Talk Like a Pirate – library metadata speaks

Pirate Hunter, Richard Zacks

Pirate Hunter, Richard Zacks

Friday, 19 September is of course well known as International Talk Like a Pirate Day. In order to mark the day, we created not one but FIVE lists (rolled out over this whole week). This is part of our What In the WorldCat? series (#wtworldcat lists are created by mining data from WorldCat in order to highlight interesting and different views of the world’s library collections).

If you have a suggestion something you’d like us to feature, let us know or leave a comment below.

Fusion workshops at the 2014 PHOTOgraphie festival

PHOTOgraphie, British Columbia’s only professional photography festival, is coming September 26-29. Amateur photographers are welcome to participate.

PHOTOgraphie logo






Fusion is a separate event that is being presented as part of PHOTOgraphie for the first time.

Fusion 2014 logo






Organized by Beau Photo Supplies and Vancouver Photo Workshops on September 28, participants can register for one or more speakers and workshops presented throughout the day. Workshop registration includes admission to the trade show.

We’ll be presenting “The Ins and Outs of Donating to an Archives” at  9 am at the Roundhouse, discussing the process of acquisition and what we do with archival materials once they have been acquired.

We look forward to meeting new people at this event and showing them what we do!


Reminisce at the FSU Heritage Museum

Werkmeister Reading Room, FSU Heritage Protocol Museum

Werkmeister Reading Room, FSU Heritage Protocol Museum

We are happy to announce that the Heritage Museum has reopened for the fall! Located in the Werkmeister Reading Room in Dodd Hall, the Heritage Museum has photographs, ephemera, and artifacts that document the history of FSU.

Students Reading in Dodd Hall Library, ca 1950s

Students Reading in Dodd Hall Library, ca 1950s

Dodd Hall, arguably one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, was built in 1923 and served as the library for the Florida State College for Women, and then for FSU until Strozier Library was built in 1956. It was named for William George Dodd, who joined the FSCW faculty in 1910. After the library moved into Strozier, WFSU housed its studio there. In 1985, the Claude and Mildred Pepper Library opened in Dodd Hall, and remained there until the library moved to the newly built Pepper in 1998.

Renovations began to improve the former library space in 1991. Named Professor William H. Wermeister and his wife, Dr. Lucyle T. Werkmeister, the Werkmeister Humanities Reading Room opened as a quiet space for students to study. In 1997, the Werkmeister Window, the crown jewel of an already-gorgeous space, was installed. The stained glass window was designed by Professor Emeritus Ivan Johnson and crafted by Bob and Jo Ann Bischoff. The window took over 10 years to build and contains over 10,000 individual pieces.

Regular hours for the Heritage Museum are Wednesday-Friday 12pm-5pm, with special extended hours until 7pm on Fridays before home football games. Museum tours are also available by appointment. Hope to see you there!

Cataloging and Description: A New Era

We continue our introductions of the FSU Special Collections & Archives division with the Cataloging and Description department.

The faculty and staff of the Cataloging and Description department

The faculty and staff of the Cataloging and Description department.

The Cataloging and Description Department supports the academic programs of Florida State University by organizing and describing print books, e-books, video recordings, streaming video, microforms, maps, and other monographic materials purchased or received by the library. Four librarians, two library specialists and four library support staff catalog 36,000 titles per year following national standards of bibliographic control and in keeping with established cataloging practices and priorities. The department works with Acquisitions to load e-resource packages, which add thousands of records to the library catalog each year. Original records are contributed to OCLC, an international bibliographic database. FSU contributes nearly 1,000 original records per year. The department participates in international cooperative cataloging programs including NACO (Name Authority Cooperative) and SACO (Subject Authority Cooperative) through the Library of Congress. We contribute 500 to 600 records every year to the national authority file. Two units – Complex Cataloging and Authorities/Catalog Management collaborate to create workflows and apply the latest technologies in its routine work and projects.

A sample of new technical work for Cataloging and Description are the ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations). Instead of receiving MARC (Machine-readable Cataloging) records for the ETDs, we receive non-MARC metadata and convert it into MARC so it can be loaded into the online catalog for users to find. Data conversion is also key to another recent job, the London project, where we are processing a file of records that were converted from the Access database the FSU London branch library uses for their local catalog to MARC records for FSU’s main campus catalog. After the records have been processed, they will be loaded in the FSU catalog so that professors and students visiting London will know whether or not they need to bring a given book with them. Librarians Annie Glerum and Yue Li and Library Specialist Dominique Bortmas have been working on these projects.

Remodeling the Dirac Science Library has been a major concern for the University Libraries. When the Libraries received funding for compact shelving, weeding the collection quickly became a priority. Librarian Ruth Ziegler and Library Specialist Nakia Davis collaborated with the University of Florida and worked out a withdrawal plan to remove 62,000 unwanted volumes from the catalog using global change. Reports were given to Collections Access so that they could remove books from the shelves for resale or to discard. Using this method, books did not have to be moved to the Catalog Management unit and there was considerable savings of time and effort.

Rare Books and Special Collections materials are cataloged in Cataloging and Description. When the University Libraries acquired a complete run of books published by the Grove Press Department Head Amy Weiss assembled a team of catalogers (Melissa Burel, Tim Kanke, Valeria Kosmynin and Annie Glerum) and instructed them in Special Collections cataloging. The team was able to get the books cataloged in time for a special event planned around the collection this past spring.

Ordinary cataloging is not what it once was. Cataloging of most English language materials is done in conjunction with vendors who supply both the books and the bibliographic records, as well as physically processing the book with property stamps, security strips, and barcodes. After two years of working with the Coutts/Ingram, we have changed vendors to Yankee Book Peddler (YBP). YBP will supply electronic and print books with accompanying MARC records. We will continue to do quality control checking to make sure all books have full records.

Cataloging and Description called 711 W. Madison Street home

Cataloging and Description called 711 W. Madison Street home

Cataloging and Description loads catalog records for large e-resource packages, e-books and streaming media. This can be a complicated process. FSU is part of the shared State University System (SUS) Libraries catalog. Loading electronic records requires coordination between the schools. Librarian Ruth Ziegler works with FSU’s Apryl Price, E-Resources Librarian and with FALSC (formerly FLVC). Collaboration with the other schools who have purchased the same materials is sometimes necessary when errors occur in batch loading.

There are still some traditional cataloging functions performed in Cataloging and Description. We receive books which are not yet cataloged and which require original or close to original cataloging. Most of these books are in foreign languages, but not all. Many of the books are held by very few United States libraries, with FSU being one of a very few copies held. In cases like these, FSU performs a public service by providing high quality cataloging for these materials so that they can be located by scholars throughout the country.

A traditional cataloging task which is taking on new significance is authority control. Authority control provides the underlying structure of the catalog. It’s something that most users and librarians don’t think about. It’s a very important component in cataloging and the post cataloging process. Authorities are established forms of personal, corporate, conference, geographic names, subjects, uniform titles and series records that link to records in the bibliographic file. This involves using the Library of Congress authority file from which we follow established access points. New access points are set up when there is a conflict in the Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF). In this way, works by a single author or on a given subject can be found together in the catalog. In current thought about the future of cataloging, authorities will become linked data, which will associate each name or concept with a number or code so that items can be linked out to the web and not just collocated in a catalog. From the traditions of library cataloging, come the innovations of tomorrow.

Professor Laurence Tribe, The Constitutional Convention of 1787

The original is secured under glass at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. But according to Laurence H. Tribe, America’s leading liberal interpreter of the United States Constitution, “it’s not embalmed in a time capsule of amber as though it was not meant to change over time.” In this 1988 lecture at the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum, the Harvard Law School Professor of Constitutional Law, marks the 200th anniversary of the Constitution, originally drafted on parchment and signed September 17, 1787 by 39 of 42 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Tribe, whose many books include his widely taught treatise, American Constitutional Law, passionately argues that the now centuries old document is a living blueprint, whose drafters left to future generations the tasks of filling out the notions of liberty and equality under the law. Seeking scholarly support for his argument, Tribe goes back to the historical moments when the Constitution was literally prepared, first as the hand-drafted parchment, and then the day after, on September 18, 1787, when 500 copies were printed en masse and delivered to Congress in New York City, the early capitol of the United States.

The law professor posits that the written words in this monumental document, while critical to the formation of our democracy, are not the sole source of the Constitution’s power. For evidence, Tribe notes that the early printed copy used when the Constitution was ratified by the original States contains errors of punctuation and capitalization. It was this printed copy that was relied on by Congress and the Judiciary until 1878, after the original parchment was removed from storage for the Philadelphia Exposition. Tribe suggests that an errant semi-colon in Section 8 of Article 1 of the original Constitution could have been discovered in that document creating an argument that the Framers meant Congress to have unbridled power to pass laws. Yet, such a discovery, says Tribe, would not have affected the long history of Constitutional interpretation limiting Congressional authority.

Tribe believes evolving understandings of the human needs of a changing American society injected meaning into the Constitution at its very outset beyond the limits of written words or grammar. Indeed, the Articles of Confederation, which convened the first and only Convention, required a unanimous vote of all the States to adopt a Constitution. Yet a desire for a governmental structure for the young nation drove the delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention to adopt the Constitution with just the votes of nine of the thirteen states.

While acknowledging that there has been only one official Constitutional Convention in this nation’s history, the Constitutional expert argues that there have been several defacto Conventions. He sees a Second Constitutional Convention in the ratification after the Civil War of the 13th , 14th and 15th Amendments, which granted freedom to slaves and conferred due process of law to all and voting rights for men regardless of race.

He contends that the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 ruling in 1937 upholding a minimum wage law amounted to a 3rd Constitutional Convention because it effectively overturned past High Court interpretations of the 14th Amendment precluding laws limiting the property interests of businesses. The ruling opened a door extending Constitutional protections to the long line of laws existing today that establish labor and environmental rights.

The Harvard professor sees the Supreme Court’s recognition under Chief Justices Earl Warren and later Warren Burger of criminal due process rights, privacy rights, and the rights of women as the functional equivalents of Constitutional Conventions, in keeping with his theory of an evolving Constitution not bound by the idea of an “original intent” of its drafters. “We the People once just meant white, property owning men,” says Tribe. But that is no longer the case. As this renowned Harvard legal scholar proposes, the Constitution continuously grows along with the American social understanding of what constitutes liberty and equality, concepts that cannot remain stagnant.

Tribe, the author of God Save This Honorable Court, has argued more than any other living lawyer in front of the Supreme Court. He acknowledges the paramount importance of the Court in the development of a vibrant Constitutional Law, transformed over the years through decades of interpretation. This point of view compelled Tribe, who has testified many times before Congress, to lead the 1987 fight to reject Federal Circuit Court Judge Robert Bork, then President Ronald Reagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The reason for Tribe’s opposition: Bork steadfastly refused to acknowledge the existence of legally protected liberty interests, such as privacy rights, because such rights were not literally spelled out in the Constitution.

Finally, Professor Tribe applauds the public’s involvement in the Supreme Court nomination process, as well as vigorous advise and consent by the Senate on the President’s nominee. The law professor rejects the notion that this politicizes the selection of High Court Justices. Tribe sees it more as a collaborative process necessary to assure that the Constitution continues to be interpreted as a living document.


Laurence Tribe’s talk was broadcast as part of the Voices At the New York Public Library series airing originally on February 14, 1993.

Negatives, negatives everywhere…

This summer we started a multi-year project to reprocess one of our most visually rich, fascinating, least known and hardest to use collections (hoping, of course, to change these latter points).

Students exploring the newly opened Frost Library in September of 1965

Students exploring the newly opened Frost Library in September of 1965

The College Photographer’s Negatives Collection is a large collection of negatives and prints created by the official college photographers from 1960 to 2005. The college photographers documented all aspects of the college and college life: events, staff, buildings, sports, theater, daily student life, and everything in between. The current project is to rehouse the negatives (which are already listed in the finding aid) and organize and integrate the many boxes of prints. Our hardworking student assistant, Tessa McEvoy ’16, has already rehoused the 21,000+ negatives from the 1960s and is moving full steam ahead into the 1970s.

The old and the new. The negatives will be much easier to use in their new mylar sleeves.

The old and the new.
The negatives will be much easier to use in their new mylar sleeves.

Once this is complete our dream is to digitize all the negatives (by rough estimate there are 240,000 images) and make them available on the Amherst College Digital Collections site. We also hope to add the digital photographs of campus that have been taken since 2005 (many of which are available on the College’s flickr site) to the collection so we can ensure proper long-term storage and access to this more recent college history.

We will certainly be back on the blog to give updates on this epic project but for now, please enjoy this small selection of images from Amherst College in the 1960s (click through for larger images):

President Kennedy's helicopter landing in memorial field in advance of his October 1963 commencement and Frost Library ground breaking speeches. (image 63-001-8 neg 17)
President Kennedy during his visit to campus, October 1963. (image 63-001-8 neg 23)
President Kennedy driving by the Amherst town common, October 1963. (image 63-001-8 neg 29)
Moving the books out of Converse Library, July 1965. (image 65-001-05 neg 9)
Students in the newly opened Frost Library, September 1965. (image 65-001-20 neg 1)
The circulation desk of the newly opened Frost Library, September 1965. (image 65-001-20 neg 4)
The future site of Hampshire College, August 1965. (image 65-007-3 neg 4)
Vietnam War protesters at commencement 1966, the commencement speaker was Robert MacNamara. (image 66-005-6 neg 15)
Chemistry lab, August 1966. (image 66-014-7 neg 5)
Administrative staff learning to use the new Centrix phone system, September 1966. (image 66-031-1 neg 13)
Performance of The Tempest in Kirby Theater, November 1967. (image 67-053-3)
Chuck Berry playing at the May 1967 prom! (image 67-044-1 neg 4)
Prom goers enjoying the Chuck Berry performance, May 1967. (67-044-1 neg 27)
Performance of Charly's Aunt in Kirby Theater, September 1967. (image 67-052-2)
Newly finished social dorms, summer 1963. (67-080-18 neg 27)
Newly finished social dorms, summer 1963. (image 67-080-18 neg 23)
Common area inside one of the newly finished social dorms, summer 1963. (67-080-2 neg 11)
Trustees' wives touring the newly completed Crossett Dormitory, November 1963. (67-080-3 neg 39)
Fraternity rushing, March 1968. (68-106-9 neg 34)
Open house in the new Merrill Science building, November 1968. (68-082-a4 neg 10)
Students gathered on the quad for a two-day moratorium on classes to allow students to discuss campus and national issues, April 1969. (69-001-1 neg 26)
Students gathered in the Cage to discuss campus and national issues during a two-day moratorium on classes, April 1969. (69-001-12 neg 14)

Additional Guidance on Managing Email Released

I am pleased to announce that the Office of Management and Budget and the National Archives released a memo yesterday afternoon to the heads of executive departments and independent agencies on managing email. Over the past few weeks, this issue has been brought into focus through testimony that I delivered to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In addition, we have received questions from agencies as they are reviewing our Capstone Bulletin to determine if this approach is feasible for them. This is also important in light of the requirement in the Managing Government Records Directive (OMB M-12-18) for all email to be managed electronically by December 31, 2016.

The memo reinforces the importance for each agency to manage their email properly and includes a new NARA Bulletin to assist agencies. NARA Bulletin 2014-06 reminds agency heads of existing NARA guidance and resources to assist in managing email.  The memo also reminds agencies of the upcoming deadline in the Directive to develop suitable training for all agency personnel.

Our Office of the Chief Records Officer is leading our efforts to work with agencies to meet all the goals in the Directive. For more information about this work, and other initiatives they are undertaking, please visit their Records Express blog.… [ Read all ]

Introducing the Claude Pepper Library

The Claude Pepper Library was established in 1985 as the official repository for the Claude Pepper Papers, a unique and multi-faceted collection of manuscripts, photographs, audio/video recordings, and memorabilia documenting the life and career of U.S. Senator and Congressman Claude Pepper (1900-1989).

A campaign card from Claude's 1938 senate bid.

A campaign card from Claude’s 1938 senate bid.

Since that time, the holdings at the Claude Pepper Library, located on West Call Street on the FSU Campus, have grown in size and scope. The Pepper is currently home to 17 collections with varying focuses including the papers of lobbyists, governors, political action groups and those dealing with landmark legal cases.

Our staff consists of Claude Pepper librarian Robert Rubero, archives assistant Mallary Rawls and part time assistant Maria Meade. The mission of the Claude Pepper Library is to support and advance research, teaching and engagement by acquiring, preserving and providing access to collections dealing with the political history of the State of Florida on national and local levels for use by students, faculty and researchers worldwide.

Tallahassee National Organization for Women parade banner ca. 1970's.

Tallahassee National Organization for Women parade banner ca. 1970’s.

At the Pepper Library we also enjoy posting to our Facebook page and enjoy updating our followers through our “Today in Pepper History” posts. More importantly, we offer patrons a firsthand experience with primary source materials from a variety of creators, all giving a glimpse into the political landscape in the State of Florida with a range of over 75 years. The Pepper Library has regularly hosted archives training sessions, class tours and guest lecturers and plans to continue these events in the future. There is also a museum component located in the Pepper Center which chronicles the life of Senator Pepper and is based on his book, Eyewitness to a Century.

Recent projects include the online ingestion of over 6,000 photos from the Pepper Papers, all of which can currently be seen in the FSU Digital Library.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as we bring you more great examples from our collections here at the Pepper Library!

Former Florida governor Spessard Holland during World War I ca. 1918.

Former Florida governor Spessard Holland during World War I ca. 1918.


Introducing Heritage Protocol & University Archives

Heritage Protocol & University Archives (HPUA), housed in Special Collections & Archives at Florida State University Libraries, maintains the official repository of university historical records. The archive holds publications, records, photographs, audio-visual, and other material in physical or digital form created by or about Florida State University. We also archive the student experience through the acquisition and preservation of materials created or acquired by alumni while they were students at the university.

Greetings from Florida State College for Women, see full description here.

Greetings from Florida State College for Women, see full description here.

Our staff consists of Heritage Protocol & University Archivist Sandra Varry, Archives Assistant Hannah Davis, and part-time assistant Colin Behrens. We are also fortunate to have Graduate Assistants Rebecca Bramlett and Katherine Hoarn with us for the fall.

Our mission is to preserve and share the history of FSU with everyone – our FSU community and the public at large. We have a great time posting photos and interesting tidbits on our Facebook page and interacting with our fans as well as attending events on and off campus to promote HPUA. We provide images and information to news and media outlets as well as to researchers. On campus an important job we have is to provide not only historical records preservation for official records, but to provide that material to the university for everything from reports or events, or to help staff do research for projects. Factual data for administrative purposes is important, but we also get to do things like help celebrate the 100th birthday of an alumnus (two so far this year!).

Poster from a performance by Deathcab for Cutie at FSU. See full description here.

Poster from a performance by Death Cab for Cutie at FSU’s Club Downunder. See full description here.

We receive photographs, scrapbooks, and everything you can imagine from loyal fans, alumni, and their families from all over the world. The actual items come from all periods of time across our 163 year history. The combined knowledge base of student and university created records plus our professional archival staff makes us the place to come for Florida State History!

Recent projects include the digitization of over 300 posters from Club Downunder. All HPUA digital collections can be seen in the FSU Digital Library.

Our fall exhibit exploring the life and times of Florida State College for Women students through their scrapbooks is in the works and will open up mid-October in Strozier Library, and we look forward to seeing you there!

1927 Faculty Baseball Team. See full description here.

1927 Faculty Baseball Team. See full description here.


Thomas Wilfred and the Music of Light

In 1968, pioneering artist, musician, and inventor Thomas Wilfred sat down with Patricia Marx at the WNYC studios to discuss his life and work. Wilfred died about a month before this program aired on WNYC.

Thomas Wilfred was the inventor of the Clavilux, a device that operated much like a pipe organ, but instead of emitting sounds, the operator could slide keys to cast color projections on a screen. Debuting in the 1920s, Wilfred’s machine and accompanying color ‘conversations’ have had a lasting influence on artists working today. Remember Terrance Malick’s Tree of Life? Wilfred’s Opus 161 was used during key moments in the film.

Wilfred took an unusual road to becoming a light show pioneer, and one that seems improbable today:  at an early age, he taught himself the medieval lute, became quite good, and toured North America and Europe extensively.  He saved the money he earned to exclusively fund his artistic experiments.  In this interview, Wilfred describes the feast and famine lifestyle of his early artist days.

I also had to make a living.  I found out I had a good baritone voice and I liked old songs.  So I found a lute…and I began to practice and sing unusual old songs to the lute and that took and I made money on it.  So I would go out through winter and sing until I had funds enough, then spend the summer experimenting until I went broke then go back and sing some more.

Thomas Wilfred Lute Performance 1914
Thomas Wilfred Lute Performance, 1914.

After years of performing, Wilfred gave up music up to fully commit to building his light machines.  In 1919, he constructed a laboratory in Huntington, NY and for the next six years he developed an instrument from which one could ‘play’ light, controlling its form and motion using a keyboard-like console. His first public performance was in New York and Wilfred compared it to a Bach fugue: the forms were rigid in composition, rather uniform in movement, and he played from a strict set notations that resembled a classical score. Later on, Wilfred would loosen up his performances by allowing a more improvisational style.

These light performances were rooted in Wilfred’s well-considered artistic conceits.  He had studied traditional art earlier in life but was ultimately unconvinced that practices like painting and sculpture had the ability to capture the essence, beauty, and nature of light.   Wilfred came to the conclusion that it was impossible to depict or represent light though any medium that doesn’t employ light itself.  ”Because light moves”, Wilfred said, “it becomes necessary to create art where movement is at its core and a necessarily dimension or factor where light is the subject for consideration.”

Cleveland performance was on April 22, 1923Images from the Cleveland Public Auditorium performance on April 22, 1923, and the Cornish Theatre performance on March 5-6, 1924. (Yale University Manuscripts and Archives)

While large public performances of the Clavilux became a regular occurrence throughout the 1930s, Wilfred also became interested in building machines that were specifically for home use.

First home clavilux model built in 1930.
First home clavilux model built in 1930. (Yale University Manuscripts and Archives)
Luminar, #36.
Built in 1928, the luminar was an automatic clavilux to be projected on a white ceiling in the home. (Yale University Manuscripts and Archives)

Wilfred talks extensively in this interview about the how his inspiration comes from nature, and how his performances and compositions are meant to tap into universal consciousness.  One can imagine how both his light shows and his rhetoric would appeal to later psychedelic art movements (in fact, the Whitney Museum featured Wilfred’s Opus 162 in its 2007 exhibition The Summer of Love). And although Thomas Wilfred’s legacy and his pioneering inventions has been somewhat preserved, he still remains a relatively unknown figure in the art world. There are only 35 extant Clavilux compositions known to exist today, and, since Wilfred had been reluctant to have his work recorded to film during his lifetime, many original pieces no longer exist. For more information about Thomas Wilfred’s life and work see.

Missionary in a Japanese Internment Camp

In a previous post I wrote about Otis Cary (AC 1943), “Amherst’s Man in Japan,” who worked with Japanese POWs after World War II and went on to represent Amherst College at its sister institution, Doshisha University, for several decades. I’ve recently had an opportunity to revisit the incredibly rich and vast unprocessed collection of Cary Family Papers to discovered another story from the war, this time featuring Cary’s father, Frank Cary (AC 1911).

Frank Cary as an Amherst senior, 1911

Frank Cary as an Amherst senior, 1911. An all-season athlete, his nickname was “Jumbo.”

Santo Tomas Internment Camp, 1945. Shanties were built in the courtyard to relieve overcrowding. National Archives, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer [111-SC-202141]

Like his father before him, Frank Cary was an ordained Congregational minister (Oberlin, 1916) who served as a missionary in Japan. From 1916 until 1941, he was involved in school and church work in Japan until the threat of war made it necessary for Americans to leave the country. Cary went to Davao, in the Philippines. When the Pacific war broke out in December 1941, the Japanese took control of the Philippines. Cary  became a prisoner, interned first at Davao; then in December 1943 he was moved to the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila. (This was on the campus of the present-day University of Santo Tomas.)

The Cary Family Papers include dozens of Frank Cary’s handwritten and typewritten copies of letters to family back home in the U.S. — some of which may never have been delivered during wartime. Many of these letters were posthumously published by the Cary family in 1993 as Letters from Internment Camp, Davao and Manila, 1942-1945. Although Cary writes with an awareness of the Japanese censors, his letters provide a wealth of detail about life in the camp and his fellow internees. Several hundred prisoners occupied one-and-a-half floors of a large administration building on the campus, under careful but for the most part humane supervision of the Japanese. Crowded conditions prevailed, and makeshift shanties were erected in the building’s courtyard to relieve the problem. One of the most critical problems, especially toward the end of the war, was a lack of nutritious food. Cary describes several stays in the camp hospital. Like many internees, he suffered skin ulcers on his legs and symptoms similar to those of beriberi, caused by a lack of vitamin B1 in the diet.

Frank Cary's notebook included many pages of detailed descriptions of his fellow internees.

Frank Cary’s notebook included these pages of detailed descriptions of his fellow internees.


An oath issued to the internees by the Japanese, with Frank Cary’s handwritten note indicating that he refused to sign it.

Letter from Santo Tomas dated January 28, 1944.

Letter from Santo Tomas dated January 28, 1944.

Since he spoke fluent Japanese, Frank Cary was among the small handful of internees who could communicate with the camp Commandant and his military staff.  When the day came (February 3, 1945) when American troops arrived at the camp gate to demand surrender, Cary served as an interpreter and presented the terms of surrender to the Japanese officers of the camp. Since the Japanese are culturally resistant to the humiliation of surrender, the Commandant stated that he would open the camp only on the condition that he and his men be allowed safe conduct off the campus. It was a tense hostage situation, but the Americans allowed it. (However, Cary mentions in his letter below that they later heard a rumor that the Japanese who were led out of the camp this way were later “wiped out to the last man.”)

Cary's fascinating account of how the camp was finally liberated in February 1945.

Cary’s fascinating account of how the camp was finally liberated in February 1945.

At the end of the long ordeal in Santo Tomas Internment Camp, many prisoners had died of starvation or disease. On the day of liberation, Frank Cary’s weight was just 135 pounds — this for a large-framed man who had played football, baseball and track at Amherst and whose college classmates had dubbed him “Jumbo.” By May 1945, he returned home to his mother in Bradford, Mass.  Eventually, however, he returned to Japan to continue his missionary work, which he did until 1960, then completing his career serving as a pastor at Plainfield (Mass.) Congregational Church.

Introducing Ourselves

The Special Collections & Archives division of Florida State University Libraries includes Special Collections & Archives, Heritage Protocol & University Archives, the Claude Pepper Library, Cataloging & Description and the Digital Library Center. The division advances research by acquiring, preserving and providing access to primary and secondary source materials through our different areas.

Our division is large; over 20 people under five different umbrellas, each with their own focus. Over the next month, we’ll be introducing our different hats to you as we re-launch this blog as a way to share our daily work, our special projects and our events and exhibits with the FSU community and beyond.

We’ll start at the top: Special Collections & Archives.

This is the name for the entire division but it is also the name for the area in the division that holds the rare books, historic maps, photographs and unique manuscripts collected by FSU Libraries since its beginning. We’re located in the Special Collections Reading Room in Strozier Library.

Headed by Associate Dean Katie McCormick, Special Collections & Archives is home base for Burt Altman, Archivist, William Modrow, Rare Books Librarian, Lisa Girard, Collections Manager and Krystal Thomas, Digital Archivist. Many student assistants as well as the faculty and staff in other areas of our division assist us in our daily work and projects.

Students work with Special Collections materials during a class taught by Bill Modrow.

Students work with Special Collections materials during a class taught by Bill Modrow.

In classes, programs and exhibitions, we support active learning and engagement through use of our collections. We conduct class-specific sessions and work with professors to make sure we’re enhancing the curriculum and help students with primary source material-based projects. One example of this is our collaboration each year with the Museum Objects class on campus who take over our exhibit room to get hands on experience with planning, installing and promoting physical and digital exhibits.

The faculty and staff of Special Collections work hard to create and maintain discovery tools for our materials and are constantly re-evaluating and editing our finding aids, library catalog records and digital collection records to make sure our materials are easily findable.

We’re also always on hand when materials are being used in the Reading Room to answer any questions and de-mystify even the most challenging of our collections. We know using our collections is unique for many of our patrons so whether it’s a one on one research consultation with our materials or a short tutorial on navigating our online finding aids, we make sure you can find what you need.

One of our staff talks through what needs to be digitized for a patron.

One of our staff talks through what needs to be digitized for a patron.

We are lucky to have varied collections for patrons to use. We hold one of the largest collections of French Revolution and Napoleonic research materials in the world in order to support the Institute on Napoleon & The French Revolution at FSU. We also have an extensive collection of children’s poetry and literature in the John Mackay Shaw Collection and a large Florida history collection in both books and manuscript materials. Our rare book collection stretches from the earliest cuneiform tablets to the artist books being produced today.

We’re also well aware that we live in the 21st century and we have many avenues open to us to share our materials with those patrons who can’t make it to Tallahassee. The FSU Digital Library (FSUDL) holds many items from Special Collections & Archives and will continue to add more as we work to make our collections more and more accessible, as well as searchable, for our users. In this work, we often digitize materials for patrons who need images for publications or special projects that we can then bring in to the FSUDL.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce the other parts that make up the Special Collections & Archives division at FSU!

A Musical Tribute to Edgar Varèse, April 17, 1981

In the archives world, sometimes the least expected finds are somehow the most rewarding. The satisfaction of unearthing a rare gem derives not from the serendipity (or luck) of it all, but rather from the feeling of having been working in your field long enough to have earned the reward –much like gold prospecting.

So it was in 2012, while transferring audio for Q2 Music’s collaboration with Carnegie Hall, American Mavericks. One of the requested items, stored in an offsite vault in New Jersey, was a set of three open reel tapes in boxes which were scarcely labeled as “Varèse 4/17/81.” After a quick turn in the oven (the tapes are of an era and type which require this special treatment), we put the tapes on the reel-to-reel machines. The barely-lebeled tapesBut wait: this crowd noise…this reaction… this sound… surely this was not a concert of classical music –much less of music by the notorious enfant terrible of the avant-garde, Edgard Varèse? Had a rock concert recording somehow been placed in the wrong tape box?

Further research was necessary. Was this… could this be… the legendary 1981 tribute to Varèse at New York City’s Palladium? The concert famously hosted by Frank Zappa (a longtime Varèse fanatic) and performed by Joel Thome’s Orchestra of Our Time, bootlegs of which had been circulating for decades?

Indeed it was: a complete, pristine recording of a remarkable show that has not been forgotten by those who participated or attended –a “curious but appropriate meeting of music and milieu,” as the New York Times put it (mildly). When else has there been a concert of decidedly uncompromising music been performed in a 3000-seat rock venue for an enthusiastic, young audience?

It is unclear how or why these tapes were recorded, but we are thrilled to present this concert in full. If you were at that concert, tell us about it in the comments section.

PLEASE NOTE: There are several obscenities uttered in this recording.

The program:

Ionisation, for percussion ensemble
Density 21.5, for solo flute
Intégrales, for Small Orchestra
Offrandes, for soprano and chamber orchestra
Déserts, for 15 Instruments. Percussion and Magnetic Tape of Electronically Organized Sounds

BONUS: Listen to John Schaefer and Joel Thome speak about Zappa and the concert in 1993.

Happy Birthday Claude Pepper!

Claude Pepper speaking before a Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies rally ca. 1940

Claude Pepper speaking before a Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies rally ca. 1940

Born on September 8, 1900 in Camp Hill Alabama, Claude Denson Pepper was a devoted public servant who served the state of Florida for over 40 years as a member of the Florida House of Representatives (1926-27), the US Senate (1936-1950) and the US House of Representatives (1963-1989). During his time in the Senate, he was a proponent of President Roosevelt’s New Deal Legislation and was instrumental in the passing of the Wage and Hour Bill as well as the Lend Lease Act.

In the House of Representatives, he served as an impassioned advocate for elder rights, health care and for strengthening and protecting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other government sponsored programs on behalf of millions of Americans. He died in Washington D.C. on May 30, 1989 and was the 26th individual to have lain in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

Senator Pepper’s collection resides within the Claude Pepper Library at Florida State University and reflects the many of the challenges and changes that took place in American life throughout his distinguished career. You may see a complete finding aid of the collection here. Topical strengths within the Pepper Collection include aging, Civil Rights, crime and drug prevention, National Health Care, New Deal Legislation, Lend-Lease, McCarthyism, U.S. foreign and domestic policy, welfare and worker’s rights.

The Pepper Library is currently working on re-housing several portions of the Pepper Papers as well as digitizing and making available the Pepper Photograph Collection, portions of which are currently available in the Florida State University Digital Library.

Stay tuned for more posts on the life and papers of Senator Claude Pepper on this blog as we continue to bring more of this great collection to your fingertips. Happy Birthday Senator Pepper!

The Start of a New Season

The defending national champions Florida State University Seminoles host a sold out football home opener this weekend against the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.

In the 1950s and 1960s, FSU played the Bulldogs of the Citadel fairly often when both schools were part of the Southern Conference. The homecoming game of 1955 featured the Citadel and a rather useful program which laid out definitions of penalties and a referee hand signal guide.

Hand Signal Guide from the 1955 Homecoming Program [see full description]

Hand Signal Guide from the 1955 Homecoming Program [see full description]

The 1962 game versus Citadel, following the Citadel’s 1961 championship year, was also FSU’s home opener that year and was widely discussed before it was played. Here, FSU HB Terry Hollman is brought down by two Citadel defensemen during the game.

Florida State HB Terry Hollman is brought down by a partially obscured player for The Citadel, as Cadet center Mike Reardon (55) rushes to assist. [See full description]

Florida State HB Terry Hollman is brought down by a partially obscured player for The Citadel, as Cadet center Mike Reardon (55) rushes to assist. [See full description]

In the wake of that game, The Grandstand Coach, a weekly publication of the FSU Boosters, recapped the game in comical fashion.

Comic from the Grandstand Coach - The Citadel Edition [see full item]

Comic from the Grandstand Coach – The Citadel Edition [see full item]

Here’s wishing the team a great weekend! Go Noles!

Edwin Fancher: Change and Continuity in Greenwich Village

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) works to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. In the mid-1990s GVSHP started an active series of oral history interviews —and, not surprisingly, in 2000 it sat down with Edwin Fancher, co-founder of the Village Voice, to document his role in the founding of the iconic publication. As GVSHP’s Senior Director of Operations I was excited to recently learn of a much earlier interview, when Fancher spoke to four student journalists about the state of the Village for the WNYC show Campus Press Conference on October 4, 1959. At that point the Voice was not even four years young, and the neighborhood was going through some sea changes.

The Campus Press Conference conversation includes diverse issues affecting Greenwich Village at the time, such as racketeering, the relationship between local Italian immigrants and bohemian newcomers, the community’s reaction to interracial and homosexual couples, expansion of New York University, gentrification, and Greenwich Village as an intellectual center. Fifty-five years later, some of the concerns in the neighborhood remain strikingly similar, while some have evolved, and yet others are a distant memory. Although the interview is dated in terms of its language and cultural understanding, particularly as it relates to race and sexuality, it also offers great insight into the time.

Two topics in the conversation stand out. The first is change in Greenwich Village: when one of the reporters asks Fancher if the area has been experiencing change and whether it is for the better or worse, Fancher wisely explains that Greenwich Village has historically been a neighborhood of great change. But even in 1955 this was nothing new.  When Fancher notes, for example, an increase in the development of luxury housing and the dwindling of the Italian community, I am reminded of a New York Times article from 1902 noting how 

Greenwich Village, that quaint old district of New York. . .  though its history is rich, has within recent years fallen low in the social scale. Italians are now in great part colonizing it —Italians of the laborer order. Even the architectural charm of this district, extending for some blocks below Fourteenth Street, and between Sixth Avenue and the North River, is rapidly going, tenements now replacing the curious old dwelling houses for a half century its feature.

When GVSHP talks to current residents concerned about new development or the loss of businesses, we often explain that Villagers have always worried about change. Indeed, although Greenwich Village is a neighborhood that continually experiences change, many of us today worry about the loss of tenement housing and its impact on the character of the neighborhood.

The second topic that stands out is the role of the Village as a cultural center. One reporter asks Fancher about the Village’s reputation as an intellectual center, and Fancher prophetically responds that in his opinion, the cultural scene of the Village of the 1940s and 50s will come to be known as “a golden era,” even comparing the bohemian character of the 1940s and 50s with that of the 1910s and 20s. It is natural for Fancher to more easily identify with Allen Ginsberg than say, Edna St. Vincent Millay: for example, Fancher’s oral history with GVSHP from 2000 notes how he and his Village Voice partner Dan Wolf “were part of what could probably be called a kind of a bohemian culture, focused around the San Remo and Louie’s Bar. We were friends with Jimmy [James] Baldwin and Kerouac and Ginsberg—a whole lot of literary people.” But in many ways, Fancher was right. Young people today often refer to the “iconic Greenwich Village” as that of the mid-century, forgetting those who paved the way two generations earlier.

While other issues mentioned in the interview (such as racketeering) are a distant memory for the Village, its citizens still worry very much about change and the state of the neighborhood as a place for artists. As a historic preservationist, I worry about insensitive changes to the neighborhood’s historic architecture. As a historian, I think deeply about how different groups have influenced the culture of the neighborhood. But like Fancher, I can see the very positive points in the neighborhood’s current incarnation: enjoying an afternoon spent in the Jefferson Market Garden or an evening at the Cherry Lane Theatre; listening to music at Smalls or having a coffee at Café Reggio; leafing through books at the Strand or shopping for toiletries at C.O. Bigelow. Perhaps someday, this time might be described as a “Golden Age” of the Village as well.

The Paul Yee fonds

The Paul Yee fonds is now available for research. The fonds consists of approximately eight metres of textual records, 4000 photographs and 50 posters that Yee created or accumulated in the course of his work as an activist, historian, curator, archivist, public servant, and writer of fiction for children and adults. The fonds also includes records of Yee’s personal life and family history.

Crew taping on Pender Street for the Saltwater City video.  Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S5-1-F019-: 2008-010.1423.

Crew taping on Pender Street for the Saltwater City video. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S5-1-F019-: 2008-010.1423.

Paul Yee was born in Spalding, Saskatchewan, in 1956. His father, Gordon Yee, emigrated from China to Canada in 1922. In 1951, four years after the Government of Canada repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act, Yee’s mother, Gum May Yee, immigrated to Canada to join Gordon Yee in Naicam, Saskatchewan, where he ran a café.

Both of Yee’s parents died within a few years of his birth. His mother’s brother Foon Wong and Foon’s wife Lillian adopted Yee and his elder brother Vernon. We hold photographs of the boys at the Wongs’ house at 350 East Pender Street, and elsewhere in Vancouver.

Yee attended Strathcona Elementary School and Britannia Secondary School, as well as the Mon Keang School , where he studied Cantonese. Report cards, photographs, and other records relating to Yee’s education at these institutions are in the fonds.

Mon Keang School at 123 East Pender, ca. 1960. Photographer William E. Graham. Reference code AM1135-: cva 1135-2.

Mon Keang School at 123 East Pender, ca. 1960. Photographer William E. Graham. Reference code AM1135-: cva 1135-2.

Yee’s work as a cultural and social activist began when one of his high school teachers encouraged him to join the organizing committee for a conference on identity and awareness for Chinese Canadian youth. Yee worked on two more such conferences while an undergraduate at UBC. His fonds includes programs, workshop handouts, promotional materials, reports, and Yee’s notes from these conferences.

In 1976, inspired by a suggestion made at one of these conferences, Yee and several other young Chinese Canadians established the Pender Guy Radio Collective, which produced a weekly program on Vancouver Co-operative Radio until 1981. As the Pender Guy radio scripts, photographs, oral history transcripts, and promotional material in Yee’s fonds demonstrate, the collective advocated for recognition of the unique experiences and histories of Chinese Canadians.

Signs outside an office at Strathcona Community Centre in which an on-air broadcast of Pender Guy was taking place, ca. 1978. Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F12 -: 2008-010.0999.

Signs outside an office at Strathcona Community Centre in which an on-air broadcast of Pender Guy was taking place, ca. 1978. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F12 -: 2008-010.0999.

Pender Guy volunteers interviewing people on Pender Street. Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F68-: 2008-010.0428.

Pender Guy volunteers interviewing people on Pender Street. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F68-: 2008-010.0428.

Vancouver-based activist band Kokuho Rose Prohibited performing during a marathon weekend at Vancouver Co-op Radio, May 1978. Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F14-: 2008-010.1087.

Vancouver-based activist band Kokuho Rose Prohibited performing during a marathon weekend at Vancouver Co-op Radio, May 1978. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F14-: 2008-010.1087.

Yee volunteered with several other Vancouver-based cultural organizations, including the Chinese Cultural Centre of Vancouver, and participated in Katari Taiko and the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop. As a member of the latter group, Yee co-edited and published essays, poetry, and short stories in the Inalienable Rice anthology (1979) and the Vancouver edition of Asianadian magazine (1980).

A band performing in a variety show at Strathcona Community Centre as part of the 1977 Mid-Summer Festival organized by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Vancouver. Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F11-: 2008-010.0256.

A band performing in a variety show at Strathcona Community Centre as part of the 1977 Mid-Summer Festival organized by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Vancouver. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F11-: 2008-010.0256.

Yee completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978 and a Master of Arts degree in history in 1983, both from UBC. He worked for the City of Vancouver Archives beginning in 1979, first as a summer student and later as a full-time archivist, writing poetry and prose in his spare time.

In 1981, publisher James Lorimer & Company asked Yee to write a book of stories about children living in Vancouver Chinatown. These stories were published as the book Teach Me to Fly, Skyfighter and Other Stories. Drafts of Skyfighter and many of Yee’s subsequent publications are in his fonds;the most recent set of manuscripts in the fonds is for Shu-Li and Tamara, a picture book published in 2008. A future donation from Yee may include drafts of some of his more recent publications.

The first page of an early handwritten draft of Chapter 1 of The Curses of Third Uncle. This draft was likely written in 1984.

The first page of an early handwritten draft of Chapter 1 of The Curses of Third Uncle. This draft was likely written in 1984.

From 1985 to 1987, Yee served as chair of the committee that mounted a major exhibit at the Chinese Cultural Centre in celebration of Vancouver’s centennial. Titled Saltwater City, the exhibit was the first to assemble and display artifacts, photographs, oral histories, and written records of immigrant and native-born Chinese Canadians living in Vancouver in the 19th and 20th centuries. Photographs, correspondence, a guest book, reports, and other records in Yee’s fonds document the exhibit committee’s work and the enthusiastic response the exhibit received from the public.

The Saltwater City exhibit viewed from the second floor of the Chinese Cultural Centre in 1986. Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F28-: 2008-010.1567.

The Saltwater City exhibit viewed from the second floor of the Chinese Cultural Centre in 1986. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F28-: 2008-010.1567.

Yee’s book based on the exhibit was published in 1989, winning the Vancouver Book Award. His updated version of the book was published in 2006. Drafts and research materials for both editions of Saltwater City: An Illustrated History of the Chinese in Vancouver and related correspondence are in the Yee fonds.

Wing Hing Dry Goods owner Lin Bei-lian standing at the front entrance to his shop prior to the business’s final closure. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yee photographed many Chinatown buildings and businesses to document changes in the neighbourhood’s landscape. Photographer:  Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F72-: 2008-010.0489.

Wing Hing Dry Goods owner Lin Bei-lian standing at the front entrance to his shop prior to the business’s final closure. In the 1970s and 1980s, Yee photographed many Chinatown buildings and businesses to document changes in the neighbourhood’s landscape. Photographer: Paul Yee. Reference code AM1523-S6-F72-: 2008-010.0489.

Yee moved to Toronto in 1988 to work as the multicultural coordinator for the Archives of Ontario. In 1992, he joined Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship as a policy analyst, and in 1997 he left public service to write full-time.

While Yee’s records of his own life and work comprise the bulk of his fonds, he has also donated more than 1000 photographs left to him by his Aunt Lillian and Uncle Foon Wong. The Wongs’ photos include portraits of Lillian, Foon, and their family and friends in Vancouver from the early 1900s to the mid-1980s, when Lillian passed away, as well as photographs of members of the Wong Kong Har Tong, the Chinese Empire Reform Association, and other Chinese-Canadian community organizations active in the early and mid-20th century.

Lillian Ho Wong and her co-workers at a millinery shop, ca. 1919. One of Paul’s Aunt Lillian’s first places of employment was the Wonder Millinery Shop at 776 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver; this photograph may have been taken there. Reference code AM1523-S5-1-F013-: 2008-010.3056

Lillian Ho Wong and her co-workers at a millinery shop, ca. 1919. One of Paul’s Aunt Lillian’s first places of employment was the Wonder Millinery Shop at 776 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver; this photograph may have been taken there. Reference code AM1523-S5-1-F013-: 2008-010.3056

Yee’s efforts to document and preserve the history of Chinese Canadians in Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia extended to salvaging records from abandoned community association buildings. Yee has given us the records he collected from the Hoy Yin Association of Vancouver and the Duncan, B.C., branch of the Chinese Nationalist League, or Kuomintang (KMT). These materials include records of fundraising for Chinese Nationalist causes during the Second World War, association members’ personal correspondence and photographs, and records of the two associations’ respective operations. The majority of these records are written in traditional Chinese.

The Archives is grateful to Paul Yee for the donation of his records, and we invite researchers to use them.

We Gave Joan Rivers a Tape-Lift

At the risk of sounding ghoulish and terribly morbid…

Like any good news organization, when we heard Joan Rivers went into the ICU at Mt. Sinai, we tried to prepare for the worst. The Archives Department got into gear and started looking for all the material we had with the funny woman. Lo and behold a ten-inch reel of back-coated polyester tape from 1999 shows up in the catalog. And, perhaps Rivers would have appreciated it, the 15-year-old tape of her needed a face lift.

It was, like a lot of our tape collection, suffering from binder breakdown and/or hydrolysis, a.k.a sticky-shed syndrome. In short, the goo that holds the oxide particles to the tape itself becomes a bit undone, which makes playing the tape next to impossible without squeaking and squealing and gummy residue left on the tape machine heads. It leaves a mess and a muddy sound.

A quick remedy? Baking. The tape goes into a laboratory convection oven for four hours at 53 centigrade (130 Fahrenheit). Then, out on a shelf like a fresh apple pie to cool. More often than not, the tape plays back through the tape machine transport without a hitch allowing us to create a digital master from the original analog tape.

So, here she is on July 18, 1999, with Leonard Lopate in the old WNYC studios having a grand time making jokes and puns about getting old and dying.


Urban development, pamphlets, slavery records, and Civil Rights Greensboro

Annual report and map, City Of Greensboro, North Carolina, 1965-1966

There are many changes and updates afoot in out digital collections, and more are on the way.

Civil Rights Greensboro
This collection, online since 2009, has recently been migrated into our CONTENTdm hosting platform. This move provides some significant benefits, including faceted search capability, full-text search within the oral histories and many other documents, and higher-resolution images. The move will also allow this collection to be added to the Digital Public Library of America and to Worldcat. As part of the upgrade, we have also added to the collection over four hundred newspaper articles dating from the 1960 sit-ins that were digitized by the Greensboro Public Library.

A similar migration is planned for the Women Veterans Historical Project later this year.

Digital Library on American Slavery
The Development Team here in the University Libraries has built an outstanding new interface that brings together the search functions of the Race and Slavery Petitions Project and the NC Runaway Slave Ads project. But this is just the beginning. We will soon be adding other databases from different institutions  to the search interface so as to allow “one-stop shopping” for any number of slavery-related collections. Hats off the ERIT Development Team for pulling this all together!

Greensboro Urban Development
We are currently adding material to a new Greensboro history collection, spotlighting urban development in Greensboro, particularly in the years after World War II. This collection will include planning documents, maps, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting downtown development, urban renewal activities, the growth of historic districts, and more. The collection currently features planning-related content held by UNCG University Libraries but we will soon be adding additional material from the Greensboro Public Library and the Greensboro Historical Museum. In addition, we are currently digitizing the archives of the Fisher Park Neighborhood Association, Greensboro’s first designated historic district.

New material is going online every week.

Home Economics and Nutrition Pamphlets
We have completed the second phase of digitization on this popular project and are in the process of placing online approximately three hundred new pamphlets that run the gamut from product manuals to cookbooks, all of which are held by the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. This is a great look at home culture throughout the Twentieth Century and it’s also a lot of fun.

Three hundred new items should be online by early September.

More soon:
Watch this space for updates coming soon to our Manuscript Collections, Cello Music Collections, and University Archives Images and Documents.

FSU 101: Intro to Florida State History

Have you ever wondered about the long and storied history of Florida’s oldest university and how it came to be known as Florida State University? Well, you’re in luck – welcome to FSU 101: Intro to Florida State History, and class is now in session.

1851 – The Florida Legislature votes to establish two seminaries of higher education, which led to the establishment of the West Florida Seminary in Tallahassee.

West Florida Seminary Seal

West Florida Seminary Seal

1858 – The West Florida Seminary absorbs the Tallahassee Female Academy (formerly the Misses Bates School) and the institution becomes coeducational.

1861-65 – During the Civil War, formal military training began at the seminary and it was briefly renamed The Florida Military and Collegiate Institute. Cadets from the institute defeated Union forces at the Battle of Natural Bridge on March 6, 1865, and because of this victory, the FSU Army ROTC is one of four in the United States permitted to display a battle streamer.

1883 – 1901 – This period was a time of great transition for the West Florida Seminary. In 1883, the West Florida Seminary became part of Florida University (the first state university in Florida), and became the institution’s Literary College. In 1885, the university was briefly recognized by the Florida Legislature as the University of Florida (yes, you read that right!), but the name was repealed in 1903 and transferred to the former Florida Agricultural College. In 1901, the university was reorganized into Florida State College.

Florida State College Seal

Florida State College Seal

Florida State College for Women Seal

Florida State College for Women Seal

1905 – The Buckman Act goes into effect and segregates all universities in Florida by race and gender. The Florida State College is briefly called the Florida Female College, before being officially titled the Florida State College for Women in 1909. FSCW was the pinnacle of women’s education in the south during this period, and by 1933 had grown to be the third largest women’s college in the United States.

1946-47 – With the influx of soldiers returning from WWII and the G.I. Bill going into effect, the Tallahassee Branch of University of Florida opened on the campus of FSCW. Male students were housed in barracks at Dale Mabry Field, west of Tallahassee, and bussed into campus. This area became known as West Campus, and later became the location of the Tallahassee Community College. In 1947, the two schools officially merged and became the Florida State University.

Florida State University Seal, 1947

Florida State University Seal, 1947

1947 – With the inclusion of men to the student body, FSU now has varsity sports teams and needs a mascot. Final potential mascots included the Crackers, Statesmen, Tarpons, and Fighting Warriors, but eventually students chose to adopt the Seminoles.

There you have it – a very brief crash course in the long history of Florida State University. To see more photographs, ephemera, and artifacts related to the history of Florida State, check out the FSU Heritage Protocol Digital Collections or like the Heritage Protocol Facebook page.

Declassification of the Manhattan District History at the Department of Energy

On August 21, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) posted to its OpenNet system the multi-volume history of the Manhattan Project, titled The Manhattan District History.  Commissioned in 1944 by General Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Engineer District, the thirty-six volume history was “intended to describe, in simple terms, easily understood by the average reader, just what the Manhattan District did, and how, when, and where” according to general editor Gavin Hadden, a longtime civil employee of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The volumes detail the Manhattan Project’s activities and achievements in research, design, construction, operation, and administration, as well as contain extensive annotations, statistical tables, charts, engineering drawings, maps, photographs, and derailed indices.

The PIDB congratulates the Office of Classification, the Office of History and Heritage Resources, and the DOE’s Office of Science and Technical information for completing all declassification reviews on these important histories.  In particular, we are gratified that the DOE prioritized these histories for declassification.   This effort illustrates the government’s ability to declassify no-longer-sensitive information related to our nation’s nuclear history, a recommendation made by the PIDB’s 2012 Report, Transforming the Security Classification System, and adopted in the President’s Second Open Government National Action Plan.  The PIDB is also pleased that these records received a line-by-line declassification review, rather than being subjected to simple pass/fail determinations.  We will continue to follow and give encouragement to agencies as they work to implement the President’s Plan.

Shakespeare’s Desk

Last spring, Professor Anston Bosman and I led a seminar on “Shakespeare and the History of Books.” Our seven intrepid Sophomores explored a wide range of readings and primary sources around that topic, much of which they documented in the course blog:

Over the summer, several of our students worked on an exhibition that will be on display in the Archives & Special Collections for the whole of the fall semester. They took the title for their exhibition from an essay by Peter Stallybrass that we read for class: “Shakespeare’s Desk: Authorship as Material Practice.” This passage appears in the opening paragraph:

The plots of Shakespeare’s plays, like those of his fellow-dramatists, were drawn from his reading. It is extraordinary how little this simple fact seems to have impinged upon Shakespearean studies: Shakespeare’s writing developed out of his reading.

Although the Archives & Special Collections holds a respectable teaching collection of early modern printed books, including nearly 500 books and manuscripts created before Shakespeare’s death in 1616, the exhibition moves from a consideration of what Shakespeare might have read to explore how Shakespeare has been packaged for the desks of other readers over the past 400 years.

A fuller web-version of the exhibition is currently under construction, so I will use this post to highlight just a couple of items.

Illustrated editions of Shakespeare’s works are a fascinating topic, and this exhibition features two fine examples.

Caliban (detail) Boydell, 1852.

Caliban (detail) Boydell, 1852.

This detail of Caliban in “The Tempest” is taken from the large folio copy of The American Edition of Boydell’s Illustrations of the Dramatic works of Shakespeare by the Most Eminent Artists of Great Britain, which was published by Shearjashub Spooner in New York City in 1852.

A volume from our set of The Dramatic Works of Shakspeare (1791-1802), edited by George Steevens and published with illustrations that match those published as Boydell’s Graphic Illustrations of the dramatic works of Shakspeare. Here is the rendition of Caliban from that edition:

Caliban. Boydell, 1802.

Caliban. Boydell, 1802.

The complete history of John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery is a fascinating story. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC mounted an exhibition titled “Marketing Shakespeare: The Boydell Gallery (1789-1805) and Beyond” in late 2007. The online version of their exhibition contains images of some of the original paintings Boydell commissioned for his Gallery and explores the printmaking process, among other things.

These two illustrations were selected for a different reason that ties them into the theme of Shakespeare’s Desk. “The Tempest” is generally regarded as a response, in part, to European exploration of North and South America. One of the cases in our exhibition features books representative of the information Shakespeare might have encountered about the “New World.”

Frontispiece from Ogilby's America (1671).

Frontispiece from Ogilby’s America (1671).

Although our copy of John Ogilby’s book America: Being the Latest, and Most Accurate Description of the New World (1671) was written long after Shakespeare’s death, it is the best example in our collections of an illustrated work of exploration. One goal of this exhibition is to suggest some ways that examining early books can open up new paths of research. Clearly, these three images suggest there may be something very interesting going on here. Deeper exploration of representations of Caliban as they relate to illustrations of “New World” inhabitants would require a visit to a library like the Folger.

Installation of this new exhibition will wrap up later this week. In addition to the works shown here, visitors will be able to see our copy of Shakespeare’s Second Folio, along with published books ranging from the sixteenth century to the present.

An iconic image? Commonwealth Games mascots

Our Hosts and Champions exhibition has returned from a successful run in Glasgow during the 2014 Games and is currently on display in our Pathfoot Building. In this article Ian Mackintosh, our Exhibition Assistant, writes about the curious tale of the Games mascots…

Copy of original Clyde design by Beth Gilmour

Copy of original Clyde design by Beth Gilmour

Clyde the mascot of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games has been hailed as a great commercial success. It was a unique selection in that the mascot was designed by Beth Gilmour a 12 year old Cumbernauld school pupil. Her design was selected from a Blue Peter completion. Her creation is also unique in that Clyde is the first non-animal/mammal mascot for the Commonwealth games.

If the Legal and Concessions Committee of the 1970 Edinburgh Games had been as bold as the 2014 Games Organisers it would all be so different. Dr. Fiona Skillen’s research into the 1970 Games brought a cute little guy called “Wee mannie” to my attention. The organisers had been bold enough to commission a mascot for the games because of the success of World Cup Willie in 1966. However whereas the World Cup mascot was a football playing lion, the mascot for the 1970 games was to be a kilted Haggis.

Wee Mannie

Wee Mannie, the unacceptable face of Commercialism and unloved mascot!

A high profile publicity launch in July 1969 was followed by a competition to name the mascot. Things soon turned sour however when the committee received 23 letters of complaint about the design. Yet despite over 400 entries to name the mascot from children from all over Britain “wee mannie” (above) was dropped. The committee claimed that the BCG Crest design (below) was more popular.

The acceptable face of Commercialism in 1970 this crest was used for badges that were sold at the games

The acceptable face of Commercialism in 1970 this crest was used for badges that were sold at the games

While the 1970 Games Committee claimed the idea of a mascot was not a popular one, on Saturday 18th July 1970 they must have regretted that decision. The Scottish Athletics team for the 1970 games had created a mascot for themselves. It was a huge teddy bear dressed in a navy blue Scottish Athletic team vest and white shorts named “Dunky Dick”.

Lachie Stewart won the 10,000 metres comfortably beating the great Australian runner Ron Clarke into second place.  What happed next was one of the most iconic sporting moments in Scottish sporting history. Scottish 800 metre hopeful Rosemary Stirling ran to the victorious Lachie Stewart and presented him with the mascot. The image of Lachie Stewart and the mascot became a global success. The mascot was to gain world-wide fame as the television and newspaper images were flashed around the world.

Lachie with Dunky Dick the unofficial mascot of the 1970 Edinburgh British Commonwealth Games

Lachie with Dunky Dick the unofficial mascot of the 1970 Edinburgh British Commonwealth Games

Now we should ponder, had the Committee forged ahead with the mascot would Lachie have been presented with a giant haggis instead? How about that for an iconic image? Imagine how many haggis mascots would have been sold? Is it a matter of regret about a missed opportunity? Ironically the 1978 Edmonton games became the first to have an official mascot. So Canada who gave us the Commonwealth Games also gave us the mascot. A golden opportunity for a Scottish first missed.

World War I in the Archive Images

There are few images in the archive which clearly relate to the Great War. These three were perhaps part of a lecture seeking to raise funds for those orphaned by the conflict.

As with modern conflict images, these serve to remind us that those most affected by war are not always in the military.

This picture was taken in France, though it is unclear whether the orphans were French or Belgian.

This picture was taken in France, though it is unclear whether the orphans were French or Belgian.

The battlefront of April, 1918, is shown on this slide, so it probably was created near the end of the war or shortly after its conclusion.

The battlefront of April, 1918, is shown on this slide, so it probably was created near the end of the war or shortly after its conclusion.

A church showing war damage Kennedybx1im017a

A Sense of the Past: Archives and Creative Writing

The merits of using archives in the history classroom go without saying:

  • They – imperatively – help students understand the basic tenets of source-based research: what archives are; potential biases; gauging reliability of sources.
  • They encourage students to get excited about the past. This, for me, beats any conversation about the principles of historiography (no offense, historiography; you are still important).
  • The immediacy of archives allows students to take a hands-on engagement with histories of individuals, places and situations that are often relatable to their own lives.

However, archives can also play a significant role in a less obvious aspect of the curriculum: the creative writing strand in Literacy.

A few months ago, Professor Dominic Wyse delivered his inaugural professorial lecture here at the IOE, on the topic of creativity and the curriculum. He touched on the potential danger of replacing the creative writing process with didactic, rote grammar instruction. While grammar instruction is an absolute necessity, what is also a necessity is providing students with dedicated time, opportunity and encouragement to simply write creatively.

I apologise for this interminable introduction to today’s topic: archives as a catalyst for creative writing.  Take, for example, the role archives played in one musician’s song writing.

As a transplanted Canadian living in London, I am prone to nostalgia and sentimentality about anything related to Canada: maple syrup; Alice Munro; ice hockey (I don’t even like hockey); excessive friendliness; etc.

But really, what better incites a wave of nostalgia than music? Enter Canadian musician, John K Samson, also of the band, The Weakerthans. Through each of his albums, Samson scatters his lyrics with references to Canada (the loonie, GST, curling and his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba), in songs that are quiet, loud, melancholy and sweet.

Image via CBC

On his most recent solo album, Provincial, Samson took to the archives as inspiration for his lyrics. Samson describes the research-based approach he took for the record:

My idea was to research four different stretches of road in Manitoba and write three different songs about each of them and use techniques and research as well as exploring the places themselves and just try to use different strategies to try and get a sense of each of these places.

Samson went about creating a ‘musical map’ of Manitoba. He ‘talked to relatives, friends and strangers; he visited archives, a tuberculosis sanatorium-turned-RV park, a forgotten cemetery’ ( With visits to the Archives of Manitoba, Samson was drawn to ‘the way the places were framed by someone’s eye back then. When I visited the sites they were different but unchanged. It gave me a richer idea of places’ (CBC).

We all know archives do their job when it comes to academic, historical research. But a well-referenced thesis or book doesn’t have to be their end point. At the heart of any archive collection is its potential for users (and writers) to piece together a sense of a given point in the past.  Whether it’s exploring a person (characterisation), place (setting), or event (plot), archives can both inform and inspire the creative writing process.

Educators, you can find creating writing prompts in our archive learning resources. They can be used in conjunction with current areas of study (equal rights; women’s movement; etc.)… or as a stand-alone writing exercise for those days you need a last-minute lesson.

Lastly, even if you’re not Canadian, go take a listen to Samson’s Provincial.

A personal favourite is ‘Ipetitions.Com/Petition/Rivertonrifle’ – the title is an actual online petition to get Reggie Leach inducted into Canada’s Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Again, I don’t even like hockey.  If you like hockey, Canada, or simply a bunch of Canadians in toques, watch this video on the project: We, the Undersigned.

And since we’re a university archive, for the grad school students: ‘When I Write my Master’s Thesis’ (with a nod to cotton gloves in the archives).

CBC ‘Manitoba artists find inspiration in the archives’

Tagged: archives, canada, creative writing, john k samson, learning resource, manitoba

Lindsay Anderson Revisited, An International Symposium

Last week a major international symposium was held at Lund University to celebrate the work of one of British cinema’s greatest talents. Lindsay Anderson Revisited brought together academics, writers, film critics, filmmakers (and archivists!) to discuss the director’s long and colourful career. The many possibilities for research offered by Anderson’s work were reflected in the packed programme with speakers exploring various aspects of Anderson’s career as a filmmaker, theatre director, author and critic. The symposium highlighted the research value of Anderson’s archive of personal and working papers and also its links and connections with other collections both at Stirling and other institutions.

In his paper on Anderson’s friendship with John Ford Charles Barr presented the early correspondence between the two men, reassembled through archival research.  Anderson’s early letters to Ford are part of the extensive John Ford Archive held at the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana, with Ford’s replies forming part of the collection of Anderson’s papers at Stirling University. Barr’s detailed examination of these letters brought to light the historical significance of a seemingly innocuous passage in Ford’s first letter to Anderson. Writing to Anderson in March 1947 Ford thanks Anderson for his letter and invites him to write with his views of his new film The Fugitive. Ford apologises for typing the letter, explaining that “I am as yet unable to write long hand, due to a bathing accident at Omaha Beach.” This was Ford’s typically understated way of describing the injuries he received when shooting footage of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944.

John Ford's letter to Lindsay Anderson in which he mentions his 'bathing accident at Omaha Beach.' (Ref. LA 5/1/2/13/1)

John Ford’s letter to Lindsay Anderson in which he mentions his ‘bathing accident at Omaha Beach.’
(Ref. LA 5/1/2/13/1)

The discussions which took place during the symposium around subjects including Anderson’s ‘Scottishness’ and his work as a documentary filmmaker brought out the links and relationships that existed across the British and international filmmaking community that Anderson operated in. Some of these relationships are reflected in the film-related collections held at Stirling. Anderson’s Archive now sits on the shelves beside the papers of John Grierson, the ‘father of documentary.’ When Anderson emerged as a young filmmaker with his Free Cinema documentaries in the 1950s he challenged the established British documentary tradition started by Grierson in the 1930s. Grierson’s less than enthusiastic response to this new generation of documentary filmmakers and Anderson’s challenges to his Griersonian predecessors are preserved in their papers, a search across both collections highlighting the critical and theoretical distance between the two men.

A selection of Polish films were presented in the Free Cinema Four programme at the NFT in September 1958 (ref. LA 1/2/5/13)

A selection of Polish films were presented in the Free Cinema Four programme at the NFT in September 1958
(ref. LA 1/2/5/13)

Anderson’s connections with his European filmmaking contemporaries were examined in papers relating to his correspondence with the French actor Serge Regianni and his connections with Poland. In 1966 Anderson visited Warsaw to direct a production of John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence which led to an invitation to make a film (The Singing Lesson). Anderson had already visited the USSR in 1957 with the Royal Court Theatre and Czechoslovakia on a number of occasions in the 1960s. The archive includes an extensive photographic collection which includes many images of these trips across the Iron Curtain.

Personal reminiscences, academic investigation and archival research all contributed to an event which opened up many new avenues of research into the life and career of one of Britain’s greatest filmmakers. Thanks must go to the organisers Erik Hedling, Christophe Dupin and Elisabet Björklund for putting together such a stimulating and entertaining programme!