Tricks, Treats, or Both? Maggot Rice Krispies, Chocolate “Chirpie” Cookies, and the ISU Entomology Club

After all of you Halloween zombies out there have feasted on blood and brains, can I tempt you with a nice chocolate-covered grasshopper, or maybe some mealworm banana bread, for dessert? No, really! Just scroll down, and you’ll see I’ve included the recipes.

In 1992, the ISU Entomology Club made national headlines for a component of its annual Insect Horror Film Festival when students Julie Stephens and Kathy Gee took their entomological desserts on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

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The Entomology Club had been a fixture on the ISU campus since the 1970s. I’ve included the covers from some of their early newsletters below.

However, the Insect Horror Film Festival seems to have been a new development in their programming in the early 1990s — though its subsequent popularity was undoubtedly helped along almost as much by the national recognition as by the prospect of a “petting zoo,” a lecture on forensic pathology (i.e. the science of human corpse erosion), and the alluring snacks.

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As far as I can tell, the Insect Horror Film Festival was discontinued at ISU around 2005* [see end note for correction], though not before it was featured in travel guidebooks and inspired similar programs in numerous other Entomology departments around the country. It also certainly made an impression on young guests who attended.

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And here, as promised, are some of the tasty recipes reproduced in the Ames Tribune, along with a helpful guide for acquiring and preparing the insects.

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If you forgot to pick up candy for trick-or-treating this year, now you know what to hand out to the kids!

*UPDATE: This blog posts speculates, based on current archival holdings, that the Insect Horror Film Festival was discontinued in the mid-2000s. However, Entomology has since let us know that this program, under a slightly different name, is still going strong today! For more information, check out their department’s event calendar archive and/or the Reiman Gardens event calendar.


Accessing Unprocessed Collections

Most of you are likely familiar with our finding aids; they follow a standard format, they have background information, and most importantly they have a list of folder titles so you can easily find what you’re looking for. These finding aids are created after a collection has been processed – that is, after someone has spent many hours arranging and describing the collection to make it as user friendly as possible. This has traditionally been how things work in archives – process, then provide access. We weren’t restricting access to unprocessed collections, but how would you know to ask for them if we haven’t told the world they’re here?

This year, we’re doing something new (to us). Instead of waiting until a collection is fully processed, we’re creating a finding aid before processing to provide access as soon as possible.  These finding aids are a lot shorter than most, and will have some special instructions/notes in them that I’d like to highlight:

Any unprocessed collections will require advance notice – 2 working days to be exact. This allows us a chance to locate the boxes, which are kept separately from the processed materials, and do a quick review of them before providing access.

2daynotice

Location/Public Access Data field shows the Unprocessed status and requirements for requesting material.

SCUA also requires special permission to make a copy or take a photograph of any material in unprocessed collections. During processing, we remove any information that’s restricted or protected by regulations, such as social security numbers, medical information covered by HIPPA regulations, or student educational information covered by FERPA regulations. Since we haven’t taken those steps with these unprocessed collections, we want to make sure we aren’t releasing copies of this information.

Side note: If you find any of these types of restricted information in any of our collections, please tell us! 

restrictions

The Restrictions on Access and Use field shows the requirements for making reproductions from unprocessed collections.

Finally, unprocessed collections can sometimes be unorganized, and a little messy. Because of this, it can take a lot longer to find what you’re looking for. My advice is to plan on spending a little extra time looking through these! Below are two examples of what you might find.

 


#WomenOnWednesdays – ISU 1942-43

During World War II, everyone had to play their part to support the war effort, including Iowa State Students. Women all over campus stepped up and got involved in many ways. Perhaps related to the change in student population at the time, the contributions of female students were highlighted much more than usual in ISU yearbooks compiled during these years. Here are some of the contributions that were highlighted in the 1943 Bomb.

War Council Women

Home Economics Department Shortens Programs to Prepare Students to Work in War Areas

Students Prepare to Meet Emergency Needs

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Image from the 1943 Bomb pg. 58

Students Learn to Combat Clothes Rationing

Want to see more? Browse through the digital editions of the Bomb from the 1890s to the 1990s!

 


Latinx Heritage Month: HASU Poster and News Clippings

Happy Latinx Heritage Month!

Last September, I wrote about my process of searching for information about a (no-longer active) student organization that had not been adequately documented within our archival collections. Because, believe it or not, such a thing is possible! You can read the post here.

I just wanted to follow up on that post with a handful of HASU (Hispanic American Student Union) materials that I DID stumble across a few months later in the much more general RS 22/03/00/01 collection for multicultural student organizations, which had apparently grown since the last time it was inventoried in our subject index. Archives are, by nature, continually a work in progress. So sometimes, you just have to keep thinking of new places to look, even if your initial CARDinal keyword search turns up empty.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find very much. But here is a poster/flyer connected to the organization:

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HASU Poster, date unknown, RS 22/03/00/01

And, apparently, if these news clippings are dated correctly, the club existed into the 1990s, which I had not known when I wrote the last post. Also helpful are the inclusion of club officers’ names, which, if you wanted, you could look up in the Bomb Yearbook, as that still being published at the time.

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1990 Iowa State Daily news clippings, RS 22/03/00/01

And, finally, here is a teeny-tiny news clipping, about the size of a fortune cookie insert (pencil included in photograph for scale) from a year or two after the club was founded.

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1981 news clipping, RS 22/03/00/01

I will write about a few more student organizations, and maybe some other Latinx resources, later this month. Until then, make sure you take part in some of the fun celebrations that the U.S. Latino/a Studies (USLS) department has planned to commemorate their 25th anniversary.


Historical Photograph Formats: Tintypes

Last month, we explored one of the world’s oldest photographic formats, the daguerreotype, and the creation process behind it. See the post here. Today, we are going to look at a second, even more wide-spread format, which arrived at the tail end of the daguerreotype’s lifespan and quickly supplanted it.

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Tintype. RS 21/6/D. Pictured left-to-right are Kate McNeil, Mame McDonald (wife of Herman Knap), Mabel Ann Young, and Aggie West. circa 1884-1885.

More commonly known as the “tintype,” ferrotypes (originally called “melainotypes”) arrived on the scene around 1853, having been invented by yet another French photographer, Adolphe-Alexandre Martin. Patents began springing up in America and the UK around 1856. The process was faster and more accessible to amateur photographers than any of its predecessors, so the format’s popularity exploded in the 1860s and 1870s. Rather than dying out at the end of this period, however, when albumen prints took the center stage of mainstream photography, tintypes remained souvenir staples at fairs and carnivals well into the 20th century – a kind of predecessor to more recent polaroids or photo booths. Within the past decade, beginning around 2012, they have also undergone a revival as an alternative form of art photography. See articles here and here for some cool examples.

But let’s back up a little. What exactly does this process look like?

In learning how to identify a daguerreotype, you may recall that I mentioned a format called an ambrotype, which comprises a glass negative displayed against a black backdrop to create the illusion of a positive image. The concept behind tintype photography draws on this same principle, and indeed incorporates elements of the same “wet collodion” process. You can learn more about the wet collodion process from this Getty Museum video, which provides a demonstration, as well as historical context:

Unlike a glass plate negative, however, the black backdrop against which a tintype negative displays is burned into a thin sheet of iron, over which the photographer directly applies a layer of emulsion. After exposure and development, the photographer then seals the plate with varnish, thereby permanently binding the negative image in the emulsion to the blackened iron that renders it positive.

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The slightly-buckled back of a tintype photograph. You can see where the varnish has bubbled.

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Close-up view of the surface of a tintype photograph.

An interesting sidenote, then, is that “tintype,” while much catchier than “ferrotype,” is technically a misnomer, despite the cheap, “tinny” feel of the finished product, as there is no actual tin involved at any stage of development.

The Kalamazoo Museum in Michigan created a video that demonstrates the tintype process specifically. You can view it here:

The format’s durability was undoubtedly its biggest selling point. While daguerreotypes and glass plate negatives require bulky cases and delicate handling, a tintype can (more-or-less) safely be displayed in any or no case at all. Many were originally framed in flimsy cardboard or paper-mache mattings.

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Tintypes with paper matting, viewed from the front. RS 21/6/D. Photo on the left: Harriet Hulton and H. E. McElroy, both class of 1885. Photo on the right: unnamed gentleman from the classes of 1882 and 1883 (though signatures on the back might offer a clue! See below).

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Tintype photographs in paper matting, viewed from the back. RS 21/6/D.

They could also be mailed or carried around in someone’s pocket, as most were small, clocking in around 3-4 inches tall on average (though, as you’ll see below, we have one 6-inch tall example in the archives).

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Tintypes. RS 21/6/D.

Additionally, tintypes could be developed very quickly, which meant that roadside photographers began to pop up all over cities and carnivals, eager to snap someone’s picture for a fee. A number of surviving photographs from the Civil War era, particularly portraits of field soldiers, were tintypes for this same reason.

Unfortunately, none of the photographs from our collection feature Civil War portraits or combat scenes. But you can see a number of these online through the Library of Congress website: https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-war/?fa=subject:tintypes

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Screenshot of the Civil War tintype photographs in the Library of Congress’s digital collections. They are accessible via this URL: https://www.loc.gov/collections/civil-war/?fa=subject:tintypes

The tintypes in our ISU archives primarily feature local alumni from the mid-1880s.

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Tintype photograph. RS 21/6/D. Behind left-to-right: W. H. Wier (class of 1884), L. G. Brown (1885), and J. H. Mayne (1885). In front: two women, unnamed. Presumably class of 1885.

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Tintype photograph. RS 21/6/D. Harriet Hulton and 3 other unnamed women from the class of 1885. See how the image is buckled in the middle? That is not a reflection: it is the surface of the artifact itself.

These are congregated into a small teaching collection, rather than associated with an RS collection, and, if you would like to view them, you will need to ask the staff at our front desk to look for the “Tintypes” box in range 309.

That said, if you are interested in this format, you should definitely come visit us sometime! Our reading room is open Monday-Friday from 9-5.

 

 


Historical Photograph Formats: Daguerreotypes

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about some historical photography processes while preparing to teach a class. This is not in any way my area of expertise, but I wanted to share both what I learned and also examples I uncovered in our ISU collections (which, while far from comprehensive, do contain more formats than I thought they would!).

If this is a topic you find interesting, know that there are a ton of other fantastic resources out there, both online and within our library and the ISU community. I’ll include a few of these throughout the post and then note more at the end.

So, the earliest format for which we have an example is the daguerreotype. (Pronounced duh-gair-oh-type.)

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Artifact #2001-R001. Daguerreotype of Benjamin Gue.

Daguerreotypy was not the first photographic process to capture scenes with a camera, nor even the first to succeed in permanently fixing the image to a chemically-prepared surface. The latter honor belongs to another French process called “heliography” (aka “sun-writing”), and you can see an example in the Harry Ransom Center collections at the University of Texas in Austin. However, the daguerreotype process was the first to become available to the public.

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With the case closed. Artifact #2001-R001.

The daguerreotype was invented in Paris in 1837 by Louis Daguerre, when he discovered that a silver-coated copper plate could be made light sensitive when exposed to chloride of iodine (now known as iodine monochloride) and chloride of bromine (now known as bromine monochloride). After exposure, the plate would be developed in a dark room via heated mercury fumes, and then fixed in a bath of hyposulphite of soda (now known as sodium thiosulfate).

There were two main draw-backs to this process, however. The first, since the exposed plate itself became the finished product, was that the process created no negatives, which meant that each image was entirely unique and could not be reproduced. The second was that these plates were incredibly fragile. The cases in which they were mounted were primarily protective, not decorative, and thus, unlike photo frames of today, vital to the photograph’s survival.

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Diagram of a daguerreotype case. Photographs: Archival Care and Management by Mary Lynn Ritzenhaler and Diane Vogt-O’Connor

In addition, exposure time for this process lasted an excruciatingly long time by today’s standards. Resources differ in their estimations, and it seems that the process shortened over its lifespan, but exposure could reportedly last anywhere between 90 seconds and 20 minutes, during which the subject of the picture had to keep absolutely still. Behind-the-scenes sketches of the studio set-up often feature torturous-looking headrest devices, shaped like display stands for collectible dolls, to hold the subject’s head and neck in place.

Nevertheless, the daguerreotype was wildly popular during its short life from 1837 to about 1860, after which it was replaced by less expensive and less cumbersome formats.

This 2012 YouTube video from the Getty Museum offers a fantastic overview of that period and allows you to see the process in action. The video is titled “Early Photography: Making Daguerreotypes”, and can be accessed through the link here if the embedded version isn’t work for you.

Our ISU example of a daguerreotype, located in the artifacts collection (#2001-R001), aptly demonstrates some key identifying features of the format.

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A behind-the-scenes look in into our artifact collection.

As discussed previously, with only a few rare and very early exceptions, all daguerreotypes will be contained in a protective case, often with an attached cover that swings closed on a hinge.

It is worth noting, however, that while nearly all daguerreotypes will have these protective cases, not all photographs contained in such cases are daguerreotypes. Ambrotypes, a slightly later format, were also typically sealed in cases. The visual distinction between the two, then, lies in the tonal range and the reflective quality of the surface.

An ambrotype is a glass plate negative developed via the wet collodion process and then displayed against a black velvet background, which creates the illusion of a positive image. Consequently, its tonal range will be much more muted than that of a daguerreotype, with the whites appearing less white and more of a creamy gray.

Unfortunately, we don’t have examples of this format in our archives, but here is a visual from the book I have referenced previously:

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Ambrotype. Photographs: Archival Care and Management by Mary Lynn Ritzenhaler and Diane Vogt-O’Connor, page 35.

Because ambrotypes are negative images developed on a glass plate and daguerreotypes are positive images developed on a silver-coated copper plate (i.e. shiny metal on shiny metal), the surface of a daguerreotype is also much more reflective than that of an ambrotype — almost giving the impression of a ghost-image emerging through a mirror, depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

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Me photobombing Benjamin Gue . . . about 200 years after the fact. Artifact #2001-R001.

The presence of this mirror-like quality also means that daguerreotypes are better viewed from a side-angle, and/or with an object or piece of paper held up to block reflective glare (e.g. my phone in the picture immediately above), than they are straight on. So, if you find yourself tilting the photo this way and that to see an image of something other than your own face, this is probably the format you are dealing with.

Contrary to common knowledge, daguerreotypes also come in a variety of sizes, from a “whole plate,’ which is about 8.5 inches by 6.5 inches, to a “sixteenth plate,” which is about 1 inch by 1 inch. Also, while the original images will all be in black and white, you’ll find that some were hand-colored after development. You’ll see this most often in portraits, where a tiny bit of pink has been dabbed onto the subjects’ cheeks to make them look more lifelike.

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Close-up of Artifact #2001-R001.

And that about wraps things up, so I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about daguerreotypes as much as I did.

If you’d like to examine our portrait of Benjamin Gue in person, feel free to stop by the archives any time that we are open, and we can assist you with the process of handling such an artifact (hint: you’ll be using gloves!). Or if you’d like to learn more, check out some of the resources below.


 

Benjamin Gue’s personal papers can be found in the archives at RS 1/3/52. You can also view the finding aid, including biographical information, here.

The book with which I supplemented images to this post is Photographs: Archival Care and Management by Mary Lynn Ritzenhaller and Diane Vogt-O’Connor with Helena Zinkham, Brett Carnell, and Kit Peterson. We do not have a copy in our general collections, but you can access reviews here, or buy a copy here.

In addition to an extensive collection of the daguerreotype format (contrasted with our one artifact!), the Library of Congress links to more online resources here, describing the process in more detail, showing digitized examples, and inviting you to join The Daguerreian Society (because, yes, apparently that is a thing).

If you have additional questions about identifying, storing, handling, or repairing historical photograph formats, the staff in our Preservation department at Parks Library are very knowledgeable. Both Sonya Barron and Cynthia Kapteyn helped me out with preparation and activities for the class which inspired this post. You can visit the Preservation department page here for contact information. And, as a side note, they also run a blog, full of fascinating updates on current projects, which you can find here.

 

 


ISU Summer Aesthetics

Long before Instagram and Pinterest (or the “Postcard from Campus” videos), there were filler pages in the student yearbook, featuring seasonally aesthetic scenes of campus along side nostalgic quotes, presumably meant to evoke the lazy heat of an Iowa summer and the change of pace that life undergoes each year on a comparatively quiet campus.

1916

1916.summer

1916 Bomb Yearbook, pg 23

1945

1945.summer.2

1945 Bomb Yearbook, pg. 7

1955

1955.summer.4

1955 Bomb Yearbook, pgs. 432-433

1968

1968.summer.2

1968 Bomb Yearbook, pg. 42

1969

1969.summer.1

1969 Bomb Yearbook, pgs 64-65

1970

1970.3

1970 Bomb Yearbook, pgs. 34-35

1972

1972.summer.1

1972 Bomb Yearbook, pg. 78

 


Of course, summer at ISU isn’t all about lovely scenery and relaxation. Both on and off campus, the ISU community remains active throughout the hottest season of the year.

Many students continue taking classes.

1947

1947.summer1

1947 Bomb Yearbook, pgs. 84-85

1955

1955.summer.2

1955 Bomb Yearbook, pgs. 440-441

 


Others study abroad.

1955

1955.summer.6

1955 Bomb Yearbook, pgs. 436-437

 


Still others attend or work at summer camps.

1936 – Civil Engineering Summer Camp

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1955 – R.O.T.C Summer Camp

1955.summer.1

1957 – Forestry Summer Camp

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1957 Bomb Yearbook, pg 361

 


Incoming freshmen attend orientation events and get to know their peers.

1972

1972.summer.2

1972 Bomb Yearbook, pg 79

 


And, of course, everyone complains about the construction projects (though we know we’ll be glad for the renovations come fall).

1968

1968.summer.3

1968 Bomb Yearbook, pg 43

1973

1973.summer.1

1973 Bomb Yearbook, pgs. 80-81


What’s your aesthetic this summer?


NHPRC Update: CARDinal Makeover

Check it out — our public catalog, CARDinal, got a makeover!

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CARDinal’s homepage

This is the last step to completing our NHPRC-funded project to implement a new archives management system. Please visit CARDinal (and the updated CARDinal Reference Guide) and let us know what you think!

Contact archives@iastate.edu with any questions or comments.

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


Yes! You Were Here, Too: Yearbook Portraits of AAPI Students from the 1940s.

Because our classes let out at the beginning of May, ISU tends to celebrate AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) History Month a month early.

Something I’ve noticed about our heritage months posts, which center the histories of specific racial or ethnic communities, is that they tend to front-end very recent history. This makes sense from an archival stand-point, because the records we have preserved for these communities don’t always go back very far. But, sadly, the archival gaps  perpetuate an illusion that non-white students were not always present on the ISU campus.

But this was not true! We have photographic evidence to the contrary — at least, we have some senior portraits in the old Bomb YearbooksThe real issue is that we don’t usually have much documentation beyond these photos, or even about the people in them, and that, if we do, it’s not always clear where this documentation might live. This is why these pictures tend not to be brought forward all that much. We don’t know the story behind them. As archival records, they just exist.

But they do exist.

Here, then, is a sampling of 1940s (decade chosen somewhat at random) yearbook portraits of students whom I believe — based, unfortunately, solely on appearance and name — to be AAPI, along with at least one potentially South Asian/Middle Eastern student. My hope is that someday all of our students will be able to see themselves in Iowa State history very readily, without first needing to pour through tomes of records in order to find a face that looks like theirs. But we are still working on that goal.

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Tsuneo Tanabe, Class of 1942. 1942 Bomb Yearbook page 113

As can be seen on his yearbook page below, Tanabe was from Poctello, Idaho and completed a B.S. in Dairy Husbandry.

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Tanabe with his classmates. 1942 Bomb, page 113.

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Chi-tang Woo, Class of 1943. 1943 Bomb Yearbook page 129.

Not all yearbooks give detailed information on graduating seniors, but, because of the war, classes of the early 1940s were relatively small, so this year’s yearbook made an exception. Woo’s hometown, area of study, undergraduate college, and some of his I.S.C. activities are listed below.

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1943 Bomb, page 128

 

1944_John Barakat

John Barakat, Class of 1944. 1944 Bomb Yearbook, page 20.

For those students whose yearbook pages were less helpful, I was not, unfortunately, able to do any external research at this time. But, if you are interested in learning more about their stories, feel free to use my post as a jumping-off point!

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Barakat pictured with his classmates. 1944 Bomb, page 20.

1946_Mildred A. Saha

Mildred A. Saha, Class of 1946. 1946 Bomb Yearbook, page 37.

1946_Mildred with Classmates

Mildred with her classmates. 1946 Bomb Yearbook, page 37.

1946_Yutaka Kobayashi_portrait

Yutaka Kobayashi, Class of 1946. 1946 Bomb Yearbook, page 32.

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Kobayashi with his classmates. 1946 Bomb Yearbook, page 32.

1947_Shigeru Fujimoto_portrait

Shigeru Fujimoto, Class of 1947. 1947 Bomb Yearbook, page 23.

1947_Fujimoto with Classmates

Fujimoto with classmates. 1947 Bomb Yearbook, page 23.

1948_Chujen Julien Liu

Chujen Julien Liu, Class of 1948

1948_Chung Yu Lo

Chung Yu Lo, Class of 1948

1948_Liu and Lo with Classmates

Liu and Lo with their classmates. 1948 Bomb yearbook, page 34.

1948_Tze Sheng Chiang_portrait

Tze Sheng Chiang, Class of 1948. 1948 Bomb Yearbook, page 24.

1948_Chiang with classmates

Chiang with classmates. 1948 Bomb Yearbook, page 24.

Another important thing to note is that, because these portraits feature only graduating seniors, and only those who chose to have their pictures taken, it is likely that there were more AAPI students on campus at this time. It is also very possible that I missed people, misidentified people’s ethnicit(y/ies), or both. I did not do extensive research on any of these students, and, because yearbook portraits from this era are black and white and very low resolution, I omitted several ethnically-ambiguous individuals who had German or Anglo-Saxon last names (which might have meant they were multi-racial, bore anglicized family names, were white-passing, were in fact white, or any other number of things). As such, I encourage you to come look at the yearbooks yourself. They are available both in the SCUA reading room and via our digital collections online.

If you happen across additional information (or additions or corrections!) about any of the individuals featured above, feel free to send me an email at achesonr@iastate.edu, and I will update the post. Also, if you decide to do further research on former students who have peaked your interest, please let us know what you find out about them! We are always interested in learning more about Iowa State alumni.


NHPRC Update: Wrapping Up

With just over a month left, we’ve begun to plan for the end of our project. Most of our time is spent wrapping up the loose ends and testing the new interface, but we’ve also completed some tasks we’re excited to share:

Two hundred draft finding aids have been completed and entered into CARDinal. These include some really interesting materials that are now fully available to users, such as the World Food Institute records and the papers of Shirley Held, a professor of art and design at ISU.

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A selection of materials from the Shirley Held papers, RS 26/2/53.

We also had the opportunity to present some updates about the project at the Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan. Former Project Archivist Caitlin Moriarty and Lead Processing Archivist Rosalie Gartner participated in a panel about project management and working with student workers, and Digital Initiatives Archivist Laura Sullivan spoke about collaborating with other departments in the library and on campus to help us achieve our tasks.

Detroit_Conference_Hotel

GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, Michigan, where the Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting was held. Photo provided by Kahlee Leingang.

As the end of our project gets nearer, we encourage you to visit CARDinal and see what we’ve done. In the coming weeks, the site will be getting some appearance upgrades. If you have any problems, questions, or suggestions, contact Project Archivist Emily DuGranrut at emilyd1@iastate.edu.

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