Dancers! Protest!

Top 5 Musicians’ Union leaflets

5. Dancers! Protest! (undated)

The 1930s were a challenging time for members of the MU. The arrival of the ‘talkies’ had removed cinema orchestras as a dependable source of employment almost overnight. Many of the union’s orchestral members were forced instead to adapt to playing music for dancing in the growing ‘dance band’ scene which provided entertainment in cafes, restaurants and ballrooms. However they found themselves facing competition from both foreign musicians and non-union bands. The union mobilised its members on many occasions to protest against non-union entertainment on offer in venues across the country. The impact of leaflets such as this example on the dancing public is not recorded.

(ref. MU/7/1/3)

4. The MU can help you break out of your bedroom (1992)

(ref. MU/7/1/73)

The MU has often had a troubled relationship with technology and its impact of the livelihood of musicians. From gramophone records in the 1920s to increasingly sophisticated synthesisers in the 1970s new ways of producing and playing music were generally perceived as threats. By the start of the 1990s however the union was embracing the musical potential of technology. Dance music and DJ culture had become a firmly established element of the music industry and the MU was keen to support emerging talent as it had done in the 1960s when it shifted its focus to supporting rock & roll bands. This leaflet brings together an impressive line-up of artists to promote the union to a whole new audience of potential members.

3. Join the Musicians’ Union (1930)

The 1920s were a period of crisis for the union which had to deal with a variety of threats to its members livelihoods including technological change, the decline of silent cinema which required live musical accompaniment, and increasing competition from military bands and foreign musicians. The 1930s saw a renewed membership drive focusing in particular on the dance bands which were providing a lucrative new opportunity for musicians. This four page leaflet strikes an optimistic tone, noting that opportunities of employment are increasing and pointing out that ‘those who argued that the Modern Dance Combination was just a passing phase have lived to see it rise to financial heights undreamt of in the old days.’

(ref. MU/7/1/10)

2. Dr Feelgood says… (1976)


Over the years a range of popular musicians have lent their support to the MU’s promotional campaigns. From the 1960s onwards leaflets have featured an eclectic selection of performers including Spencer Davis, The Hollies, Sting, Nik Kershaw, Stereo MCs and The Shamen. In 1976 the union’s poster boys were Canvey Island’s own R&B rockers Dr Feelgood. The striking leaflet provides a statement of the union’s strength: ‘There are 40,000 musicians in over 120 branches nationwide who are members of the Musicians’ Union. Why aren’t you?’ with Dr Feelgood warning ‘there are so many people out there waiting to rip you off in rock music.’

1. Keep Music Live (1966)

With its striking badges, bumper stickers and banners the Keep Music Live campaign has been a core part of its union’s activities for over 50 years. A slogan which encapsulates the union’s support for the live music sector, it initially appeared on the cover of its members diary for 1959. By the mid 1960s the campaign was fully developed, this leaflet providing a key element of the promotional activity. The four page leaflet features the BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Hollies and Ronnie Scott highlighting the range of live music the union was supporting across orchestras, pop and jazz. An article in the January 1966 provides full details of the launch of the Keep Music Live campaign – a digitised copy is available to view on our new website.


The ephemeral nature of leaflets means we have many gaps in our collection. There are tantalising mentions in the archive to other leaflets such as those handed out to cinema goers in the late 1920s opposing the introduction of the ‘talkies’ – we would love to add some examples of these items to the collection.

Detail from MU leaflet (ref. MU/7/1/44)

House Speaker Appoints John Tierney to New Three-year PIDB Term

On July 1, 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed John F. Tierney to a new three-year term on the Public Interest Declassification Board (Board). He previously was appointed by Minority Leader of the House of representatives, Nancy Pelosi on July 11, 2017, for a three-year term that was extended to June 29, 2021, in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.  He resigned his position on the Board on June 30, 2020, to realign the House of Representatives appointments. His current three-year term will end on June 30, 2023.

As authorized by Congress, the Board consists of nine members, five appointed by the President, and one each by the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, and by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate. Mr. Tierney’s appointment by the Speaker now opens a vacancy appointment for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to fill.

Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Tierney served nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of Massachusetts, where he served on the House Intelligence Committee and chaired the National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee. In Congress, he participated in oversight of the Government Accountability Office’s annual assessment of the Department of Defense Weapons Selection Programs and reform of overall Defense spending. He currently serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, and The Council for a Livable World.

LGBTQ+ in Rare Books and Manuscripts: A Pride Month Project Becomes a Blog Series!

Hello! My name is Gino Romero.

Gino Photo
Photo of Gino Romero (They/Them, Elle/Ellx)

I am a queer non-binary artist, researcher, and the Rare Books Assistant in Special Collections and Archives. My research deals with queerness, highlighting the erasure of queer history, primarily focusing on people of color. As an undergrad, trying to do research in this topic with no formal training in research proved to be next to impossible. I leaned on my professors for resources, but these results were not so fruitful. Later that year, we went to Special Collections and Archives to look at artists’ books and before the class started, a librarian helped us look through the catalog and find topics we were interested in. I shouted out “LGBTQ+ History!”: no results. We tried just “LGBT”: no results! We tried dozens of configurations until we found results, but even then, it wasn’t guaranteed that they would actually be of use to my research. 

As a student, it was comforting to know that it wasn’t just me, that the institution was also struggling to find these histories. But as a researcher, I was frustrated beyond reason. I wondered why it’s so hard to find these histories. Now I work in Special Collections and Archives, and I wonder what my fellow coworkers and I can do to fix this? I began asking these questions to my colleagues and decided to make it into a project.

LGBT Search
Image – “0 matching items” for “LGBT” or “LGBTQ”

We often think that libraries are neutral, that they are solely a source of information for Rainbow Pull Quotepeople to come and formulate their own opinions on the matter. Librarians are human; personal biases always creep into the work, often to the detriment of marginalized populations. Libraries are sites of power, organizing, labeling, and delivering information in ways that affect cultural beliefs and understanding on institutional, national, and even global scales. It is important that we take the time to acknowledge that power and privilege, and that the discipline evolves out of (perhaps comfortable) old practices that contribute to systems of bigotry, oppression, and white supremacy

Librarians are tasked with the role of making information discoverable and available. They have the ability to place subject headings and search terms on materials, are involved in the acquisition of materials, and even contribute to what is taught in the classroom. These factors, among many others, put libraries in a unique position of power, as gatekeepers of information. 

The project – asking my colleagues to engage with queer histories in archives

For Pride month, I tasked my fellow coworkers with taking a moment to reflect on our role in the distribution and accessibility of information relating to LGBTQ+ history. I asked them to look into our catalogs in order to find materials, to experience what it’s like to be a queer researcher in our institution. The rules for the search were to prioritize the following: 

  • LGBTQ+ people of color
  • Materials outside of the Pride Student Union collection (These institutional records don’t represent intentional acquisition, and while valuable records of queer life on campus, don’t tell the story of underrepresentation on a larger scale.)
  • Stories that do not relate to LGBTQ+ struggles/hardships (Look for stories that highlight queer joy/culture!)

I asked my colleagues to submit a write up of their findings, describing why they chose that object, and what their experience was like in the shoes of a queer researcher. I will curate these submissions and blog about them on a biweekly basis, in hopes that this conversation will continue past Pride month and help create sustainable change.

I’m happy that this Pride Month work is turning into a blog series! In addition to sharing my colleagues’ findings, I hope to interview librarians and scholars who study representation in the archives. Be sure to check out the next post (hoping for a biweekly schedule), where I plan to include some of the discovered materials and describe the challenges my colleagues reported in their search process. 

In addition to this prompt, I also sent my colleagues some LGBTQ+ resources that I would like to share here as well:

Other institutions have been researching and working towards a solution for this issue as well. UNC has created a conscious editing initiative to repair and fix any harmful/outdated language in their catalog

Whether we follow the lead of other institutions or create a new program entirely just for FSU, it is important to take the time to acknowledge the power information holds and to make sure that we are doing our part to make it accurate, available, and equitable.

University portraits

This week’s #BeConnected Explore Our Campus blog looks at some of the University portraits which hang in the Court Room Building.

Portrait of Dr.T.L. Cottrell, First Principal of the University of Stirling 1965 – 1973.
by Alberto Morrocco (Oil on canvas, 1968)
(Presented by Stirling, Clackmannan and West Perth Federation to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institutes and the opening of the University in 1967).

The new University of Stirling began to commission portraits right from the start. Eminent Scottish artist Alberto Morrocco was chosen to paint first Vice Chancellor and Principal Tom Cottrell in 1968, and we know from archive notes that this picture was originally hung in the first University Court Room, which was situated in the modernist Pathfoot Building. The mood of the portrait – relaxed and informal – is very much in keeping with the spirit of the age, as this new university embraced the egalitarian approach of the late ’60s.

Portrait of Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins, CH, CB, FBA (1898 –1984),
First Chancellor of the University
by Lawrence Gowing (Oil on canvas, 1979)

The immediate massive expansion of the modern university system in Britain in the 1960s had been advocated by eminent British economist Lord Robbins in the ‘Robbins Report’ (1964), which led directly to Stirling’s founding in 1967. As a result, Lord Robbins was invited to become first Chancellor of the University. Here he is portrayed in a plain suit on a simple wooden chair, with no gown in sight, and this certainly seems to have been the conscious style of choice for portraits throughout the 1970s, with a relaxed Lord Wheatley sitting comfortably against a striking Holbein-esque turquoise backdrop, shown below.

Portrait of the Rt. Hon. Lord Wheatley, Lord Justice Clerk,
Chairman of the University Court 1968-1976
by Kathryn Kynoch (Oil on canvas, 1977)

By the eighties however, the portrait style had clearly gained a new formality. Alberto Morrocco, who had painted Tom Cottrell in the late 60s, went on to paint the next three Principals during the 1980s and 90s, and these are notably all much more traditional than the three above. Now, the subjects are wearing their robes of office, and sit on much grander chairs.

Portrait of Dr W. A. Cramond, Principal and Vice Chancellor (1975-1980)
by Albert Morrocco (Oil on canvas, 1980)
Portrait of Sir Kenneth Alexander FRSE
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University 1981-1986.
by Alberto Morrocco, (Oil on canvas, 1986)
Portrait of Professor John Forty, Principal and Vice Chancellor 1986-1994
by Alberto Morrocco (Oil on canvas, 1994)

In this last one, painted in 1994, Professor Forty sits on a carved throne, wearing one gown, and leaning on another. It is also the first portrait to feature some background detail – the beautiful expanse of campus, loch and snowy Ochils.

Professor Forty’s successor, Professor Andrew Miller, is similarly portrayed with a scenic background. This portrait was painted by Juliet Wood who at around the same time was commissioned also to paint Lord Balfour of Burleigh. At the turn of the millennium there seems to have been a move away again from the gowned portrait towards a more informal feel, with the subjects in relaxed poses, and with more interest created in the foreground by hints at the subject’s area of research.

Portrait of Professor Andrew Miller CBE FRSE, Prinicipal and Vice Chancellor 1994-2001
by Juliet Wood (oil on canvas, 2001)
Portrait of Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Chancellor 1988-1998
by Juliet Wood (Oil on canvas, 2000)

The artist says:’ I painted Robert Balfour in his engineer’s overall, with working tools at hand. This was more expressive of his lively and individual character than the wearing of a gown’. The gown is shown hanging in the background.

Portrait of Dr Doris Littlejohn

A particularly relaxed portrait, also by Juliet Wood (Oil on canvas, 2007), is this one of Dr Littlejohn CBE who was Chairman of the University Court, and was the first female chair in the UK of the Industrial Tribunal (Scotland). “Painted [at her] home in Bridge of Allan in the unusually sunny autumn of 2007” (Juliet Wood)

Portrait of Professor Colin Bell, Principal and Vice Chancellor (2001-2003)
© Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie

These two photographic portraits were taken at the request of the two individuals.  Colin Bell (above) was adamant that he did not want a painted portrait of himself and preferred a photographic medium, but he tragically died in post before one could be commissioned. Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie, known together as ‘broad daylight’, had earlier been commissioned by the University of Edinburgh however to take official portraits of their staff, so we were able to select this one of Colin as our official portrait.  He’s looking a little serious for a man who laughed a lot and loved jazz, music and art. Christine Hallett (shown below) similarly preferred the option of a photographic portrait and Tricia and Ross were commissioned.  This portrait was taken in the University library.

Portrait of Professor Christine Hallett, Principal and Vice Chancellor, 2003-2010
© Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie

The University recently benefitted from a generous gift from an anonymous donor, which enabled the painting of the portrait of James Naughtie, shown below.
The artist (Guy Kinder) gives an interesting insight into the creation of this painting:
‘During my preliminary meeting with James Naughtie, I established that he was keen for me to reveal in the portrait his passion for books, politics, music and Scotland. Much of this has been conveyed through the titles depicted in the bookcase. His years as Chancellor of Stirling University are represented by the carefully placed mortar board and the gown draped over his piano. Also during our conversation, James talked about his piano lessons as a boy, and of a statuette of Mozart belonging to his teacher, which he had always admired. The statuette was bequeathed to James when his teacher died. I decided that the inclusion of the statuette was a personal touch that would also lend an intermediate interest between the figure and gown in the foreground and the backdrop of the bookcase’.

Portrait of James Naughtie, Chancellor of the University of Stirling (2008-2018)
by Guy Kinder

The double portrait featured at the top is:
Portrait of Dr. R. G. Bomont and Dr. Angus Mitchell
by Anne H Mackintosh
(OIl, 1995)
Bob Bomont was University Secretary for 22 years, retiring in 1995. His book “The University of Stirling: Beginnings and Today” is in the foreground. Dr Angus Mitchell was Chairman of the University Court. He is painted with Penguin books at his elbow as he collected a complete set of Penguins which he later donated to the University Archive. The campus can be seen from the window in the background.

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.

Floating Stones
Lotte Glob
(Ceramic, 2008)

Originally from Denmark, Lotte Glob arrived in Scotland during the 1960s. Living and working as she does in the remote far north of Scotland, her ceramics are imbued with the beauty of the natural landscape. These floating stones were part of a project which involved releasing three ceramic stones into 111 lochans in the Scottish Highlands. In the following film, Lotte talks about the development of this idea.

The Secret of the Swimming Stones

The Art Collection is fortunate to have some other objects created by this artist.

Fragment of the Land by Lotte Glob
(Ceramic, 2007)

‘Fragment of the Land’, seen above, is described by the artist as ‘an important piece in my ceramic and installation work’. And the work shown below is ‘Birdbath’ which was also featured in our blog piece a few weeks ago about the Oystercatcher courtyard where it is situated.

Birdbath by Lotte Glob
(kindly loaned by Maggie Inall in memory of her husband,
Dr. Inall, a surgeon at Stirling Royal Infirmary).

Here is another short film in which Lotte talks in 2018 about her recent work.

Celebrate July 4th Online with the National Archives!

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to adopt a resolution of independence, declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved. 

While John Adams originally recognized July 2, 1776 as “the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America,” he envisioned future celebrations of the event. In a letter to his wife, Abigail Adams, he wrote:  “It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward for ever more.”

The National Archives celebrates Independence Day with musical performances, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, and history-related family activities on July 4th, 2019 in Washington, DC. NARA Photo by Ted Chaffman.

As the trustee of our nation’s founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights—the National Archives and Records Administration has a long tradition of celebrating this national holiday in a special way. This year, with museums in Washington, DC, and at the Presidential Libraries closed, the National Archives celebrates the 244th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in a new way—online.

Join us as we host a virtual Independence Day celebration on July 4, 2020, in partnership with the National Archives Foundation. The event will take place at 4 p.m. on @USNatArchives Facebook page and YouTube channel.  Several hours of additional educational programming will be offered throughout the day.

The virtual July 4th Schedule will be as follows: 

  • 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST July 4th family programming including welcome remarks from Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, a discussion with Thomas Jefferson and other historical reenactors, including Abigail Adams, John Dunlap, and Dorothy Hancock. author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Chris Eliopoulos will talk about their Ordinary People Change the World book series. Register here
  • 4:00 p.m. EST July 4th ceremony airs on @USNatArchives Facebook page and YouTube page. Tune in for the traditional reading ceremony, hosted and narrated by journalist Soledad O’Brien.

All July 4th activities are free and open to the public, but registration is required. See the July 4th schedule to register for a program and download activities and resources.

Wherever you are on July 4th, share your celebrations on social media using the hashtag #ArchivesJuly4. See more on National Archives News.

Engrossed Declaration of Independence. National Archives Identifier 1419123 

Two hundred forty-four years ago, our founding fathers declared our independence and mutually pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.  Today, as in 1776, we face fear, uncertainty, and challenges to our lives, economy, and general welfare. Throughout our history, as a nation united, we have confronted and overcome such threats. Let us continue to stay united as we strive for a more perfect – and more healthy – union.

We can often take for granted our founding documents. I encourage all of us to take time during our Independence Day celebrations to read these documents and to pause and remember the difficult choices our nation’s Founders made and the meaning of these documents today.

I wish you all a safe and happy Independence Day!

Digital FSCW: New collection of FSCW theses coming to Diginole

The Florida State College for Women, in addition to being the predecessor institution of modern-day FSU, was once one of the largest all-female centers of higher learning in the United States. From 1905 to 1947, thousands of young women from the American South attended and graduated from FSCW. These women were, generally, from affluent Southern families and were, exclusively, White. The liberal arts and professional education curricula offered by FSCW appealed to many of the ideals of the so-called “Progressive Era” of United States history, but also existed in tandem with the intense racial oppression and inequalities found throughout the post-Reconstruction South. The institution was also steeped in highly-regulated gender roles that ascribed White women a narrow set of areas in which they could study and explore professional lives beyond being wives, mothers, and “Southern belles.” As noted by the scholar Shira Birnbaum, FSCW offered new educational opportunities for women and “credentialed white women [sic] for participation in modern life” but did so “inside repressive Southern conventions of female subordination and racism” (p. 239).

This complex lattice of gendered and racial hierarchies undergirded the formation and development of FSCW, its student population, and the kinds of scholarship its students undertook. The historical records associated with FSCW, in particular the scholarly publications produced by its students, offer us a window into this world where certain classes of White women were given limited agency to pursue academic and professional development within a deeply segregated, patriarchal society.

In an effort to make this rich history more accessible to researchers, instructors, and students, FSU Libraries has begun the process of digitizing and electronically publishing theses and other academic writing produced by FSCW students. These fragile, original documents are currently held by Heritage & University Archives, and this effort is the first comprehensive, cross-departmental initiative to provide unprecedented digital access to these materials via FSU’s institutional repository, Diginole.

While progress on this project (and many others across the University) has been hampered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, FSU Libraries has completed the first batch of 55 theses produced by FSCW students, written between 1908 to 1935. You can access these materials directly here and can sort by date to see this particular set of theses. These represent a broad array of subjects and research areas, some which do suggest deviations from the restrictive academic environment described by Birnbaum. Topics explored range from analyses of Renaissance poets to studies in entomology to sociological investigations of racial relations in early 20th century Florida. Through these works, we are offered a tremendous amount of insight into both the history of FSU as an educational institution and the greater cultural and societal roles of women in the American South. Below are a few highlights and excerpts from this initial batch of theses. We invite you to explore this fascinating collection and look forward to making more of these historic records available to all.


Two plates from “Galls and gall insects” by Lucie Greir (1915)

Map of local bodies of water from “Chlorine in the surface waters of West Florida” by Bertha N. Langley (1914)

Figure from “A preliminary study of the legal status of the Negro in Florida” by Thelma Bates (1927)

Excerpt from “A study of the older romance meters with a possible solution of the ‘Cid’” by Dorothy Price (1927)

Garden diagram from “School gardens” by Edith M. Dyer (1914)


Early Leighton Library catalogues now online

The University is fortunate to have access to the books and manuscripts of the Leighton Library in Dunblane. The books are included in Stirling University Library’s online library catalogue. But did you know that other, earlier catalogues of the Leighton collection also exist?

In 1683 or 1684 Archbishop Robert Leighton drew up a list of the books he intended to bequeath to Dunblane Cathedral. After his death, his nephew, Edward Lightmaker, added to the list. The original document is in the National Library of Scotland, but we now have a transcription on our website.

Another catalogue was created in 1691 by Bishop Robert Douglas, once the books were installed in the library building. The original catalogue is a manuscript in the Leighton collection, but we now have a transcription available from our website.

Bishop Douglas also listed pamphlet publications, or “sticht Peeces, viz single sermons, Litle treatisis and other Pamphlets”. We now also have a transcription of this list on our website.

These three catalogues are particularly useful for identifying Robert Leighton’s own books.

Photograph of the interior of the Leighton Library

After the Leighton Library opened in 1688, the collection was augmented substantially. Later catalogues are also available. William Smellie’s 1793 catalogue is available online as a Google Book. The 1843 catalogue is a book in the Leighton Library, while the 1940 catalogue of Cameron Dinwoodie is available in Stirling University Library.

We are grateful to Gordon Willis for transcribing the three early catalogues.

See all the catalogues on our website .

Helen Beardsley

garden of time

This week’s #BeConnected Explore Our Campus blog looks at the Garden of Time.

Our curator Jane discusses the inspiration behind and the development of the Garden of Time
Photo: Julie Howden

The Garden of Time is a beautiful haven where all are welcome to enjoy a peaceful moment surrounded by nature, history and art.

Photo: Julie Howden

As part of the University of Stirling’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017, the University redeveloped an existing garden to create a new concept: a Garden of Time. Located to the east of the campus, the Garden enjoys spectacular views of Airthrey Castle, the Wallace Monument, the Ochil Hills and the prominent peak of Dumyat.

Photo: Julie Howden

Reflecting the youthful vibrancy of the University, the Garden of Time is a place where nature meets art, whilst exploring time and memory. It’s a tranquil and inspirational place, which like the four seasons, will continually change and remain a place where everyone can visit, relax, imagine and dream new possibilities.

Photo: Julie Howden

Landscape architects, designers and university curators have created a place of natural beauty within the campus’ historic parkland setting. The Garden features floral meadows, specimen trees, mowed lawn walkways, a walking labyrinth and unique sculptures.

Photo: Julie Howden

Leave a memory

For anyone who has loved the University of Stirling and its beautiful setting there are opportunities to remember an event, a friend or a loved one, whilst also supporting student projects and the further development of the Garden of Time:

  • engraving a Caithness path stone
  • adopting a specimen tree
  • supporting the purchase of original sculptural artworks

Find out more about recognition opportunities and how to make a donation.

Photo: Julie Howden

Kathleen Jamie, award winning poet and Professor of Poetry at the University of Stirling, was commissioned to write a poem which captures the spirit of the Garden of Time and the surrounding ancient landscape. The poem’s title is Sun to the stone

How to find the Garden of Time

Follow Hermitage Road and you’ll find the Garden of Time next to Alexander Court and opposite the Airthrey Golf Course club house. Find out more on getting around campus.

Library History with Heritage & University Archives, Part 2

In this second installment of Library History with Heritage & University archives, we’ll be looking at the trajectory of the Library School since its reorganization in 1947. We’ll also be exploring how Special Collections & Archives has grown since its establishment in 1956.

Strozier Library, 1957, view this item in the digital library

As mentioned in our previous library history post, the School of Library Training and Service was restructured in 1947 and began offering a master’s degree. In 1967 and 1968 respectively, the school began offering doctor of philosophy degrees and advanced master’s degrees.

In 1981, the new library school building, the Louis Shores Building, was opened and the name of the program was once again changed to the School of Information. The school’s name was changed once more in 2004 to the College of Information. In 2009, the College of Information merged with the College of Communication to become the College of Communication & Information. The college now consists of three schools, the School of Information, the School of Communication, and the School of Communication Science & Disorders, offering both undergraduate and graduate courses on campus and online. The School of Information is an international leader in the iSchool movement and is the only iSchool in the state of Florida. The school offers graduate and specialist degree programs entirely online.

Shores Building, undated, from the Florida Flambeau/FSView Photograph Collection, MSS 2006-012

The department of Special Collections grew rapidly after 1953 with Louise Richardson as the head of the department, a role she would hold until her retirement in 1960. As early as 1962 Special Collections was curating and hosting exhibits using their holdings. By 1964, Special Collections holdings included the McGregor Collection of Early Americana, the Crown Collection of documents, pictures, and manuscripts, an archival collection of photographs of Florida and Floridians, an extensive rare book collection, and the Shaw “Childhood in Poetry” Collection. By this time the library was also a depository for federal documents (Report to the Director of the Libraries, 1960; Florida State University Bulletin, 1964).

Strozier Library, Special Collections, 1958, view this item in the digital library

By 1973, Strozier library contained 1,150,000 volumes, 500,000 government documents, 93,000 maps, and a collection of micromaterials exceeding 700,000. In 1985, the Claude Pepper library was established as the official repository for the Claude Pepper Papers.

Between 1995 and 1996, Special Collections was relocated to its current location on the first floor of Strozier library. The Heritage Protocol program, now known as Heritage & University Archives, was established in 2001 to gather university history related documents and memorabilia.

According to the Special Collections Annual Report for 2003, Special Collections, along with the Digital Initiatives? Center, was already providing digital access to rare Florida materials. The extensive Photographic Archives collection was being used by departments all across campus. 

The last installment of Library History with HUA will be focused on the satellite libraries of Florida State University: the Dirac Science Library, the Maguire Medical Library, the College of Engineering Library, the Law Research Center, the Library and Learning Center at the FSU Panama City Campus, and the Allen Music Library.

This article was written by Kacee Reguera, a student worker in Heritage & University Archives.

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.

James Morrison RSA RSW
(Oil, 1972)

The first curator of the Art Collection, Matilda Mitchell, tells the story that in May 1973, Tom Cottrell, first Principal of the University of Stirling,
‘came back from a visit to the RSA [Open Exhibition], all excited about this picture and died a week later so we just went and got it.’*
It was the first of four by this artist to be acquired by the Art Collection.

James Morrison‘s main working areas are the lush farmland around his home in Angus (as above) and the rugged wildness of the west coast (below). His restrained palette and distinctive huge skies, usually filled with majestically shaped broad brush clouds, convey the wide spaciousness of the Scottish landscape in a particularly unmistakable style.

This painting, entitled ‘An Teallach between Ristol and Mullagragh’ (Oil on board, 1997), was donated to the Collection by the artist to mark the reconvening of the Parliament of Scotland in May 1999. An Teallach is the name of a Scottish mountain. It comes from the Gaelic “the forge”, thought to refer to the colour of the mountain, which is mainly Torridonian sandstone. Watch a short film about Morrison in the Art Collection (made as part of ‘Corridor of Dreams‘ in 2013) here.

‘Rhum and Eigg’ (Oil on board, 1983) was also generously donated to the Art Collection by the artist, and according to the date accompanying the signature – 24/vi/83 – was painted thirty seven years ago this week. It evokes very clearly the mood of a quiet, mild, cloudy June day on Scotland’s west coast.

The fourth work by James Morrison in the Collection is actually his earliest, painted not long after he finished his studies at Glasgow School of Art (1950-54) and when he was still resident in that city. ‘Winter Trees, Glasgow’ (Oil on canvas, 1956) is quite different from the three shown above. Morrison did not move over to the East coast until the 1960s, and this early work has the feel of the city with its geometric trees, undergrowth, and the suggestion of a built environment, with only a sliver of pale sky. The work came to the Collection in 1998 by way of the Scottish Arts Council bequest.

* This story was retold in the Times Ed Supplement ‘ Scottish Diary’ Friday 21st June 1974.

Board Members Invite PIDB Virtual Meeting Participants to Complete Survey Through July 5, 2020

The Public Interest Declassification Board is grateful for everyone who participated on Friday, June 5, 2020, in the Virtual Public Meeting. Among other topics, the teleconference began important discussion about the Board’s 2020 Report to the President, A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System.

Although in-person meetings are preferred, the virtual format was the best way at this time to continue the Board’s work with public participation and transparency while keeping everyone safe. In order to better plan for future engagements, the Board has approved an online survey for participants to let us know what worked best on June 5, and what we can do to improve the next events that may become necessary to hold as teleconferences open to the public.

Please take this short online survey,, to provide your feedback on the meeting. Survey responses are anonymous and should take between 5 and 7 minutes to complete.  You may respond to this survey any time through July 5th.  We thank you for your participation and look forward to incorporating your valuable feedback into future events.

A Time to Break Silence

On April 4, 1967, civil rights leader and Nobel laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a gathering of more than three thousand people at New York’s Riverside Church.  His talk that day, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, was his most public, most controversial and, some historians have argued¹, his most prophetic critique of American foreign and domestic policy.

At the time of King’s speech, the Vietnam War was in its twelfth year. President Lyndon Johnson was committed to winning it through a series of escalations of the United States’ ground war and bombing missions. But rather than bringing the conflict to an end, Johnson’s combat surges between 1963 and 1967 sunk the United States deeper into the quagmire of the war. Civilian and military casualty rates rose exponentially, and news outlets around the world broadcast horrific images of the chaos and tragedy of the war.

King, who had until 1967 been restrained in his public criticism of the war, now called openly from the sanctuary of Riverside Church for an immediate end to the conflict. He asserted that the “madness” of America’s role in Vietnam was morally indefensible and unambiguously linked to what he called “the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism.” The time had arrived, he told his audience, for him and his fellow clergy to break their silence and to “move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history.” 

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam.

He went on to say:

This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

King’s speech was denounced quickly, and not only by his usual critics. Many prominent voices in the civil rights movement and in the liberal political establishment criticized and distanced themselves from King and his assessment of the war.  The New York Times ran a castigating editorial entitled, Dr. King’s Error, calling the ideas presented in his Riverside Church lecture “both wasteful and self-defeating.”²  Dr. Ralph Bunche, the United Nations Under Secretary for Political Affairs and a Director of the NAACP, said of Dr. King and the speech, “Like us all, of course, he makes mistakes.  Right now, I am convinced, he is making a very serious tactical error.”³

A few weeks after his speech at Riverside Church, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a guest on the Casper Citron Show, a nationally syndicated radio program which aired in New York on WQXR, WOR and WRFM.  The exact date of Dr. King’s appearance on the program is not clear, though it likely took place during the week of June 19th, 1967. Mr. Citron began the interview by asking King to respond to the criticisms being leveled at him in the wake of his Riverside Church speech, and specifically to the charge that King should focus on civil rights and not involve himself in matters of war and foreign affairs.  Dr. King remained steadfast in his convictions, telling Citron:

Before I became a civil rights leader I was a clergyman, and I still am.  And it’s always the responsibility of a clergyman to bring to bear the great insights of our Judeo-Christian heritage on the social evils of our day, and I happen to think war is a great social evil. 

The other thing is that I cannot, for the world of me, segregate my moral concern. These issues, in the final analysis, are tied together.  There can be no peace ultimately without justice, and there can be no justice without peace. Therefore I must carry my moral concern to the problem of war in general and the war in Vietnam in particular.   

And the other thing is that in 1964 I received the Nobel Peace Prize. And this was a commission, so to speak, for me to do more than I had ever done to try to bring the issue of peace before the conscience and before mankind in general. 

So for all of these reasons  I don’t feel that I’m moving out of my area but that I’m in the very area where I must be because of a deep moral concern and a deep feeling that racism and militarism and economic exploitation are all tied together.     

Audio of this excerpt of Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking with Casper Citron in 1967 is available in the media player at the top of this page; the complete interview is available here.  Note: The audio quality of the original recording is often distorted.

                                                     *       *       *

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee by a white supremacist on April 4, 1968, one year to the day from his speech at Riverside Church in New York.   America’s war in Vietnam continued to escalate and expand through the administrations of both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.  On April 29th of 1975, President Gerald Ford withdrew the last American forces from Vietnam in a dramatic two-day evacuation called Operation Frequent Wind. On April 30th, 1975, North Vietnamese troops captured the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon, ending the twenty year conflict with the United States. In 2008, an article in The British Medical Journal estimated that there were 3,091,000 combat and civilian casualties in Vietnam between President Harry Truman’s deployment of the US Military Assistance Advisory Group in 1955 and the fall of Saigon in 1975.

¹Peniel, Joseph, “This speech made Martin Luther King Jr. revolutionary”, CNN, 3 April 2017
²Editorial Board, “Dr. King’s Error”, New York Times, 7 April 1967
³Sibley, John, “Bunche Disputes Dr. King on Peace”, New York Times, 13 April 1967

This recording of Martin Luther King Jr. on the Casper Citron Show is a recent acquisition of the New York Public Radio Archive.  It was made possible through the generosity of Christiane Citron, the host’s daughter.

Diane Maclean

This week’s #BeConnected blog looks at the sculptures of Diane Maclean.

Plume (detail)
(Coloured stainless steel, stainless steel tube, 2011)

There are three works by sculptor and environmental artist Diane Maclean on campus, and their siting and scale means that they are a familiar sight. The first of the three distinctive works to be installed at the University was Shoe. It was purchased by the Art Collection in 2002 (having already been on loan since 1995). Plume and Wing arrived in 2015, on long term loan from the artist.

University Art Curator Jane Cameron talks about installing Wing on campus

Wing (Steel, 2011) is based on the skeletal structure of a bird’s wing. Although made of industrial materials, it has a look of lightness that belies its strength. Using tough industrial materials to make something as delicate as a bird’s wing may seem perverse, but the scale and durability required to stand up to being in the open in a busy public area with high winds and changeable weather led Maclean to experiment with mild steel tube and the idea of a wing just touching the ground. The sculpture is galvanised and etched.
The artist adds: ‘It was exhibited in my solo exhibition ‘Bird’ at the Lead Mining Museum in the Pennines in 2011. I made 4 sculptures relating to parts of a bird and also showed large scale photos of birds in exotic habitats from my travels in Africa and South America’.

Plume (Stainless steel, 2011) is a feather, a quill, a hackle. Using coloured stainless steel means the sculpture has many variations of colour depending on the viewpoint, the weather and the time of day or season. The red coloured stainless steel from which Plume is composed is an oxide layer on the surface of the polished material. The polished sheet is dipped into a tank of clear oxide. Light entering the infinitesimally thin layer at different angles creates colour which changes when seen from different viewpoints, through red, blue, purple and gold.

Plume was also created for Diane Maclean’s ‘Bird exhibition.

Shoe (Steel and wood, 1995) was made for the Scottish Sculpture Open exhibition in 1995 which started at Kildrummy Castle, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, (near the Scottish Sculpture Workshop which organised the exhibition), and then moved to the University of Stirling. The sculptor says that ‘ideas for the sculpture came from visiting the 13th Century ruined castle and thinking about life at that time. Fortified with round towers and a moat, the castle had been the scene of many sieges. I was conscious of my feet, walking around the ruins in sandals ‐ only bishops, princes and people of high rank would have worn stylish footwear like a sandal in those days. Somehow the two ideas came together. In the process of making a model of the sculpture, the giant sandal emerged as a tower and a bridge or ramp. I think it spans the distance in time. In fabricating Shoe I worked with a blacksmith at Tomatin near Inverness. We curved the steel sheet by feeding it through a hand‐operated machine like a mangle, then welded 15 mm tube along the edges before galvanising and etching. Galvanising gives a very durable surface and the etching gives a varied, silvery surface to the galvanised metal. The pine logs are individually bolted on.’ (Diane Maclean, 2012)

Diane Maclean with ‘Shoe’

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.

Setting Sun II
Alberto Morrocco
(Oil on canvas, 1962)

Although he lived in Dundee, Alberto Morrocco‘s Italian heritage meant that Italy was the destination for many holidays and study trips. He drew prolifically on these outings, and many of his paintings evoke scenes of the heat and vitality of a southern Mediterranean summer. Morrocco was interested in exploring colour in relation to shape and form. He was influenced early in his career by Picasso and Braque, whose work he had encountered on his travels. This looser landscape perhaps retains some of this influence. The work was donated to the Art Collection as part of the Scottish Art Council Bequest in 1998.

Morrocco was especially prolific after retiring as Head of Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, in 1982, where he had worked for thirty years.
The short film above shows a small sample of the variety of his oeuvre – landscapes, figures, still lifes and interiors.

In addition to all of this work, he was also described in an obituary as ‘by far the finest portrait painter of his time in Scotland’, and this dual career led Morrocco to depict a wide variety of sitters from HM The Queen Mother to the President of Iceland, and also four Principals of the University of Stirling, which awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in 1987.

Dr. Tom Cottrell, First Principal of the University of Stirling 1965 – 1973.
(Oil on canvas, 1968)
Dr W. A. Cramond, Principal 1975 – 1980.
(Oil on canvas, 1980)
Sir Kenneth Alexander FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, 1981-1986.
Professor John Forty, Principal and Vice Chancellor 1986-1994
(Oil on canvas, 1994)

Tucker Carlson’s Dad Defended NPR and Then Helped Save WNYC

In 1994, Tucker Carlson was still a year away from his position at The Weekly Standard, where he first earned his conservative credentials,[1] and his father, Richard W. “Dick” Carlson, was on WNYC’s airwaves defending public broadcasting’s very existence. 

From 1992 to 1997 Richard Carlson was the President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB),[2] the congressionally created entity that, in part, allocates federal funds for public television and radio stations, including WNYC.[3] Carlson, a Republican with experience as a newspaper publisher, ambassador, and head of Voice of America,[4] was tasked with protecting CPB and congressional funding for public broadcasting from threats of being “zeroed out” by conservatives like Congressman Newt Gingrich, who believed public broadcasting outlets were biased against conservatives.[5] 

Joining Richard Carlson and host Alex S. Jones on a July 10, 1994 segment of On the Media were Hollywood Reporter Washington correspondent Brooks Boliek, National Public Radio Managing Editor John Dinges, and William Hoynes, author of Public Television for Sale: Media, the Market, and the Public Sphere. They spent the hour discussing controversies surrounding public broadcasting including the possible effects of corporate sponsorship on program content, the sale of licensed merchandise for shows like Sesame Street and Barney & Friends, and claims that some documentary series were biased against certain constituencies.

Although not mentioned during this segment, WNYC was going through its own trials. WNYC and its radio and television licenses were owned by the city and the Giuliani administration was discussing selling those licenses to close gaps in the city’s budget. The station’s trustees were trying to buy the licenses from the city before they were sold off by the highest bidder.[6]

Not long after this segment aired, Richard Carlson wrote to Mayor Giuliani opposing sale of any of the licenses and threatening to reclaim from the city prior grants from CPB to WNYC in the event of sale: “U.S. taxpayers, through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, have invested $19 million in the stations over the years and are, in the best sense, part owners of them…CPB will take every available legal step to ensure that the people of this country directly benefit from the sale of an asset they helped create.”[7]

A decade later Tucker Carlson would briefly call PBS home. Between his first foray into television at CNN and subsequent programs on MSNBC and FoxNews he hosted a 2004 PBS program, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered, produced by WETA in Washington, D.C.[8] Even so, it may seem like weird history to many that during the height of the Gingrich Revolution CPB and WNYC were saved from possible extinction because his father stood as a firewall protecting public broadcasting from the axes of his fellow Republicans in Congress and City Hall.  


[1] Lenz, Lyz. “The mystery of Tucker Carlson”, Columbia Journalism Review, 2018, September 5, Accessed March 1, 2020.

[2] Behrens, Steve and Karen Everhart. “Having ‘done the job,’ Carlson with depart CPB”, Current, 1997, February 3, Accessed March 1, 2020. 

[3] Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “About CPB”, Accessed March 1, 2020.

[4] C-SPAN. “Q&A with Richard Carlson,” 2006, April 24, Accessed March 1, 2020. 

[5] deWitt, Karen. “Gingrich Foresees a World Without Public Broadcasting”, The New York Times, 1994, December 17, 9.

[6] Darrow, Peter H. “Going Public: The Story of WNYC’s Journey to Independence”,, 2018, May 10. Accessed March 1, 2020. 

[7] Darrow, op. cit.

[8] PBS. “Tucker Carlson Public Affairs Program Green-Lighted for Development at PBS”,, 2003, November 12. Accessed March 1, 2020.

Founders Online Celebrates Seventh Anniversary

Seven years ago, we launched Founders Online. In partnership with the University of Virginia’s Rotunda electronic imprint and documentary edition projects, we made a freely accessible and searchable online resource for people to read the papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. 

At the June 13, 2013, launch, some 119,000 documents were available, and today that number has grown to 183,000 documents, fully annotated, from the authoritative Founding Fathers Papers. That number will continue to grow as more documents are transcribed, annotated, and added to the database. 

The modern documentary editions of the papers of these six Founders began in 1943 with the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, with the first volume appearing in 1950 using research assistance of the staff of the  National Historical Publications Commission, the body that later became the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The Commission issued a report to President Harry Truman in 1954 that recommended the comprehensive collecting, arranging, editing, and publishing of the papers of other individuals of outstanding importance to the founding of the nation. The success of the Jefferson Papers led to the launch of other projects: Adams and Franklin (1954), Hamilton (1955), Madison (1956), and Washington (1968).

The idea for a grants program was endorsed by President John Kennedy before his death in 1963 and, the following year, the Ford Foundation awarded $2 million to the Commission to use to provide the initial grant funds for the publishing of these collections as well as the documents associated with the ratification of the Constitution. Congressional appropriations began in 1965, and all six projects have received grant support. The Hamilton Papers project was completed first with the publication of its last volume in 1987, and the other five are working toward completion of authoritative print and online editions. 

Every day, some 4,000 people access the site, and even during the early days of the COVID-19 health emergency, loyal readers were able to find and use the site for research on projects ranging from family genealogy to classroom use to writing books and articles. This year alone some 133 articles, from a National Law Review article “Is Treason Applied as the Founders Intended” to  a Smithsonian article on George Washington’s genealogy, used documents from Founders Online as a resource.

Writers of book-length studies have discovered the usefulness of the searchable database that drives Founders Online. New works such as Martha Brockenbrough’s Alexander Hamilton, RevolutionaryRobert L. O’Connell’s Revolutionary: George Washington at War, Peter Stark’s Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father, and David O. Stewart, Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America cite the website.  

On C-SPAN’s Q&A show with Brian Lamb, David O. Stewart said, “I am a huge fan of Founders Online, which fundamentally changed my research and writing in large ways and small….Though I live in the Washington area and can get to the Library of Congress, working from home saves me two hours a day in commuting time…. Also, with Founders Online I can copy-and-paste passages that I want to quote, which reduces the donkey work of transcription and also eliminates the inevitable transcription errors. Finally, Founders Online is especially valuable in the final stages of preparing the manuscript, when you look back over your research notes and realize something about the source material that your notes don’t reveal. Is that because the source document didn’t say anything about the subject, or because your notes are lousy? Every history writer keeps a list of questions or problems like that to be addressed. With Founders Online, you can double-check those problems very readily. Convenience matters.”

In addition to historical studies and biographies of the men and women behind the documents that populate thematic studies such as Lawrence Aje and Catherine Armstrong, editors, The Many Faces of Slavery: New Perspectives on Slave Ownership and Experiences in the Americas, Corey Brettschneider’s The Oath of Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents, and Susan Subak’s The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us, which cites numerous letters to and from George Washington and to and from Thomas Jefferson as historical background in a book about returning to a lower-carbon footprint culture.

Lawyers use it in their briefs, amici curiae and otherwise. Government officials rely on its accuracy in laying the foundation for their remarks on everything from the Intellectual Property Rights Policy Advisory Group to the White House Historical Association’s article on “Thomas Jefferson’s Cabinet.” 

Teaching American History and America in Class have built lesson plans around special topics in early American history based on documents in Founders Online. It also shows up on the syllabi for courses in American history, political science, and economics at colleges and universities, including Harvard, Penn, the University of Georgia, and there’s even a website tying together the original Alexander Hamilton letters to “Hamilton,” the musical. Lin-Manuel Miranda even gave a shout out to the primary sources on Twitter.

Hamilton Papers on Founders Online. From Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Hamilton, [4 July 1804].

Original document referenced in Founders Online:

Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress; copy, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York (formerly in the collection of Mrs. John Church Hamilton, Elmsford, New York).

Media, social and otherwise, mine the trove. WETA, a public television station in Washington, DC, had a piece called “L’Enfant’s Guide to Getting Fired.”  Blubrry’s podcast on the U.S. Presidents is one of several using Founders Online, and there are dozens of Reddit threads and a slew of Wikipedia articles which rely on the site’s authority. We’re even in the dictionary. Merriam Webster turns to Benjamin Franklin, no less,  in its word history of a firebrand “”

And I am pleased with how Founders Online connects to the mission of the National Archives to provide access to the federal records in our care. At present 3,773 citations show up from a search for “National Archives” on Founders Online, and some of them have been digitized and the facsimiles added to the National Archives Catalog. 

Here’s how to connect the dots: To see the handwritten letters these transcriptions are based on, you first need to identify the archives or library that holds the original. This is indicated in the source note (generally three letters) of each document located at the bottom of each document. Mouse over the code and the full name of the repository will appear.

Let’s say you are looking for the 1790 letter from Jefferson to Washington accepting the position of Secretary of State ( At the bottom of the Founders Online transcription are these codes: RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR). “RC” = “recipient’s copy” and DNA is the National Archives, Record Group 59, Miscellaneous Letters Received.” You could then search the National Archives Catalog and find the document reproduced there.

Jefferson Papers on Founders Online. From Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 14 February 1790.

Founders Online brings us back to the enlightened era that brought life to the American ideal, gets us as close as we can get to the “room where it happened,” through the words recorded in the collection. Browse, take a long read, be inspired again.

WNYC Airs Frank Talk on Racism in 1939

John LaFarge Jr. (1880-1963)
(Wikimedia Commons)

On the eve of World War II, a commentator on WNYC compared American racism to Nazi ideology. The broadcaster was John LaFarge, Jr., an outspoken Jesuit priest known for his candor and frankness. Today, having a radio host compare racism in the United States with fascism in Europe may not be too surprising, but on June 10, 1939 airing that idea was a radical departure from most of mainstream radio. Here is some of what he said:

Racism already has a foothold in America. During the two or three decades that immediately preceded the war of secession, and shortly after that event, racist theories singularly like those being circulated by the Nazis were propagated in this country. They were used to justify chattel slavery; and later to justify political and legal discrimination against the Negro. The influences of American racist doctrine have persisted into our day. Some of them were revived on the floor of the Senate during the filibuster on the Wagner-Van Nuys anti-lynching bill. There is enough of that mentality latent in the American people and in the American social structure to afford a rich seed-ground for European racism when it is transplanted to our shores. 

LaFarge was the associate editor of America, a weekly Jesuit magazine, and the author of the 1937 book Interracial Justice: Study of Catholic Doctrine and Race Relations, in which he challenged long dominant ideas about the racial inferiority of African-Americans and condemned the notion of ‘separate but equal.’ In his WNYC broadcast LaFarge argues that although many Americans fear Nazi swastikas reaching our shores, they have failed to see the evil that is already here. 

[The United States] has been manufacturing its own swastikas for the past century or more; that these swastikas can be seen visibly in so many words upon countless segregated institutions in some part of the country and invisibly woven into the prejudices and customs of millions of persons all over the country…But let us insist that if, when and by whom racism is discussed, on every platform and in every part of the country, the whole scope of racism shall be relentlessly exposed: and thus the main stress of that discussion be laid upon the group that has suffered most from practical racism in the past is suffering vastly more than any other group at present, and will continue to suffer in the future unless it keeps making itself heard and known: the Negro group in the United States. 

In his prescient fifteen minute talk LaFarge warns listeners that, in order to keep Nazis from our doorsteps, we need to take a closer look at our own backyard. 

Let us remind our fellow citizens that if they wish to keep racism out, they must exclude every bit and every form of it. Let Negro and white work together to bring the whole and unvarnished, undiminished truth before the American people and thus save Americans from being the victims of a delusion into which, if the present tendency goes unchecked, they may all too easily drift. 

LaFarge’s commentary was part of Negro News and Views, a weekly broadcast sponsored by the National Urban League “in an effort to awaken the general public to the realization of the importance of the Negro’s cultural contribution to American life.” The program was directed by Edward Lawson, managing editor of the organization’s monthly magazine, Opportunity.

Water fountains for ‘whites and colored’ people exhibited in the Levine Museum of the New South, photographed on September 24, 2011, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(David Wilson/Wikimedia Commons)

In 1934, LaFarge founded the Catholic Interracial Council of New York to fight racism. Similar councils spread across the country; in 1959 they joined together as the National Catholic Conference on Interracial Justice. LaFarge was also part of the 1963 March on Washington, and could be seen standing behind the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. For more on LaFarge’s lifelong efforts to combat racism see: John LaFarge, S.J. and The Unity of the Human Race.

Unfortunately, we’re not aware of any surviving recording of LaFarge’s talk. His quotes are taken from the June 17, 1939 edition of the African-American newspaper The New York Age, in an article titled “Editor of ‘America’ Says Seeds of Racism Exist in America’s Treatment of Negroes.”



Contemporary Art Collections

This week’s #BeConnected blog looks at Scottish contemporary art and other places you can find out more about contemporary art.

Each week we have been encouraging you to look at our collections. You may have discovered an artist or artwork that you particularly like and may be interested in seeing more of a particular artist’s work. You may be no longer in Stirling, but are living near another gallery and wonder what collections they hold. Hopefully this post will point you in the direction of various sites where you can find out more.

Mary and Elizabeth by Jacqueline Donachie

The Art Collection at Stirling is a collection of Scottish contemporary art. The collection is one of a number of institutions around the country who collect contemporary art. We have recently contributed to a new site hosted by the Edinburgh College of Art Collecting Contemporary This site asks what does it mean to bring works of art together in a collection? What is distinctive about this or that collection? How, and indeed why, should contemporary art be collected? The site has interviewed Museum curators, private collectors and artists and posed these questions. It includes an interview with our curator Jane who considers collecting here at Stirling.

There are a number of online sites that you can look at to search collections including Art UK who have collaborated with over 3,200 British institutions to host their public collections online. All the oil paintings and sculpture that Stirling hold are available through this site. You can search by artist to find out where in the country their collections are on display.

For those of you who are interested in Scottish Contemporary Art the Generation Project might be of interest. In 2014 the National Galleries of Scotland hosted Generation: 25 years of Scottish contemporary art, The aim was to get the very best contemporary art to reach people across the country, to ensure that anyone living in or visiting Scotland in 2014 would be able to enjoy a unique and inspiring programme of exhibitions and events. The website detailing the artists involved is still available and includes many artists held within the collections at Stirling.

We do not exist in isolation and work with other museums and galleries to promote our collections. We are a member of University Museums in Scotland (UMIS). Scottish universities hold diverse and immensely rich collections of more than 1.8 million items. They comprise 32% of the country’s materials on history of science, 31% of the nation’s coins and medals, 24% of its fine art, 20% of natural science collections and 18% of its world culture collections. UMIS work together on collaborative projects and this week our Deputy Curator is beginning teaching on a joint project Capturing Lives in Scotland’s Communities. This is a nationwide Arts Awards project and alongside curators from other Universities Sarah is working with student mentors from Stirling University and pupils from around the Forth Valley to utilise our collections as inspiration for the project.

Our collections are available through our collections site which was launched last September where you can search through our artworks and collections from the University archives. This article recently published in the Art Libraries journal talks about the project to create an online catalogue for the University collections.

To Our Researchers

It seems like so long ago since we last saw you in our research rooms. We miss seeing you and helping you with your research. 

The National Archives is committed to the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the public. With the closure of our facilities, we have adjusted our operations to balance the need to conduct our mission-critical work while also adhering to safety guidelines from the federal government. National Archives staff has continued to serve the public by responding to as many inquiries as possible while working remotely. 

Many of our services are available online: 

  • The National Archives Catalog contains archival descriptions of our holdings and is the online portal to our digital records. 
  • National Archives staff is responding to reference questions or requests for records sent to and to specific units’ email addresses. 
  • Researchers can ask—or answer—research questions on History Hub, a crowdsourced history research platform sponsored by the National Archives. Researchers can also search History Hub to see if a question has already been asked and answered. 
  • Members of the public can explore our online resources by visiting and viewing our online exhibits
  • Teachers and parents can use our educational resources
  • Everyone can help the whole community by volunteering in our Citizen Archivist Missions
  • The National Archives’ Presidential Libraries and Museums web site includes online education resources, virtual programs and exhibits, and information on conducting remote research at the 14 Libraries. 

We have also been using this time to undertake projects that will have long-term benefits for public access. 

National Archives staff has been working remotely to create and update finding aid data to enhance your research. Since March 16, we have added 234,139 archival descriptions and 6,477,642 digitized pages to the National Archives Catalog. Staff has also been tagging and transcribing records in the Catalog. Transcribing records, especially hand-written documents, makes these records easier to find. Since March, the number of available tags and transcriptions in the Catalog has tripled. 

The Catalog now provides over 115 million digital copies of our holdings and we continue to add more every day. Sign up for our Catalog Newsletter to find out about new additions to the Catalog and projects that you can do with us. Check out our popular Record Group Explorer, a finding aid that provides visualizations of the data in our Catalog and provides simple paths into the records. 

The work we are currently doing better positions us to make access happen while at the same time helping to keep you and our staff safe. Nevertheless, we understand that our remote services are not a substitute for being physically in the research room. We know you are anxious to return, and we are too. 

The research room at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. (National Archives photo by Trevor Plante)

At this point, we cannot tell you when that will be possible. We are working diligently on our plans for the gradual reopening of our facilities across the country, in consultation with our colleagues at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. The reopening plans will be based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Office of Management and Budget, as well as information from subject matter experts from within and outside of the federal government. The reopening of each research room will occur based on our assessment of local conditions against a set of established criteria. 

We are also looking at how we can promote the safety, health, and well-being of our staff, volunteers, and the public when we do reopen our facilities for research. This will mean changes to promote social distancing, changes to cleaning procedures for shared spaces and equipment, and some process changes. We will communicate with you about these changes as we get closer to reopening. After we reopen, we will provide opportunities for you to engage with us as we work to improve the researcher experience while also keeping everyone safe. 

Thank you for your patience as we carry out our mission during this unprecedented time. We send our best wishes for your good health and well- being, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome you back to our facilities. 

Getting creative with SSDN content

The beauty of the Sunshine State Digital Network is that there is 285,850 different pieces of content to work with. The content formats range from text to image to sound to moving image, meaning you have the option to work with many different mediums. Getting creative is the best way to approach reuse of the content in the repository, because the options of how to reuse the content are truly endless. Below are some ideas on how to reuse SSDN content.

There are many vintage photos, posters, and artwork in the repository that could be used for decorating a bedroom, a living room, or adding a touch of history to a classroom. Key words to type into the repository search when looking for content to reuse as posters include: “poster”, “playbill”, “art”, or “photo”. 

Here is a poster titled “A Cuba, con el fusil en la mano” that would be perfect for printing out as a reused poster.

Similar to making posters, you can print out content in sticker form or craft it into a button. To create a sticker or button, find an image you would like to use, crop it to the size you want it, and print it out. In order to print out a sticker, you will need special sticker printing paper. The best way to find images that can be used to create your stickers or buttons is to search using the topic. For example, if you are looking to create a button for Pride month, search “pride” in the repository search box.

Another creative way to reuse content is using the old texts and images to create crafts. When you print out the texts and images from the repository, you can cut them out and glue them into a collage or mood board. These collages can be used as a class project to represent a historic event or person. These printed out pieces can also be great as accent pieces in a scrapbook.

The possibilities of what you can do with the materials and content in the Sunshine State Digital Network repository are endless. These are just three ways to use materials from the repository. A note to keep in mind when using these materials for non-personal use is to make sure the material is out of copyright! Always check the copyright status of the material before getting creative. You can investigate if items are out of copyright by using the Copyright Genie. Go out and explore the creative possibilities in the SSDN portal at

Anti-Racism in Archives

In case you missed it, Providence Public Library’s Director Jack Martin sent a Message of Solidarity to the Library’s mailing list on June 5, 2020. It includes a link to a powerful Black Lives Matter reading list put together by the Library’s Info Services team, as well as a link to a list of local nonprofits doing grassroots racial justice work in our state.

Here in Special Collections, we’ve been engaging in deep thinking and extended discussions about our role in the movement for racial justice, especially given our profession’s historic location within systems of white supremacy and the overwhelming lack of diversity in our field. We certainly don’t have any answers, but we’re planning to share via social media some of our readings and the issues we’re grappling with over the coming weeks. We believe in dismantling the myth of archival neutrality and openly sharing our learning processes, and we welcome anyone who wants to engage with the issues alongside us.

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.

Self Portrait I
John Bellany
(Watercolour 1981)

John Bellany has been described as Scotland’s greatest artist, and as, at once, a realist, expressionist and surrealist. His work was influenced by the Calvinistic coastal communities from which he came. The men in Bellany‘s family were fishermen and boat builders and many of his paintings feature portraits of the fishing community and are filled with allegory and symbolism. He painted prolifically and passionately throughout his life, at first only scraping a living, but later to international acclaim.

‘My City Edinburgh’ film made by Martin Smith for Channel 4

The above film was made at a happy time of Bellany’s life when he had remarried his beloved first wife and reached financial security, with a home in Italy. The sociable, friendly side of his nature and joy in life comes across clearly here.

When the self portrait was painted, however, in 1981, times were much harder. He was divorced from Helen (his first wife and mother of his three children) and had married Juliet Gray in 1979, but her struggles with mental illness coupled with his own with alcoholism meant that they lived the majority of their married life separated. This portrait, with its greys and yellows, with its reddened eyelids and listless stare, portrays the artist as gaunt and ill. He was only 39 but appears much older. The mood of quiet melancholy foreshadows Bellany’s brush with death later in the 1980s.

The two other works of Bellany’s in the Art Collection are completely different. A pair of works, both entitled ‘Woman of the North Sea’, were created in the mid 1990s. This motif is a familiar one, featuring often in his work of this period. One of these is a painting and the other an etching. Although the painted version also features yellow hues in the face, the effect is of sunshine and health, a complete contrast to the jaundiced self portrait. By this time the artist was reunited with Helen, he had had a successful life-saving liver transplant, and was enjoying major recognition. The tone is now playful and upbeat.

Woman of the North Sea (Pencil and watercolour, 1995)

In this film made for Edinburgh Printmakers Studio in 2007 John Bellany talks about the beginnings of his interest in printing and the creative processes involved.

Woman of the North Sea (Etching, 1995)

There are more films available on the official John Bellany website

From the Talisman to Smoke Signals: a student publication at FSU

The history of Florida State University and its predecessor institutions is ubiquitous with numerous and varied outlets for student expression. Student-run publications have been at the heart of student expression on campus since 1906, when Florida State College for Women students began Talisman. The Talisman was the first literary magazine published by an institution of higher learning in Florida (A Booklover’s Guide to Florida by Kevin McCarthy, 1992). In 1914, publishing of Talisman ceased publishing to make way for Florida Flambeau, a student-run newspaper published weekly. According to the first issue of the Flambeau, too much was happening on campus for news to only circulate on a quarterly basis, as it did with the Talisman.

Florida Flambeau, January 23, 1915, View this item in the digital library

In the early 20th century, literary magazines were influential across colleges and universities in the United States. They served as a means to not only showcase the literacy and expressiveness of students, but also to share news as to the happenings on campus. In 1926 work began on establishing a new college magazine for Florida State College for Women and the first issue was released towards the end of that year. In 1927 the magazine began being published under the name Distaff. By 1928, Distaff was being published four times a year.

Florida Flambeau, October 22, 1927, View this item in the digital library

The college magazine was published as Distaff until 1947, when students voted to change the name to Talaria. This name only lasted four years until 1951, when students once more opted for a name change. They held a contest and Smoke Signals won. Along with this name change, students demanded a change in the content of the magazine. Since the magazine’s founding it had focused on short stories, poetry, expression, and literacy. Students wanted a shift in content toward action and humor (Florida Flambeau, June 22, 1951).

Florida Flambeau, February 16, 1951, View this item in the digital library

In the 1970s, students clashed with university administration regarding censorship of Smoke Signals. They censored and prevented dissemination of several issues throughout the 1970s due to what they considered at the time “libelous” and “vulgar” materials. (Florida Flambeau, October 21, 1977)

Smoke Signals continued publishing until at least 1985, when they were still hiring writers for the magazine through the Florida Flambeau. (Florida Flambeau, Novemeber 25, 1985) The last issue of Smoke Signals in our holdings is from Winter of 1970.

Several issues of the Talaria and Smoke Signals are now available to be viewed on our digital library, DigiNole: FSU’s digital repository, and can be viewed here.

This article was written by Kacee Reguera, a student worker in Heritage & University Archives.

When Anti-Lynching Legislation was Discussed on WNYC in 1938.

NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White in 1942.
(Photo by Gordon Parks/Library of Congress)

The recent unsuccessful effort to pass a national anti-lynching bill in the Senate is not new. In February 1938, a month-long Southern filibuster prevented the passage of the Wagner-Van Nuys-Gavagan Anti-Lynching Bill. The legislation was reluctantly shelved by its lead sponsors, Robert Wagner of New York and Indiana’s Frederick Van Nuys, to allow passage of a $250 million WPA budget appropriation. Two days before the Democratic Senators agreed to retreat, NAACP Executive Secretary Walter White was on WNYC advocating its passage:

Let us face the facts. What the present filibusterers are fighting for is the right to continue terrorization, not only for Negroes in the South but all of Americans everywhere; to keep them from working and organizing for better economic, educational, [and] political opportunity.  It is a facile and fictitious argument to say there were only eight lynchings in 1937; in the mobs that lynched those eight were more than eight hundred persons —which means that eight hundred murderers are walking the streets of America, scot-free and completely immune from being arrested or questioned concerning their crimes. 

White argued that this ‘mob rule’ was a threat to American democracy, and his ten pages of remarks were replete with horrific statistics and an overview of failed efforts to pass such legislation. (You can read Walter White’s complete broadcast statement at: WHITE).

According to a notation on the text of White’s broadcast speech, his opponent in this broadcast forum was a man named Frank Delany. However, I have not been able to find anything of what Frank Delany said in opposition to the anti-lynching bill. Or, for that matter, anything about Frank Delany.

WNYC program director Seymour N. Siegel had originally tried to get the white supremacist Senator from Misssissippi Theodore G. Bilbo to counter White; when Bilbo declined, Siegel lined up the notorious fascist Lawrence Dennis. The account is described in this NAACP memo from Roy Wilkins to Walter White.

Internal NAACP memo from Roy Wilkins to Walter White, February 9, 1938..
(NAACP Papers/Library of Congress Manuscript Division)

It’s not clear whether Walter White had rejected going on air with Lawrence Dennis or if Dennis pulled out and Frank Delany was brought in. Meanwhile, Senator Bilbo never came to the WNYC studio —but he did speak during the filibuster in all too familiar tropes:

If you succeed in the passage of this bill, you will open the floodgates of hell in the South. Raping, mobbing, lynching, race riots, and crime will be increased a thousandfold; and upon your garments and the garments of those who are responsible for the passage of the measure will be the blood of the raped and outraged daughters of Dixie, as well as the blood of the perpetrators of these crimes that the red-blooded Anglo-Saxon White Southern men will not tolerate.

It’s worth mentioning that as early as December, 1929 the NAACP’s Walter White was on WNYC for a Welfare Council panel titled ‘Investigating Lynching’.  The NAACP also had a regular slot on WNYC between 1929 and 1930. See: NAACP.

Flag, announcing lynching, flown from the window of the NAACP headquarters on 69 Fifth Ave., New York City in 1936.
(NAACP Collection/Library of Congress)






We are Celebrating 30 Years Since A Day For Scotland

On 14 July 1990, over 30,000 people gathered in Stirling to celebrate ‘A Day For Scotland’.

A Day for Scotland, Stirling 1990

Held at Fallen Inch Field, this huge outdoor festival combined music, politics and family fun. Headliners such as Runrig, Hue & Cry and The Shamen were joined by folk luminaries such as Dick Gaughan and Hamish Henderson. A day of face-paint and sunshine included comedy acts, beer tents and theatre workshops, with a running theme of national pride.

A Day for Scotland, Stirling 1990

Billed as ‘a Festival for Our Future’, this was a key event not only for Stirling, but in linking popular culture and politics in the campaign for a Scottish parliament. Organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress and Stirling District Council, flyers promised ‘a positive celebration of Scottish life — which says we must decide our future — no-one else!’  

The political overtones were unmissable, and raised a stir (not least with the local MP, Michael Forsyth, a Scottish Office minister in the Thatcher government). Controversy and all, the event was widely viewed as a major success, and paved the way for large pop concerts at Stirling Castle from the mid-1990s.

Please join us on 14th July 2020 at a free online event to commemorate ‘A Day for Scotland’ 30 years on.  Speakers connected to the event — including punters and performers — will share their memories and reflections, and we’re very keen to hear from members of the public with stories, insights and images to share.

The Scottish Political Archive will both share some of our collections and capture some artefacts of the day. To book a place please visit our Eventbrite site.

This event is organised jointly by Scott Hames in Literature and Languages at the University of Stirling and the Scottish Political Archive.

What is an Archives?

As part of International Archives Week 2020, the International Council of Archives (ICA) has encouraged its members to consider what archives are and what they mean to researchers and society. Read on for my thoughts and a few sources on archival collections, institutions, and professionals, and what parts they play in empowering 21st century communities.

The Basics

Archivists and researchers use the word archives in many different ways. At the most fundamental level, “archives” refers to the documents that archivists collect and preserve. To avoid confusion with other uses of “archives,” archivists often use terms like records, papers, series, or collection to talk about the materials in their care.

References to “an archives” are usually about an organization that collects, preserves, and provides access to such documents. Sometimes “archives” appears in the name of these units (like FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives). Archivists use the terms archival repository or archival institution to mean the same thing. You will also hear archivists and researchers alike use “archives” to refer to a location owned and/or operated by an archival repository (“let’s go over to the archives”).

The term “archives” can encompass the entire professional field devoted to developing archivists and archival best practices. Like other professionals and academics, we form societies and conferences to exchange ideas and arrive at standards to govern our common responsibilities. Synonymous terms include archival science, archival studies, and my personal favorite (and probably most archaic), archivy. Scholars also use “the archive” to refer to higher, abstract concepts of collective cultural memory.

The Stuff

There is a persistent, somewhat outdated stereotype of archives as paper files. The file folder and flip-top document box have become synonymous with the archives profession and the unofficial symbols of archival collections and institutions. For a few hundred years of European-descended civilization, paper records were the norm, and modern archival practice evolved around them. Terms like “file” and “papers” are still used regularly by archivists to describe groups of documents, even if they’re not written or printed on paper. However, to characterize all archives as paper files is to ignore most of the history of human record-keeping. For thousands of years, humans recorded financial transactions and laws on clay tablets and papyrus scrolls. Throughout the twentieth century, organizational and personal archives increasingly included documentary forms such as photographs, sound recordings, motion pictures, and data, on substrates including paper, film, phonograph disc, magnetic tape, and computer diskette. In short, archival documents appear in every format that everyday documents have ever appeared.

Some formats have terrific advantages in preserving and providing access to them. When you store non-acidic paper flat in a cool, dry, dark place, it will last hundreds of years. The same is true of clay, parchment, vellum, and other substrates. Archivists call this approach benign neglect. Put it on a shelf, walk away, the document’s always there when you return. Some formats are less advantageous. Magnetic tape is becoming notorious for breaking down, and sound recordings, video, and data stored on it are in danger of eventually being lost. The same is true for different kinds of motion picture film, photo negatives, and the kind of cheap paper that makes up paperback novels, magazines, and newspapers. Avoiding this kind of “malevolent neglect” is a growing responsibility of modern archivists. Archivists take great pains to make new copies of old works on these substrates, to keep them accessible to you. A lot of these formats require technology to see and use – film projectors, VCRs, cassette decks, etc. Commercial obsolescence poses great challenges to access to a lot of twentieth century documents, and archivists must assemble a wide array of increasingly-historical devices or partner with those who do.

Worldwide Access

Digital files, increasingly a part of archival acquisitions, are a mixed blessing. Computer disks can fail over time; software becomes obsolete. But aside from that, digital documents shine when it comes to access. By their nature, they can easily be used and copied and shared with no risk to the original. Digital documents are so shareable that they’ve revolutionized how archival research services work. In fact, digitization of non-digital documents is now the preferred way to make copies for users, since the repository gets to keep a copy as well, and most 21st century users are looking to read and use documents digitally anyway.

Online access and digitization services make access possible in all kinds of exigent circumstances. As I write this in June 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has closed public buildings all over the world, including user spaces in many (if not all) archival repositories. But thanks to the amenities of digital documents, so many repositories are in effect “open” to users that ICA compiled a map of them.

Authority in a “Post-Truth” Culture

Archivists take great care to collect information about their documents. When you open a book from your local library or personal collection, the book gives you a lot of context about itself. It’s got a proper title, author credit, table of contents, preface by a celebrity du jour, all providing you important clues to the book’s content and placing it in a continuum of conversation about its topic. Many archival documents do not carry this kind of self-evidence, and it falls to archivists to aggregate and share it. We take great pride in devising useful descriptions of our documents, and especially in noting the provenance of our holdings; that is, knowing where documents have been before coming to the archives. If you know the content, creator, and subsequent owners of a document, you know quite a bit about its purpose and how it’s been used.

This kind of record-keeping makes archivists confident in speaking to the authenticity of these documents. For example, we can be confident that the Paul Dirac Papers are actually those of the renowned physicist, because we received them from Mrs. Dirac herself!

Archivists place a lot of value on accountability. When first working out how to preserve digital documents, the profession adopted the phrase “trusted digital repository” to describe institutions with good procedures. In a new century replete with “post-truth politics” and “alternative facts,” the work of archivists is designed to both encourage and withstand critical thinking and the scrutiny that comes with it.

The Future

The archivists of FSU and of the world remain committed to increasing access to our rare and unique holdings. Sometimes this is about leaps in tools and technical knowledge. Sometimes it’s about acknowledging existing shortcomings in our practice and culture that keep us from documenting and reaching out to new populations. However the times change, expect that archives will change with them.

Further Reading

FSU Special Collections & Archives. (2020). We Stand Against Racism and Systemic Brutality: Special Collections & Archives Commitment. Illuminations.

Robert Rubero, Rory Grennan, Krystal Thomas, Sandra Varry. (2018). Challenges to Creating and Promoting a Diverse Record: Manuscripts and University Archives at Florida State Libraries. SFA Journal, 1(1).

Laura Schmidt. (2011). Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research. Society of American Archivists.

Kate Stewart. (July 15, 2019). The Secrets of Archival Research (and Why They Shouldn’t Be a Secret at All). Medium.

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