About This Site


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

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.  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 remained unexplored.

Over the course of two years, the project archivist and over 15 students, volunteers, staff members, and librarians spent over 5,000 hours sifting through over 30,000 folders to organize the collection’s 1,500 boxes of records, as well as repairing damaged items, rehousing materials for long-term preservation, and creating a web-based finding aid.  The More Product Less Process (MPLP) rate for the project averaged 4 hours per linear foot.  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.

Pan American personnel booking reservations
Pan American Airways personnel booking reservations

In 2016, the University of Miami Libraries was awarded a second grant by the NHPRC to digitize the Printed Materials Series.  This 18-month digitization project, encompassing more than 60 boxes of material, has yielded over 100,000 pages of digital content and is both full-text searchable and openly available to the public for browsing and research.  While most of the materials were outsourced to Creekside Digital, approximately one-fourth of the boxes were digitized in-house in the library’s Digital Production Lab.  Additionally, a landing page for the new digital collection was created, where users can easily search or browse by subject, location, genre, creator, or time period.  Using the newly digitized content, three new exhibit pages were also created and are now featured on this site.


Pan Am Processing Team


Project Director: Beatrice Skokan, Head of Manuscripts & Archives Management

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" Site 


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 & 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 & Metadata Librarian

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


Digitization Grant Project


Project Director: Laura Capell, Head of Digital Production

Project Management, Digital Exhibit, & Site Curation: Gabriella Williams, Digital Projects Librarian

In-house Digitization: Veronica Cabrera, Digital Production Manager; David Almeida, Digital Production Technician; John Hay, Digital Production Technician; Robert Largaespada, Digital Production Technician; Corey Felhberg, Digital Production Student Assistant; Daniel Correa-Manzor, Digital Production Student Assistant

Metadata Support: Elliot Williams, Digital Initiatives Metadata Librarian

Technical Adviser: Paige Morgan, Digital Scholarship Librarian & Scholarly Publishing Officer

Curatorial Adviser: Beatrice Skokan, Head of Manuscripts & Archives Management

Video Editing & Production: Bryanna Herzog, Audio/Video Media Manager

Project Communications: Jose Cabrera, Director of Creative Services; Cory Czajkowski, Writer, Creative Services; Brittney Bomnin, Communications Specialist, Creative Services; Gisele Rocha, Project Manager, Creative Services; Ivette Uria, Events Planner, Creative Services






Many thanks to the National Historical Publications & Records Commission for making all of these projects possible.