#TBT Iowa State’s 1872 Commencement

An estimated 5,047 students are graduating from Iowa State this semester, and many of them will participate in Commencement this weekend. So, in honor of this year’s ceremonies, this #TBT post will be about Iowa State University’s first Commencement in 1872.

Below is the 1872 Commencement program (RS 7/9/4/1).

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Fun Facts

  • The first Commencement took place in November!
  • 26 students graduated in the first class.
  • 2 of the graduates were women.
  • Commencement took place at West House in Ames, which was Ames’ first hotel.
  • President Welch’s first commencement address is available online thanks to the University Library Digital Initiatives.

Below are some proofs from our University Photographs (box 1547). I believe the final product is the image included at the end of this post. It may seem weird that I’m including proofs. But I’m an archivist and, to me, the unpublished stuff is the good stuff.

This collection of photographs (below) of 1872 Iowa State Graduates was given to the Alumni Association in June 1957 by the only living 1872 alumni, J.C. Arthur and Henry L. Page, when they returned to campus for the 65th anniversary of their graduation.

Individual portraits of 26 members of Iowa State Class of 1872, 24 men and 2 women.

Bottom right: “This collection of photographs of all members of the class of Eighteen Seventy-Two was presented to the Alumni Association June 1957 by J.C. Arthur and Henry L. Page on the occasion of the sixty-fifth anniversary of their graduation. The only two living members of the class, Doctor Arthur and Mr. Page returned to the College for the celebration of the sixty-fifth anniversary of their graduation.” (University Photographs box 1547).


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Pilar Garcia’s Chicken-Pork Adobo

This month Iowa State University celebrated Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) National Heritage Month, though nationally AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated in May. ISU celebrates AAPI month in April because school is pretty much over this week. I decided to compromise by posting the first week of May and the last day of April.

For Women’s History Month, I wrote about ISU Professor Emeritus Pilar Angeles Garcia.

Shortly after this post, a colleague pointed out that Professor Garcia’s adobo recipe was located in Iowa State University Digital Repository in a 1955 article on Garcia in the Iowa Homemaker. The chicken-pork adobo recipe is pictured below. Rather than just add it to the comments of the original post, I thought the recipe deserved its own post.

Chicken-Pork Adobo. 1 1/2-2 lbs. broiler chicken (cut into 8 pieces); 2 lbs. pork (cut into 2 cubes). 1/2 c. vinegar. 3 cloves garlic (crushed). 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika. 2 Tablespoons lard. Salt and pepper. Combine all ingredients and let stand for two hours. Brown the meat in the lard, add the liquid mixture and cook slowly until tender. Serve over hot rice.

Chicken-Pork Adobo recipe cropped from the The Iowa Homemaker: Vol. 35 : No. 11.

This version of chicken-pork adobo is different than what I’m used to as there is no soy sauce and my mother doesn’t use lard or paprika, but I bet it’s still delicious. The thing about Filipino cooking is there is a lot of variety in the recipes.

You can find the article online or drop by the reading room. We’re open Monday – Friday, 9-5.


#TBT Studying in the Library

RS-4-8-O_Library_389-11-03

University Photos, box 389

The photo wasn’t dated, but I would guess this was taken in the 1950s.  Dead Week is the perfect time to share a photo of students studying in the Library Rotunda in front of our Grant Wood murals.

During Dead Week in 2018, the Rotunda is more suited for a relaxing break than studying since we will have some four-legged friends visiting for Barks @ Parks.

Study hard and good luck with finals next week!


Behind the Scenes: Processing the Butter Cow Lady’s Papers

About 4 months ago, my colleague Brad posted about an exciting new collection that was donated to SCUA – the papers of Norma Lyons, aka the Butter Cow Lady. You might have also noticed that this collection isn’t listed on our website or available for research yet – why is that?  There is a lot that happens behind the scenes before a collection can be used by researchers, which I hope to shed some light on here.

After a collection is donated, I spend some time getting to know it by looking through the actual collection as well as any paperwork the donor has filled out. Some of the things I’m looking for are as follows:

  • any unique formats that require extra attention or special supplies (like scrapbooks or really large posters)
  • anything that isn’t in very good condition and might need immediate attention (like a book with the cover coming off)
  • whether or not the collection came organized in any way
  • if there’s anything in the collection we might need to restrict access to (like medical or educational records)
  • the overall complexity of the collection

 

Once I feel like I’ve gotten to know the collection, I create what’s called a Processing Plan. This is basically a set of instructions for how the collection should be arranged and all the things we need to do in order to make the collection easy to use by a researcher. I always make sure to get a second opinion on these plans to make sure I’m following the wishes of the donor as well as professional standards. After everyone agrees and approves the plan, the collection is ready for processing.

DSCN6567

This binder labeled “University Years 1946-1950” gives us some idea of the order the donor kept their files in, known as Original Order.

Processing is exactly what it sounds like – taking an unorganized, sometimes unusable thing and making it available for researchers to use easily, which can be very time-consuming. Processing is also when we take materials out of harmful storage conditions and put them into safer housings to preserve them. For example, did you know 3-ring binders eventually degrade and can cause permanent damage to photos, or that rubber bands break down and stick to pages? We make sure to remove things like that.

DSCN6566

This rubber band is stuck to the yellow pamphlet, and has broken off in multiple pieces.

My job doesn’t end with processing though. Once that step is complete, the collection needs to be described so researchers can find it – so I create a finding aid. A finding aid is a guide to the collection with all the information we think a researcher would need. The goal is to make sure anyone looking at it will know what is in the collection and decide whether or not they want to look at it. We follow a lot of different standards to make sure finding aids are consistently done and as easy to use as possible. The finding aid goes through the same review process by co-workers before it’s posted on the SCUA website and ready for use!

This collection isn’t available just yet, but I hope to have it fully processed by the 2018 Iowa State Fair so stay tuned!


Collecting Student Life Amongst Diverse Communities

Because Special Collections is the home of the University Archives (UA), documenting the University’s history is central to what we do.  The University Archives is filled with official records from the institution itself, but the student experience is under-documented.  This is woefully true in the case of black students.  One of the goals of the Library is to change that, but that can’t happen without alumni themselves.

One such student organization is the Eta Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the first African American intercollegiate sorority, and it was founded at Howard University in Washington DC 110 years ago. The Eta Tau Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was chartered at Iowa State University/Drake University June 14, 1973. Anniversaries are reminders of how important it is to reflect upon one’s history and place at the university and the greater community. It is also an opportunity to solidify ones place in the official historical records, making it known and available for generations of students and researchers.

 

Help us document the Black student experience at Iowa State University. If you have letters, photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, research papers, meeting minutes, clippings, flyers, audio, film, or video recordings from your time at ISU, please consider donating them to the University Archives.

Eta Tau Chapter members at ISU game, ca. 1995. Courtesy of Keena Thicklin, AKA Inititate and ISU Class of


Visiting SCUA 103

Hello again! This is the third entry in the blog series about visiting special collections and archives from the perspective of someone who is pretty new.

Today I will be talking about how to find student records at the archives. Often we have visitors who are interested in finding out information about their relatives who went to school at Iowa State sometime in the past. Or, perhaps you’re interested in information about one of Iowa State’s more famous alumni. We have quite a few resources with information about students (naturally). I will highlight just a few of the most fruitful areas of information.

A great source of information on students is the yearbook, The Bomb. All of the yearbooks have been digitized, and they are also available in the reading room. The Bomb covers every year from 1894-1994. Often, in the back of the yearbook every senior will be listed along with the activities they participated in while at Iowa State. Looking up information on the clubs a particular person participated in may also offer some clues and interesting information.

1957BombStudentActivities

Page 451, 1957 Bomb

A second helpful resource is the school directories. In the reading room, we have directories from 1901 to 2010. The directories list the majors, year in school, on campus address, and hometown. If you know the general time period that someone may have gone to school here, you can use the directories to pin down more exact dates.

A third resource are our alumni files. The alumni files can be rich sources of information, depending on the graduate. It’s also important to note that not every graduate will have an alumni file and there are some student files for individuals who attended but never graduated. The only way to find out if a student has a file is to have a member of SCUA staff take a look at the boxes in the closed stacks and check, which we are more than happy to do for you. If you want to know in advance whether you might find information on someone, you can always send us an email to archives@iastate.edu. Some of the alumni files have just an article or two while others are much larger.

Classof1895

Members of the class of 1895, University photo box

There are a few alumni who have collections of their own. For example, we have collections for George Washington Carver and Carrie Chapman Catt. However, there are also collections for some lesser known graduates. You can browse the alumni and former student finding aids to see if we have a collection for the person you are interested in learning about.

These are all places to start your research on former students. You can always stop by the reading room or email us to see if we have any more suggestions for you!


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!


Rare Book Highlights: plants, sex, and poetry with Erasmus Darwin

Painting of a man with shoulder-length light brown hair wearing an eighteenth dentury brown coat and cravat and holding a quill pen.

Portrait of Erasmus Darwin by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1792.

From out of 18th Century England, at the crossroads of the Enlightenment and the Romantic Era, comes a curious work that weds poetry and science in flowery rhyming couplets, heavy with metaphor, and laden with scholarly footnotes. The work is The Botanic Garden (1791), a poem in two parts by Erasmus Darwin, grandfather to the more famous Charles Darwin.

Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was a physician by trade and a natural philosopher and poet by avocation. He was taken with the recent work of Carl Linneaus (1707-1778) on plant taxonomy, which divided plants into classes and orders based on the number of male and female sexual organs in the flowers, and determined to work this system into poetry in “The Loves of the Plants,” Part II of The Botanic Garden.

While many Englishmen of the time were scandalized by the sexual nature of Linneaus’ taxonomic system, Darwin embraced it, using suggestive images in his floral descriptions, writing of blushing virgins, handsome swains, and deceitful harlots. Take, for example, his description of the genus Gloriosa, which he describes in a footnote as having “Six males, one female. The petals of this beautiful flower with three of the stamens, which are first mature, stand up in apparent disorder; and the pistil bends at nearly a right angle to insert its stigma amongst them. In a few days, as these decline, the other three stamens bend over, and approach the pistil.”

Engraving of Gloriosa Superba with six stamens and one pistil.

When the young Hours amid her tangled hair

Wove the fresh rose-bud, and the lily fair,

Proud GLORIOSA led three chosen swains,

The blushing captives of her virgin chains.–

—When Time’s rude hand a bark of wrinkles spread

Round her weak limbs, and silver’d o’er her head,

Three other youths her riper years engage,

The flatter’d victims of her wily age.

 

“The Economy of Vegetation,” part I of The Botanic Garden, is vast in scope, describing both natural phenomenon and the progress of civilization. In the verses below, despite their references to God, the description of the creation of the universe is more reminiscent of the Big Bang theory than Genesis:

_LET THERE BE LIGHT!” proclaim’d the ALMIGHTY LORD,

Astonish’d Chaos heard the potent word;

Through all his realms the kindling Ether runs,

And the mass starts into a million suns;

Earths round each sun with quick explosions burst,

And second planets issue from the first;

Bend, as they journey with projectile force,

In bright ellipses their reluctant course;

Orbs wheel in orbs, round centres centres roll,

And form, self-balanced, one revolving Whole.

_Onward they move amid their bright abode,

Space without bound, THE BOSOM OF THEIR GOD!

Darwin describes new inventions, like the steam engine, in heroic terms and envisions its many future uses, in boats, cars, and even flying machines:

NYMPTHS! You erewhile on simmering cauldrons play’d,

And call’d delighted SAVERY to your aid;

Bade round the youth explosive STEAM aspire

In gathering clouds, and wing’d the wave with fire;

Bade with cold streams the quick expansion stop,

And sunk the immense of vapour to a drop. —

Press’d by the ponderous air the Piston falls

Resistless, sliding through it’s iron walls;

Quick moves the balanced beam, of giant-birth,

Wields his large limbs, and nodding shakes the earth.

Soon shall thy arm, UNCONQUER’D STEAM! afar

Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;

Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear

The flying-chariot through the fields of air.

 

I was surprised to discover that “The Economy of Vegetation” was illustrated in part with engravings by none other than William Blake, known for his own illuminated books of poetry. His engraving, “Tornado” accompanies this verse:

Black and white engraving of a nude man's body with a face like a man's but a mouth and main like a lion. Entwined around one leg is a dragon's tail, while the head rests on top of the man's head, and the wings spread out behind the man's arms. One arm holds onto a fork of lightning. The entire form floats above ocean waves.

“Tornado” by William Blake.

You seize TORNADO by his locks of mist,

Burst his dense clouds, his wheeling spires untwist;

Wide o’er the West when borne on headlong gales,

Dark as meridian night, the Monster sails,

Howls high in air, and shakes his curled brow,

Lashing with serpent-train the waves below,

Whirls his black arm, the forked lightning flings,

And showers a deluge from his demon-wings.

 

Although Darwin’s high style of poetry may be agonizing to many modern readers, The Botanic Garden was popular when it was first published. Its vision of scientific and cultural progress was vibrant and appealing. Associated as it was with the scientific progress and sexual freedom of the French Revolution, however, popular opinion turned against it as the Revolution turned more savage. Only seven years after its initial publication, it was satirized by George Canning in The Anti-Jacobin in the poem The Love of the Triangles. In later years the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge is famously said to have despised Darwin’s poetry.

Erasmus Darwin. The Botanic Garden. Pt. 1, 3rd edition; Pt. 2, 4th edition. London: J. Johnson, 1794-1795. Call number: QH41 D25b3


#TBT Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ames

Image of Martin Luther King, Jr. with the following text as introduction: Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. The Internationally recognized humanist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., first gained world-wide acclaim through his leadership of the Negro citizens' boycott of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1957. In the same year the Gallup Poll revealed that he was one of the most admired religious leaders of the world, and Time Magazine selected him one of the ten outstanding personalities of the year. At the present time Dr. King is pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, and president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, Inc. Dr. King has chosen as his Friday night topic, "The Moral Challenges of a New Age", and will include in his presentation views concerning the racial problem in the United States and the colonial struggle in Asia and Africa, looking at both from a theological standpoint. Dr. King, although only 30 years of age, holds the Ph.D. degree in Systematic Theology from Boston University. He has been the recipient of three earned degrees plus five honorary degrees. Within the period of three years, 1956-1958, Dr. King has been granted 37 major awards and citations, including among these being the Windy City Press Club's, "Man of the Year", "The Citation for Distinguished Christian Service", from the National Fraternal Council of Churches, U.S.A., and the "Social Justice Award", from the Religion and Labor Foundation, New York.

Pages from the 1960 Religion-in-Life Week program introducing Martin Luther King Jr. as the speaker for the evening of Friday, January 22, 1960. (Iowa State University, Religion in Life Week records, RS 22/8/0/1, Box 2, Folder 8)

In January 1960, as part of Iowa State’s annual Religion in Life Week convocations, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visited the Iowa State campus to deliver a speech on “The Moral Challenges of a New Age.” Sadly, we have no photographs or recordings of the speech, but a typescript of the speech exists in the archives, as does the program for the 1960 Religion-in-Life Week. The image above was taken from the program. If only it were possible to travel back in time, I would love to find myself sitting in the audience in the Great Hall the evening Dr. King came to ISU.


Getting to know your film! Preserving The Champion 16mm A-B roll with ¼” soundtrack

Rosie Rowe, our A/V Preservation Specialist, did a guest blog post for the Parks Library Preservation Blog. Check it out!

Parks Library Preservation

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 2.44.32 PM Frame still of ‘The Champion’ with ‘burnt-in’ opening title

When you’re going to digitally preserve a film (or a film series or an entire film collection), the important first step is to gather information on your film. Is your film 16mm, 35mm, 8mm, or 9.5mm, etc.? Is it color or black-and-white? Do you have the original negative, or only a print? Is the magnetic soundtrack available? If you only have an optical soundtrack, is it a negative or the positive? The list goes on – and the information can get pretty granular – but to keep this post simple, I’ll focus on the basics for a single film with an exciting title: The Champion.

A-Roll_Champion Frame still of ‘The Champion’ A-Roll (16mm Reversal)

The Champion was filmed in 1971 by Jim Doran, a student in the Department of Speech and Telecommunicative Arts at ISU. It features wrestling prodigy Dan Gable…

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