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: