Shin Nichibei – New Japanese American News: A Preservation Project

July 18th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Ed. Note: This is a guest post from our newest Preservation student assistant, Hilary McCreery. Hilary is about to start her second year in the UCLA MLIS program, and is actively pursuing interests in preservation and conservation topics.

A current project of interest in the UCLA Preservation Department entails the review of and recommendation for the digitization of Shin Nichibei: New Japanese American News, a newspaper that was published in Los Angeles in the mid-20th century. UCLA Library is the only known institution to hold copies of this newspaper, making the preservation and digitization of the news source more important than ever. More than just rare, this newspaper offers a distinct perspective of life in Los Angeles in the mid-20th century. Because its intended audience was constituents of a specific diaspora in Los Angeles (Japanese-American), the content of the paper represents issues and news stories that reflected the interests and concerns of this population. For this reason, Shin Nichibei would not necessarily contain the same news stories as larger regional newspapers (e.g. The Los Angeles Times) or would at least offer a different and unique perspective on the same issues covered by more mainstream newspapers. This newspaper would be a valuable resource for anyone studying the Japanese-American diaspora in Los Angeles or Japanese immigration in Los Angeles, as well as for anyone looking for historical, alternative news sources published in Los Angeles in the 1940s-1960s.Image of front page
The newspaper is printed in English and Japanese and features articles, classified advertisements, commercial advertisements, photography and a daily cartoon illustration. While the newspapers are generally intact, the condition of the paper is brittle and somewhat faded. Many pages have sustained tears at the edges due to poor handling.

In researching ways to better preserve and digitize this material, I came across several resources that detailed specific methods for the storage and handling of newspapers, as well as suggestions for best practices for digitization.

  • Library of Congress: Preservation Measures for Newspapers —The Library of Congress provides basic protocol and recommendations for handling and storing newspapers, as well as touches on conservation treatment and reformatting options for newspapers. This resource served as a good starting point in determining storage and handling standards for the Shin Nichibei preservation project.
  • Northeast Document Conservation Center: Storage & Handling —The Northeast Document Conservation Center offers many sources of information for caring for collections, both physical and digital. I found the Storage Solutions for Oversized Paper Artifacts especially helpful in determining storage options and protocol for the Shin Nichibei newspapers.
  • North Carolina Digital Heritage Center: Digitization Guidelines —The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center promotes the high-quality digitization of cultural heritage materials and offers recommendations for best practice in doing so. This resource was especially helpful in determining what hardware to use to digitize the Shin Nichibei newspapers. The website also offered specific processes for and examples of newspaper digitization, all of which was incredibly relevant to the Shin Nichibei preservation project.

Shin Nichibei is an important resource for the UCLA library and implementing best practices for handling and storage are crucial to help mitigate the deterioration and extend the lifespan of this historical resource. Moreover, digitizing the newspaper will allow for wider access to this unique resource, which in turn, will allow the history of the Japanese-American community in Los Angeles to be remembered forever.


An Overview of Preservation

April 24th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I wanted to share a video of a presentation that the Preservation Unit gave on February 15, 2012 to the UCLA Library Collections Council. While the video explains what the Preservation Unit does and introduces the major players, there has been a huge change since this presentation was given: our fearless leader Jacob Nadal has left UCLA Library for the Brooklyn Historical Society. While we are very sad about this, we are at least somewhat consoled by the very happy news that as of the beginning of April 2012, Dawn Aveline has joined the Preservation Department as Preservation Specialist. » Read the rest of this entry «

Slow Fires, Burnt Edges, and the Only Perfect Cycle Seat

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hello, esteemed readers! This is Dawn Aveline reporting to you from the summer after completing my first year in UCLA’s MLIS program. Since last fall, I’ve had the good fortune of working with Jake in the Preservation Department, as a preservation assistant. The job encompasses a variety of preservation-related duties that often change from week to week. My tasks range from querying WorldCat holdings, searching for out-of-print books, gathering environmental data, to helping coordinate digitization projects. On occasion I’ve even been known to jump in as a pinch-hit pamphlet binder in the Conservation Lab. It’s always interesting around here! Exposure to this broad range of issues in preservation administration has become an essential part of my education.

Earlier this year I tackled one of my more intriguing assignments and I am excited to share some images of it with you. This project involved examining a number of craft paper bundles that had been sent to Preservation. At some point in the past, these newsprint materials had been gathered together and wrapped up in preparation for a move; it was up to me to open each bundle and provide a condition assessment of the contents.

» Read the rest of this entry «