The University of Evansville received a generous donation from the family of Dr. Mary Ellingson including several original letters and a photo album detailing her experience on a pivotal archaeological dig in Olynthus, Greece in 1931. This stayed on a shelf for many years until Dr. Kaiser rediscovered it. He became fascinated with the material and studied it in order to write a book.
My job has been to preserve the material that the University has both electronically and in the library. I created a system to electronically store all of the transcripts of the letters, paperwork, and articles. I also scanned all the handwritten letters so that if anyone wanted to check my transcription they could. The original and photocopied documents were then each placed in an individual acid free folder for their protection and stored in a document box. There are two document boxes one for photocopies and another for originals. Each folder was labeled with three things. First, type of document: letter, article, or paperwork. Second, its date or the estimated date if one could be assigned to it. Lastly, it was labeled with a detail or title of the specific document.
My next task was to conserve the album. First the Browning Miller intern and I photographed each page to preserve the original context of the photos. Next we scanned each individual photo. All of these photos were then organized electronically in order for them to be accessed easily. The most crucial aspect of this project was putting the album back together. It was very important to obtain special materials to protect the original photos and paper. The end result was a fully protected album that will be around for future generations to study and enjoy.
Make sure you check out the Ellingson display, which will be set up in the university library cases from April 7th to April 28th. SAHA will be receiving a special presentation on the Ellingson artifacts on April 14th at 8pm. Go to Hyde 8 and we will begin from there!