Office of Undergraduate Research

The American Geographical Society Library: Sorensen Catalog

The world famous AGS Library, housed in the Golda Meir Library, is one of UWMs greatest scholarly, scientific, and artistic resources. It is currently at work on a project to make its vast and important photographic collections more accessible by creating a digital archive of its holdings. (See http://www.uwm.edu/Libraries/digilib/agsl/index.html) Under the direction of the AGSL staff and in consultation with the faculty advisor-- students would learn and practice the research skills and archival techniques involved in 16mm film collection management and digital preservation. In particular, this project involves sorting, handling, scanning and cataloging an original and complete body of work by Clarence W. Sorensen, a geographer who worked for Encyclopedia Brittanica starting in the 1950s, and Eugene V. Harris, a professional photographer in his employ.

Tasks and responsibilities:

The student's tasks include processing and handling the materials, as well as scanning and viewing films and photos closely, making assessments about image content and source, and accurately updating the database with keywords and other information. This requires good attention to detail, some research capabilities, and previous experience with 16mm film (in order to load and handle it for viewing). Other tasks, such as scanning and cataloging, will be skills learned or built upon as the project unfolds.