East Stroudsburg University
and The “Extended Site Visit”
East Stroudsburg University (ESU) was one of two sites with significant holdings that had to be inventoried, cataloged and LDRed in the field. Bloomsburg University was the other. It was decided that ESU would be tackled during an “extended stay” in the field. ESU generously agreed to host us and through their courtesy and support services, we literally camped out in one of the dorms for almost two weeks. Another two-week stint followed in Bath!
We would visit several other sites during this stay as we canvassed Monroe and Northampton Counties.
From the July 1-21, 1987 Monthly Report
Initial “holdings data” reports we had received from upcoming counties did not truly reflect what the institutions held. Follow-up phone calls revealed one library with 630+ titles [ESU], three libraries with 200 or more each, and two with 100+ each. We also located many more places we need to visit, which had not responded to our original surveys at all. None of this is new, but until we actually get into it, it is hard to predict what we will find.
On the plus side, most of the titles that we know about were searched and found on OCLC, so that will speed up work in the field.
As can be expected a tremendous amount of preparation has been involved in getting ready for this [site visit], and special thanks go to Denise Conklin, our Assistant, for painstakingly searching all 600+ titles of East Stroudsburg University on OCLC. Good work, Denise!
Several days were spent confirming the appointments that were tentatively in place in June. Some arrangements were reworked as various summer-scheduling problems arose: staff and contact people were away on vacation; collections being moved or shifted; shortened summer hours; broken air-conditioners (bring fans…), etc.
Sue searched OCLC for all institutions based on any lists they had sent us; input all Monroe and Northampton County titles on ZAC so we can have “HELP!” lists before we go ([to distribute at]our slide presentation) and updated Rossell printouts; she also created holdings folders for each large institution we need to visit.
It’s finally beginning to look as if we are ready!
As noted in the Introduction, East Stroudsburg University had offered to let us stay in the dorm for two weeks. From the Journal Entries below, it is quite apparent that Sue and I hadn’t lived in a dorm for quite some time…
Partial JOURNAL ENTRIES
Monday, July 27, 1987
We’re here, in Linden Hall, East Stroudsburg University!!
Arrived at 4:30 pm yesterday (Sun. 7/26). (Was a real chore unloading the car, walking 3 flights of stairs to our room, which was hot!!!).
Anyway, after about 3 trips, with rest periods in between we had everything unloaded and the fan turned on full tilt. (Sunday it was at least 90º – but cooler than previous days).
Around 7 pm found a Chinese restaurant and back to room for the night.
Ran fan all night long! Noises all night, at least until 3 am when all was quiet. There are campers everywhere – Diving kids, wrestling kids, etc., etc.
Up by 6:30 am – dressed and to the cafeteria for breakfast. $1.75 all you can eat. Tons of little kids eating or should I say wasting food.
8:15 am arrived at Kemp Library. Met w/Paul Beaty. He showed us where the Readex Collection was located and the microfilm collections.
Met Dr. Summers, Library Director, who signed release.
9:00 am Started to work. Decided to work w/Readex Collection. Organized the OCLC printouts by [microfilm] Box order and went to work.
Worked until 12:30 pm. Went to lunch…
1:40 pm back to work. Continued where we left off. Worked until 5:45 pm. Some jerk sat and stared at us working…
[after supper]… we reviewed slide show script and handouts – readied ourselves for tomorrow’s slide show. 89º but cooler…
Tuesday, July 28, 1985
Up early – ate cheese and bread and fruit in room for breakfast.
Left room at 8:30 am… hit the road south to the Northampton Co. Area Community College near Bethlehem.
Arrived at 9:35 am (show time 10:30 am). Met w/Dennis Phillips who had arrived early too, and the Librarian and Dean of the Library from Northampton Co. Area Comm. College. Dennis had rec’d replies from 20+ people coming to the show, and the room they had us set up was too small. So they, Librarian and Dennis searched for another room.
10:35 most of the people were present so we started the show.
We did our usual talk and intro – many people asked questions throughout the intro and slide show. Good questions too!
Dr. Summers asked many questions and led the applause at the end of the slide show.
Beck and I told anecdotes and stories throughout slides – people seemed interested and enjoying it.
By 11:45 am we were finished after answering a few remaining questions.
We packed up and left w/Dennis. Met the Director of the Palmerton Library – his wife knew of a Windish (like Slovak) newspaper from Bethlehem. She is going to track it down for us.
Drove back to East Stroudsburg – went to room, changed clothes…
Went to East Stroudsburg University – arrived at 3:30 pm. Just as we got inside the library door – Denise Conklin [Project Assistant at Penn State] was on the phone for us!
While Beck talked to Denise – I went upstairs to work on the Readex Collection…
Beck and I then worked on the Readex Collection until 5:50pm when we finished.
I’m not sure how many titles we did but it was surely a lot. I know I had 81 [workforms] left for today – and completed all 81 PLUS some of Beck’s titles in 2 hrs.!!
5:55 – 7:45 pm Beck talked to Pat Jersey about ILL policies, searched OCLC (Paul had given us new titles they have rec’d from Readex) and I worked on checking and LDRing the current newspapers.
7:45 pm we left – went for [supper] … back to room by 9:30 pm – we were both tired and drained!
Wednesday, July 29, 1987
Another day in East Stroudsburg. Up early …
Arrived at ESU at 8:15 am. We worked on the microfilm collection. Generally the microfilm inventorying went fast and very smoothly. We had pulled off all OCLC records that were needed to inventory ESU’s collection – resulting in us now zipping thru the stuff.
We worked independently of each other checking holdings in whole cabinets at a time.
I worked on all the Monroe Co. titles – 16 in all on film, plus tons more of other titles. The only cabinet which slowed us down was the collections in Cabinet 5 – Civil War Newspaper and the Labor Newspapers.
(ESU had some of their newspapers in collections, Civil War, Labor, Monroe Co., Early American Newspapers, etc.)
When Beck decided to search titles on OCLC – I took over her work in Cabinet 5. (I had completed all other newspaper titles in all other drawers).
We worked until 6:40 pm then called it a night…
Thursday, July 30, 1987
Up early … breakfasted… arrived at Kemp Library at 8:45 am.
Have only the Early American Newspaper Collection (Readex FM), some OCLC searching and the problem titles (3 – 4).
Around 11:20 am – we left to [run errands] and had lunch.
Back to work at 1:45 pm. Beck and I continued our work with the Readex FM [microfilm] collection. There were about 80 -90 titles which we checked against the bib records we pulled. We had missed pulling some records – but really not a problem – just made an LDR – will check it later on OCLC.
AROUND 2:30 pm this fantastic storm whipped up. The sky got as black as your hat and then the lightening came plus thunder and soon the rain began to pour. The rain came in sheets, I’ve never seen it rain so hard and the lightening was severe; also hailed dime-sized pellets. All of a sudden lighting struck and then lights went out!!
Rained so hard and the wind was so strong – I’ve never seen it come down so hard and in such fury!!!
Beck and I continued our work in the dark. By 3:30 pm we finished the Readex Collection.
3:30 – 4:30 worked on loose ends. Since the electricity was still off – couldn’t use OCLC, or catalog the 3 – 4 miscellaneous titles on FM (viewer wouldn’t work) we decided to go home – back to the dorm. We got to our dorm room – we saw no water running out from under our door – but wondered what the storm and rain had done. (We had left our windows open).
Anyway – we opened the door and found a small stream of water on the floor and our window screen blown out.
Well, we went down to the 2nd floor where some young boy was mopping the hallway. We asked to borrow his mop and bucket and climbed back upstairs and mopped our room.
Around 5 pm the electricity came back on.
Decided to go to Strouds Mall for dinner and shopping… Beck bought a few things, I bought fewer. We closed the Mall at 9:30 pm – drove back to the dorm and went to sleep.
NOTE on the Storm…
Was called one of the worst storms in this area of Pa. Trees were up-rooted by the strong winds and other trees were down because of the lightening.
The side road outside of the Library was standing full [of water] – so were many fields around campus.
Friday, July 31, 1987
Up and breakfasted at Cafeteria. Went to PO to mail letters… Arrived at ESU at 8:35 am.
Beck made phone calls to Denise and other sites while I went downstairs to work on OCLC. Pulled up bib records which we had seen FM holdings for. Checked the 362 and 500 fields to make sure what we had seen matched the record on OCLC.
When Beck finished her calls – she came and relieved me on OCLC. I then went back upstairs to take care of the 3 – 4 miscellaneous titles which weren’t on OCLC and needed to be [originally] cataloged.
Beck then came upstairs and helped me catalog.
By 11:30 am we were finished!
All of ESU’s holdings had been recorded!!! 2 ½ days ahead of schedule.
Thanks, Denise for searching all those titles!!!
…Decided to eat lunch and do the Monroe Co. Public Library before going home [for the weekend]. …drove home to Boalsburg – arrived at 6:20 pm.
Monday, August 3, 1987
…back to East Stroudsburg … to our home sweet home (Linden Hall).
Tuesday, August 4, 1987
Up early… before we left, made calls to Denise at home – she had found a private collector with hundreds of papers. Made other calls to line up the day’s activities – decided to do the [Monroe County] Court House and start on the Historical Society to free up Thursday afternoon to visit [the collector] with the 100s of papers…
Got mail and paid the room bill in Public Affairs Office. After breakfast began our rituals of work.
… [went to] the Court House… climbed stairs to attic where we found numerous vols of Monroe Co. titles 1890s – 1966. Beck had to use flashlight to see holdings – shelved in dusty unlit area – plenty warm!
For the remainder of the week we visited and inventoried the collections of the:
- Monroe County Historical Society (two visits)
- Monroe County Museum
- Pocono Record
- Monroe County Court House
- Pocono Today
- Senior Living News
- Monroe County Public Library
- Dutot Museum (Del. Water Gap)
- Canal Museum (Easton)
On Sunday, August 9, 1987 we packed up all our belongings and drove to Bath, Pa. for the second half of the “extended site visit” trip.
Between August 10 – August 21, 1987, we visited and inventoried the collections at:
- Moravian College & Theological Seminary
- Easton Area Public Library
- Lehigh University – Linderman Library
- Northampton County Court House
- Northampton County Historical Society
- Memorial Library of Nazareth
- US Newspaper
- Nazareth Key
- Jacobsburg Historical Society
- Northampton Area Junior High School
- Northampton Area Senior High School
- Northampton Area Public Library
- Mary Immaculate Seminary
- Town Topics (Pen Argyl)
- The Daily News (Bangor)
- Bangor Public Library
- Home News (Bath)
- Lafayette College – twice
- 2 Private Citizens (One in Old Bridge, NJ)
- Express (Easton)
- Moravian Archives
- Globe-Times (Bethlehem)
- Annie S. Kemerer Museum
- Bethlehem Area Public Library
- Bulletin (Bethlehem)
- Moravian Archives
From the JOURNAL ENTRIES
Thursday, August 13, 1987
Up early, had breakfast – on the road to Northampton County Court House.
8:45 am arrived at Court House (Easton). Met w/Register of Wills, Mr. Dimmick.
Mr. Dimmick showed us the bound volumes that were stored in the Archives. Had some really interesting titles, titles we hadn’t seen before – 1) Hellertown Recorder; 2) Bangor Observer; 3) Portland Enterprise. Great Stuff!
By 10:00 we had finished, met w/County Executive [Mr. Eugene Hartzell], who signed the Release and gave Beck and me a copy of the Northampton County History. Nice!
Left by 10:50 am.
Next appt. – Northampton County Hist. Society. Met w/Mrs. ____ (who was a real witch). We went there not really knowing what they had. Beck couldn’t get anything out of her. Mrs. ___ showed us the card file they had on each title – but we really needed to see the original copy.
She hesitated, but then took us to the room where the single issues were boxed.
Beck and I then went to work. We LDRed and cataloged as fast as we could. We decided not to list Philadelphia or N.Y. stuff but to concentrate on Northampton Co. and Lehigh Co. titles.
Worked fast and furious! By 1:15 we finished. They had mostly single issues of many Northampton Co. titles which we had seen on film at Easton Public Library.
We left, grabbed lunch at a Roy Rodgers and drove to Nazareth to the Memorial Library of Nazareth.
Arrived at 1:50pm. Met w/Librarian, who had attended our slide show. Barbara had been ready for us and had everything ready. While Beck worked on the current ORs [paper copy], I cataloged the FM [microfilm] titles.
(I was so tired – I guess I had seen so much FM at Lehigh – eyes were tired – and we worked late for the past couple of nights). So fatigued.
Anyway – I didn’t work at normal speed.
By 3:15pm we finished and headed to our next appt at the US Office in Nazareth.
Arrived at 3:30pm. This was just a quick stop since they only had the backfile from 1984 to current. So in no time we finished. Left at 3:35pm.
Next stop – Nazareth Key Office. Arrived at 3:45pm.
(The publisher of the Key was going to be difficult – he really didn’t want us to come). [He had told us] files [were] stored in attic in bundles…
Anyway, we arrived and we weren’t sure if he was going to show us his files or not, frankly I really didn’t care one way or the other.
I don’t know what made him change his mind, but he finally agreed for us to see them.
[Beck wrote in the margin: We showed him our schedule – that changed his mind PDQ! He stopped mumbling about “coming back another time”].
He pulled down the attic steps and Beck climbed up. Since all newspapers were in bundles and marked by year, Beck just shouted down years to me.
[Beck writes in the margin: It was 120º in the Attic. I was ready to faint – I was dripping. Came out for air every so often].
When we found 1949 – 1954 we pulled it down to get a closer look and catalog it.
We must be living right, for in that bundle was the title change which we cataloged.
Since the publisher himself hadn’t seen his files for a long time – 20 – 30 years, he came over for a look, he even called his son over for a look-see.
Anyway, needless to say, the publisher became more friendly and agreeable to the visit.
By [the time of] our leaving he revealed his hesitation in our coming. Seems someone is suing him because that person fell because of the newspaper. Suing him for $ XXX.
Strange times we live in! Left by 4:45pm.
Having realized that we were running out of releases and ILL policy forms, we went back to the Nazareth Library and made photocopies. Left Nazareth at 5:00pm.
Back to room [in Bath] to wash-up, change clothes. Went to Pizza Hut in Nazareth and on to the Palmer Mall in Easton for a night out. Back to room by 9:00pm…
Friday, August 14, 1987
Up early – breakfast… headed down the road to Northampton, Pa.
8:05am arrived at the Northampton Area Jr. High School. Met w/Principal. Beck insisted that we see the microfilm in the Library. The Principal wasn’t sure if he could find it. We assured him that we could find it.
Well, he agreed to take us to the Library. After checking a few cabinets, we found the film of the Cement News from Seigfried, Pa – now Northampton.
We cataloged it quickly and then left by 8:45am.
Next stop at the Public Library. The Northampton Area Public Library was in front of the Jr. High School. Arrived at 8:50am.
Met w/new librarian Mrs. Beller. She was very friendly and most helpful.
Her library had the same film as the Jr. High School. It didn’t take us long to LDR the film. I talked to Mrs. Beller about the Project and other Northampton, Pa titles. She photocopied the Rossell listing for Northampton Co.
Beck used Mrs. Beller’s phone while I did the work. Beck called Denise and told her our revised plans and Denise relayed messages to us. [I must have sat in ink at the library – had it all over my pants when we left]. Left the Library at 9:45am.
Drove to the Mary Immaculate Seminary. Arrived at 10:15am. Met with librarian, Kate. A very friendly and nice person. (Very strong, confident woman).
The Seminary had only several (4) Catholic newspapers (non-Northampton Co.) titles. Beck did some while I did others. By 10:45 we left.
Drove North to Pen Argyl, Pa. Arrived at 11:45am at the Town Topics (weekly newspaper) Office.
Met with ex-publisher, Mr. Parsons. Nice gentleman who gladly gave us all the info we needed.
We both enjoyed talking to him. Mr. Parsons just recently sold his business to Debbie ??
Anyway, we inventoried his file (began in 1975 and is a monthly). It didn’t take us long.
Left at 12:00pm
Next stop, drove South to Bangor.
Arrived at the Daily News Office. Publisher was too busy to see us – so we went to lunch.
Around 1:00pm we went back to the Office and met w/the publisher. He showed us the backfile of his paper. He had only 1970 à current. The early files (1894 – 1914) were destroyed in a fire. The Bangor Pub. Lib. had 1915 – current on film.
Also inventoried the US newspaper. They only had current issues. Obviously no one is keeping the backfile of this newspaper.
Left the Daily News Office at 1:25pm.
Next stop – across the street to the Bangor Pub. Library.
1:30 – 2:45 met w/librarian Mrs. _____ (not too friendly). She wasn’t going to allow us to see the film of the Daily News because the kiddie movies were being shown.
We asked to bring the film out of the room – so she allowed us to remove several boxes at a time.
Examination of the film revealed the early title – Bangor Daily News. Now we had to track down the title change and get the holdings.
Since only 6 – 8 kids were there to watch the films – Mrs. _____ allowed us to go in. we recorded the holdings and then tried to track down the title change.
While I watched “Charlotte’s Web” film and another on insects – Beck found the title change.
Left by 2:45pm.
The Publisher (Larry Corey) at the Daily News told us his barber (Dale’s Barber Shop) had v.1, no. 1 of the Daily News (1894).
Beck called the barber and finally he agreed to show it to us.
We walked over to his barber shop and soon his wife dropped off the framed newspaper.
We cataloged it and got the release signed as he was giving “LeRoy” his haircut. Had a fun time talking to Dale about the Project.
Left at 3:45pm. Headed for the Home News Office in Bath, Pa.
4:30 pm arrived at the Home News Office. Met w/the publisher and his family who helped him in the office. They had pulled all the files from the attic and had them ready for us to catalog and inventory.
What a nice surprise to have the paper all laid out for us.
They had all the issues from 1942 à current. Enjoyed talking to the entire family. Good way to end the day! On a positive note!
Left at 5:05pm.
Back to the room – on the way picked up chicken for supper. …gathered our laundry and went back into town to do our laundry.
Posted in Laundromat:
[Although the trip did go smoothly, it was not without its moments. “A Less-Than Perfect Week…” culminated on August 18th with this account].
From the July 22 – August 31, 1987 Monthly Report
It doesn’t seem possible, but our month long site visit is over; all the planning, worrying, organizing, calling, packing and preparation which preceded our visit proved worthwhile. The trip covered two counties: Monroe and Northampton, both having institutions with major holdings (38 sites in all were scheduled in advance), and a slide show planned early in the tour to familiarize contacts from four counties with the Project and our upcoming visit.
The entire trip went smoothly; we finished several sites ahead of schedule and filled in the time with new contacts which Project Assistant Denise [Conklin] relayed to us [in the field] on a regular basis.
Apparently all the newspapers ran our articles and several people called in with papers. (One fellow in Hellertown, near Bethlehem, called Denise at our Penn State Office at 9 a.m.; we were at his house in Hellertown by 11 a.m. He was suitably impressed with the turn-around time).
Taking along all potentially useful data and supplies proved beneficial; we were able to maintain our correspondence and do other “office work” from East Stroudsburg University (ESU).
One “surprise” we received occurred at Lehigh University when someone casually mentioned whether we knew about their Readex Collection of titles on micro-card. We didn’t. But fortunately we had seen the whole set [on microfilm] at ESU and by using those records, we were able to list Lehigh’s holdings of 100+ titles in just a few hours.
The one omission in this carefully constructed plan which should have been built in was: time to regroup and reorganize in the field. After each day’s activities, certain lists and records have to be maintained to keep all the files in order for the next day. Failure to build in that time resulted in accrual of lots of overtime
- Monroe County (July 26 – August 9, 1987)
a) East Stroudsburg University graciously hosted us during our stay in Monroe County. (Our home was a dorm room in Linden Hall). The Public Affairs Office and the Kemp Library both acted as contact centers for us to receive mail and messages. Staff members were extremely courteous and helpful, making every effort to assist us throughout our stay. The Library also provided us with access to an OCLC terminal, a telephone and a typewriter.
We visited eleven sites in Monroe County, but the bulk of the time was spent at ESU, which had 765 newspaper titles on file.
b) In the midst of cataloging at ESU, we paused one morning to present our slide show (fondly referred to by Dick Fitzsimmons as our “Dog- and- Pony Show”) to 20 attendees at the beautiful Library of the Northampton County Area Community College. Thanks to Dennis Phillips of the Allentown Campus, his decision to hold the presentation there ensured a good turnout. That was a much more centrally located area for the people who were invited*. Many of our contacts attended the show, and we were as usual very well-received when we visited their institutions later on.
[*Dennis’s timing on sending out the invitations was perfect – people were opening their invitations as I was making calls from the PSU office, prior to the slide show presentation, to schedule appointments with them –July1-21 Monthly Report
2. Northampton County (August 9 – 22, 1987)
“Home base” was an efficiency in Bath, PA, for this half of the tour. Bath was ideally situated in relation to all the sties we visited in Northampton County – Bethlehem, Easton, Bangor, Northampton, Nazareth and Bath.
As in Monroe Co., we were well-received in the major institutions and given much assistance. Lehigh University was particularly sensitive to our needs and eager to help. We met with the Head of Serials who asked several appropriate questions regarding how the changes we were making on OCLC would affect their archival tapes and the appearance and entry of their holdings (LDRs) on the OCLC database.
Easton Area Public Library, another major holder, was equally accommodating. We spent a rushed but very productive day inventorying 111 titles!
In our absence Project Assistant Denise Conklin fielded all messages to us, answered mail and call-ins as necessary, and sent out correspondence. One of the call-ins had heard an announcement about the Project on an Allentown Radio Station; another had seen our show on Public TV.
3. A Few Numbers…
Many of the sites visited on this tour were large academic institutions holding non-local newspaper titles which required only an LDR or OCLC record update. Others had fewer but more “interesting” titles, requiring original cataloging.
A rough count produced the following:
A Title was counted each time it was seen (on film, paper or micro-card), since a separate LDR had to be made for each format.
On this trip:
- 26 days in the field
- 38 sites visited
- 1,680 miles logged
- 1,813 titles recorded/cataloged
Northampton County DONE!
29 Counties DONE!
Letter from Becky and Sue to East Stroudsburg’s Office of Public Affairs, thanking them for their hospitality.
Letter from Becky and Sue to Paul Beaty and Pat Jersey, thanking them for their assistance.
Letter from Becky and Sue to Dr. George Summers, thanking him for support services.
Our SUMMER SCHEDULE!