Welcome to the sisters of Delta Pi

On Saturday July 26, 2014, the sisters of Delta Pi will be gathering for a reunion in Storrs. In addition to sharing stories of experiences since leaving UConn, the sisters have gathered documentation of the sorority and its activities over the years to add to the four scrapbooks, which will be available for viewing during the reunion, currently held in the University Archives.

The University Archives is interested in documenting student activities and organizations at the University.  Anyone interested in donating materials should contact the University Archivist, Betsy Pittman (betsy.pittman@lib.uconn.edu).

Celebrating National Parks and Recreation Month With Historical Photographs of Connecticut

caseonesmallThis July, Archives & Special Collections at the Dodd Research Center is celebrating National Parks and Recreation month through the temporary exhibit titled “Baseball, Beaches, and Bathing Beauties.” All month, two display cases in the John P. McDonald Reading Room will feature photographs from collections held in the archives that highlight the visual history of summertime fun in Connecticut.

Case one focuses on summer outings to Ocean Beach in New London by the Thermos Company. Stop by and see photographs of Thermos employees enjoying seasonal picnic favorites like tug-of-war, wheelbarrow races, pie-eating contests, and relaxing in the sand. Case two highlights more summertime casetwosmallactivities including the Willimantic Boom Box parade, softball and baseball, and Southern New England Telephone Company’s employee picnics. In addition to photographs, the exhibit contains several texts about outdoor activities including an article from 1946 in Coronet from the Edwin Way Teale Collection and several books from the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection including Kathryn Lasky’s Pond Year and Betsy Mable Hill’s Summer Comes to Apple Market.

This exhibit will run through the month of July and can be viewed Monday- Friday, 10 am- 4 pm in the Reading Room.

This exhibit is curated by Reference Desk Coordinator Tanya Rose Lane and Graduate Student Intern Danielle Dumaine.

Archives to Host Pre-College Digital Media Course


2013-0052_gm030 Emzon Shung and Chron.Dis. Present, Box 1 Folder 1.

2013-0052_gm030 Emzon Shung and Chron.Dis. Present, Box 1 Folder 1. Joe Snow Punk Rock Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut.

This summer, Research Assistant of Digital Media & Design Clarissa Ceglio and Archivist Graham Stinnett will be co-teaching two courses on Digital Humanities and Archives. The courses are for junior’s in high school intended to provide them with early education in University tools and resources such as libraries, archives and digital instruction. The course will focus its primary source work on the Joe Snow Punk Rock Collection at the Archives & Special Collections, where students will have a first hand experience with punk flyers, posters, stickers, pins and ephemera within the collection. Students will benefit from a behind the scenes experience with historical records and artifacts in an archives to prepare them for future research access in an academic setting. The archival experience will then be extended into the digital realm, where students will construct portals for digital content and description and analysis of primary resources on the web.  Students will learn about techniques for manipulating digital content and interface tools to build contextual digital media pages.  Providing students the opportunity to engage in archival resources at an early age promotes further investigation into historical documents as education and research continues at the University level and beyond.

Historic University Films

Archives & Special Collections has recently enhanced access to historic University films through digitization.  In conjunction with the current exhibit, “What’s in a Name?” on display in the Dodd Center Gallery, AS&C is hosting a summer film series.  Selected films will be shown around a theme on Fridays from 12-1 in Room 162 of the Dodd Center.  So bring your lunch and share a brief moment of UConn’s past, memorialized on film!

6/20    Agriculture on Display

  • Title: Eastern States Expo (7m 47s) Film is from the Baby Beef Club auction at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E) and was taken by Wilifred B. Young, former dean of Agriculture at Connecticut State College. The video begins with beeves being led in the Coliseum. Placards for several beeves are shown, including those for the Storrs, Connecticut 4-H members and the grand champion, reserve champion, highly commended and commended entrants. Placards include the name of the animal, the 4-H Club member who raised them, member’s hometown, beeve’s weight, and auction purchaser. Camera pans over the Connecticut Baby Beef Club’s “Home Grown Feed” exhibit and the fair’s “Buy Your Baby Beef” sign, dairy cows and seconds harness races
  • Title: Chopping 1 (3m 3s) Film documents a wood chopping contest hosted by the Hartford Farm Bureau. The winner recieves a cash prize and runner up participants are awarded new axe heads.
  • Title: Chopping 2 (3m 8s) Film documents a controlled burn demonstration and then cuts to a wood chopping competition in front of the Hawley Armory Building at the Connecticut Agricultural College.
  • Title: Field Day (7m36s) Film depicts a sheep shearing demonstration and competition, possibly the annual field day of the Connecticut Sheep Breeders Association at Avon Old Farms on May 2, 1936. Three methods of shearing are shown: hand shears, a hand crank sheep shearing machine, and a gas-powered, belt driven sheep shearing machine. The video also documents horse jumping. The film was most likely shot by Wilifred B. Young, then head of the sheep program for the Extension Service and faculty member at Connecticut State College.

7/11    Teaching the Land

  • Title: Logging in ME (19m12s) University of Connecticut students in the former town of Davidson, Maine at the location of the Summit Lumber Company. Film documents students involved in surveying, logging, recreation activities and life in camp.
  • Title: Felling Trees (7m5s) Film documents a method for felling trees. A direction cut is made and then a portion of the felling cut. The demonstrator then cuts a notch into the opposite side of the directional cut, inserts a jack and fells the tree using the jack. Film may have been made for classroom or Extension Service work.
  • Title: Tree Planting (10m 10s) Film provides instructions for the planting of conifer seedlings. Two steps are covered, planting seedlings as bunch to allow them to root, and then separating and planting individual seedlings. Camera pans over tools needed at start.
  • Title: Potato Field Tour ( 3m49s)

7/18    Diary of a Student Revolution

  • On-campus industrial recruiting of students at the University of Connecticut resulted in confrontation between student activists and the University president. Two camera crews worked independently to simultaneously show the philosophies and strategies of both sides during the conflict. The students attempt a peaceful protest against recruiters but are met by police who read the riot act and begin making arrests. Elsewhere the president is seen chatting about the action with fellow administrators. The question remains whether the administration’s repressive action in summoning force was an appropriate response to the peaceful demonstrations.

7/25    Yankee Conference Championship game at UConn, 1970

  • UConn vs. URI  (40min) 1970 Yankee Conference Championship between UConn and Rhode Island at Storrs. Final score UConn 35 Rhody 32. Playing for UConn is Doug Melody, Bob Staak, Bob Taylor and Ron Hrubala. Film includes footage of the cheerleaders, crowds, and Jonathan the husky.

8/1      Technology and the Farm

  • Title: Swamp Logging (10m23s) Film depicts the logging of virgin forests of Longleaf Pines throughout the Southeast United States. The exact site is most likely North Carolina or Florida. The Longleaf Pine was valued for lumber and for its resin, which was used in navy stores, and the production of turpentine and rosin. By the time of this film the Longleaf Pine had been almost entirely cleared from North America and replaced with faster growing varieties of pine. The footage includes examples of the use of a steam donkey, or steam driven winch, a geared steam locomotive, a steam skidder, and a variety of hand tools.
  • Title: Sawmill (10m 23s) Film depicts hardwood logging in Connecticut. Several students can be seen in the beginning of the footage measuring tree sizes and taking notes. Trees can be seen being loaded on to a horse-drawn sled.
  • Title: Potato Harvesting, Lee Farm (3m47s) Footage depicts potato harvesting demonstration at the farm of noted jurist Simon S. Cohen in Rockville, Connecticut. Potatoes are unearthed by a digging machine, collected in baskets, and then put in barrels which are picked up by men using small crane mounted to flatbed truck. The film cuts, possibly to Lee Farm, also to potato harvesting.
  • Title: Potato loading machine (3m49s) This short film contains footage of men harvesting potatoes, probably on Lee Farm. The harvester (digger) can be seen, which required twelve men to drive the tractor, sort, bag, and load potatoes on to a second truck. Researchers of the history of agricultural technology may be interested in this video. Albert E. Wilkinson served as the Extension Service’s vegetable gardening specialist as part of his duties in the Horticulture Department at the Connecticut Agricultural College at Storrs starting in 1930. Wilkinson shot over 1000 feet of film documenting vegetable growing and harvesting throughout the country to share with his classes and during community movie nights throughout the Extension Service Program.
  • Title: Machine Plowing (3m47s) Film depicts young men transplanting seedlings and several examples of machine farming at Lee Farm in Coventry, CT.



What’s in a Name?

A new exhibit opened this week in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  Drawn primarily from the University of Connecticut Memorabilia Collection housed in Archives & Special Collections, the exhibition highlights the variety of avenues by which the University of Connecticut has represented and identified since is establishment in 1881.  Past logos, letterhead and mascots are represented on pins, buttons, patches, clothing, documents and other materials.  Check out the Husky Hoops game or work on the UConn football puzzle.  A film series of recently digitized historic film is to be scheduled for lunch time viewing on selected Fridays throughout the summer (schedule to be announced soon).  The exhibit is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 – 4:30 in the Dodd Center Gallery through September 26, 2014. 

Articles providing some background about the institution’s colors (and shades of colors), mascot, and memories are available online (http://www.advance.uconn.edu/uconnhistory/) and in the binder located in the Gallery.

Grants for Research: Apply Now For Fall/Winter Travel

Edwin Way Teale at TrailwoodScholars and graduate students whose research requires use of the collections held in Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center are invited to apply for travel grants.  Applications must be received by June 30, 2014 for travel to the University of Connecticut between September 2014 and February 2015.  Grants up to $500 are awarded to graduate students and post-doctoral students, and established scholars are eligible for awards of up to $1,500.  Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to cover travel and accommodations expenses.  Details and application instructions can be found on the Strochlitz Travel Grant website.

Criteria for selection include the scope and significance of the individual’s research project relative to the subject strengths of the repository collections, his or her scholarly research credentials, and letters of support.  Applications from individuals whose research relates to the following fields of inquiry are strongly encouraged: Alternative and Underground Press in America, American Literature and Poetics, American Political History, Blues and African American Vernacular Music, Latin American and Caribbean Culture and History, Human Rights, Labor History, Public Polling History, and Connecticut and Railroad History, among others.

Contact Greg Colati, Director, with any questions.

Mapping and Understanding the Emergence of the Underground

Tales of Beatnik Glory by Ed SandersSean Cashbaugh, a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas Austin and recipient of a 2014 Strochlitz Travel Grant, visited in March to conduct research for his dissertation currently titled A Cultural History Beneath the Left: Politics, Art, and the Emergence of the Underground During the Cold War. “This notion of the underground constituted a distinct political and aesthetic imaginary parallel to, but distinct from, groups like the Beats and movements like the Counterculture and the New Left,” according to Mr. Cashbaugh.  Travel Grants are awarded bi-annually to scholars and students to support travel to and research in Archives and Special Collections.  The following essay was contributed by Mr. Cashbaugh. 

In his short story “The Piano Player,” poet, novelist, publisher, and musician Ed Sanders recounts the life of Samuel Gortz, an idiosyncratic musical genius living in New York City’s Lower East Side during the early 1960s. As Sanders writes, “His piano played such incredible melody lines that sometimes tears were the only response. He was a textbook example of a genius in America who shat upon convention, sell-out, compromise, acceptance.”[1] Sanders’s story is an ode to this pianist’s talents and his refusal to work and live on anyone’s terms but his own, but it is also an elegy. An impoverished musician, one living amongst a community of poor artists, he and any trace of his works disappeared: a leaky roof and a greedy landlord eager to evict an unpaying tenant destroyed his compositions; Gortz vanished. Even the building where he lived, an apartment at 13th street and Avenue C, is gone, razed, likely in the name of “developing” the always changing cityscape.

Though the Gortz Sanders recounts likely never existed, he may as well have. Sanders’s story is a call to remember all those creative figures working in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s, a period his novel Tales of Beatnik Glory (1975) recreates in glorious, and at times hilarious, detail.[2] It is a scholarly commonplace that New York City at this time was home to a flurry of political and artistic movements that left a lasting impression on twentieth century American culture. Of course, this was not strictly a New York phenomenon:  this was happening all across the United States, in Los Angeles, in San Francisco, and in Chicago, to name only a few urban bases of wildly creative political and artistic practice. Continue reading

Whales, Illustrated: Jean Day Zallinger Papers


In March, I curated an exhibit exploring the theme of ocean ecology in children’s literature. While looking for material for this project I stumbled upon a series of whale drawings by Jean Day Zallinger (b. 1918). The Jean Day Zallinger Papers are part of the Northeastern Children’s Literature Collection in Archives & Special Collections. An artist trained at both the Massachusetts College of Art and Yale University, Jean illustrated non-fiction science books for children, including a survey of human evolution, a history of the dinosaurs, and even a chapter book about the camouflaging techniques employed by different species of fish.

The drawings I found were produced by Jean for Helen R. Sattler’s Whales, Nomads of the Sea (1987). Altogether, there are over forty drawings, each a portrait of a different species of whale, dolphin, or porpoise. These illustrations can be found at back of the book in a cetacean encyclopedia. Here, each drawing is pictured alongside information about the range, diet, and behavior of that species.

I included one of Jean’s drawings in my exhibit, which despite my attempts to the contrary began to develop a distinctive whale theme. When we talk about ecology and species preservation, it’s tempting (and fun!), but not representative, to focus on the biggest or most exotic species in an ecosystem. Whales, poster children for the modern environmental movement since the 1970s, have long been the subject of popular ocean imagination.[1] For this reason, I wanted to include books in the exhibit featuring creatures or themes not typically included in public conversations about ocean conservation. I found several of these but I found many more books about whales.

Whales have been a part of my personal imagination for many years. I am completing my University Scholar thesis on the end of the nineteenth-century whaling industry in New London, Connecticut. In my research, I focus on three species of whales: Southern Right Whales, Pacific Sperm whales, and occasionally humpbacks. These were three species typically hunted by nineteenth-century American whalemen. And so when I first whaledrawing2discovered Jean’s drawings, which include illustrations of narwhals next to grey whales, pygmy sperm whales, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins, I was startled. I had forgotten that there were so many species of cetaceans.

While Margaret Waring Buck illustrated many of her books about nature from direct observation, it is likely that Jean Zallinger had to draw many of these images, particularly of the more obscure species, from photographs. It is easy to get up close in personal with a mouse in a hamper, but it’s much more difficult to do this with creatures that spend their entire lives under water. As my advisor Prof. Matthew McKenzie (UConn Avery Point, History) has told me repeatedly, the invisibility of ocean resources makes achieving ocean sustainability difficult. “It is easy to comprehend destruction when you see a clear-cut forest,” he says. “Fish and other ocean creatures we hunt for are cloaked by the ocean. Their invisibility makes them seem fathomless.”

Recently, as I returned to look at Jean’s drawings I immediately envisioned lining them up along one long table. (I didn’t.) But if I were to, the end result would be a striking literal visual illustration of marine mammal biodiversity. Jean’s artwork, and books like the ones featured in the exhibit earlier this semester, inform and entertain. But they also strengthen our relationships with ocean creatures and the likelihood that these relationships will be sustainable ones by illustrating for readers what is otherwise invisible.

This is the final post by Rebecca D’Angelo, a senior undergraduate student in History and Anthropology. She is a writing intern and student curator in Archives and Special Collections at the Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut.

[1] Motohiro Kawashima, “The Imagined Whale: How the Media Created a Sacrosanct Creature,” The Essex Graduate Journal of Sociology (University of Essex, 2005). http://essex.ac.uk/sociology/research/publications/student_journals/pg/graduate_journal_vol5.aspx.

Terry Cook

Yesterday, the Archival profession lost a giant who agitated, inspired and implemented seminal ways of stewarding history and record-keeping.  His passion for teaching and mentoring young archivists well into retirement was best vocalized in his 2010 ACA Keynote, “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.”  A strong advocate for human rights and archival implications of documentation and advocating for future generations is represented in the voice he so passionately infused in his many articles and speeches given around the world.

The following is from the Association of Canadian Archivists:

An ACA member since the Association’s inception in 1975, he served the ACA in a variety of roles, including serving on the Publication Committee (1982-1984), the Conference Programme Committee on three occasions,  the Electronic Records Committee (1991-1992) and the Aboriginal Archives Special Interest Section (1997-1998).  He also acted as the ACA President’s Special Advisor on Public Policy from 1998-2006, a role in which he wrote briefs, appeared before Parliamentary Committees, published newspaper articles, and lobbied various bodies on legislation and policies that affected the archival community, such as copyright, privacy and access, and the historical census.  He served similar roles in the Society of American Archivists and other organizations.  In addition to authoring over 80 articles appearing in leading international journals, he also served on the editorial board for Archivaria (1981-1996 and 1999-2006) and American Archivist (1991-2001).  He was named a fellow of the Association in 2009.

Continue reading

An End and a new Beginning

Graduation marks the culmination of years of study, struggle, achievement, disappointment and celebration.  It is the end of the college years and the beginning of something exciting, new and different.  This weekend the University of Connecticut will honor thousands of students for their accomplishments in multiple ceremonies filled with tradition.

Congratulations to the 2014 graduates of the University of Connecticut as you follow in the steps of those who have gone before.

Best wishes in your next adventure from the staff of Archives & Special Collections.