Friends' Digitization Project

January 4, 2010

The Friends go digital! The historic journals in the archives of the Friends of Florham archives in the Library at Florham are now in the process of being digitized, and should be accessible to students, scholars — both local, national, and international — via FDU's Digital Library by the end of 2010. This is the third, and perhaps most exciting stage in the archiving/digitization project that was initiated when Edward Burden, great-grandson gave a significant gift to the University in 2004 comprising household ledgers, and correspondence of the Vanderbilt-Twombly family.

Briefly, to launch the project, the Friends hired an archivist to create finding aids for existing Twombly-Vanderbilt research, and the trove that comprised the Burden bequest. The second phase encompassed documenting and digitizing family photographs taken by Shirley Burden, a professional photographer. The Vanderbilt name may be legendary — often for marriages, divorces, substantial inheritances, and grand-scale homes — but with the digitizing of the twelve journals, covering the period of 1900-1962, researchers will be able to learn information not generally left by family members — business and personal financial data, detailed discussion of building of houses, dealings with architects and landscape designers, and real estate transactions. When completed, this project will provide an actual template for students and scholars of an actual and specialized way of life "lived" during the Gilded Age by one of the major exemplars of the period in Morris County, and of the U.S. in general.

This project is being overseen by Brigid Burke, Technical Services and Digital Projects Librarian for the FDU, and the digitization services provided by Princeton Imaging, Princeton, NJ.

Notes on the completed digitization project: