#TBT New School Wardrobe

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University Photos, box 454, n.d.

For today’s Throwback Thursday post, we see some students showing off their new school wardrobes.  Styles may change, but the tradition of getting new clothes for a new school year remains.

I hope everyone has had a great first week of classes! Need a break during your busy week? Stop by Special Collections and University Archives and browse other pictures of student life from days gone by; we are open 9-5, Monday-Friday.


Artifacts in the Archives: School Days Memories

This collaborative post is about artifacts that remind Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) staff of their school days. Welcome back to school Cyclones!

Marching Band Uniform Jacket

Heavy white jacket for marching band uniform. It has a white overlay on front with a red strip that has "Cyclones" embroidered in white. On the red cuffs are embroidered "Iowa State" in white thread. The collar and shoulders are red. Underneath the overlay are 6 gold embroidered bars with 2 gold buttons on each bar. On back of jacket is embroidered "ISU" in red and gold.

Artifact # 2012-010.002

Olivia Garrison, Reference Coordinator

This marching band uniform jacket reminds me of school (and particularly of the start of a fresh school year), because I remember hearing my high school’s marching band practice in the early hours before school started.  Now I get to hear the band after work!

 

Marching Band Uniform Jacket

 is maroon wool jacket with gold collar, trim, and stripe on sleeve. Embroidery on collar spells "I.S.C." in maroon thread.

Artifact # 2008-094.006

Laura Sullivan, Collections Archivist

The marching band uniforms always remind me of school, and one of my favorite aspects of high school, in fact, when I was in the marching band.  However…the heavy, wool uniforms (as this one is), were not my favorite.  I learned later that wool was considered far better than acrylic because of its breathability, and ability to theoretically keep you cool in the hot summers and warm when fall came around.  Despite the crowds and long lines for coffee, I love when fall semester comes around and I’m reminded of the beginning of school – the excitement and expectation of new classes, seeing fellow classmates again, and band practices preparing for upcoming football games.

 

Pencil

Artifact # 2005-095

Amy Bishop, Rare Books & Manuscript Archivist

“Don’t you love New York in the fall?” Joe Fox writes to Kathleen Kelly in the movie You’ve Got Mail. “It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

I’ve always agreed that fall weather and fresh, new school supplies go together, and there is something about the crisp, cool days of early fall that makes me feel a nerdy anticipation of a new year of learning. So, although we are still enjoying the warmth of summer, I reveled this morning to feel a cool hint of autumn in the air this morning, fitting for our first week of fall classes.

 

3-ring binder

Rachel Seale, Outreach Archivist

3-ring binders remind me of school when I was a kid. I had a backpack filled with a binder or two, usually I could fit up to 3 subjects in a binder. I had lockers in Jr. High and High School so could swap text books in between classes but always had my binders in my backpack. When I processed collections, I had a love-hate relationship with binders. I usually appreciated the organization within the binders, but they took up much needed space within a box.

Board game

Wooden board with 18 wooden pegs, three circles and 3 triangles each with three holes for pegs

Artifact # 2001-220.002

Chris Anderson, Descriptive Records Project Archivist

Our files describe this artifact as a board game, but I’m not so sure. What would the rules be? In any case, it reminds me of preschool or kindergarten. I majored in Shapes with a minor in Colors. That’s a joke, but there’s an element of truth to it. When I went to school, I resisted learning to read. My mother read books to me in the early years, and I guess that reading in school seemed less appealing than quality time with mom. She said that I didn’t see the point, at first. Once I tried reading for myself, it became clear that I already knew how to do it at the first or second grade level.

 

Bag

red Iowa State Cyclones drawstring bag that has Cy at center & Iowa State Cyclones printed around Cy.

Brad Kuennen, University Archivist

I chose a red Iowa State Cyclones drawstring bag that is handed out to students during summer orientation. The bags are easily recognizable and seeing a student wearing one, which some do during the beginning of fall semester, almost instantly identifies the student as a freshman. Seeing them reminds me of a tradition from a century ago when freshman students wore beanies. Fortunately, freshman today are not required to wear the drawstring bags nor is there a special bonfire at the end of the year to burn the bags as happened with beanies all those years ago. When I see those bags start to appear, I know a new schoolyear is just right around the corner!

 


Domestic Economy Class #TBT

The first day of school is Monday, August 21. We are so excited! The students pictured below seem a little less enthused about being in class. Perhaps the absence of smiles was merely a convention of their time and not a reflection on how they felt about class. This article in Time provides possible reasons why people didn’t smile in earlier photographs.

Domestic Economy Sewing Class. Short Course. 1910 Iowa State College (University Photographs, box 981).

Want to see more photographs that document the history of Iowa State University? Drop by our reading room. We’re open 9-5, Monday through Friday.


Iowa State University at the Iowa State Fair

During the next two weeks, hundreds of thousands of people will converge on Des Moines for the annual spectacle that is the Iowa State Fair. As usual, there will be all kinds of activities and exhibits at the fair, but the main attraction continues to be Iowa’s agricultural enterprises. Considering the prominence of agriculture at the fair, it probably comes as no surprise that Iowa State University has been participating in the State Fair for well over a century–back when the school was known as the Iowa Agricultural College.

State fair display, 1924

This image shows part of the Iowa State College exhibit at the state fair from 1924. (Iowa State Fair scrapbook, RS 0/10/4, Box 1)

In a written account of the 38th annual state fair held in 1891, the exhibit presented by the Iowa Agricultural College highlighted the three departments of entomology, botany, and civil engineering. The purpose of the exhibit was to:

“…acquaint the public with their friends and foes of field and garden, the best methods of preserving and destroying them, the noxious weeds and various diseases of plants, with methods of treatment, and to illustrate some of the work pursued in the college curriculum.” Annual Report of the Board of Directors, Iowa State Agricultural Society, 1891.

Even though members of the college saw the state fair as an opportunity to educate the citizenry about important research going on at the school, it was also clear that they recognized the benefits of advertising at the fair.

Annual Report of the Iowa State Agricutural Society, 1891

Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Iowa State Agriculture Society, 1891. Starting at the bottom of page 140 is the description of the Iowa Agricultural College exhibit.

By the 1920s, Iowa State’s presence at the fair had expanded greatly. Many departments, even those outside of the field of agriculture, were highlighted in the exhibits. Photographs from that era show exhibits sponsored by engineering, home economics, as well as the traditional agriculture programs. One portion of the 1924 exhibit featured a chemical engineering exhibit next to a promotion for a young college radio service called WOI. In 1930, Iowa State’s exhibit included a display from the women’s physical education program featuring two young women demonstrating ping pong on a rather undersized table–at least by today’s standards. You never know what you will see at the fair!

Iowa Stae College exhibit at the 1930 Iowa State Fair

Iowa State College exhibit at the 1930 Iowa State Fair featuring the Women’s Physical Education program. (Iowa State Fair scrapbook, RS 0/10/4, Box 1)

Over the years, the University’s state fair exhibits became more professional-looking and more elaborate. By the 1990s, the Office of University Marketing took charge of planning Iowa State’s exhibit at the fair. University Marketing staff determine a theme for each year’s exhibit emphasizing different aspects of the University. Sadly, visitors are not likely to see college students giving demonstrations as happened in the past, but they are sure to run into the friendly faces of ISU employees, faculty, alumni, and friends that staff the exhibit.

2005 Iowa State University state fair exhibit featuring Reiman Gardens

This image shows part of the Iowa State University state fair exhibit in 2005. This exhibit featured Reiman Gardens. (University Relations images, digital files for the State Fair)

Just as it was in 1891, the Iowa State Fair is still a great opportunity for the University to advertise itself and to share at least part of the story of Iowa State with the tens of thousands of people from around the country that stop by the exhibit. So when you visit the Varied Industries Building to pick up ISU athletics posters and temporary tattoos at this year’s ISU exhibit, take some time to read and learn about some of the great things currently going on at the University. And, of course, if you are more interested in seeing images of the ISU state fair exhibit from years past, stop by Special Collections and University Archives. We would love to see you!


#TBT Registration

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Registration 1946, University Photos box 449

Check out how Iowa State students registered in 1946.  Looks a lot different than signing up on your laptop from the comfort of your apartment or dorm room!

To see more about student life throughout Iowa State’s history, stop by the archives from 9-5, Monday-Friday or check out our digitized collection of the Bomb, the ISU yearbook.

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#TBT Forty-year-old Fashions

In the 1977 Bomb there are local advertisements scattered throughout the yearbook. Here’s a fun advertisement from what I believe is a clothing store.

Here’s a page from our 1977 Bomb advertising women’s clothes from a store called Bobby Rogers.

 

Drop by and peruse our yearbooks! We’re open 9-5 Monday -Friday. Or, you can view The Bomb online. All of our yearbooks have been digitized and are available online at the following link: http://digitalcollections.lib.iastate.edu/bombs.

 


History of the Library, Pt. 3

This is the third in a series of posts about the history of the library at Iowa State.  Want to catch up? Read the first and second posts!

The library has been through many expansions through the 20th century to meet the demands of a growing student population. Iowa State had a new library in 1925, but as quickly as 1930 the collection was too large for the bookshelf space. In 1940, an off-site storage facility was built to handle some of the overflow that had been stored in the Memorial Union and the Engineering Exhibit Hall.

Lois_Johnson_Smith_1948

Lois Johnson Smith checks a request for books, University photos, box 2046

While the collection already exceeded the size of the library, there were other pressures put on the library space starting in the mid-century. The university experienced a great period of growth after WWII due to the GI Bill and the Cold War, when the government was eager to fund the scientific research done at Iowa State.  This period of growth was exacerbated by the incoming Baby Boom students.  All of these factors put great pressure on the amount of study space in the library.

To address these issues, the first expansion opened in 1961. The new addition had 5 floors and added 52,000 square feet. One big innovation for this addition was open stacks, allowing students to browse the shelves and pick out books themselves. A glass rotunda was built for the new entrance on the south side of the building complete with staffed circulation desk to make sure materials did not make their way out of the library without being checked out.

1961LibraryEntrance

Students check out materials by the new South entrance, 1961, University photographs, box 147

Even brand new, the expanded library could only accommodate 75% of the 520,000 volume collection and did not contain the amount of study space recommended for the size of the student population. Tellingly, even as they were building the addition, it was referred to as the “First Addition”, which brings us, inevitably, to the Second Addition.

This addition was started in 1967 and completed in 1969. This expansion more than doubled the space for storing books and for users to work.*

In the 1969/70 school year, the library offered 7 courses. There were 4 undergraduate courses, each designed for students in different areas of study: home economics, sciences and humanities, engineering, and agriculture. Additionally, there were 3 courses, each aimed at different groups of graduate students.

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Library staff, 1960, University photos, box 2043

Be sure to follow the blog to see the library further expand and get a name!

*Post written with the help of “A Short History of the Iowa State University Library 1858-2007” by Kevin D. Hill.


Did you know…? #Friday Facts

Did you know that a student group called the “Six Foot Club” once existed at Iowa State University with a requirement that members be at least six feet tall? The group counted ISU President Albert Boynton Storms (pictured below) as a member.

Portrait of Albert Boynton Storms (University Photographs RS 2/6).

Drop by the Reading Room to discover other interesting facts about Iowa State University. We’re open Monday-Friday from 9-5.


Back to the 1960s – The Story of Don Smith

Several months ago I reached into the archives and pulled out an address from 1967 by President W. Robert Parks that emphasized the importance of practicing tolerance on the university campus. Across the country, the late-1960s was a period of significant generational change and Iowa State was not immune to these events. Interestingly, the address by Parks was prompted by an unlikely event–the ISU student government election of 1967. 

News article announing Smiths and Lifkas intentions to run for GSB office

Don Smith and Mary Lou Lifka announce they are entering the Government of the Student Body election. This article appeared in the April 20, 1967, issue of the Iowa State Daily. (W. Robert Parks papers, RS 2/11, box 35, folder 8)

Donald R. Smith, often described in the papers as a member of the New Left (and often called far worse things by editorial letter writers), was elected president of the student body alongside running mate Mary Lou Lifka. Their platform included the elimination of university oversight into the private lives of students and the formation of a student federation to oppose high rents in Ames. Smith strayed from the image of the typical college student that was normally elected student body president at Iowa State: he was bearded with long shaggy hair, he rarely wore socks let alone a suit and a tie, and he didn’t much care for rules. In fact it was the elimination of rules that he was most passionate about, including eliminating student curfews, loosening campus drinking policies, and essentially getting rid of any campus policies that affected students when they were outside the classroom. He supported ending the war in Vietnam, legalization of marijuana, and access to contraceptives.

Smith stated one of his goals was to bring the University “kicking and screaming into the 20th century.” It seems he felt his main opposition would come from the administration, as they were largely the rule-enforcing body. In large part the administration remained silent, even though Smith’s election made headlines from New York to San Francisco. President Parks remained remarkably quiet on the issue considering he was receiving numerous letters from irate citizens and legislators who worried Iowa State was becoming the “Berkeley of the Midwest.”

Newspaper photo of Don Smith hung in effigy on the steps of Beardshear Hall in 1967

This image of Don Smith hung in effigy on the steps of Beardshear Hall appeared in the April 8, 1967 issue of the Iowa State Daily (W. Robert Parks papers, RS 2/11, box 35, folder 8)

Perhaps what Smith didn’t realize was the level of resistance he would receive from his fellow students. Just weeks into his presidency the Iowa State Daily published an article claiming that Smith had attended a party in which marijuana was consumed. When Smith admitted that he had indeed smoked pot on numerous occasions, calls for his impeachment started to build momentum. Smith resigned before the student senate was to vote on his impeachment and withdrew from Iowa State shortly thereafter. His tenure lasted all of 40 days. 

Don Smith’s resignation letter, April 1967. (Government of the Student Body records, RS 22/1/3, box 2, folder 24)

Don Smith did return to Iowa State the following year to finish his mechanical engineering degree. However, just his formal request to re-enroll at Iowa State caused more headlines. Smith obtained graduate degrees from the University of Iowa and eventually moved to California where he became a very successful wind energy consultant and engineer. Donald R. Smith passed away in 2010, but he was welcomed back to the Iowa State campus on several occasions before his death to talk about his experience during those tumultuous years.

For his part, President Parks tried to let the students work out who they were going to have represent them. After Smith resigned, President Parks did assert that the University would continue to maintain rules governing student conduct outside of the classroom, but emphasized that administration was willing to listen and work with students to update student conduct rules.

If you would like to dive into the life of Donald R. Smith a little more there are several collections worth looking into. Materials from the papers of former President Parks and the records of the Government of the Student Body are cited above. The archives also holds files on former students and alumni (collection RS 21/7/1), largely composed of news clippings. The file on Don Smith contains a significant number of articles during his college years, but also after his graduation and up until his death. Clearly, Don Smith left an impression on the people of central Iowa.  

 

 


Spotlight on the Presidents’ Papers – James H. Hilton Papers

James H. Hilton (University Photographs, box 59).

James Hilton was the president of Iowa State from 1953-1965. He is also the only ISU president who was also ISU alum. I have used his papers in several primary source instruction classes and workshops. During Hilton’s tenure as president, the university grew immensely. As a result, his papers contain interesting materials that I like to include in in my instruction sessions. His collection, spanning from 1938-1982, contains:

biographical information, addresses and speeches, Board of Regents’ materials, correspondence, minutes, and printed materials.  The records document the programmatic relationship of Iowa State with the other Regents’ Universities, student activities such as military participation, and agricultural research and other projects undertaken by the various Colleges within the University.  Also included is information regarding Iowa State’s participation in national academic organizations, such as the Association of Land-Grant Colleges (James H. Hilton Papers, RS 2/10).

Below is a postcard written to James Hilton after the students rioted after Homecoming in 1953.

The documents below are in a folder titled “Civil Defense” and include information on surviving a nuclear attack. There are other materials in the Hilton Papers that document how the Cold War affected Iowa State University.

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If you are interested in conducting research, drop by and see us. We’re in room 403 Parks and open Monday-Friday from 9-5.