It is time for a long overdue update on the progress of the CLIR Hidden Collections Grass Roots Activism and the American Wilderness: Pioneers in the Twentieth Century Adirondack Park Conservation Movement project!  First of all, we have had many exciting new additions to our team:

In December India Spartz joined Annette LeClair as a co-Principal Investigator on the grant.  India is currently the Head of Special Collections and Archives for Schaffer Library of Union College, before which she served as the Director of Special Collections for The University of Arizona and as the Senior Archivist of Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

This past January Arthur Schutzberg joined Emily Pastore as our new Student Archives Assistant.  Arthur is a sophomore studying Anthropology and Political Science at Union College.  Arthur is a member of Union’s Division II Cross Country and Track programs and is the Sports Director and radio host for WRUC.

In February Abi Simkovic took over the position of Project Archivist on the team.  Before stepping into this role Abi was an Archives Processor on the CLIR project for Union College and the Project Archivist for the Rudolf Steiner Library.  Abi brings to the team a hearty love of the wilderness, outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental activism from her Montana upbringing as well as experience working with archives and special collections at various institutions.  Abi holds an MSIS from the University at Albany, SUNY, focusing in archives and reference services.

And, last, but not least, the CLIR team is happy to welcome Jennifer Moore who joined Kim Kunker as an Archives Processor this past March.  Jennifer received her MSIS from the University at Albany, SUNY, in May of 2014.  Before joining our staff Jennifer worked on the digitization of the Ramee Collection for Union College’s Schaffer Library, the cataloging of the University at Albany’s dissertations and theses, and the processing of archival collections for the miSci Museum.

And, secondly, we have many exciting updates concerning the arrangement, description, cataloging, and selected digitization of both the John S. Apperson papers and the Paul Schaefer Collection!  Back in December we completed the processing of the Apperson papers as well as the preliminary finding aid.  Right now, we are polishing the finding aid, applying the appropriate metadata, and gearing for our next stage: digitization!  Thus far 174 items from the Apperson papers have been selected for digitization, and, we are well on the road in the digital phase of our project.  More news of this to come…

In January we began working on the Paul Schaefer Collection.  This collection is profound in its size and complexity!  Paul Schaefer was a truly prolific environmental activist and conservationist.   Our first step in processing this collection was to go through every box, every sheet of paper, every photograph!  Today we have finished the last box of this initial sort and have drafted our series and sub-series arrangement schema for the collection.  It has been a truly powerful experience to see the length and breadth of Paul Schaefer’s impact and activity in the wilderness of New York.  Once again, more news to come!  I hope that you are all as excited to follow along on the journey of uncovering the minds and legacies of these two influential figures in the history of wilderness conservation and environmental grassroots activism. Stay tuned!