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Catalog for the Rock Art Archive’s Heizer Collection completed

by shauna — last modified February 12, 2009 09:32 AM

By Sonia Gottesman
Date: 2/12/09

After the death of Dr. Robert Fleming Heizer in 1979, his colleague, Dr. C. William Clewlow, obtained a large collection of papers and imagery that had resulted from their collaboration on a rock art publication. Those papers were deposited with the UCLA Rock Art Archive, and were processed intermittently over the years. Sonia Gottesman accepted an assignment to ensure the collection was in archive-save storage materials, accessible in a database, and to prepare a catalog/finding aid to describe the collection and how to use it.

The initial task was to review the collection and determine the type of items included, design a database and input screen, then proceed to set the pages up in plastic sleeves, establish the number assignments and input each item’s description into the database.  This process took several years and was accomplished with the help of Gordon Hull, who provided programming support and several volunteers and student workers.  Once the input process was complete, a table of contents for each of the 38 albums was prepared.  The collection was also reviewed for subject matter categories, such as site protection, site records, and more. Once this study was complete, a table of information was prepared to facilitate a researcher’s access based on subject matter.

The collection consists of 38 albums, three cases of negatives, and one case containing drawings. There are 2,132 records in the catalog, some of which represent multiple pages. The catalog contains a description of some of the more interesting items in the collection. It also features information about Dr. Heizer, which was obtained during an interview with one of his former students, Tom Hester of the University of Texas, Austin.  An interview with Dr. Clewlow is pending. The material obtained from this interview will be included in the catalog and will mark the completion of this endeavor.

Sonia Gottesman has been volunteering in the Rock Art Archive for over 10 years.

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