March 4, 1998
Mr. Daniel A. Stokes
National Archives and Records Administration
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Washington, DC 20408
Grant # 96-078
As per the letter extending our grant period to June 30, 1998, please accept this report concerning the activities of the Hare and Hare Project to date. I have attempted not to repeat the basic information provided in my last report but instead to give a picture of where we are now and what we anticipate in the immediate future.
The goal of this Project has not changed. It is to enhance access to the records of the architectural landscape and city planning firm of Hare and Hare through a comprehensive arrangement and description of the records, and to conserve the materials by flattening, repairing, and providing appropriate storage.
Though we have faced a variety of problems in accomplishing the Project, we are proceeding generally as was outlined in the Proposal. However, as we neared the end of the original grant period (December 31, 1997) we added part-time staff to try to accomplish as much work as possible. Moreover, our full-time staff person married and shortly after moved from Kansas City. To fill in and provide continuity to the part-time staff, Jennifer Parker, Senior Manuscript Specialist at WHMC-KC, increased the number of hours to 50% of her time devoted to the project for approximately three months. The team continues to perform the main work of processing the papers, flattening the folded drawings, integrating the rolled drawings into the whole, and preparing the finding aids. We have contracted with an outside photographer to duplicate the photographic negatives, part of which have been logged, placed in protective sleeves and given to the photographer to have 5x7 prints made. Though still on call, the services of a professional conservator and an architectural historian in providing guidance and expertise in the care and arrangement of the papers have generally been unnecessary, as the project has settled into a predictable routine.
One additional occurrence important to understanding the dynamics of this Project is that in early October we moved our operation from a building in Kansas
Citys north end to another in the downtown business district. Though this move caused some disruption and expense to our work, the result was actually beneficial because the new space is much larger and more conducive to the work we are doing. We enlarged our humidification chamber, built additional tables, and generally had more room to spread out. We hope to remain in this space until the end of the project.
At this point we have processed an additional 12,000 sheets (from June, the date of my last report, to November) for a total of 23,000 sheets into about 3,400 job files (2,600+ pre-1959 and 800+ post-1959). We estimate at least another 2,550 sheets contained in 17 cubic foot boxes (estimating 150 folded sheets per box), exclusive of the 6,700 drawings previously rolled in the preliminary processing, which have yet to be integrated into the system. The total that remains is approximately 9,250 sheets. This figure continues to refine the number of sheets from 50,000 in the original proposal to between 30-35,000. At our current rate we are fully processing about 600 sheets a week or 2400 a month. Admittedly this is a soft figure but I am conformable that we will be able to complete the critical work of processing the drawings before the end of the grant.
Additionally, we have processed all but 117 of the 225 cubic feet of the collection. One hundred of these boxes contain reports, books, and other material that will process quickly. Our regular staff can handle any processing of these boxes after the grant period.
We have all of the nitrate 2x3 inch negatives sleeved and numbered and more than half have had 5x7 prints made from them. Our photographer is working through those negatives quickly and we will have them in hand ready to be marked, logged, and filed within the next two months.
As I indicated in my earlier report, perhaps the goals of our proposal were too optimistic because of conditions we found once we had delved deeply into the collection. We found that the folded pre-1959 drawings required considerably more attention than had been projected, and though the post-1959 drawings are generally on thicker paper, we still must spend some effort in repairs, particularly in the time-consuming removal of old tape.
I am particularly pleased with the rolled system we have developed to store and protect the drawings. Since undertaking this project we have had a number of occasions to pull processed items for researchers. The finding aids work well, the retrieval of rolls was easy, and the condition of the drawings excellent and stable.
The single area where I have concern has to do with off-gassing of some of the individual sheets which we are continuing to roll into each job set. These are either sulfur paper drawings or more likely sepia or blue-line drawings that have a distinct odor, particularly after humidification. We have consulted with Nancy Heugh, our conservator, and with Tawny Nelb to determine the best approach to this problem. Heugh suggests interleaving with microchamber paper, which we are looking into. At this late date, however, we will likely continue as we have been and review the issue in the near future as part of final preparation for microfilming or after filming is complete. The issue may be that the paper and the printing process on it is inherently unstable. There is no clear evidence that exposure to the off-gassing has effected the adjacent papers, but is reasonable to assume that it might.
We continue to promote the receipt of the Grant and the fact that the collection is available. We continue to use the collection even though it is in processing, and a number of scholars and others have done research in the material.
We have raised $20,000 in matching money and have also received in-kind donations, primarily in the form of waiver of rent, in excess of $5,000.
Comments and suggestions:
I would like to complement the quality and dedication of my staff working this Project, particularly in creatively finding work-arounds to the variety of problems in space, staff changes, and logistical and other issues that have arisen in the last year. It was a blow to lose Keri Peterson, our full time person who provided a level of stability and continuity to the daily work. It was she who found ways to make the project work in practical ways always conscious of archival standards and the need to incorporate the collection into our larger system. Regardless, we are fortunate to have an excellent staff now and a procedure that is chugging along well.
I hope this document satisfies our requirement for a narrative report. I welcome any questions you may have and promise to watch my schedule to insure that future reports are not late.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
updated: Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu