The public service staff of Special Collections and Archives work closely with researchers daily. As a new feature of this blog, we will be sharing stories about research in Special Collections and Archives that yielded successful outcomes. We hope to further expose the wide variety of research that our collections support and to encourage others to ask us for assistance. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-824-3947.
SUCCESS STORY 4
WHO: Christine Eubank, UCI Ph.D. Candidate in History
THE CHALLENGE: Christine Eubank has been working with collections in Special Collections and Archives since 2005. Her research, exploring “suburban feminism and liberal women’s political activism in Orange County during the 1960s and 1970s,” started when Christine was a graduate student at CSU Fullerton writing her M.A. thesis on a similar topic. She was originally focused on the Vivian Hall papers, 1943-1995 (MS-R008) in our collection and came here from CSUF to use that collection. Several years ago Christine was accepted into the graduate program in History at UCI.
LIBRARY INTERVENTION: Christine expanded her research into other areas of local activism when she began her dissertation work here at UCI. We suggested that she might also want to look at women who were involved in local environmental activism, as well as political action organizations in Orange County that had strong women in leadership roles. We suggested the League of Women Voters of Orange County records, 1957-2005 (MS-R088), the Helen Lotos files on Orange County women’s organizations, 1968-1988 (MS-R074), the Mitsuye Yamada papers, 1940 – 2005 (MS-R071), the Women For: Orange County records, 1984 – 2003 (MS-R069), and the “Gay and Lesbian Community Servuces Center of Orange County Records (MS-R118).” We also suggested smaller collections of relevance that were unprocessed, but that might be useful to her, e.g. Lynn M. Osen papers, 1952-2000 (MS-R130), Joan Ariel files on women’s political activism. 1970 – 1992 (MS-R111), and a few others. “The collection at UCI is one of the richest archival sources for my research,” Christine notes, “and the entire staff has been so helpful all these years that it really feels like a collaborative project at this point.”
POSITIVE RESOLUTION: As Christine worked her way through these papers, we also facilitated several meetings between her and women represented in these collections, e.g. Helen Lotos, Mitsuye Yamada. Christine has indicated that she would be very interested in giving us those interviews when she completes her dissertation. Christine’s research expanded beyond her first area of focus, to include other areas of activism that reflected strong leadership by women in the county during the 1960s and 1970s. We also processed and facilitated access to several of the collections that were unprocessed when she first began using the collection. Her dissertation is now close to completion, and will reflect the exhaustive research she has done with many collections in our archive.
MORAL: We strongly value the ability to facilitate connections between the researcher and our collections, This ongoing commitment can help researchers move forward in exciting new areas and helps facilitate connections toward expanding our archival collections.