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: