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Running head: Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore

Collection
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REPORT ON ARRANGING AND DESCRIBING EDGAR MOORE COLLECTION


Kevin Cook
Emporia State University

Mid-America Nazarene Mabee Library holds many collections


associated with Kansas history, Olathe history, and many documents relating
to the universitys alumni. When I was initially introduced to the Edgar

Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore Collection

Moore Collection at MNU, it was raw. The university had received the
collection a few weeks before I had contacted them. Five boxes were
donated by the Moore estate and nobody at the university had looked at it
yet. They knew the collection would be kept and eventually evaluated and
added alongside the universitys other collections. Lon Dagley, the computer
services librarian at the Mabee Library offered this collection for my project
because he knew, with limited space, there would be less than three boxes
kept on site; the remainder would be given back to the estate or destroyed.
To my surprise, the contents of the five boxes varied greatly. Nothing
was organized or seemed purposely placed in the different boxes. It seemed
as if Edgars office desk was cleared out with great piles collected at once
and placed into large boxes. Most of the donation was paper. Edgar Moore
was a Kansas Representative and was part of many boards in the
community. Much of the paper was correspondence of the meetings and
legislation he assisted with. Magazines subscribed by Edgar and his wife
gave a sense of what the couple liked to do on their spare time. Gardening
magazines were in abundance as well as a few 1988 editions of KIWANIS, a
magazine for community leaders. A few newspapers from Olathe, Kansas
were also included in the collection.
Moore traveled a lot because of his government position and
collected many brochures from the different cities and states he visited.
Moore graduated with his Bachelors degree late in life and was a member of
the first graduation class from Mid America Nazarene. A button containing a

Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore Collection

photograph was included with the collection. Also, a memory book had been
included which included many congratulatory letters from important people
across the country. Many photos, still in their paper sleeves from the
Walmart photo center, were also found but without any information or
context.
Most of the documents were easy to describe. Although they were
severely out of order and mixed without any sense of organization, I was able
to identify each document and match them into different families or similar
documents. Because Edgar Moore was in politics, many of his documents
were government related and contained formal and helpful letterheads from
different organizations. These letterheads assisted in the naming of the
documents as well as dating them. Nearly all formal documents contained
specific dates detailed to the day.
Some of the photographs and travel brochures found, didnt have
dates so were left with an estimated date according to the context and range
of the rest of the collection. It was initially difficult to organize the
photographs because there was lack of clues as to how the photographs
should be arranged.
One initial challenge was deciding on how to tell Edgar Moores story
though the collection. After organizing and sorting each item into different
folders containing similar items, I had to make the difficult decision about
what was most important to the collection as well as the best way to
accomplish the Mid-America Nazarene Universitys archival mission. Lon

Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore Collection

Dagley requested I only kept vital records pertaining to Edgar Moore and MidAmerica University.
I am sure the more experience I attain in the archival field, the less
sensitive I will become to removing items from a final collection. However,
this project challenged me to turn five boxes of mixed materials into a
sustainable and useful collection for the university.
Items in which couldnt be justified useful for the Edgar Moore collection
were either destroyed or kept together for an ephemera box to supplement
the collection. The ephemera box is kept for items of interest to Edgar and
his wife Maron and is will be added later to the collection by Lon Dagley and
me. There were many gardening magazines and gardening coupons
scattered throughout the donation in its original, raw form. Articles cut out
of newspapers from the late 1980s were relating to innovative ways of
gardening as well as advertisements for garden materials to local businesses
in Olathe, Kansas. Though these items are important to Edgar and Maron
Moore, they didnt convey the story of Edgars political career nor related to
Mid-America Nazarene University in any way.
A special gem in the donation, which couldnt be kept with the
collection, was the personal tax information of Edgar and Maron. There were
several faded manila folders with tax papers and receipts for their tax filing
in the 1980s. Lon suggested we leave these out of the collection and return
them to the Moore estate as soon as possible. I also found a title to a small

Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore Collection

plot of land Edgar and Maron owned. This also had to be omitted from the
collection and returned to the estate.
An additional task after this project is to remove every document from
the memory book commemorating Edgars graduation from Mid-America
Nazarene. The memory book was kept as one piece for this assignment
because of the time constraints of this assignment. Later, Lon and I will
carefully remove each document from the memory book and separate them
by fine archival paper. There are well over one hundred different documents
in the memory book; letters from political icons such as President Richard
Nixon are included in the memory book.
When arranging, I searched through the donation, box by box, page by
page. I carefully sorted similar materials. Telling this mans story was going
to be difficult. Referring to Roe, I started with the basics of archiving.
Archival collections are the natural result of the activities of individuals and
organizations and serve as the recorded memory thereof, (Roe, 2005, p.
12). The nature of all archiving is telling a significant story of the person or
event in memory.
With the responsibility of what stays in the collection falling mostly on
me, I was challenged to identify documents as well as justification as to why
they could be kept. There were many old items in the donation; old
magazines, newspapers, advertisements. These items would be great for a
collection on media and advertising in the 1980s but Edgar Moore wasnt at
all interested in those topics. Within the donation was a Kansas road map

Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore Collection

from 1987. I chose to eliminate this because it didnt have any significant
notes or markings on it to validate its importance to Edgar Moore.
The most important materials for this collection were anything with
Edgar Moores name or created by him. According to Roe (2005), the first
principle of the nature of archival holdings is, records in archives possess
unique characteristics, (p. 112). This collection includes memorandums and
letters from different legislative branches to and from Edgar Moore as well as
photographs of his graduation from Mid-America Nazarene University and
holiday cards. The relation between these items is they were created or
intended for Edgar Moore. The majority of the university archives is
researchers on Kansas and Johnson County legislation. My responsibility to
the user was to include and properly describe these documents.
I used several characteristics in my physical description of each item.
The overall quantity or extent of the record is described in the collection
level of the finding aid. The collection covers three entire boxes not
including the additional ephemera files, which will be added later but
because of time constraints, had to be left out of the project. Dates have
been supplied to the user. Some documents survived without a date or
indication of context. A few of the holiday cards were found without dates
but were matched with a stamped envelope by carefully matching
handwriting from the address on the envelope and the lengthy notes within
the cards. The date was then taken from the stamp on the envelope.

Report on Arranging and Describing the Edgar Moore Collection

Some of the physical descriptions were redacted from the finding aid
because there wasnt a need for a note every time. Many of the items had
duplicates and I could choose the item in the best condition to remain in the
collection. For example, the Edgar Moore Re-election Committee Letterhead
was a single sheet of paper chosen from a stack of over one hundred
identical pages. I chose the item with the least amount of aged tinting and
the crispest edges.
Subjects were added to the collection for easy retrieval and access.
Metadata is one of the most important elements for good digital resources.
The metadata involved in the arrangement and description will allow for
quicker and easier access for the users of the archives at Mid-America
Nazarene Library. Bibliographic description was added to give a glimpse of
the life of Edgar Moore. In my opinion, bibliographic and historical
descriptions give a quick synopsis of what a researcher could expect to see
in the collection. Overall, it was a wonderful experience getting to know
Edgar Moore. I am continuing on with the ephemera files for the collection
which will be added to the finding aid later.
References
Roe, K.D. (2005). Arranging and describing archives and manuscripts.
Chicago: Society of
American Archivists.