Danielle Emerling (left) and Tammi Kim with boxes of the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Senatorial Papers behind them.

Historical materials

University Library project archivists begin work on congressional collections


1:46 p.m., March 13, 2013--The University of Delaware Library has announced the start of a projected two-year project to process congressional collections at the library.

Danielle Emerling and Tammi Kim have joined the Manuscripts and Archives Department, each in a two-year professional affiliate assistant librarian position, as a project team to process the senatorial papers and other historical materials of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former U.S. Sen. Edward E. (Ted) Kaufman. 

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The two project archivists report to L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, head of the Manuscripts and Archives Department and curator of the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Senatorial Papers.

When Biden was sworn into the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, 1973, he was the sixth youngest senator in the history of U.S. Congress. When he resigned after his 2008 election to the vice presidency of the United States, Biden had served longer than all but 14 of the 1,931 members of the Senate since 1789.

The record of his lengthy and distinguished career in the Senate, where he served as chair of Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee as well as holding numerous other positions of leadership, is preserved in an extensive archival collection now in the Manuscripts Department of the University of Delaware Library. 

Kaufman, a longtime Biden aide, was appointed by then-Gov. Ruth Ann Minner to fill the vacancy created by Biden's resignation to become vice president. Kaufman served in the Senate from January 2009 until November 2010 when a special election was held to fill the unexpired portion of the term. His senatorial papers are also in the Manuscripts Department of the University of Delaware Library.

Emerling received her master of library science and archives (MLS) degree with an archives and records management specialization, as well as a master of arts in history, both from Indiana University, Bloomington, in December 2012. She also holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University.

Emerling has had substantial relevant work experience while completing her two graduate degrees. She worked part-time for two years processing the Birch Bayh senatorial papers in the Modern Political Papers Collection at the Indiana University Libraries. She implemented the national standard for finding aids that are DACS compliant (Describing Archives Content Standard) and served as graduate assistant for the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) at the Indiana University Archives and at the Indiana University Lilly Library. 

Prior to these responsibilities, Emerling served as a manuscripts processing intern at the Lilly Library and as a project assistant at the Chautauqua Institution Oliver Archives Center in Chautauqua, N.Y.

Kim received her master of library and information science (MLIS) degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in June 2011. She holds a bachelor of arts degree with concentration in British and American cultural studies and a film studies minor from Georgia State University.

Kim brings much relevant experience to her new position at the University of Delaware Library. Her most recent experience was as processing assistant in the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia where she completed work on a gubernatorial collection of approximately 450 linear feet. In addition to processing manuscript collections and creating finding aids, Kim also helped coordinate the move of approximately 5,000 boxes from off-site locations to the new University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries Building high-density storage vault.

While pursuing her graduate library degree, Kim held several archival internships at the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center; the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; the Department of Archives and Special Collections in the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University; and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Library and Archives in Los Angeles.

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