The Pauling Catalogue: Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers at Oregon State University
Petersen, Chris and Cliff Mead, eds. Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University Libraries, (six volumes, 2006).
I spent the better part of ten years working on this project, an illustrated catalogue of holdings for the massive Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. For most of my employment at Oregon State University, I've been tasked with arranging and describing the half-million item Pauling archive into the seventeen series that comprise The Pauling Catalogue. Once the text of the finding aid was complete, one-thousand sets of the completed work were printed by Asia Pacific Offset. The publication runs to over 1,700 pages and includes 1,100 illustrations. I selected most of these illustrations and wrote captions for the majority. I also wrote most of the prefatory material to Volume I and contributed to a number of additional tasks including copyright clearance, image administration, xml mark-up of the finding aid text, proofreading and promotional efforts.
More information on The Pauling Catalogue is available at
Documentary History Websites
One of the methods that we have used to present materials from the Pauling Papers in a digital form has been the creation of a series of documentary histories focusing on specific aspects of Linus Pauling's life and work. Each documentary history is comprised of three main components: A Narrative, and All Documents and Media section and a Linus Pauling Day-by-Day piece. The Narrative, as one might expect, tells the story of whichever subject the site is focusing upon. The All Documents section serves as a repository for the hundreds of documents, photographs and audio-visual snippets that we have used to illustrate the topics prestented in the Narrative. The Pauling Day-by-Day feature presents, in calendar form, the details of all of Linus and Ava Helen Pauling's daily activities for a series of years appropriate to the site.
I've been actively involved with the development of each of these sites, primarily in the areas of content selection, object description and administration of the Day-by-Day component. The site "Linus Pauling and the International Peace Movement," launched in November 2007, was the first of our projects to operate on a METS/MODS-dependent platform. The revised version of "Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond," released in commemoration of the Pauling birth anniversary on February 28, 2008, followed suit in that all of the images presented on the site are described using METS records as containers for the digital objects and their associated metadata. Increasingly, a large percentage of my work is being devoted to the creation and administration of METS records, and to the editing of the xml vital to the proper xsl generation of our websites.
Click on any of the titles below to access a particular documentary history.
Primary Source Digital Libraries
We have also created two more traditional primary source digital libraries. The first, "Linus Pauling Research Notebooks," consists of nearly 7,700 pages of scanned material from Pauling's forty-seven scientific research notebooks. The second, "Linus Pauling: Awards, Honors and Medals," is a CONTENTdm collection displaying the bulk of Pauling's hundreds of decorations.
In both cases, my contribution to these projects has been mainly in the area of description. I wrote the page-level index to each of the Pauling Research Notebooks and also edited the catalogue series upon which the Awards site is based. I have also written 360 pages of summary data for a forthcoming primary source digital library focusing upon dozens of pocket diaries that Pauling created over the course of his 93-year life. The pocket diaries website will be driven in part by nearly 100 METS records that I also created.
Special Events Pages
Beginning with the posting of the complete transcribed proceedings of the 2007 conference "The Scientist as Educator and Public Citizen: Linus Pauling and His Era," the attentions of our department are steadily turning toward the release of large troves of video from special events sponsored by or otherwise affiliated with the OSU Libraries Special Collections. Having established a robust xsl framework for the 2007 conference, we are now in a position where creating similar special events sites and mounting large quantities of flash video is a relatively simple process. My contributions to these efforts include permissions clearance, video-ripping using Adobe Premiere, content description in METS records and xml indices, and quality-control of the transcription work done by our student staff.