Weird, Wacky, Wonderful: “Adulting” is Hard

I’m back with another interesting thing I found while helping answer reference questions. When doing some research on the houses at Pammel Court, I came across an amusing description of the lack of “adulting” skills of some of the residents:

Page 162 from “The First 100 Years of Residential Housing at Iowa State University 1868-1968” by J.C. Schilletter

The Pammel Court houses were first occupied in 1946, and, as this book was published in 1970, we can assume this story took place in that twenty-five(ish) year span. To my fellow Millenials, here is some ammunition for the next time someone decries our generation; it seems that even the Greatest Generation endured some growing pains when entering adulthood and running their homes. As we see so often in history, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


#TBT June Wedding

Bridesmaid, wedding, day and two visiting dresses all with large bustles. (published by Les Modes Parisiennes:Peterson's Magazine 1883)

June is a perennially popular month for weddings, so today we are taking a glance at the wedding attire of days gone by. Today’s Throwback Thursday image is from our fashion plate collection and is from an issue of Peterson’s Magazine in 1883. The two dresses on the far left are a bridesmaid’s dress and a wedding dress. As you can see, the tradition of wearing a white dress must date back from at least the late-19th century. It looks like it was also popular to have the bridesmaids wear a brightly colored dress for the occasion.

If you’re interested in seeing more fashion images, please visit our digital collection. You can also visit the archives to see the originals in the Mary Barton Fashion Illustration Collection.


HBCU Connections at Iowa State University

By Shaina Destine, Residency Librarian

Archives, all across the United States, have historically been venues that excluded the voices of marginalized communities.  That is problematic for many reasons but most importantly future generations will not have a full picture of history as it happened.  When multiple segments of a story are discarded, the story is far from reality and can be distorted in any way that suits the desired narrative.  That is a powerful and dangerous weapon.  My calling as an archivist is to fill in those gaps. More than accuracy, archives are a stamp that someone was here.  Archives are a stamp that someone did something. It is a tool of empowerment.  Representation is a necessity for communities that have been silenced for generations.

The HBCU Connections at ISU, a wiki featuring black ISU alumni who learned and worked at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), was a labor of love and of duty.  It was my responsibility.  Black students have been here at Iowa State.  They have accomplished things that people at the time – and people now – could not even imagine.  However, there was very little evidence of them in our archive, so I began to research.  In the early part of the 20th century, black people were suffering, living and dying under Jim Crow laws but still had this resilient spirit and desire to give back to their communities through education.  HBCUs were in their infancy, but were essential in this endeavor.  Through my research, I found that many black people, who passed through Iowa State for undergraduate or graduate degrees, went on to – or in some cases, back to – HBCUs to build the school and, in essence, the black community.

This project covers any black Iowa State alumni from 1900 to 1950 who went on to serve at an HBCU in any capacity.  It features professors to presidents. It is meant to be a living platform that can be updated as additional information becomes available and uncovered.  *If you have any updated information to add to this project, please email it with sources to archives@iastate.edu.

HBCU Atwood

Screenshot of “Rufus B. Atwood,” HBCU Connections. Iowa State University. hbcuconnections.iastatedigital.org/Rufus_B._Atwood

This project is also meant to bridge the gap between the Iowa State University archives and the archives at the various HBCUs with whom I communicated.  HBCU archives are traditionally under-funded and under-resourced.  My hope is that this bridge is helpful to them in some way.  Lastly, my hope is that this project is helpful to future scholars who need to see the stamp of their ancestors and follow the breadcrumbs that they left us on how to help raise up the community.

I am extremely proud of this project.  I am glad that the Special Collections and University Archives at Iowa State University Library gave me the opportunity to create it.  I am glad that there is more research and platforms like this on its way (stay tuned!). I’m so happy that I had a mentor like Harrison Inefuku, scholarly publishing services librarian, to teach me so much in the process.  And lastly, I’m glad that I have created my stamp on the archives and brought these stories to the fore.  Please enjoy: hbcuconnections.iastatedigital.org

 


#TBT March Fashions

Fashions_for_March

Fashion Plate, RS 21/07/009

For today’s Throw Back Thursday picture, we have the recommended March fashions from 1846.  Would you like wearing any of these dresses?

This image comes from a collection of fashion plates that you can learn more about here.  We also invite you to explore the rest of the digitized collection, provided by  University Library Digital Initiatives.  Maybe you’ll get some inspiration for a new spring or summer wardrobe!



A Brief History of Iowa State Bowl Games — Check Out Our Football Programs!

Last week, the Iowa State Cyclones football team won the Liberty Bowl over Memphis, 21-20, in a game that went down to the wire. Longtime Iowa State football fans probably know that this was Iowa State’s thirteenth bowl appearance and only its fourth bowl victory. What longtime fans may not know is that the ISU Library recently scanned a selection of football programs from the collection held by the University Archives and those are now available to view and download from the Library’s Digital Collections!

Gold colored football program titled "Ames vs. Kansas Aggies Turkey-Day Game"

Program for the Kansas State versus Iowa State football game held on November 26, 1925. Though this isn’t from a bowl game it is an example of one of the earliest programs in the collection. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs,  RS 24/6/0/5, Box 1, Folder 2]

 The 1971 Sun Bowl was Iowa State’s first bowl game. Coached by Johnny Majors, the Iowa State team lost to LSU by a score of 15-33. The program for the game provides some short biographies of the coaching staff and the players. How else would I know that one of defensive tackle Tom Wilcox’s hobbies is scuba diving?

Football program for the 1971 Sun Bowl.

This football program is for the 1971 Sun Bowl between Iowa State and LSU. The game was held on December 18, 1971, in El Paso, Texas. This program was prepared for Iowa State University, but a version must have been made for LSU. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 3, Folder 3]

The following year, Johnny Majors took the team to the 1972 Liberty Bowl. Iowa State came up just short in this contest against Georgia Tech, 31-30. The program for this game is little more than a brochure. Aside from a short recap of the 1972 season and a short biography of the coach, the most interesting part is looking at the roster, which includes height, weight, and age of each of the players.

Football program for the 1972 Liberty Bowl

This program for the 1972 Liberty Bowl is essentially a small brochure. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 3, Folder 5]

 Earle Bruce took over the coaching reigns after Majors left Iowa State and within a few years had the team back into bowl contention. Bruce coached the Iowa State squad to the Peach Bowl in 1977, a loss this time to NC State, and to the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic against Texas A&M. Iowa State lost the game by a score of 12-28, but they came away with this snazzy program.

Program cover for the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic football game

Football program for the 1978 Hall of Fame Classic that pitted Iowa State against Texas A&M. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 5, Folder 4]

It would be over two decades before Iowa State would make another bowl appearance. The 2000 Cyclones squad, coached by Dan McCarney, would finally do what no other squad had previously done—win a bowl game. The Cyclones defeated Pittsburgh 37-29 in the 2000 Insight.com Bowl. Unlike the 1972 Liberty Bowl Program, the program for this game includes biographies on most players and coaches and contains a slew of statistics and recent team history. At 116 pages, it is also nearly three times the size of any of the previous bowl programs.

Football program for the 2000 Insight.com Bowl

Football program for the 2000 Insight.com Bowl between ISU and Pitt. The game was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 28, 2000. [Iowa State Cyclones football programs, RS 24/6/0/5, Box 15, Folder 1]

Prior to 2017, the most recent bowl the Cyclones participated in was the 2012 Liberty Bowl, a game the Iowa State squad lost to Tulsa by a score of 17-31. Unfortunately, the University Archives does not have a copy of this program in its collections. If you have an extra copy of this program, or any other Iowa State athletics programs that you might be willing to donate, give us a call!

You can find dozens of football programs on the Library’s Digital Collections website. Of course, you are also more than welcome to visit the Special Collections and University Archives and view the entire football program collection. We would be happy to see you!


Digital Exhibit on Iowa’s State Parks System Now Available!

As the cold days of winter have settled in for many of us, state parks are probably not on many plans for the coming months.  However, there is now an additional option to learn about the history of Iowa’s state parks from the comfort of the indoors. As mentioned in a previous post, the Special Collections and University Archives has an exhibition on display through the end of the year which tells the story of the early state parks movement here in Iowa: “This movement for a more beautiful Iowa”:  The Early Years of Iowa’s State Park System. Unable to visit the exhibition in person?  There’s now an alternative! Digital Initiatives and SCUA are excited to announce that the online version of the state parks exhibit is now available, along with the accompanying Iowa State Parks Digital Collection (which contains digitized materials used in the physical exhibit along with additional materials from SCUA’s collections).

Swimming scene (1903) from what would eventually become Ledges State Park. (from University Photograph Collection, box 377, folder 13)

The online exhibit extends the focus of the physical exhibit to include additional information on the parks system as a whole, the people behind the park names, the role of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and a broader history of the parks’ design, construction, and the natural areas they preserve. There is only so much space for the physical exhibits, so it was satisfying to see some of what we were not able to include in the physical exhibit incorporated into the online version. As one of the curators of the physical exhibit, I was able to work on both the physical exhibit and then the online exhibit. It was a great experience to see how the online exhibit became a companion to – and expanded on – our physical exhibit.

In addition to the images and textual content, the online exhibit also includes some fun interactive aspects including a StoryMap (created using Knight Lab’s StoryMap) which gives a tour of all 55 Iowa State Parks in 2017, in the order of their founding:

…and “quizzes” (but the fun kind – no grading involved!).  The fill-in-the-blank and true/false examples pictured below are from the page on Backbone State Park.

We were also able to add footnotes to the Drupal-based exhibit – which was exciting for us to learn about and to be able to incorporate into the text. For details on how this was done, visit Lori Bousson’s blog post over on the Digital Initiatives and Scholarship blog, DSI Update.

A lot of work goes into the creation of exhibits – both the reading room and online versions, and we hope that at least a few of you have been able to visit it here on the 4th floor of Parks Library.  Thanks to the help of people from across the library, we have been able to make the research, design and work of the physical exhibit available online for people to view across the world – with no closing date!


Join Us at the “Bomb” Transcribe-a-thon!

In 2016, the Iowa State University Library completed a six-year project to digitize an entire run of the campus yearbook, the Bomb. Comprised of nearly 45,000 pages, the digital versions are not easily searchable due to the wide variety of fonts and graphic elements used throughout the decades. Just look at the text from one page of the 1911 Bomb. The font and layout are unique, making the automated transcription process nearly impossible.

LD2548-Io9b-1935-000CoverWith that in mind, in its inaugural “Unsolved Histories” Project the Iowa State Digital Initiatives Unit has launched a crowd sourcing transcription project entitled, “Transcribe the Bomb.” It is our hope that by transcribing these yearbooks a wider audience can explore and find memories of themselves, their families and friends, favorite campus moments, and world events through the Iowa State University lens. Transcribing takes place online, found here:

https://yearbook.lib.iastate.edu/

You can try your hand at transcribing ISU yearbooks at the “Bomb” Transcribe-a-thon on Wednesday, October 25th, noon- 4:00 p.m. in Room 134. University Archivist, Brad Kunnen, will speak on the history of the yearbook and its importance as a historical record.

Come learn about the Bomb and how to transcribe its content. A quick tutorial is all it takes to get started! The event is free and open to the public, including beginners, and will provide a fun opportunity to learn about ISU history.

Participants may come and go at any time during the afternoon. Sponsored by the University Library Digital Scholarship and Initiatives department

Event Details: 

The Bomb Transcribe-a-thon, Wednesday October 25th,  Noon- 4:00 p.m.

Room 134, Parks Library

Transcribe-a-thon Event Details

LD2548-Io9b-1976-000Cover


#TBT Engineer’s Campfire

Tomorrow is the first day of fall, so let’s look back at an Iowa State fall tradition of days gone by.

1927Yearbook

Page from the 1927 Bomb

The text on the page reads “One of the most picturesque occasions of the Fall Quarter is the Engineer’s Campfire held in a natural theatre in North Woods.  During the afternoon a regular “Side-show” provides entertainment, while at night two big fires light up a stage for student vaudeville stunts.  The Engineers are knighted by St. Patrick by the light of the two big “torches.”  Norman Brown was St. Patrick this fall, and Margaret Erickson was “Engineer’s Lady.”

The Engineer’s Campfire was suspended in 1929 due to falling revenue and the unpredictability of the fall weather in Iowa.

As the weather gets colder (or at least, will eventually!), take time to learn about other ISU traditions that have been left in the past. After you do that, the entire run of the Bomb has been digitized, and all are encouraged to contribute to helping transcribe the pages in order to make the text search more accurate.


#TBT Planting Corn

09-02-M.IAHEES.529-16-03

University Archives Photos, 9/2/M, box 529

‘Tis the season for planting corn in Iowa!  Today’s TBT image is of an Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station worker preparing to plant a field with corn.  The Experiment Station has been a part of Iowa State since 1888 and provides research to help Iowans, though much of the research has global applications.