Posted by: bishopae | June 30, 2015

CyPix: Four Seasons Fountain, before and after

Before 1941, the fountain in front of Memorial Union looked like this:

Memorial Union and fountain on Iowa State University Campus, before 1941. Christian Petersen Papers, RS 26/2/52, box 6, folder 7.

Memorial Union and fountain on Iowa State University campus, before 1941. Christian Petersen Papers, RS 26/2/52, box 6, folder 7.

But 1941 saw the unveiling of sculptor Christian Petersen‘s Fountain of the Four Seasons, based on the Osage song collected by ISU Agronomist J. C. Cunningham: “Lo, I come to the tender planting. Lo, a tender shoot breaks forth. Lo, I collect the golden harvest. Lo, there is joy in my house.”

Unveiling of the Four Seasons fountain by Christian Petersen in 1941. Christian Petersen Papers, RS 26/2/52, box 6, folder 7.

Unveiling of the Fountain of the Four Seasons by Christian Petersen in 1941. Christian Petersen Papers, RS 26/2/52, box 6, folder 7.

The sculpture includes four Native American women facing in each of the four cardinal directions. One is planting seeds, another is nurturing a corn plant, a third harvests corn, and the fourth nurses a child.

Christian Petersen served as Artist-in-Residence from 1935-1961. He completed 11 major sculptures, several of which can be seen on campus, as well as numerous busts, reliefs, portraits, and small sculptures.

To find out more, check out the Christian Petersen Papers, RS 26/2/52 in Special Collections.

Posted by: Kim | June 26, 2015

From Cow to Glass: Dairy Marketing in Iowa

“You Lucky Iowans” A Dairy Month ad from the American Dairy Association of Iowa and the Iowa Diary Industry Commission, 1962. (MS 65, box 6, folder 8)

“The very foundation of June Dairy Month begins with the dairy farmer himself. Without the dairymen, neither milk nor dairy dollars would flow through the channels of trade.”

Dairymen Work Together to Build Dairy Markets, in “Radio Scripts,” MS 65, box 6 folder 8.

June is Dairy Month, which gave me an opportunity to see what material we’ve got in the stacks on dairy marketing in Iowa. The records of the Iowa State Dairy Association (MS 65) reveal how much work it takes to market dairy. Filled with sample event calendars, restaurant table displays, decoration ideas, recipes, and advertisement layouts, the annual promotional packets are excellent sources for understanding how the dairy industry sought to encourage dairy use each summer.

Here are some examples of suggested interviewees and interview prompts from the 1962 June Dairy Month promotional materials (MS 65, box 6, folder 8):

MS65B6F8-Banker MS65B6F8-nurse

Most Iowa dairy farms are still relatively small family operations. Despite this, Iowa farms produced 4,646,000,000 lbs of milk last year!

“Mrs. McCoy” enjoying the 1964 Dairy Month festivities in Marion (Linn County), Iowa. (MS 65, box 7, folder 1)

If you’re a milk drinker, you can enjoy the following refreshing beverage, courtesy of a recipe shared at a Dairy Month event (MS 65, box 13, folder 13):

ORANGE MUFFLER

1/4 c. instant vanilla pudding mix

3 tbsp orange juice concentrate

2 c. milk

Blend, chill, and enjoy! (I assumed that this was the next step – it wasn’t in the original recipe!)

For more on Dairy Month, see last year’s blog entry and be sure to check out the other dairy marketing materials in the Iowa State Dairy Association Records.

Posted by: Kim | June 24, 2015

Archives in Five Words

The President of the Society of American Archivists, Kathleen Roe, recently called for archivists to come up with a 5 word phrase for engaging people in conversations about archives and archivists. Here at Iowa State University, we’ve decided to focus our five word phrases on why archives are important and what the ISU Special Collections Department can do for you.

Here are the options – vote for your favorites and/or add your own!

Posted by: Whitney | June 23, 2015

CyPix: Camping

A student preparing firewood at Forestry Summer Camp in Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming, 1954. [collection/box]

A student preparing firewood at Forestry Summer Camp in Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming, 1954. [University Photographs, RS 9/14/F, Box 717]

It’s officially summer! The student sporting a cowboy hat in the photo above clearly knows how to take advantage of a nice summer’s day. Camping is of course a popular summer pastime and has been for many years. Not only is it a fun recreational activity, it can also be educational. In fact, Iowa State has required Forestry majors to participate in camps for years. A great deal of information on this can be found in Digital Archivist Kim’s blog post from several weeks ago.

Whether you enjoy camping or glamping, get outside and enjoy the warm the weather! Too hot outside? Then stop by Special Collections and University Archives – not only do we have air conditioning, but lots of interesting collections and photographs to explore!

Two of St. John Cook's journals on top of large paper onto which the journals were recopied in larger handwriting, MS 314, Box 1 Folders 2 and 3.

Two of St. John Cook’s journals on top of large paper onto which the journals were recopied in larger handwriting, MS 314, Box 1 Folders 2 and 3.

I almost didn’t write this blog post. Instead, I was lost in the pages of Lucia St. John Cook’s journal, as she described her adventures traveling from Iowa to Arkansas in 1850 to teach school for five months. What was so fascinating about reading her journal? Perhaps it was her lively, intelligent, and opinionated way of writing (Sun. Went to meeting today, heard Mr. Banks preach from the text, Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. A good subject but not very well handled. I have not the most exalted opinion of that man. He is literally only Mrs. Banks’ husband. — Louise A. Carson and Lucia St. John Cook Papers, MS 314, Box 1, Folder 3, all quotations punctuated for readability) .

Or perhaps it was her very human, very relatable internal debate about whether to return home after completing her five months in the south and her reluctance to abandon her friend, committed there for a year (Three weeks has passed very quickly yet is seems as though it had been two months since I saw Louise. Bless her heart. I wish she were not obliged to stay here a year. We would then go north when my five months were expired. As it is I do not know what to do. I am very anxious to go north but I do not like to leave her. I wish I had someone to tell me what is right and best. –ibid.).

Certainly, her journal also gives a glimpse into the particularities of living in a specific time and place in history.

Born Lucia Williams in 1830, this interesting diarist grew up in Illinois, where she married Rufus St. John in 1848 at the age of 18. They moved to Ohio, but Rufus died only two years later, at which point Lucia moved to Farmington, Iowa. Soon after, she and her friend Louise Carson, also from Farmington, headed south for a teaching adventure.

Lucia St. John (as she was then known) began her diary from 1850 with the following, “Started from Farmington Sept 25, for the wilds of Arkansas, rather a sad parting for I could not tell when we should meet again, if ever.

A close-up view of St. John Cook's small handwritten journal in pencil. (click for larger image)

A close-up view of St. John Cook’s small handwritten journal in faint pencil. (click for larger image)

She and her friend were heading into antebellum South, and they encountered slaves along their journey. Her observations of the women she met at this juncture and the language she uses to describe her experience reveal a woman very rooted in her own time and class. They indicate her own privilege as a white woman and make use of common stereotypes from that time of African Americans as childish and simple:

Of all the places I ever saw the one where we staid last night was the worst. There is no white woman there, nothing but negroes and an overseer. The negroes looked as though it was quite a treat to see a woman and I have no doubt it was. They are certainly true daughters of Eve for their curiosity is unbounden [sic]. Their astonishment at finding we were travelling [sic] without a gentleman was really ludicrous and many were their conjectures as to who we were. One old negro woman came into our room lighted her pipe and set herself down comfortably upon the floor and commenced asking questions, a perfect stream of them, the answers to which were however not always satisfactory. It was really quite amusing. (MS 314, Box 1, Folder 2).

One night on their journey, they were not able to find a house to stay in, so they had to camp out. She declares it “something entirely new and not altogether unpleasant.” Later, she goes on,

I am writing by the light of the moon, setting all alone while the rest of our party are camped all around me. It is just about midnight and all are asleep or trying to be but myself. The moon not being quite full does not give the most brilliant light in the world to write by but it is on the whole decidedly romantic. This is quite an episode in our lives and will not easily be forgotten. I am only sorry on Louisa’s account as she cannot put up with such hardship as well as I can, her health not being as good. (ibid)

Portrait of Louise Carson, St. John Cook's companion on her travels, whose health she worries about.

Portrait of Louise Carson, St. John Cook’s companion on her travels, whose health she worries about. Undated. MS 314, Box 1, Folder 9.

When they finally reached the end of their travels, St. John describes her first day of teaching school, on February 25, six months after leaving Farmington, Iowa: “Commenced my experience as teacher in Arkansas. Only seven scholars but probably shall have more soon. Wise ones prophesy that the school will not last a month. We shall see.” (ibid)

As she continued teaching, she discovered some differences between the North and the South:

How different the girls are educated in the south and in the north. Were I in the north I should not think of sweeping this schoolroom myself – the girls would do it, but here I should not think of asking them to do so for they would think I was going to make a servant of them. Surely it is true a northerner has no business in the south – the manners and customs of the people are so different that it is difficult to act and speak as you have been accustomed to without giving offence [sic]. I do not know but the freedom of manners with which I treat gentlemen sometimes shocks their sense of delicacy but I can’t help this. Oh this is a strange world. (ibid)

She writes more on the subject of gentlemen, including this later passage when two preachers come to call. Here she refers to Mary, a woman with whom she shared a house:

A couple of preachers staid here last night. M[ary] and I took them to be old married men and talked as gravely to them as could be but one of them took the trouble to tell Mary before he left that he was not yet married but wanted to be and that he was going to quit preaching and settle down on a farm. Pretty well. Molly, you won’t hear the last of that preacher soon. (MS 314, Box 1, Folder 3)

Can you see now why I had trouble pulling myself away long enough to write?

For more from Lucia St. John Cook, see the Louise A. Carson and Lucia St. John Cook Papers, MS 314. For other collections related to rural Iowa women see our collection guide for women.

Posted by: Whitney | June 16, 2015

CyPix: Say Cheese!

National Dairy Products Judging training with Professor Rosenfield, 1948. (collection/box number)

National Dairy Products Judging training, 1948. RS 9/13/F, Box 708.

In honor of National Dairy Month, above is a photo of students being trained for dairy products judging for a contest in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in October, 1948. Here, some students and their professor are testing cheese products (something I wouldn’t mind doing). Want to know more about dairy production in Iowa and at Iowa State University? Stop by and have a look at the Iowa State Dairy Association Records (MS 65), the Department of Food Technology Laboratory Manuals (RS 9/13/0/5), and the Earl Gullette Hammond Papers (RS 9/13/17). We hope to see you soon!

Everything out of doors is fascinating, inspiring, uplifting. It has been so to me since earliest boyhood. I roamed the fields and woods, watching, wondering, and studying the things that were going on in the various realms of Nature. Everywhere there was life and action. The birds of the air, the squirrels in the tree tops – everything was moving. Even the ground seems to be moving under foot, the ants were carrying their burdens, the tumble bugs were busy rolling their huge balls and each were bound for some destination.

– “Nature Speaks” undated essay by Walter Rosene, Sr. (MS 589, box 13, folder 7)

Read More…

Posted by: bishopae | June 9, 2015

CyPix: A gallery of dolls

In honor of Iowa Museums Week, here are a couple of photos from one of our University Museums, the Brunnier Art Museum, featuring an exhibit from its Doll Collection.

Doll Collection exhibit at Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University, unknown date. University Photograph Collection, RS 5/8/A,D, Box 433.

Doll Collection exhibit at Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University, unknown date. University Photograph Collection, RS 5/8/A,D, Box 433.

Children exploring the exhibit of the Doll Collection at Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University. University Photograph Collection, RS 5/8/A,D, Box 433.

Children exploring the exhibit of the Doll Collection at Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University. University Photograph Collection, RS 5/8/A,D, Box 433.

If you are looking for an interesting museum in Iowa, here is a handy Iowa museum locator, created by the Iowa Museum Association.

More information on ISU’s University Museums can be found in the University Archives, Records Series 5/8.

Posted by: Whitney | June 5, 2015

LGBT Pride Month

June is LGBT Pride Month. What better time to highlight LGBT-related materials in our collections? Iowa State University strives to provide an inclusive environment on campus, but it hasn’t always been easy. Homophobia was once rampant, not just on our campus, but everywhere. That’s not to say that it’s been eradicated, but overall there appears to be more acceptance today. In the face of the challenges LGBT individuals have faced, several student groups sprung up on campus in the 1970s. These included the Gay Liberation Front (later called the Gay Men’s Rap Group), the Lesbian Alliance, and the Gay People’s Liberation Alliance.

ISU's Gay Liberation Front makes its public debut, 1971. RS 22/4/0/1, Box 1, Folder 35

ISU’s Gay Liberation Front makes its public debut, 1971. RS 22/4/0/1, Box 1, Folder 35

The first gay student group on campus was the Gay Liberation Front, established during the 1971-1972 academic year (it’s unclear if the ISU group was associated with the national GLF). The organization came together to start a gay liberation movement on campus and became publicly visible for the first time in December 1971, with a letter to the editor published in the Iowa State Daily in protest of the play “Boys in the Band,” which was being performed on campus. The letter complained of the production’s “outwardly homophobic attitudes toward the gay lifestyle.” (“30 Years Is Just the Beginning,” Iowa State Daily, April 1, 2002; RS 22/4/0/1, Box 1, Folder 34). Several response letters critical of the initial letter were sent and published. The following year, the group changed its name to the Gay Men’s Rap Group, a name with less of a political connotation. Membership increased drastically from the first year to the next, with around 25 people at the first meeting that second year. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Dennis Brumm, wrote a history of the gay liberation movement at Iowa State on his website, a copy of which we have printed off from 2001 (note: the version in the link above is a bit different than the version in our archive).

A publication that served as an open forum for LGBT individuals in the community to express their thoughts, 1974. RS 22/4/0/1, Box 1, Folder 35

A publication that served as an open forum for LGBT individuals in the community to express their thoughts, 1974. RS 22/4/0/1, Box 1, Folder 35

LGBT student organizations existing today on campus can be found on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Student Services (LGBTSS) website, along with resources for LGBT individuals and allies. For more information on the history of LGBT organizations on campus, stop by and see the Iowa State University, Student Organizations, Political and Social Action Organizations Records, RS 22/4/0/1. We’d love to see you!

Posted by: Kim | June 2, 2015

CyPix: A House of Books

"This is the House That Books Built." Library Display at the May 1928 VEISHEA. (University Photographs 22/12/G, box 1724)

“This is the House That Books Built.” Library display at the May 1928 VEISHEA. (University Photographs 22/12/G, box 1724)

The library’s contribution to the 1928 VEISHEA was the house made of books that you see above. The sign over the door reads “This is the House That Books Built.” June is Freshman Orientation month at Iowa State and here in the library we are preparing to welcome students and their families by showing them a bit of what we do to support their time at the University. This VEISHEA construction was the 1920s librarian’s way of showing the wealth of knowledge available at the campus library.

We don’t advocate the use of books as building blocks in displays, but we do appreciate the sentiment. As an archivist, I would say “These are the books that archives built” – underscoring that books and publications rely on archives as their foundation –  drawing from the observations, evidences, and human experiences found in records, manuscripts, photographs, and other archival materials.

As we welcome visitors over the next month, we encourage you to avail yourself of the wealth of books, databases, manuscripts, records, media, photographs, spaces, technology, and people eager to assist you in both Special Collections and elsewhere in the library.

Welcome!

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