#TBT – Traditions from Times Past

Iowa State University has a ton of traditions. New traditions get developed and old ones fade away. Today’s post is about White Breakfasts, a now defunct tradition. Please note, the caption for the image below states that the White Breakfast was first observed in Lyon Hall in 1915. Our Reference Specialist, Becky notes below that this ceremony was first observed in 1918. The 1918 observance is documented in Julian C. Schilletter‘s The First 100 Years of Residential Housing at Iowa State University Dr. Schilletter held many positions at Iowa State and was the Director of Residence Halls from 1946-1967.

From the Reference Files of Becky Jordan, Reference Specialist

WHITE BREAKFASTS

Almost a dozen young women wearing white dresses, holding candles, standing on stairs of their dorm, singing. The caption below this image reads: "On the last Sunday before examination in December the White Breakfast ceremony is observed in women's residence halls. Each advisor lights the candles of her advisees, and beginning on the top floor, the residents of the hall come caroling and carrying candles to breakfast. Devotions are observed afterwards. Traditionally the women wear white dresses or white blouses. First observed in Lyon Hall in 1915, the custom is now universal in the women's residence group."

From “News of Iowa” December 1955 issue (LH1. N39 Archives).

White Breakfasts were observed in the women’s residence halls from 1918 through the early 1960s.  Originated by a Lyon Hall housemother, they were held the last Sunday before the holiday break in December.  The residents dressed in white and carried lighted candles.  A caroling procession started on the top floor of each dormitory and proceeded to the dining rooms, where a special breakfast menu was served.


Jack Trice and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

This week, we are pleased to feature a guest post by Charles Stewart, Jr., Ph.D. (B.S. 2000). Stewart is an Associate Scientist for the Office of Biotechnology and Manager of the Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography Facility at Iowa State University. He is a Spring 2003 initiate of Iota Iota Lambda (Ithaca, NY Alumni Chapter), Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Earlier this year, while browsing social media I stumbled upon a photo of Jack Trice with his fraternity brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha. I was drawn to this photo because like Trice, I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and attended ISU (B.S, 2000). Many in the Cyclone family are aware of Jack Trice’s fatal football game. However, Trice’s life on campus appears lesser known.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the first intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity founded by African-Americans. The fraternity has been interracial since 1945. Alpha Nu was chartered on Thanksgiving Day in 1922 and initially served as the undergraduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha for college men from Iowa State University and Drake University.

Alpha Nu Chapter (Des Moines, IA) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. featured in The Sphinx , June 1923. The Sphinx is the official magazine of Alpha Phi Alpha. From left to right: Top row: Harold L. Tutt, J. R. Otis, David Hilliard, aGeorge King. Middle row: A. Potts, F. D. Patterson, J. L. Lockett, and James W. Fraser. Bottom row: McDonald Cain, John G. Trice, Chas. P. Howard, Rufus B. Atwood, and A. C. Alridge,

Alpha Nu Chapter (Des Moines, IA) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. featured in The Sphinx , June 1923 (Vol. 9, No. 3, pg. 17). The Sphinx is the official magazine of Alpha Phi Alpha. From left to right: Top row: Harold L. Tutt, J. R. Otis, David Hilliard, George King. Middle row: A. Potts, F. D. Patterson, J. L. Lockett, and James W. Fraser. Bottom row: McDonald Cain, John G. Trice, Chas. P. Howard, Rufus B. Atwood, and A. C. Alridge,

As I browsed back issues of the Sphinx magazine, the official magazine of Alpha Phi Alpha, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few references to Jack Trice. The photo mentioned above comes from the June 1923 issue (Vol. 9, No. 3, Page 17) and is accompanied by a short article describing activities of the recently formed Alpha Nu chapter. The chapter was preparing to give educational talks to congregations of several black churches, presumably in the Des Moines area. These talks were part of a national service program of Alpha Phi Alpha called “Go-to-High-School, Go-to-College” which stressed the importance of a college education. This program continues to this day.

A significant portion of this 1923 article was dedicated to Jack Trice. The author writes:

Among the new brothers that have filled the ranks of Alpha Nu is brother John Trice, who is destined to reach great heights in the athletic world. Winning his numerals in football last fall, did not satisfy Brother Trice. This spring, his work on the “Prep” track squad was a revelation to the most keen fans of that sport. He has frequently thrown the discuss [sic] one hundred and thirty-five feet and passing the forty foot mark with the shot, seems to be an easy matter with him. Trice has not only shown ability on the track and gridiron, but his aquatic habits have obtained for him membership to the Iowa State College Life Saving Corps.

The June 1924 issue of the Sphinx (Vol. 10, No. 3, Page 17) also notes that the 1923 football team erected a bronze reproduction of Trice’s famous “Last Letter” in the men’s gymnasium (State Gym at ISU).

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Photograph of Jack Trice, 1923. (University Photographs, 21-7-trice-1923)

Since his untimely death, members of Alpha Phi Alpha have been active in keeping his memory alive. Several members were active in the effort to rename the football stadium after Trice. In particular, the late Dr. George Jackson, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, encouraged students and alumni to write to University and Board of Reagents in support of renaming the stadium.

Jack Trice embodied the aims of Alpha Phi Alpha- manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind. Trice’s life and legacy continues to inspire fraternity members today. Chandler Wilkins, senior in Community and Regional Planning and Chapter President of Omicron Pi (the current chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha for undergraduate men at ISU and Drake) comments, “I share Trice’s sentiments that he wrote about in his ‘Last Letter’. I knew I would face obstacles but quitting was not an option. Trice’s story gives me strength to persevere because I know my role here serves a higher purpose.” Kenyatta Shamburger, Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Student Affairs and advisor to Omicron Pi, describes Trice as a trailblazer whose story we can all learn from. Shamburger states “I believe that students must channel positive energy in the pursuit of their academic goals while also remaining socially and politically conscious and aware.”

What about the other men from that 1923 photo? A.C. Aldridge, Rufus Atwood, J.R. Otis, Frederick Patterson, John Lockett are all alumni of ISU. Atwood, Otis and Patterson went on to become the presidents of Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University), Alcorn State University and Tuskegee University, respectively. John Lockett became the Director of the Agricultural Division and Professor of Agronomy at Virginia State University. Sitting to the right of Trice is Charles Preston Howard. Howard graduated from Drake Law School, co-founded the National Bar Association and went on to have a significant career in civil rights, journalism and politics. More work is needed to uncover the stories of the other men in the photo but through his fraternity brothers Trice appears to have found men whose ambition, character and temperament matched his own.

A famous poem of Alpha men concludes by saying that Alpha Phi Alpha is the “…college of friendship; the university of brotherly love; the school for the better making of men.” I am sure that Trice had a bit of fun with his fraternity brothers while also working with them to address political and social problems on campus and in American society. Trice’s ability to have a fun yet meaningful campus life is a standard we should set for all students.


Sneak Peek! Exhibit Preparation

On Monday and Wednesday afternoon this week, HIS 481X was busy in 405 Parks working on the layouts for their exhibit cases. Staff from the Conservation Lab created mounts and reproduced original materials, selected for the exhibit, so that students could play around with the layout design for the exhibit cases.

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The exhibit opens on January 18. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Drop by and see our current exhibits! We’re open Monday-Friday from 9-5.


Artifacts in the Archives – Thankful for What We’ve Got!

Today’s blog post is another collaborative post about different artifacts and collections we are happy to have here at Special Collections & University Archives at Iowa State University. Usually we reserve these posts for artifacts, but there are some collections from University Archives we are very grateful for, so they are also included. If you’re interested in reviewing any of the materials below, drop by, we’re open Monday-Friday from 9-5. This week we’re closed, though, on Thursday & Friday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Artifacts

29-inch Hard drive

Accession no. is 2009-R0001 hard drive removed from the university’s Hitachi Data System main frame computer before it was discarded. This hard disc contains the library’s NOTIS database [online public access catalog] from 1990-1998.

Accession no. is 2009-R0001 29″ wide hard drive removed from the University’s Hitachi Data System main frame computer before it was discarded. This hard disc contains the library’s NOTIS database [online public access catalog] from 1990-1998.

From Chris Anderson, Descriptive Records Project Archivist

According to the note it’s stored with, this thing is a “hard drive removed from the university’s Hitachi Data System main frame computer before it was discarded. This hard disc contains the library’s NOTIS database [online public access catalog] from 1990-1998.”

This hard drive represents important aspects of the work of the information professionals who came before us. As a cataloger for ISU Special Collections and University Archives, I am grateful for their efforts. I am reminded that it’s important to do a good job, whether or not anyone notices in the short term. In my line of work, the insights and diligence of people who have retired or passed away are inescapable. It’s almost like those people are still here, shaping what I can accomplish before I “pass the baton.”

When libraries first started using computers, the staff transcribed bibliographic information from card catalogs. Many millions of cards were reborn as electronic records. Some of those electronic records ended up on the hard drive pictured above, before being transferred to another system. In other words, the bibliographic information you see today may be new, or it may have had a long history. What if a now-discarded paper card contained information adapted from an old bibliography, or a bookseller’s catalog? That’s not terribly likely or consequential, you might say. But in bringing it up, I’ve opened a jumbo can of worms, because while we have fancy technology, our conceptual tools for arranging and describing resources remain rooted in the past. I see form and content, evolving in tandem, before we can understand the implications. I see old wine in new bottles, and vice versa … and then I begin to think I should get back to my more mundane work.

Political Buttons

Political button "Full Suffrage For Women" (Artifact 2002-R001.006)

Political button “Full suffrage for women” (Artifact 2002-R001.006)

From Whitney Olthoff, Project Archivist

The artifact I’m most thankful for is a women’s suffrage pin which says “Full Suffrage for Women” (2002-R001.006). It’s not so much the pin itself I’m thankful for, but what it represents. Thanks to the women who marched and wore pins like this one, I am able to vote today. Thanks to them, millions of people who before were not allowed to, are able to make their voices heard. This and several other suffragette artifacts came from Carrie Chapman Catt, women’s rights activist, suffragette, and Iowa State alumna.

 

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From Rachel Seale, Outreach Archivist

I am most thankful for the buttons in support of equal rights for women from the 1970s.  I discovered them while familiarizing myself with our PastPerfect database. There are a variety of slogans included on the buttons. My favorite is “Women are not chicks.” Though women were nationally granted the right to vote in 1920 the Equal Rights Amendment never passed. I am very grateful for all of the work done for women’s rights in the U.S.

 

From Amy Bishop, Rare Books and Manuscripts Archivist

I’m thankful for the Women’s Rights Buttons from the 1970s in Artifact 2001-R002 (pictured earlier as Rachel’s picks) and Artifact 2001-R003 (pictured directly above). These are associated with our University Archives record series for political demonstrations, RS 0/12. I’m thankful for all the women (and men) that have demonstrated and fought for women’s rights over the last one hundred and fifty years or so. Although there are still issues to fight for until we reach equality, I’m grateful for all that the generations before me have done to make the gains that we have.

 

The manhole cover that (almost) got away

Top view of manhole cover, text on cover "Mechanical Engineering Department, Ames, Iowa"

Top view of manhole cover, text on cover “Mechanical Engineering Department, Ames, Iowa” (Artifact Collection unaccessioned)

From Brad Kuennen, University Archivist

The artifact I am most thankful for is one that I didn’t know we had until just recently. Several years ago the archives was offered a manhole cover. Now, this wasn’t just any manhole cover—it was one with a large “ISC” logo on it, the “ISC” standing for Iowa State College. I wasn’t able to find historical information on them, but it seems the manhole covers were created on campus by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Walking around campus one can find several of them still in use. We were very intrigued by the manhole cover, but we ultimately turned it down because it was large and heavy (by our standards) and would be difficult to display. Honestly, it was a decision that I regretted afterwards. This past summer a colleague of mine was looking through a shelf of artifacts that we had yet to catalog. (I would like to point out that we have only a few of these left.) Covered in the back, behind several other items, was an “ISC” manhole cover! I was rather surprised when she told me about it. At some point in the future this manhole cover will be requested by curious researchers or placed on temporary display—likely presenting several interesting challenges for us. That is a concern for another time, though. Today, I am just thankful to the archivist who took it in so that I can now say that yes, we do indeed have an “ISC” manhole cover in our collection!

 

Diploma Cover, ca. 1960-1969 (Artifact 2015-R034)

Iowa State University Diploma cover (Artifact 2015-R034)

Iowa State University Diploma cover (Artifact 2015-R034)

Petrina Jackson, MA ’94 English, Department Head

I choose the Iowa State University diploma cover because of what it represents: a good, solid education.

Growing up, my parents constantly preached the value of a good education and the importance of earning a college degree. My parents were raised in the American South during the Jim Crow era, and they believed deeply in education as the “great equalizer.” Since they did not get an opportunity to earn college degree themselves, they planted that goal in my brother and me. It was never a choice of if we would go to college; it was always a matter of when we went to college.

Going to college and encountering many new and different ideas and people expanded my world and challenged my assumptions in ways I didn’t anticipate. Most importantly, getting a degree has afforded me career opportunities that I would not have had without it. For this, I am forever grateful.

 

University Archives

Louis H. Pammel Papers

Louis Pammel in the field, 1903 (University Photographs)

Louis Pammel in the field, 1903 (University Photographs)

From Becky Jordan, Reference Specialist

The collection I am most thankful for is the Louis H. Pammel Papers (RS 13/5/13).  Pammel was involved in so many things, and his papers are a reflection of his broad interests.  His correspondence files are a “who’s who” of prominent botanists and educators.  As a member of the College History Committee, he interviewed early staff members, and was able to document the earliest days of the college from those with first-hand knowledge.  He was active in the creation of Iowa’s state park law and was the first President of the Iowa State Board of Conservation, serving from 1918 to 1927.  He worked tirelessly for the field of botany, for Iowa State, and the community.  His students were of primary concern to him, particularly foreign students.  He helped form the local chapter of the Cosmopolitan Club, and also began a Science Club and established Botanical Seminars for senior students in Botany.  A devoted family man—he and Augusta Emmel Pammel had six children—he was also a mainstay at the Episcopal Church, St. John’s by the Campus.  No matter what I am looking for when I work with his papers, I always learn something new.

 

Alumni Files, RS 21/7/1

Arthur Carhart's file, he graduated from Iowa State in 1916. File folder open and sitting in front of document box.

Arthur Carhart’s file, he graduated from Iowa State in 1916.

From Laura Sullivan, Collections Archivist

I am reminded again and again how thankful I am for our collection of alumni files, RS 21/7/1.  These are files on a variety of Iowa State’s alumni for which we do not hold individual collections (for these, see the listing under RS 21/7 http://archives.lib.iastate.edu/collections/university-archives/by-department/rs-21-alumni-affairs).  The alumni files were originally maintained by the Alumni Association before they were transferred to the university archives in the early 1970s.  Throughout the years since then, when we find information about Iowa State’s graduates, we will add this material to their file – or create a new file if one does not already exist.  The files contain a whole variety of documents including news clippings, articles, letters, and photographs.  One of my favorite records in these files are from the original files of the Alumni Association – questionnaires which were sent to alumni to update the association on our alum’s activities and pursuits.  Pictured above is the file we have on Arthur Carhart, who graduated from Iowa State in 1916.

 

 


Giving Thanks for the Life and Legacy of Dr. George Jackson

Earlier this month, I had the honor of attending Dr. George Jackson’s Iowa State University memorial service. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to know, work, or benefit from his labor, Dr. Jackson was the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at ISU, and his devotion to student success was total. He had the gift of service, and he created a sense of community and support among students of color like I have never known. As a graduate student living in Ames, Iowa, thirteen hours away from home, I always felt a sense of community, and much of that can be attributed to Dr. Jackson’s relentless work on behalf of students, the black community, and the greater Ames community. Many other ISU grads can attest to Dr. Jackson’s extraordinary commitment to students and did during his memorial service.

Cover of Memorial Service Program for Dr. George Jackson. 12 November 2016.

Cover of Memorial Service Program for Dr. George Jackson. 12 November 2016.

Memorial Service Program of Dr. George Jackson. 12 November 2016

Memorial Service Program of Dr. George Jackson. 12 November 2016

There are many actions he took, programs he started, and roles he played that one could cite as evidence of Dr. Jackson’s legacy. For this blog post, I will focus on one item that exemplifies his commitment and passion for student success: an Iowa State Daily article that he wrote during fall semester 1992. In the article, entitled “An Open Letter to ISU’s Minority Freshman,” Dr. Jackson congratulates, encourages as well as directs the new freshman on how to be a successful student at Iowa State.  Although he wrote the article 24 years ago, the main points still resonate today. The first point is “College will offer many new challenges” that may make freshmen question why they are at Iowa State. The second point is that freshmen should do a self-assessment and then use all of the ISU resources available to succeed when those feelings of doubt surface. He writes, “NO ONE SUCCEEDS TOTALLY ON THEIR OWN” and shares that they are part of a lineage of ISU alumni of color who have positively impacted the world and achieved great things. He ends his article confirming to this freshman class that they are intelligent and talented and with hard work and support, they will succeed and reach their ultimate goal: an ISU degree.

Jackson, George. "An Open Letter to Minority Freshman." Iowa State Daily. 6 October 1992. (RS 7/1/2)

Jackson, George. “An Open Letter to Minority Freshman.” Iowa State Daily. 6 October 1992. (RS 7/1/2)

We at Special Collections and University Archives are committed to securing the legacy of Dr. Jackson through collecting and making accessible the documentation of programs he started, and the materials that feature his life and legacy.

Dr. George Jackson, ca. 2000. (RS 7/5/A)

Dr. George Jackson, ca. 2000. (RS 7/5/A)

Feel free to leave your comments about Dr. Jackson and his influence on you or ISU students in the comment section of this post.


Friday Fun!

Today Professor Lisa Ossian, from Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC),  brought her Western Civilization & U.S. History classes to learn about primary source research in  Special Collections & University Archives. Some of the students headed into our reading room or the library’s Media Center afterwards to start their research for their assignment.

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Contact us for more information on our instruction program.


International Week 2016! @iaisc

This week continues International Week 2016 brought to you by International Student Council. International Week kicked off last Thursday with International Dance Night and ends this Thursday with International Night. See full schedule posted on their  Facebook page.

Our International Week file in the archives begins in 2002 (from RS 22/3/0/1). However, in the same record group (RS 22/3/0/1) we have a file for the International Student Council that has documents from International Week ’87.

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Insert from Iowa State Daily on International Week ’95 (RS 22/3/0/1, box 2)

Drop by and learn about the history of International Student Council and International Week. We’re open Monday-Friday, 9-5.

You can also check out our previous blog during International Week 2010 featuring our records for the Cosmopolitan Club.


Girl Power in Engineering #TBT

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Curtiss-Wright Cadettes welding, circa 1943. University Photographs, RS 13/16/F, Box 1110

In a time when the majority of women at Iowa State studied Home Economics (which, for the record, is a perfectly fine subject to study), there was a group of 100 women working to earn an engineering certificate. The program was the Curtiss-Wright Engineering Cadettes Program, which was established during World War II at several universities in the U.S., sponsored by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. The curriculum included training in drafting, stress analysis, materials lab, aerodynamics, and production liaison. The goal of this was to train women to serve as assistants to engineers, so the engineers could accomplish more in less time. Obviously, there was still a long way to go regarding women’s educational and career opportunities, but they likely helped paved the way for women to become full engineers.

For more examples of women in science and engineering, check out our WISE collections!

 


On This Election Day

Special Collections and University Archives has several collections devoted to women’s suffrage and women’s groups involved in the political process. On this election day, we are spotlighting Susan B. Anthony, who played a major role in the women’s suffrage movement and, arguably, remains the most famous and iconic member of that movement.

Postcard of Susan B. Anthony, n.d. (Woman Suffrage Collection, MS 471)

Postcard of Susan B. Anthony, n.d. (Woman Suffrage Collection, MS 471)

Susan B. Anthony’s quote on the postcard reads: “Woman suffrage is coming—no power on earth can prevent it—but the time of its coming will depend upon the loyalty and devotion of the women themselves.”

Although Anthony did not live to see women get the right to vote, it, of course, came to be in 1919 when the 19th Amendment passed both the US House and Senate, declaring “the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Here’s hoping that you are exercising your right to vote!