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,