While on the Project the Penn State Team (Becky and Sue) had the opportunity to work with truly amazing colleagues.  Each contributed to the Project in immeasurable ways by offering their time, expertise and most importantly, their supportWe acknowledge with gratitude our indebtedness to each one.

Faculty and Staff from the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Marlene Burkhardt – From March 1985 to August 1986, Marlene served the University as its Information Specialist – Coordinator for Information Support Systems.  In this position she analyzed information systems requirements and proposed improved system configuration, and taught classes on various computer packages.  The Project Team turned to Marlene for help when we wanted to purchase a Personal Computer to assist us manage the mountain of data we were collecting.  We’ll never forget Marlene’s patience in helping two neophytes wrap their heads around this new technology.   Thanks Marlene!

Dr. Stuart Forth – As dean of the University Libraries during the Project years, with characteristic intelligence and foresight, Dean Forth recognized at the outset the importance of the statewide Project.  He decided that the Libraries would participate in the PA Newspaper Project.  Dr. Forth had also agreed that the Libraries would serve as one of the four regional cataloging sites.  He hired both Project staff, supported the Project by finding office space, and used his position to solicit statewide cooperation and to seek funds for the microfilming phase.  His administrative support from day one was invaluable.

Peter GottliebA strong supporter and close professional friend of the Project, Peter Gottlieb served as the head of the Historical Collections and Labor Archives for the duration of the PA Newspaper Project.  Peter generously relinquished one of his offices for the Project staff, which happened to be down the hallway from the Archives.  The close proximity of our offices allowed for frequent visits up and down the hallway.  In his role as an assistant professor in the Labor Studies Department at Pennsylvania State University, Peter had a natural curiosity in the Project’s goals to locate and catalog newspapers.  He was personally interested in “knowing” the holdings of the Libraries’ newspaper collections, held in eight different locations including his Archives, and of any discoveries of “up-until-then-unknown Labor-related” newspapers.

Dr. Wasyl Luciw – As Slavic Bibliographer for the University Libraries, the Project Team met with Dr. Luciw on several occasions to learn about the ethnic newspapers held by the Libraries and the titles he held in the Slavic Library.

Karen Nadeski – Karen served as the University Libraries Serials librarian and the “in-house” serials expert for the Project’s cataloging librarian.  When complex, sticky, difficult cataloging questions arose, Karen was our “go to” person. “What subfield do I use to record holdings for microforms or other reproductions?”  “How do I code the 521 ‘intended audience’ note?” these and countless other questions were posed to her especially in the early days of the Project in 1985.  Karen also served the Project by participating in designing the cataloging workform used by all the regional site catalogers.  Karen joined the Project Team by attending the Project’s initial cataloging training session held at the State Library in early February 1985.

Charles H. Ness – Mr. Ness came to Penn State in 1967 as assistant director of the University Libraries, after serving as director of the General Library Bureau of the State Library of Pennsylvania.  Previously he had been director of the U.S. Regional Library for the Blind based in Philadelphia.  Mr. Ness drafted press releases about the Project and helped to spread the word through the Libraries’ publicity networks.

Jack E. Pontius – Jack came to Pennsylvania State University as a reference librarian in 1972, where he achieved the academic rank of associate librarian.  He was the first librarian for the College of Communications and head of the Periodicals and Microforms Department at the University Libraries. He was nationally known for his expertise in micropublishing and his commitment to improving access to information technologies.  Jack was an early supporter of the Project – sharing his expertise in microfilming and specifically newspaper filming.  The Project Team met with Jack on occasion to stay current with national trends.

Keith E. Roe – Keith was head of the University Libraries’ Life Sciences Library from 1977-1990.  Keith contacted the Project Team asking what newspapers would be included in our work.  Keith was hoping that the backfile of the Lancaster Farming, Ephrata, PA qualified.  Unfortunately it didn’t.

Kathy Roos – Without a doubt, Kathy Roos was the most important member of the Project!  Over the course of three years she provided all of the secretarial services to the Project.  Each personalized letter was hand-written (no word-processing yet) for Kathy to decipher and then type on a manual typewriter.  The typed letters were then returned for proof-reading and mailing.  Hundreds upon hundreds of letters, reports, surveys and memos written on yellow tablet paper were sent to Kathy for her expert handling. THANK YOU Kathy!  We couldn’t have done our work without you.

Dr. Barbara J. Smith – Supervisor, Mentor, Role Model, and Friend.  In her capacity as Assistant Dean for the Commonwealth Campus Libraries at the Penn State University Libraries, Dr. Smith served the Project expertly in innumerable ways.  She was the Project Coordinator and Administrator; she served on the Technical Committee; she supervised the Project staff; she sought cooperation from her colleagues across the Commonwealth; she successfully addressed members of the General Assembly for funding; she participated in title selection discussions; she joined us on site visits to her hometown in Snyder County and also to Clearfield County; in short – she was a Project champion extraordinaire.   Throughout the entire Project Dr. Barbara Smith afforded us- with exact precision – leadership, enthusiasm, and autonomy.  Thanks for everything, Barbara!

Dr. Lee Stout – From 1974 to 2001, Lee served as University archivist and held the academic rank of librarian in the Libraries’ Special Collections Library.  Throughout his entire career Lee championed the ideals of preservation awareness and imparted his knowledge and expertise with library colleagues including the Project Team.  In 1985 the Project Team participated in his one-day workshop on historical archives and manuscripts.  Lee went on to author a number of articles on archival topics and Penn State history, and wrote the state assessment report, “Historical Records in Pennsylvania,” for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Suzanne Striedieck – As former serials librarian and head of the Bibliographic Resources and Services Division (BRSD) of the University Libraries, Suzanne served as the point person for the Project Team on all matters related to original cataloging, union listing, and accessing the OCLC database.  Suzanne reviewed our Project cataloging procedures and oversaw the Penn State site’s “hand-off” of completed workforms to the University of Pittsburgh for OCLC/CONSER cataloging.  Throughout the duration of the Project, Suzanne and serials librarian, Karen Nadeski, provided exceptional assistance and support.  They taught us the ‘ways of USNP cataloging’ and were always available to help with the interpretation of ambiguous cataloging rules.  Finally, a special thanks to Suzanne for serving as a reader/advisor for our 1986 “Challenges of On-Site Cataloging” CCQ article.

 Faculty and Staff from the Pennsylvania State University

Debbie Benedetti – When the Project Team needed to “get the word out” about the Project, the Penn State Project Team turned to Deborah Benedetti.  Then, and as is now, Debbie serves as a writer, editor, and outreach communicator for the Penn State University.  Debbie met with the Project Team on several occasions to write feature articles about the Project which in turn were picked up by at least 10 regional newspapers and appeared in University publications.

Dr. Tom Berner – Tom an Associate Professor at the Penn State’s School of Journalism was named to the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project’s Advisory Committee in 1983.  He started his journalism career right out of high school in 1961 and taught editing, news writing, depth reporting, public affairs reporting, magazine writing, feature writing, editorial writing, literature of journalism, technology and culture, research and writing for the mass media.  Tom supported the Project “before the Project was a Project” and remained a long-term friend of the USNP and the Penn State Project Team.

Professional Staff from the University of Pittsburgh, Hillman Library

Ruth Carter – As Assistant Director of Technical Services at the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Library,   Ruth served as supervisor of the University of Pittsburgh Project staff and held overall responsibility for quality control and coordination of the OCLC/CONSER cataloging for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  Ruth served as the Project’s liaison to other Pittsburgh repositories, served on the Project’s Technical Committee, and worked with PALINET on the creation of the statewide union list of holdings.  As there were no formal cataloging rules for newspapers until the USNP came along, the Penn State Team relied on Ruth and other serials catalogers at Pittsburgh and Penn State to interpret rules and answer our cataloging questions.  As Editor-in-Chief of the cataloging publication, Cataloging and Classification Quarterly (CCQ) in 1985, Ruth used the publication to highlight the cataloging aspects of the USNP and invited both the Penn State and Pittsburgh Project Teams to write articles on their cataloging in the field experiences, e.g. in attics, barns, basements, and in the homes of private citizens.

Faye Leibowitz – University of Pittsburgh’s Project staffer and cataloger extraordinaire, Faye had the distinct responsibility of verifying, authenticating, and approving the cataloging records from all four regional Project sites into the CONSER database; Pitt was the only full member of CONSER among the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project sites.  Faye and her colleague Cathy Sorensen and later Nancy Greene were also responsible for cataloging all of Pitts newspaper holdings held at the Hillman Library as well as newspapers found in their assigned 10-county western Pennsylvania area.  Since all of the Penn State Project workforms and holdings records went to Pitt for data entry, hours were spent in the University Libraries’ Photo-duplication shop copying all the paperwork for Faye.  And, once the forms reached Pitt, predictably Faye would call with questions.  Faye was gracious in allowing more flexibility in linking titles and in accepting our interpretation of cataloging rules.  A highlight of our working relationship was when Faye and Cathy joined the Penn State Team on a site visit in November 1985. The foursome visited the Luminary Office and Thelma Adams Print Shop in Lycoming County.  With four expert seasoned newspaper catalogers ready for “cataloging/record holdings/assessing for preservation” the work was finished in record time putting the group ahead of schedule for the remainder of the trip.

Rian McIrvine-Miller  – In her role as a PALINET service support representative, Rian facilitated training sessions in Local Data Record (LDR) creation and in union listing for the field catalogers.  PALINET, a regional library cooperative, provided the needed “networking” tools for the statewide cooperative cataloging and data exchange.

Colleagues from the State Library

David Hoffman – David was the Visionary, Convener, and Leader of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  When David received the NEH announcement that applications were being accepted for USNP planning grants (in 1983), David jumped at the opportunity.  As Director of the State Library, David enjoyed exceptional collaborative inter-institutional cooperation in the Commonwealth, and set out to convene experts and representatives of the agencies who would work together to “pull Pennsylvania into the national newspaper program.”   And he did just that.  David and his committees went on to apply to NEH multiple times to fund the cataloging and microfilming phases of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  At the time Pennsylvania joined the USNP in 1985, according to Dr. Harold Cannon’s 1986 article that appeared in CCQ, “Pennsylvania was among the six states who won both planning and implementation grants in the first two years of the full program.”  Pennsylvania also had the unique designation as being the first state in the USNP to conduct field work; field work conducted by the Penn State Project site.   As the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project Director, David’s responsibilities included overall direction of the entire Project and its budget.  He chaired and convened meetings of the Advisory and Technical Committees, reviewed progress of the four regional cataloging sites, and ensured project objectives were met.  By December 1990, the Project concluded its 8-year life span under David’s leadership having received $1,903,193 in NEH funds.  These nearly $2M funds from NEH enabled the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project to locate and catalog 7,921 newspaper titles, to create 66,350 local holdings records and  microfilm 3,055,454 Pennsylvania newspaper pages.  Thank you David!

Colleagues from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

David FraserIn his role as Librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), David served as supervisor of the HSP Project team and served as the Project’s liaison to other Philadelphia repositories.  David also served on the initial Pennsylvania Newspaper Project Steering Committee in 1983, in large part due to the fact that the HSP held the second largest collections of Pennsylvania newspapers in the Commonwealth.

William “Bill” Hamill – Bill joined the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project as the Project’s Microfilming Coordinator in July 1986.  In this capacity, and working from the HSP Project site, Bill was responsible for managing the entire microfilming program.  Bill developed lists of papers to be filmed based on the notes, pleadings from field catalogers, and the recommendations from the Technical Committee.  Bill also sought the advice of local and county historical organizations when choices among several possible papers that addressed the same audience needed to be made.  Bill and his staff assistant were also responsible for “gathering” the papers for filming, notifying the filmer of pick-up, and ensuring that papers were returned after filming.   Unfortunately funding for microfilming ran out way too soon resulting in far fewer titles being microfilmed as planned or hoped for.

Colleagues from the Library of Congress

Robert “Bob” B. Harriman, Jr. – Bob served the USNP as the Library of Congress’ Technical Coordinator.  Bob was responsible for sharing accepted cataloging practices, processing procedures, tips, tricks and  rule interpretations with each of the USNP participates including the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  Bob was the “face” of the USNP.  In 1984 he authored the Newspaper Cataloging Manual: CONSER/USNP Edition which was considered the “Bible” for Project cataloging.  He worked closely with Pennsylvania Newspaper Project’s Technical Committee, Project Director David Hoffman and with Bill Hamill the Project’s Microfilming Coordinator.  In 1985 Bob attended a Pennsylvania Newspaper Project’s cataloging meeting where he shared work experiences from other USNP participants and discussed what “plagued” catalogers working in the field.  Bob was the guy we turned to to resolve cataloging inconsistencies and keep us on the USNP track.  In 1989 Bob visited the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project again, this time visiting the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and made a visit to the Project’s microfilming vendor, IMR, Inc. facility in Camp Hill, PA.

Todd Butler – Todd served the USNP as the OCLC database Quality Control Librarian and LDR contact for all the USNP participants including the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  Todd later accepted a position in the Library of Congress’ Serials Record Division.  In 1990 he prepared The Newspaper Cataloging and Union Listing Manual for the USNP.

Officials from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Dr. Harold Cannon – Dr. Cannon served as the Director of the Office of Preservation at the National Endowment for the Humanities during the USNP days.  He was instrumental in shepherding the cooperative agreements established in 1984 with OCLC and the Library of Congress to provide the USNP with the desired online cataloging tools.  And, as the USNP moved from selected national repositories (six repositories initially) to statewide projects, Dr. Cannon’s office along with the Library of Congress shared in the overall management of the USNP – the Endowment offering funding support while the Library of Congress provided the technical guidelines.  According to Dr. Cannon’s 1986 Cataloging and Classification Quarterly article “The National Endowment for the Humanities and the United States Newspaper Program,” from the Endowment’s standpoint there were two paramount in managing the projects:  “productivity and preservation.”  From the very beginning, Dr. Cannon recognized the need to preserve fragile newspaper pages through means of microfilming.  In fact, not until the USNP came along newspapers were considered ephemera with little or no bibliographic control.  The fact that the United States Newspaper Program was placed in NEH’s Office of Preservation speaks volumes to the importance of the USNP being a preservation initiative and that the USNP would serve as a model for future large scale preservation efforts.  Thank you NEH for your funding support which enabled us to describe and preserve Pennsylvania’s newspaper publishing heritage!

Jeffery Field – Jeff served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Preservation for the National Endowment for the Humanities under Dr. Harold Cannon during the USNP days.  Like Dr. Cannon, Jeffrey recognized the USNP as a preservation program.  He wrote in his 1986 “Forward” article in The United States Newspaper Program:  Cataloging Aspects:  “The end result of the USNP will not only be the vastly enhanced access to newspapers provided by an online database and numerous offline bibliographic products, but also the preservation of hundreds of titles important for research.  To this end, cataloging is in service to preservation, for detailed holdings records will furnish information enabling states and institutions to fill gaps and complete runs.”

Important Local Contributors

Mr. David ShellenbergerHistorian, teacher, curator, scholar and friend.  More times than we care to count, David came to our rescue in the most adverse of conditions during our visits to Juniata County.  For a true sense of his commitment and absolute goodness, please read the Vignette entitled Juniata County: The Court House, The Juniata Globe, and Tuscarora Academy.  For who you were and all you did, David, our hats are off to you!

Mrs. Nancy Shedd – President of the Huntingdon County Historical Society.  She was the author of 1979 Huntingdon County Newspapers:  A Finding List, published by the Historical Society.  With Dr. Mark Wilson, Nancy raised $2,000 in matching funds to film titles in Huntingdon County, and assisted in making titles selections. Nancy was a dedicated, involved curator of the Huntingdon County Historical Society who actively sought to collect as complete as possible a file of the County’s newspapers.  Nancy assisted us throughout several visits to Huntingdon County, and sponsored a slide presentation of the Project for local citizens.

Dr. Mark Wilson – Dr. Wilson was Library Director at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, and a strong supporter of the Project.  In collaboration with Mrs. Nancy Shedd, Dr. Wilson helped to secure $2,000 in matching funds to advance the microfilming of newspapers in Huntingdon County, and aided in selection of titles to be filmed for that county.   Known for his early expertise in computers and technology, Mark was featured in “Build Yourself a Generic Computer”, a 30-minute video cassette which provided a clear demonstration of how to build a generic computer composed of standard, interchangeable parts.

And finally …

We are most grateful to all the folks throughout our 30-County region without whose help work on the Project would be far less complete.  Many of them are mentioned throughout the Monthly Reports and the Vignettes.

We extend special thanks to the many supportive and enthusiastic Newspaper Publishers who ran articles explaining the Project and flushing out missing titles. The list also includes Curators, Historians,  Librarians, Library Directors, Antique Dealers, Presidents of Historical Societies, School Principals, and perhaps most significantly, the Private Citizens and Collectors who shared their love of newspaper history with us.

Several folks corresponded with us on a variety of issues; here are a few:

George Scott, Clearfield County Historical Society

Gladys Murray, Centre County Library and Historical Museum

Robert Currin, Potter County Historical Society

Gary Slear, Union County Historical Society

Dr. Charles Snyder, Historian and Author

Charles Mensch, Historian and Author

Edgar “Ted’ Fenstermacher, Historian and Author

Dean Slusser, Berwick Historical Society

Dr. Catherine M. Hastings, Publisher, Milton Standard

Hugh Jones, Northumberland County Historical Society; see VignetteThe Vault

Jack Hetrick, Northumberland County Historical Society; see VignetteThe Vault

Mrs. Louisa Jackson, Tioga Point Museum; see Vignette: Tioga Point Museum

Helen Landmesser, Bradford County Historical Society

John Brockway, Editor and Private Collector

Hobart “Ho” Baker, Publisher, McClure Plain Dealer

“Doc” Shoemaker, Publisher and Mrs. Stefana Shoemaker, Librarian, Dushore, Sullivan County

Ned Frear, Publisher, Bedford Gazette

Sue Topfer, Librarian, Wilkes College

Stephanie Gruber, Editor and Publisher, Mountaintop Eagle

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bosak, Private citizens

J. Clair Simler, Philipsburg Historical Foundation

Edward “Ed” Gildea, Publisher, Valley Gazette. See Vignette: Edward “Ed” Gildea

Joe Boyle, Columnist and Ex-newspaperman, Jim Thorpe

Rebecca Gross, Newspaperwoman, Reporter. See Vignette: Rebecca Gross – A Pennsylvania Pioneer

Viola Pletcher, Early Newspaperwoman and Reporter.  See Vignette: Viola Alta Pletcher

Tim Hughes, Newspaper Dealer and Collector

Vladimir Geeza, Publisher.  See VignetteVladimir Geeza – Will he or Won’t he?

Margaret (Peggy) Kelly, Librarian.  See Vignette: Bloomsburg University

Jo Crosby, Bloomsburg University

Tom Schott, Managing Editor, Courier Express

Anne H. Keller, Centre Daily Times

Michael Sullivan, Centre Daily Times

Joan Maurer, New Berlin Heritage Association

Harris “Harry” Lemon, Publisher, Mifflinburg Telegraph

Roger V. Fromm, Archivist, Bloomsburg University

Edna Lynn, Columbia County Historical Society

Mrs. Mary Gillette, Mather Memorial Library

Carol Sneider, Rocket-Courier

Marilyn Tidlow, Spalding Memorial Library

Scott Gitchell, Tioga County Historical Society

Don Fryday, Wellsboro Gazette

Andy Lychalk, Free-Press Courier

Marie Pepero, Free-Press Courier

Deborah Watkins, Elkland Journal

Anna Nicka, Potter Enterprise



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