More Pembroke windows (sort of)

pembroke lamp2_croppedTerry Garbe of Touch of Glass recently created a lampshade that is now available for use — or just admiring up close — in Tate Archives & Special Collections’ Reading Room.

Mr. Garbe and his staff were responsible for the restoration of the Pembroke Windows that accent the library’s 4th floor rotunda. Pieces left over from that restoration still remain, but pembroke lamponly enough for one complete shade containing many of the windows’ motifs were available.

Stop by, have a seat, enjoy the new shade and the view; and you can also ask about the other treasures hidden in Tate Archives & Special Collections!

Yet another time capsule building identified!

While looking into the history of the Alice Millar Center for the Fine Arts last week, I came across a photo taken in 1973 on the day the date stone was placed in what we now call the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building. If anyone reading this has details on what might be in it, contact the archives because all we have is a photo!

With all that have been previously reported, we now can confirm a total of eleven campus buildings with time capsules:
Hedding Hall (1870; time capsule removed in 1966)
Science Building (1910)
Memorial Gymnasium (1921)
Buck Memorial Library (1922)
Shaw Hall (1954)
Dolan Hall (1955)
Memorial Center (1946 and 1947 dedications and 1965 addition)
Sheean Library (1967; time capsule removed in 2011)
Mark Evans Observatory (1969)
Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building (1973)
State Farm Hall (2013)

School of Music reel-to-reel tape

Here’s an update on the time capsule post…the only item in the box that we couldn’t immediately understand/interact with was a tape of original faculty and student works from the School of Music. The tape appeared to be in good condition, but since it had been exposed to temperature fluctuations for a number of years, I decided to have it professionally transferred to digital format.

I just heard back from the vendor that the transfer went well and there was no loss of quality or damage to the tape. Hopefully, within a week or so we’ll have it back and be able to make some segments of it available. As a teaser, check out the program that was included with the tape in the time capsule. Lots of interesting musical works to look forward to…stay tuned!

Time capsules among us

A recent research request led to explorations of archives’ holdings about building dedications and the tradition of placing time capsules in cornerstones.

Until this point, only the contents of Hedding Hall’s time capsule were available in the archives. But our research showed there was also a time capsule in the cornerstone of Sheean Library. When the demolition of that building was announced in July 2011, that box was removed.

Now Sheean Library’s artifacts have been revealed and much of their content is also available in the archives (see further description below and the inventory we created of items removed).

Initially we found newspaper coverage related to five buildings with such artifacts. Since then, a few more have become evident as we learn more about what to look for: the naming variations for this tradition range from time capsules to just “boxes” or “articles” being placed in cornerstones.

The following are descriptions and links out to related information for the nine time capsules we have found to date:
Hedding Hall (1870)
In 1965, almost one hundred years after it was set, a time capsule was recovered from the Hedding Hall arch when both the arch and the building were being demolished. The simple metal box contained money, now held in the archives, as well as a Bible, a Methodist Almanac, university catalogs, newspapers, and more (see the Wesleyana yearbook story on this time capsule removal).

Science Building (1910)
When this building was constructed, only three others existed on campus: Old North, Old Main (aka Hedding Hall) and the Behr Observatory (predecessor to the Mark Evans Observatory). A dedication program for the event is all the evidence we have that the building known today as Stevenson, home to the School of Nursing, contains a time capsule. The document notes that student Vice President R. O. Graham was “Placing Articles in Corner Stone.” [Photos of this event have not been found yet.]

Memorial Gymnasium (1921)
The building we now know as Hansen Student Center was first dedicated on November 5, 1921. The only records that indicate a time capsule is contained within its cornerstone are a photograph and a line in the dedication program for “Depositing Box in Cornerstone.”
The box is pictured at the base of the crane in this photograph.

Shaw Hall (1954)
A time capsule was placed behind this building’s cornerstone when it was being constructed in June of 1954. The records on this event include a letter that was sent to Dr. Shaw’s family by President Holmes describing two photographs of the placement that he sent to them. The family donated the letter and photographs back to the university at some point. The letter mentions that a “box containing articles sealed in the cornerstone” which can be seen in this photograph. The building was formally dedicated during Homecoming of that year and programs of that event along with a list of contents for the time capsule are held in the archives.

Dolan Hall (1955)
The Argus reports on the time capsule contents of the new Men’s Dormitory (later known as Dolan Hall) on February 9, 1955. Representatives of the Student Union presented the box to President Holmes with items including, among other things, a “Freshman Beanie,” contemporary student artwork, photos of significant people, and programs of events on campus.

Memorial Center (1946 and 1947 dedications and1965 addition)
Records of a committee comprised of members from all campus constituencies are held in the archives. This group selected items and designed a program for placing the cornerstone and time capsule in one 1946 event and then dedicating the building a year later. The 1946 article linked above describes time capsule contents such as lists of veterans and Gold Star men, a copy of the Pantagraph, and a history of Wesleyan. A refrain of “Wesleyan Will Remember” was invoked for the occasion and was drawn from a 1944 Homecoming speech, the text of which is reprinted in the dedication program. The 1965 addition also contains a time capsule and events surrounding its dedication are reported on in the Argus as well. This is believed to be the only campus building with two time capsules.

Sheean Library (1967)
A dedication program contains details of this time capsule which was sealed in a cornerstone on October 14th, 1967. For the first time on record, student works were included including a two-track stereo recording of the concert band, choir, orchestra, chamber singers, and soloists performing a variety of works in many genres. The box also contained novels, magazines, plays, and a book published by Mary Shanks and Dorothy Kennedy, two faculty members of the School of Nursing, “The Theory and Practice of Nursing Service Administration.”

  • When the box was opened during Homecoming 2011 more items were found than had been previously recorded.
  • Photographs of both events are also available by searching for “time capsule” and “cornerstone laying”at http://tinyurl.com/7jus7k9

Mark Evans Observatory (1969)
This time capsule included many items that were not connected directly with the campus such as a package of space food, the Apollo 8 astronaut’s Christmas Eve tape, a road atlas, the Illinois Agricultural Association (IAA) Record and fifty-year history, and the Bloomington-Normal Phone Directory on microfilm. On March 18, 1969, the astronaut Frank Borman, commander of the Apollo 8 space mission (the first manned flight to orbit the moon), received an honorary degree at Founders’ Day Convocation that year, a highlight of which was the cornerstone laying. One photograph shows Borman holding the time capsule.