Exhibits: Apollo 11 at 50

astronaut with lunar test equipment

Aldrin sets up seismic test equipment. (click to enlarge)

No doubt, news outlets everywhere are noting the 50th anniversary of this milestone in human achievement. This post also commemorates the lunar landing and provides me with a chance to highlight both the work of our summer intern Cynthia O’Neill and one of the collections she’s been working on: The Leslie Arends Congressional Collection.

In a previous post, University Librarian Scott Walter profiled the range of learning experiences Cynthia is engaging in this summer. In the course of her preservation assessment on the Arends material, she found many Apollo program items, including a clipping that describes Arends as one of only three Illinoisans named on the 1.5″ silicon Goodwill disk left on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Close-up of canceled first-issue stamps commemorating the Apollo 11 Moon landing

Close-up of President Richard Nixon and Postmaster General Winton Blount’s signatures on a commemorative print of the Earth as seen from orbit and a first-day-of-issue stamp created in 1971. The Armstrong quote printed at the bottom of the Moon photo states “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That clipping, commemorative photos and stamps are on display in the John Wesley Powell Rotunda on The Ames Library’s entry level from now through August. (see a selection of images from the exhibit below)

Arends received these and items from other Apollo missions in thanks for his support of the program. A copy of the speech he gave on July 21, 1969 is part of this exhibit, too. In it he makes note of historic and contemporary global contributions that led to the success of Apollo 11. Visitors are invited to reflect on the broader implications of this achievement.

Another exhibit case just beyond the rotunda commemorates Arends’ involvement in the visit that Apollo 8 Commander Col. Frank Borman made to IWU in March 1969.

I will share more details on Cynthia’s internship in a future post, but I will add one additional benefit we gained by hosting her this summer. Cynthia’s full time work is as the Program Coordinator at the Eureka Public Library and she recently arranged a visit to her library by a museum director from Peoria. Cynthia shared her insights into the Arends collection with that person, and I am hoping we can arrange a loan of some materials from the Arends Collection for their Apollo-related exhibition this fall.

We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others and readers should know that the Arends Collection and other materials located in Tate Archives and Special Collections are available for use by both the IWU community and the general public. So stop by the library’s first floor for a look at our Apollo exhibits M-F, 8-4 now through the end of August and let me know if you are interested in exploring this or any of our other collections!

Departmental History: School of Theatre Arts

This post traces the origins of and changes to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees for IWU’s theatre program as found through examining the Catalogue of Courses held in the University’s Archives.

Starting in 1945-46 academic year, students could take a course in dramatics from among offerings in the Humanities division in the College of Liberal Arts but dramatic productions had their origin in the student organization known as the Masquers starting in 1916. IWU’s Speech program is associated with this area of study beginning in the 1920s.

Summer Theatre, ca. 1966

Richard Jenkins, Class of 1969, is in a white t-shirt, third man up on the left side of this photo. Contact archives@iwu.edu if you can identify any of the others. (click to enlarge)

1947-48 BA and BFA awarded in Dramatics: This is the first time the School of Dramatics is listed as an independent unit within the College of Fine Arts. “The courses in Dramatics are offered 1) as part of a liberal education, 2) as training for teachers and directors in schools, and 3) as preparation for work in the theatre, either community or professional.” (see catalog p. 153). The catalog also notes that a BA in Dramatics through the Division of Humanities is available on completion of 16 semester hours (of 126 total) in Dramatics. BFAs require 60-100 semester hours in Dramatics and “allied fields.” Professor of Dramatics Lawrence E. Tucker, M.A., is the School’s first Director and it was his first year on campus.

1951-52 BA and BFAs awarded in Drama and in Drama and Speech — the year that the unit becomes known as School of Dramatics and Speech. Tucker is still the director (see catalog p. 137). Candidates for BFAs “must present a minimum of 124 semester hours.” BAs are earned through the Division of Humanities after completion of 24 semester hours.

1964-65 BA and BFAs awarded in Drama — the year the unit becomes the School of Drama. The courses in Drama are offered 1) as part of a liberal education, 2) as training for teachers and directors in schools, 3) as preparation for work in television or the theatre, either community or professional, and 4) as preliminary work for graduate study” (see catalog p. 119). Tucker is still the director but is listed with a Ph.D. at this time. Candidates for BFAs “must present a minimum of 130 semester hours.” BAs are earned through the Division of Humanities after completion of 24 semester hours (of 124 total).

1978-79 BA and BFAs awarded in Drama and in Music-Theatre — the unit is still The School of Drama. “The Music-Theatre Degree Program at Illinois Wesleyan University has as its goal the training of young people for careers in musical theatre. It is a complete and intensive course of study leading to a degree, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music-Theatre” (catalog p. 125). Associate Professor of Drama Carole A. Brandt, Ph.D., became the director in 1977. BAs are awarded in the College of Liberal Arts after completion of 34 course units. BFAs in drama require 34 units; BFAs in Music-Theatre require 36 units.

1993-94 Music Theatre, Theatre Arts — the year it becomes The School of Theatre Arts. Professor of Theatre Arts Jared Brown, Ph.D. is listed as the director with a start date of 1989. BAs are awarded in the College of Liberal Arts after completion of 35 course units. BFAs in theatre arts require 35 units; BFAs in Music-Theatre require 36 units.

2003-04 Acting, Music Theatre, Theatre Design and Technology — still The School of Theatre Arts. Professor of Theatre Arts Nancy B. Loitz, M.F.A., is listed as the director with a start date of 1999. Of 32 total course units required for graduation, BAs in Theatre Arts need 12; and BFAs in Acting need 20.5 units, BFAs in Music Theatre need 22.25 units, and BFAs in Theatre Design and Technology need 19 units.

Apollo 8 and IWU

Earth rising above the lunar horizon

Earthrise, December 24, 1968. Photo by Apollo 8 Astronaut Bill Anders. (credit: NASA)

December 21st marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Apollo 8 mission–the first manned orbit of the moon. Just three months after that on March 18, 1969, the three Apollo 8 astronauts–Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders–were awarded honorary PhDs at the 1969 Founders’ Day Convocation (the latter two in absentia). During his time on campus, Borman, who was Apollo 8’s commander, laid the cornerstone for the new Mark Evans Observatory and spoke at a luncheon for the Board of Trustees.
Towards the end of the Founders’ Day recording Borman speaks and has some pointed and interesting comments about education in direct response to the event’s main speaker William Arrowsmith, University of Texas Professor of Classics and University Professor in Arts and Letters. A March 21, 1969 Argus article (p. 15)  describes the event.
Astronaut Frank Borman and a crowd of onlookers at the Evan's Observatory dedication

A sizeable crowd watches as Frank Borman gets ready to place the time capsule in the Mark Evans Observatory. [click to enlarge]


The University made an an audio recording of the cornerstone laying at Mark Evans Observatory and the University Archivist added the sound track over three brief (and silent) home movies that were donated in 2016. One of the films shows Borman placing a time capsule in the observatory’s wall. The photo on the left shows just part of the crowd that this event drew; several other photos are available online.
The 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.
In President Eckley’s remarks at the dedication, he says he intends to open the time capsule in seven years, but the University’s archival holdings do not contain evidence of that happening. With the 50th anniversary of the observatory’s dedication coming up, Physical Plant personnel are examining the building to see if the time capsule is still there.
After the dedication, Borman gave a presentation to the Board of Trustees in which he shared details of the Apollo 8 mission and displayed a great sense of humor!
The Winter 2011 IWU Magazine story “Star Attraction” offers additional details on the history of the development of this observatory.

Views of an old Bur Oak

In an article published today IWU Manager of Grounds Services Eric Nelson told the story of a campus bur oak that fell after a heavy rain. The oldest clear image found in IWU’s archival collections is in the 1929 yearbook, The Wesleyana (p. 15).

Here is a selection of other views over the years!

 

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. In a Letter to the Editor published a week after King’s assassination, IWU alumna Sara Ellen Long recalled her role in the 1961 group that invited King (April 12, p. 2).

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.

Photo project complete!

In 2011 the archives acquired a group of photographic material from the Office of Communications. Since then a succession* of diligent archives student assistants have worked steadily to place the contact sheets and negatives together in high quality sleeves, transfer information from the old filing sleeves, and then to store them in hanging file drawers for ease of access. Actually, many people** at IWU deserve the thanks of all future IWU photo seekers.

Below are a few then-and-now pictures to give a sense of this effort. The years spanned in these image files are 1966-2002, though the bulk of the negatives are from 1970s-1990s. A rough estimate of the total comes to about 40,000 images. Some information is searchable in a database (available in the archives) created by a couple of generations of photographers, but most images are at least in chronological order and correspond with activities that occur regularly each academic year. This order itself, even without complete descriptions, is significant for the work of the archives in satisfying the many research inquiries we receive each year.

* Students (now alumni!) assisting in this project were Kaylee, Kenny, Kirsten, Melissa, Rachel, Shirley, and Tia.

**Special thanks to the photographers who took the images and saved their log books, Physical Plant for moving everything so carefully, and University Librarian Karen Schmidt for making it possible to purchase the supplies that will help keep our history safe and in order for future use! Karen also alerted me to the policies of State Farm that allow non-profits to acquire used furniture from their surplus warehouse. We wouldn’t have all the vertical file cabinets without them!

 

 

Photographic material acquired

Summer 2011 brought our biggest accession of the year and fulfills a need that was identified before my arrival on campus. Nearly all photographic negatives, contact sheets and slides dating from the 1960s to 1990s that were formerly stored in the basement of Holmes Hall have been transferred for processing to the archives. Once processing is complete, we estimate the collection will occupy 130 linear feet.

This collection was inadequately protected both because of the physical environment of the basement and at the item level: negatives were in legal-sized envelopes and contact sheets were in shoe boxes. We are spreading the costs over a couple of budget cycles but our goal is to re-house the entire collection and make the index publicly available.

Also included in this photo transfer were some of the newer slides stored within the campus photographer’s office in good-quality sleeves, so material from the mid-1990s only needed a stable physical space.

It should be noted that other photographic material remains in various places in Holmes Hall, but this large transfer is a great start to ensuring that the collection is protected for the future. Additionally, research requests can be handled by archives staff, instead of taking up our photographer’s already well-used time!

More historical photos

If it’s been awhile since you looked through the online photo collection, check it out. One of our outstanding archives student assistants worked away at our backlog of photos that have been digitized for one reason or another in the past few years and there are over 1,100 uploaded now.

There are quite a few that we know little or nothing about. Click on the “Help ID Photos!” tab at the top of this page to search solely for those images. If you have information to share, let me know!

We recently acquired the IWU Tree Map files for the current and previous interactive websites created by Art Killian. We can’t make the map interactive in our photo collection, but I know we can at least save the map pages for each tree and include an image of each tree so that changes to our arboretum can be noted well into the future. Stay tuned!