Library Reflections: Cameran Kershner ’22

This reflection was written by Cameran Kershner ’22, who joined the UConn Library as a student employee in the Collections Strategy department and as an intern in Archives & Special Collections. Cameran will pursue graduate work in library and information science at the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s School of Information Sciences this fall.

In pursuance of my future career goals, this year I decided to seek out work experience in UConn’s very own Homer Babbidge Library as well as an internship in the Archives & Special Collections. At Homer Babbidge, I was hired as a collections assistant where most of my work was done with the Hathi Trust. The primary goal of the partnership was to take physical copies of books that we have here in the library and compare them page by page to the matching online scans in the Hathi Trust database. While it might seem like tedious work, the point of this job being done is to assure researchers and students that they are able to have the best quality materials available to them. As for my internship, I spent months pulling materials stored in our Archives to compile a research guide filled with sources about the Civil Rights Movement and the student activism surrounding this issue.  

Both experiences have familiarized me with the inner workings of library and archive systems such as how to read the categorization classifications for pulling materials and how to conduct thorough research. Since I primarily did most of my work individually, I have also learned how to manage myself as well as grow confident in my ability to problem solve. One of the most important skills I believe I learned was how to communicate effectively. In my internship I was constantly scheduling meetings to track my progress and reaching out to other professionals to ask for research suggestions. This taught me just how integral communication is to run a library efficiently. 

My interest in Library Sciences came about accidentally, as I was just doing a bit of research into the qualifications needed for law librarianship. Once I began to read into what it consisted of and just how many avenues could be opened to me by pursuing this degree, I grew quite passionate about it. The specific area that I hope to focus on is academic and public librarianship, as I feel strongly about working with people as much as possible. I think this is what I like best about both of my experiences – the ability it has to help people. I was able to provide scholars and students alike with the means to learn all while making it easier for them to do so. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge gained from accessing these resources could lead to new research discoveries and breakthroughs that help us understand the world around us better. 

What makes the world of library sciences so special to me is that no matter what profession you choose within its sphere, you are giving people access to unlimited information. We can use the materials the archives and libraries provide us to learn about the past, supply context to the present, and change the future.  

Poetry in Translation in the Little Magazines Collection

A project by Nicole Catarino, UConn English Department Writing Intern, Spring 2022. Background by Melissa Watterworth Batt, Archivist

Cover of Summer 1979 edition of Maledicta, Vol. 3, no. 1. with essay called “Yoruba Terms Denoting Individual and Social Shortcomings” and translation dictionary for Yoruba insults.
Cover of Autumn 1979 edition of Paintbrush: A Journal of Poetry, Translations, and Letters, no. 12. next poem “Fever Tune,” translated from the Dutch.
Cover of January 1971 edition of Hyperion, vol. 4 and poem titled “There Goes the Barren Woman’s Son with a Chaplet of Sky Flowers on His Head…” translated from the Sanskrit.
Cover of the 1984 edition of River Styx, no. 15. and poem titled “And We Remain,” translated from Russian, along with a description and call-to-action for poet Irina Ratushinskaya.

Project Background

Literary periodicals of the 1900s exerted a strong influence on the poetics and shifting literary trends of the twentieth century. Many of these periodicals were edited by writers themselves and deliberately circulated outside, or on the margins, of popular media.  

With the introduction of the personal computer and new offset printing technology in the 1970s, independent presses, often short-lived and with small budgets, thrived. Non-profit publishing organizations of the period assisted with distribution, providing grants to establish presses and distribution networks internationally.  

Ironically, small print runs, while less profitable, enabled independent presses to stay afloat during the economic turmoil of the 1980s when many corporate, commercial publishing companies cancelled or suspended operations in the literary marketplace. By the mid-1980s, a diversifying publishing industry offered new writers, including non-English language writers, expanded opportunities for publication.  

Bibliography

My name is Nicole Catarino, an English major and literary translations minor here at the University of Connecticut, graduating with the Class of 2022, and for the length of the Spring 2022 semester, I have been an intern at UConn’s Archives and Special Collections Department working with Archivist Melissa Watterworth Batt. My internship project revolved around the Archive’s collection of little magazines and the published translations one can find in these literary journals. 

“Little magazines” are defined as periodicals produced with small budgets and a limited team, and experienced small print runs and limited distribution. These publications were often short-lived. Today, the Little Magazine collection here at UConn is comprised of over 700 titles from the 1920s to the 2000s, representing a wide array of writers and writing styles, experimental works, graphic novels, zines, and artists books. 

However, despite the Little Magazine Collection’s diverse grouping of literary journals and other periodicals, Archivist Watterworth Batt and I realized that very little research had been conducted for the genre of literary translations. That’s when we arrived at the initial idea for my internship project. My goal was to create a cohesive bibliography of little magazines in the collection that published translated works in their journals.  

We decided to set our focus on the little magazines that were founded or running in the 1980s because that was the era in which publication started to become cheaper and more accessible. As a result, independent writers and editors began to create journals that stepped away from the themes and content of mainstream publications and instead focused on experimental styles, forms, and genres while also providing a space for new and emerging writers. Archivist Watterworth Batt and I agreed that if there was ever a time for translations to become more popular in the world of little magazines, it would be the 1980’s. 

Ultimately, the reason why I chose to focus on literary translations, of all genres, was for two purposes. One was because as a student minoring in literary translations, I knew that a detailed bibliography about where to find translation-focused literary journals would be a fantastic resource for both students and professors alike. My second reason, however, stemmed from my own love for translations and my frustration that this genre of literature is frequently not given the same credit and valor as other literary genres. Translations are complicated and elegant facets of literature that allow us to share cultural stories, folklore, and perspectives on the human experience that otherwise would go unnoticed or unheard due to the language barrier. For this reason, I wanted to highlight these kinds of creative works and find how many resources there are for this genre of literature here at UConn. 

The bibliography I created for this project contains six main categories in the spreadsheet: the title of the little magazine that published the translation, the original language the piece was written in, the writer who wrote the original piece, the translator who wrote the translation, the volume and number of the corresponding issue and when it was published, and then any other interesting writers of note or extra information about the journal that I may have discovered. The purpose of this last section was to emphasize just how important little magazines are for writers by listing many famous authors and poets who got their start by publishing in little magazines—like Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich, among others.  

My hope is that, aside from providing a useful resource to translators and researchers, this bibliography will help stir more interest in the Archives’ magnificent collection of little magazines, so if you have the chance to browse the collection, I highly encourage you to do so! 

Resources for the Study of Student-Led Civil Rights Activism, 1960s-1970s

A project created by Cameran Kershner, UConn English Department Writing Internship, Spring 2022

Introduction

As the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum in the early fifties, a massive response followed in the form of black activist groups emerging across the country. There are famous faces that appear in history books such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, who have contributed enormously to the fight for equal rights. However, a large percentage of those who participated are the students who led protests on campuses across the country, carrying on the fight against systems of oppression in their own communities in order to create opportunities for equal representation, education, employment opportunities, and a fair future for all.

In an overview of what these sources have in common, each shows the intersectionality that’s present between the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and the working-class struggle – showing how Black Americans were disproportionately affected by issues of racism, classism, and economic and academic disparities. They also show how students and the younger generations as a whole were becoming aware of these issues and how this inequality was playing out on their own campuses, and how they leveraged the privilege they had to advocate for a fair and equitable learning environment for students and faculty of color.

Here at UConn’s Archives & Special Collections, there are numerous resources that can help provide insight into the actions of both large and small organizations and what they have done for their communities. These sources are located in the Alternative Press Collection, home to many resources that document revolutionary and justice movements throughout time. What makes this collection special is that most of the materials were collected contemporaneously, or at the moment. Flyers that were pulled off of telephone poles or picked up at protest meetings, underground publications spread through word of mouth, and newspapers hot off the presses into students’ hands and held as a symbol of rebellion within UConn’s archives. If this unique look at the Civil Rights Activism interests you, below are a few sources that might help answer some of your questions:

General Resources of Civil Rights Activism: The Civil Rights Movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for Black Americans to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. To help battle racist injustice, organizations began to form across the country in order to make changes that benefit their communities. In an effort to provide context for the larger issues affecting African Americans during this time, UConn has many resources available that dive deeper into these larger organizations and their work to fight against oppression.

  • Black Panther Party: A newspaper published by the Black Panther Party that explains their ideas and values. It addresses the ten main points of the Black Panther Party, which include items like freedom, employment, housing, education, and police brutality. It also lists the six points of attention which are ways to avoid being brutalized by the police and how to perform within the Party while preserving their values. This resource can be found here: APC File, Black Panther Party, Black Panther Party
  • The Panthers: Communist Guerrillas in The Streets: A pamphlet promoted by the Black Panthers that lists all the officers within the Black Panther Party by name and position. It includes the Minister of Defense, Chairman, Minister of Information, Chief of Staff, and Minister of Culture. Each member included has a bio that explains what their position does to help further the message of the Panther Party. This resource can be found here: APC File, Black Panther Party, The Panthers: Communist Guerrillas in The Streets
  • Civil Rights Journal: United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. A collection of newsletters from the 1990s penned by Benjamin F. Chavis, most significantly recognized as an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King and the President of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. The newsletters document cases of civil unrest all around the country and are a call to action for the black community to join the fight for advancement in fair institutions. Some of the specific issues addressed in these letters include the Rodney King case, the downtick in employment opportunities for minorities, attacks against Asian-Americans in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and the increase in violence against African American men. This resource can be found here: APC File, Civil Rights Journal, Civil Rights Journal: United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice

Student-Led Organizations: Racial injustice was an issue that was not localized to any one area, it spread across the country and was prominent in working, social, and academic circles creating tension between American citizens. Many people were outraged by these blatant acts of discrimination and felt compelled to do something about it, leading to protests in workplaces and schools. College students especially began to lead the way in bringing these issues to light, following the path of the famous activists before them to erect change on their campuses. UConn ASC has managed to gather sources that highlight the formation of campus activist groups, as well as the development of the network that made nationwide protests possible.

Students For A Democratic Society

  • Indict The US Government For Genocide: A pamphlet published by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) claims that Nixon’s policies on education and unemployment are overtly racist and blame the African American community instead of the institutions in place. The authors break down the different foundations Nixon has put in place, namely the policies that urge the separation of white and black working classes in order to avoid their merging and increased the fight against classicist oppression. Other issues addressed include the distortion of black crime in the media, the below-average living conditions in black communities, racist academic publications, and police brutality. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #1, Indict The US Government For Genocide, 3rd Edition
  • SDS National Constitution: Leaflet that explains the creation of the Students for a Democratic Society and the values they hope to uphold. The publication goes on to include the eleven articles that make up the organization’s constitution, guidelines that explain the conditions of membership, university chapters, chain of command, and elected official positions. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, SDS National Constitution
  • Resolutions Passed at the SDS Convention: The June 1969 issue of the Students For a Democratic Society’s (SDS) newsletter, New Left Notes. While the publication addresses many issues, there are many sections that address black issues and liberation exclusively. The first section entitled The Movement Must Serve the People – The Schools Can’t points out how education systems are hesitant towards the black liberation movement, reacting to the teach-ins happening across the country negatively. The second section, Divide With Racism addresses how the government has created a narrative that frames black workers in a negative light to keep the working class racially divided. The third section, Smash Racism is a call for action to students across the country. It urges white students to advocate for their fellow oppressed peers and gives them tactics to help aid the fight. The fourth section, Less Talk, More Action goes into an in-depth reflection on how schools foster racist environments through classicist ideals. They target the working class by using their taxes to pay for University functions, they allow racist academic ideologies to be circulated around campus and have racist employment practices. The authors ask white students to protest these issues in order to help their fellow students. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Resolutions Passed at the SDS Convention
  • SDS: Two GIs in the Struggle: An interview between a student reported and two Vietnam vets named, David Kline and Guy Smith. Both G.I.s are of different races, which has influenced their experiences while in Vietnam. Kline and Smith explain how racism was apparent within the companies, but the severity of the situation they found themselves in, formed a string of trust that exceeded prejudice. In terms of student activism, both G.I.s see it as a performative act. The students are coming from a place of privilege, as many soldiers didn’t get the chance to go to college themselves. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, SDS: Two GIs in the Struggle
  • Indict the Government for Racist Acts, Genocide: An issue of the SDS penned newspaper New Left Notes specifically focusing on the Miami Democratic Convention. While the whole newspaper does not center on Civil Rights matters, there are a few sections worth noting that address certain racist institutions perpetrated by the government. The authors call for the indictment of the American government for their acts of police brutality against black liberators. They suggest prison time for those who kill protesters and medical researchers who experiment on black men and women. They back up their claims of these crimes through the evidence of public administration programs such as welfare, medical insurance, school systems, and housing. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Indict the Government for Racist Acts, Genocide
  • SDS Sends Racists Packing: A list of all the racist faculty members and scholars at universities across America and what the SDS has done for each situation to stop their spread of false information. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, SDS Sends Racists Packing
  • SDS Anti-Racist Teach-Ins: A pamphlet published November 5, 1973, by the Boston SDS that explains the rise in racist ideology and research from Professors, and how it relates to oppressing the working class and keeping them from joining forces. They provide examples of University students and faculty rising up against this by protesting, publishing exposes, petitions, banning certain literature, and holding teach-ins. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, SDS Anti-Racist Teach-Ins
  • Stop Government Racism: An SDS newspaper clipping from 1973 that speaks about American involvement in the Vietnam War. The fighting across the ocean has led to wage cuts and forced labor plans in the United States. The students and Universities fighting these issues are being urged to silence themselves from speaking out. The authors go as far as to compare the current situation in America as a police state or Nazi Germany. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Stop Government Racism
  • Open Admissions: A proposal to the SDS Convention: A proposal brought to the SDS Convention in 1978 that asks for the stop of the exclusion of people of color in Universities. The adherence to this proposal will help fight racism and classism as well as allow activist groups to work together, all while bridging the gap between the white and black working classes. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Open Admissions: A proposal to the SDS Convention
  • Fight Racism!: A pamphlet that chronicles the SDS members’ experience fighting racism. The first article talks about how schools like Harvard, San Francisco State, and Colombia all held protests in an attempt to bridge the gap between the white and black working classes that the wage gap had caused. The second article focuses on the SDS at Berkley and how they are drawing attention to the racist administration and faculty who have pushed racist academic materials in the curriculum. The third article critiques San Francisco State’s methods of protesting in order to determine what works and what fails during the protesting process. The final article touched on the protests going on at Yale against the administration in order to protect the workers employed on campus. The school had been engaged in racist hiring and firing practices, singling out black women, Latinx, and other non-white staff,  as well as paying low wages. The students emphasized the importance of standing in solidarity with the on-campus workers. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Fight Racism!

Nationwide Student Effort Against Racism

  • Demonstration Inauguration Day Flyer: An informational flyer from Berkeley students in 1970 that protests the Vietnam War as it inhibits people of all ethnicities from fighting oppression in America. The handout also includes different workshops that address the issues of racism in the war, racism against farmworkers, and why students should be protesting the war altogether. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #1, Demonstration Inauguration Day
  • Born To Be Unemployed: A Critique of Richard Herrnstein’s “I.Q.”: A newsletter that was written by the University Action Group (UAG)  in a critique of Harvard psychologist Richard Herrnstein’s paper entitled “I.Q.” The article claims that victims of unemployment, low wages, and racism have no one to blame but themselves for their oppressed conditions. The paper also includes that African Americans have lower I.Q.s than other races. This was met with outrage as Harvard students and the UAG claimed this ideology is harmful and blatant racism, and even ask the University to consider Herrnstein’s termination. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #1, Born To Be Unemployed
  • “I.Q.”: In order to provide context for the critique of the article, researchers may want to read the original piece written by Richard Herrnstein. This specific copy of the article included footnotes at the bottom of each page disproving the scientific evidence provided by Herrnstein in his claims that the black working class is oppressing themselves due to having a lesser intelligence. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, I.Q.
  • Vietnam: A Racist War!: An informational flyer explaining why the Vietnam War is rooted in racism as the G.I.’s are taught to view Vietnamese as sub-human. It then approaches the subject of racism on the homefront and how white protesters have done nothing to stand in solidarity with the black protesters who suffer through police brutality when advocating for the same cause.  This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Vietnam: A Racist War!
  • Fight Unemployment!: A demonstration flyer that talks about how the war has led to high unemployment rates and the government’s reframing of the issues to poise the black working class as insubordinate. The flyer urges both the white and black working classes to join together to fight the issues and lists the time and place of a demonstration that protests said issue. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Fight Unemployment!
  • The Winning Way – Build The Worker-Student Alliance: A pamphlet that explains the fight between workers and employers due to wage cuts, long hours, and subpar working conditions. It advertises a protest to help bring awareness to these issues on March 20th (year unknown). The organizers also offer advisement for those who cannot protest by suggesting they help support the protesters by handing out flyers, bringing them food, and gathering money for the cause. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, The Winning Way
  • Fight Racist Unemployment; the U.S. Out of Southeast Asia: Another flyer advertising the March 20th protest, this one being held in Massachusetts. Explain Nixon’s policies causing a rise in joblessness (welfare and compensation not paying enough), which in turn affects people of color the most as they are the first to face the effects. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, Fight Racist Unemployment 
  • A Day Against Racism: A list of speakers for an organized event in 1973 at Boston University that includes different workshops to address racism in public institutions. This resource can be found here: APC File, Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #2, A Day Against Racism

University of Connecticut’s Activism: This collection offers insight into the University of Connecticut’s own participation in the anti-racist and anti-war movements happening at the time. Much of the fight was performed by the UConn chapter of the Students For a Democratic Society, a group that was responsible for a myriad of protests and concessions carried out by the University. The administration also actively worked hard to make the campus accommodating for all students with strict no-tolerance policies against discrimination. What we see with most of these sources is a form of continuous dialogue between students and faculty.

Student Organizations and Activism

  • The University of Connecticut: A Critical Approach: This is a teach-in program held at UCONN in 1966, that discussed the relationship between students, faculty, and administrators. It was meant to highlight the importance of the University’s contribution to the larger society. This resource can be found: APC File, Student Movements, and Demonstrations — Connecticut. University. [1965-1966], The University of Connecticut: A Critical Approach
  • Information Sheet and Issues: In the Professor Krimerman-McCarthy Case: This resource informs readers about the student and faculty protest in Wilbur Cross Library in an attempt to reunify the Anthropology Department after a huge rift caused by differing opinions on academic racism. The demonstration was met with resistance from President Ferguson, who called in the state police and held an open trial in an attempt to dismiss the protesters from their positions in the school. This exhibited the administration’s active attempts at silencing those who spoke out against racist school policies. This resource can be found: APC File, Student Movements, and Demonstrations — Connecticut. University. [1973-1976], Information Sheet and Issues: In the Professor Krimerman-McCarthy Case
  • Racism, Busing, and the Boston Schools: The notes and recorded information from a meeting held in UCONN’s Student Union on October 9, 1975, by the Committee Against Racism (CAR). The contents of the gathering included the racist attacks against young students in Boston carried out by the group called Restore Our Alienated Rights (ROAR). In 1974, they harassed a school bus full of young black students and campaigned against the segregation of schools. In response to these racist actions, CAR organized anti-racist parent-teacher associations, church groups, community groups, and its own members to oppose racist groups attacking children by 1975. The group also petitioned for more integrated schools, hiring of minority teachers, more bilingual education programs, and the impeachment of Lousie Hicks which gained over 35,000 signatures. This resource can be found: APC File, Student Movements, and Demonstrations — Connecticut. University. [1973-1976], Racism, Busing, and the Boston Schools
  • Connecticut Daily Campus: An excerpt from the May 9th, 1970 issue of the Connecticut Daily Campus that includes President Babbidge’s statement on minority groups at UCONN. The President makes it clear that improving the educational quality for minority students is at the top of his list, especially increasing the quality of financial aid and employment opportunities. Through the support of the University’s black community groups, implementation of supportive programs and extra funding, as well as the employment of more diverse faculty, it was reported that the admissions of minority students doubled. President Babbidge ended the statement by declaring this a national issue affecting academic institutions across the country and not just in the vacuum of Connecticut universities. This resource can be found: APC File, Student Movements, and Demonstrations. Connecticut. University. [1969 – 1970] #2, Text on President’s Statement – On Minority Groups
  • The Black United Front Newsletter: The first issue of a series of newsletters published by the Black United Front (BUF), a student-led organization at Michigan State University (MSU). A few issues touched upon in this newsletter are the newly elected officers within the club, the Jackson State murders that occurred in May 1970, and the implementation of a summer job program for black students at MSU. There is also an opinion piece penned by Barney Young, a state news reporter, who was critical of how the school’s administration handled the meeting of deciding the appointed officers within the BUF. Lastly, there are the results of a survey taken by black freshman and sophomore students in which they give their opinions about what the school can do to better support African American students. Where this resource can be found: APC, The Black United Front, The Black United Front Newsletter
  • UCONN Committee to Free Angela Davis: A flier created by a UConn committee hoping to free activist Angela Davis from imprisonment. It includes a statement by Davis talking about how the media is painting her to be a criminal and that she is being treated as an example to other revolutionaries. The flyer then explains that she is being charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping, due to her association with Jonathan Jackson, a man who disrupted a trial in California at gunpoint in order to free three black men. Where this resource can be found: APC File, UCONN Committee to Free Angela Davis, UCONN Committee to Free Angela Davis

Administrative Responses:

  • University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Minutes: A good source to gain perspective on the administration’s handling of the multiple protests throughout UCONN’s history, is the Board of Trustees Meetings. Every assembly held has exact conversations recorded, allowing readers to follow the Board member’s decision-making processes. A few topics discussed during these meetings were the expansion of financial aid for non-white students, the establishment of the African American Cultural Center, the allocations of funds to African-American clubs and organizations, and the proceedings that dealt with acts of racism on campus. Where this resource can be found: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/bot_agendas/  
  • The President’s Newsletter: An official statement given out by President Babbidge on October 13, 1969, addressing an incident that had occurred the night before. There was damage to property carried out by racist motivations, as indicated by the racial slurs accompanying the violence. The President made it known that racial attacks were not going to be tolerated in any capacity, going as far as to threaten police presence on campus if it no longer felt safe for non-white students. Also included is the appointment of  Dr. Frederick G. Adams as Ombudsman of the Committee for Racial Respect. In which he will receive complaints focused around racial matters and either hand out appropriate punishments himself or pass them up the chain of command. You can read more about the process of coming to this decision in the Board of Trustees Minutes linked above. Where this resource can be found: APC File, Student Movements, and Demonstrations. Connecticut. University. [1969 – 1970] #2, The President’s Newsletter (October 13, 1969)

Files Highlighted: If these selected materials have piqued any interest, and you would like to further research similar content, here are some folder highlights in the Alternative Press Collection so that you may find what you are looking for:

  • Students For a Democratic Society [Publications] Folder #1 and #2
    • If your research is focused specifically on the student aspect of protesting, these files are where I suggest you look. The Students for a Democratic Society or the SDS spent much of their time advocating for the rights of on-campus workers as well as the removal of recruitment officers from the university environment. While this guide was created around their work in the fight for racial equality, there are many materials within these folders that discuss protests for other issues as well. 
  • Student Movements, and Demonstrations. Connecticut. University. [1969 – 1970]
    • If it is specific issues that have happened at the University of Connecticut you are interested in, this file is where you’ll find the information about it. Most notably, the folder chronicles an incident on the university campus that involved racist language and damage to property. Included are meeting notes from the Board of Trustees that not only address the incident, but also the creation of the solutions that followed. There are also correspondences between the President and the students to keep them informed of his thoughts and what he had planned to do about the issues of racism on campus.
  • Student Movements, and Demonstrations — Connecticut. University. [1973-1976]
    • The premise of this folder is in direct succession to the 1969-1970 folder. It is filled with materials that notify students about the growing organizations to fight against racial inequality while simultaneously allowing inclusion for black students. A specific collection item that might grab your attention is a flier highlighting the establishment of the Black Women’s Collective. This was a club that allowed female black students a place to make friends and feel safe on campus.

Resources in the Archives Related to the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks

On the morning of September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked in airspace over the eastern United States by terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda. Two of the planes were deliberately crashed into each of the twin tower buildings of the World Trade Center in New York City; one plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.; and the fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

These attacks stunned the United States and the world far beyond our borders; the effects were immediate and visceral. The aftermath had a long-lasting impact on many facets of society, including politics, commerce and culture.

News of the attacks greatly impacted life at the University of Connecticut. The following day a vigil was held on the Student Union Mall that brought over a thousand members of the Storrs community together in solidarity. The student newspaper, The Daily Campus, filled the paper with content related to the tragedy for most of the rest of the month.

For those conducting research projects about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Archives & Special Collections holds resources related to the tragedy available in many different mediums and from a myriad of perspectives. From congressional records to art books to newspaper clippings, the types of media created around the tragedy vary greatly. Among some of our archives’ relevant items are:

Christopher Shays Papers. Christopher Shays served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 2009 as a Republican from Connecticut’s 4th District. At the time of the September 11th attacks, Shays was on the House National Security Subcommittee, and was later a part of the 9/11 Commission. His papers include many documents related to 9/11 and the country’s response, including the recommendations of the Commission, lists of victims, findings on health effects, minutes from hearings and more. For more information on how to navigate this collection, a finding aid can be found online here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/214

Robert R. Simmons Papers. Robert Simmons was in his first year in the U.S. House of Representatives when the 9/11 attacks occurred. He represented Connecticut’s 2nd District from 2001 to 2007 as a member of the Republican Party. Portions of this collection relating to 9/11 include files marked as such, as well as Simmons’ files related to the “Global War on Terrorism,” which date from September 2001 to June 2004.  For more information on how to navigate this collection, a finding aid can be found online here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/658

Werner Pfeiffer, “Out of the Sky: Remembering 911.” This 2006 art book by Werner Pfeiffer was published around the five-year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. It consists of a list of the victims, a small booklet written by Pfeiffer, and two constructable towers. The towers are each made of seven segments that are supported by blank inside cardboard sheets, and each stand about five feet tall. On the outside of the towers, Pfeiffer incorporated names of victims into his artwork. This work can be found in the archives’ stacks at location: D1996

Sidney Jacobson and Ernie Colón, “The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation.” Published in 2006, this book puts the findings of the 9/11 Commission into the format of a graphic novel. Jacobson, former managing editor and editor-in-chief of Harvey Comics, served as the writer, while Colón, who had worked for Harvey as well as DC Comics and others, served as the illustrator. The two collaborated once more for a sequel in 2008, titled “After 9/11: America’s War on Terror,” but that book is not available in the archives. This work can be found in the archives’ stacks at location: CLC C4476

Mimi Gross and Charles Bernstein, “Some of These Daze.” This spiral-bound art book was published in 2005 and is a collaboration between illustrator Mimi Gross and writer Charles Bernstein. Gross was near the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and began making sketches of what she saw while she was there. This book exhibits those sketches while coupling them with what Bernstein wrote, also from Manhattan at the time of the attacks, but slightly more removed in the Upper West Side. This work can be found in the archives’ stacks at location: D1882

Dark Horse Comics, “9-11: Artists Respond, Volume I.” This book was published in 2002, and features the artwork and writings of many artists, all related to the attacks. This was the first volume of a two-part effort, with all the proceeds going to organizations aiding the families of victims of the tragedy. Unfortunately, the archives does not have a copy of Volume II, but Volume I can be found in the archives’ stacks at location: C10332

Kathleen Fraser and Nancy Tokar Miller, “Witness.” This 2007 book by writer Kathleen Fraser and illustrator Nancy Tokar Miller features a poem by Fraser accompanied by eleven images by Miller. The book was created in memory of the September 11 tragedy. This work can be found in the archives’ stacks at location: D2013

The Daily Campus. This collection is made up of issues of UConn’s student newspaper, dating from 1896 to present day. As The Daily Campus has been printed daily since 1952, this includes coverage of the events of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent aftermath. Throughout that month, many articles, images and other forms of media related to 9/11 were featured in the paper. In addition to coverage from directly after, the paper has printed more content surrounding significant anniversaries.

Articles of particular interest include:

  • The Daily Campus, September 13, 2001, “Students hold vigil on mall,” recounting a gathering of over 1,000 UConn students on September 12, in solidarity with victims of the attacks.
  • The Daily Campus, September 14, 2001, “Students and professors react to Tuesday’s attack,” a piece by two staff writers who interviewed multiple members of the UConn community about how they felt following the attacks.
  • The Daily Campus, September 11, 2002, “In Memoriam,” a piece written by the editorial board reflecting on the events of the day of the terrorist attacks and the year that followed.

This post was written by Sam Zelin, a UConn undergraduate student in the Neag School of Education who is a student assistant in Archives & Special Collections. 

Now Available – James Marshall recordings

K-Fai Steele, 2019 James Marshall Fellow, holding a cassette recording from the Francelia Butler papers.

Now available in the CTDA – a series of audio recordings of lectures delivered by author and illustrator James Marshall to Francelia Butler’s Children’s Literature course from 1976-1990. Marshall is best known for the George and Martha series of picture books. The recordings span 16 visits Marshall made to Dr. Butler’s class, and demonstrate with wit and humor Marshall’s thoughts on writing, illustration, the publishing industry, and creativity. Butler’s course became one of the largest and most popular courses at the University of Connecticut, in part because of the opportunity it offered students to learn from guest lecturers that included Madeleine L’Engle, Maurice Sendak, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, among others. 

In Butler’s obituary, the New York Times described her course as “a platform for reform.” Butler lifted the academic standing of the study of children’s literature, establishing the journal Children’s Literature and the Children’s Literature Association in 1972 and helping to create the children’s literature division of the Modern Language Association.  

Listen to the recordings and learn more at http://hdl.handle.net/11134/20002:19970056JML.

Resources in the Archives about UConn Student Government

Various forms of student government date back to when the University of Connecticut was known as the Storrs Agricultural College, from 1881 to 1899. Since the inception of the first version of student government at Storrs its purpose has been to act as a representative of the student body and to advocate for various causes on behalf of its constituency. Some of these causes have included creating and funding other student organizations and petitioning the administration for civil rights reforms.

In the 1896 inaugural edition of the S.A.C. Lookout, the first student run student newspaper, two separate organizations, the “Students’ Organization” and “Council,” were cited as the structures of student government. The former acted as the executive wing and the latter as a senate, and lasted until the early 1920s.

The first big change in student government occurred in 1923 when the Council (by this time referred to as the “Students’ Council”) became the Student Senate. This body remained similar to its predecessor until 1933, when all student representative power was centralized in the Senate, forming the Associated Student Government (ASG). The Students’ Organization existed alongside the Senate until the reorganization of 1933, when both merged to become ASG. The structure of this new government included Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches, but these were not independent of each other, as the Elected Vice President of ASG automatically became the Chairman of the Student Senate.

A Women’s Student Council emerged at the end of the 1910s, and this body existed for over 60 years in various forms, either as the Women’s Student Government or Associated Women Students. Its end in the early 1970s coincided with the founding of the Women’s Center at UConn, along with the merging of the departments of women’s and men’s affairs.

ASG existed from its creation in 1933 until its dissolution in 1973, which took multiple years to take effect. One of the catalysts for ASG’s demise was its presidential election in 1972, where the student body, fed up with their representatives, elected “Bill X. Carlson” as a write-in option. The catch was that Carlson was a fictitious person. Thus, runner-up Dave Kaplan assumed the presidency but resigned within the year, as calls for a Constitutional Convention strengthened. By the next year, ASG was replaced by the Federation of Students and Service Organizations (FSSO), which had been selected from a list of options proposed by various students. Its structure included an eight-person Central Committee that held absolute jurisdiction, with Primary and Secondary committees under it.

The FSSO lasted a mere seven years, as a new Constitutional Convention was called at the end of the decade, leading to the inception of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). The transition from FSSO to USG was far smoother, as the FSSO was not fully dissolved as ASG was. The convention led to a transition from FSSO to USG that circumvented the total absence of student government that had occurred in the interim between ASG and the FSSO.

USG has continued as the student government of UConn since 1980. Currently it consists of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, made up of the Senate, the President and the Advocacy Committees, and the Judiciary respectively.

Researchers interested in UConn’s more than a century of student government will find a plethora of resources on the subject in Archives & Special Collections. From 1944 onward, the Archives has the records kept by the ASG, FSSO, and USG. Student government resources generally include student publications, presidential files, photographic prints, and more. Among some of the Archives’ relevant collections are:

University of Connecticut, Undergraduate Student Government Records. This collection is split into four series: Associated Student Government (ASG) records from 1944-1973, Federation of Students and Service Organizations (FSSO) records from 1973-1981, Undergraduate Student Government (USG) records from 1980-2008, and the records of the Inter-area Residence Council from 1970-1982. While the USG records within the collection end at 2008, the Archives has Minutes and Agendas from 1985 up to the present day. The records include Constitutions, Committee Minutes, reports, Election data, correspondence, speech transcripts, documentation of Constitutional Conventions, and more. The finding aid to the collection can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/721.

University of Connecticut Photograph Collection. This collection includes over 800,000 photographic prints, slides, negatives, and postcards. For content related to Student Government at UConn, look for sections of this collection relating to Student Activities. The finding aid to the collection can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/958.

The Daily Campus and other student publications. Student publications have gone by several titles before its current iteration, including the Storrs Agricultural College Lookout, the Connecticut Agricultural College Lookout, the Connecticut Campus and Lookout, the Connecticut Campus, and the Connecticut Daily Campus. Throughout the years, the paper has reported on the affairs of student government at UConn, dating back to its very first issue in May 1896.

You can find issues of the Daily Campus and its predecessors, from the Storrs and the regional campuses, dating from 1896 to 1990, in the digital repository at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/islandora%3Acampusnewspapers

Articles of particular interest include:

S.A.C. Lookout, December 1, 1898, “Student Government,” which outlines the function and structure of the Students’ Organization, as well as the Students’ Council: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A860167952#page/8/mode/2up

Connecticut Campus, April 10, 1934, “Committee Formulates Plans For Election May 1,” Associated Student Government and Women’s Student Government Elections are both referred to: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A860217304#page/2/mode/2up

Connecticut Daily Campus, September 14, 1976, “Finch outlines FSSO semester projects, goals,” where FSSO Chairman William Finch explained the objectives of the FSSO at the beginning of the semester: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A860294245#page/4/mode/2up

Nutmeg, the student yearbook. Nutmeg originated in 1915 and includes photographs and descriptions of different student governments at UConn through the years. Issues from 1915 to 1999 are available in the digital repository beginning at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A02653871

Of particular interest:

• 1934 Nutmeg’s entry on the reorganization of the Student Senate and the origins of the student government, at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A859955016#page/146/mode/2up . Also in the 1934 Nutmeg is an photograph of the 1933 Women’s Student Government, at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A859955016#page/138/mode/2up

• The 1973 issue has information about the dissolution of the Associated Student Government, at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A859981755#page/174/mode/2up

• 1979 Nutmeg’s entry on the Federation of Students and Service Organizations, featuring a Connecticut Daily Campus article entitled “FSSO committee dumps clubs,” detailing the FSSO’s recall of over $30,000 from student organizations, at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A859981740#page/168/mode/2up

University of Connecticut, President’s Office Records. This collection includes the records of all of UConn’s Presidents, starting with Solomon Mead in 1881 and currently ending with Susan Herbst, whose tenure in office ended in 2019. The collection is updated as records are periodically transferred by the President’s office for permanent retention in the Archives. While this is not a chiefly important source of information on UConn’s student government organizations, small mentions may be found in many of the Presidents’ documents.

This post was written by Sam Zelin, a UConn undergraduate student in the Neag School of Education who is a student assistant in Archives & Special Collections. 

Resources in the Archives about the UConn Marching Band

Music and bands have been a tradition at the University of Connecticut for over a century.  Beginning with small musical organizations and military bands, there were many predecessors to what is now referred to as the UConn Marching Band. The origins of the current organization can be traced back to 1939, the same year that the Connecticut State College in Storrs became the University of Connecticut. In that year Jack Brocjek, at the time an assistant instructor of music at the school, became director of the school’s “College Band” and decided to make his band open to all students, which effectively merged his with the ROTC’s band.

While the creation of the band occurred at the end of the 1930s, the 1950s was really when it gained prestige and an increase in the number of participants.  Professor Allan Gillespie took the reins in 1956, and the band grew immensely during his 25-year tenure. It was under Gillespie’s leadership that the band embarked on three separate tours of Europe in the summers of 1970, 1974, and 1978.

Gillespie’s time as director was followed by the terms of David Maker and Gary Green in the 1980s. Current director David Mills took over in 1989 and led the band in such special performances as President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration parade, the 2003 opening of the 40,000 seat Rentschler Field in Hartford, and performing for over 100,000 fans at the University of Michigan in 2010.

Researchers interested in the UConn Marching band will find a plethora of information in Archives & Special Collections. In addition to the marching band’s official records, the UConn Archives has student publications, photographic prints, files belonging to past band personnel, administrative documents, and more. Among some of our archives’ relevant collections are:

University of Connecticut Marching Band Records.  This is the most comprehensive of all collections pertaining to the UConn Marching Band. It includes various forms of primary sources from the band, including pamphlets for performances, musical scores, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, photographs, and cassette tapes. The records date back to the early 1960s, corresponding closely with the first few years of Allan Gillespie’s tenure as band director. The finding aid to the collection can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/1020

Maker Collection of the UConn Marching Band. Comprised of arrangements, arranged for the marching band by Dr. David Maker, who worked with the band for many years, dating from 1969 to 1983. The finding aid to the collection can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/512

University of Connecticut Photograph Collection.  The collection holds hundreds of photographs of the UConn Marching Band. The band’s images are filed with the UConn Athletics items and are sometimes merged with the Pep Band’s photos. Another area to find early images of the marching band are those taken by Jerauld Manter, a professor at UConn from 1912 until 1953.  The finding aid to the UConn Photograph Collection photographic prints can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/5. A finding aid to the Manter images is at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/946

Thousands of images from the University of Connecticut Photograph Collection can be found in the UConn Library digital repository, beginning at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3AMSS19880010. Those showing the marching band are available at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/search/marching%20band?type=edismax&cp=20002%3AMSS19880010

University of Connecticut, President’s Office Records [Glenn W. Ferguson].  Glenn Ferguson served as the President of UConn from 1973 to 1978. His records include information about plans for the marching band to travel on tour in Europe. The finding aid to the Ferguson records is at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/606

Daily Campus and other student publications. The origins of a music program at the university occurred concurrently with that of the student newspaper and are a great source to show the formation and evolution of the marching band program. The student newspaper originated with the Lookout in 1896 and transitioned to other titles, including The Connecticut Campus and Connecticut Daily Campus, to The Daily Campus of today. A full run of newspapers up to 1990 available in the UConn Archives can be found in the digital repository beginning at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860408189.

Articles of particular interest include:

Nutmeg, the student yearbook.  The Nutmeg originated in 1915 and includes photographs of the marching bands through the years. You can find issues from 1915 to 1999 in the digital repository beginning at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A02653871

Of particular interest:

This post was written by Sam Zelin, a UConn undergraduate student in the Neag School of Education who is a student assistant in Archives & Special Collections. 


Wikipedia and the Archives

This post was contributed by Sophie Archambault, a rising junior at the University of Connecticut. In Summer 2021, Sophie interned with Michael Rodriguez, Collections Strategist, and Rebecca Parmer, Head of Archives & Special Collections, to help increase the visibility and accessibility of UConn Library’s archival collections by adding content, references, and media to Wikipedia. 

Wikipedia logo Version 1 by Nohat (concept by Paullusmagnus); CC BY-SA 3.0

All through school, I’ve been taught that Wikipedia is a risky resource. Anyone can edit or contribute, and the sources used to build the articles aren’t always reliable. Additionally, though editors are anonymous, the topics covered on Wikipedia are overwhelmingly white male centric. When topics outside of this realm are introduced they are often shut down by fellow editors who claim a lack of adherence to protocol. Recently, however, efforts have been made to diversify Wikipedia editors and content, so that marginalized groups are given more attention. This is what my project with the UConn Archives focused on. I was to find topics covered by archives collections that could use increased visibility on Wikipedia. I generated a list of possible topics and ended up working on four Wikipedia pages, all of them female authors.

After completing a few training modules, I began this project with Grace Lin. I remember reading her books in middle school, so she was a familiar name. Her page was also in a good place for me to jump in as someone very new to editing Wikipedia. The page was already pretty clearly established, but there was obvious room for improvement. After investigating the already cited sources and doing some research of my own, I ended up adding information to the biography section and creating an awards section. Something I had not expected to encounter was references that could not be accessed. A few of the sources for Grace Lin linked to pages that were no longer active. Did that mean I had to remove those sources completely? Find the information that had supposedly come from those sites in different places? I brought the issue up to Rebecca and Michael, who suggested I use the Wayback Machine (yes, that’s what it’s actually called). Using the Wayback Machine site, I could put in a dead link and have access to all previous versions of the page. I could then insert a link to an archived version of the page in the resources section of Wikipedia. Nothing ever really disappears on the internet.

Lin’s page took me a couple of weeks to complete, but it was a good chance to get used to navigating Wikipedia. After Grace Lin, I tackled Magdalena Gómez, a playwright, poet, and social activist based in Springfield, MA; Eleanor Estes, a late children’s book author known for The Hundred Dresses and The Moffats; and Rosemary Wells, whose picture books of animal characters—Max and Ruby, Noisy Nora—my parents read to me. It got easier to edit the pages. I got into a routine of reading what was there, making note of what needed to be changed or added, investigating the already cited sources, and finding more sources if necessary.

One of the main goals of this project was to hopefully increase web traffic to the UConn archives. On every page I completed, I added that so-and-so’s papers were held at the University of Connecticut, and I provided an external link to the specific finding aid. Unfortunately, as it was summer and covid, I was not able to go to the archives and take a deeper look into each of these women’s collections. However, I hope that my small contribution to the vast world of Wikipedia will bring more people to the archives’ site and encourage them to find out more in person. I was inspired by each of the authors I researched and it made me feel good to increase their visibility on a widely accessed site. Hopefully, with edit-a-thons and projects like this one, those who have been deemed irrelevant or unestablished by editors will get the attention and space they rightfully deserve.

Fall 2021 Research Update

welcome back banner image

We’re excited to announce that UConn Archives & Special Collections will reopen to the public for onsite research visits on Monday, August 30th. We have made some changes to our service model to respond to changing COVID-19 conditions and to best serve our community. Below, you’ll find details about our reopening plans, including how to schedule research visits, information about facilities work which may impact access to our collections, and how to get support for your research (onsite and online). Additional details can be found on our website.

Fall 2021 Reading Room Schedule

9:00 – 12:0012:00 – 1:001:00 – 4:00
Open by appointment onlyClosed for lunch and cleaningOpen by appointment
Walk-ins welcome*

If you are visiting in-person, please book an appointment at least two business days in advance of your visit due to limited walk-in hours and limited space in the reading room. You are welcome to select both morning and afternoon slots on a chosen day or to reserve space on multiple days, if capacity allows. Unfortunately, same-day appointments cannot be accommodated at this time.  

Once you’ve submitted your appointment request, ASC staff will confirm your appointment and follow up with any questions or additional information.  

*Walk-in visits: Please be aware that access to the reading room for walk-in visitors is subject to capacity limits and staffing resources. Due to scheduled facilities upgrades, please be aware that collections materials may not be available for walk-in visitors. The best way to ensure that resources will be available for your research is to book an appointment in advance of your visit. 

As the University responds to changing pandemic conditions, access to our reading room and onsite services may be limited from time to time. Current information about our services will be posted on our website, blog, and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).   

Remote Assistance 

If you can’t visit us in person, we’re ready to assist you remotely! 

We continue to support remote research by responding to research inquiries, digitizing materials, and preparing for virtual classes and instruction. Our staff are available to meet with researchers via email, phone, or virtually by appointment

Please use our Reproduction Request form to request scans and copies from our collections. We will try to accommodate reasonable requests free of charge, but large or resource-intensive requests may incur a fee. 

We will do our best to assist you as the situation and our services allow. Please be aware that there may be some delay in the fulfillment of research and reproduction requests. We appreciate your continued patience as we all work through this dynamic, challenging time! 

Please reach out to us at any time with questions, comments, or concerns: 

Research Resources 

We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you get started in your research. We’ll continue to add to this list as additional resources become available. 

Facilities & Construction Update

Over the summer, we began critical maintenance work in our collections storage area. This work, which we anticipate will be completed by mid-fall, includes upgrading the electronic and mechanical systems for our mobile shelving, and will help ensure that our collections will remain safe and accessible for future generations. However, it may occasionally impact our access to collections material. In the event that material is not available for onsite use, ASC staff will follow up with you to discuss other ways of supporting your research.

UConn Archives & Special Collections Acquires the Papers of Lottie B. Scott

Lottie Bell Scott

Archives & Special Collections of the UConn Library has recently acquired the papers of Lottie B. Scott, UConn alumna (‘86), author, civic organizer, and civil rights advocate from Norwich, Connecticut. Ms. Scott’s papers [1969-present] include records from her work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Norwich chapter, from the 1960s-2010. A founding member of the chapter, Ms. Scott held multiple positions including arts liaison, first vice president, and president.

Ms. Scott’s civic involvement is documented through her service in various positions (often as the first woman of color) with the Norwich Arts Council and the Rotary Club, as a board member of Backus Hospital, and in her work for the Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities over 22 years. Her ongoing contributions to her community are also documented through the various awards and recognition she has received from local and national organizations and individuals of distinction. Ms. Scott’s 2018 memoir Deep South – Deep North: A Family’s Journey is included in the collection, chronicling her family history during the Great Migration from Longtown, South Carolina to Norwich.

For more information on accessing the Lottie B. Scott Papers, contact the UConn Archives: archives@uconn.edu

Human Rights Internship Report with Aidan Brueckner

This guest blog post is written by Aidan Brueckner, a graduating honors student majoring in Digital Media and Design, and minoring in Human Rights which he completed an internship for at the Archives & Special Collections in the Spring Semester of 2021. Aidan’s descriptive work can be found in the Alternative Press Collection online.

It is no secret that youth activism is on the rise. Across the world, demonstrations
occur for myriad reasons related to racial justice, climate change, drug control, and
countless more key issues. Not only are these matters far-reaching across all aspects of
society, touching on numerous disparate sectors, but the apparent frequency of social
justice events is increasing quickly as well. The push for recognition and change from a
world that has proven unforgiving and unfair is picking up steam. Naturally, college-age
students tend to be a large portion of the ones driving these agendas, as the nature of
college itself encourages collaboration and a drive to excel, as well as an increased
emphasis on critical thinking. Most importantly, however, college allows students to
collect as a group of like-minded individuals, and presents them with an opportunity to
make their voices heard. UConn is no exception, having had a well-documented history
of activism on campus from its inception. Much of this activism is contained within the
Archives, and this semester I had an opportunity to explore and evaluate some of it.

Continue reading

The Short but Happy Life of Jonathan I, our First Mascot

In the Fall of 1934, after the famous “Ram-napping” incident where students from the Connecticut State College kidnapped the ram mascot of the Rhode Island State College (you can read the story here) prior to a football game between the two rivals, the CSC decided it was time to get its own mascot. Its one attempt at securing a mascot was in October 1906, when a fat white bulldog, who received the unfortunate name of “Piggie,” was hired for the job. Piggie didn’t last long because the students felt it would have been confused with Yale’s bulldog mascot, “Handsome Dan,” and no one liked the name Piggie.

By late November 1934 the student newspaper, the Connecticut Campus, announced that a 14 week old thoroughbred Eskimo dog “of high pedigree,” born on July 23 in Huntington, Connecticut, and donated by the college’s alumni, was chosen as the CSC mascot by an almost unanimous vote of the student body. The students were delighted by their new black and white Husky mascot. It was determined at that point that the athletic teams would be known as the Huskies.

It was purported that the dog’s great-grandfather was one of the team that pulled the sled of famous American explorer Robert Peary, who claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole, in April 1909.

Around Christmas 1934 the dog settled with the family of Music Professor Herbert A. France, who lived with his wife and four children in North Windham. In 1995 Professor France’s son, Herbert France, Jr., sent a reminiscence to the UConn Archives about life with the first mascot. Mr. France was six years old at the time they owned the dog, who was very much a family dog to the France children. Mr. France recalled a snowy day in January 1935 when he hitched the dog to his sled and tried to get the dog to “mush.” The dog apparently turned around, looked at the boy, jumped over him and the sled, and took off with the sled bouncing behind him, with little Herbert left face down in the snow.

Now that the college secured the dog they also had to give him a name. In January 1935 the Alumni decided they would hold a contest among the students to determine the name, which was to be announced by February 15.

Alas, even before the dog could be formally named his life was tragically cut short. On February 13, 1935, the poor dog dashed into the road in front of the France’s house and was struck by a car. Attempts were made at resuscitation but were futile. The dog died at the tender age of six months. He apparently had been to only a handful of basketball games in his short time of service as mascot.

The CSC students were stunned and saddened by their mascot’s sudden demise. Two days later, on February 15, at a small and somber funeral attended by CSC President Charles McCracken and the presidents of each student class, the dog was formally named Jonathan, in honor of Connecticut’s first governor, Jonathan Trumbull. George Potterton, President of the Student Senate, gave a short speech where he said that Jonathan “…was a symbol of the forward progress that we as students are bound to make. He was a symbol of the coming greatness of our athletic teams as well as those other activities in which we enter in order to make our college greater. Connecticut State’s Jonathans will go out to do battle on the court, field and gridiron, for Jonathan’s is a fighting tradition.”

The next Jonathan, number II, arrived at the college in the fall of 1935 and ably served as mascot until 1947, when he died of natural causes. Apparently three more Jonathans – III, VI and X — also met tragic ends as the victims of car accidents.

You can read more about Jonathan I, and the tradition of Jonathan as the Connecticut State College/University of Connecticut mascot, at these sources:

Articles in past issues of the UConn Advance, written by staff writer Mark Roy, at

The  November 27, 1934, issue of Connecticut Campus, announcing the new mascot: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860217763

The January 8, 1935, issue of Connecticut Campus with a photograph of the new mascot and information about the contest to name him: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860217885

The February 19, 1935, issue of Connecticut Campus showing his funeral:  https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860218128

An article in the Hartford Courant about Jonathan I’s funeral: https://search.proquest.com/hnphartfordcourant/docview/558540864/92E00D4B054C4361PQ/1?accountid=14518 

A photograph of the burial of Jonathan on February 15, 1935: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A199722353