2022 May-Crane Fellowships

The Spring 2022 May-Crane Fellows and Projects

The May-Crane Fellowships are designed to encourage undergraduate engagement with Harvard Library and to help advance the careers of graduate students. Fellows partner with staff mentors to work on projects in a range of areas, from collections to preservation to research, teaching and learning.

Recreating Physical Exhibits for the Digital World

Leo Sarbanes, PhD candidate — Historical Musicology
Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
Library mentors: Kerry Masteller, Elizabeth Berndt-Morris

Pre-pandemic, the Music Library curated three physical exhibitions a year, showcasing topics ranging from ethnomusicological collections to recent acquisitions. With many unable to visit campus, the Library prioritized shifting exhibitions online for virtual engagement, broadening audience interest beyond the local Cambridge community. The fellow was tasked with selecting one of the Music Library’s past exhibitions to transfer into an online environment, specifically proposing which online platform to host the exhibition. This project enabled the fellow to explore the use of audiovisual components, visualizations, and related full-text materials that are difficult to present in the physical exhibition space.

DIBAR Digitization Program Support

Bes Bajraktarevic, PhD candidate — Comparative Literature
Harvard Library Imaging Services
Library mentors: Kai Fay, Bill Comstock, Cary Saunders

Harvard Library is focused on digitizing collections that exemplify our Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging and Anti-Racism (DIBAR) values. As such, Imaging Services devised the DIBAR Digitization Program Support project as an opportunity for a fellow to support efforts to make these collections more accessible. The fellow operated as a project manager and shepherded collections through the full digitization process: coordinating with the owning repositories, overseeing the safe transfer of collections, preparing items for imaging, consulting with Preservation Services for stabilization if needed, documenting processes, and accurately linking items in Hollis records. Through this work, the fellow was exposed to the larger library network and the departments involved in making physical library collections accessible online. 

Finding Aids for Middle East Collections

Sarah Aziz, PhD candidate — Histories and Cultures of Muslim Societies
Services for Academic Programs
Library mentor: Sarah DeMott

Researchers often ask for ‘discovery tricks’ and ‘search strategies’ when using Harvard Library’s Hollis Catalogue. While serendipitous search terms can be successful, they are not consistent. Harvard Library’s Discovery Team created a virtual platform finding aid prototype. This project tasked a fellow to test the prototype on the Middle East Collections. The fellow curated the first series of virtual finding aids to assist researchers in highlighting regions within this collection. Through consultations with the library project team and user experience feedback, the fellow published a library guide for Middle East resources across Harvard Library. This project models the critical partnership between academic library and emerging scholar. 

Urban Segregation

Ricky Sanchez, PhD candidate — English
Harvard Map Collection
Library mentors: Dave Weimer, Belle Lipton

Urban segregation surrounds the lives of everyone in a city but often is not obviously visible on a printed map. The Urban Segregation project explores Harvard’s collections of urban maps throughout the world, animating the effects of urban segregation. By augmenting and deepening what is already available in the online collection, City Maps and Urban Environments, the fellow selected several specific, well-represented cities in our collections in order to show the different ways segregation is depicted on maps, and how maps and data about a city can help us understand the lasting effects of segregation. Combining research with paper maps and geospatial data, this project has also enabled the fellow to develop skills in digital and spatial history while also seeing how librarians collect, curate, and produce maps and geospatial data.