About this Exhibit


In 2012, the University of Miami Libraries Special Collections was awarded a two year grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) to enhance access to the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records at the More Product Less Process (MPLP) rate of 4 hours per linear foot.

The need for the grant was obvious. As our most used collection, fifty percent of research requests pertained to Pan Am, yet the collection’s only access tool was an unwieldy 938-page folder inventory. Making the collection even more difficult to use, the original order of the records – essential for understanding the many contexts in which the records were created – had been lost. This left only two ways to search the collection: reading the folder inventory from top to bottom or keyword searching. Unfortunately, typos on the inventory made keyword searching problematic. Needless to say, large swaths of the collection were as unexplored as the bottom of the ocean.

Over the course of two years, the project archivist and over 15 students, volunteers, staff members, and librarians spanning six departments spent over 5,000 hours sifting through over 30,000 folders to organize the collection’s 1,500 boxes of administrative, legal, financial, technical, and promotional records, publications, photographs, audiovisual material, graphic material, and 3-D objects, as well as repairing damaged items, rehousing materials for long-term preservation, and creating a web-based finding aid. Intellectual arrangement alone took over 700 hours.

The end result is a collection that has been thematically mapped, mended, and preserved for generations to come, and a finding aid that allows researchers to find the materials they need more quickly and efficiently. This website, published in November 2014, is the culmination of our efforts.

University of Miami cheerleaders at Christening of the Pan American Clipper Hurricane, a DC-4, tail number N88898, at Miami, Florida

University of Miami cheerleaders at Christening of the Pan American Clipper Hurricane

Pan Am Processing Team


Project Director: Beatrice Skokan, Manuscripts Librarian, Special Collections

Project Archivist: Emily Gibson, Visiting Archivist, Special Collections

Project Assistant: Cory Czajkowski, Special Collections

Special Collections Student Assistants and Volunteers: Brook Cathey, Briana Tonns, Kathryn Garcia, Marie Hanewinckel, Nate Mensink, Natasha Mijares, Lyn Moulton, Kriti Sood, Lissette St. Michele, and Piero Trinchero

Conservation: Scott Reinke, Preservation Administrator; Duvy Argandona, Assistant Conservator

Cataloging: Hui-Jiuan Sheng, Head Serials Cataloging Unit

Finding Aid Programming: Jamie Little, Web and Emerging Technologies Digital Programmer

"Cleared to Land" UM Libraries Digital Exhibit


Site Curator: Emily Gibson, Visiting Archivist, Special Collections

Site Development and Design: Lyn MacCorkle, Digital Repository Librarian

Finding Aid Visualization: Sevika Singh, Digital Repository Student Assistant

Site Programming: Jamie Little, Web and Emerging Technologies Digital Programmer

Scanning: Laura Capell, Head of Digital Production; Mark Buchholz, Digital Production Manager; Marcel Lopes, Digital Production Technician

Copy Editing: Sarah Block, Library Communications 

Metadata Support: Allison J. O’Dell, Special Collections Cataloging and Metadata Librarian

Video Editing: Vanessa Rodriguez, E-Learning & Emerging Technologies Librarian