Rebuilding in the Post-War Years: The Legacy of the Hasterlik-Hine Collection

This is the final blog post from the students in charge of the Hasterlik-Hine Digitization Project in cooperation with the Institute of World War II and the Human Experience. 

Written from 1945-1948, the final portion of the digitized portion of the Hasterlik-Hine collection offers an invaluable glimpse into life after World War II. Excitement over Giulia Koritschoner’s upcoming trip to the United States characterizes many of the post-war letters, as does joy about reconnecting with the family friends that the Hasterlik-Hine family had lost contact with during the war.

However, the most prominent aspect of the final portion of the collection is the numerous insights it offers into the difficulties that accompanied post-war life in Austria. Supplies were so scarce that “people had to fetch water in buckets an hour away on foot after having stood in line for an hour” and had to “take long walks in the woods to find small pieces of wood to have a little bit of heat.” Yet, perceptions of the former Axis powers varied dramatically. Mia felt pity for those living in these countries, expressing sadness that individuals were “starving” in Vienna while those in the United States were “suffocating in superabundance.” Others, however, only expressed contempt for the former Axis powers, even stating that they did not see the point of sending rations and supplies to “enemies who should starve to death.”

The one consensus among all parties seemed to be the dramatic nature of the occupation of Austria by Allied forces after the war, which was so severe that it seemed as if “all the nations have sent their soldiers to Vienna.” However, even in Vienna, life would, eventually, return to normal. In a letter from March of 1946, Boni celebrated the future of Vienna, writing, “Surely the people will tell you… about Vienna. About ruins and hunger, about cold rooms and deserted streets, about demoralization and despair. All that is also true here. But alongside that are also attractive things. People who want to live well, who certainly feel themselves to be unfortunate, but who are interested in the tragedies and little jokes of the greater evolution of things…”


A Copy of Swiss Identification Papers for Giulia Kortischoner, 1946 [Original Object]

Reflecting the tenacity, resilience, and hope for the future that characterizes the Hasterlik-Hine collection, Boni’s letter exemplifies the sentiments upon which many of the survivors of World War II ultimately constructed their futures. Giulia’s letters to childhood friends such as Ellen Christansen and Lisl Urbantschitsch transformed from letters filled with cartoons that complained about teachers to letters that reflected exciting plans for the future. While Giulia discussed her upcoming trip to the United States, Lisl shared her plans to emigrate to California and live with her father. Developing an increased sense of independence throughout the post-war years, Lisl would employ her artistic talent in order to secure a lucrative job making puppets. By 1947, Lisl was living in Paris and enjoying her independence.

Giulia’s life was, ultimately, one of joy and success as well. On April 21, 1946, she sailed from Paris, France to New York City, finally reuniting with her mother, Mia Hasterlik, from whom she had been separated for eight years. By 1948, Giulia had married Gerald Hine and was pregnant with their first child. Giulia would return to Vienna for a few years with her husband before living out the rest of her life in the United States. She passed away in 2015 at the age of 90.

A discussion of these letters and letters like it from other troubled times in history will be presented at the Letters in Troubled Times: Evaluation of Epistolary Sources conference on Friday, February 16, 2018, in Tallahassee, Florida. Please contact Dr. Suzanne Sinke at ssinke@fsu.edu about questions regarding the conference.

Taking to the Green

One of the most interesting things about my work is getting to learn things I never thought I would know. Like the fact that, apparently, the golf season in college is all year long with a long break over December and January. Which means, both the men’s and women’s golf teams will be hitting the links again starting this month, the women started their spring season last Friday and then men get up and running today. A perfect time to share the media guides we have digitized featuring past golf squads.

1986 Florida State Golf Media Guide
Cover from the 1986 Florida State Golf Media Guide. Golf was a sport than the men’s and women’s teams shared media guides for some of the 1980s. [original item]

Our collection of golf media guides start with the 1974 team and go up to the 2010 teams. We have a smaller collection of golf than we do for other sports at FSU but these guides still provide a fascinating look at this sport and its history at FSU.

The Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Banner with photo of Abraham Lincoln with handwriting introducing Proclamation

Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the United States, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy (the Southern secessionist states) that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union (United States) military victory.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.

The original of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, is held in the National Archives in Washington, DC. With the text covering five pages the document was originally tied with narrow red and blue ribbons, which were attached to the signature page by a wafered impression of the seal of the United States. Most of the ribbon remains; parts of the seal are still decipherable, but other parts have worn off. For conservation reasons, it can only be displayed for a short amount of time each year.

In celebration of African American History Month, the original Emancipation Proclamation from 1863 will be on a rare special display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC from February 17 to February 19, 2018 from 10:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. each day. Admission is free and open to the public. Learn more about this important document, and view and download high-resolution images of the Emancipation Proclamation in the National Archives Catalog.

Emancipation Proclamation, Page 1
Emancipation Proclamation, Page 2
Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation, Page 4
Emancipation Proclamation, Page 5

 

 

Winter Wander in Vanier Park – 2018

This past Saturday, February 3, the sky was its typical overcast winter self, perfect for the seventh annual edition of Winter Wander in Vanier Park.

Winter Wander, a fun family event, is a chance for people to explore the institutions that call Vanier Park home, including Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver Maritime Museum, HR MacMillan Space Centre, City of Vancouver Archives, Vancouver Academy of Music, and Bard on the Beach.

Setting up the records for display before visitors arrive. Photo: Bronwyn Smyth

In the Archives, we welcomed around 300 guests. On display was a sampling of some of our favourite records, and some digitized film playing on the big screen.

Talking with visitors about the records on display. Photo: Heather Gordon

Talking with visitors about the records on display. Photo: Heather Gordon

These records included a range of items: a contract for a Chinese opera singer from 1914, sample letters and a concert ticket from when the Beatles played the PNE, the first Council minute book, and a prisoners’ record book which recently joined the list of publicly available records.

Visitors had the opportunity to get an instant photo portrait taken (remember the kind that develops in front of your eyes?), thanks to the generous loan of instant camera and backdrop from Beau Photo.

Visitors pose for their instant photo portrait. Photo: Heather Gordon

In addition to taking home a portrait, visitors were also able to select a few copy prints as further mementos of the day. These copy prints were once used as the Archives’ way of providing access to our photograph and negative holdings. With the advent of digitization, we now point researchers to our database where the photographs and negatives that have been digitized can be viewed and downloaded. After visitors selected some prints, they were able to pull up the metadata associated with their chosen copy prints by looking up the reference number pencilled on the back of the print on our database.

Visitors enjoy choosing copy prints, looking at displayed records, and using our database in the Archives’ Reading Room. Photo: Neal Jennings

It was lovely to welcome so many people, and introduce them to our work at the Archives. Thank you to the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives and other volunteers for helping us make Winter Wander a success.

A Special Collections Travel Diary

In January, Associate Dean Katie McCormick and I kicked off the new semester by traveling to Berkeley Springs, WV, to acquire a new collection of books related to the French Revolution and Empire. Nestled in the panhandle of West Virginia, Berkeley Springs is within shouting distance of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. It’s also known as America’s first spa town, with its warm and clear mineral waters attracting tourists for centuries, including George Washington! For us, though, it was where we’d meet Michael LaVean, FSU alumni and French history enthusiast. Over the years, Mr. LaVean has collected books related to Napoleon and the French Revolution and Empire, taking extra care to acquire material that highlights the roles women played during the time period.

The collection is massive. At the end of packing it, we had about 3000 books to bring back to Florida. So, how the heck did we do it?

Boxes – lots and lots of boxes


When we left for West Virginia, we drove a small sedan that was packed full of boxes. We fit about 100 boxes in the back of the car but still had to buy more when we got to West Virginia. When packing special collections materials, we take extra care not to pack them too tightly, and some books need to be delicately wrapped in tissue paper. By the end of packing, there were 188 boxes to be transported back to Florida.

IMG_9866

A 15-foot box truck

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of the journey was learning how to drive a 15-foot truck. Neither of us had any prior experience driving anything that big, and you never quite realize how precious visibility is until you don’t have it anymore. 15 foot trucks are also extremely heavy, so braking takes a lot longer than you realize.

pie

Delicious baked goods from Maryland

Because we were in apple country, I developed an insatiable craving for apple pie. After we finished packing, Mr. LaVean took us to a bakery in Maryland where we got – truly – the best apple pie I’ve ever had. We also stocked up on all kinds of goodies, like gingerbread men, wasabi peas, and spicy beef jerky.

 

26239398_10159890567335451_1070987110204665709_nA Bluetooth speaker, pain relief patches, and energy drinks

Moving trucks don’t have auxiliary plugs, which we only figured out after picking it up. The drive from West Virginia to Tallahassee is already long when you can drive at the speed limit, but in the truck, it took about 20 hours and would have felt like forever if we couldn’t listen to music and podcasts. We were also sore and tired from packing all day, so at one point, somewhere outside of Richmond, VA, we stopped at a Walmart to buy the essentials: a Bluetooth speaker, pain relief patches, and energy drinks. It was (mostly) smooth sailing after that.

A good attitude about bad weather

As we were leaving West Virginia, we drove through an intense storm front for several hours. There was zero visibility, semi-trucks were flying, and we were driving at a crawl. We kept our spirits up with fun music, lots of jokes, and the promise of apple pie for dinner. Our next day of driving was delayed by ice, but when we finally got on the road, the weather was beautiful. Look at this view!

virginia

When we got back to town, we immediately started unpacking the collection into our stacks. Here are before and after pictures of the collection in Michael LaVean’s home and in our closed stacks.

IMG_9812stacks

To view more material related to Napoleon and the French Revolution, as well as other collections, visit the FSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center in Strozier Library on Mondays-Fridays 10am-6pm.

National Archives Does Not Tolerate Harassment

An article recently appeared in the media about allegations of serious sexual harassment by former Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. Weinstein served as the 9th Archivist of the United States from 2005 to 2008.

Shortly after becoming the 10th Archivist of the United States in 2009, I learned of the allegations against Weinstein, and I was deeply disturbed by them. Everyone deserves to work in an environment that is courteous, respectful, and free from harassing behaviors. That my predecessor could have used this office to mistreat members of the National Archives family leaves me angry, and shaped much of the agency’s ensuing approach to harassment.

Here is a short summary of what happened: In January 2008, National Archives officials received a complaint of misconduct against Weinstein from an employee and promptly reported the allegation to the White House Office of Presidential Personnel (because Weinstein was a presidential appointee), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Government Ethics, the Department of Justice, and our Office of Inspector General. The OIG and the FBI then conducted an investigation. Weinstein resigned in December 2008, citing health concerns. He passed away in 2015.

National Archives officials first received access to many of the investigative files last summer, when they were released by the National Archives OIG and the Department of Justice in response to a first-person Privacy Act/Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. These files indicate that Weinstein harassed several other women in addition to the employee who made the complaint. The matter ended with Weinstein’s resignation, and no criminal charges were filed. At the time, this issue was considered a sensitive law enforcement matter, and very few National Archives officials were informed of the investigation or its findings.

I have asked the OIG and the FBI to issue a public version of their reports, so the information can be available to everyone.

In 2010, I issued the National Archives’ first anti-harassment policy. In 2013, with the guidance of the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Director we updated and strengthened it – see NARA 396, Anti-Harassment Policy. That year we made annual anti-harassment training mandatory for all managers and supervisors. We made training available for all employees in 2014, and we recently made that training mandatory for all employees, contractors, and volunteers. We also created an Ad-Hoc Committee on Harassment to address allegations of harassment, sexual or otherwise. Since its inception in August 2013, all cases of alleged harassment have been brought before the Committee and addressed.

Freedom from harassment is an essential component of creating and sustaining an inclusive, empowering workplace culture that lets all employees contribute to the agency’s mission. We will not tolerate harassment of any kind.

Philip M. Hauser: A Demographer Looks at Civil Unrest

50 years ago today, the New York Chapter of the conservative Ripon Society sponsored an Urban Leadership Symposium with the New York Young Republican Club, the New York County Republican Volunteers, and New Yorkers for Political Action. Among the many illustrious panelists were Senator Jacob K. Javits, Congressmen William Steiger and Charles Goodell, and other “political and ghetto leaders.”

Ostensibly, the symposium was an attempt by the Republican party of 1968 to try to come up with strategies to appeal to the colored vote on that election year. The urban unrest of the time, which would erupt in full force during that year in New York and across the nation, was likely seen as an opportunity to try to persuade the dissatisfied urban masses to vote for the GOP. Less cynically, several of the presenters on that symposium sound genuinely concerned, stating that urban problems are the problems of modern America —a country whose industrial revolution had come of age, and whose extraordinary prosperity in the preceding decades had, perhaps, not been channeled to benefit all of its society. To ignore these problems, the panelists say, is downright perilous.

On that note, noted demographer Philip M. Hauser brings a purportedly practical, non-partisan analysis to the table. “I hate both republicans and democrats —when they are wrong,” he states slyly. Dr. Hauser, the founder and director of the University of Chicago’s Population Research and Training Center, starts with a bird’s eye view of the Great Migration of rural blacks from the South to the cities of the North, which resulted in the appearance of a significant population of uneducated workers in many American cities. (He also pointedly, albeit condescendingly, singles out the dislike these new arrivals face from the previous wave of workers —mostly the working-class European immigrants arrived barely two decades prior) From Dr. Hauser’s demographic mind, the epochal shift resulting from this massive human migration underlines many of the failures that northern cities face in 1968, including the ballooning of the welfare system. “We do not need an additional welfare program or revision,” he contends. “What we need is an equal opportunity program.” (In this, Hauser is hardly ahead of the curve: President Kennedy’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity had been established by Executive Order 10925 in 1961)

Naturally, Dr. Hauser also points out that housing discrimination continues to be an impediment against blacks obtaining worthy employment. At the time, fair housing legislation was bogged down by Republican filibusters, and Hauser chides the assembled Republicans about the state of the matter. (It would take the assassination of Martin Luther King for Lyndon Johnson to push through with the Fair Housing Act on April 10 of that year)

Dr. Hauser does not spare the Democrats either. True to his opening salvo, he concludes his forceful speech by describing the current Congress of conservative Republicans and Southern Democrats as a “coalition of 19th-century minds and 20th-century bigots,” and urges the GOP to shed two 19th-century ideas marring its actions: one, that “government is best that it governs least”; and the other, a version of Adam Smith’s idea of the “invisible hand” that guides individual self-interest into benefits to society as a whole. Both ideas may have applied to a pre-industrial society, claims Hauser, but have no place in a modern, urban society —and his numbers show it. Seldom has an Ivory Tower academic sounded more forceful, or urgent.

The History of Paper Engineering

The following blog post was written by Special Collections & Archives staff member April Martin.

Literature with functional qualities such as pull tabs or pop-ups are often considered children’s entertainment. However, paper products with mechanical elements were originally created as tools used by adults. Religious calendars, calculation tools, and navigational aids were found in the form of a volvelle. This was a circular chart housing a rotating disc that exposed information as it was turned. Volvelles were invented during the 13th century by Matthew Paris, an English historian, artist, and Benedictine monk. De Corporis Humani Fabrica Lirbri Septem (1543), a human anatomy book, pioneered the next form of paper engineering. Andreas Vesalius designed the textbook incorporating flaps and sleeves to produce a sense of depth necessary to display accurate anatomical placement of bones, muscles, and organs.

In the late 18th century illustrated books began being printed merely for pleasure reading. The History of Little Fanny (1810) provided a new form of entertainment as the first paper-doll book with movable paper clothes. The end of the 19th century is considered to be The Golden Age of Movable Books. During this time Lothar Meggendorfer of Munich, Germany led the industry in innovative paper engineering techniques. His work introduced a single pull tab that created multiple life-like movements. Unfortunately, during World War I many German production facilities were destroyed and the demand for novelty books decreased.

International Circus, an adaption of an 1887 antique pop-up book by Lothar Meggendorfer

After a fifty year hiatus, movable books made a return. The Bookano Series, published by Giraud in the mid 1900s, produced three-dimensional structures that stood up as the page opened. Previously known as “spring ups,” the Blue Ribbon Press soon coined this kind of book “pop-up.”

The Dwindling Party by Edward Gorey with three-dimensional structures from varying perspectives.

Caldecott Medal winner Paul O. Zelinsky created one of today’s most complex movable books, Knick-Knack Paddywhack (2003). The Illustrator and his engineering partner, Andrew Baron, included over 200 moving parts. Another Zelinsky classic, Wheels on the Bus, featured turning wheels, pivoting tabs, pull tabs, and flaps. Watch the clip below to see it in action.

Pop-up and movable books are still the products of inspired artists with an ability to teach. There is no age limit to the enjoyment of a well engineered moveable book. Adults can appreciate the meticulously constructed pages while children feed their imaginations. Paper engineering will likely remain a source of creativity and entertainment in years to come due to its endless possibilities.

Keepsake Carousel is a dimensional reproduction of antique art by Ernest Nister. The dual photo is created with interwoven discs maneuvered by a ribbon pull tab.

All of the books featured in today’s post come from the Marsha Gontarski Children’s Literature Collection, which can be accessed at the FSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

International Circus
The Dwindling Party
Wheels on the bus
Keepsake Carousel

Another Sport to Peruse

Florida State Tennis: 2005-06 Seminole Women's Tennis Media Guide
Cover from the Florida State Tennis: 2005-06 Seminole Women’s Tennis Media Guide [original item]

We’ve continued to steadily digitize our collection of sports media guides in our University Archives. The latest sport to be digitized is tennis. We have good timing since we’ve entered prime tennis season with the Australian Open marking the start of the professional season underway currently. Tennis at FSU started back up in early January. This year’s men’s team is ranked No. 20 in the country and is riding a winning streak while the women’s squad had a great start to their season as well.

Florida State Tennis 1974
Cover from the media guide for Florida State Tennis 1974 [original item]

Our collection includes guides to the men’s and women’s tennis teams going back to the 1970s and provides a fascinating glimpse at how tennis developed into a premier FSU sport. Our latest editions of guides are from 2012. Please browse the tennis media guides and all our other sports media guides to get a fascinating look back at FSU teams from the past.

Our collection, however, is not complete for tennis or any of our other sports. If you have media guides for FSU sports teams and would like to donate them to University Archives, don’t hesitate to contact us at lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu. It may be you have a guide we’re missing to complete our collection!

Houses and Schools and Churches – Oh My! Newly digitized Heritage Inventory photographs now available

Thanks to funding from the British Columbia History Digitization Program we are pleased to announce the addition of over 6,900 newly-digitized photographs to our online database (with a subset on flickr). The photographs are the result of two City of Vancouver heritage inventory projects, one that took place in 1978 and the other from 1985-86.

Pedestrians outside of Melonari’s Ladies Shoes shop at 1301 Commercial Drive. Reference code: COV-S639-1-F10-: CVA 790-0272

In the past, these images have been difficult to access. They are acetate negatives and are stored in the Archives’ frozen storage vault. They also did not have item level descriptions in the database. It will now be much easier for researchers to find and use these photographs which provide valuable insight into Vancouver’s heritage houses, buildings, public structures and parks. Although the structures were the main focus of the photographs, they also show vehicles, pedestrians, streets, storefronts, signage and various other aspects of life in Vancouver.

Pontiac Firebird window display documented during the 1976 Heritage Inventory. Reference code: COV-S535-F4-: CVA 786-62.19

Heritage Inventory 1978

Before 1978, the inventory of Vancouver’s heritage buildings mainly covered downtown and west side areas of the city. The City’s Heritage Advisory Committee initiated a new inventory project in the summer of 1978 in order to create a more comprehensive list of heritage buildings across all of Vancouver. It aimed to document buildings “of varied socio-economic backgrounds” as opposed to previous inventories that had leaned towards buildings designed and used by Vancouver’s elite. Surveying by car was frustrating due to problems with traffic and parking so a majority of the inventory was conducted by bicycle.

The Committee developed criteria to select buildings that were to be documented as part of the inventory. These criteria were divided into three categories – historical, architectural and contextual. Architectural criteria included:

  • buildings built prior to 1950
  • buildings in near to or original condition (with a few exceptions)
  • uniqueness of style, quality of craftsmanship
  • method of construction or engineering
  • originality and integrity of design
  • being characteristic of a period and building type

The Archives holds 2,543 photographs from the 1978 Heritage Inventory. These photographs were assigned identifiers starting with CVA 786. The areas documented include: Downtown, Fairview, Grandview-Woodland, Hastings-Sunrise, Kensington-Cedar Cottage (east of Commercial/Victoria only), Killarney, Kitsilano, Marpole, Mount Pleasant, Renfrew-Collingwood, Riley Park (Main to Fraser only, north of 25th Avenue only), Strathcona, Victoria-Fraserview (east of Victoria only), and the West End. Each image is of one particular building only, and all are identified by address.

B.C. Mills Settler Prefab house at 1561 E. 4th Avenue. Reference code: COV-S535-F4-: CVA 786-74.11

After the inventory was completed the Committee had a master document created that contained developed prints pasted to a sectional map of Vancouver. This provides a good visual for the inventory project.

Heritage Inventory 1978 Master Document, showing heritage buildings between Nanaimo and Renfrew Street and Dundas and Pender Streets. Photo: Kristy Waller

Hastings School at 2625 Franklin Street, shown on Master Document page (above). Reference code: COV-S535-F4-: CVA 786-83.15

For more information about the 1978 inventory methodologies and to read the final report see City Series S535.

Heritage Inventory 1986

The 1986 inventory was carried out by contractors with the City of Vancouver Planning Department and the Vancouver Heritage Advisory Committee. One of the main goals of this inventory was to create a list of buildings that had “primary significance” to the city of Vancouver.

The 1986 heritage inventory project used the same broad categories (architectural, contextual and historical) as the 1978 inventory to evaluate the buildings. The project was completed in two phases. Phase one reviewed and identified 2,752 buildings that would be evaluated. Phase two augmented the list by adding 94 additional buildings from public nominations and site surveys. A framework was developed for grading the buildings into three groups in order to determine which level of conservation would be recommended.

The 1986 inventory photographs came to the Archives in three distinct surveys and each survey was assigned an identifier. There are 4,377 photographs in total.

  • CVA 790 (1985-86) Survey 1 (Buildings)

Industrial buildings at 1000 Parker Street. Reference code: COV-S639-1-F23-: CVA 790-0671

  • CVA 791 (1985-86) Survey 2 (Public Nominations)

280 East 6th Avenue, now converted to residential. Reference code: COV-S639-2-F04-: CVA 791-0113

  • CVA 792 (1985-86) Survey 3 (Parks, landscapes and monuments)

Magnolia x soulangiana, also known as a saucer magnolia, in front of the Vancouver Museum. Reference code: COV-S639-3-F03-: CVA 792-050

For more information about the 1985/86 Heritage Inventory you can request the following documents during a visit to the Archives:

PD 1237 – 1985 Technical Report (Phase I)

PD 1238 – 1985 Listing of Potential Heritage Buildings (Phase I)

PD 1468 – 1986 Technical Report (Phase II)

PD 1469 – 1986 Listing of Resources (Phase II)

PD 1470 – 1986 Summary Report (Phase II)

We hope that you enjoy this trove of photographs. Try searching for your own home by address or street name. If you would like to read more, a few staff members were interviewed by the Vancouver Courier about this project.

Reworking the McCloy Papers

We’re pleased to announce the completion of a project to reorganize the John J. McCloy Papers, one of our most heavily used collections.

The project involved three steps – each intended to increase ease of access to the collection and ensure the protection of the material.

Addressing preservation issues: this collection was first processed in the late 1980s. When archival collections are first processed, they are housed in acid-free containers to protect the material. But over time acid-free boxes and folders become acidic and don’t protect as well. We swapped out all of the boxes in the McCloy Papers for new acid-free buffered boxes and replaced well-worn folders. Oversized material in the collection was given boxes specially designed to fit the material. You can read more about ideal storage methods here.

Condensing the collection: this was also a bit of a preservation issue. The McCloy Papers are housed in records cartons, which look like this:

box

A number of the boxes in the collection were not completely filled. Ideally, a box should be filled just enough so that it is easy to pull out a needed folder. A box should not be overstuffed, nor should it be under-filled – either situation puts unnecessary strain on the archival material.

box open

A well-filled records carton

You can read more about storage and handling here.

Providing unique identifiers: After physically condensing the collection, boxes and folders needed to be renumbered and the finding aid brought up to date. We gave the boxes and folders sequential numbers so that the finding aid would provide one single list.

mccloy fa

A snapshot of the new finding aid

This part was quite the endeavor – the collection comprises over 50 boxes and thousands of folders. But we persisted and the brand new finding aid is available online. It is accessible here.

If you’ve used the collection before and have old citations for items in the collection, don’t worry. We’ve put together a cheat sheet that will translate those citations for you.

For the uninitiated, here is an overview of the collection:

The John J. McCloy Papers were given to Amherst College by McCloy through a deed of gift executed in July of 1985. It was one of the largest acquisitions for the Archives at the time. Prior to their physical transfer to the Amherst College Archives, roughly half of the papers underwent a national security review by the Department of State. The bulk of these arrived at the College in May of 1986, with several batches sent later following clearance by the relevant government agency. Today, the Papers comprise 59.5 linear feet of material, including 52 records cartons, 28 flat boxes, 1 scroll box, and 2 map case drawers.

The McCloy Papers span the years 1897-1989, with the bulk of the material falling into the period 1940-1979. The roughly 60 linear feet of material cover the breadth of McCloy’s activities, from lawyer to banker to government official to negotiator to behind-the-scenes adviser. The papers include working papers, correspondence, memoranda, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, legal documents, printed material, and memorabilia. Of particular interest is the material which focuses on McCloy’s time as High Commissioner of Germany after World War II, and the material concerning McCloy’s involvement in Japanese internment camps during the war.

rhein main airbase

McCloy leaving Germany from Rhein-Main airbase after serving as High Commissioner of Germany after World War II

 

speeches

Series 4: Speeches contains over 40 years of formal and informal speeches given by McCloy.



McCloy received many honorary degrees and awards over the course of his career.

Our next preservation project involving the McCloy Papers will be to send out the legacy media for digital reformatting.

 

Happy Birthday, FSU!

This blog post is an updated version of a previous post by Hannah Wiatt Davis which can be found here.

West Seminary
The building shown above was built as an enticement to have the West Florida Seminary established in Tallahassee (Florida Archives).

Happy 167th Birthday, Florida State University! In 1851, the first steps were taken by the Florida Legislature (then the General Assembly of the State of Florida) to create the institution we now know as Florida State University. However, it wasn’t until recently that 1851 was accepted as the founding date. Previously, FSU had used 1857, when the State Seminary West of the Suwannee River, the predecessor institution of FSU, first opened its doors. However, the 1857 date isn’t entirely accurate. The process of starting the school began long before students were allowed to study here.

On January 24, 1851, the General Assembly of the State of Florida passed an act establishing two seminaries of learning, one to the east and one to the west of the Suwannee River. It wasn’t until 1854 when the Tallahassee City Council offered to pay $10,000 to finance a new school building on land owned by the city in an attempt to “bid on” being the location of the seminary west of the Suwannee, which the legislature had yet to decide. The $10,000 consisted of the value of the property, the yet-to-be-constructed building, and the remaining balance in cash. Approximately $6,000 was originally committed, with the Council promising to give the city the remaining balance if Tallahassee was determined as the final location. Later in 1854, construction on a school building began and Tallahassee’s city superintendent approached the state legislature to present the case for the seminary to be in Tallahassee. However, state officials failed to make a decision regarding the location of the seminary before the end of the legislative session.

By 1855, the newly constructed building, which was often described as “the handsomest edifice” in Tallahassee, was ready for students. Because of the state legislature’s lack of a decision on whether it would be one of the legislature-designated seminaries, it was not given an official name. Instead, it was alternately called “The City Seminary” and “Tallahassee Male Seminary.”

In 1856, the ball got rolling as the City Council of Tallahassee (hereafter referred to as the Board of Trustees of the Florida Institute) met and designated “The City Seminary” as the “Florida Institute.” It also indicated that “government of the institution or seminary shall be under the direction of a president” and decided that “a preparatory school will be established in connection with the academic or collegiate department of the institute.” It was established that one of the president’s duties would be to publish a “Catalogue Course of Studies” for the institution. Later in 1856, William (W.Y.) Peyton, previously principal of The City Seminary, was unanimously elected by the Board of Trustees of the Florida Institute as the first president of the Institute.

By late 1856, the General Assembly passed legislation declaring that “the Seminary to be located West of the Suwannee River be, and the same is hereby located at the City of Tallahassee in the County of Leon.” There were several conditions that needed to be granted for this to occur – “the proper and authorized conveyance of said Lot and College edifice thereon be made to the City of Tallahassee to the Board of Education,” that Tallahassee “guarantee to said Board of Education the payment of the sum of two thousand dollars per annum forever, to be expended in the education of the youth of said City, in such manner and on such terms as shall be agreed between the corporate authorities of said City and the Board of Education,” and that Tallahassee “shall pay to the Board of Education as much money in cash as shall be found necessary after a valuation of the Lot and College edifice aforesaid, to complete the sum of ten thousand dollars.”

With all of the requirements fulfilled, the State Seminary West of the Suwannee River was allowed to open its doors and so began FSU’s long history.

To see more photographs, ephemera, and artifacts related to the history of Florida State, check out the FSU Heritage Digital Collections or like the Heritage Facebook page.

Hours Change for Special Collections Spaces

Due to an event to be held in some of our spaces the Special Collections Research Center will be closing at 3:30pm on Thursday, January 25, 2018. If you need to make arrangements to use our collections between 4-6pm that day, please make an appointment by emailing lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu.

The Special Collections Exhibit Room, due to the same event, will be closing at 12:00pm on Thursday.

All our other areas will keep their normally scheduled hours.

We will resume normal operating hours for the Research Center and Exhibit Room on Friday, January 26, 2018.

RISD Unbound Art Book Fair: April 7, 2018

Our fine colleagues at the Rhode Island School of Design/ RISD Library are hard at work planning this year’s (un)bound art book fair, which will take place on Saturday, April 7th, 2018. Save the date! This year’s book fair will take place in the RISD Library at 15 Westminster Street in Providence, RI.

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They’re currently accepting applications for exhibitors; registration is free, but tables fill up fast, so apply soon if you’re interested in selling or showcasing your books!

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The End of a “Nightmare”: Experiences in the Aftermath of World War II

Continuing their work promoting a new collection of materials from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience at Florida State University by a student leader for the project, Gabriela Maduro.

As World War II came to an end in 1945, individuals across the globe celebrated the cessation of one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. Yet, for many people, the end of the war did not necessarily mean a return to normal life. The letters of the Hasterlik-Hine Collection provide a nuanced first-hand account of the tumultuous period following the end of the war, chronicling the story of a family that had to cope with not only the loss of family members and friends but also, perhaps most significantly, the loss of a homeland.

Letter from Mia Hasterlik to Giulia Koritschoner, August 16, 1945
Mia Hasterlik writes about the joys of V-J day in New York City to her daughter. August 16, 1945 [original item]

Letters from Mia Hasterlik to her daughter, Giulia Koritschoner, highlight the joy with which the end of the war was received in the United States, expressing disbelief at the fact that “this nightmare is really past, that it’s over,” and expressing excitement at a future that was “spreading more beautiful in front of our eyes.” Mia described the jubilation with which VE Day (Victory in Europe) and VJ Day (Victory over Japan) were celebrated in New York, where “all the people [were] happy and drunk and all the soldiers and sailors [were] out of their minds. All the girls got kissed, everybody had lipstick on their faces, thousands of tons of paper, which people had thrown out their windows.”

Underlying the joy of these letters, however, was a lingering sense of sadness and loss. Mia lamented the “heavy, irreplaceable loss” of her father, Paul Hasterlik, who died at Theresienstadt in 1944. While Giulia expressed nostalgia for the Vienna that she was forced to flee from at the beginning of the war, Mia instead stated, “I have no yearning whatsoever for Vienna, could never return. Because of… all the crimes which they carried out with their ‘Golden Viennese Hearts.’” Much of the correspondence during this time also highlights the desperate search for missing family members and friends that took place after the war. Mia, in particular, made frantic attempts to find Boni, an old family friend who had stayed behind in Vienna with Paul, and Ellen Christansen, a childhood friend of Giulia’s who was also forced to remain in Vienna.

Letter from Mia Hasterlik to Giulia Koritschoner, June 23, 1945
A page from a letter to Giulia Koritschoner from her mother. June 23, 1945, [original item]

Yet, the letters of the Hasterlik-Hine Collection also highlight the essential truth that, even in times of dramatic change or loss, daily life must still continue on much in the same way. Many of the letters between Giulia and Mia include discussions of the various suitors that Giulia encountered during her time living in Switzerland. These individuals range from a suitor named Pernal “Franz” Francois who served in the Polish Army to a Viennese man named Gustav Stux who had fallen in love with Giulia despite the fact that he was already in his fifties. Mia frequently reminded Giulia of the respectable family that she belonged to and urged her to keep values of honor and propriety in mind.

The Hasterlik-Hine Collection offers a fascinating glimpse into the aftermath of World War II, as experienced by individuals who lived in countries spanning from Switzerland to the United States. While the fighting ended in 1945, many families still struggled with the death, separation, and upheaval created by the war for years after its official conclusion.

A discussion of these letters and letters like it from other troubled times in history will be presented at the Letters in Troubled Times: Evaluation of Epistolary Sources conference on Friday, February 16, 2018, in Tallahassee, Florida. Please contact Dr. Suzanne Sinke about questions regarding the conference.

In his “Great Shadow”: Robert Burns’ Legacy

Robert Burns’ ability to spontaneously produce musical and poignant verse earned him the title of “Scotland’s Bard,” and ensured that his legacy would remain especially close to that nation’s people and their descendants. Special Collections & Archives’ forthcoming exhibit, “In his ‘Great Shadow’: Robert Burns’ Legacy,” opening January 22nd, explores not only the lyrical finesse that led to our remembrance of him, but especially how he is remembered.

Portrait_of_Robert_Burns_Ayr_Scotland
Portrait of Robert Burns by Detroit Publishing Company [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Items created by Burns Clubs for memorial celebrations evince the long history of social responses to Burns’ greatness; drawing on the Scottish and John McKay Shaw Collections at FSU’s Special Collections & Archives, the exhibit especially highlights the tradition of Burns Suppers, which are still celebrated around the world. Like memorial celebrations, poetic homages to Burns began almost at the moment of his death. This exhibit explores these poetic echoes, from Sir Walter Scott to current Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay. Experience firsthand the social and poetic legacies of Burns — what Keats called “his Great Shadow” — through beautiful historical items in our collections.

The exhibit is holding a soft opening starting January 22, 2018, and then will be open through the Spring semester in the Exhibit Room in Strozier Library, Monday-Thursday, 10am to 6pm and Friday 10am to 5:30pm.

Join us for Citizen Archivist Week of Service!

In the spirit of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service, join us this week, January 15—19, 2018, for the Citizen Archivist Week of Service. Our goal is to tag or transcribe 2,018 pages in the National Archives Catalog during this week-long challenge. Can you help us meet this goal?

Citizen Archivist Week of Service: January 15-19, 2018. Volunteer to help us Unlock History!

Get started by visiting the Citizen Archivist Dashboard today through January 19. During this week, we’ll have a special expanded missions section and many featured records waiting to be tagged and transcribed. You can transcribe records related to Mediterranean Passports, which were certificates issued by the Secretary of State in an attempt to ensure safe passage of American vessels in areas threatened by Barbary pirates; slave manifests from the Port of New York; marriage licenses from the Office of Indian Affairs White Earth Agency; records from a wide range of civil rights issue in United States history, and much more! What will you learn and discover as you begin to transcribe?

For our new volunteers, you’ll also find instructions on how to create an account and get started.

Help us unlock history by tagging and transcribing primary source documents in the National Archives Catalog. As you add tags or transcriptions to these records, those words are added to our Catalog—improving search results, and making our records more discoverable online. The added benefit is that we’re unlocking the sometimes difficult to read text for all to understand. We like to say that as we tag and transcribe, we are unlocking history.

Visit our Resources page to learn How to Tag and Transcribe Records, learn What Makes A Good Tag, and review Transcription Tips.

 Encourage Service Week in your classroom!

Are you an educator? A great way to get students involved is by playing the tagging game. It’ a head-to-head or team-versus-team challenge to list as many keywords (Tags) that describe or identify items in an image. After one minute of writing keywords, teams compare their lists and scores are awarded. Before moving on to the next image, the game host adds all the keywords as tags into the Catalog description. You can find more information and resources for both tagging and transcription on our dashboard.

Stay in touch!

Send us a tweet @USNatArchives using the hashtag #CitizenArchivistServiceWeek to let us know what you’re working on and what you find in the records.

Follow us throughout the week to keep up with our progress. We’ll post updates on the Citizen Archivist Dashboard, and on social media.

We look forward to your contributions during our Week of Service—and always! Together with our virtual volunteers, we can help unlock history and make the records of the National Archives more discoverable online.

New to Citizen Archivist? Register and Get Started

 

New in the public domain 2018

On January 1st, the copyright expired for some of our holdings: these are now in the public domain in Canada. These digital materials may now be legally re-used for any purpose. Here’s a quick look at some of the images, maps, and moving images that have become easier to re-use.

Trading Post, a 1967 production from CHAN-CHEK TV, came to us when we acquired the Playhouse Theatre records. It was thought to be related to the Playhouse Theatre, but when the 2” videotape was digitized, it was discovered to be a program that allowed people to phone the host with items for barter or sale. Reference code AM1487-: LEG188.7.

Mildred Valley Thornton was a professional artist who died in 1967. It Thornton was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the art critic for the Vancouver Sun for 16 years. A biography of her was published in 2011 by Sheryl Salloum. She painted The Pilotage in 1940, approximately, and it shows a pilot house in Skunk Cove, West Vancouver. If you view the image below in high resolution, you can see the impasto texture of the paint.

The Pilotage by Mildred Valley Thornton. Reference code AM1562-: 72-556

This is one section of a multi-sheet sectional plan of the City of Vancouver. It was created by the City in 1912 and revised in 1942.

South Vancouver section 8. Reference code COV-S508-: LEG1153.418

Here’s a 1960 photograph of a house at 3399 Kingway. According to Major Matthews, it was originally a roadhouse named “The Pig and Whistle”. Matthews says that it was one of several roadhouses along Westminster Road (later Kingsway). By 1960, it had been turned into a private house.

Exterior of house at 3399 Kingsway (formerly the Pig and Whistle on Westminster Road) Reference code AM54-S4-: Hot P77

A Place to Be is a short documentary from 1967 about Grouse Mountain. It shows the gondola, skiers on the slopes, the restaurant, and people singing along to German songs. Reference code AM1466-: MI-22.

This is just a small selection of the items which have recently come into the public domain.

Recipes from the Girl in White

Those of you with a great memory for detail may recall that PPL’s 2016 exhibition, On the Table, included a book published by the Providence Gas Company entitled Favorite Old Rhode Island Recipes From the Girl in White. Said book includes baking temperatures and times for common foods– valuable information to have on hand at the time of its publication, as ovens with temperature increments only became commonplace in American homes around 1945.

Girl in White - PPL

We mention this today because, sadly, the “Girl in White”, also known as Sylvia Denhoff, passed away last week at the age of 99.8 years. The Providence Journal ran a fascinating obituary for Denhoff that includes her recipe for almond cookies. (We’re grateful to Matthew Lawrence over at Law and Order Party for drawing our attention to this journalistic tribute.)

If you’d like to take a peek at more of Denhoff’s favorite Rhode Island recipes, her book is available at PPL for on-site use.

Skating By…

A crowd sits on a grassy hill, and watches two figure skaters perform a dance on the ice rink. The pair wear matching sweaters, and are holding hands with their left arms extended.

Phyllis (Schroeder) Forney and her husband Martin Forney perform an ice dancing routine.

Grab your skates!

The Walter S. Orr Rink opened 63 years ago this month—dedicated on January 15, 1955. The dedication ceremony, led by Dean Eugene S. Wilson (Class of 1929), included speeches by Trustee Francis T. P. Plimpton (Class of 1921), President Charles W. Cole (Class of 1927), and Walter S. Orr (Class of 1912), the rink’s namesake and major donor. The formal ceremony was followed by two figure skating performances and an Amherst College vs. UMass Amherst hockey game (which Amherst lost, 5-4).

National champions performed the two inaugural figure skating routines. Dick Button won Olympic gold in both 1948 and 1952 with two historic “firsts” in competition. In 1948, he landed the first double Axel, and four years later, he landed the first triple jump (a loop).[1]  Ice dancing pair (and spouses) Phyllis and Martin Forney would compete in the 1955 World Figure Skating Championships.

A male ice skater, dressed in black, lifts his foot and extends his arms as he twists his body to the right. Spectators in winter coats stand behind the wooden fence at the rink edge, and on the hill rising behind the rink.

Dick Button, Olympic gold medalist, begins a turn during his performance on the ice.

Despite the cold (the Amherst Student noted that it was below freezing), a substantial crowd gathered for the dedication. The speeches tended to humor, with Dean Wilson introducing President Cole as “one who is long-experienced in skating on thin ice,” and Trustee Plimpton hoping that the co-educational weekends would benefit from the new recreational opportunity.[2]

Two ice hockey teams skate on the ice. A crowd watches, with people sitting in bleachers or standing around the rink on snow-covered ground.

Amherst College ice hockey game, sometime between 1955 and 1965.

Perhaps people were tired of braving the cold, because Orr Rink was enclosed just ten years later in 1965. It was completely renovated in 1997, and is now home to both men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. Recreational skating is available to the Amherst College community (see the Athletics site for hours) from November through February; lace up and have some fun!

Notes

1. “Richard BUTTON – Olympic Figure Skating.” International Olympic Committee, February 1, 2017. https://www.olympic.org/richard-button.
2. “Plimpton, Button Help Dedicate New Orr Rink.” Amherst Student, January 17, 1955. Amherst College Archives & Special Collections.

First Baptist Church of Tallahassee

One of our goals in the digital collections area is to extend our expertise in digitization to community partners to help those organizations that don’t know how or don’t have the time and resources, to digitize and get their materials online. This year we did pilot community projects with two local organizations and they were a great success. We hope to take what we’ve learned from these projects and continue to partner with local partners to bring Tallahassee’s rich history online.

The latest community project to come online is the first of many sets of materials from the First Baptist Church of Tallahassee. The First Baptist Church has been a cornerstone in Tallahassee for many years. Founded in 1849, its collection not only reflects the history of the church but also of Tallahassee. Due to the church’s close proximity to FSU, it also holds the stories of many of our students over the years who participated in the Church while calling Tallahassee home.

Page from First Baptist Worship, Weekly Events & Pastoral Paragraphs, March 17, 1935
Page from First Baptist Worship, Weekly Events & Pastoral Paragraphs, March 17, 1935 [See original object]

We’ve started our project with the church bulletins. The collection begins in the 1930s and we are working our way up to the present day. These materials will be uploaded into DigiNole: FSU’s digital repository in batches as digitization is completed.

For more information about First Baptist Church, please visit their website. You can also explore the digital collection in DigiNole. Be aware we are loading this first batch still so new items will be added up to 1959 over the next few weeks.

Archival Gift-Giving

Tis the season to give holiday gifts. Here in the Office of the Archivist, we are in the business of giving gifts all year round. One of the little-known things that we do is provide facsimile gifts for the President of the United States. My staff receive requests from the State Department Protocol Office for gifts for Heads of State. The Protocol Office will explain who the gift is for and what they are looking for. Then we will reach out across the agency to find documents or photographs appropriate for the recipient.  My staff will gather the ideas from across NARA and present them to the Protocol team. When the White House decides what they would like to give, we create lovely archival facsimiles that will be presented to the head of state.

Here are just a few example of gifts we have prepared:

For a recent visit with the Prime Minister of Libya, the White House requested architectural plans for the White House. The Prime Minister studied architecture.

Interior Cross Sections of the West Wing on an East to West Axis and North to South Axis, White House

Interior Cross Sections of the West Wing on an East to West Axis and North to South Axis, White House January 1, 1905. Records of the National Park Service, National Archives and Records Administration

In 2011, President Obama visited Queen Elizabeth II for his first state visit at Buckingham Palace. We created a series of photographs and documents for Obama to present Queen Elizabeth II from the June 1939 visit to the United States of her parents, King George VI and his consort Elizabeth, known more recently as the Queen Mother. In 2016, President Barack Obama gave Queen Elizabeth II a compilation of photos of the Queen with all the Presidents she had worked with.

Photograph of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and President Truman

Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and President Truman depart from Washington National Airport. October 31, 1951. (A facsimile page that was given to the Queen.)

In 2014, for Angela Merkel’s birthday and after the World cup win for Germany, we suggested a football patent for her gift:

Football patent, June 16, 1903.

Football patent, June 16, 1903. Patent # 731,165. Record Group 241,
Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, National Archives and Records Administration

In addition to doing facsimiles gifts for the President, we often give facsimiles out to special visitors to the National Archives.

In 2015, Prince Charles visited the National Archives and the Archivist gave him two facsimile gifts.

Photograph of David Ferriero and Prince Charles

Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero presents gifts to Prince Charles during a visit to the U.S. National Archives in 2015.

One was a patent application for a polo stick by Lord Louis Mountbatten:





And the other was a telegram from U.S. Embassy in London to United States Secretary of State, October 3, 1957. The telegram says:

“Palace has requested embassy assistance obtain operating and maintenance instruction for engine and midget car reftels…Engine is quarter midget model No. AU7R, Specification No. A178182 Manufactured by Continental Motors Corp, 620 Ford Buildings, Detroit.  Royal Mews mechanics had engine running this morning but as they have no data about engine they uncertain, for example, whether 100 octane or other gasoline required.  Palace “Anxious get car ready before Prince Charles returns from school…”

Telegram from U.S. Embassy in London to the Secretary of State, October 3, 1957

Telegram from U.S. Embassy in London to the Secretary of State, October 3, 1957.
File 741.11/10-357; Central Decimal Files, 1955-59. General Records of the Department of State
Record Group 59, National Archives and Records Administration

 

The Minutes of the Faculty Senate

DigiNole: FSU’s digital repository recently ingested the minutes of Florida State University’s Faculty Senate. These documents, including not only minutes but reports of committees, senate rosters and other materials about the business of the Senate, start in 1952 and go up through 2017.

Page from April 20, 1966 Faculty Senate Minutes
Page from the April 20, 1, 66 Faculty Senate Minutes. See original item.

The Faculty Senate is the basic legislative body of the University. It is charged to formulate measures for the maintenance of a comprehensive educational policy and for the maximum utilization of the intellectual resources of the University. It also to charged to:

  1. Determine and define University-wide policies on academic matters, including Liberal Studies policy, admission, grading standards, and the requirements within which the several degrees may be granted.
  2. As the elected body of the General Faculty, the Senate may also formulate its opinion upon any subject of interest to the University and adopt resolutions thereon. Resolutions treating those areas of authority legally reserved to the President of the University and the Board of Regents will be advisory.
  3. Upon the resignation, retirement, or death of the President and upon a request by the Board of Regents, the Faculty Senate will designate individuals to be available for membership on any committee requested by the Board of Regents for the purpose of consultation in the selection of a nominee for President.

For more information about the Faculty Senate, visit its website and explore the new collection of minutes in DigiNole.

2017: End-of-year review

As 2017 draws to a close its time to review our user statistics recording visits to our archives reading room and enquiries received about our collections. In the year that the University of Stirling celebrated its 50th anniversary its fitting that our own institutional records were our most popular, well-used collection. The University Archives was delighted to be able to support the fantastic range of events and exhibitions  which took place during the institution’s golden anniversary (including our Timeline exhibition and the Art Collection’s 1967 show). Throughout the year we celebrated the contribution our heritage collections have made to the academic and cultural life of the campus in our Realising the Vision blog. We also contributed to Fifty, a beautiful new publication produced by the university which tells the story of the university through 50 objects selected by staff, writers, poets, alumni and students.

Material featured in our Timeline exhibition, celebrating 50 years of the University of Stirling.

The NHS Forth Valley Archive continued to be a popular resource for family historians, academics and students, coming second in this year’s list. During the year the University Archives was designated the permanent place of deposit for the records of NHS Forth Valley selected for permanent preservation under the Public Records (Scotland) Act. We look forward to further expanding and developing our holdings relating to the medical history of the Forth Valley area under this new arrangement.

50th anniversary event in the archives reading room on the University of Stirling Open Day, Saturday 18 March 2017.

In January 2017 we completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to support the cataloguing and digitisation of the Peter Mackay Archive, a new collection relating to modern Southern African history. The interest generated in this collection kick-started by our fundraising campaign resulted in it taking third place in our annual list. In July we were delighted to receive recognition for this innovative project at the Herald Higher Education Awards where we were awarded a special commendation in the Campaign of the Year category.

Our Peter Mackay Archive crowdfunding project received a special commendation for Campaign of the Year at the Herald Higher Education Awards in July.

A fruitful year for the Peter Mackay Archive ended with a group of our History & Politics students creating a beautiful exhibition featuring material from the collection which is on display in the university library until April 2018.

Freedom Road, an exhibition of material from the Peter Mackay Archive created by History & Politics students. On display in the university library until 6 April 2018.

Reflecting on another busy year for Archives & Special Collections we recorded a continued year-on-year increase in the interest in, and use of, our collections. These statistics highlight the value of our collections for research, teaching and public engagement and we look forward to further developing our resources in 2018.

Those results in full:

2017:

  1. University of Stirling
  2. NHS Forth Valley
  3. Peter Mackay

Previous years:

2016:

  1. NHS Forth Valley
  2. University of Stirling
  3. Lindsay Anderson

2015:

  1. NHS Forth Valley
  2. Musicians’ Union
  3. University of Stirling

2014:

  1. Norman McLaren
  2. NHS Forth Valley
  3. Commonwealth Games Scotland

Find our more at: http://libguides.stir.ac.uk/archives

Follow us on Twitter: @unistirarchives

Magician of the Week #49: Max Terhune

It’s been far too long since we’ve introduced a Magician of the Week, so today we bring you both a featured magician AND a featured ventriloquist’s dummy.

IMG_1110

Here we see Max Terhune (whose stage character Hammo the Great was actually a previous Magician of the Week), alongside his high-kneed and tiny-footed dummy, Skully, in a photo from the April 1937 issue of Genii.  (According to IMDb, this is actually the same dummy that shared a saddle with Terhune in his role as Lullaby Joslin in The Three Mesquiteers; during their Orpheum Circuit days, the dummy was named Skully Null, but once they became movie stars, the dummy was renamed Elmer Sneezeweed.)

Can’t get enough of Max Terhune? Let me suggest the 1936 public domain film The Big Show, a musical western in which Terhune appears as a ventriloquist. You can download it for free from the Internet Archive!

Can’t get enough of Elmer Sneezeweed? An original backup copy is on view at the Vent Haven Museum at 33 West Maple Avenue in Fort Haven, Kentucky. (If any of you visit said museum, we would LOVE a report-back.)

Happy Holidays from FSU Special Collections

All of us here in Special Collections & Archives wish you and your family a safe and wonderful holiday season!


The cover from Dear Santa Claus: charming holiday stories for boys and girls, 1901 (original item).

We have a series of children’s books in the Shaw collection that was published especially for children at the holidays in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This cover comes from one of our favorites which includes one of the most famous Christmas poems, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Our hours are a bit different over the next few weeks so here are our altered hours through January 8, 2018:

  • We’ll be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, December 18 and 19, 2017.
  • We’ll be available by appointment on Wednesday and Thursday, December 20 and 21, 2017. To schedule an appointment, email lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu or call (850) 644-3271.
  • We’ll be closed starting Friday, December 22, 2017 until Tuesday, January 2, 2018
  • We’ll be open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, January 2, 2018 through Friday, January 5, 2018.
  • we’ll resume our normal operating hours on Monday, January 8, 2018

Completion of the JFK Records Rolling Release

Last Friday marked the completion of the rolling review and release of the final records still publicly withheld from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection.  The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) acknowledges the importance of the completion of the rolling release of these records, but we must note with disappointment failure of the responsible agencies to meet the legal requirements set by the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The PIDB recognizes and respects that it is likely some of the JFK records were properly subject to being withheld or redacted to protect legitimate national security information which should remain classified. However, with the 25 years of advance notice afforded by the 1992 Act, it is difficult now to understand why the October 26 deadline passed largely unmet. Certainly, there will be no excuse for a failure by any agency to meet the extended deadline of April 26, 2018, set by the President. The American public deserves no less.  We look forward to the completion of the re-review process that the President has directed and will continue monitoring the release of these records of high historical significance.

 

 

 

The ‘Dean’ of Radio Commentators Celebrates WNYC’s 20th Anniversary

Celebrity endorsements of WNYC these days are not unusual. Someone notable on book tour, in the news, or appearing in a major motion picture comes to our studios for an interview. They’ve had a thoughtful conversation, and maybe they’re a listener too. Would they like to do a brief ‘pitch’ on our behalf? Sure, why not?

In 1944, however, when H.V. Kaltenborn, the ‘Dean of Radio Commentators,’ recorded the tribute above, endorsements of this kind were pretty unusual. What’s more: Kaltenborn was not being interviewed by us; he wasn’t even in our studio. Instead, Kaltenborn was broadcasting over the NBC network and reaching hundreds of stations across the nation at a time when radio was the dominant electronic media. It says much for WNYC that Kaltenborn paid such a paean to the station at that time. 

Card signed by H. V. Kaltenborn in 1930.
(A. Lanset Collection)

Hans von Kaltenborn (1878—1965), known to his listeners as H. V. Kaltenborn, was a widely respected news commentator heard regularly for more than three decades over CBS and NBC. He was perhaps best known for his highly precise (some would say clipped) diction, his ability to ad lib, and his broad knowledge of international affairs. Like many early radio people, his journalistic roots were in newspapers —in his case The Brooklyn Daily Eagle; first as a correspondent in Washington D.C. and Paris and then as a columnist and editor. In 1922 Kaltenborn made what is described as radio’s first editorial analysis of news events over WVP, Bedloe’s Island, New York.  A year later he was providing WEAF with regular commentaries. Still with the Eagle, in 1926 he appeared on WNYC to launch what is considered the medium’s first quiz show.  

That show, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Current Events Bee, aired in April 1926. Kaltenborn, the paper’s associate editor, was the program’s quiz master —an annual role he kept through 1930.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 24, 1926
(WNYC Archive Collections)

Kaltenborn moved to CBS in 1927, but he still delivered occasional commentaries on world affairs over WNYC into the 1930s (see photo below); eventually he moved to NBC in 1940. The National Radio Hall of Fame says, “Kaltenborn’s ability to speak thoughtfully at a moment’s notice put him at the center of some of the biggest news stories of the 1930s and ’40s.” This coverage included the Spanish Civil War and other major events leading to the outbreak of World War II.

H. V. Kaltenborn at WNYC on January 22, 1934.
(Eugene de Salignac photo/NYC Municipal Archives)

The recording above was broadcast on August 10, 1944 over the NBC Network. Kaltenborn congratulated WNYC for 20 years of public service: 

I salute the world’s outstanding municipal radio station. For twenty years station WNYC has served our people in peace and in war. Throughout that time it has devoted itself exclusively to that public interest, convenience and necessity prescribed by radio law. Twenty years WNYC has competed successfully for listener interest against the world’s best radio programs. In no other listening area is the ether charged with more compelling broadcast material. Yet in the face of this high-powered commercial competition, our municipal station has held its own and maintained its prideful place. This is no mean achievement. For this alone, the personnel of station WNYC deserves congratulations. I myself have heard and enjoyed WNYC programs throughout the two decades of the station’s life.

Some 18 years ago it was my privilege to put radio’s first quiz program on the air over our municipal station. This was The Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s Current Events Bee, in which selected quiz kids from our municipal high schools spelled one another down in answering questions on current events. In this, as in many other aspects of broadcasting, station WNYC has been a valiant pioneer.

Here is one statement I dare make about station WNYC on its twentieth anniversary: it gives more of our people more civil and cultural education, more worthwhile information, and more high-class entertainment, than any other municipal institution. That is one reason why station WNYC has been an example and an inspiration for the creation of non-commercial broadcasting stations all over the land. As the man upon whom the mere passage of time has conferred the title, “Dean of Radio Commentators,” I salute WNYC, “Dean of Municipal Radio Stations.” I bespeak for it your continued support in the great service it is giving to our people.

____________________________________

Transcription courtesy of Samuel Brylawski and Patrick Timothy of the Library of Congress.

Special thanks to NBC Universal Studios for permission to use the Kaltenborn audio tribute from the Library of Congress NBC Radio Collection.

 

 

 

Coming of Age in World War II: Homes Away from Home

Here’s another post promoting a new collection of materials from the Insistute on World War II and the Human Experience at Florida State University by a student leader for the project, Gabriela Maduro.

Only thirteen years old when World War II began, Giulia Koritschoner came of age in a time of uncertainty and chaos. Despite the context in which Giulia grew up, however, the letters of the Hasterlik-Hine collection demonstrate the fact that, for those on the home front, daily life often continued on as normal. Indeed, Giulia’s correspondence throughout 1942 regularly includes cheerful greeting cards for holidays that are decorated with personalized drawings and beautiful calligraphy. These letters were sent from not only family members but also a vast array of friends and acquaintances that Giulia made throughout the war years.


A card from Heidi Wettstein to Giulia Koritschoner (original item)

Giulia’s letters to and from schoolmates portray scenes of growing up that remained largely unchanged even in times of war. This is particularly evident in Giulia’s letters to and from Margaret Wolf, a friend from Schaffhausen who evolved from sending letters complaining about disliked teachers and unbearably boring school lessons to letters that explained her fears about graduating from school and having to enter the workforce. Giulia’s own letters mirror this development, as she wrote to her family contemplating a variety of jobs, from a lab technician to a stenographer to a masseuse. Even in the midst of the war, the possibilities for the future seemed endless.

Yet, elements of the war do seep into many of the letters. Discussions of rationing figure prominently in much of Giulia’s correspondence, as Ällägg Bechtold, a school friend from Schaffhausen, described how school was let out early in the spring because of a shortage of coal to keep students warm. Margaret Wolf complained that bakeries purposely sold old bread because it was thought that individuals would consume it more slowly than fresh bread. Even the letter that Giulia’s school principal sent to her was written not on regular paper but rather on postcards that students were encouraged to fill with holiday greetings and send to soldiers in order to boost their morale.

Many of Giulia’s letters to and from her family during this time contain anxiety about Giulia’s grandfather, Paul Hasterlik, who remained behind in Vienna while the rest of the family escaped. Although attempts were made to organize his passage to the United States, these efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful, and the letters reflect concerns about everything from whether Paul was able to find food to whether he was, in fact, actively being “tormented.” Although letters from Paul contained joy about Giulia’s recovery from polio and excitement about her prospects for the future, he remained vague in descriptions of his own life, only briefly mentioning that he was forced to move to another apartment in Vienna.

Other members of Giulia’s family struggled during this time as well. Mia Hasterlik’s letters outline her difficulties finding suitable employment in New York while living in unpleasant conditions. Perhaps most dramatically, Susi Weiss, Giulia’s older sister who moved to Nairobi at the beginning of the war, describes the emotional and physical abuse to which her husband subjected her to and her overwhelming happiness at finally being free of him.
This vast array of voices and subject matter reflected in the Hasterlik-Hine collection depict a strange intersection between war and daily life that occurred for those living on the home front during World War II. Ultimately, the collection offers an invaluable glimpse of what it means to come of age in a time of war, highlighting the fears, delights, and amusements that punctuated daily life.

A discussion of these letters and letters like it from other troubled times in history will be presented at the Letters in Troubled Times: Study of Epistolary Sources conference on Friday, February 16, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. Please contact Dr. Suzanne Sinke at ssinke@fsu.edu about questions regarding the conference.

Holiday Humor in World War II

Personnel of USS Lexington celebrate Christmas with decorations and a helmeted Santa Claus

Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus., National Archives Identifier 520912

Someone in the Office of War Information (OWI) News Bureau was certainly having a jolly old time on Christmas Eve 1942, when they wrote this memorandum concerning rumors flying around (by way of a reindeer-led sled) about a “man in whiskers who … will come down many chimneys bringing gifts to hundreds of American homes.”


Memorandum, December 24, 1942, file Santa Claus, Correspondence of the Chief, News Bureau, Entry NC-148-175, National Archives Identifier 895707, RG 208: Records of the Office of War Information, National Archives. 

This tongue-in-cheek report from the OWI News Bureau, which administered information programs to promote the U.S. Government’s war policies and activities, was composed by staff to poke fun at their own bureaucracy. However, even the report’s light-hearted analysis of the “facts” about Santa Claus reveals serious concerns the U.S. dealt with during World War II, including morale, wartime shortages, and the preservation of the Allied alliance.

This featured document is currently on display at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

Featured Document at the National Archives