Group Title: The slavery collections of the University of Florida
Title: The Slavery collections of the University of Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095852/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Slavery collections of the University of Florida
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Kesse, Erich
Publisher: George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Copyright Date: 1998
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095852
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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THE SLAVERY COLLECTIONS OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA






A Response to a Call for Proposals
SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Preservation Microfilming Project
BASED ON
SOUTHERN HERITAGE, HISTORY AND CULTURE







University of Florida. George A. Smathers Libraries. 1998 MARCH.
THE SLAVERY COLLECTIONS OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

A Response to a Call for Proposals
SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Preservation Microfilming Project
BASED ON
SOUTHERN HERITAGE, HISTORY AND CULTURE

Prepared by
Erich Kesse, Chair, Preservation Department
and
John Ingram, Chair, Department of Special Collections




SUMMARY
The University of Florida proposes that 1,500 texts relating to slavery in the American South,
and published as pamphlets or small monographs, including essays, tracts, sermons, and
literary works, be microfilmed for preservation.


COLLECTION DESCRIPTION IN BRIEF
The slavery collections at the University of Florida supplement those of other libraries in the
Southeast and in the United States in general. Moreover, the collections augment a
southeastern slavery collection compiled through SOLINET's past microfilming efforts. The
collections are drawn from the University of Florida's circulating and special collections and
from both the Smathers (main) Libraries and the Legal Information Center. The total number
of titles reaches into the thousands, of which, one thousand five hundred (1,500) are selected
for this project.
The published slavery collections of the University of Florida are similar to those held
elsewhere. They document an ignoble institution that held fast in the American South,
highlighting the cold economics of human capital, the venom of the anti-slavery movement
and its activist abolitionary edge, and the theology and political rhetoric both for and against
owning slaves. The publications "track" fugitive slaves along the Underground Railroad to
the north and into the swamps and Seminole lands of Florida. Whereas this portion of the
collections is not special in itself, it does augment a comprehensive national collection of
Southern institutions such as the University of Florida, which endeavored to collect these
materials early in their history to understand more fully their heritage. The project endeavors








to make these materials more broadly available while preserving the physical artifacts that
have been brought together largely to date only in bibliographies such as John David Smith's
Black slavery in the Americas: an interdisciplinary bibliography, 1865-1980 (Westport, CT :
Greenwood Press, 1982).
The slavery collections at the University of Florida, when placed in context together with
supporting collections and materials extend beyond this "standard" collection. Its slavery
collections, in particular those of the Legal Information Center, document the international
context of American slavery. These foreign publications though principally British also
include Brazilian, Dutch, French and Spanish materials that document the supply of slaves
and show the institution of American slavery to be very much a part of Caribbean and
colonial economics. As important as is their support for slavery, these foreign publications
are also among the first voices for abolition of slavery in the Americas. The American
abolitionist movement, in general, and its Southern component in particular, cannot be
understood fully without these sources. Selection from this "international" collection will be
limited to materials that address slavery in the southern United States and provide context for
American events, principally, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.


COLLECTION PROFILE
TYPE OF COLLECTION
Slavery materials from the Department of Special Collections and the Legal Information
Center. Each of the target collections is non-circulating.
SUBJECTS)
Slavery
Abolitionist movement
United States of America, Southern states
and related topics, including: Fugitive slaves, the Underground Railroad, and
Emancipation.
CLASSIFICATION
Dewey Decimal Classification: 259; 325 through 329, 917, and 972 through 973;
bulk, 325 through 326.
Library of Congress Classification: E188 through E501, HC107, and PS1567;
bulk, E445 through E446.
FORMAT
Printed tracts in pamphlets (91%), and monographs (9%).
IMPRINT
Dates: Bulk 1830-1900;
Extended Dates: The University of Florida requests permission to extend the earlier
date back to 1800 for pamphlet materials both informative to an understanding of
slavery and its place in the American Civil War.
Pamphlets of this period were ephemeral, not intended to have survived their argument either
for or against the institution of slavery.








See, "Condition of the Collection," below
Place: Bulk U.S.A. (96%), with select titles from the United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain,
France, and the Netherlands and their Caribbean colonies and possessions (4%).







BIBLIOGRAPHIC CONTROL (Current)
Degree of bibliographic control currently varies from and within collections. Most titles
have at least provisional cataloging in the University of Florida on-line catalog. All titles,
in a test subset, had OCLC cataloging copy.


JUSTIFICATION FOR PRESERVATION
The slavery collections are unique and endangered primary resources documenting the
institution of slavery in the Florida and American South throughout the 18th- and early 19th-
centuries. Their use supports and informs historical, literary, and social studies on slavery,
American culture and history, etc.. Texts in the collections do not duplicate resources
preserved elsewhere and have not been made widely available for research. Preservation
microfilming and associated OCLC cataloging would ensure that these texts outlive the life of
their current paper medium and are accessible for research at the University of Florida and
beyond.


AVAILABILITY OF DESCRIPTION
IN THE MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHIC DATABASES
In samples of the slavery collections, all titles were represented in the OCLC bibliographic
database. Yale University holds a majority of titles sampled. Other holding institutions are
scattered across the United States but are located primarily in the Atlantic and Southern states.
See also, "Availability In Reprint, Microform, And Electronic Formats," below.


CONDITION OF THE COLLECTION
Embrittlement, as indicated by flex testing, was the sole determinant of the condition of the
slavery collections as candidates for preservation microfilming. A flex test, rather than the
"standard" double fold test used in most library studies of embrittlement as a surrogate for the
MIT fold tester, was employed because non-destructive methods were required for these non-
circulating materials. Considered more subjective than the double fold test, flex testing
requires the surveyor to bend the comer, which otherwise would have been folded, at 450 to
either edge of the book-paper, over the curve of a pencil, observing stress lines that develop.
Because paper grain usually runs long or short, i.e., up and down or across the page, stress
lines that develop along the 450 angle can be associated with embrittlement. The degree of
embrittlement can be estimated by the number and severity of stress lines.
Only trained staff with extensive double fold testing experience conduct flex-tests. The
University of Florida employed a single flex tester to assure consistency of results. This
individual regularly conducts dual flex and double fold testing on circulating materials to








assure confidence in the results. Dual testing establishes flex test measurements within one
unit of double fold test measurements. Flex testing usually underestimates embrittlement.
To facilitate comparison of our results with those performed by other institutions, we report
embrittlement as items that score the estimated equivalent of three double folds. Our results
have not been modified to compensate for any difference between flex and double fold
measurement.
The University of Florida's slavery collections are significantly embrittled. Fully 40% of
these collections, as opposed to 20% of the university's general holdings, is embrittled. None
of the pamphlet materials is bound, and their pages have worn poorly over time. The
University of Florida commits to house these materials and offers housing costs as cost-share
if needed.
REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION: DATE PARAMETERS
The University of Florida requests consideration for inclusion of imprints dating back to
1800. Embrittlement or deterioration of all imprints extends beyond normal preservation
microfilming date parameters, i.e., 1850-1900, back through 1800. We surmise that widely
varied North American climates, combined with the poor paper quality, and inferior storage
and housing led to the distressed conditions noted above. While embrittlement is not as
severe for imprints of foreign origin, deterioration resulting from other factors is as common
as for American imprints.


AWARENESS OF OTHER FILMING PROJECTS
Significant microfilming of slavery texts has been completed by several institutions,
principally by the Yale University Library, and in the southeastern United States by Emory
University, the South Carolina Historical Society, North Carolina State University, and the
University of North Carolina. While the University of Florida is aware of microfilming
projects that have touched upon slavery and related materials in Virginia and Florida, none of
the items in two samples of our collections had been microfilmed by either of these projects.
Though the University of Florida's collections include theological texts on slavery and
abolition, survey samples identified only one title which had been microfilmed elsewhere.
That title had been part of an ATLA project. The number of titles in our samples that had
been commercially micropublished was equally low. Five percent had been microfilmed by
either Research Publications or Primary Source Media.


AVAILABILITY IN REPRINT, MICROFORM,
and ELECTRONIC FORMATS
REPRINT
Bibliographic search of the random samples found no reprints.







MICROFORM
Bibliographic search of the random samples found microform versions 21% of the time.
The majority of microforms were 35 mm. And the bulk (11%) were produced by the
Yale University Libraries. Of the remaining, 5% were commercial micropublications,
and 5% were produced by SOLINET member institutions. Ninety-eight percent of
microfilms produced by SOLINET member institutions were produced as part of
SOLINET microfilming projects.
ELECTRONIC FORMATS
Bibliographic search of the random samples found no electronic versions.


ESTIMATE OF PRESERVATION NEED
TOTAL COLLECTION: University of Florida collections consist of approximately 3,500 items
in the circulating and special collections of both the main libraries and the Legal Information
Center. 1,500 of these published, primary source items will be selected for this project.
Note that we have not corrected for specific imprint date exclusion; we have requested
special date consideration, cf, "Condition of Collection," above. Even if declined, collection
size is large enough as not to have impact upon the number of items we request be filmed.
Note, also, that we have not corrected for selection; items in target collections were
acquired with specific intent and remain important. Collection management review is
proposed as a means of culling the best materials from the collections.


PROJECT PERSONNEL
COLLECTION MANAGEMENT & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Jeffrey Barr, Curator of Rare Books (5% FTE)
PRESERVATION
Cathleen Mook, Chair-designate, Preservation Department. [Local project
management] (2% FTE)
Nelda Schwartz, Coordinator, Brittle Books Program [Preparation, etc.] (5% FTE)
Gus Clifton, Microfilm Technician [Print Master management] (2% FTE)
John Freund [Conservation management] (2% FTE)
Student Assistants [bibliographic searching] (5% FTE estimated)
RESOURCE SERVICES
Betsy Simpson, Cataloging [Bibliographic control] (5% FTE)
LEGAL INFORMATION CENTER
Mae Clark, Chair, Catalog Dept. [Legal Information Center liaison] (less than 1% FTE)








COORDINATED PROJECT INFORMATION


The University of Florida does not propose to coordinate its project with others, but would
be open to doing so if other institutions proposed microfilming of their collections. The work
proposed builds on work already or soon to be completed through other SOLINET/ASERL
Cooperative Preservation Microfilming Projects; cf, "Awareness of other filming projects,"
above. The university's collections, otherwise, appear to be distinct from similar collections in
the region.


CONTINUATION OF PREVIOUS PROJECT
The University of Florida's proposal represents a new project, comparable to but distinct from
similar previous SOLINET/ASERL projects.


SAMPLE
Statistical information given in this proposal was drawn at random from both the Smathers
Libraries (main libraries) and the Legal Information Center. Each was a sample of 100
volumes. Surveys of physical condition and bibliographic availability were completed for all
volumes sampled.
Physical condition surveys were based on the Research Libraries Group's Preservation Needs
Assessment Program tool. Findings are reported, in brief, above, cf, "Condition of the
Collection."
Bibliographic searches were conducted in the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA)
database of Florida's ten State University System libraries, OCLC and RLIN, as well as Books
in Print and micropublisher's catalogs. Findings are reported, in brief, above, cf, "Awareness
of Other Filming Projects" and "Availability in Reprint, ..." Bibliographic surveys examined
the availability and quality of cataloging, together with searches for reprints, microforms, and
electronic versions of titles in the samples.




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