Volume 6, No. 1

South Florida Collections Management Center

Re:Collections

Fall 2015

Happy New Year!

In October? Yes! September 30th marked the end of another fiscal year and FY2016 started October 1st. We don’t want to let FY2015 end without thanking some of the “unsung heroes” that make it possible for us to do what we do. Without these folks—and many others—we wouldn’t get much done. So the SFCMC staff extends a big THANK YOU to IT Specialist Carlos Trivino (EVER/DRTO/BISC) and Bilal Arshad (Contractor – NuAxis Innovations, NPS Office of the Chief Information Officer) for their ready help in FY15 implementing our new virtual server and ICMS 8.20 upgrade. SUPER SPECIAL THANKS to Heather Walker, Michelle Marc, Tina Collins, and Hayley Matteson in our parks’ budget offices as they keep us on track while we try to maximize our fiscal resources. The specialists at the South MABO enjoy the (usually) thankless task of awarding our many contracts for everything from cannon conservation to museum cabinetry. Dafina Williams, Sally Hendricks, and the rest of the SHRO staff helped us bring on staff and volunteers. SER Chief of Museum and Archives Services Mary Troy always provides moral (and more often financial!) support we can’t do without. And we certainly can’t forget the MASSIVE GRATITUDE we have for Linda Irey and Julie Abreu who wear many, many hats but always made sure we got paid in FY2015!

$15,000 payment made by Capt. Woodbury to Capt.  Dutton on February 29, 1856

Conservation Corner

The SFCMC recently sent DRTO material from the Jessie Porter Newton Collection to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) for conservation treatment and scanning. The donated collection contains documents, correspondence, and photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries related to Forts Jefferson and Taylor and Dr. Samuel Mudd. The 19th century materials were prioritized for treatment due to their historical significance and condition concerns (including ink corrosion from the iron gall ink degrading the paper). The collection includes documents related to slavery at the forts, payment checks and correspondence related to construction of Fort Jefferson and Fort Taylor, and coral specimens sent to the Smithsonian. Glass plate negatives and early 20th century photographs illustrate the fort and damage to the coal sheds from hurricanes. The collection is in the process of being cataloged so that it can be made accessible for research. Image to right: $15,000 payment made by Capt. Woodbury to Capt. Dutton on February 29, 1856 and has notations of “Fort Jefferson.”

Intern Michelle Schabowski

SFCMC Staff Spotlight

Meet Michelle Schabowski

Archives Intern Michelle Schabowski began working at the SFCMC in June. She recently graduated from the University of Tennessee with a M.S. in Information Science. She has worked at the Howard Baker Center’s Modern Political Archives and with the digital collections at the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Project. She also spent nine years teaching English in Japan.

Vascular plant from Big Cypress National Preserve

Specimen Highlights

Through the outstanding work of Tonya Howington (borrowed from the South Florida Natural Resources Center) and Kelly Delancy, Katie Matthew and Alexis Schuman (our summer interns from the University of Florida museum science program, featured in the last issue of Re:Collections), the SFCMC cataloged 3,158 biology and 961 geology specimens in FY2015 for BICY, BISC, DRTO, and EVER.

Tonya used her talents to provide quality control and reformatting of cataloging spreadsheets submitted by permit principal investigators for import into ICMS, our cataloging software. Kelly, Katie & Alexis completed the hands-on cataloging by creating specimen labels, rehousing collections as needed, and putting them into their permanent storage locations. Tonya and the interns made a great team!

Some of the specimens which were cataloged this past summer include: tree ring samples and vascular plants from Big Cypress National Preserve; benthic marine invertebrates, marine sediments, and symbiont-bearing foraminifera from Biscayne National Park; algae, coral and sponge specimens from Dry Tortugas National Park; and geologic cores from Florida Bay, butterflies,and herbarium specimens collected inside Everglades National Park.

Coming Soon: DESO Digital Archives

The SFCMC has been working with a contractor to microfilm and scan almost 70,000 items in the DESO Resource Management Records Collection. Microfilm provides an off-site archival copy while the scans provide access for park staff (located c. 5 hours from the SFCMC) and other researchers. The collection includes natural and cultural resource management records, interpretation records, reports, correspondence, news clippings, and an extensive collection of historic photographs documenting the park’s resources, facilities, and special events. This project is expected to be finished in December 2015.

Metro mobile shelving units inside the Daniel Beard Center

Archives in Action

What was all of that clanging and banging going on in the Daniel Beard Center this year? Construction was under way in the new collections storage area! All hands were on deck as the SFCMC staff assembled three new Metro mobile shelving units designed to house over 700 linear feet of archival collection materials. Many special thanks go to Megan Atkinson, Michelle Schabowski and members of the Everglades Fire Crew for their support in ensuring that this project was completed safely. It was a busy summer for the archives. With the addition of new shelving, we were able to move some of the archives collections into their final storage location! Hillary Conley and Natalie Ortega (Southeast Archeological Center, SEAC) joined the SFCMC team for two weeks between July 6-17, 2015 to conduct an inventory of the Bill Robertson Building map room and assist with relocating collections to the new storage area in the Daniel Beard Center. With the unwavering strength of the SEAC team and some unseasonably low mosquito levels, many of the records associated with the scientific research conducted in Everglades National Park are now located in the Daniel Beard Center for ease of access.

Join our Team! Interns Wanted

Know a current college student or recent graduate interested in a PAID natural history museum tech internship? The SFCMC has multiple internships for the 2015-2016 academic year through the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE). Everglades National Park, South Florida Collections Management Center, Museum Technician.

Last updated: February 6, 2018