Month: November 2016

CURRENT LIBRARY PROJECTS

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The fall color of the Japanese Zelkova.

The library staff has been working on a project to update Trees of Centenary, a 1990s dendrological* survey done by Dr. Lewis Parrish, the former department head of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Centenary.

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The tree cataloger and photographer consult the original Trees of Centenary.

Parrish’s book is a compilation of every tree on the Centenary campus, but that information is over twenty years old. The archives staff have taken on the task of updating Trees of Centenary to reflect the  foliage of the current campus. So far, the project has created an inventory of all trees on the north side of campus, including most of the trees listed in Dr. Parrish’s book. The south side of campus will be more challenging as there was no survey done of these trees, and complete identification will have to be done from scratch.

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An excerpt from the rough draft map of the Jefferson Lawn, south side.

How is this task being accomplished? First, every tree in Trees of Centenary was listed and separated by location. The campus was broken down into sections, and each section was given its own hand-drawn map. Then, staff members took the book and the maps and made, well, a mess (see the rough draft map at right). Each tree was numbered, plotted, and matched to a tree from the book. This proved to be difficult because some of the trees mentioned in the 1990s survey are now gone, claimed by disease or death, and new trees have been planted since the survey’s publication.

Realizing a more orderly system was needed, the rough draft map from each portion was input into excel spreadsheets, which became the basis of our new interactive map!

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The fall color of the Green Ash.

This map shows the location of each tree and includes a description and photos, just like the original Trees of Centenary. 

There is still much to be done, and the library hopes to have the entire campus cataloged by Spring 2017. During the winter all the evergreens will be recorded while the remaining deciduous trees will be classified in Spring 2017. Staff will also be taking pictures of the trees in each season. This year’s fall color went by too quickly, but there’s always next year!

*Dendrological: adj., Having to do with the botanical study of trees and other woody plants.

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A FIELD TRIP

Recently, three library staff members had the chance to tour Drew University’s archives thanks to an invitation by Dr. Noah Haiduc-Dale and his Research Methods Class. Cassie Brand Interim Head of Special Collections, University Archives, and Methodist Librarian and Matthew Beland Drew University Archivist and Assistant Librarian hosted a tour of two of the university’s buildings: the United Methodist Archives and History Center and Rose Memorial Library.

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The United Methodist Archives and History Center houses any and all items pertaining to the United Methodist Church as well as most of the University’s Special Collections. The Rose Memorial Library is the home of the University Archives.

The tour explored the school’s different archival spaces and observed working projects. Cassie and Matthew also set up several archival items in the Wilson Reading Room for an up-close and personal viewing experience.

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Centenary staff and students had the chance to learn about Drew University’s archives and special collections. It was an invaluable learning experience and the library staff is grateful for the wealth of knowledge on archival practices, methods for displaying exhibits, and the chance to see such great treasures. Thank you Cassie, Matthew, and Drew University!