Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Political protest art focus of University Libraries exhibit

An exhibit featuring political protest art from the Thomas W. Benson Collection, will be on display from Nov. 18 to Feb. 1, 2012, in the Diversity Studies Room, 203 Pattee Library. The collection captures the intensely political climate and emerging student engagement with war, patriotism and anti-imperialism in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibit is open during standard library hours. Call 814-865-3063 to confirm times.

Benson will give a gallery talk at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library and also on MediaSite Live at No login required.

The Benson Political Protest Poster Collection began in August 1969, when Thomas W. Benson on sabbatical from Penn State arrived as visiting professor to spend the year in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Political activity on campus was common though a fairly quiet presence, but the climate on the Berkeley campus changed dramatically in 1969 when the public learned of the 1968 My Lai Massacre, a murder of more than 350 innocent victims by U.S. troops. This massacre, combined with then Governor Ronald Reagan’s anti-University campaign and fiscal cuts, along with President Nixon’s April 1970 Cambodian invasion, fueled emotional demonstrations and strikes by faculty and students.

Benson noted, “The university became a sort of teach-in about the war.” Student design artists and activists banded together and created the Berkeley Political Poster Workshop that designed, printed, and distributed hundreds of political protest posters in support of the anti-war movement.

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library acquired the political protest posters in 2009 as a gift from Benson, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Rhetoric, Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, and the editor of the series in Rhetoric and Communication for the University of South Carolina Press.

To view the full online Thomas W. Benson Political Protest Digital Collection, go to online.

To access the original Berkeley protest poster prints within the Thomas W. Benson Political Protest Collection, contact Historical Collections and Labor Archives, The Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, Penn State University Park. For more information, or if you anticipate needing accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, contact James Quigel at 814-865-1793.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Special Collections Library offers Thanksgiving wishes with Waring Show

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for with Fred Waring’s America latest video podcast. This recently produced podcast features the music of Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians as seen on their weekly CBS television program, the Fred Waring Show. This month’s presentation features an entire 30-minute television show with songs all related to the Thanksgiving holiday and the spirit of thankfulness.

For television history buffs, the show also includes advertisements of the day, offering an interesting contrast to today's networks.

Videos from Fred Waring’s America may be viewed on YouTube at

For other Fred Waring podcasts, visit or follow these steps:

-- Go to

-- Log in as a Penn State user or a guest (wait for iTunes to launch)

-- Select Penn State Podcast Shows

-- Select Fred Waring Collection

Fred Waring's America documents 20th-century American popular culture through song, radio, movies and television performance. The large-scale collection provides primary source material for researchers, musicians and music educators, orchestra and choral conductors, documentary filmmakers, golden-age radio enthusiasts as well as media and cultural historians.

New podcasts are added each month and feature clips from the collection's vast archive of 25,000 recordings on disc, wire, tape, kinescope and video. The recordings cover every radio and television broadcast made by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians from 1933­ to 1960; concert recordings; reference recordings of Fred Waring music workshop sessions and concerts; and other miscellaneous performances, appearances and interviews, including recent interviews with famous cartoonists who spent time at Waring's golf resort every summer from the late 1940s through 1970s.

For more information, email Tim Babcock- Coordinator of Fred Waring's America @ or call 814-863-2911.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Local Contest at Eberly Family Special Collections Library, Penn State University Libraries

“I Found it in the Archives” Contest

Nationally Sponsored by the Society of American Archivists (SAA),

The contest is an opportunity for Special Collections researchers (all categories) to submit a short story of their quest for information and their success in finding it in the Penn State Special Collections Library. The story – submitted either as a 400-word written essay or as a video recording of no more than two minutes – should tell their tale of discovery and show the result/s of their search.

Ground Rules:

1) Who Can Enter? Any person who has utilized Special Collections materials within the past calendar year (January 1, 2011-Present).

Faculty, staff and student employees (current or former) of the Special Collections Library or its affiliated Library departments are ineligible to enter this contest.

2) Where to submit entries? General drop off of entries can be accomplished in person at: 104 Paterno Library, University Park, Pa 16802 or online to

3) How will they be judged? A five-person panel of Penn State University archival professionals will review all submitted entries and choose three winners who will be awarded first, second and third place prizes.

The first place winning entry will then be submitted to the Society of American Archivists national contest. The winner of the national contest will receive a trip to the SAA Annual Meeting to be held in San Diego, CA in August 2012.

4) What is the timing? Entries for the local Penn State contest will be accepted beginning 8:00 a.m. EST, Tuesday, November 1, 2011 through 5:00 p.m. EST, Friday, December 2, 2011. Prize winners will be announced at a public event in the Foster Auditorium, University Libraries on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.

5) What are the prizes?

FIRST PRIZE: $100 Barnes and Noble Bookstore Gift Card

SECOND PRIZE: Penn State Fleece Jacket

THIRD PRIZE: Autographed Penn State Creamery book authored by former Penn State University Archivist and SAA President Lee Stout

Additional information about the contest can be obtained by contacting Contest co-Chairs Jeanette Eisenhart at and/or Meredith Weber at at 814-863-1793.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Utopian Architecture Highlighted in Exhibition Gallery Talk

The Special Collections Library will host a gallery talk on utopian architecture by Nathaniel Coleman, Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK, on Monday, October 24, at 4:30 p.m. in Foster Auditorium, 101 Paterno Library. The talk, titled “Representing Utopia: Images of Ideal Places?” will be held in conjunction with an exhibition called “This Way to Utopia,” opening on October 19 in the Special Collections Library Exhibition Hall, 104 Paterno Library.

Nathaniel Coleman’s talk will deal with the representation of utopia, which has long been a significant problem for architecture because most studies on architecture and utopia begin and end with alluring images of grandiose architectural projects, often at the scale of the city. But the predominantly negative view of utopia as absolutist has encouraged architects to retreat from risking visions of better futures. Coleman asks, what if at least a large number of totalizing plans allegedly depicting utopia are arguably not actually utopian? Might that liberate architects to once again engage in social imagination of a utopian sort?

The exhibition, drawn from the extensive holdings of the Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection housed in Rare Books and Manuscripts, will highlight the themes of imaginary cities, gender and gender relations, dystopias, colonial and postcolonial utopias, communities, and utopias of the 18th century. The exhibition will be mounted to coincide with the annual conference of the Society for Utopian Studies, held this year on the Penn State campus from October 20 to 23. Some 130 utopian scholars of all disciplines will meet to celebrate the conference theme of “Archiving Utopia – Utopia as Archive,” as well as the ongoing evolution of one of the world’s largest and best collections of utopian materials in the world in the Penn State Libraries. The conference will not only draw attention to the breadth and depth of the Lewis Utopia Collection but also the importance of the archive as broader theme within utopian studies.

The presentation will also be available through MediaSite Live at (no login is required)

For more information, contact Sandra Stelts, 814-865-1793, or

CONTEST UNDERWAY – Become a member of our University Archives Facebook group

Kerry Collins throws a pass vs. Northwestern, fullback Brian Milne blocks his back side 11/19/1994
Penn State’s football team will be playing Northwestern on Saturday, October 22, 2011 in Evanston, Il. In the spirit of friendly competition (we must CRUSH them) the university archives for both schools are having a contest -the archives with the most NEW friends will be declared the winner.

The patrons who join our group will be treated with regular updates concerning exhibits, programs, university history, fun facts/trivia, and more.

The contest runs through 4:00 p.m. EST, Friday, October 21.!/groups/84628139307/

Friday, October 7, 2011

Exhibit looks at campus life during the Civil War

Penn State during the Civil War, 1861-1865," a Penn State University Archives exhibit is on display, now through Jan. 13, 2012, in the Hintz Alumni Center, Robb Hall, on Penn State's University Park campus.

When the Civil War broke out with the bombardment of Fort Sumter April 12, 1861, Penn State had just won a prolonged legislative battle for a $50,000 appropriation to complete the construction of Old Main. The entire operation of the Farmers' High School (as Penn State was then called) was to be housed in this single structure that had been only one third completed when the first students arrived in February 1859. News of Fort Sumter's surrender changed the mood of the 88 students and five professors then on campus from satisfaction over the legislative victory to confused excitement. President Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers to serve in the Union army and Governor Andrew Curtin's immediate response had the students in a patriotic uproar to enlist, which was aggressively quieted by College President Evan Pugh.

Pugh, a Quaker, assured the boys that they could complete their education and still have ample time to serve their country. Pugh urged them to wait at least until they were over 20 years of age for the sake of their mothers. “At no time in the life of a young man,” wrote John Thompson in recalling Pugh’s speech “is he so dear to his mother, as between the ages of 16 and 20. Then when manhood is almost upon him, the mother pictures for him a splendid career … her boy is growing to be a man very much like other men.”

The exhibit, featuring University Archives collections, focuses on the nature of campus life during the years of the Civil War, 1861-1865, including student life at the Farmers’ High School; circumstances of the campus’ name changed to The Agricultural College of Pennsylvania; the impact of the passage of the Morrill Act of 1862; and roles played by Evan Pugh, James Beaver, William Waring and Frederick Watts in the building of the fledgling college.

Photographs, campus publications, newspaper clippings and personal memorabilia bring the visitor back to the very beginnings of Penn State’s history to experience life on campus as a student, faculty member, college president, and visitor 150 years ago.

Exhibit hours during the semester are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. some Saturdays. Call the Hintz Alumni Center, during business hours to confirm Saturday times. For additional information about the exhibit and Penn State’s early years, contact Jackie Esposito, university archivist, 814-863-3791 or or Alston Turchetta, archival assistant, 814-865-1793 or

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Penn State Hershey Medical Center stories score big at Emmys with help from the Penn State University Archives!

Three stories focusing on Penn State Hershey's patients, families and history earned Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards during the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) chapter ceremony held at the Lowe's Hotel in Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The television productions, produced by FryFilms, earned the Human Interest News Feature Emmy for "A Mother's Gift." The piece featured the story of Children's Miracle Network miracle child Mitchell Pollack and details the courageous fight of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital caregivers and Mitchell's family to save his life from kidney failure.

The Emmys also honored the Public/Community Affairs Feature “Conquering Childhood Cancer," a story about the Four Diamonds Fund, the pediatric cancer charity supported by the annual IFC Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) with proceeds benefitting cancer care and support services for pediatric cancer patients as well as pediatric cancer research at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

FryFilms partner Todd Fry was awarded the Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Directing for the Penn State Hershey Medical Center historical documentary, "Memories and Milestones." "Memories and Milestones" also was nominated for the documentary Emmy but fell short of the prize.

"All of the children, families and medical professionals trusted us with their stories, and we are honored to work with each and every one of them," said Cara Fry, producer for all three productions.

Penn State University Archivist Jackie Esposito remarked, "Memories and Milestones: A History of the Hershey Medical Center created by Fry Films made extensive use of University Archives photographs and documents as well as similar materials held by the Hershey Medical Library. Without these rich resources, the documentary might not have received the Mid-Atlantic Emmy."

The goals of NATAS are to recognize outstanding achievements in television by conferring annual awards of merit in the Chapter's designated award region. The presentation of these awards is intended to be an incentive for the continued pursuit of excellence for those working in the television industry and to focus public attention on outstanding cultural, educational, technological, entertainment, news and informational achievements in television.

All three videos can be seen on the Medical Center's YouTube channel,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Out of the Sky"- Special Collections remembers 9/11 with new acquisition

Werner Pfeiffer. Out of the Sky. Red Hook, NY: Pear Whistle Press, 2006. Number 33 of 52 copies. An artist’s book by Werner Pfeiffer in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2011.

This three-dimensional book consists of a group of large woodcuts in the shape of two towers, each over five feet tall. Each tower has seven segments, which are stacked over a support structure and rest in recessed cavities of the accompanying hand-made box.

New York artist Werner Pfeiffer watched the towers burn from a rooftop in Brooklyn, and this book began with his sketches from that day. In constructing a book about 9/11, Pfeiffer could imagine it moving in only one direction: up. The dense and chaotic woodcuts on the bottom of the towers represent the bodies in free fall as they leapt to their death. As the paper towers rise, the victims’ names also rise to echo the texture of the corrugated steel of the World Trade Center, achieved here with the names alternately bolded and unbolded. The accompanying booklet speaks to Pfeiffer’s triggered memories of his childhood in World War II Germany and the need to heal and “to probe for guiding spiritual markers within ourselves.” When Pfeiffer’s towers are deconstructed, they fold back into the cavities of the box.

Out of the Sky is one of many examples of artists’ books in the collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts. Artists’ books are often considered works of art because they push the boundaries of the definition of a “book,” and they are typically published in small quantities (sometimes even one-of-a-kind) using an array of techniques, including photography, printmaking, paper-making, painting, and paper engineering. Some artists’ books contain stories or poems; many contain no words at all. Whereas an editor or a publisher usually has the last say about the choices in most book production, the book artist has total control over choices of size, shape, paper, typography, and binding.

To view a video of Pfeiffer discussing Out of the Sky, visit

The book will be on display through September 30, 2011, in the Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, Pennsylvania State University Libraries. For more information, contact Sandra Stelts, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts,, or 814-865-1793.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Into the Archives: The Dr. Dorothy V. Harris Papers

A Brown Bag Discussion
Sponsored by the Penn State University Archives
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library

Dorothy V. Harris, Penn State professor and pioneer in the field of sport psychology, was the first American and woman to become a member of the International Society of Sport Psychology, first resident sport psychologist at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s training center, first recipient of the Women’s Sport Foundation’s award for contribution to women in sport, and first woman to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in Sport Psychology. She maintained an extensive archival collection documenting her years of research, teaching, and professional outreach, and left that collection to the Penn State University Archives prior to her death in 1991.

From March 2010 through February 2011, Sydney Bennington, a Penn State programmer/analyst in Administrative Information Services, along with her wife, Tyler Bennington, co-author of Therapeutic Recreation in the Nursing Home surveyed, organized and processed the Dorothy V. Harris papers as part of a Penn State University Job Enrichment Opportunity.

This brown-bag presentation will provide an overview of the scope of Dr. Harris’ archival collection, her professional life and activities, and the role of an archival processor in making this collection accessible to researchers worldwide.

More information about Dorothy Harris is available at:

Additional information about the Brown Bag presentation, contact Jackie R. Esposito, University Archivist,, 814-863-3791.

Civil War Gallery Talk

"A Local Detective Story: Deserters and Loyalty in the Civil War"
by Professor William Blair, director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center
Wednesday, October 5, 4:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium, first floor Paterno Library

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gallery Talk: "Something to Remember You By: Memorial Photography"

Post-mortem daguerreotype of a little girl.
Henisch Photo-History Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Daguerretype of a young man with folded hands, mounted in a marble stand.
Henisch Photo-History Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Commemorative photographic plate of President John F. Kennedy Jr.
Jay Ruby Collection on the Photographic Representation of Death,
Historical Collections and Labor Archives

Anthropologist Examines Photographic Memorials, Including 9/11

“Something to Remember You By: Memorial Photography,” a Special Collections gallery talk by Jay Ruby, will explore the ways in which photographs have been used in the fundamental process of grieving to help us remember the dead. The talk will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, in Foster Auditorium, 101 Paterno Library on Penn State’s University Park campus. The presentation will also be available for viewing through MediaSite Live at at No login is required.

Memorial photography is a logical extension of the primary function of the photograph—to enhance memories of all kinds. Since the mid-19th century, a variety of methods have been used, from daguerreotype cases illustrated with death themes to today’s digital age, where video memorials are produced for funerals, and entire funerals can be viewed on Internet sites. Ruby’s talk will examine photographic memorials from the beginning of photography to the memorials associated with the anniversary of the attacks of 9/11.

Jay Ruby is emeritus professor of anthropology and former director of the graduate program in the anthropology of visual communication at Temple University in Philadelphia. He has been exploring the relationship of visual communication between cultures and pictures for over thirty years. His interests revolve around the application of anthropological insights to the production and comprehension of photographs, film, and television. He has conducted ethnographic studies of pictorial communication in rural Juniata County, PA, and more recently in his hometown, Oak Park, IL.  He has produced award-winning documentaries and is the author of numerous articles and books, including Secure the Shadow: Death and Photography in America (MIT Press, 1995); The World of Francis Cooper: Nineteenth Century Pennsylvania Photographer (Penn State Press, 1999); and Picturing Culture: Essays on Anthropology and Film (University of Chicago Press, 2000). He is co-editor of the forthcoming Made to Be Seen: Historical Perspectives on Visual Anthropology, to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

The gallery talk will be held in conjunction with a new exhibition in the B.H. Henisch Photo-History Collection Exhibition Room, 201A Pattee Library. The exhibition, also called “Something to Remember You By: Memorial Photography,” draws from the holdings of the B.H. Henisch Photo-History Collection and the Jay Ruby Collection on the Photographic Representation of Death, both housed in the Special Collections Library. The exhibition will open on September 6 and run through January 6, 2012.

[Text by Sandy Stelts]

Monday, August 29, 2011

Undergrad Rachael Green Explores Utopias

"Because of a life-long interest in fantasy and sci-fi literature, the Special Collections Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection sounded interesting to me immediately, so I decided to find out as much as I could about it.  Little did I know that I would stumble upon a veritable gold mine of information about utopia studies, founded by Arthur Lewis.  Not only do we have one of the premier utopia collections in our library, but we are also hosting a conference for the Society for Utopian Studies in October. Talking with Sandy Stelts, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, I was quickly engrossed by our discussion of "utopian" books and the debate over the definition of a utopia.  When looking at some of the books in our extensive collection, I found many familiar authors such as Lois Lowry, Ayn Rand, Ursula K. LeGuin, Margaret Atwood, and Terry Goodkind."

Read the entire post on the Penn State's Liberal Arts blog at:

Back to School, Then and Now

A photograph from the University Archives of a (one hopes pleasantly) exhausted student:

And a new video from Penn State welcoming back students for the 2011/2012 school year:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sponsored Lecture: Penn State, State College, a Sinkhole, the WPA, and the Building of Memorial Field

Presented by Ronald A. Smith, Professor Emeritus, Kinesiology
Sponsored by the Penn State University Archives
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Foster Auditorium

Utilizing collections held by the Penn State University Archives and the Centre County Historical Society as well as material gleaned from newspapers, School Board and Borough meeting minutes, Professor Smith offers his presentation on the creation of State College’s iconic “Sinkhole” Memorial Field.

When State College was incorporated in 1896, it had one school, built by College Township and a high school would not even be created until the next decade. There were no intercollegiate athletics and no athletic field, except on the Penn State campus. There was, however, a sinkhole on a farm on the outskirts of State College that, when purchased in 1914, became a playground for a new school on Nittany Avenue.

The sinkhole was not prime agricultural land and was used by some in State College to deposit their garbage. When purchased, the objective was not to use it as an athletic field, but rather as a school play area. It wasn’t long before it became a place for the4 baseball team to play its games and a practice field for football (State College boys played their games on the Penn State campus).

By the mid-1920s, the Chamber of Commerce saw the “Hollow” as a future athletic stadium and soon John Bracken, head, Penn State’s Landscape Architecture Department, had drawings of an expanded State College school campus, including a stadium.

Little progress was made on the “Hollow” until the Great Depression in the 1930s. At the height of the Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President and the New Deal attempted to come to the rescue by building government projects and putting millions to work. The most prominent program was the Works Progress Administration (WPA) created in 1935. The WPA made possible the building of a stadium in State College, following the leadership of the State College schools superintendent Jo Hays. The nearly $100,000 project created the limestone-adorned athletic field that was named Memorial Field in 1946.

Smith offers the illustrated story of a sinkhole in the “Hollow” that was developed first into a baseball field, and then soon became the target of the State College Borough for an engineering project to drain surface water from Allen Street and elsewhere. How the School Board negotiated the draining of State College run-off water into the sinkhole with the State College Borough will be part of the discussion.

Join us for a lively hour-long presentation. For more information, contact Jackie Esposito, University Archivist,, 814-863-3791.

Video: The Legacy and the Promise: 150 Years of Land-Grant Universities

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Looking at French Revolution Pamphlets on Bastille Day

Observations de quelques patriots sur la nécessité de conserver les monuments de la literature et des arts. Paris, [1793]. Pamphlet #556, French Revolution Pamphlet Collection
On July 14, the French celebrate Bastille Day. The Bastille was a medieval fortress and prison located in the center of Paris, which during the French Revolution represented royal authority. The storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 is held as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation of France and the reconciliation of all French citizens. Festivities, including fireworks and parades, are held all over France on Bastille Day.

In honor of Bastille Day, Sandy Stelts, Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, is showcasing our collection of French Revolution Pamphlets:

The pamphlet pictured above is a plea by several moderates who call themselves the sons of Renouard (the printer), of Chardin (the painter), and of Charlemagne, in which they argue strongly for the preservation of France’s heritage. For a time the Republic called for the destruction of landmarks of the past, most notably the cathedral of Notre Dame. Collections of paintings and furniture were sold off, and religious objects were melted down for their gold and silver in order to raise funds for warfare. As one among a number of protests, this pamphlet is interesting as it cites the losses in past conflicts when great manuscripts and books were destroyed or mutilated and collections scattered. The plea is made that such collections are a part of the national patrimony and far more than symbols of tyranny and repression.

Rare Books and Manuscripts’ collection of 720 French Revolution pamphlets, ranging from 1789 to 1796, includes both private and government publications that deal with virtually all aspects of the Revolution, but there is a particular emphasis on political and military issues, financial matters, the position of the clergy, and legal and social conditions throughout France. Among the authors represented are many major Revolutionary figures, including Lucien Bonaparte, Danton, Lafayette, Marat, Mirabeau, Robespierre, and Talleyrand. The collection represents only a few of the almost overwhelming number of pamphlets and books that appeared when the events were current and that were part of an enormous production of paper and ideas—including polemics, cruel edicts, new constitutions, pleas for sobriety, demands for justice, excoriations of the past, and justifications for legal murder.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts: A Cultural Olympics

Image from

University Archivist Jackie Esposito has a guest column on on the past and present of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (coming to State College & the University Park campus July 14-17, with "Children and Youth Day" on the 13th):
'This year (1967) we only scratched the surface. ... In years to come, when people want to know what is going on in the arts, they will come to central Pennsylvania to find out.'

That assessment by Dr. Jules Heller, then dean of Arts and Architecture at Penn State, appeared immediately following the very first Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Dr. Heller was extraordinarily right. Forty-four years later, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is the place to come to learn about the arts, to enjoy your summer days in State College and to create your own family memories.
Go to to read the rest of the article.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Celebrating World Social Media Day!

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library recognizes World Social Media Day by launching its newest web 2.0 service -- the Penn State Special Collections Library Flickr site. Together with the Library's Digitized Collections, this will be another vehicle for us to share collection content with researchers, classes, and folks just interested in our materials.

For our inaugural set, we have posted images from our exhibit "Home Front to Battle Front: Celebrating the Civil War Legacy." So if you are unable to make it to the Penn State campus, or just want to see the images again after your visit, you can access them on the PSU Flickr site:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Home Front to Battlefront: Celebrating the Civil War Legacy

Plate 37: The Advance of the Cavalry Skirmish Line
Edwin Forbes, circa 1862-1864
Gift of John Eakin, 2010

An exhibit by the Historical Collections & Labor Archives unit
June 23-October 7, 2011
104 Paterno Library

In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Eberly Family Special Collections Library will feature a special exhibition chronicling the Civil War Era and its legacy.  Drawing upon an rich array of unique primary source materials—including family letters, diaries, photographic images, historical lithographs and broadsides, official government records—the exhibition explores themes of slavery and abolitionism, sectionalism, the battlefield experience of the common soldier, health and medical conditions during the war, Penn State and the Civil War, and the construction of cultural memory of the epic conflict.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Digital Collection: Thomas W. Benson Political Protest Posters

The Thomas W. Benson Political Protest Digital Collection is a unique educational and scholarly resource documenting and exploring themes associated with the student anti-war movement and campus unrest in America during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Consisting of 75 iconic political protest posters and accompanying memorabilia—the core produced by student activists affiliated with the University of California (UC)-Berkeley’s Political Poster Workshop—the collection was assembled by Professor Thomas W. Benson, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Rhetoric, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University during his early years as a faculty member affiliated with UC-Berkeley and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The visually compelling agitprop posters aided in mobilizing faculty and student participation in campus demonstrations and sit-ins in opposition to the Vietnam War and the military-industrial complex. As an eyewitness to the events of that tumultuous era and later a nationally recognized scholar in the field of communications theory and political rhetoric, Professor Benson occupies a unique vantage point to assay the organic relationship of the posters to mass movement political action. His included oral history interview and scholarly paper presentation on the subject of polemical poster artwork of the late 1960s and early 1970s richly contextualize the digital collection.

This digital gallery is organized and arranged by thematic series and preserves for posterity the rare and fragile political graphic artwork that shaped the social, political, and cultural discourse of the Vietnam War era. The digitized political protest posters serve as an important vehicle to generate classroom discussion and educational projects devoted to the study of the American anti-war movement and the counterculture. Moreover, the Thomas W. Benson Political Protest Digital Collection is interdisciplinary in nature and can be used by researchers in a number of academic fields—political science, history, sociology, communications and rhetorical theory, art education and history—to facilitate research and scholarship on the history the New Left and the role of political graphic art as visual rhetoric.

See images from the collections here:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Exhibit, "Realizing their Dreams: Penn State Across the Commonwealth"

On display, June 8 – September 9, 2011
Robb Hall, Hintz Alumni Center, University Park campus

As a Land Grant institution, part of Penn State’s mission has been to, “without excluding scientific and classical studies, to teach agriculture and the mechanical arts… the industrial classes in all the pursuits and professions of life”. A new University Archives photographic exhibit, titled “REALIZING THEIR DREAMS: PENN STATE ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH”, shows how for nearly 100 years, Penn State has been fulfilling its mission across the Commonwealth.

As early as 1912, a number of cities across the State were benefitting from “Technical Classes”, taught by Penn State instructors. After the Great Depression, many residents were longing for educational opportunities, but simply could not afford to leave their homes for extended periods. The need for ‘local educational centers’ beckoned.

In the early 1930’s, Penn State’s reputation as one of the nation’s best Agricultural, as well as Engineering schools, had community leaders knocking on Penn State’s door, asking to bring more educational opportunities to their area. Under the direction of Penn State President Ralph Hetzel, a number of “branch campuses” were established around the state.

Over the decades, more campuses were founded, and today Penn State can boast that it reaches 1 out of every 2 households in Pennsylvania. There is not a single county across the state that is without at least 1 Penn State “Outreach Door”. Whether it is a Penn State Commonwealth Campus, a Cooperative Extension Unit, a JASI (Justice and Safety Institute) Training Site, or other “Outreach Door”, Penn State continues to fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and public service. Add to the extensive offerings across the Commonwealth PSU’s World Campus and it’s difficult to come up with yet another way for PSU to teach, reach, and help its constituents.

The exhibit is free to the public and is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

For more information, contact Paul Karwacki, Archives Assistant, at 814-863-9870, or email

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Penn State receives Judy Chicago feminist art education collections

Artist, author and educator Judy Chicago has given Penn State University Libraries the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection, one of the most important private collections of feminist art education. In collaboration with Chicago's gift, the Through the Flower organization (TTF) has given The Dinner Party Curriculum Online Project to Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture for its art education program to be sustained in conjunction with the Libraries' archive collection.

Read the full story on Live:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Old Main: The History of a Penn State Landmark

Michael Bezilla writing for the Alumni Library:

"Old Main surely ranks as one of the most photographed sites on the University Park campus, perhaps second only to the Nittany Lion shrine in this respect. Why? Because, like the Nittany Lion, it is instantly recognizable, symbolizing a bond shared by hundreds of thousands of Penn Staters worldwide..."

Click to read the article

Friday, May 20, 2011

E-Records Case Study: Ingesting Faculty Senate Course Proposals

Penn State University Archivist Jackie Esposito presented this case study at the Midwest Archives Conference meeting in St. Paul on April 29, as part of the session entitled, "Streams in the E-Record Workflow: Developing Elements of the Archival Process for Electronic Records of Historical Value". Her co-presenters included Lisa Schmidt of Michigan State and Patricial Michaelis of the Kansas State Historical Society. Approximately 150 archival professionals attended the session.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Online Exhibit: Juniata County History Project

Featuring several thousand images, this collection encompasses the range of lifetime experiences in Juniata County over the course of the 20th century.  Highlighting both exceptional photographs as well as portraits that could easily have been taken from any family mantelpiece, the images illustrate rural Pennsylvania’s cultural heritage.  The Juniata County History Project was a long term ethnographic research project dedicated to understanding the various forms of visual communication in Juniata County (Pa.).  These exhibit panels showcase customary scenes from everyday life in central Pennsylvania, including agriculture, marriage, childhood, and the rural tradition of the estate auction.

Tim Pyatt Named New Head of Special Collections

From Penn State Live:

Timothy D. Pyatt will begin his appointment as the Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and head of The Eberly Family Special Collections Library in the University Libraries on June 1. Pyatt comes to Penn State from Duke University where, since 2002, he has been the university archivist in the Perkins Library and, from 2006 to 2010, he served as associate director of the Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library.

Read the article in its entirety here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Military History in Special Collections

Image from the 8th Air Force Archive

Jackie Esposito, University Archivist, and Jim Quigel, Head of Historical Collections and Labor Archives, will be teaching two ROTC classes in military history this semester. In preparation, and together with Paul Dyzak (one of our noble Archives Supervisors), they put together a list of military-related collections in our library, sorted chronologically by conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Click here to download the list.

Participants needed for usability studies

Attention Penn State students and employees, particularly undergrads and faculty!

Participate in a 1-hour usability study. Help us to make the Special Collections website even better. We are seeking individuals willing to think aloud while working through a pre-determined set of tasks. The sessions will be recorded and are being conducted for research purposes. Participants will be compensated $15 for their time.

Anyone over 18 may apply.  For more information, contact me at


Monday, March 21, 2011

Hidden Gems in the Rare Books Unit: LGBT Utopias

From the Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection description:

In his British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, an Annotated, Chronological Bibliography, Lyman Tower Sargent credits Penn State with "having established the best Utopia Collection in the world"... Our collection is indeed wide-ranging and includes communal studies, the works of utopian theorists, and fabulous voyages. The collection gathers together as many utopias and dystopias in major languages as we can find. Works written in England and America predominate.

Rare Books and Manuscripts Curator Sandy Stelts informed me about these LGBT utopias for our diversity-related outreach.

Worlds apart : an anthology of lesbian and gay science fiction and fantasy / edited by Camilla Decarnin, Eric Garber, and Lyn Paleo. Boston : Alyson Publications, 1986.

Harper Conan and Singer David, by Edgar Pangborn
Houston, Houston, Do You Read? by James Tiptree, Jr.
To Keep the Oath, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Do Androids Dream of Electric Love? by Walt Liebscher
Lollipop and the Tar Baby, by John Varley
The Mystery of the Young Gentlemen, by Joanna Russ
The Gods of Reorth, by Elizabeth A. Lynn
Find the Lady, by Nicholas Fisk
No Day Too Long, by Jewelle Gomez
Full Fathom Five My Father Lies, by Rand B. Lee
Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones, by Samuel R. Delany

Lesbian land / edited by Joyce Cheney. Minneapolis, Minn. : Word Weavers, c1985.

This book contains interviews, essays and photographs from women-only communities in the 1980s.

Jarrod Jonsrud to speak on Holcombe Rucker

Monday, April 11, 2011, Noon-1 p.m., Mann Assembly Room

Jarrod Jonsrud is a Ph.D. Candidate in Kinesiology at Penn State. His research interest lies in the history and philosophy of sport. He has been working on sports-related oral histories for the University Archives.

Holcombe Rucker (1926-1965) worked for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as a playground director for almost 20 years.

Jarrod had this to say about his upcoming talk:

"This investigation into Holcombe Rucker’s life, and his honest struggle to give the children of Harlem a better chance to overcome their hardships should serve as a reminder that he was more than the originator of summer basketball tournaments.  He was a man who inspired a generation to do their best, and to put that same inspired effort back in to the community.  Holcombe Rucker and his sacrifices to the city of Harlem, the lives of countless youth, and the game of basketball deserve more recognition.  The spirit of Holcombe Rucker does not reside at a park, or on a basketball court; each time someone he taught teaches that to another, his spirit is revived and his legacy reborn."

(Belated) St. Patrick's Day Treat: Fred Waring on iTunes U

Listeners can now view a Fred Waring St. Patrick’s Day video podcast on the Fred Waring Collection on iTunes U. The collection known as Fred Waring’s America, is a unique part of the Special Collections Library at Penn State University Libraries. The current selection lets listeners relive Fred Waring’s St. Patrick’s Day shows, originally aired on CBS from 1949 to 1955.

Fred Waring’s America documents 20th century American popular culture through song, radio, movies and television performance. The large-scale collection provides primary source material for researchers, musicians and music educators, orchestra and choral conductors, documentary filmmakers, golden-age radio enthusiasts as well as media and cultural historians.

Listeners can link via or they can follow these steps:

1. Go to

2. Log in as a Penn State use or a guest (wait for iTunes to launch)

3. Select Penn State Podcast Shows

4. Select Fred Waring Collection

New podcasts will be added, on or around the 15th of the month. The podcasts will feature clips from the collection's vast archive of 25,000 recordings on disc, wire, tape, kinescope and video. The recordings cover every radio and television broadcast made by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians from 1933­1960; concert recordings; reference recordings of Fred Waring music workshop sessions and concerts; and other miscellaneous performances, appearances and interviews, including recent interviews with famous cartoonists who spent time at Waring's golf resort every summer from the late 1940s through 1970s.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Professor and Archives Donor John Lucas to Give Talk on Olympic History

John Lucas is professor emeritus of exercise and sport science in the College of Health and Human Development's Department of Kinesiology. He is also the author of four books, including "The Future of the Olympics" (1992) and "The Modern Olympic Games" (1980). Lucas is the official North American historian for the Olympic games, and in 1996 he received the International Olympic Committee’s highest honor, the Olympic Order gold medal.

On December 15 2010, University Archivist Jackie Esposito announced the gift of the John A. Lucas Olympic History Collection, 162 cubic feet of books, professional journals, article reprints, research files, biographies, and individual articles organized chronologically by Olympiad. The collection should be available for research use before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 summer games in London.

Professor Lucas will deliver a talk entitled "Athens 1896 to London 2012: A Perspective on the Olympic Games," on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, from noon to 1pm in the Mann Assembly Room.

Luis Alberto Sanchez Latin American Literature Collection

From our Rare Books and Manuscripts unit:

Dr. Luis Alberto Sanchez (1900-1994) was a Peruvian politician, author, and founding member of the left-leaning American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) party. In addition, he was a leading authority on American and Latin American literature. His academic career included years as a professor, and later as a rector, at Universidad de San Marcos, Peru; he also taught at the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia University, colleges in Florida and Oklahoma, the Sorbonne in Paris, and universities in Madrid and Jerusalem. Dr. Donald C. Henderson and Grace P. Perez translated and compiled Sanchez's correspondence in Literature and Politics in Latin America: An Annotated Calendar of the Luis Alberto Sanchez Correspondence, 1919-1980 (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Libraries, 1982).

The Luis Alberto Sanchez Collection forms an integral part of the holdings of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries, which has been collecting materials that deal with the literature of Central and South America since the 1930s. Sanchez's library, which includes many extremely rare works of literary authors published by small presses, was purchased by the Penn State Libraries in 1969. The subjects range from history and politics to Latin American criticism, poetry, and theater. Imprint dates of the literary works range from 1890 to the 1960s, with a majority of them being published in the 1920s through the 1950s. In a study made to determine their uniqueness among research libraries in North America, only thirty percent of the titles were reported held in other libraries in the United States and Canada. The rarest of the Sanchez books are shelved in the Rare Books Room; the Sanchez Papers are housed in Historical Collections and Labor Archives.

More about the Luis Alberto Sanchez Latin American Literature Collection:

Robert Joyce Papers, 1952-1973: documenting acts of social disobedience in America

"Joyce captured history in the making," March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC (August 29, 1963)
"I Have a Dream," March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, DC (August 28, 1963)
"Burn Baby Burn," H. Rap Brown (October 27, 1967)
"Young Freedom Riders" (c. 1960s)
From the Historical Collections and Labor Archives unit:

Robert Joyce was a self-taught art illustrator and photojournalist from a Wooster, Massachusetts, working-class background.  As a young man, he began a 25-year photojournalism career with the National Guardian in New York, covering progressive causes, social protest, and acts of civil disobedience and producing a large archive of images of the 20th century American left.

The Robert Joyce papers include photographs of acts of social disobedience, including Civil Rights Movement sit-ins, riots, Cold War peace demonstrations, and anti-Vietnam War protests. Depictions include the Cuban Missile crisis, a “Kill a Commie for Christ" counter-protest, a “Wall Street is War Street” demonstration, and activities of the Bread and Puppet Theater. There are approximately 500 rolls of negatives and 500 prints and contact prints, as well as 83 contact sheets, and 125 photo prints.  The collection also holds 28 mounted photos used by Kurt Wamfried and Ed Leos for a Robert Joyce exhibit in April 1976. The collection includes a 1973 oral history interview with Joyce and issues of Working Artist magazine, March 13, 1961-July 15, 1970.

Finding aid:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fred Waring Podcasts featured in the Centre Daily Times

From reporter Stephanie Koons:

Many people in central Pennsylvania have probably heard of Fred Waring, a Tyrone native known as “The Man Who Taught America How to Sing.” Not as many, however, may have had the chance to hear his music.

By using digital technology, Penn State University Libraries is now making Waring’s music more accessible than ever...

Read more:

Amish Diversity in Pennsylvania, encore presentation

Josh Brown will offer a reprise of his popular talk "Amish Diversity in Pennsylvania" on Thursday April 7, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.. in Foster Auditorium at University Park. The presentation will also be streamed via MediaSite Live.

Life's Silvered Strand: George 'Daddy' Groff's China

This Penn State University Archives exhibition is on display Feb. 15 to June 8, in the Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library.

George Weidman Groff (1884-1954), affectionately known as "Daddy" Groff by thousands of his students, was an agricultural faculty member concentrating on horticulture and botany during his years at Penn State and Lingnan Universities and a pioneer in identifying medicinal plants.

The exhibit features black-and-white photographs Groff shot in China in the 1920s and 1930s and include poems he wrote describing his day-to-day expeditions throughout South China. (full story)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Exhibit highlights history of women's athletics at Penn State

Women's track and field, taken in 1919.

From Penn State Live:

"From High Heels to High Hopes: Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at Penn State," a Penn State University Archives exhibit, is on display from Jan. 18 to June 7, in the Hintz Alumni Center on the University Park campus.

Women at Penn State were participating in sporting events as early as the 1900s in their physical education classes. From the early 1920s until the early 1960s, women participated in the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA), then the Women’s Recreation Association (WRA), which emphasized social recreation and the development of skills in various sports and activities. Women’s intercollegiate athletics began in 1964, with the first field hockey game played against Susquehanna University. Over the next few years, women’s teams were formed in golf, basketball, fencing, gymnastics, lacrosse, riflery, tennis, softball, bowling, swimming and diving, track and field, cross country and volleyball.

The passage of Title IX of The Federal Aid to Education Amendments in 1972 changed women’s sports. It prohibited sexual discrimination, resulted in the elimination of the rule forbidding scholarships and aid for women’s sports, and assisted in the formation of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). The NCAA took over women’s athletics in 1982. There are presently 13 Penn State women's teams playing in the Big Ten Conference. Women’s ice hockey, currently a club sport, will begin varsity play in the 2012–2013 season.

Penn State individuals and teams have enjoyed much success through the years, resulting in conference championships, tournament appearances and national championships. A number of women have gone on to participate nationally and internationally on professional teams and at the Olympics.

From the high-heeled women at the beginning of the 20th century to the finely tuned athletes of today, women’s athletics at Penn State has seen tremendous progress, giving women the opportunity to compete at the college level as well as national and international levels.

This exhibit features photographs from the Penn State University Archives collections. For additional information, contact Paul Dzyak at 814-865-2123 or Paul Karwacki at 814-863-9870.

Monday, January 24, 2011

New online exhibit: Selections from the William Warren Scranton Papers

The William Warren Scranton Papers housed at The Pennsylvania State University selectively document William Scranton’s stellar career in public service as well as in business, civic, and educational arenas. Gathered from his several offices, the papers supplement official state records at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and consist of 181.6 cubic feet of textual records and approximately 2,715 photographs, moving images, and audio tape recordings. Notable among the materials, the 2004 WVIA documentary In a Clear Light uses historic photographs from the papers to profile the life and career of William Scranton, as statesman, family man, and friend and advisor to five Presidents.

See the new online exhibit at:

Fred Waring’s Songs for 2011 on iTunes U

Revive your hope and inspiration for the new year with with a video podcast on iTunes U featuring the music of Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. This recently produced podcast, part of the Special Collection Library’s Fred Waring’s America collection, features 7 songs from 4 different Fred Waring albums.  These songs, all inspirational in theme, include performances from Fred Waring’s orchestra, glee club, and featured soloists. 

To view the video, go to or follow these steps:

1. Go to
2. Log in as a Penn State use or a guest (wait for iTunes to launch)
3. Select Penn State Podcast Shows
4. Select Fred Waring Collection

New podcasts will be added to iTunes U on or around the 15th of the month and will feature clips from the collection’s vast archive of 25,000 recordings on disc, wire, tape, kinescope and video, covering every radio and television broadcast made by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians from 1933–1960; concert recordings; reference recordings of Fred Waring music workshop sessions and concerts and other miscellaneous performances. For more information, call 814-863-2911.

Exhibit: African-American Music in the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora

"African-American Music in the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora," an exhibit, is on display from Jan. 14 to March 13, in the main exhibit hall on the first floor of Pattee Library, and also in the Diversity Studies Room, in room 109 of Pattee Library. A collection rich in materials relating to African-American, African, Latin-American, and Caribbean history and culture, the exhibit highlights musical resources with the display of album covers, sheet music, posters, and books related to spirituals, slavery songs, emasculation songs, blues, jazz, barbershop songs, vaudeville songs and piano rags.

Full press release here.
Blockson Collection overview here.
Blockson Blog here

Team Digital Preservation and the Arctic Mountain Adventure

Historic digitization initiative provides unprecedented access to JFK Library archive

Washington, DC…To help mark the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and Caroline Kennedy, President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, have unveiled the nation’s largest online digitized presidential archive, providing unprecedented global access to the most important papers, records, photographs and recordings of President John F. Kennedy’s thousand days in office...

See the new website at

View the rest of the official press release at

Struwwelpeter Gallery Talk a Big Hit

Bettina Brandt, lecturer in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and 7-year-old Vera Mendum-Purdy delighted an audience with their readings from "Struwwelpeter," the popular 19th-century children’s tale by Heinrich Hoffmann, which has delighted children on both sides of the Atlantic since its first publication in 1845. The reading was in conjunction with the exhibition “Highlights
from the Allison-Shelley Collection of German Literature in English Translation,” on display in The Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, and extended to February 11.