Update on U. of Michigan Welles collections
For anyone with an interest in the University of Michigan's two collections of Welles papers, here's an update as to their status from Welles scholar/U of M professor Catherine Benamou:
"Thanks to a special grant from a library donor, processing (the physical organization and labeling) of the Richard Wilson-Orson Welles archive at the Special Collections Library of the University of Michigan is nearly complete, scheduled to be ready for full public use in September, 2008. Details of this processing include (according to Sally Vermaaten, specially assigned processing librarian):
· Arranging and describing the Wilson-Welles Papers in a way that will allow scholars to access an accurate and complete description of the collection’s content and better understand the collection’s context. Arrangement and description will also allow researchers to find relevant information without having to hunt through a large number of boxes.
· Creating an XML finding aid that will be available and fully searchable online.
· Preserving the collection by removing harmful elements such as rusty metal paperclips and placing collection materials in proper archival containers, for example, acid-free manuscript folders for documents and clear mylar sleeves for photographs.
According to Vermaaten, the holdings of the Wilson-Welles collection originally amounted to 42 boxes containing "correspondence, photographs, playbills, scripts, posters, and other papers;" and 15 boxes of audiovisual materials and objects. As soon as processing is complete, the finding aid (a searchable list of boxes and their contents) will be posted to the Library website, and a link will be available to post for Wellesnet users.
Next will be the Orson Welles-Oja Kodar papers, which should be open to the public sometime in early 2009.
Processing is a crucial step towards cataloguing: it lets us know *exactly* what we have, and already, based on peeks at material processed thus far, there have been some eye-opening discoveries."