Monthly Archives: May 2015

Auf Wiedersehen Marr Archives!

By Kelly Hangauer

MarrMy time at the Marr Sound Archives has been an amazing learning experience. The people who work at the archives are all awesome people and Kelley Martin especially has been a kind, supportive, and all around great supervisor.  Splitting my time up between archiving and public history was a good decision because it allowed me to get a sense of both sides of the profession. It was nice to be able to create an online feature of the John B. Gage collection I processed. If any future UMKC historians read this post, they should seriously consider interning at the Marr Sound Archives, especially if they have a research interest that can be incorporated into the Marr collection. As I have expressed in my previous posts, there is so much to be explored at the archives. The amount of 498 Capstone papers that could come out of the material housed at the Marr Archives would fill volumes.

Well, I hope my digital friends and real friends and stranger friends get something out of the John B. Gage Audio Collection Omeka site, and if not, that is okay too.

Bis bald!


Ceremonial Sensation

By Kelly Hangauer

You will be happy, very happy indeed, to know that the John B. Gage Audio Omeka site is finally completed. As I write this, I am imagining thunderous applause filling up the room. I look up, just like John Gage did at his inauguration ceremony of 1940, and I see the people on the balcony rising to their feet. They are smiling, laughing, hollering . . . everything is in slow motion.

They are cheering for me and you, John Gage. Their cheers, caught by the KMBC microphone, set in vinyl, saved by you and your family over the years, saved by the Marr Sound Archives, and now finding a new life in the digital platform of Roy Rosenzweig’s Omeka site. The journey is confounding, and it is surely not over.

As you navigate the site there are a couple things to keep in mind. These audio samplings are mere samplings and represent a much vaster collection of recordings that you can find at the Marr Sound Archives. While ironing has been attempted, there are still some wrinkles within the site most obvious of which is the fact that clicking on the John B. Gage picture at the top of the page will take one back to the UMKC University site. Try to stay within the lines of navigation located on the right. Also, I know I can include more text for better context.

Otherwise, it has been fun. Let me know what you think! I will look for you at the American Royal, standing next to Ruth Hussey eating barbeque.





The Audio Preservation Meditation Continues . . .

By Kelly Hangauer

Back again with The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan discussed in the last post. When I read through this information the first time, I marked ideas or “recommendations” made by the authors that caught my attention. I was struck by the fact that the Library of Congress has nearly “3.5 million recordings that embody more than 120 years of audio history.” What the authors suggest though, is that the digitized audio is not reaching enough researchers. In order to make these recordings more accessible, a centralized network is needed.

As an independent musician, I thought it was especially interesting how the Library of Congress recognized the realities of independent musicians today. The writers illustrate the fact that artists are tending to not copyright their music, and are oftentimes not manufacturing hard copies of the music. More and more, music is disseminated online through the channels of BandCamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify. The Library of Congress personnel who authored the National Recording Preservation Plan suggest that the Library of Congress should form working relationships with record labels and other music industries to ensure that engineers are recording music in such a way that it can be preserved. Considering the amount of music out there, a multilateral approach is needed.

Now, you may ask, how does one preserve audio? Well the answer is complex but essentially it entails creating a digital file from a record, reel-to-reel, tape, CD, or any other format of sound. The digitization process involves a set of best practices and standardizations one should adhere to in order that the digital file be as sturdy as possible. Once the archival digital file is created, upkeep from archivists is necessary to ensure its longevity.

If you are interested in learning more about this, go ahead and download The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan.

Recording Preservation

By Kelly Hangauer

One of the readinlibrarygs I was responsible for during my internship was The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan. This booklet, released in December 2012, sets forth an ambitious plan for preserving the audio heritage of the United States, and addresses many of the obstacles to this process. I found the reading to be very technical, but also quite interesting. Early on, the authors bring up the idea of a National Directory that would act as a central database for all recorded sounds. Having a centralized database like this would enable sound archives, like the Marr Sound Archives, to know which records and historical broadcasts have already been digitized by other institutions. Not only would this help to organize all of the audio information out there, but it would allow sound archivists to better prioritize the digitization of their collections. This is an especially important issue considering that many really old recordings are beginning to breakdown, and archives are often overwhelmed by large workloads and underfunding.

Also of interest is the way in which the book highlights the obstacles created by federal legislation. There is a federal copyright law that allows libraries and archives to copy audio recordings since 1972, but due to some strange nuances of the law, pre-1972 recordings are under a different copyright. Because of these issues, it is difficult to obtain permission to preserve pre-1972 recordings which happen to be the very ones that need it the most. Furthermore, these confusions make it more difficult to obtain funding for large preservation projects.

The meditation on this reading will continue in the next post.

Do You Outline?

By Kelly Hangauer

Hello friends. I realize that I never explained the extensive planning process I went through for the John B. Gage Omeka site. Before I created an account, I caught wind that I was supposed to draw out a map of how I wanted to organize the materials of my “exhibit.” Because Omeka is geared towards archivists, librarians, and historians, the idea of an exhibit is an important one, as the site encourages people to approach it as they would a room with walls. This method of visualization helps create a concrete system of organization. After compiling a list of audio files, potential photographs, and commentary, I drew out this diagram of how I envisioned the site looking:



I have continued to stay pretty true to my original conception, but like I mentioned in my last post, I have severely cut down on the amount of audio I will feature. Taking the time to envision the site before I started uploading a bunch of files has really helped me to stay focused. It can be a little daunting when one is suddenly immersed in twenty, thirty, forty items that all require their unique bibliographic and metadata information. These pictures, although rough, were important to lessening the amount of stress I experienced while creating my beautiful exhibit. More to come soon!

Paid Collections Internship at the American Royal Museum

The American Royal Museum celebrates more than 115 years of the tradition and hard work that helped build Kansas City and the West. From the development of superior livestock breeds and agricultural products to the rough and tumble excitement of rodeo and the sweet smell of the World Series of Barbecue® the history of the American Royal reflects the history of America’s move West.

Position Description:

This summer, the American Royal Museum is looking for one intern to assist in the digitization and cataloging of their collection. As necessary, the Collections Intern will support the American Royal Museum with other collection management projects.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Enter accession and donor information for objects in the collection not already entered into the museum’s collections management database
  • Update old records
  • Correlate all items with correct paper and database files. If these files do not already exist, create said file
  • Ensure all objects are properly marked with old and new accession numbers
  • Digitally photograph or scan each object and add images
  • Improve storage conditions where practical and note storage location for each object

Position Details:
Duration/Hours: 10 weeks; 20 hours per week; Federal holidays Pay: $2,000 stipend (before taxes) Start Date: June 1, 2015 (flexible)

Position Requirements:
Bachelor’s degree or intended graduation with a focus in Museum Studies, History, or related field; Master’s degree preferred; strong attention to detail; ability to handle large workloads and meet deadlines; and ability to work well alone. Optional, but preferred: museum registration and/or inventory experience, as well as familiarity with Microsoft Access.

Application Deadline: May 15, 2015. Final selection will be made by May 28, 2015

Application Details: Send hard or electronic copy of a cover letter and resume to: The American Royal Museum c/o Kristie Larson, 1701 American Royal Ct., Kansas City, MO 64102 or Questions about the position may be directed to:


Archives Research Internship at Children’s Mercy Hospital

Children’s Mercy Archives Research Associate

Summary: An exciting opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a history program for a more-than-century-old pediatric medical center. The research associate will work in concert with the Director of Archives for Children’s Mercy to uncover stories, themes, facts, photos and more to tell the story of this leading children’s hospital that was started by two sisters – both doctors – in 1897s.

Research details: There are two major projects the new Archives is undertaking initially: publishing a book of the history of Children’s Mercy; and developing a collection of oral histories from people with long-standing tenure at the Kansas City-based hospital. The Research Associate has the opportunity to assist in either or both of these projects. There are many shapes, sizes and topics this research can come in. So possible areas of research:

  • Background and history of the individuals participating in the oral history project.
  • Decade-by-decade research into the development of Children’s Mercy and its context in the history of Kansas City and the United States. Some examples:
    • What was Kansas City like in 1897? How were women perceived, and particularly these two women? What about “orphan trains?” What was the state of medicine at the time? Pediatrics?
    • In the 1950s, Children’s Mercy had outgrown its hospital on Independence Avenue in Northeast Kansas City. What was the discussion and h0w was the decision to made to relocate on Hospital Hill near General Hospital (in Missouri) and not near the University of Kansas Medical Center (in Kansas)? Children’s Mercy also lost its accreditation for medical education at this time. How was it restored?
  • Research could also be built around themes:
    • The role of women in society, in business and in caring for children.
    • Progress in medicine and medical research and how that affected Children’s Mercy.
    • Race relations in Kansas City. One of the founders Children’s Mercy worked to establish a pediatric ward and teaching program at one of the “black hospitals” in town so African-American children could receive care and African-American doctors could be trained. o The importance of Philanthropy and community support. From a blackboard in front of the hospital pleading for donations of sheets and apples to campaigns to raise hundreds of millions of dollars, Children’s Mercy has relied on the generosity of Kansas City. A list of donors is also a list of “Who’s Who in KC.”

Research materials: The Children’s Mercy Archives consists of a large collection of printed material, photos and 3D artifacts. The collection is in the process of being turned over to the University of Missouri – Kansas City Special Collections Library. It will begin this summer to organize, catalog and digitize (as appropriate.) Finding aids will be developed and put on –line. The Library staff will work with Children’s Mercy to digitize and make available any and all materials we wish to share with the public and/or researchers. Children’s Mercy is maintaining ownership and will have free access to the collection. The collection consists of thousands of photographs, board and foundation minutes dating to the 1930s (at least), patient and financial information dating to the earliest part of the 20th Century, scrapbooks, press clippings, videos (in VHS and DVD formats) and more. The artifacts, currently housed in a warehouse in Central Kansas City, MO, have not been assessed or cataloged for quite some time. There are currently no detailed long-term plans for those artifacts.

In addition, there are two published histories of the hospital and one unpublished manuscript. The published books include: A history of Children’s Mercy Hospital by Roger Swanson (1961); and Women of Vision by Beatrice Johns (2004). The second books covers the history only until the 1930s. About half the books consists of accounts of Johns own stays at Children’s Mercy in the 1920s. The manuscript is , The History of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., by Herbert A Wenner and Sydney F. Pakula (1984). The authors are both former Children’s Mercy doctors and the book contains a plethora of information about the medical staff from the 1960s until 1984.

There are countless other sources of information, including the Kansas City Star, the Jackson County Medical Society newsletters, the Children’s Mercy Communications and Marketing Department (which includes the Archives), and many interested people with personal histories of Children’s Mercy.

For more information and to apply, contact Archivist Thomas McCormally