Research files: History of LGBT+

First known announcement for an activity related to LGBTQ+ students

The following are the findings from a recently asked question about the founding of  G.L.O.W. (Gays and Lesbians of Wesleyan). The archives holds no records created by group members. Anyone who has records to donate on this (or other) IWU organization is invited to contact archives@iwu.edu

1992-03-13 Argus p. 1 & 7 Announcing the formation of G.L.O.W. There’s mention of faculty endorsement at the end of the article and p. 2 has a letter from a faculty member about its formation.

1992 Wesleyana p. 48 Includes GLOW among the new student organizations for that year and confirms a founding date of early March 1992.

There are 23 occurrences of G.L.O.W.  in The Argus, but I didn’t look through them all. Explore the issues available at that link and let me know if you need anything else!

There’s a 1997 Wesleyana mention of a name change to Gay/Straight Alliance but I didn’t do any further searching for that name.

I did a search for events leading up to GLOW’s formation and came up with these articles:

1988-03-11 Argus p. 4 ad for Gay & Lesbian Awareness Week

There was a controversy after “Anti-Jeans Day” runs in this April 22, 1988 issue and at least the two after.

1989-04-28 Argus p. 3 Progressive Student Union (P.S.U.) Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day

1991-09-27 Argus p. 2 Editorial arguing for better institutional support for homosexuals

1991-12-13 Argus p. 1 and 7 article on campus forum about homophobia and refers to an unspecified incident of vandalism in Gulick. There could be information in other campus sources to shed light on this. The article closes with details about an ISU group (Gay and Lesbian Alliance, GALA) that IWU students were welcome to connect with.

The Pratt Family Collection

Ticket stubs from several of Awadagin’s performances

The Pratt family’s influence has been felt all over the world and the Tate Archives holds many interesting materials related to this influential family. Music aficionados will enjoy perusing through concert programs, performance schedules, ticket stubs, and other ephemera related to world-renowned concert pianist Awadagin Pratt, whose career has spanned four decades. Awadagin began piano lessons when he was six years old and entered the University of Illinois to continue those studies at the age of 16. Awadagin was the first student to receive diplomas from the Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory of Music in three performance areas – piano, violin, and conducting. Appearing in People Magazine, Newsweek, and named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony’s 50th anniversary issue, he has performed in both of Presidents Clinton’s and Obama’s White Houses, and showcased his talents as a performer and conductor in concert halls and symphonies on several continents. Our collection of materials associated with Awadagin will keep any music lover busy for hours; but, that’s not all there is to this collection!

Awadagin’s piano lesson practice log

Awadagin’s father, Dr. T.A.E.C. “Ted” Pratt (1936 – 1996), mother, Dr. Mildred Sirls Pratt (1928-2012), and his sister, Dr. Menah Pratt-Clark are highly admired professionals in their respective fields as well. A music enthusiast in his own right, Ted was born in Sierra Leone, and raised in a family where his sisters were taught the piano, and he and his brothers learned to play the organ. Ted grew up receiving his education from some of the world’s finest institutions, including the Prince of Wales School and Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone; Durham University in Durham, England; and, the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia. After receiving his M.S. in Physics from the Carnegie-Mellon Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, he became the first person from Sierra Leone to earn his PhD in Nuclear Physics, also from the Carnegie-Mellon Institute. The Pratt Family Collection contains many of Ted’s published articles, research, teaching materials, family letters and personal ephemera from every period of his life.

Dr. Theodore Pratt’s lifetime membership award to the American Association for the Advancement of Science

As Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at Illinois State University, and co-founder and co-director of the Bloomington-Normal Black History Project, Dr. Mildred Pratt has been widely recognized for her dedication to making our local community a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. She is a recipient of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Citizen of the Year Award in 1987, as well as, the Town of Normal’s Human Relations Reward in 1989. After the death of her husband, Mildred founded the Pratt Music Foundation in honor of his love for classical music. The Foundation provides financial assistance to students in grades 2-12 pursuing instruction in piano or strings. Donations to the Foundation can be made at: The Pratt Music Foundation, c/o Illinois Wesleyan University, PO Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61702.

Letter received from President Blill Clinton in 2000

Letter written by Dr. Mildred Pratt to President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1994

 

Dr. Menah Pratt-Clark, Awadagin’s sister, followed her parents’ footsteps into the world of academia. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Literary Studies from the University of Iowa, as well as, a M.A. and PhD. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University, and, is currently serving as the Vice Provost for Inclusion and Diversity and Vice President for Strategic Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to her most recent position with Virginia Tech, she has served as a university compliance officer at Vanderbilt University, and Associate Chancellor for Strategic Affairs at the University of Illinois, a position she held for ten years. Menah is also author of the book, Critical Race, Feminism, and Education: A Social Justice Model.

If you would like to learn more about the Pratt family, please visit the Tate Archives and Special Collections on the 4th floor of IWU’s Ames Library!

Maude Essig in World War I

Maude Essig

undated Maude Essig portrait

While researching her own Great Aunt Agnes Swift’s involvement with the American Expeditionary Forces WW1 hospitals in Contrexeville, France, Molly Daniel of Charleston, IL came across the diary of Maude Essig’s experiences, who worked with Swift in the same facility. Maude Essig was Brokaw School of Nursing Director (ca 1923-56). The Brokaw Hospital School was the forerunner of IWU’s School of Nursing.

In writing to ask about using a photo of Essig on her website, Daniel shared comments about her research process that others may find instructive as well: “I have especially appreciated having access to Maude’s journal as well as the academic article about her published by her former student [and former IWU School of Nursing Director], Alma Woolsey. Her journal helped me put into better context the information in my great aunt’s letters to family members.”

Daniel shared the biographical sketch of Essig she compiled and that will be included with Daniel’s submissions for the U.S. Centennial website commemorating the Army Nurse Corps.

Daniel also discovered a picture in the National Library of Medicine’s Digital Collections that has a caption indicating it is from Base Hospital No.32, Vittel, France but she is “confident that it comes from the Contrexeville hospital” based on her research. Daniel also believes Essig may be the second nurse from the left–the only one shown with glasses. Additional photos of Essig from the University’s archival collections are below.

For information about the School of Nursing program’s development, see “Nursing Education at Illinois Wesleyan University: 1923 to 1976” by Lori Ann Musser, Class of 1992.

Maude Essig, ca. 1925

Maude Essig, ca. 1925

Essig in mock hospital room

Maude Essig with students, ca. 1928

 

Maude Essig in 1933

This photo is identical to the composite she is in with the Brokaw Hospital Class of 1933 http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_histph/id/2786

 

May Day: Help others and save your own digital life!

Society of American Archivists' May Day 2017 logo

Happy May Day!

The Society of American Archivists promotes May 1 as a day for all cultural heritage institutions to take time to consider how well their collections are protected.This year there’s a twist: a call for support of the SSA-SAA Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant Fund. The Society of Southwest Archivists and the Society of American Archivists created the fund to address the stabilization and recovery needs of archival repositories affected by Hurricane Katrina.

To learn more about this collaboration, including how to receive funding, visit the SAA page that describes the program. If you are able to assist our colleagues by donating to the fund, please click here.

Below are some tips from the Library of Congress on how you can help save the digital objects that mean the most in your life:

Visit http://digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/ for more details!

Visit http://digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/ for more details!

Digital objects are not durable–threats to them include but are not limited to losing account access (third party providers can disappear at any time) and losing the ability to read file formats and media due to obsolescence.

Digital files can’t be placed on a virtual shelf and forgotten. All digital preservation strategies include specific ways to record as much information about the original file as possible.

Digital objects proliferate so take time to organize versions and apply standard names to your files. It is often difficult for archivists to arrange digital files other than by creation date, but creators have the first-hand knowledge required to identify and arrange versions of their works.

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE:

    • Retain original physical media. Never dispose of physical media and never copy over original bit streams. Even if files are unreadable today, new technology may enable archivists to view “unreadable” files in the near future.
    • Migrate files to new software and hardware. The easiest way to increase the longevity of digital material is migration, or the transfer of materials from one hardware and software configuration to the next generation of hardware and/or software. Files stored on 5.5″ or 3.5″ floppy disks should be transferred to a hard drive and a back-up. Migrate files written in older software to newer versions of open-source or standard software. It is desirable to retain at least two versions of migrated digital files: one in its original software format (this is the “original” bit stream) and one in a more current software format. If you purchase a new computer, migrate files from the old hard drive to the new one. Migration to a CD is not an effective solution as the life of a CD is rather short.
    • Avoid specialized software.Migration can be hindered if the original files were not saved in a standard format. Although non-proprietary formats are the best options for saving digital files (e.g., ASCII or Rich-Text Format (RTF)), Microsoft Office products also serve as de-facto standards due to their prevalence. For images, we recommend using file standards such as Tag Image File Formats (TIFF) or Portable Network Graphics (PNG) files.
    • Never compress or encode your data.Compression and encoding provide one more obstacle to preserving electronic material. Electronic material should be as transparent as possible to facilitate preservation. Compression and encoding software prevents others from readings your data, including archivists

Remember Ozymandias

Ramses II

Image from http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com

If worries about the future life of your past weigh heavily on your mind, read on!

An 1818 poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley recently inspired me to think of a way to communicate the services available through archives. The poem contains the lines
“‘My name is Ozymandias*, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!'”

The irony is that Shelley was reflecting on the ruins of a great civilization. The lines beg the question: What  will remain of the work we do?

The programs and services of the University’s archives include research assistance with IWU’s collections. We advise on what among the works we produce are important to retain and how these works, whether physical or digital, can be preserved. We also have an Oral History program that allows us to go beyond just the products of our daily lives and helps preserve the context they were created in.

The way people view their experiences at IWU add dimensions to our historical records that statuary never will. Meg Miner, your archivist, stands ready to help preserve your legacy today!

*Ozymandias was an Anglicized version of the Greek’s name for Pharaoh Ramesses II.

Research Files: Boarding Clubs

In an earlier post we sketched out known histories of a variety of buildings on campus, including early residence locations for students. This time we have an intriguing new piece of knowledge about student life thanks to a new donation: a gold pocket watch.

J.P. Edgar’s watch

The granddaughter of Reverend John Perry Edgar, Class of 1893, gave the university his watch and an inscription in that gift led me to an interesting finding. The inscription reads “Presented by Edgar Club, IWU, 1893.” The owner of the watch was the Club’s founder and its purpose was to provide students with room and board.

John Perry Edgar, Class of 1893

John Perry Edgar

 

 

An article describing the Club says it was formed in 1889 with 22 men enrolled as members. In 1891 the group held a “unanimous vote that ladies be admitted.”

This seems shocking, at first glance. Men and women boarding together in the 19th century? The article continues with descriptions of the benefit of such an arrangement: providing suitable company at “the dinner table [where] character is developed, courteous behavior and polished manners reign.”

1893 Edgar Club

1893 Edgar Club

The official word from the University was that young women should board at Henrietta Hall, a residence run by the Women’s Education Association from 1874-1892, but the same publication also acknowledged the existence of the privately run clubs.

But what about the rooms? The details with regard to the descriptions provided by the clubs seem ambiguous but the 1895 IWU Catalogue of Courses is quite clear:

1895 Boarding description

1895 Boarding description

With the closure of Henrietta Hall,* rooming took place in private homes of “suitable” families but boarding with clubs continued for at least a few years after Edgar left and two (Bundy and Ross) credited him as the originator of the idea.

But back to the watch…it still keeps time well and both covers are etched but worn down with use. Still, the designs are visible: on one side are the initials JPE and on the other is a building. In this enlarged and enhanced image, it looks like Old North, which was built in 1856 and so was the first building on our campus. Edgar would also have had classes in Old Main, erected in 1870. Next time you’re on the 4th floor, stop by the archives to check out this “new” addition!

Old North

Old North in center of watch

 

*After Henrietta closed it wasn’t until 1956 that a dorm for women opened again. That was known as “Southwest Hall” and was operated by the Women’s Guild of IWU until it became a co-ed dorm–IWU’s first–in 1976. That’s also when it was renamed for benefactor Anna Gulick, a name it carries today.

Our digital collections are now part of DPLA!

Thanks to our membership in the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), the collections they host for us are now part of the

Visit their homepage at https://dp.la

In 2010, DPLA was founded with the idea of providing “an open, distributed network of comprehensive online resources that would draw on the nation’s living heritage from libraries, universities, archives, and museums in order to educate, inform, and empower everyone in current and future ­generations.”

As of this writing, DPLA holds the records for 15,247,823 items. Of that total, 8,033 were acquired from our own IWU collections and through our outreach to campus and community partners. DPLA also contributes records to European organizations that work in these collaborative ways. It is an honor to be in this mighty company!

Rather than hosting content themselves, DPLA took on the task of pulling together collections held on individual and consortial websites in order to bring them together into one searchable location. As they do this, they are able to leverage the power of our work on descriptions that provide individualized but structured data.

Look to the top of their pages for ways you can visualize and search for interesting connections to your past!

Ways to change browse features.

 

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. at IWU

Students today may not know that their predecessors were responsible for bringing the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to campus twice in the 1960s. The first time was in 1961 for an event sponsored by the Religious Activities Commission. Articles in The Argus and Wesleyana offer details.

Religious Emphasis Banquet program

program for the event Dr. King spoke at in 1961

The University Archives received a special copy of the program for this event just a few years ago. The story of how this artifact came to the archives is told below the pdf version of the program.

Religious Emphasis Banquet program

back of Religious Emphasis Banquet program

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. King visited a “Principles of Sociology” class during this visit and is shown below talking with Sociology professors James K. Phillips and Emily Dunn-Dale.

Dr. King and IWU faculty

Dr. King with IWU faculty during his 1961 visit.

Dr. King speaking during his 1966 visit to IWU

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shown here with Coretta Scott King and Elizabeth Lindblom on the speakers’ platform.

In 1966 Dr. King returned at the request of the Student Senate’s Convocation Commission. This event took place after Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was held at the Fred Young Fieldhouse to accommodate the crowd. IWU student Elizabeth Lindblom was Chair of the Commission and provided an introduction to the event.

Other photos from the 1961 and 1966 visits are also available. Alumni shared their reflections on these visits during a panel on the topic at Homecoming 2016.

University Communications maintains a series of web pages with a transcript of the 1966 event and a link to a recording of a broadcast from local radio station WJBC. The University Archives holds an audio cassette tape of that broadcast, photographs and the other records of Dr. King’s two visits to IWU.

Exhibit with maps, real & imagined

1882 Atlas

1882 Atlas

 

A recent donation is on exhibit in The Ames Library, just past the entry level rotunda, now through the end of January.

The volume complements our manuscript and monograph collections on John Wesley Powell and the American West. The atlas is large–approximately 2′ wide when open–and has many colored maps, created by the ever-authoritative US Geological Survey.western-pt-of-plateau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few other maps on display are “real” renditions (we can and should debate the depiction of reality in any author’s work), intended for serious illustration of travel narratives like

birbeck_notes

This foldout map in Birbeck’s 1818 “Notes on a Journey…” is separated at the top fold but complete.

Morris Birbeck’s 1818 Notes on a Journey in America, from the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois, or in educationally-minded works like Thomas Harrington’s 1773 A New Introduction to the Knowledge and Use of Maps.

The latter volume is from the Book Arts Collection part of Special Collections that celebrates the artistry used in making books, not for art’s sake but for many elements of the craft that are almost incidental to what we understand of the purpose for books today.

atoz

Others in the exhibit are intentionally imagined landscapes, used to navigate a story, as in Lars Arrhenius’s A-Z. Interestingly enough, the book had its origin in a large-scale exhibition. The volume in Ames is from our  Artists’ Books Collection and is used in an avant-garde literature course.

 

Two others on display are autobiographical in nature, by book artist and fine press printer Andrew Huot, and represent his explorations of self-discovery: Navigation and Exits West.

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/104877-Navigation.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/104877-Navigation.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/80223-Exits-West.html

See http://andrewhuot.com/section/80223-Exits-West.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These works and more are available year round for anyone interested in exploring the many varieties of material culture in Tate Archives & Special Collections on The Ames Library’s 4th floor!

IWU after Pearl Harbor

Headline, three days after http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_argus/id/18410

Note the location of “Classes Dismissed…”
http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/iwu_argus/id/18410

Three days after the attacks on Pearl Harbor the student newspaper shows measured responses to the events leading to our country’s entry into WWII. The front page story about dismissing classes, nearly below the fold, describes how students heard President Roosevelt’s address to Congress and states that faculty were telling students to “carry on in the regular routine….”

IWU’s President Shaw had the same message, adding that “the greatest service” was to be “ready for the demand which will be upon us in the days ahead.”

An editorial on page 2 began on a note of sympathy, making clear who these students thought the real enemy was.1941-12-10_p2_editorial_cropped

The Editorial Board goes on to call the attack “treachery on the high seas” that used “premeditated, knife in the back tactics.” The commentary also commends students for their calm response, saying this is “proof of an intelligent and educated [student] body.”