Research Activities and Interests
|Researching in public record
centers, archives, and libraries continues to fill our days, when not
engaged in Disaster
Response and Preservation consultations. Two recent projects
were a study of canals in Ohio, their creation, and laws about their use,
and a nomination for the National Register of Historic Places. The
nomination is for a Queen Anne house and farm in central Ohio.
Past projects include a study of the history of
geographical areas from the founding of the State of Ohio to the present,
and documenting early history and exploration of the Northwest Territory
and the Midwest United States. These projects involve work in
historical and archival repositories, public records centers, and
historical preservation resources and collections.
As always, Miriam is writing.
The dissertation Werner and His Empire: The Rise
and Fall of a Gilded Age Printer is finished and deposited with UMI /
ProQuest (Dec 2011). This work reconstructed the history of an Akron printing company
in the Gilded Age. Numerous primary sources and newspapers were mined to
study this undocumented company and examine how the printing industry
changed between 1870 and 1914.
A series of short articles about locating and using
primary sources for historical research is in the works, spawned directly
from the dissertation. Other potential projects include studies in print
culture and documentary editing. I plan to blog about primary
sources, indices, and research methods. Look at my
blog, a work in progress.
|August 2012 was my half-year quasi-sabbatical. Why quasi? I
online course on Rare Book and Special Collection Librarianship while
visiting cultural institutions and historical sites in an effort to
re-energize my love of the written word and the world around me. I wrote about this adventure in my newest blog
A revised edition of "Disaster Response and Planning for
Libraries" which is published by ALA is on its way. Librarians
and archivists need to think more broadly
about disasters, natural and man-made, especially in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina and 9/11, and the collapse of the archives in Cologne.
The new edition, (the third), came out in March 2012 and published through
"The Library Security and Safety Guide to Prevention, Planning, and
Response" looks at security and safety issues for cultural institutions'
collections and users. It was published by ALA in spring 2008.
Library's Electronic Resources", a book about protecting electronic data was
published by ALA in February 2004.
|We are continuing our work to enhance
and improve Genealogy and Local History Reference Service provided by
libraries and archives by providing targeted research methods workshops.
While expanding these workshops, Miriam works actively retrieving
information and history from libraries, historical societies, genealogy
organizations and court houses. This is our most popular workshop.
|MBK CONSULTING was founded by Miriam
Kahn, MLS, MA, PhD in 1991. The company specializes in providing consulting
and educational services to libraries, archives, historical societies,
museums and other cultural institutions. In addition, MBK CONSULTING
provides reference services on a consulting basis to businesses, law firms
and individuals. We do have partnerships with other librarians who
assist when needed.
|MBK CONSULTING teaches workshops that
focus on fundamental reference skills for librarians. Two of these
workshops are Readers' Advisory - Evaluating and Recommending Books, and
Multicultural Literature for Librarians - Understanding and recommending
books by other cultures.
Our most popular workshops are
Planning, Book Repair
for Circulating Collections, and
Genealogy and Local History
|We regularly teach workshops for
librarians at the Kent State University School of Library and Information
Science as well as at OHIONET, the state's library consortium, and many
other library and genealogy groups.
In 1992, Miriam began teaching workshops in Library
& Information Science at Kent State University (http://www.slis.kent.edu).
These workshops continue to be popular today and include
Local History Research Methods, Accessing
Government Documents, Print & On-Line,
Preservation of Library Materials:
Selecting Appropriate Treatment or Replacement Options,
& methods. Our newest workshop
for Kent State University SLIS will be Disaster Response, premiering
In the summer of 2002, Miriam
taught Preservation Management for the School of Information Science at
the University of Pittsburgh.
Since the summer of 2006, Miriam has been teaching
courses at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science at Kent
State University (http://www.slis.kent.edu
). She offers four different courses,
Introduction to Rare Book
& Local History Research Methods, and
of Libraries in the Western World, and numerous workshops and seminars
in librarianship, archives and history.
In the fall of 2010, Miriam taught a survey course
in World Civilizations to
1650 to undergraduates for the History Department at Kent State
University. This course continues to be a fun and rewarding experience.
Beginning in January 2012, Miriam begins teaching
Foundations of Library and Information Science
for the School of Library
and Information Science at Kent State University. This is a fantastic
opportunity to explore the origins of our profession and issues that will
confront our new graduates.
|BA -History from University of
Wisconsin at Madison
|MLS - Specializing in Research and
Reference - Queens College - CUNY
|MA - History from Hunter College -
|Ph.D. - History at
Kent State University Dissertation "Werner and His Empire: The Rise
& Fall of a Gilded Age Printer" focusing on
print history and culture in NE Ohio in the Gilded Age and early
|Kent State University
- 1992-present: Adjunct Professor - Graduate School of Library and Information Science -
teach numerous classes and two-day workshops
|MBK Consulting -
1991-present:Library Consultant - research, preservation, disaster response and more
for cultural institutions.
|State Library of Ohio -
Preservation Consultant - developed a statewide program for preservation,
disaster response and education for the academic, special and public
libraries of Ohio
|University of South Dakota -
Coordinator of Online Bibliographic Services - taught on-line searching
and bibliographic instruction to students and faculty at the University.
|New York Public Library -
Humanities and Social Sciences Department at Mid-Manhattan Library -
Reference Librarian; also Reference Librarian at Circulating Branch
complete CV click here
directly for a list of people and organizations who regularly contract
with MBK CONSULTING
Fees for workshops and consultation
vary depending upon location and duration. For workshops, AV
requirements vary depending upon the topic. All require a
blackboard or white board or writing pad. Many require direct
Internet access for instructor and all students. Overheads and
projectors may be requested.
|Contact Miriam Kahn at
directly for specifics.
|Hobbies & Personal Activities
Miriam has been teaching
book repair for over 20 years and has branched out to work with fibers as
well as paper. Her newest endeavors involve preservation &
conservation of fiber art as well as the creation of such pieces.
Miriam is involved with the CML Appliqué Group and the Stan Hywet
Needlework Guild, and enjoying a break from
reading and writing.
Of course, Miriam reads voraciously both physically and aurally.
She has been reviewing audio books in many formats for over 20 years for
AudioFile Magazine www.audiofilemagazine.com
To keep her hand in genealogy, public records,
reference and research, Miriam is volunteering with FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org)
to index vital and public records. It is fascinating to learn what
information documents contain that is not indexed. This project
demonstrates how important it is to look at records themselves and not
just the abstracts. Indexes just give researchers access to records, they
don't tell the whole story. Look for
articles and comments about indexing and researching primary sources in
our new blog.