Thank You!

On behalf of the other PIDB members, I want to thank you, the public, for participating in our virtual public meeting on Friday, June 5, 2020 via teleconference. Members would have preferred to host an in-person meeting that was more amenable for a conversation. However, we felt this was the best way to allow public participation while keeping us all safe. We had over 100 people register and dial in. An important part of our mission is outreach to all who have interest in improving the national security classification and declassification system.

Our report to President, A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System, is meant to serve as a blueprint on how to modernize the system. This virtual meeting was an opportunity for us to highlight the report’s recommendations to the President and to offer the public the opportunity to comment or ask questions. I want to thank Steve Aftergood, the Director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists and author of the blog, Secrecy News, for providing commentary on our report and recommendations.

We hope to continue this discussion online on our blog. Time ran out in the virtual meeting and there were still seven questions and comments in the queue.  We will post all the questions and comments on this blog, beginning next week. To the degree we are able, we will also post responses.

If you were unable to submit a question or comment, or were unable to attend the virtual meeting, we invite you to continue submitting them by email to  As was the case during the public meeting, all questions and comments will be posted anonymously.

Finally, I want to thank Judge James Baker and Trevor Morrison, the outgoing Board members who both served the Board as Chairperson, for their extraordinary service to the Board. Two former members, Adm. William Studeman and Laura DeBonis were also instrumental in drafting this report and co-led a technology working group that informed our recommendations. All four remain committed to transforming the classification and declassification system. They recognize its importance in aiding our national security and our democratic principles.  We will continue to be inspired by their thoughtful insights, dedication to government service, and their collegiality.

Eduardo Paolozzi

This week’s #BeConnected Explore Our Campus looks at the artist Eduardo Paolozzi and the sculpture Forms on a Bow II which was added to the University’s collection in 1969.

Film from the Whitechapel Gallery introducing Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of pop art. He was a collector of all manner of objects, which others might have viewed as ‘waste’, going on to incorporate them into his creations, which have been described as a homage to modern machines and technology. His studio where the majority of his artworks were developed was donated to the National Galleries of Scotland and is on permanent display in Modern Two. Installed in 1999 it provides an insight into the man and his inspiration.

Our Deputy Curator Sarah discusses Forms on a Bow II

Forms on a Bow II was created in 1949 whilst Paolozzi was living in Paris. During this time he was influenced by the early surrealist sculptures made by Paris-based Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
Paolozzi always described his work as surrealist art and, while working in a wide range of media throughout his career, became more closely associated with sculpture which he believed should be inspired by popular and ethnic culture and by science.

In Forms on a Bow II ‘Paolozzi has explored Giacometti’s use of open or transparent structures, and of forms that evoke memories of organic and mechanical objects. The sharp protrusions of some of the elements strung between the two ends of the ‘bow’ suggest an interest in brutal instincts’. (Text taken from Tate website which describes the original Forms on a Bow which is very similar to this. Paolozzi made a preparatory sketch for the work, which is also in the collection of the Tate Gallery).

Forms on a Bow is on permanent display in Gallery One where it is passed by staff, students and visitors every day. This is very fitting for the work of an artist who felt that artworks should be democratic and who liked the idea of people passing his art every day on their way to work. He said that ‘”people should be able to tramp through a creation”.

Much of his artwork is in public places and this google map details the locations of 10 works of Paolozzi’s public art in the UK. Below is a short film detailing Paolozzi’s public art in London.

A tour of Paolozzi’s public art in London

Object of the week

While the Pathfoot Building is closed, the Art Collection will each week focus on some objects of interest. You can also search our entire collection online here.

Under a Clear Blue Sky by Kim Kempshall (Print)

Friday 5th June is World Environment Day. This is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. So this week, our object(s) of the week are all abstract landscape artworks from the permanent collection, which were inspired by the environment and by the natural beauty of our surroundings.

Also today, as part of World Environment Day, the Art Collection will be highlighting works from our current series of exhibitions under the theme Under Threat: Artists Respond to the Environment. Each year, the Art Collection’s exhibitions, events and workshops are directly inspired by the research of the University. This year the focus is on the environment, and with the umbrella title ‘Under Threat’ we highlight a variety of pressing issues. Today, each hour from 9am until 5pm, we will be posting photographs and artworks on Twitter and Facebook from our Under Threat exhibitions.
Click on this hashtag to see more #CultureonStirCampus

Blue on Blue by Alastair Michie (Polyvinylacetate on canvas)

After seeing the work of the American abstract expressionists at the Venice Biennale in 1962, Alastair Michie was inspired to paint. A memorable evening spent in the company of Mark Rothko in London in the late 60s confirmed his belief in ‘the power of abstract art to touch the raw nerve of universal emotion’ (Peter Davies, Obituary in The Independent newspaper 5/5/08 ). Michie produced powerful abstract works influenced by the natural world. The above work was purchased by the Art Collection in 1967.

City Moon by Peter Green (Print, 1967)

Plum Tree by Duncan Shanks (Watercolour and chalk)

Duncan Shanks draws his subjects and inspiration from the countryside around his home. Strong colour and richly-applied paint chart the changing seasons and the forces imminent in nature. His works also examine the perennial tasks and practices of traditional rural life.

Wet Landscape by Malcolm Hood (Oil, 1968)

Valley by Brian Perrin (Etching, 1968)

Blea Moor by Philip Reeves (Etching, 1972)

Stone head with trees by David Imms (Screenprint 4/8, 1971)

Well known for his bold and vibrant interpretations of the West Country landscape, David Imms takes his subject matter from those parts of the landscape which reflect literary and historical associations, such as the Dorset of Thomas Hardy, the Somerset of Coleridge and the Wiltshire of the prehistoric earthworks and stones. These are inspired by walking and drawing directly in all kinds of weather conditions, and are influenced particularly by the changing cycles of nature.

We hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of some of the abstract landscapes belonging to the University of Stirling Art Collection.

Remember to click on the hashtag to see more during the course of the day. #CultureonStirCampus

The PIDB’s Virtual Public Meeting is tomorrow

It is not too late to register for this virtual meeting tomorrow from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.!

Register here by providing your name and email contact information.

After registering, you will receive instructions on how to call in to the PIDB’s virtual public meeting.

The Members of the PIDB will provide an overview of the recommendations contained in their report to the President, A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System.

The Members are interested in hearing your comments and question and encourage you to add your voice. If you wish, you can ask that your question or comment remain anonymous.  Please submit your questions or comments to the PIDB via their email address:

To facilitate discussion, you may comment or ask a question anonymously.  If you would like to remain anonymous, please indicate that on your email and the staff moderator will not include it on the virtual call, or afterwards on this blog.

The PIDB staff will also monitor this email account during the meeting in case there are new questions or comments.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, the members hope to continue the conversation on their blog. Look for a follow up post next week!

The PIDB Members look forward to your participation tomorrow!


I           Welcome                                                                                                         11:00 a.m.

Mr. Mark Bradley, PIDB Executive Secretary


II          Opening Remarks and Updates                                                                          11:05 a.m.

Mr. James Baker, PIDB Acting Chairperson


III        The PIDB’s Report to the President                                                                   11:10 a.m.

Remarks from the Members


IV        Commentary                                                                                                    11:50 a.m.

Mr. Steve Aftergood


V         Public Comments                                                                                             12:00 noon


VI        Appreciation and Announcements                                                                     12:25 p.m.

Mr. Bradley


VII       Concluding Remarks                                                                                        12:30 p.m.

Acting Chairperson



We Stand Against Racism and Systemic Brutality: Special Collections & Archives Commitment

Special Collections & Archives staff condemn racism and systemic brutality in all its forms. We grieve the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, Tony McDade, and David McAtee, and other lost lives. We recognize their deaths as a part of our nation’s long history of marginalization, disenfranchisement, violence, and oppression.

As Special Collections & Archives, our goal is to connect students, faculty, researchers, and the community to primary resources. We support active learning, engagement, and critical thinking. We seek to provide the materials that illuminate contexts and history. We collect and preserve cultural memories, historical documents, and organizational records. We remain committed to our core professional values of social responsibility, diversity, accountability, responsible custody, and trust.

We must also recognize that the structures of archives and special collections are rooted in practices informed by white supremacy and racism. We have a continuing responsibility to face systemic and historic racism, to reflect on how our professional practices and standards are shaped by white, heterosexual dominance, and how those practices contribute to hiding and, often, damaging the lives of Black Americans, Indigenous peoples, People of Color, and LGBTQ people. We reaffirm our commitment to do the work needed to dismantle those structures and practices. We commit to listening, to learning, and to creating just and equitable practices.

We reaffirm our commitment to connect all people to historical materials and to support critical discussion and thinking. Justice often comes from the analysis and interrogation of the historical record. We commit to working with communities to ensure that diverse perspectives and histories are represented, preserved, and shared. We commit to the effort it takes to ensure that all people feel welcome.

We commit to diversity, inclusion, and equity in all aspects of our work. We understand that we must both confront racism and discrimination, implicit and explicit, head on and that that work is not only talking about slavery and violence. We recognize the power, resilience, innovations, and contributions of Black Americans, Indigenous peoples, People of Color, and LGBTQ people. We commit to sharing and preserving that history not as an afterthought but as core to the history of our university, our community, our nation, and our world.

FSU’s President, John Thrasher, expressed our belief that “[i]t is important during these tumultuous times that we reaffirm the values that we, as a university, hold most dear – respect, civility, and diversity and inclusion – as well as our commitment to justice and equality.” Our work to develop truly diverse and inclusive collections, practices, and spaces cannot be done in isolation. We welcome dialogue and invite community feedback. We can be reached by email at

Community Partner Spotlight: Leon High School

Along with First Baptist Church of Tallahassee, Leon High School (LHS) was one of our first community partners and we learned a lot on this project (what to do and not do with future community partners). Overall though, it was a rewarding experience to work with this sort of non-traditional archive and also to work in the high school environment and interact with the students while in the Media Center at Leon High.

Leon High School in Tallahassee is Florida’s oldest continually accredited high school, founded in 1871 just twenty-six years after Florida became a state. We digitized all the yearbooks along with all the issues held in the Archives Room of the school newspaper, published since 1920. Last week, the Class of 2020 had a drive-through graduation celebration, a mark of these strange times for the latest LHS graduates. So, in celebration of this year’s class, I did a deep dive into the Leon High School newspaper’s Graduation Issues over the school’s history.

The first Senior Class was celebrated on the front page of the May 28, 1920 issue of The Hill Top, the original name for the LHS school newspaper:

Front Page of the Hill Top, May 28, 1920
Front Page of The Hill Top, May 28, 1920 [original object]

In 1935, the newspaper, now renamed Leon High Life, printed out the “stats” for each graduating Senior and shared some fun stories about each Senior:

Statistics of Class of 1935, Leon High Life, May 20, 1935
Statistics of Class of 1935, Leon High Life, May 20, 1935, page 4 [see original object]

Eventually, the newspaper’s title changes again to just High Life and the features to celebrate the seniors became more and more involved until starting in the 1980s, there is a special Graduation Issue of High Life that is published in late May each year to celebrate the most recent Senior class. 1981 was one of the first years a special Graduation Issue was published:

High Life Graduation Issue Front Page, June 5, 1981
High Life Graduation Issue Front Page, June 5, 1981 [see original object]

As Leon High entered the 2000s, the newspaper shifted between entire issues and special inserts in a normal issue of the paper. For the Class of 2000, a special insert celebrated seniors with both a hopeful and somewhat ominous front page:

Detail of front page, Senior Special, May 20, 2000 [see original object]

Sadly, Leon High Life has not published an article in its online portal since mid-March of this year when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 in Tallahassee. However, the Class of 2020 hopefully is celebrating digitally through their preferred digital platforms and we here in FSU’s Special Collections & Archives wish this class in all local high schools the very best in their next adventure!

A Summary of the Public Interest Declassification Board’s Recommendations to the President on how to Modernize the Classification and Declassification System

The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) published its report to the President, A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System yesterday. This report provides recommendations that can serve as a blueprint for modernizing the classification and declassification system. These recommendations focus on the imperative to adopt new policies that support the way Government works.

We believe there is a critical need to modernize this system to move from the analog to the digital age by deploying advanced technology and by upgrading outdated paper-based policies and practices.

The report first urges that the President designate a cabinet-level Executive Agent (EA) to oversee modernization. We believe this designation will facilitate the policy changes and their implementation. The EA would be responsible for orchestrating interagency coordination and overseeing implementation, including the application of technologies that allow for more effective and efficient classification and declassification.

The PIDB’s Vision of how a future modernized classification and declassification system would work:

  1. Through a “federated enterprise-level, systems-of-systems approach to declassification,” and by
  2. Replacing antiquated but still widely-used paper-based processes with “cutting-edge Information Technology, telecommunications innovation, and systems development.”

In recommending the designation of an EA and an Executive Committee with appropriate authorities to transform the security classification system, the PIDB developed critical strategic policy changes required for implementing its Vision:

  • Organize the national security declassification community into a National Declassification System (NDS), operating as “a system-of-systems enterprise to streamline and modernize classification and declassification policies, processes, and technologies;” and
  • Grant oversight responsibility to the National Declassification Center (NDC) for implementing the NDS system-of-systems approach by working with the Executive Committee and original classification authorities.

Our report emphasizes the critical need for the acquisition and deployment of advanced technologies in classification and declassification processes. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Cloud storage offer effective solutions that will support the rapid growth in digital information. The PIDB Vision stresses the importance of the EA, the NDC, and agencies working with the private sector, highlighting the importance of research and development efforts to aid successful deployment and implementation.

In addition to strategic changes, our report also recommends near-term improvements that could have an immediate impact on reforming and improving the classification and declassification system.  These recommendations include:

  1. Directing the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Secretary of Energy to develop a unified or joint plan to assist the Archivist of the United States in modernizing the systems in use across agencies for the management of classified records, including electronic records;
  2. Deploying technology to support classification and declassification automation;
  3. Implementing secure information technology connectivity between and among all agencies managing classified information, specifically including the National Archives, which manages the NDC and classified records of the Presidential Libraries;
  4. Empowering the NDC to design and implement a process to solicit, evaluate, prioritize and sponsor topics for declassification Government-wide, in consultation with the public and Government agencies;
  5. Developing a new model for accurately measuring national security classification activities across Government, including all costs associated with classification and declassification; and
  6. Simplifying and streamlining the classification system and deciding how to adopt a two-tiered clas­sification system.

For the full report, along with our previous reports to the President, is available on our website.

We invite you to attend a virtual public meeting this Friday, June 5, at 11:00 a.m. You may register to attend here. After registering, participants will receive instructions via email on how to dial into the meeting by telephone and how to submit questions and comments.

The Public Interest Declassification Board provides its Report to the President recommending the use of Automation, “Federated, Enterprise-level” Approach to Classification and Declassification

Today, the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) submitted its report to the President, A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System and published it on its website.  This report focuses on the critical need to bring classification and declassification into the digital age by deploying advanced technology and by upgrading outdated paper-based policies and practices. Our recommendations align with the President’s Information Technology reform efforts and Management Agenda. If implemented, our recommendations will cut costs, increase Government efficiency and effectiveness, reinforce the protection of critical Government information, and improve our nation’s security. Modernization will reduce over-classification, make the protection of secrets more precise, and will improve declassification.

Modernizing how the Government manages its secrets is a national security imperative. The current system, designed 70-years ago to keep papers secret under lock and key, cannot keep pace and manage the volume of digital data and information that the Government creates on classified systems. It is also ill-suited for today’s many asymmetrical threats. Current declassification processes are manual and paper-based.  They will not work on large volumes of digital information. Without radical policy changes and the adoption of advanced technology, the declassification system is poised to fail.

When we began work on this project almost four years ago, there was widespread agreement inside and outside Government that the current system was too old, did not fully support national security operations, cost too much, and does not function effectively in the digital environment.  Despite agreement that change is necessary, the Government has not taken any concrete actions to modernize the system.  Even as the Government is adopting new policies to facilitate the use of technology and then applying advanced technologies in other business areas, it has not invested in or planned for a new classification and declassification system.

The recommendations in our report are designed to serve as a blueprint on how to modernize the classification and declassification system. We included two overarching themes, each with recommendations on how to modernize this system: strategic policy changes and strategic technology changes. We also included near-term recommendations that could have an immediate impact.  All our recommendations support a necessary paradigm shift to move from manual policies and processes to digital ones that fully support 21st century national security threats and missions.

We invite you to attend a virtual public meeting this Friday, June 5, at 11:00 a.m. You can register to attend here. After registering, participants will receive instructions via email on how to call in to the meeting by telephone and how to submit questions and comments.

Alec Finlay

For this week’s #BeConnected Explore Our Campus we are looking at artist, poet and University of Stirling alumnus Alec Finlay.

Alec returned to Stirling in 2013 as the University’s first Artist in Residence, to research the science and culture of beekeeping and create new bee-themed public sculptures for the Art Collection.

Alec was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and worked collaboratively between Stirling’s Faculties of Natural Sciences and Arts & Humanities.  He collaborated in particular with Professor Kathleen Jamie, Chair in Creative Writing and multi award-winning poet, who shares his creative interests in the natural world.

Alec Finlay said: “Stirling is renowned worldwide for its scientific bee research, particularly its work on the destructive impact of insecticides on wild bee populations so I was able to draw on this expertise and use it to inform my work”. 

Alec’s research at Stirling was wide-reaching and explored the symbolism of bees in ancient myth and philosophy, and the recurring motif of the bee in accounts of politics, economics and society. He also looked at contemporary scientific studies of bee communication, cognitive behaviour and honeycomb construction and consider bees’ relevance to a diverse range of subjects including architecture, Systems Theory, informatics and social networks.

Alec Finlay reading ‘Global Oracle’, a book-length poem, interweaving the bee-cults of the ancient world, most famously the Melissai of the Delphic oracle, with the science of apiology, bee communication, and the predominant ‘oracle’ of our era, the Navstar satellite system.

He produced a ‘creative survey’ of the UK’s bee population and translated his research into poetry and sculpture.  Together with the Art Collection’s curators he installed 21 permanent Bee Library artworks on campus. 

Bee Library on Stirling Campus (Hannah Devereux)

Bee Libraries are collections of bee-related books converted into nests for bees.   You can find them all around the University of Stirling campus, in the trees around the university loch and in Pathfoot. Constructed from a book, bamboo, wire-netting and water-proofing, each nest offers shelter for solitary bees, whose numbers are in steep decline

Art Curator Jane Cameron discusses Alec’s work on campus

The Art Collection currently has on display an exhibition of Alec’s work Mind Hive, as part of our Under Threat theme looking at the Environment. This series of exhibitions was due to close in September 2020. However, after the recent closure following the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision has been made to extend all current exhibitions to the end of December 2020.

Alec’s current project Day of Access is a powerful campaign which encourages estates to open their land to allow access for people affected by disability.  By using hill tracks and four-wheel drives, people who have never been able to immerse themselves in wild nature are driven into the heart Scotland’s beautiful wild landscape. In 2019 an exhibition of this project came to the Art Collection with the Travelling Gallery which comes to the University biannually.

“Red Hot Abolitionist”

On March 6, 2020, not long before the world changed overnight and (among other things) we began to work remotely, I heard Dan Abrams talk about his new book “John Adams Under Fire” on “Morning Joe.”  Abrams recounted how his book uses a 1770 trial transcript from legal proceedings after the Boston Massacre and referred to the transcript as an “under-appreciated document.” Willie Geist, the always-pleasant host, asked him (twice!) in astonishment, “where do you get these documents?!”

I remember that I yelled at the television (yes, I do that all the time), “IN AN ARCHIVES!!!” And I wondered why Geist asked that question because of course (right?) a reporter (or a writer, historian, biographer…) knows to check archives for material relevant to their work. Still, even if you know to check archives, it isn’t always easy to find what you want, or to be lucky enough, or have time enough, to make a serendipitous discovery.

In the Amherst College Archives, we obsess (in the nicest way) about how to make things easier to find, and how to bring them to the public’s attention — how to lead a horse (you) to water (documents). Given a limited staff, there’s only so much we can do, but we always think about ways to improve.

This blog serves that purpose. And in today’s post I want bring the Archives and Special Collections to you and share an “under-appreciated” letter.

The letter came to light as part of our ongoing survey of our holdings. One of the items on my to-do list was a scrapbook album belonging to Cornelius H. Patton, Class of 1883.  I had accessioned this volume into our collection about 15 years ago, but its importance didn’t sink in until the survey allowed me to look at it closely. I expected a scrapbook of ephemera from Patton’s college years; instead, it’s a genealogical/personal scrapbook, containing both family items from three or four generations as well as items important and specific to Cornelius (including a little of the Amherst ephemera I had anticipated). It even contains documentation of how Patton came to be interested in William Wordsworth, thus explaining the origin of a collection now at Amherst College.

Among this material there were items relating to Cornelius’s father’s experience in the Civil War.  And there was that astonishing letter I mentioned above.

The Patton family in 1857. William Weston Patton is seated at left.

The letter is from William Weston Patton (1821-1889) to his wife, Mary Boardman Smith.  Patton writes from Richmond, Virginia on April 12, 1865, ten days after Robert E. Lee evacuated his troops from the city. Patton, a confirmed abolitionist, describes the city after Confederate troops left it, and shares his joy about the Union’s victory.   Here are photographs of his letter and my transcription (please pardon the quality of the photographs, taken quickly before we evacuated our offices in mid-March).

Envelope and first page, folded, of letter. Additional photographs of letter below.

[Note that the first line, beginning with “N.B.” is in the hand of son Cornelius H. Patton].

N.B. Richmond was evacuated by Lee April 2-3

Richmond, Va. April 12th 1865.

My Dear Wife,

You notice a new style of paper, such as I have never before used for my letters, sermons, or other purposes. I picked it up amid a heap of waste Confederate material in the Custom House yesterday, and thought I would put it to good use. The lettering at the head may help you to realize (as I can scarcely do myself) where I am. I write in a room in the Powhattan House near the public square. We reached Richmond yesterday at noon. I wrote a hasty line on the [river] and sent it back by the boat. I took dinner at a restaurant kept by a colored man in the office of what was a large hotel, which is occupied now by soldiers & families. During the P.M. I walked the city till completely tired out, having first seen Asst Secy. of War Dana, and persuaded him to telegraph an order to City Point for Dr. Davies to come up, who will reach here today noon.

Richmond in its best portions is a very pleasant city, on elevated ground, with good streets, tasteful but not very costly dwellings, some shrubbery, and a fine public square with admirable statuary.

Documents found on a Richmond street by W. W. Patton.

Confederate documents cover the ground and line the ditches around the square. The business part of the city is burnt (equivalent to S. Water & Lake Sts in Chicago) and presents a sad sight. The Negroes are here in immense numbers and are overjoyed at the state of things. Negro troops are on every hand, and are greatly admired by the black inhabitants. The poor whites are very acquiescent in the change of rulers, but the upper class is sour and sullen, gloomy and subjugated.

I have picked up sundry very amusing letters on the streets written to Rebel soldiers by their sisters and sweethearts–genuine articles. I shall try today to see what can be found for the [N.W.?] Fair. Offices have been opened in various quarters of the city to supply food to the poor. Large numbers are taking the oath of allegiance.

 I went and looked at the outside of Libby Prison yesterday — an old fashioned brick building of three low stories, now crowded with Rebels, who were laughing and joking from the windows where our men were shot if they showed themselves!

Patton’s lyrics to the John Brown song.

My plans are indefinite as yet, as to my stay here. I am full of praise to God as I walk about, and sing the John Brown song perpetually.

Kiss the baby for me. Love to all the big and the little.

Your loving husband
Wm. W. Patton

The title of this post, “Red Hot Abolitionist,” comes from another letter in the scrapbook, one to William W. Patton from his brother Ludlow (standing at back in family photograph above). Ludlow refers approvingly to a mutual acquaintance (probably Rev. Charles H.A. Bulkley) as a “red hot abolitionist,” but there’s no doubt that William W. Patton was also fiery on the topic, as his “John Brown” lyrics prove.  He preached and wrote about slavery and abolitionism extensively, as I learned when researching Patton for this post, an exercise that led to multiple websites. Rather than rewriting what others have covered before, here are links to some of the sites with information about Patton:

  • Diaries of W. W. Patton at the Connecticut Historical Society:
  • “President Lincoln and the Chicago memorial of emancipation” (1887), Patton recollecting a September 1862 visit to President Lincoln to urge him to emancipate the slaves:

Finally, here are more images (poorly photographed — apologies) from the album.  Click on any image to enter the gallery.





The PIDB Invites You to a Virtual Public Meeting on June 5, 2020

The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) will hold a virtual public meeting on Friday, June 5, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Participation in this audio conference requires registering your name and email contact information here by Midnight on Thursday, June 4, 2020. After registering, participants will receive instructions via email on how to call in to the meeting by telephone, including instructions on how to submit questions and comments.

The PIDB is hosting this public meeting to highlight their most recent work and to provide the public with the opportunity to ask questions and comment on issues related to classification and declassification policy.

Save the Date: Friday, June 5, 2020.

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Registration Required by Midnight, Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Register here by providing your name and email contact information.

After registering, you will receive instructions on how to call in to the PIDB’s virtual public meeting.


Remembering Senator Claude Pepper

Social Security, minimum wage, and the National Institutes of Health. These are just a few of the ways that Claude Denson Pepper left his mark on American politics. He was born in rural Alabama, the eldest of four children to Joseph and Lena Pepper, on September 8, 1900. From these humble beginnings, Pepper would come to serve the people of Florida as a U.S. Senator (1936-1950) and Representative (1963-1989). In his later years as a U.S. Representative, he was a champion of the elderly; crafting and supporting legislation that was geared toward ensuring elder Americans were allowed to age and finish their lives with care and dignity.

Claude Pepper lying in state under the Capitol Rotunda, June 12, 1989. Claude Pepper Papers Photo A(238). [see original object]

This Saturday, May 30, marks the 31st anniversary of Senator Pepper’s passing. When he died on May 30, 1989, Pepper was the eldest sitting member of Congress. He was honored by laying in state under the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for three days before making his way to Tallahassee to be laid to rest next to his wife Mildred. Special Collections & Archives honors the Senator and encourages you to visit our online resources on Pepper, including diaries, photographs and manuscript material, to better acquaint yourself with one of the most active figures of 20th Century American politics.

Congressional Record, May 31, 1989. Senator Bob Graham (D, FL.) eulogized the life and career of Senator Pepper the day after his passing and the occasion was remembered on this specially printed copy of the Congressional Record. Claude Pepper Papers, MSS 1979-01, S.305 B.66 F.8

Public Radio’s First Program Distribution Network is Born at WNYC

WNYC Director Seymour N. Siegel in the 1950s.
(WNYC Archive Collections)

Public radio’s first program distribution network began in the fall of 1949. That’s when the director of New York’s municipal station WNYC, Seymour N. Siegel, made five sets of recordings of The New York Herald Tribune Forum and distributed them to twenty-two (National Association of Educational Broadcasters) NAEB member stations. Dubbed the ‘bicycle network,’ the new distribution system was thus formalized.[1] The plan was for tapes to move from east to west at one-week intervals. Once broadcast, a tape was mailed to the next station, and so on across the country. This arrangement required a significant amount of planning and scheduling by Terry Linder, WNYC’s network tape coordinator.

By February 1950, the NAEB via WNYC offered half-a-dozen educational stations copies of the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council[2] documentary series We Human Beings, dramatizing everyday problems that people face. A Long Life, a series of talks on medical topics came next, followed by Great Themes From the Great Hall, a series derived from WNYC broadcasts of the The Cooper Union Forum. These shows were soon joined by Freedom Sings, U.S. Army Band concerts recorded in Washington, D.C., BBC dramas and WNYC’s Music for the Connoisseur, hosted and produced by David Randolph. Cooper Union and The New York Herald Tribune underwrote some of the costs.


The idea for educational radio network programming with distribution by shortwave had been promoted by Mayor La Guardia and WNYC director Morris S. Novik as early as 1937. There had also been discussions of program delivery by transcription disc in 1939. But the real catalyst for network program distribution came out of the University of Illinois’ 1949 Allerton House Seminar on educational broadcasting. Before the meeting concluded, the gathering of thirty, mostly college-based, stations recommended “a central service for sharing programs, by tape or transcription, and a long-range plan for an educational network and a well-financed program producing center.”[3] 


1950 U.S. postage stamp.
(WNYC Archive Collections)

Siegel had attended the seminar. He was also flush with postage stamps, as much as nine thousand dollars’ worth. This was a result of subscribers to the Masterwork Bulletin, the station’s program guide, paying for their annual twenty-cent subscriptions with stamps. The law required, however, that the stamps could only be used for postage. A light bulb appeared over Siegel’s head, and he realized he could use the stamps to mail tapes around the country and launch a distribution network.[4]


With Seymour Siegel’s leadership and a dedicated WNYC staff, the effort became a real exchange service supplying content to educational broadcasters across the country. But keeping the network going was a significant challenge. By mid-April Siegel wrote the following to NAEB President Richard Hull:

Trying to keep half-a-dozen Indian Clubs in the air at one time is not an easy job. The thing has taken tremendous resources in personnel and money. I have virtually exhausted our telegram code in the current budget, just trying to get some of our brethren a fast and firm answer. Mrs. Linder has been devoting almost all of her time trying to keep this Network functioning.[5]

 Hull tried to remain encouraging.

I’m very much intrigued and pleased with the response the network is getting and I hope very soon that we have financing so can underwrite you a little more and you don’t have to bust your own neck and your staff to keep it going.[6]

By the second Allerton House gathering in July 1950, Siegel reported that WNYC was now supplying a network of thirty NAEB stations. NAEB President Hull wrote the organization’s officers and directors praising Siegel’s efforts.

The whole project marks a departure for American radio which is completely new and which Neal Morrison of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation hailed publicly at the Seminar as ‘the most stimulating development in radio on the North American continent.'[7]

May 23, 1950, the NAEB distribution hub at WNYC makes page one of Radio Daily.
(NAEB Collection/Wisconsin Historical Society)

It was high praise, but Siegel made clear at the Allerton meeting that the whole operation at WNYC was a bit precarious. It depended largely on his efforts while he was on-call as a commander in the Navy reserves. He also noted criticism stemming from his role as the sole decision-maker for the network’s content: indeed, some ‘feathers got ruffled’ when an offered series got turned down. Additionally, some material quickly became dated due to the nature of the ‘bicycle’ distribution chain. These issues prompted NAEB president Hull to appoint an interim committee to review Siegel’s program selections as well as what the organization’s membership had to offer in the way of future shows.

The University of Illinois, Indiana University, and Purdue meanwhile offered to provide a permanent home for the program network.[8] However, Illinois stood out since it was willing to get funding for duplicating equipment, so that the same program could be released simultaneously to as many as fifty stations rather than the current ‘bicycle’ arrangement with tapes moving incrementally from station to station. In January 1951, the Division of Communications of the University of Illinois assumed custodianship of the network in Gregory Hall on the Urbana campus.

The tape network’s pivotal first year demonstrated need that outstripped WNYC’s ability to cover the resources required to make it work. Additionally, archive documents indicate that by the second Allerton conference, responsibility for the network had become a burden Sy Siegel was anxious to unload. Still, it was his willingness to ‘take the plunge’ that birthed the nation’s first public radio program network, based on the belief that radio used only for entertainment and the selling of merchandise was a serious waste of a significant national resource. For Siegel and members of the NAEB, radio broadcasting was a critical instrument for disseminating information, cultural experiences, opinions, and discussions, –and essential for solving contemporary problems.


[1] Hill, Harold, The National Association for Educational Broadcasters: A History, NAEB, Urbana, IL, October, 1954, pg. 42.

[2] The Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council was an adult media education group whose members included, the Lowell Institute, Harvard University, Boston University, Tufts University, MIT, and Northeastern University, 

[3] Howard, Jon R., Evolution of an educational radio program service network in the United States: a history of network 1914-1971, Masters Thesis, Kansas State University, 1987.

[4] Ibid, pg. 62. This postage story is based on a Corporation for Public Broadcasting oral history with former WNYC staffer Jerrold Sandler recorded in 1978. While the account may be true and a charming bit of public radio folklore, it appears the Siegel still had plenty of stamps left after nearly eight months of the NAEB tape network. Billboard reported in its August 12, 1950 edition he had $15,000 worth he wanted to unload. The piece was headlined: “Anybody Want to Buy 15G in Stamps? WNYC’s Got ‘Em.”

[5] Siegel, Seymour N., letter to Richard Hull, Director of WOI in Ames, Iowa, April 18, 1950, National Association of Educational Broadcasters Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society as part of “Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public and Educational Radio Collection.” 

[6] Hull, Richard, letter to Seymour N. Siegel, May 24,1950. National Association of Educational Broadcasters Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society as part of “Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public and Educational Radio Collection.” 

[7] Hull, Richard, Memorandum, “NAEB Network and Allerton House Meeting,” July 28, 1950, National Association of Educational Broadcasters Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society as part of “Unlocking the Airwaves: Revitalizing an Early Public and Educational Radio Collection.” 

[8] Ibid.


object of the week

While the Pathfoot Building is closed, the Art Collection will each week focus on an object of interest. You can also search our entire collection online here.

Janka Malkowska
(Woodcut A/P)

The University Art Collection owns several prints by Polish artist Janka Malkowska. Born in in the early 20th century, and an artist from very early on, she had to go through quite a number of experiences and adventures before she settled in Scotland and became a print maker.

Janina (‘Janka’) E. Malkowska was born in Warsaw where she began her studies in art at the academy, later going to Vienna to do a graphic and fine arts degree at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe. Her longing then was for ”big decorative art – large-scale work!”.

The Village Party (Woodcut 2/6. Detail)
Generously donated by John McDougle

Back in Poland she married Wladyslaw Malkowski –they had known each other since childhood – but two months later the Nazis invaded and the couple were separated. During the German occupation, Janka hid in the mountains. There she discovered the ancient Polish folk art of woodcarving – she cut her designs out with a knife and printed them by hand using the back of a spoon. She also worked for the Polish underground: under cover of darkness she would walk the mountain trails, taking messages from one village to the next. This was an extremely dangerous undertaking – had she been caught she would have been executed. During the war her brother was killed while flying over Germany for the RAF and her parents also died. She found out however that her husband had escaped from a prisoner of war camp and was with the British and the American armies advancing towards Berlin.

Playtime (Woodcut, 3/24)

As the Nazis were retreating and the Russians drawing near she took her knapsack (she was always a great walker) and went west, spending eight days and nights on a cattle train with false German papers until by some miracle she got off the train and found her husband. She later exhibited her prints in Germany as a Polish Displaced Person. Because he spoke good English, her husband got to London and was sent to the Polish settlement in Inveraray. She joined him and by 1947 they were living in Edinburgh where her daughter was born. Later both became teachers at the Queen Victoria School in Dunblane.

Morning Sun (Screenprint,1/8, 1979)

Janka Malkowska joined Glasgow Print Studio in the early 1970s. She liked it as ”a great place with a special atmosphere”and she was much loved there as a colourful figure. A retrospective exhibition of her work was held there in 1993. Even at eighty five Malkowska worked big, hacking her vibrant woodcuts out of large planks of wood. In retirement she tried other print mediums like silkscreen but to the end woodcut remained her favourite. 

Our Cats (Woodcut, 6/10, 1968)

The day before she died she was still printing her art work on her own printing press. She really was a warrior of a woman who had experienced life to the full.

(Information in this text is based on an obituary printed in the Glasgow Herald in November 1997, with additional details provided by Josefina de Unamuno and Janka’s daughter Ania to both of whom many thanks).  

Remembering the Tallahassee Bus Boycott at 64

Today marks the 64th anniversary of the Tallahassee Bus Boycott. In the spring of 1956, Florida A&M students Wilhelmina Jakes and Carrie Patterson boarded a Tallahassee bus and took seats of their own choosing. Because these seats were in the “whites only” section of the bus, Jakes and Patterson were arrested by the Tallahassee Police Department, prompting fellow students, citizens and city leaders to take action. The two students were arrested on a Saturday. On Sunday, May 29, the area Ku Klux Klan burned a cross outside of the residence hall where Jakes and Patterson lived. By Monday the 30th, the student body of Florida A&M University convened and voted to boycott the city buses. That evening, a meeting was called by Reverend C.K. Steele to discuss the boycott and seek support from the community, thereby creating the Inter-Civic Council (ICC).

Over the course of the next seven months, the African American community of Tallahassee worked together to support themselves in making their way to work, school and religious services through a carpool service, which was eventually suspended after growing violence over the boycott. On January 1, 1957, Governor LeRoy Collins, himself a Tallahassee native, officially suspended the bus service until segregated seating was removed. However, due to poorly disguised rephrasing of the policy that included seating based on “tranquility and good order”, the bus system in Tallahassee would not truly be desegregated for another year. Those who joined Wilhelmina Jakes, Carrie Patterson and the students of Florida A&M University including Rev. Steele, Daniel Speed, and many others from the then 10,600 African-American residents of Tallahassee, were met with resistance from most white members of the Tallahassee community who felt racial segregation should remain in place.

The voices of many of the participants of the Tallahassee Bus Boycott of 1956 can be accessed through the transcripts available through the FSU Special Collections & Archives department. The Tallahassee Civil Rights Oral History Collection and the Reichelt Oral History Collection provide glimpses into this important moment in Florida, and national history, with researchers being able to read the words of Rev. Speed, King Solomon Dupont, LeRoy Collins, Daniel Speed and others. Though 64 years may feel like a long time, we are not that far removed from the events of the Bus Boycott. With racial tensions still ever present, immersing ourselves in and understanding our history can better help us plan for the future.

An unfortunate reminder of the past. A letter from Edgar S. Anderson urging FSU President Doak S. Campbell to expel any FSU Students involved with the Bus Boycott, 01/21/1957. Office of the President Papers HUA 2018-062 [see original digital object]

Seguridad digital en épocas de COVID-19

Consejos prácticos para conservar la seguridad digital en épocas de COVID-19

Evite enviar archivos con información corporativa por medios no oficiales como WhatsApp.


Los ataques cibernéticos se encuentran entre las diez amenazas más graves del planeta, según el Informe de Riesgos 2020 del Foro Económico Mundial.

Enviar archivos con información corporativa por medios no oficiales, no generar políticas de backup o mantener desactualizado el sistema operativo son algunos errores que amenazan la información sensible que utilizamos y podrían traer consecuencias no muy positivas.

Desde Cadena, compañía colombiana con más de 38 años operando y diseñando servicios empresariales para acompañar a la transformación tecnológica de las organizaciones en sus procesos críticos de negocio, expone los principales puntos para conservar la seguridad digital durante esta época de aislamiento con la llegada de la COVID-19 al mundo.

¿Dejaríamos la puerta de nuestra casa abierta mientras trabajamos en un cuarto?

Si la respuesta fuese no. Entonces, ¿por qué permitimos conectarnos a redes sin saber si son seguras para enviar nuestros archivos corporativos? El mundo se encuentra tan conectado, que a veces obviamos que algunas herramientas que utilizamos tanto en el plano personal como profesional pueden ocasionarnos una gran amenaza para la información que utilizamos.

Los ataques cibernéticos se encuentran entre las diez amenazas más graves del planeta, según el Informe de Riesgos 2020 del Foro Económico Mundial. E incluso, el cibercrimen genera ganancias anuales por 600.000 millones de dólares y es más rentable que el narcotráfico, que mueve unos 400.000 millones de dólares al año.

Estas realidades dan un gran valor a la información como un activo rentable que se debe proteger, alinear a la estrategia sostenible y ser entendida como en la cultura corporativa o institucional.

Vea También: Seis tácticas que usan ciberdelincuentes en la cuarentena para cometer hurtos

Es por esto por lo que queremos compartir los 15 principales puntos para proteger a las personas, instituciones y empresas en la red.

1. Evite enviar archivos con información corporativa por medios no oficiales como WhatsApp, Dropbox, Wetransfer o correos de dominio gratuito, entre otros.

2. No se conecte a redes ni puertos USB desconocidos.

3. No instale aplicaciones que no provengan de fuentes confiables, de tiendas oficiales o que exijan permisos para acceder a información confidencial (agenda, geolocalización, contactos, etc.).

4. No preste los dispositivos de su empresa a su familia.

5. Active la autenticación multifactor en cuentas de correo y herramientas. Es decir que para el acceso a sistemas pueda entrar después de dos o más pruebas de identidad.

6. Actualice el sistema operativo en todos los dispositivos con los últimos parches de seguridad liberados por el fabricante.

7. Instale y mantenga actualizado el software antivirus de un fabricante reconocido.

8. Implemente soluciones de almacenamiento como Onedrive y Google Drive corporativos para guardar los archivos de los colaboradores.

9. Genere políticas de backup para evitar pérdidas de información.

10. Implemente políticas de cifrado en los equipos, servidores y herramientas transaccionales para proteger la información.

11. Use herramientas de protección integral y centralizadas para los dispositivos.

12. En caso de extravío de dispositivos, configure medidas de seguridad para proteger la información corporativa (localización, bloqueo de pantalla, borrado remoto de datos y seguimiento de las aplicaciones ejecutadas).

13. Finalmente, fomente un plan de comunicación interno para concientizar sobre los riesgos, impactos y métodos que utilizan los criminales para realizar ciberataques.

Archivos digitales prevención y su posible manipulación o apropiación

Propiedad Intelectual crea un servicio para proteger archivos digitales

La nueva herramienta nace como ayuda en “hipotéticas disputas entre socios colaboradores o diferentes empresas acerca de quién inventó qué producto”, incluyendo desarrollos de trabajos aún no terminados ni tampoco listos para solicitar una patente.

En una economía cada vez más digitalizada, la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (OMPI) ha lanzado este miércoles un nuevo servicio en línea que proporcionará pruebas de la existencia de archivos digitales y prevenir su posible manipulación o apropiación.

Denominado WIPO PROOF, este servicio es capaz de probar la existencia en una fecha y hora determinadas de un archivo digital, para salvaguardar todo tipo de productos, incluidos los audiovisuales, no sólo en el momento de la comercialización de éstos sino también antes, durante su desarrollo.

La nueva herramienta, señaló el director general de la OMPI, Francis Gurry, nace como ayuda en “hipotéticas disputas entre socios colaboradores o diferentes empresas acerca de quién inventó qué producto”, incluyendo desarrollos de trabajos aún no terminados ni tampoco listos para solicitar una patente.

La organización indica que cada vez es más frecuente que muchas actividades innovadoras y creativas se realicen con la colaboración de varias empresas o socios, generando una amplia gama de archivos de datos con material valioso “que puede caer fácilmente presa de un uso o apropiación indebidos”.

Este tipo de archivos pueden ser desde secretos comerciales a guiones cinematográficos o televisivos, partituras, algoritmos de inteligencia artificial, grandes bases de datos o registros empresariales, explicó la OMPI.

Independientemente de que vayan o no a ser registrados como propiedad intelectual utilizando los canales tradicionales de la OMPI, “estos contenidos deberían tratarse como activos intelectuales”, razón por la cual se crea el servicio WIPO PROOF.

En él se generará una “huella digital” con la fecha y hora de existencia de un determinado archivo, que podría servir de prueba en un futuro litigio.

Estas huellas digitales, con una validez de dos años, podrán adquirirse de una en una o en paquetes de varias a precio más reducido (Gurry mencionó que un paquete de mil huellas se comercializará a unos 13 dólares, o 12 euros).

Se podrá acceder fácilmente a este servicio a través de la página de internet, desde la que se podrá conseguir esa huella digital para archivos personales seleccionados por el usuario sin necesidad de subirlos a ningún servidor, aunque éste tendrá que hacerse una cuenta en la OMPI.

Las cajas de archivo: pronóstico global de la industria para 2026

Cajas de archivo: demanda del mercado, tamaño, participación, oportunidades de crecimiento, potencial de mercado, segmentación, tendencias y pronóstico global de la industria para 2026

La investigación del mercado global de cajas de archivo 2020 proporciona una visión general básica de la industria que incluye definiciones, clasificaciones, aplicaciones y estructura de la cadena de la industria. El análisis de la cuota de mercado global de cajas de archivo se proporciona para los mercados internacionales, incluidas las tendencias de desarrollo, el análisis competitivo del paisaje y el estado de desarrollo de las regiones clave. Se discuten las políticas y planes de desarrollo, así como también se analizan los procesos de fabricación y las estructuras de costos. Este informe también establece el consumo, la oferta y la demanda de importación / exportación. Cifras, costo, precio, ingresos y márgenes brutos. Para cada fabricante cubierto, este informe analiza sus sitios de fabricación cajas de archivo, capacidad, producción, precio en fábrica, ingresos y participación de mercado en el mercado global.

Obtenga un PDF de muestra del informe:

El mercado de cajas de archivo está creciendo a un ritmo constante y con la creciente adopción de estrategias por parte de actores clave, se espera que el mercado aumente en el horizonte proyectado. Este análisis puede ayudarlo a expandir su negocio al apuntar a nichos de mercado calificados. Las materias primas y la instrumentación aguas arriba y el análisis de la demanda aguas abajo se distribuyen adicionalmente. Se analizan las tendencias del mercado global cajas de archivo y los canales de comercialización. Finalmente, se evalúa la viabilidad de los últimos proyectos de inversión y se ofrecen conclusiones generales de análisis.

Competencia global en el mercado cajas de archivo por los principales fabricantes, con producción, precio, ingresos (valor) y participación de mercado para cada fabricante; los mejores jugadores incluidos;

Los jugadores clave cubiertos:
Las principales empresas que operan en el mercado mundial de cajas de archivo son, StorePak, la A a la Z Janta Embalaje, Smurfit Kappa, Caja York, SASCO, Paige Company, Caja de Cavan, abate corrugado, Paquete-A, cartón Fabricantes, ACCO Brands corporación, etc.

El mercado mundial de cajas de archivo está segmentado por categoría, materiales, aplicaciones, y la geografía.
Por categorías, el mercado de cajas de archivo se divide en cajas de registro de almacenamiento, cajas especiales y cajas de mudanza. Se espera que se mueve segmento de cajas para mantener una cuota importante del mercado debido a su fácil traslado de un lugar a otro, en comparación con otras categorías de la caja.

Basado en el material, el mercado está segmentado en plástico, cartones, y metal. segmentos de cartón se proyectan a dominar el mercado debido a la menor coste de las cajas de archivo de cartón junto con la facilidad de sellado para fines de seguridad adicionales. Además de esto, cartones se componen de materiales reciclados que ayuda a reducir la degradación del medio ambiente de manera más eficaz en comparación con otros segmentos de las materias primas.

Mediante escritos, el mercado está segmentado en residencial y comercial. los segmentos comerciales incluyen oficinas corporativas, y las industrias, tales como alimentos y bebidas, bienes de consumo duradero y llevar encima, equipos y maquinaria de hoteles y muchos otros. El segmento comercial se prevé que tienen una importante cuota del mercado debido al gran uso de las cajas de archivo en el almacenamiento de una cantidad mayor de los archivos y carpetas para mantener los diversos registros, tales como datos de ventas, finanzas y otra información relacionada con el negocio de estas industrias.

Global cajas de archivo Industry 2020 Market Research Report se extiende a través de las páginas y proporciona estadísticas vitales exclusivas, datos, información, tendencias y detalles del panorama competitivo en este sector de nicho.

Para saber cómo la pandemia de COVID-19 afectará este mercado / industria – Obtenga una copia de muestra del informe –

Opportunity for School Pupils to Gain Arts Award

Capturing Lives in Scotland’s Communities – an Arts Award Explore Project

#CapturingLives2020: Helping ‘paint a picture’ of Scotland’s communities in Covid

Are you between 11-18 years old and looking for something to do this summer? Why not join our ‘Capturing Lives in Scotland’s Communities’ project and learn new skills, make new friends and gain an Arts Award Explore Qualification?

What does life look like for young people in different communities across Scotland? How do we capture different aspects of life happening in our communities? No doubt you’ll have heard that we’re ‘living though history’ at the moment. How do we create an archive for the future of what our lives are like right now?

The Arts Award Explore programme, open to all young people aged 11 to 18. The programme brings together collections materials and expertise from five different University Museums in Scotland:

University of Aberdeen

University of Dundee

University of Edinburgh

Glasgow School of Art

University of Stirling

Each week will explore a different theme and medium of art, including photography, oral histories, landscape painting and public art. All instruction videos and resources will be posted online and you can work through them at your own pace. But we’ll also put you into groups of 6 or 7 people and have weekly discussion group sessions. You’ll be with the same people throughout the course so you can get to know each other well. Don’t worry, if you want to be in the same group as a friend, we can arrange that too.

Participants will get the chance to work with current students at the universities. Every participant on the project will be assigned a student mentor who will join your discussion groups and help you complete the assigned activities. Everyone who completes the assigned activities will be awarded an Arts Award Explore qualification.

The programme will run from 15th June to 24th July.  Don’t worry if you have to miss a week or two for holidays you can always catch up.  When it is possible again to do so, we’d like to display some of the work you create in a pop up exhibition at the University campuses.

No previous artistic experience necessary.  The deadline for signing up is Monday 8th June.  For further information and to sign up

Mary and Elizabeth by Jacqueline Donachie

This week’s #BeConnected Explore Our Campus looks at Mary and Elizabeth by Jacqueline Donachie.

Stirling University Art Collection

Mary and Elizabeth was purchased for the Art Colllection in 2017 with assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions. It is now installed outside the Pathfoot Building on campus. The sculpture explores the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots which is outlined in the document below.

Our Curator Jane talks about Mary and Elizabeth
Artist Jacqueline Donachie talks about the inspiration behind Mary and Elizabeth

Jacqueline Donachie is an award-winning Scottish artist. She is based in Glasgow and has forged an international reputation for a socially-engaged art practice that is rooted in an exploration of individual, family and collective identity and the structures, platforms and spaces (both actual and conceptual) through which it is constructed and supported. Her work encompasses sculpture, installations, photographs, films, drawings and performance and is research-based, collaborative and participatory. Below she talks about her working practice and the inspiration behind her work.

Jacqueline Donachie talks about her work for GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.

Jacqueline has been a great supporter of the Art Collection and in 2019 she acted as Adjudicator for the Grand Final of ARTiculation Prize Scotland which is hosted annually at the University of Stirling. Below she is pictured in front of Elizabeth with the 2019 finalists.

Library History with Heritage & University Archives

The history of the Libraries at Florida State University traces back over 100 years to our beginnings as the West Florida Seminary. In the 1880s, students had access to both a reference library, housed in College Hall, and a more expansive “university library,” which was located off-campus. The first librarian for the university, J.A. Arbuckle, was appointed in 1897.

By 1903, University administration wanted the library to be “the center of college life.” New librarian Mary A. Apthorpe was appointed, and critical changes began transforming the library under her lead (1903-1904 Florida State College Catalogue) . The library offerings were expanded and items began being catalogued according to the Dewey Decimal System.

In 1911 the new Main Building, which is now Westcott, was completed and the library was moved. The library saw extensive growth and four different librarians during its time in the Main Building between 1911 and 1924. According to the 1914-15 course catalog, the library held over 8,500 volumes and was circulating over 600 books a month. (1914-1945 Florida State College for Women Catalogue) By 1923, the library held over 16,000 volumes. (1923 Florida State College for Women Catalogue)

As library holdings and services continued to grow, the university recognized the need for a dedicated library building. Work began on the new space, that is now Dodd Hall, in 1924. This building served as the library for Florida State College for Women and then for Florida State University until Strozier Library was built in 1956.

The Library, undated,

The new library opened to students towards the end of 1924, and Louise Richardson was hired as the university librarian, a role she would hold until 1953. Along with being the librarian, Richardson also created curriculum for and taught the first library science courses offered by Florida State College for Women. In 1926 “Library Science” became its own instruction area, composed of two classes: Library Methods and Advanced Library Methods. In 1929, Etta Lane Matthews was hired as the first professor of Library Science.

From 1935 Flastacowo,

By June 1930, the Department of Library Science was officially established and had nine faculty and seven courses. The department had also received American Library Association accreditation to properly qualify students as librarians.

From the 1929 course catalog,

As the university continued to expand their course offerings and enrollment steadily rose, the Department of Library Science was restructured in 1946 to offer a major in Library Science. In 1947, the department was renamed to the School of Library Training and Service and was established as a professional school offering a master’s degree. This was Florida’s first nationally accredited professional school for the training of librarians (President’s Report 1954).

Library science students studying, circa 1950s,

The new library building, now known as Strozier, opened in 1956. Between 1956 and 1958, major reorganization and expansion took place within the library. The Department of Special Collections was created during these years with the goal to “preserve and make available to scholars rare books and historical documents of Florida”. (President’s report 1956-1958

Excerpt from the President’s Report, 1954 – 1958,

This excerpt from the 1954-58 President’s Report describes some of the amenities offered by the new library. It also makes clear that from the opening of the new library, university officials recognized a need for even more space. The addition mentioned in the last sentence of the excerpt became a reality in 1967, when the library was expanded to include a 5-story annex.

In the next installments of Library History with HUA, we’ll explore how the Department of Special Collections transformed and grew after its inception in 1956. We’ll also trace the next steps for the Department of Library Training and Service, or “The Library School” as it was referenced in the President’s Report, after 1947 and how it became the online degree program it is today.

B is for baking

Throughout May, ARA Scotland are hosting their popular #ArchiveZ Twitter campaign which sees archive services from across Scotland, the wider UK and Ireland and even further afield internationally, post highlights from their collections and outreach programmes themed around a letter of the alphabet. We’re still early days in the campaign and currently on the letter B. We couldn’t possibly let ‘B’ go by without mentioning baking – that ubiquitous (if the eternal lack of four is anything to go by!) lockdown pursuit!

While we might not let you eat cake in our reading room on a normal day, our archive has plenty of instructional material on baking. Our NHS Forth Valley Archive holds a whole host of material relating to fundraising efforts to support construction of the new Falkirk & District Royal Infirmary in the 1920s. We have posters advertising bazaars, tea dances, singing and music and even a parade of cars! And yes, you guessed it – bake sales galore! But how will we ever know what cakes the bakers might have sold there? Why, through the Grangemouth Cookery Book, of course!

Some of the amazing fundraising efforts from the 1920s are evidenced by these wonderful posters

The 1925 baking hive mind

In 1925, recipes sent in from all over the UK – and even a few from further afield! Sandkaaker, anyone? – were compiled into this wonderful cookery book which was sold for one shilling and sixpence, ‘an effort on behalf of the Falkirk & District Infirmary Appeal Fund’. The recipe book includes savoury chapters on pies, soups, chutneys and jellies as well as pages dedicated to all kinds of desserts. And sure, who isn’t intrigued as to what Red Monkey is, let alone how to make it, but we couldn’t possibly resist the lure of all that cake!

In November 2019, the University Archives and Special Collections challenged colleagues across Information Services to recreate recipes from the cakes section of the Grangemouth Cookery Book. We selected a short list of cakes for our colleagues to choose from – mostly to ensure that they didn’t end up needing ingredients from brands that don’t exist anymore! Once recipes were distributed, there were a whole host of other difficulties to overcome – how hot is a ‘sharp’ oven? Or rather, how hot would it have been in 1925? Instructions for recipes assumed a fair amount of knowledge that some of our more novice IS bakers didn’t have! And how much is a ‘dash’ of lemon juice anyway? Does ‘sugar’ mean granulated, caster, icing? And speaking of icing, can I just add some to this cake, it sounds a little dry? (NO! Follow that recipe!) We had chocolate cake, apple cake, date cakes that didn’t need any baking, gluten free cross tarts, a fruit cake whose ingredients you had to decipher from Bible references (is my Bible definitely the same as a 1925 Bible?), some surprisingly modern sounding doughtnuts and so much gingerbread that we had to have a bake off just for them!

But no matter how worried our bakers were, we had the most magnificent bake sale to show for all their hard work. Not a scrap of cake was left at the end of the day, not even from the failed first attempt one of our bakers brought in alongside her successful second attempt to give us a laugh – even that flat specimen was wolfed down with some homemade orange curd and cream!

A Grand Bake Sale indeed!

If the coronavirus pandemic has shed any insight into the human psyche or social history, it has demonstrated that baking (and particularly bread) is still utterly ingrained (pun intended, why not?) in us as a comforting practise and compiling a recipe book to raise funds is far from being antiquated.

In fact, a member of retired University of Stirling staff who attended our Grangemouth Cookery Book Bake Sale in November was reminded of a recipe book that the University’s Airthrey Gardens Group compiled in the 1988 to raise money for keeping our beautiful campus gardens well looked after. Her copy of this recipe book ‘Teatime at Airthrey’ was generously donated to the University’s own Archive collection and may well one day be the subject of a second archive cake sale!

Baking seems to be one of those pursuits where although amazing new recipes and tricks are being developed all the time, we still love to go back to old, old recipes and keep memories alive with it too. How many of us still make our great grandmother’s Christmas cake recipe? Or keep a handwritten recipe card from that friend who makes the best gooey brownies? Recipes and memories of food are things that we treasure all of our lives in a way that doesn’t apply to many things we experience. We’d love to hear about those recipes or cook books that have been passed down the generations or shared across your own. And why not head to History Begins At Home for some ideas on how to get a conversation going with family and friends about their favourite food memories?

When the recipe says whisk for 20 minutes, you can be sure our amazing Repository Librarian will whisk for 20 minutes!

Object of the week

While the Pathfoot Building is closed, the Art Collection will each week focus on an object of interest. You can also search our entire collection online here.

Cool Interior – A Rememberance
Robin Philipson
(Oil on canvas, 1974)

Robin Philipson was first inspired to paint churches after visiting French cathedrals – especially Amiens – whilst on annual holidays there in the 1950s. Early works focused on the grandeur of cathedral exteriors, but soon his interest shifted inside, to the glow of light produced by sun shining through coloured stained glass. Philipson painted several rose window paintings, of which this is a particularly fine example.

It was presented to the University Chaplaincy in May 1974, created specifically for this location, and was gifted by the artist in memory of Tom Cottrell, the first Principal of the University, who had died suddenly in post in 1973. The many facets of the painting symbolised to the artist the piece-by-piece creation of the University and this also represents his appreciation and affection for Tom Cottrell.

There are two further works of Philipson’s in the permanent collection. The painting shown below, purchased for the brand new Art Collection in 1967, is entitled ‘Martyr’.

Martyr (Oil on canvas, 1966)

Philipson had lost his first wife Brenda Ellis Mark at the age of only thirty seven to a brain tumour in 1960, and many of his works during the following years speak of grief and a sombre sadness. Unlike most of his close contemporaries who were abstract artists, Philipson was never quite able to desert the motif in his work, and was unusual in using expressionism to mirror human experience in this way. Although this painting initially looks like a fully abstract canvas, divided into sections of pure colour, on closer inspection the figure of the martyr can be found in the dark grey panel towards the left of the canvas. Head bowed and body dejected, he seems no longer to be able to bear even his own weight.

Burning (Watercolour, 1963)

Philipson produced several different series of paintings, and during the 1960s one of these themes was burning. This small, dramatic watercolour also includes a rose window, as well as the suggestion of something burning in the foreground. The vigorous handling of the paint, almost scratched onto the paper, implies violence, and yet the use of watercolour gives a quieter feel to the background than was apparent in his oil paintings.

Robin Philipson was a significant and influential presence on the Scottish Art Scene for more than three decades. He had numerous commitments as Head of School of Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, and in his 50s was President of the Royal Scottish Academy, but he was above all a practising painter, ranking as one of the most distinguished and prolific artists of the Edinburgh School.

Community Partner: Godby High School

My favorite thing about being the social media manager for the Sunshine State Digital Network is getting to look through the content of the repository. There is a wide variety of trends, current events, and life styles preserved by the materials that are contributed to the Sunshine State Digital Network. One of my favorite collections are the yearbooks contributed by Godby High School, which includes all of their yearbooks since the year 1969. As a fan of current events and trends, I decided to look through the oldest and newest yearbooks to see how time has changed Godby High School.

One of the most noticeable changes that has happened at Godby High School is the change in hair and fashion style. Back in 1969 and 1970, teachers wore their hair high and styled. Today, the range of teacher hair styles vary more because there is a greater diversity among the teacher population and because modern hair styles have changed for women.

An example of the hairstyles teachers used to wear back in 1969.

Another noticeable change in the year books is that current yearbooks feature more student centered articles than the early Godby yearbooks. While looking through the 2019 yearbook, I noticed many student highlight articles written for student athletes, students in clubs, and students who excel academically. These articles have added more content and length to the yearbooks. It gives a look into the year the students had and creates a type of time capsule to that specific year. Examples of these articles include highlights of the programs within the school, sports highlights, and highlights about school events.

An example of an article highlighting what the campus is doing.

The Godby High School yearbooks are student made and great ways of viewing into the lives of past and present high school students. They can be found in the Sunshine State Digital network repository under the Godby High School contributor link.

ISOO’s NISP to hold Teleconference on Cost Collection Tomorrow (May 19, 2020)

On Tuesday, May 19, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., ISOO’s National Industrial Security Program (NISP) will hold an interagency meeting by teleconference to discuss NISP cost collection.  The discussion will be led by ISOO Associate Director Greg Pannoni, and will include representatives of the Department of Defense, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The ISOO Overview will post a meeting summary on Friday, May 22, 2020.

Behind the Scenes: Building a Digital Exhibit with Omeka

Like all of you, Covid-19 made an abrupt change to my spring semester. Thankfully, my Digital History class was mostly unaffected because the assignments were already web-based. Our final project had us create a digital exhibit using which is a free platform available from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for New Media. As opposed to a historical approach like my project takes, archivists and librarians sometimes use Omeka differently. Instead of creating an exhibit, they might create digital collections as an online repository for digitized materials.

This link will take you to my digital exhibit “Enslavement and Sharecropping in Tallahassee.”


I built this exhibit based off the work I did in my internship here in Special Collections & Archives. Even with Covid-19’s disruptions to our work, education, and daily lives, we can still find alternatives like this to help our community access collections and research from home. All the primary sources featured in the exhibit come from our archival manuscript collections highlighted in the Enslavement and Sharecropping Research Guide.

What does creating an Omeka site look like? For starters, FSU Libraries has a guide on the subject. Other then setting up the site, we must decide what goes into it as objects. In this case, I wanted to interpret a wide range of primary sources that shows a narrative of how the Florida Territory introduced enslavement and how it developed over our State’s history. When we load an object into the site, we create metadata that records information about the object itself which you can see in this picture. Below is an example item addition for a sharecropping contract.


Omeka uses the Dublin Core schema which is relatively simple. The site allows users to input the metadata into labelled text boxes, as you can see above, with the option to use HTML for simple text editing. This is where we give the object a title, describe it, tell users who created it, and provide links to digitized versions when available. We also upload a digital file so that users can look at the material being described and so that we can put it in the exhibit.

Once the objects are loaded and the metadata is created, it’s just a matter of arranging them and then writing the descriptive text for them. For this one, I created sections based on chronology: territorial Florida, Antebellum, Reconstruction, and Civil Rights.

Click to view slideshow.

The exhibit sections are created from different “pages.” In a page, you use “boxes” as a tool to integrate images and text in a variety of options and styles. Within these sections, I arranged the objects chronologically with descriptive text next to each of them. Just like a physical exhibit, this is where we would provide some context on the source or tell our audience what makes it unique and valuable for research. Because this exhibit is historical, it is also where I interpret what we can learn from the primary source.


Including extant projects like this exhibit and our Research Guides, Special Collections & Archives staff are still available for virtual reference. While our physical spaces remain closed at this time, if you have any questions about accessing our collections, you can get in touch with us via email at We also have a range of items in our Digital Library that everyone can access remotely.

Nostalgia by Hironori Katagiri

This week’s #BeConnected Explore Our Campus looks at Nostalgia by Hironori Katagiri. This sculpture is located at the bottom of Pathfoot Drive on campus.

This work is one of 14 works by Hironori Katagiri on campus. “Nostalgia” was made while Katagiri was artist in residence at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden as part of the Japan 2001 Festival.

The sculpture explores plays with the physicality and character of the natural stone as a vessel to contain and remember human memories and experiences.

One block of red granite rock was split into over 40 pieces, which is irreversible. Katagiri then reformed the pieces back together to form the original block. Visually it looks a smilar shape but it is inextricably altered by this experience- the same way that we are altered by the life experiences that we live through.

Sarah talks (in windy conditions) about Nostalgia by Hironori Katagiri

Artists Hironori Katagiri and Kate Thomson talk about their working practice and how they feel about their artworks being on the University campus.

Nostalgia has also been the inspiration for creative writing pieces undertaken by the Stirling students. The short story The Memory Stone was created by Stirling student Frances Ainslie.

You can also download a copy of our Japanese Sculpture Tour which show the location of Hironori Katagiri’s artworks on campus,

1974 Jeffrey Steele

For this week’s #Brigincolour we are focussing on Peziza by Jeffrey Steele which was added to the Art Collection in 1974. Jeffrey Steele (born 3rd July 1931) is an abstract painter. He grew up in Cardiff, Wales, and studied at local art schools.

During the 1950s he experimented with representational styles. In Paris in 1959 he encountered the work of geometric abstractionists such as Victor Vasarely and Max Bill, and adopted a lifelong abstract approach.

Jeffrey Steele’s work in the 1960s was two-dimensional and two-tonal, and explored the idea of space and how we conceive space. For eight years he worked only in black and white and was associated with the Op art movement.

Op art, short for optical art, is a style of visual art that uses optical illusions. Op art works are abstract, with many better known pieces created in black and white. Typically, they give the viewer the impression of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibrating patterns, or of swelling or warping.

The Art Collection’s Peziza was created in 1965 and Jeffrey explained his work as ‘visual black and white impressions based upon a series of lines of length which increase in mathematical progression’. He was interested not only in the creation of a sense of space within artworks, but was also interested in how an audience responds to art and the way in which they move in the space around an artwork in order to gain different perspectives.

This artwork currently hangs in the A-B Corridor in the Pathfoot Building, In our collections we also have another work by Steele Syntagma SG13 which was added to the collection a year earlier in 1973.

Collaborate, Innovate, Learn

Difficult times demand innovative thinking. In March, the National Archives began closing buildings around the country in order to protect our staff and public from the pandemic. NARA staff members were plunged into a world where the work to support the mission of the agency became fully digital. In response, NARA quickly created a wide variety of new training programs for staff. Within the first week of remote working, NARA developed new staff training for a variety of digital projects.

Many of the charts you may have seen lately have been depressingly grave regarding the virus. Here’s a chart that shows NARA’s work over the past few weeks and the increase is actually great news. 

Our community management team is providing training for NARA remote workers and the public that supports NARA’s goal of Making Access Happen through tagging and transcribing records in the Catalog. By transcribing records, especially hand-written documents, we are enabling the search engine to find those records more easily. Tagging also supports better search results by providing data about the records for the search engine to find. 

National Archives Catalog image of a Mathew Brady Civil War photograph showing user contributed tags.

The response to this training has resulted in a tripling of tags and transcriptions, which makes finding specific records easier for researchers. 

National Archives Catalog image showing user contributed transcription of handwritten World War I Division Record.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to quickly move to 100% remote work projects and NARA staff have been rising to the challenge. This is just one example of NARA staff living our values to collaborate, innovate and learn. NARA staff are busy on a wide variety of digital projects in support of the mission of the agency. Stay tuned for more!

Community Partner Spotlight: First Baptist Church of Tallahassee

For our second community partner spotlight, I am excited to be able to share newly available materials in the First Baptist Church of Tallahassee (FBCT) digital collection!

Once we completed digitization of the church bulletins, I met with my contacts at the Church for what they wanted to explore for digitization next. A set of photographs, programs and other historical documentation about the Church emerged. I set my contacts to the task of creating some basic description about these materials. As the subject experts, they were the best suited to the task of telling me who was in these photographs or what events they were showing and how they reflected the history of the Church. They did not disappoint! I was very pleased to be able to provide rich metadata for the new materials thanks to the hard work of my volunteer catalogers.

I was particularly happy to see this photograph from the 1940s showing a celebration held in the sanctuary of the Church for recent college graduates, many of whom were probably graduating from Florida State College for Women, FSU’s predecessor institution.

Celebration of Graduates at First Baptist Church, 1940-1950 [see original object]

Another aspect of the Church that this set of materials shares is the work of the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) and its Girls Auxiliary. Around this time of year, a new set of girls would be initiated into the Auxiliary and start their paths to becoming maidens, ladies-in-waiting, princesses and queens for the Auxiliary. It would have been a crowning achievement for these girls as they contributed to their church and local communities to earn their titles. The materials relating to the WMU and Girls Auxiliary share their work over the years to contribute widely to the Church, both locally and around the world.

Please browse all of the FBCT collection in DigiNole to explore the history of the Church, its congregation and how it fits into the wider historical picture of Tallahassee.