Special Collections and Archives blog

December 10, 2014
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Digital Exhibits Past and Present

Eighteen online exhibits reveal the richness and complexity of the Colorado plateau and related subjects through images, documents, oral histories, videos, and more.

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December 4, 2014
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Martin Litton: Ran his last rapid on November 30, 2014

Martin Litton, 1984. Photo courtesy of the PT Reilly Collection.

Martin Litton, 1984. Photo courtesy of the PT Reilly collection.

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Martin Litton on November 30, 2014 at the age of 97. Martin Litton fit several lifetimes in his 97 years. He graduated from UCLA in 1938 with a degree in English and enlisted in the Navy during World War II, where he served as a pilot, flying glider planes. Following the war, he worked as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times in the 1940s and 1950s, writing on the subjects of travel and conservation.

It was through his writing on issues related to conservation at the Times that David Brower, director of the Sierra Club, first became acquainted with Martin. Brower and Litton became close friends, fellow Sierra Club members, and tireless crusaders who advocated for the protection of numerous beautiful natural resources in the United States, including the Redwood Creek (CA), Dinosaur National Park (AZ), Diablo Canyon (CA), and the Colorado River (AZ).

Martin Litton at Mile 245.2 on the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, July 13, 1962. Photo courtesy of PT Reilly collection.

Martin Litton at Mile 245.2 on the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, July 13, 1962. Photo courtesy of PT Reilly collection.

David Brower, Glen Canyon, 1962. Photo courtesy of Tad Nichols collection.

David Brower, Glen Canyon, 1962. Photo courtesy of Tad Nichols collection.

Litton, and his wife Esther, were introduced to Grand Canyon through a Colorado River trip guided by Plez Talmadge “PT” Reilly in 1955. PT Reilly was an experienced Colorado River guide and Southwest historian, who took Martin and Esther on their first river trip on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon. The experience was so profound that Martin eventually started his own river running company called Grand Canyon Dories, which used wooden boats and oars as opposed to the much more popular motorized rubber rafts. Martin founded and operated Grand Canyon Dories from 1971-1989. Martin and Esther were among the first 300 people to run the Colorado River through Grand Canyon and Martin holds the record for the oldest person to run the Colorado River at the age of 89. Martin maintained a love for and relationship with the Colorado for nearly sixties years.

PT Reilly and Martin Litton, on the Colorado River, standing in front of a dory, 1984. Photo courtesy of the PT Reilly collection.

PT Reilly and Martin Litton, on the Colorado River, standing in front of a dory, 1984. Photo courtesy of the PT Reilly collection.

Tapestry Wall, Glen Canyon, circa 1950. Photo courtesy of the Dick Sprang collection.

Tapestry Wall, Glen Canyon, circa 1950. Photo courtesy of the Dick Sprang collection.

Litton may be best known for his environmental activism. Martin is closely associated with the fight to save Glen Canyon and the failed effort to prevent the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. David Brower, Edward Abbey, Katie Lee, and Litton fought fiercely and valiantly to raise awareness of and preserve the pristine beauty of Glen Canyon that would eventually be drowned and buried by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. Litton and Brower wrote a wonderful piece on the tragedy in the Sierra Club Bulletin titled, “Should We also Flood the Sistine Chapel so Tourists Can Get Nearer the Ceiling?” The construction of the Glen Canyon Dam and the lost of Glen of Canyon was a painful and deep blow to Brower, Litton, Abbey, and Lee, all of whom took the loss very personally. Although the effort to save Glen Canyon was unsuccessful, Litton and Brower were able to prevent two other dams from being built on the Colorado River (Bridge Canyon Dam and Marble Canyon Dam), which would have altered the landscape and natural beauty of Grand Canyon.

Sierra Club Bulletin Decrying the Glen Canyon Dam, 1965. Photo courtesy of the PT Reilly collection.

Sierra Club Bulletin Decrying the Glen Canyon Dam, 1965. Photo courtesy of the PT Reilly collection.

Although it’s too late to thank Martin for the work he did to preserve the natural areas that many of us enjoy today, the next time you find yourself in a protected wildness area, remember Martin and the others that made that experience possible.

Martin’s archival legacy is housed at the Cline Library Special Collections and Archives. His collection reflects his activities with Grand Canyon Dories, environmental activism, and advocacy, and his personal life. The finding aid for Martin’s collection can be found here on the Arizona Archives Online. Selections from Martin’s collection, such as images, oral histories, business records, and articles can be found here on the Cline Library’s Special Collections and Archives Colorado Plateau Archives.

November 24, 2014
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The Ghosts from Exhibits Past….

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Technically, summer is over, and winter is coming. In the short span we call “fall” here, is when we change over from the past exhibit to the current one. Such change almost always makes us  here at Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives (SCA) think of exhibits past. Sometimes with fond memories!

My memory today revolves around our first “social media” experiment at promoting an exhibit- in this case the 2009 “Route 66 in Arizona: Don’t Forget Winona!” exhibit. We developed a plan to have (beyond the de rigueur exhibit web site) a blog and a Flickr page that would support the exhibit. The rationale being that we could reach out to people interested in Route 66   and promote the exhibit; and through Flickr, we could give folks a place to post photos that they felt graphically  defined Route 66 in Arizona.

Although the blog wasn’t as successful as we had hoped for as a venue for folks to discuss higher-order Route 66 topics, the Flickr site ponied up a few hundred images by the time the exhibit ended and continued to grow at a constant, if not slow pace thereafter.

Five years later, the “Route 66 in Arizona: Don’t Forget Winona!” Flickr site now has nearly 2,800 shared images, and more than 130 members with submissions arriving almost daily. In August it seemed high time to sit down and do the analysis we hoped would be possible: use the Flickr images to see what people think graphically defines Route 66 in Arizona.

Given the success of the Flickr page, we reviewed over 2,000 images for place and content, allowing for up to two “subjects” per picture. We defined 33 separate geographic locations for Route 66 in Arizona, spanning the state from end to end. “Subjects” were broken down into categories: Roadside Architecture (then further to Signs, Stores, Motels/Hotels, Restaurants, etc.), Transportation (Automobiles, Trucks, Railroads, Planes, etc.), Landscape, Roads, People, Street Scenes, Animals and Food.

The geographic results showed that while every site (or place name) had at least one image, overwhelmingly the western locations in Arizona out-numbered those from the east; and not surprisingly Seligman was the one place name with the greatest number of images – 304 out of 1,250 identifiable locations. Other popular sites included Kingman with 115 images, Williams with 100, and Holbrook with 85. The largest subject category was roadside architecture with 893 images, followed by landscapes at 197, and transportation with 132.

Within the roadside architecture subject category, signs represented the overwhelming majority with 386 images, while motels/hotels and restaurants/cafes each having 105 images contributed to the site.

Thus- signs, especially those in Seligman would seem to typify what many of our 135 photographer friends consider to be definitive of Route 66 images/iconography. I promise a more in-depth review of our data, and perhaps some commentary from our Flickr friends later this year in some semi-respectable online location. Watch this space.

Meanwhile- enjoy our online Route 66 exhibit , and view the attendant Flickr site -many of these images are simply fantastic.

Today our endeavors into “social media” continue to expand. We are contributors to Historypin, a digital, user-generated archive of historical photos, videos, audio recordings and personal recollections; we’ve contributed content from three of our collections that highlighting the Colorado River and Route 66 (http://www.historypin.com/uid53522/channels/view/53522/#!photos/list/ ).  Building on the success of social media associated with our exhibits, SCA is exploring the use of QR codes and #hashtags  with the John Running Exhibit “Offerings to the Gods of Light and Shadow“, which opened to the public on Friday, October 17, 2014.

Despite the wonderful images you can find via social media venues we contribute to and are recipients of via Flickr, please know that there are over 10 million items in the Cline Library Special Collections and Archives. We have over 2000 images from 12 different photographic collections of documenting Route 66,  the various alignments of the Mother Road from Kansas to California, from as early as the 1920s to present. View them at our digital archives, and be sure to enjoy a trip down Route 66 – or your favorite “blue highway”. Hey…and don’t forget to send  images of your travels on Route 66 to our Flickr page!

November 14, 2014
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Planning for Cold Storage

In a post to the blog earlier this summer, Special Collections and Archives shared news about a grant that Cline Library received from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant program.

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This two-year planning grant will provide Cline Library with a comprehensive understanding of the infrastructural, sustainability, and preservation implications when installing a large cold storage room for SCA’s rare and valuable primary source visual material (photos, films, oral history) collections. It has been determined that a colder storage environment for these materials greatly extends their integrity and longevity. While colder environments will benefit a very broad range of formats, it will particularly assist at-risk acetate negatives (including motion picture films) and color-based negatives and transparencies that will degrade and lose color much more readily at room temperature. SCA estimates that it will need a space that can accommodate approximately 2000 linear feet of material, which accounts for existing collections and future growth. Below is a map that highlights the 8,050 square feet that make up the department’s storage environment for all collections.

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On November 6-7, project managers from the university’s Facilities Services unit and Cline Library staff met with the Director of the Image Permanence Institute, James Reilly. Reilly had been identified in the grant as a critical consulting voice when working with the forthcoming team of outside engineers and architects tasked with designing this space.  Reilly learned more about the project’s goals, was given a thorough tour of the entire library (including a detailed overview of the library’s mechanical systems), and provided instruction on appropriate environmental monitoring. At the end of his visit he gave the project team a debrief and provided some informal first impressions. A more comprehensive report will be made available to the library at a later date.

The NEH grant also supported the purchase of ten PEM2 Dataloggers and an associated subscription to eClimateNotebook that will enable Cline Library/SCA to better understand its internal temperature and relative humidity (RH) from year to year, particularly in relation to the exterior environment. Monitoring will be especially informative through Northern Arizona’s monsoon season (July-September), as casual monitoring thus far has intimated that the RH greatly increases when compared to the rest of the year when the environment is much dryer. Datalogger monitoring will take place throughout the duration of the grant cycle and beyond. Trends and analysis from these data will be used to help inform the necessary infrastructure requirements to sustainably maintain a responsible, long-term environment for materials requiring cold storage.

Simultaneously, a comprehensive survey of acetate degradation will be undertaken using A-D strips. These strips will be applied in a manner that will provide statistically valid data regarding the overall status of acetate degradation with materials on this format. Informally referred to as ‘vinegar syndrome,’ acetate-based negatives and motion picture films will degrade and break down, producing a familiar vinegar odor. When this phenomenon is observed, action is required – and soon. Cold storage greatly reduces the speed at which vinegar syndrome causes deterioration of these formats. In the coming days/weeks, A-D strip monitoring will occur in tandem with the PEM2 Datalogger recording as a form of both macro and micro-level environmental monitoring in the department. SCA currently undertakes a monthly monitoring activity associated with its integrated pest management program to ensure any potential insect/pest issues are quickly mitigated and/or prevented.

This project is of significant importance for Cline Library. SCA looks forward to sharing any new information with you as it becomes available.

October 29, 2014
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Halloween in the NAU Newspaper!

In the lead-up to Halloween, SCA staff thought it would be fun to highlight Halloween as articulated through NAU’s student newspaper, The Pine and The Lumberjack.  We have chosen to highlight just one issue per decade (as available), but there are over 300 individual issues of the newspaper that mention ‘Halloween’ in some capacity. Due to the hard work of many folks, the first 100 years of the student newspaper is now available (and searchable!) through the SCA site. Check out the newspaper in its entirety here.

October 29, 1935

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“Delta Psi Kappa, national physi­cal education sorority, entertained the patronesses, alumni and the women majors and minors in phy­sical education at an appropriate Founder’s day party Monday eve­ning, in Morton hall parlor. Dorothy Harrington, chaplain, assisted by the active and alumni members commemorated the found­ing of the sorority 19 years ago, in the national service. A Halloween party, with games, stunts and noisemakers followed and refreshments were served.”

   October 27, 1949

1949

“American Women Students have announced their annual Hallowe’en house party will be held Monday night, Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. This party, for women only, will be held in Morton Hall basement. Prizes will be awarded for the best disguised, the funniest, the prettiest, and the most original masqueraders.”

October 27, 1954

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“Those fanatic artists are at it again! Members of the Mu Alpha Delta, campus art club, are plan­ning the annual Halloween Ball, Friday, Oct. 29, in the women’s gymnasium at 9 p.m. Heading the decorations committee is John Davidson. He and his fellow workers have planned the traditional pallets holding can­dles for the tables, a huge mobile to hang in the center of the gym, and of course the classic versions of ghosts, goblins and jack-o-lanterns.”

October 20, 1961

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“The first annual Halloween Gymkhana will be held a week from Sunday, October 29, at the ASC Stadium Parking Lot, at 1 p.m. The Gymkhana is an automobile obstacle race sponsored by the ASC Sports Car Club. There will be three classes consisting of American Cars, Economy Compact, and Sports Cars.”

October 20, 1977

 1977

“If you happen to see some odd-looking creatures roaming around Married Housing, don’t be alarmed. They are only girls from High Rise.  Reversed trick-or-treat is the name of this residence hall project said Virginia Tooker, residence hall director of High Rise.”

October 30, 1986

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“An all campus Halloween bash at South Activity Center will kick off the festivities with dancing, a disc jockey, munchies, costume con­tests and prizes from 9 p.m. to mid­night Friday and is free for those dressed in costume. SAC, Sechrist, High Rise, Tinsley and Cowden are sponsoring the event.”

October 28, 1998

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“The other way to celebrate this Halloween is at Pandemonium at Flagstaff’s Old Post Office. Arizona’s top DJ talents include: Aud, David Skye, Alex Ruiz, DSL and Rhee will be raising hell this Saturday to a costumed crowd with the 15,000 watts of sound in the local club’s arena.”

October 24, 2001

2001

“If you want to see how crazy your guests can get, I suggest a good ol’ scavenger hunt. The list of items to collect could include: a set of vampire teeth, a roll of toilet paper, the head of a Barbie doll, a plastic spider, an unused pack­age of Ramen noodles (use them for brains later) and a lock of a virgin’s hair. As NAU is bordered on three sides by cemeteries, the scavenger hunt never ends until someone gets haunted, right?”

October 31, 2013

 2013

 “A student tradition, Taylor Hall’s Haunted House is ready to satisfy one’s taste for the grisly and gruesome once more. Hosted within the University Fieldhouse and put on by a team of volunteers, it features a series of rooms filled with bloodied and costumed students, some in plain sight and others hidden, ready to put on a show. Poised to jump and scream and receive the same in return from the guests passing through, playing the deranged part of some horror film escapee, this lurid assemblage of actors will be sure to provide a heavy dose of adrenaline.”

Happy Halloween from Special Collections and Archives!

October 22, 2014
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John Running Exhibit Reception

On October 17th, 2014, Special Collections and Archives fêted the opening of its latest exhibit, Offerings to the Gods of Light and Shadow: Selections from the John Running Collection. Over seventy-five attendees (friends, families, colleagues) graced the space in SCA to celebrate the life and photographic career of local photographer John Running. SCA’s very own student worker, Lara Gabrielsen, took the wonderful images you see in this post. Thanks Lara!

John Running, Cinda Nofziger, Jonathan Pringle

John Running, Elizabeth M. and P.T. Reilly Intern Cinda Nofziger, Project Manager and Curator of Visual Materials Jonathan Pringle

The festivities got started at 4 p.m. and continued until 6 p.m. In attendance were some campus media outlets, including a reporter from The Lumberjack (NAU student newspaper) and a photographer from NAU Marketing.  In addition to John’s friends, family, and colleagues, Cline Library and NAU staff/faculty were also part of the reception.

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Director of Development and Communications Kathleen Schmand and Archivist R. Sean Evans

John Running and Library Dean Cynthia Childrey

John Running and Library Dean Cynthia Childrey

Assistant Director of Development Ellen Kennedy and Assistant Dean Jill Koelling

Assistant Director of Development Ellen Kennedy and Assistant Dean Jill Koelling

Bruce Aiken, John Running

Artist Bruce Aiken and John Running

College of Arts and Letters Dean Michael Vincent and Cynthia Childrey

College of Arts and Letters Dean Michael Vincent and Cynthia Childrey

John Running, Stephen Saunders, and Corey Allen

John Running, Stephen Saunders, and Corey Allen

Cynthia Childrey and Jonathan Pringle

Cynthia Childrey and Jonathan Pringle

Head of Special Collections and Archives Peter Runge, John Running, Cynthia Childrey

Head of Special Collections and Archives Peter Runge, John Running, Cynthia Childrey

John Running and Provost Laura Huenneke

John Running and Provost Laura Huenneke

Library Specialist Sr. Cindy Summers, Building Coordinator Lauri Budzinski, and Digital Access Library Specialist, Sr. Jess Vogelsang.

Library Specialist Sr. Cindy Summers, Building Coordinator Lauri Budzinski, and Digital Access Library Specialist, Sr. Jess Vogelsang.

Tony Crum and Digital Access Librarian Todd Welch

Tony Crum and Digital Access Librarian Todd Welch

A short 20 minute presentation began once more guests arrived. Peter, Cynthia, Jonathan, Cinda, and the man of honor John Running gave a few remarks. John shared that October 17th was a significant day for his family: exactly four years ago to the day, his and Shelley’s daughter Amara became a United States citizen.

Director of Planned Giving Anne Morgan, Benita Boyd, Head of Special Collections and Archives Peter Runge, and Ellen Kennedy

Director of Planned Giving Anne Morgan, Benita Boyd, Peter Runge, and Ellen Kennedy

Shelley Claude with daughters Amara and Sophie

Shelley Claude with daughters Amara and Sophie

Shelley Claude

Shelley Claude

There were some light food selections provided for attendees from NAU catering.

Reception cake

Reception cake

Catering in the Presidents' Room

Catering in the Presidents’ Room

We had a blast helping put this exhibit together for all of you. Please come and visit us during our normal hours of operation (Monday-Thurs. 9-6, Friday 9-5) OR explore our virtual website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Oh! And please be sure to visit Cline Library’s Facebook and Twitter pages and share comments, questions and feedback with us.

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Jonathan Pringle and Cinda Nofziger in the exhibit’s studio space – designed for taking images and sharing online using social media

October 13, 2014
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Offerings to the Gods of Light and Shadow: Selections from the John Running Collection. Exhibit Opening, October 20, 2014

Entry and title of exhibit. The image to the left is of one of John's favorite models, Bernadette and her daughters.

Entry and title of exhibit. The image to the left is of one of John’s favorite models, Bernadette Chavez and her daughters.

The Cline Library and Special Collections and Archives are excited to announce the opening of the John Running exhibit, “Offerings to the Gods of Light and Shadow: Selections from the John Running Collection,” on Monday, October 20, 2014. The exhibit is a retrospective of John Running’s 40 plus year career as a photographer and artist based in Flagstaff, Arizona.

John Running, sitting in the "studio" as the exhibit is being installed.

John Running, sitting in the “studio” as the exhibit is being installed.

Cinda Nofziger was the Elizabeth M. and P.T. Reilly Intern who curated the exhibited under the supervision of the Curator for Visual Materials, Jonathan Pringle. Cinda is a graduate student at the University of Michigan’s Information Science program.

Curator of Visual Materials and Exhibit Supervisor, Jonathan Pringle.

Curator of Visual Materials and Exhibit Supervisor, Jonathan Pringle, sitting for a portrait in the “studio”.

The exhibit highlights John’s photography career and includes selections that touch on his documentary work, portraitures, project-based photographs, and the print making process. The exhibit includes powerful and poignant images of Southwest Native Americans, the Tarahumara of northern Mexico, Palestine in the early 1990s, and several models he worked with over his career.

One compelling aspect of the exhibit is the inclusion of selections from John’s personal journals that correspond with several of the images. This “archival diptych” provides a glimpse into the artist’s mind at the time the photographs were created. It’s rare and exciting to have this type of insight into an artist’s process and life.

Pat Lauderdale, CO Bar Ranch. Photo and journal entry by John Running.

Pat Lauderdale, CO Bar Ranch. Photo and journal entry by John Running.

Social media will play an informational and fun role in the exhibit. We added QR codes to many of the images so visitors can learn more about particular images and projects. There’s also a QR code that connects with the virtual version of the exhibit. In an effort to engage visitors, we added a small, functioning  “studio” in the exhibit, where visitors can sit in one of John’s studio chairs and have their image taken. We’re asking that everyone tag their images with #JohnRunningCline. Whether you see the exhibit in person or virtually, we encourage you to “like us” (@NAUCL and @JohnRunning), “follow us” (@NAUClineLibrary and @JohnRunning), or “tag us” (#JohnRunningCline) using your favorite flavor of social media.

Social Media Handles for the Exhibit and QR Code for the Online Version of the Exhibit.

Social Media Handles for the Exhibit and QR Code for the Online Version of the Exhibit.

Links to previous posts about the John Running exhibit by Cinda Nofziger and Jonathan Pringle are available as are additional selections from the John Running collection via our digital archives.

The exhibit will be open to the public from Monday, October 20, 2014 to September 30, 2015 during Special Collections and Archives hours of operation.

 

October 13, 2014
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The Things you find lurking in your collections…

There I was, minding my own business, sorting through the Bill Belknap photo collection, looking for representative images of the Grand Canyon to upload to our Historypin profile. I was trying to emphasize Belknap’s great Grand Canyon and river images, and became sort of captivated by the jet-boat Colorado River up-river run story Belknap so thoroughly documented on film. It therefore seemed logical to try a new search: “Belknap boats”. Sure, I found a whole array of images of motorboats, kayaks, inflatables, dories and what have you in the Grand Canyon on the river, but I also found a few real gems- images Belknap took at Lake Mead in 1955 of a boat race. There, among images of hydroplane boats, and the “pits” for the boats was an image of Donald Campbell getting into his Bluebird K7 preparing to try to set a Water Speed Record (WSR) and managing a blistering 216.2 m.p.h. on the lake on that November day.

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We’re obviously used to finding images of important people and events in our archives, but perhaps not quite of the celebrity caliber of Mr. Campbell. The son of  Land Speed Record (LSR) and WSR holder Sir Malcolm Campbell, Donald Campbell not only tried for and set speed records on water, but also on land (he had gone over 403 m.p.h. in Australia, just shy of American Craig Breedlove’s record of 407 at Bonneville), and in fact his goal was to set both records in the same year- an LSR in a rocket powered Bluebird CN7 and a WSR in a heavily modified Bluebird K7- then retire as the world’s obvious king of speed.

Tragically, Campbell was killed while attempting to go more than 300 m.p.h. on the water at Coniston, Lancashire in early 1967. Between them, the Campbells held nearly a dozen Water and Land Speed Records.

That sort of puts an image of boating on the Colorado River into a whole other perspective, yes?

September 25, 2014
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Launching Exhibits in SCA

With just over three weeks until the opening of our next exhibit, “Offerings to the Gods of Light and Shadow: Selections from the John Running Collection,” we felt it might be apropos to give folks a chance to see a little bit behind the scenes. The month before an exhibit opening is usually a frenetic, fast-paced time in our department. Many of our staff are on lock-down, focusing exclusively on preparing aspects of both our physical and complementary virtual exhibits. By this point, printing, framing and matting supplies have been ordered and piles are being formed for freshly-printed photographs requiring intricate matting, while complementary text panels and scans of journal pages await mounting (either on foamcore or matboard).

Items stacked, awaiting mounting on foamcore or matboard

Items stacked, awaiting mounting on foamcore or matboard

Some things require more extensive editing. Our upcoming physical exhibit will feature–for the first time–a large printed timeline in lieu of a text-heavy biography of John Running. This timeline will be approximately 80 inches wide and 22 inches tall. Our printer can handle images of this size, but we don’t want to have to print more than one or two at most, so heavy editing after the first will ensure the second (and hopefully final) will be perfect. You will note the many annotations and sticky notes that were quickly affixed to our first draft below.

This timeline has been vetted by many staff and is ready for its final printing

This timeline has been vetted by many staff and is ready for its final printing

Another new feature to this exhibit will be different types of printer paper. While photographs and the timeline will be printed using our regular glossy photo paper, associated digitized journal pages will be printed on a matte paper. This will hopefully help the journals achieve a more authentic ‘paper’ look when presented next to John Running’s beautiful photography.

Our Epson Stylus Pro 7880 printer can print images as wide as 24 inches but infinitely long

Our Epson Stylus Pro 7880 printer can print images as wide as 24 inches but infinitely long

To adhere our text panels and digitized journal pages to their supports (either foamcore or matboard), we must first cut a piece of foamcore or matboard that matches the size of the item being mounted. A similar-sized piece of dry-mount paper is also cut to size that will act as the adhesive between the image on photo paper and the physical support. All of these pieces are then placed into the department’s dry-mount press at a temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-5 minutes.

The department's dry-mount press

The department’s dry-mount press

When everything has properly adhered and allowed to cool off under pressure, it is time to trim the items and create clean corners on the foamcore or matboard. Using a precise set of cutting tools, text panels and photographs are trimmed to exact measurements.

We cut each of our mounted panels and photographs with care and attention

We cut each of our mounted panels and photographs with care and attention

Our wall-mounted images require unique matting for each image. SCA staff will carefully evaluate each image to ensure that any matting applied to the printed photographs will not cut off any portion of the image. Aside from large-framed images, smaller images generally do not require any sort of dry-mounting. An attractive, smooth display for visitors is achieved when pressure is placed against the glass surface using the frame’s (hidden) metal brackets and braces.

SCA staff making adjustments to matting

SCA staff making adjustments to matting

The countdown is on! We’re looking forward to making our next exhibit a thoughtful symbiosis between John Running’s photography and his thought process underpinning the images he’s made. The hard work that SCA does to prepare this narrative is a big endeavor, but one that we feel we’re prepared for – having demonstrated success with it for over twenty years.

September 18, 2014
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Southside Market, 217 S. San Francisco Street

Growing up in Flagstaff, I’m familiar with much of the neighborhood histories and the built environment of Flagstaff. One of my childhood memories of Flagstaff is going to the grocery store located on the southside of the tracks at the corner of Butler Avenue and San Francisco Street. This grocery store, “La Ciudad de Mexico”, was built in the 1920s and it was “my” neighborhood grocery store. Eventually it became the Southside Market grocery store and then served as the home of several other establishments. The owners at that time I was growing up were Mary and Jose Cisterna. Mary was the daughter of Salvador Mier, the original owner of the store when it La Ciudad de Mexico.

La Ciudad de Mexico, located on 217 S. San Francisco Street, 1924. Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, NAU.PH.639.4

La Ciudad de Mexico, located on 217 S. San Francisco Street, 1924.
Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, NAU.PH.639.4

Southside Market, 217 S. San Francisco Street, 1978. Photo courtesy of Colorado Plateau Vertical Files.

Southside Market, 217 S. San Francisco Street, 1978.
Photo courtesy of Colorado Plateau Vertical Files.

Mary’s father, Salvador Mier, was born in 1883 in northern Spain and at the age of 12 he and a brother immigrated to Juarez, Mexico, escaping the impoverished conditions of Spain. At the age of 19, he entered the United States, where he first settled in San Francisco, California and then moved to Arizona.

Mier Family Sitting for Family Portrait, circa 1925. Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, NAU.PH.639.5

Mier Family Sitting for Family Portrait, circa 1925.
Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, NAU.PH.639.5

Mary Mier Cisterna, 217 S. San Francisco Street, circa 1978.  Photo courtesy Colorado Plateau Vertical Files.

Mary Mier Cisterna, 217 S. San Francisco Street, circa 1978.
Photo courtesy Colorado Plateau Vertical Files.

Salvador returned to Spain after marrying his first wife, Esperanza. After several set backs, he eventually he returned to Arizona and settled in Flagstaff, where he rented his first grocery store, “Eagle Store”, on Railroad Avenue (Santa Fe Street) in partnership with Firmin Cajias. Later he opened a second grocery store at 201 S. San Francisco Street. As his family and business grew, he found it necessary to build the two-story structure at 217 S. San Francisco Street, which became La Ciudad de Mexico. The building plans were for the first floor to be the general grocery store and their residence on the second floor. Mr. Mier and two local carpenters, Bruno Vasquez and Trinidad Juarez, and a local stonecutter were the labor of this old establishment.

The two-story building standing at 217 S. San Francisco Street today, that was formerly La Ciudad de Mexico and the Southside Grocery, has seen several other businesses come and go. The two most recent businesses that rented the space were the Dragon’s Plunder (1987-2006) and the AZ Bikes (2012-2014). Although the businesses using the building may come and go, much of the original character and charm of the original building remains today.

Dragon's Plunder, 217 S. San Francisco Street, circa 1995. Photo courtesy of Colorado Plateau Vertical Files.

Dragon’s Plunder, 217 S. San Francisco Street, circa 1995.
Photo courtesy of Colorado Plateau Vertical Files.

For additional information on the history of Flagstaff’s Southside, please consult the Colorado Plateau Vertical Files (http://tinyurl.com/nojcsb5) and Los Recuerdos del Barrio en Flagstaff oral history project (http://library.nau.edu/speccoll/exhibits/recuerdos/index.html).

~Delia Munoz