A Welcome to Emily DuGranrut, Our NHPRC Project Archivist

Courtesy of Emily DuGranrut.

Emily is the new NHPRC Project Archivist at Iowa State, working with Special Collections and University Archives to complete a grant project to implement a new archives management system.

Emily is originally from Lima, Ohio, and comes from a large family of library and history lovers. She studied journalism and history at Ohio University and completed an internship at The New York Times before moving to Columbus, Ohio. In Columbus, she helped manage a used bookstore for three years and began working toward her MLIS at Wayne State University. She moved to Iowa in August after completing an internship at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, where she worked digitizing audio materials and processing photo collections. She will finish her MLIS in December. In her free time, Emily enjoys hanging out with her cats, Ace and Jack, reading, camping, and rock climbing.


Activist Agriculture: Farm Protest in Iowa, 1929-1969

Next Wednesday, our new exhibition, Activist Agriculture: Farm Protest in Iowa, 1929-1969, opens. From 10:45 – 12:15 July 18, our exhibition team will talk about the exhibit process for the physical and online exhibits. The exhibition team at the Iowa State University Library includes staff from Special Collections & University Archives, as well as members of the Preservation Department & Digital Initiatives. Don’t miss out on a perfect opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes!

I thought it would be fun to ask the curators some questions about this exhibit. This exhibition is curated by Amy, Olivia, & Kim. Amy is our rare books & manuscripts archivist, and Olivia is our reference coordinator. Kim is the digital initiatives archivist.

What do you hope visitors get out of the exhibit?

Amy: In this exhibit, we highlight the stories of activism on the part of both farm owners and migrant farm workers in Iowa. Previous to working on the exhibit, I knew very little about the stories of migrant farm workers in Iowa, and I suspect that my case is not unusual. So, I hope visitors spend some time examining both of those elements in the exhibit, comparing and contrasting the motivations and experiences of both farmers and farm workers.

Olivia: I hope that visitors get a sense of the variety of actions taken by farmers in order to influence policy and prices.  The farmers and various farming groups did not take a “one size fits all” approach to activism.

Kim: I would like visitors to think critically about agency and its relationship to activism. I think this exhibit will show both activism to secure economic and political agency, as well as activism facilitated by social and cultural agency. I would also like visitors to be more aware of the desperation and difficult lived experiences that led farmers and farm workers to take powerful and controversial action. I also hope that visitors just find the exhibit interesting and might be inspired to learn more about the topics presented here.

What was the most interesting thing you learned doing this exhibit (can be Farm Protest related or exhibit process related)?

Amy:  I spent the most time researching and selecting items to tell the story of the National Farmers Organization (NFO) holding actions, and I was struck by the whole development of the organization and its activism in the 1960s. It is a period of American history known for its general unrest and activism on many fronts–Civil Rights, the anti-war movement, Counterculture. It is interesting to look at the activism of NFO as a piece of this broader tapestry of activism, but it is an important story on its own and one that is not widely known.

Olivia: It was interesting to see the range of factors that can affect a farmer’s ability to make a living.  Of course, weather would usually be the first thing to come to mind.  However, there are so many other forces including legislation and who gets the money when farm commodity prices increase (is if the farmer or the grocery store?)  What I learned about the exhibit process is just how much work goes into making an exhibit.  Of course there’s the fun part of choosing artifacts, but there’s a lot of research to do ahead of time and thinking about how the different interesting artifacts fit together to tell a larger story.

Kim: I was surprised by the sheer numbers of people who turned out at the blockades and strikes. I also learned how to use some new software – QGIS for building the map (with KML encoding that I learned at a workshop last year), and building timelines from scratch in Adobe Illustrator.

What is your favorite item in the exhibit (online or physical)?

Amy: I particularly like all the NFO milk holding action photos because they are visually powerful. One in particular stands out. It shows a family walking through a field in which a lot of cars are parked, heading towards a gathering of people in the distance. Six children are walking with their father, and two kids at the front of the group are carrying a sign that reads, “We like farming but can’t do it for fun alone. Support NFO.” It evokes the sense of just how much entire families were involved in the protests–and how the whole families’ livelihoods were at stake.

Olivia: My favorite item is the political cartoon of the cow sitting on her tail so that the veterinarian can’t test her for tuberculosis.  It is lighthearted, but sends a strong message.  Oh yeah, and the cow is pretty cute, too!

Kim: This is an easy one – I’ve been enamored of the Al Loveland campaign comic book since we found it. It adds a splash of color to the exhibit and some of the panels work really well as tiny vignettes of depression-era and New Deal farm experiences. We’re displaying it open to a particular page in the physical exhibit, but visitors can read the entire comic book online.

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As exhibition coordinator, I keep track of deadlines and move the process forward. There are many moving parts to the exhibition process, and I coordinate them so that other parts of the exhibition team can complete the work they need to do in order for the exhibition to open on time. My favorite part of this process is the installation of the window display. Since our Pammel Court exhibition in 2017, we have partnered with ISU Printing Services to include our department windows in our exhibits. Curators select images and with the much appreciated assistance of Jody Kalvik , program coordinator in the Library’s Instruction department, develop graphics for the window. Then it is sent over to Printing Services and after each window is printed, they take 24 hours to dry. Then I schedule a time for the Printing Services team, managed by Lorraine Petersen, to install the windows. The installation of the windows is my favorite part because it marks the beginning of a new exhibition and also is a prominent piece of the exhibit. When it is done, I am able to breathe a sign of relief.

Please drop by Wednesday, July 18, and check out our new exhibition! The exhibition team will be on hand from 10:45–12:15 to answer questions & show off the digital exhibit also in 405 Parks.


2018 4-H Youth Conference Workshop

This week the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference came to campus. This is an annual event that occurs every June. Approximately 900 teenagers descend onto Iowa State University’s campus for three days filled with workshops, speakers, community service activities, and an assortment of social events. This year, I partnered with Iowa State University Library Instruction Librarian Cara Stone and offered a workshop about preserving family history. Our goals were to help participants identify past, present, and future artifacts. We also addressed basic ways they could keep their stuff safe and provided resources for further information on both preservation resources and what cultural heritage institutions reside in the state.

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We had a great time with the 4-H youths and hope they had fun also, and learned a little too, of course.


Iowa Museum Week #TBT #IowaMuseumWeek

We are smack in the middle of Iowa Museum Week so today’s #ThrowbackThursday picture is a historical photograph of the Brunnier Art Museum on campus.

Black-and-white photograph of school age children and one adult, white woman with long hair, surrounding a museum exhibit case, filled with a doll collection. Location is the Brunnier Museum on Iowa State University campus. No date.

Visitors viewing the doll collection at the Brunnier Art Museum, no date on photograph (University Photographs, box 433).

Try to make it out to a local museum this week. If you can’t manage a visit, you can celebrate with them on Facebook!

Iowa museum factoids:

  • Iowa’s approximately 400 museums range from arboretums to zoos. While museums are different in many ways, they are all educational collecting organizations, providing careful stewardship for future generations.
  • Iowa museums offer over 60,000 public programs every year, many of them free.
  • By providing learning in an “active” environment, museums offer all ages unique ways to learn, fostering lifelong interests. Active learning environments such as those offered by museums allow for choice and encourage problem solving, critical thinking skills, and creativity.
  • The American Alliance of Museums reports that the nonprofit arts and cultural industry annually generates over $135 billion in economic activity, supporting more than 4.1 million full-time jobs and returning over $22 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenue.

 


Celebrate Pride: “It is OK to be yourself and who you are”

June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Pride month is celebrated in June to honor the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that took place in New York City in 1969. The Stonewall Riots were a significant development in the fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or Queer) community. In honor of Pride Month, here is a page from the 1994 Bomb, Iowa State University’s yearbook, that describes the National Coming out Day rally on campus on October 11, 1994.

Caption for photograph of a white male in top right part of page: lgb student services coordinator christopher james speaks about being bisexual at coming out day. photo by mike king. "LGBA: taking the next step" by theresa wilson. While diversity became a dominant issue on campus, the issue of acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gender persons remained hidden. At least it did until one day in October when the LGB community took center stage. The Lesbian/ Gay /Bisexual Alliance held its annual Coming Out Day Oct. II, in conjuntion with National Coming Out Day. Approximately 100 students, faculty and staff attended a rally south of the Campanile to show their support for the LGB community. Speakers encouraged people to "come out" to friends, relatives and acquaintances. The theme of the event was "Taking the Next Step." LGBA Vice President Chuck Bevolo, one of the organizers of Coming Out Day, said the theme had many connotations. "It entails a lot of different things," Bevolo said. "It means something different for each person. Taking the next step can mean coming out of the closet to yourself and to your friends. It can mean telling someone else you care about what you have already told your family and friends so they know what you do. It can mean becoming active. It involves the coming out process, a process of steps that you must take one at a time." People from throughout the campus and the state of Iowa spoke at the rally. Bill Crews, mayor of Melborne, Iowa, encouraged people to be active in supporting the LGB community. Celia Naylor-Ojurongbe, adviser for the Margaret Sloss Women's Center, read a poem written for the rally. Speakers discussed the different aspects of being a lebian, gay, bisexual or trans gender person. LGBA also presented a Tuesday Topic session at the Margaret Sloss Women's Center and held a social dinner at Pizza Kitchens. Jeanine Bessette, LGBS adviser, attended the rally and said she found comfort in being surrounded by people who supported her lifestyle. "The Coming Out Day rally is a day of celebration in my life and a day that says it is OK to be who you are. It gives the opportunity to come out to people and let people know. It gives the LGB community a chance to celebrate who they are." "I really enjoyed the speakers from all different walks of life. They talked about their personal experiences. Allies talked about their support and working for our rights. I just liked the atmosphere." Bevolo said one message dominated the rally. "The predominant message was that it is OK to be lesbian, gay or bisexual and it is OK to be yourself and who you are. Doing that means being honest with yourself, your friends and your family. It is not always easy and it is not always pleasant, but it must be done, and people are willing to help."

 

At the end of the page, Chuck Bevolo, the LGBA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance) Vice President said:

The predominant message was that it is OK to be lesbian, gay or bisexual and it is OK to be yourself and who you are.

Below are some current Iowa State University LGBTQIAA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally)  student organizations and resources:

The Iowa State University LGBTQA+ Faculty & Staff Association was created for faculty & staff who are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

For more information on the history of LGBTQ+ student organizations at Iowa State, check out a prior blog post “LGBT Month” written in 2015. Or drop by our reading room to conduct more research. We’re open Monday-Friday from 9-5.


#TBT Dairy Month

Tomorrow kicks off Dairy Month, and today’s #Throwback Thursday post includes links to posts of Dairy Months past.

Iowa State Dairy circa 1905 (University Photographs, box 639).

Here are some prior posts we’ve done to celebrate Dairy Month:

Fun Facts

  • A cow is more valuable for its milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt than for its beef.
  • All 50 states have dairy farms.
  • Dairy is the 5th largest agricultural business in Iowa.
  • 99% of the ~1,400 dairy farms in Iowa are family-owned.
  • Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937, to promote drinking milk of course.
Black-and-white photo of a man (presumably a student) sitting on a stool, wearing overalls, work shirt, and cap milking a cow a red and white spotted cows. The pair are flanked by cows on either side.

Undated photograph (University Photographs RS 9/13 Food Technology).

Check out how ISU Extension and Outreach are celebrating Dairy Month.

References for Fun Facts:

“Celebrate Dairy Month in June”  by Iowa State University Extension & Outreach 

Dairy Month media kit by the International Dairy Foods Association


Congratulations Petrina Jackson!

SCUA Department Head, Petrina Jackson, has been elected to Society of American Archivists Council! She will serve a 3-year term, 2018-2021. Join us in congratulating her!


In Honor of Women’s History Month: Winifred R. Tilden

Ames, Iowa native Winifred R. Tilden was a long-time and influential faculty member at Iowa State College (University). In honor of Women’s History Month and in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the United States’ involvement in World War I, we highlight her and her contribution to the war effort.

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Photograph of Winifred Tilden in her YWCA uniform, ca. 1918. Original located in the Farwell T. Brown Photographic Archive, Ames Public Library. Winifred R. Tilden papers, RS 10/7/11

Faculty members answered the call to duty not only by serving as officers, but also in noncombat capacities. Winifred R. Tilden was one of them. Tilden spent her career at Iowa State College as a leader of physical education for women. She initially served as Director of Physical Culture for Women and was later named Professor of Physical Education. During World War I, Tilden took leave so that she could direct a National Y.W.C.A-sponsored recreational program in a French nurses camp. Formally, she served as Hostess and Recreation Director at Toul and then as Manager of the Palais Royal in Paris.

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Receipt of Identity Card Application, Paris, France November 5, 1918. Winifred R. Tilden papers, RS 10/7/11
This was the form that Winifred Tilden used to apply for a foreign identity card during her service in France.

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How the Blue Triangle helps in France. Y.W.C.A.: Homes–For American War Workers: Recreation–For American Nurses: Rest Rooms–For French Munition Workers. American War Posters from the First World War, UC Berkeley. 1917-1918. Courtesy of Bancroft Library, University of California. From the American War Posters from the First World War, BANC PIC 2005.001:128–AX. 

To learn more about Winifred R. Tilden, come to Special Collections and University Archives, located on the 4th floor of Parks Library and see her collection in person. Find the guide to her collection here.

For more about Iowa’s involvement in World War I, visit our exhibition “Do[ing] Their Bit:” Iowa’s Role in the Great War on display on the 4th floor of Parks Library.


NHPRC Update: New Discoveries

Khrushchev waving

Khrushchev waving to onlookers on campus. [University Photograph Collection, RS 00, Dignitaries and Other Notable Visitors, Boxes 11-15]

The New Year has begun, and the NHPRC grant project to ingest all of the Special Collections and University Archives finding aids continues to move forward. At the end of last year, we hit the milestone of getting every Manuscript Collection with a finding aid entered into our CuadraStar SKCA archival catalog database – nearly 600 finding aids in all. We have now moved on to the University Archives finding aids, and have raised the total to 800. It is exciting to see this number climb every day.

As a result, I have gotten the chance to read many of the finding aids as they go into the database. This has taught me quite a bit about SCUA’s collections, both in terms of how they relate to my own interests and about things that I previously knew nothing about.

I was a Russian major as an undergraduate, and so was interested to come across materials that document Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s Iowa visit in 1959. As part of his visit, Khrushchev toured the Coon Rapids, Iowa farm of Roswell Garst, as well as the Swine Nutrition Research Center on the Iowa State campus.

Garst had previously hosted a Soviet delegation on his farm as part of an agricultural exchange in 1955. The visitors had come to the United States to learn about agricultural technology that would be applied in the Soviet Virgin Lands Campaign to increase agricultural output in the Soviet Union. Garst later traveled to the USSR himself as part of a return delegation, and it was on this trip that he met Khrushchev and personally invited him to visit Iowa.

Typescript of Khrushchev's speech in Des Moines, Sept. 22, 1959

Typescript of a speech given by Khrushchev at a dinner in his honor, held at Hotel Fort Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 1959. [Garst Family papers, MS 579, box 43, folder 52]

Materials related to Khrushchev’s visit to Iowa can be found in the papers of Roswell Garst (RS 21/7/12), John Chrystal (MS 422), President James H. Hilton (RS 2/10), Damon Von Catron (RS 9/11/55) and the Garst Family (MS 579). The fiftieth anniversary of Chairman Khrushchev’s visit was marked by a 2009 celebration in Des Moines and Coon Rapids, information about which can be found in the Khrushchev Committee 50th Anniversary Event records (MS 615).  Further materials related to agricultural relations between Iowa and the Soviet Union can be found in the Garst Company records (MS 642), the Garst and Thomas Hybrid Corn Company records (MS 173), and the Charles J. Hearst papers (MS 3).

As someone new to the University, and to Iowa in general, this I have enjoyed learning more about local history. I am looking forward to learning more about the SCUA collections as this project continues, as well as to what researchers find once we launch the new archival catalog at the end of this year.

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This project has been generously funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


A Welcome to Rachael Acheson, Our Assistant University Archivist

Rachael Acheson began work as the Assistant University Archivist in SCUA on January 8, 2018. Her work will center around documentation of student life at ISU, including the collection of current and historical records from student organizations and  archiving University and student-run websites and social media pages with Archive-It. She will also assist with more general processing, outreach, and instruction.

In August 2016, Rachael earned her dual master’s degree in English (MA) and Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of South Carolina, where she concentrated on Archives and Special Collections, which allowed her to indulge both her fascination with rare books and textual studies along with discursive interests in transatlantic literature. While in her graduate program, Rachael taught freshman English courses and interned with the oral history and rare books departments. Rachael also had the opportunity to complete a number of amazing internships with the university libraries and local archives, including one that involved preparations to host a travelling exhibit from the Folger Shakespeare Library, which featured a First Folio.

Immediately before coming to ISU, Rachael worked in Cedar Falls, IA, where she completed a 10-month temporary assignment as the Special Collections and University Archives Librarian at University of Northern Iowa.

Here are a few fun facts about Rachael:

    1. She is currently very much out-of-practice, but she plays the harp and began college as a Harp Performance major. Mary Foss, the principal harpist of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and also Adjunct Professor at ISU, Drake University, and Central College, was the first of her many excellent harp teachers. As a result, Rachael had the opportunity to attend an ISU masterclass with Catrin Finch, formerly the Royal Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, when Rachael had been playing for only five months. After serving as the principle harpist for her college orchestra for four years, Rachael also performed briefly with the Central Iowa Symphony.
    2. She has a pewter-gray cat named Sterling, who enjoys standing on her head in the early hours of the morning and watching tv.
    3. She is a huge nerd about children’s and Young Adult (YA) literature, collects illustrated editions of Frances Hodgson Burnett novels, and has met Maggie Stiefvater twice.
    4. She spent a large portion of her childhood in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and so has some history of her own with Ames and likes to think she is in the process of getting better acquainted with the state as a whole.

Rachael’s literary cat, Sterling, posing for the camera.

She is excited to be back in the area. We’re excited too!