Special Collections and University Archives

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Archivists and the USA PATRIOT Act: Are We Prepared?

2006-01-01 , Christian, Michele , Special Collections and University Archives

On October 26, 2001, only six weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act). The quick response was prompted by a perceived need to provide government officials with the tools they believed were necessary to fight terrorism. With little debate, the Senate and the House of Representatives resoundingly voted in favor of the Act.1 The reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act would not come as quickly. Several sections of the Act were set to expire on December 31, 2005; however, the deadline was moved to February 3, 2006, and again to March 10, 2006, to allow Congress time to reach agreement. The Act was reauthorized on March 9, 2006, but not without changes to the original Act.

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Square Pegs, Round Holes: Thinking Creatively about Housing and Storage

2006-01-01 , Seo, Hilary , Seo, Hilary , Zanish-Belcher, Tanya , Special Collections and University Archives

Providing proper housing and storage of archival materials is a primary goal undertaken in all archives. Standard containers for manuscripts, documents, photographs, three-dimensional objects, and other archival materials are readily available. However, for nonstandard, unusual, or complex objects that require additional support, developing housing or specialized storage can be problematic. Thinking creatively about housing and storage of archival materials increases the wealth of housing options available to archives even when a conservator is not available. Archivists can incorporate premade and traditional archival supplies in innovative ways to create structures that store and protect, while at the same time, limit handling during use and exhibition. Three basic methods (sink mats, boxes with fillers, and archival sleeves and wrappers) can assist in this process and are illustrated with examples from the Iowa State University Library Special Collections.