School of Information Archives practicum, the Bentley’s delegation of Chinese archivists visit the Archives of Michigan annually (well almost annually), and now Karen’s presidency is one more link between the two institutions. Time to sign off and head to South Boardman, MI for the annual Uitvlugt Family Reunion—if I am lucky I’ll sneak away and do some flyfishing on the Boardman River.

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