Outside Over There: Maurice Sendak and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Maurice Sendak signs books at the UConn Coop bookstore on April 28, 1981. Photo: Jo Lincoln, Archives & Special Collections, UConn Library.

“All of my pictures are created against a background of music. More often than not, my instinctive choice of composer or musical form for the day has the galvanizing effect of making me conscious of my direction. I find something uncanny in the way a musical phrase, a sensuous vocal line, or a patch of Wagnerian color will clarify an entire approach or style for a new work.”

-The Shape of Music, Maurice Sendak, 1964

Maurice Sendak, celebrated and renowned author and illustrator of children’s books such as the revolutionary 1963 Where the Wild Things Are and 1970 In the Night Kitchen, held a life-long and deeply intimate and interwoven relationship with music. Holding in high esteem composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Wolfgang and Franz Schubert, he was in the habit of listening to music while working on his creations, and often, references to music crept into his preliminary and final drawings. A significant example occurs in the artwork for the 1981 Outside Over There.

Musically inspired and layered with resounding personal overtures, Sendak was already working on Outside Over There when stage director Frank Corsaro asked him in 1978 to design the costumes and sets on a production of “The Magic Flute” for the Houston Grand Opera. A catalyst for the creation of Outside Over There, Sendak explained: “In some way, Outside Over There is my attempt to make concrete my love of Mozart, and to do it as authentically and honestly in regard to his time as I could conceive it, so that every color, every shape is like part of his portrait. The book is a portrait of Mozart, only it has this form-commonly called a picture book. This was the closest I could get to what he looked like to me. It is my imagining of Mozart’s life.”[i]

In the 1964 essay, The Shape of Music, Sendak describes in beautiful terms the definition of “quicken” as it relates to illustration and animation and that to him to quicken “suggests a beat-a heartbeat, a musical beat, the beginning of a dance.” In other words, to “quicken” is to bring life into the inanimate – a source of rhythm so that a picture grows alive in the flow of imagery, color, and shape, or more succinctly, music in physical form. Outside Over There follows Ida, a young girl bearing the brunt of responsibility for caring for her baby sister while her father is away at sea and her mother immobile from melancholy. While music, or rather the act of Ida playing on her wonder horn and neglecting to attend to her sister, helps to cause the kidnapping of the baby by the goblins, music is the tool or action which redeems Ida. For by playing on her wonder horn, Ida drives and melts the goblins away and results in the siblings’ reunion and reconciliation.  

Sendak acknowledged that “right in the middle of Outside Over There, everything turned Mozart. Mozart became the godhead.”[ii] Dully, Mozart is seen in profile during the children’s return journey from “outside over there,” omnipresent to the scene and story but in shadow across the river in his Waldhütte, the creative cabin in the woods that becomes a recurrent Romantic theme for Sendak.[iii] In the final artwork for Outside Over There, for some drawings Sendak included not only notations for the creation dates, but also, the exact music which helped to inspire his illustrations. For example, for the artwork for page 13, a scene where Ida is playing the wonder horn and an ice baby is substituted by the goblins for the real child, the notation reads “Dec. 28, 77-Dec 30, 77 (tracing & inking)-Jan. 2, 78-Jan. 18, 78.” Above these dates, “string quartet in C- Mozart” is written in pencil. Mozart, by way of this inscription, receives his due acknowledgement as muse.

Outside Over There, after Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, is heralded as the final book in a trilogy of “variations of a theme” in which children cope with the day-to-day pressures of life by way of fantasy.[iv] Maurice Sendak, in speaking of Ida, says, “What she did is what I did and what I know for the first time in my life I have done. The book is a release of something that has long pressured my internal self. It sounds hyperbolic but it’s true; it’s like profound salvation. If for only once in my life, I have touched the place where I wanted to go, and when Ida goes home, I go home too.”[v] If Sendak’s love of Mozart helped to guide the textual and visual feel of Outside Over There and Ida’s journey, it is the underlying touch of the intangible which roams within the other world only to finally return home and perhaps, it is this element which ultimately touches the images and “quickens” them within their physical boundaries.

A curated playlist is available on Spotify based on notes made by Maurice Sendak on final drawings on deposit at UConn Archives & Special Collections. Follow the link to listen: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3YCXQ975xKzXhsWZ4aciG3?si=nrc-j7aKR7i5O0TZ8MYRjw


[i] Jonathan Cott, Pipers at the Gates of Dawn: The Wisdom of Children’s Literature (New York: Random House, 1983), 74.

[ii] Steven Heller, ed., “Maurice Sendak,” in Innovators of American Illustration (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1986), 81.

[iii] John Cech, Angels and Wild Things: The Archetypal Poetics of Maurice Sendak (Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995), 218.

[iv] Heller, ed., “Maurice Sendak,” 81.

[v] “Sendak on Sendak as Told to Jean F. Mercier,” Publishers Weekly, 10 April 1981, 46.

Resources in the Archives on Medical History

As we now experience the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us in self-quarantine, our thoughts turn to those who are essential to caring for those afflicted by the deadly virus. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, hospital workers and others in the medical fields are providing services for the sick and selflessly keeping us all safe. People across the country are rightly acknowledging and thanking them for their devotion to their work and to our well-being.

In the scheme of things at this moment in time the work of archivists seems pretty inconsequential, although my colleagues and I will contend that any event that we are dealing with in the present can, and should, be looked at through the lens of history. So that’s where we come in. That’s what we do.

The UConn Archives has an ample number of resources about the tireless work of those who care for others.

We hold an extensive number of collections on the history of nursing, many of which provide context and support to the materials found in the University of Connecticut School of Nursing Archives. This area is particularly strong in its documentation of the professional development, status, and legal activities associated with nursing by the organizations in Connecticut on behalf of their members as well as 20th century nurse training. There is limited, but significant, documentation of information on 19th century nursing activities during the American Civil War in the Josephine Dolan Collection. Formats accepted include manuscripts, diaries, correspondence, photographs, ephemera, sound recordings, and moving images. More information about these collections can be found in our collection management system at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/classifications/9 but a few of the more significant collections are highlighted here:

UConn School of Nursing Records.  As early as 1937, public health personnel in the state explored the possibility of organizing courses for public health nurses at Connecticut State College but, lacking funds, the project was shelved. In 1940, a committee of 18 members was formed and in 1941 presented a report entitled “A School of Nursing for Connecticut.” The proposal envisaged a program for registered nurses leading to the Bachelor of Science degree and a curriculum which would include 33 to 36 credits in required general courses plus a major in Nursing Education, School Nursing/Health Teaching or Public Health Nursing. The newly created University of Connecticut (named changed in 1939) Administration decided that a School of Nursing that would provide basic preparation in nursing as well as curricula for registered nurses would meet the need expressed in the report. The new School of Nursing was established in Fall 1942; the first Dean, Carolyn Ladd Widmer, was appointed in July, 1942, and arrived on campus in August. The finding aid to the collection can be found at  https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/668

UConn School of Nursing War Veteran Oral History Collection, of interviews with nurses who served during military conflicts: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A20100100

Josephine A. Dolan Collection of Nursing History consists of materials gathered by Dolan, the first nursing professor at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, consisting primarily of correspondence of the Wolcott family, articles and proceedings of various nursing organizations.https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/346. Items related to wartime nursing and the Wolcott family can be found in the digital repository at https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A19950028

Ona M. Wilcox School of Nursing, of records associated with this nursing school affiliated with Middlesex Hospital in Middletown — https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/923

Connecticut Nurses’ Association Recordshttps://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/311

Connecticut League for Nursing Historyhttps://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/310

Connecticut Training School for Nurses Records, first school for nurses in Connecticut, open from 1873 to 1926 — https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/331

Eastern Nursing Research Society Recordshttps://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/360

North East Organization for Nursing Recordshttps://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/555

Meriden-Wallingford Hospital School of Nursing Recordshttps://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/542

Eleanor Herrmann Nursing History Collection; professor of nursing at UConn from 1987 to 1997 and a member of the American Association for the History of Nursing, was one of its past presidents, and served on editorial boards and review panels for several professional journals. She also was a member of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society; a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing — https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/43

The digital repository has a large number of photographs of the 2016 School of Nursing Commencement, available beginning here: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/search/nursing%20commencement?type=edismax&cp=20002%3AUniversityofConnecticut

Records of the UConn Health Center. Founded in 1961 the University of Connecticut Health Center is composed of the School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, John Dempsey Hospital, the UConn Medical Group and University Dentists pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. The Health Center’s main campus is situated in Farmington, Connecticut. The finding aid to the Heath Center records can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/713

UConn Health Board of Directors Recordshttps://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A19970129BOD

Oral History interviews of those familiar with the early history of the Health Center — https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A19970129OH

UConn Health Center Library’s publication Update, 1995-2002: https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20004%3A19970129Update

UConn School of Medicine:

Faculty Forums, 2006-2020 — https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A19970129FF

School of Medicine Governance — https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A19970129SOMResCouncil

Records of the UConn School of Pharmacy. The Connecticut College of Pharmacy was established in 1925 and located in New Haven, Connecticut. the course in pharmacy was extended from two to three years (1927) and to four years in 1932 (B.S. degree). In 1941, the Connecticut General Assembly incorporated the College as a School of the University of Connecticut. Beginning in 1942 diplomas were awarded in Storrs rather than in independent ceremonies at Yale University as had been the practice to date. In 1951, the School moved to the Storrs Campus of the University of Connecticut.   The collection contains an extensive collection of clippings (scrapbooks) concerning the program and its faculty, students and graduates in addition to historical papers, documents and reports about pharmacy and the program at the University. The finding aid to the collection can be found at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/592 and a small number of items associated with the School of Pharmacy are in the digital repository at https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20004%3A19930077

Other collections touching on medical issues:

George W. Hanford correspondence from World War I. Hanford worked in the medical corps in the war and wrote to his parents in Kensington, Connecticut. The letters, from 1917 to 1918, can be found at https://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/20002%3A20050140

In Remembrance of Our Friend Tomie dePaola

“An idea for me must be ‘heartfelt’–something that rings true for me–something worthy to share with children.” – from an interview with Tomie dePaola by Phyllis Boyson, Tomie dePaola: Storyteller of a New Era, New Era, Vol. 62, Issue 3, 1981

We are saddened to hear of the passing of beloved illustrator and author Tomie dePaola, donor, supporter and friend to the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, held in the Archives & Special Collections at the University of Connecticut Library.

Tomie dePaola was born September 15, 1934 in Meriden, Connecticut. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute in 1956 and later a Master’s degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. dePaola shared his ideas with children in over 250 books over his 55-year career, and for that effort has won many accolades. In 1976, he was awarded a Caldecott Honor for Strega Nona and in 2000 a Newbery Medal Honor for the autobiographical work, 26 Fairmount Avenue. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, awarded dePaola the biennial Children’s Literature Legacy Award in 2011. A year later, the Society of Illustrators honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the interest of assuring that children and others would have an opportunity to explore the process of turning worthy ideas into award winning children’s books, dePaola assembled and donated 70 linear feet of archival material to the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection in 1999. dePaola was urged to preserve his papers by his former professor at Pratt Institute, Roger L. Crossgrove, who had also been Department Head at the School of Fine Arts at UConn and was co-founder of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. The mission of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection to preserve the history of the creation of our best literature written for children with an emphasis on illustration as an art form appealed to dePaola’s concern for showing the entire creative process, including the errors, revisions, and failures that occur prior to an idea becoming a successful publication. dePaola continued to donate material through 2015, lending additional depth to the collection through illustrations, book manuscripts, new publications, and original artwork.

The Tomie dePaola Papers contain artwork and sketchbooks, manuscripts, research files and reference works, printed material, marketing products, and video recordings from 1949-2015. The strength of the collection is in the number of paintings and sketches produced by dePaola from 1953-1978, during his early artistic career. The collection also includes dePaola’s reference library, mainly graphic design, illustration, and art and craft magazines and encyclopedic book collections on the ages of man and historically important painters. Actively used by students and researchers, works from the collection are often shown and loaned for exhibition. All of Our Angels, a picture book dePaola created for a Pratt class project was recently exhibited in The Picture Book Re-Imagined: the Children’s Book Legacy of Pratt Institute and the Bank Street College of Education (Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 2016).

dePaola was a fervent supporter of UConn not only with the generous donation of his collection but also through his participation in the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair. In the 23-year history of the Fair, he joined us 9 times, most recently in 2018. A popular guest, he seemed to relish in the idea of bringing together children from all over the state to tell his stories, and to hear theirs. In fact, the committee learned early on that they would need to rearrange both the presentation room and signing spaces to accommodate the large crowds he drew.

In 1999 the University honored dePaola with an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, which was celebrated in true Tomie dePaola fashion with a lighthearted roast and plenty of singing. In 2007 the Library honored him with the inaugural Northeast Children’s Literature Collection Distinguished Service Award for his long-standing contribution to the field of children’s literature and support of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.

While dePaola’s legacy will live on in the archives, we will miss his personality and passion for children’s literature. We send our condolences to his friends and family.

LGBTQ+ Activism in Connecticut

For many, the gay liberation movement began on June 28, 1969. At the Stonewall Inn, a bar located in New York City’s Greenwich Village, patrons and neighborhood residents fought back against a violent police raid in the early morning hours. The crowd’s fierce resistance against law enforcement quickly grew into an uprising that lasted six days and signaled the arrival of a militant and confrontational movement for the liberation of LGBTQ+ people.

For students attending the University of Connecticut, something like their own Stonewall moment came a few years later, in the 1971-1972 academic year. By then, the UConn Gay Alliance, founded in 1967 by Peter Aubichon and Paul Harrison, had grown from a small private group to an officially recognized student organization. As part of its activities, the organization began to hold dances at the Inner College trailer on campus.

Around 2:00 am on the night of the first dance, some fraternity members “started screaming obscenities, yelling, and throwing bottles and rocks” at the trailer and those gathered outside. But similar to Stonewall, those attending the dance fought back. “Of course we started yelling back like maybe we could start something, like crack their heads,” one of dance attendees later recounted, “It was amazing!”

The meetings, dances, and other activities organized by the UConn Gay Alliance proved that by the early 1970s, the gay liberation movement had arrived on campus. Yet the State of Connecticut and its flagship university had long been home to various forms of LGBTQ+ activism and organizing.

In the 1950s, the homophile movement took shape as LGBTQ+ people began to organize and agitate for their rights. Groups like the Mattachine Society, ONE, Inc., and the Daughters of Bilitis sought to raise awareness, unify LGBTQ+ people, and challenge widespread social stigmas. Yet unlike later struggles for gay liberation, the homophile movement adopted a more cautious and gradual approach.

In the early 1960s, Foster Gunnison, Jr., who had arrived in Hartford, Connecticut, to pursue a master’s degree at Trinity College, began to immerse himself in the homophile movement. He offered his services as a secretary to the Eastern Conference of Homophile Organizations (ECHO), an early coalition of organizations working to create a national homophile organization. Then, in 1966, he was appointed Chair of the Credentials Committee for the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO).

From 1965 to 1969, Gunnison collected the office and conference records of ECHO and NACHO, along with the records and periodicals of several LGBTQ+ organizations throughout the United States. During this period, Gunnison even founded his own organization, the Institute for Social Ethics (ISE) and in 1967 wrote the pamphlet, An Introduction to the Homophile Movement.

While Gunnison busied himself with preserving and documenting the homophile movement, students such as Daniel Campbell explored the spaces opened up by a burgeoning counterculture back on the University of Connecticut campus. Campbell attended UConn as a graduate student in 1967-68. In a poignant memoir, Campbell describes his pre-Stonewall experience on campus. “We may have been closeted to one degree or another,” he writes, “but we did not live in isolation.”

The rise of the counterculture and the hippie movement supplied a shared context. As young men faced the prospect of the military draft, and young women, the loss of their brothers and boyfriends, “they escaped into a separate reality and took liberties no generation had dared take before.” Campbell notes that LGBTQ+ people “shared in those liberties” in different ways. For Campbell and others, the popular slogan, “the personal is political,” became an everyday reality.

In the 1980s, The HIV/AIDS crisis that racked the LGBTQ+ community also generated notable forms of organizing and activism in Connecticut. The Connecticut Women’s Educational and Legal Fund (CWEALF), a non-profit public interest law firm founded in 1973, originally sought to help women gain equality under the law. But along with this mission, CWEALF began to hold conferences and other events in Hartford and around Connecticut to share information about HIV/AIDS and provide the LGBTQ+ community with resources to secure their legal rights.

Much of the LGBTQ+ activism, organizing, and educational work that continued in the 1990s and the first decades of the twenty-first century also made their mark on the University of Connecticut and around the state. After several years of organizing, planning, and lobbying by students and staff, UConn opened the Rainbow Center on campus in 1999. Still operating today, the center is dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community on campus. Throughout this period, LGBTQ+ activists and organizations across Connecticut also helped lead the movement for marriage equality, both in the state and the nation.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of LGBTQ+ activism and organizing at the University of Connecticut and across the state, Archives & Special Collections holds a wealth of material that may interest you. Among some of our relevant collections are:

University of Connecticut, President’s Office Records The collection comprises extensive material, especially administrative files and correspondence, from the offices of UConn’s various presidents. The records of presidents Homer D. Babbidge (1962–1972) and John A. DiBiaggio (1979-1985) are particularly useful. Both contain correspondence and other material relating to LGBTQ+ issues on campus, such as the emergence and activities of the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s. The finding aid for Homer Babbidge’s office records can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/789 and the finding aid for John A. DiBiaggio’s office records can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/603

Alternative Press Collection The Alternative Press Collection (APC) includes thousands of national and international newspapers, serials, books, pamphlets, ephemera and artifacts documenting activists and organizations from the 1800s to the present. Alongside the President’s Office Records, the APC files provide a bottom up look at LGBTQ+ organizing at UConn. Especially notable are materials from the Storrs Gay Coalition and the UConn Gay Alliance. The APC also contains voluminous materials from other LGBTQ+ organizations in Connecticut and throughout the United States. The APC can best be consulted using the card catalog available at Archives & Special Collections, though some digitized materials can be accessed here: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A19920001APCFiles

Daniel R. Campbell Papers The papers comprise a manuscript, a published article, and copies of photographs from Daniel R. Campbell, who attended UConn in 1967-1968 and was one of the first openly gay students on campus. The manuscript describes Campbell’s experiences at UConn and elsewhere, and offers insight and perspective on pre-Stonewall LGBTQ+ culture on campus. Campbell describes his life during this period, some discrimination he faced on campus, his interactions with students and professors, and comments on the wider culture of the late-1960s. In particular, Campbell highlights the hippie movement and the counterculture as helping to open space for living as an openly gay person during this period. The finding aid can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/284

University of Connecticut, Rainbow Center Records The collection comprises administrative records, financial records, correspondence, publications, and other materials such as newspapers, brochures, pamphlets, and posters associated with the UConn Rainbow Center. The center was founded in 1999 after several years of organizing, planning, and lobbying by students and staff. The center is dedicated to supporting the needs of the LGBTQIA+ members of the campus community, and the collection documents the center’s history and activities up to the present day. The finding aid can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/962

Foster Gunnison, Jr. Papers The collection comprises personal correspondence, organizational records, conference proceedings, serial publications and periodicals, posters and fliers, buttons, newspaper clippings, and photographs relating to LGBTQ+ activism in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as other issues such as smoker’s rights and barbershop quartets. Foster Gunnison, Jr. collected a range of materials from the homophile movement in Connecticut and across the United States, and later founded his own organization, the Institute for Social Ethics (ISE). The collection provides materials on a wide range of LGTBQ+ organizations in Connecticut, many of which have been digitized. The finding aid can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/413 and digitized materials can be accessed here: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A19960009SIIISE

Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund Records The collection comprises administrative files, committee reports, legal testimony, workshop materials, lists of contacts and referrals, records on outreach and education, as well as related materials such as flyers, handouts, surveys, etc. The Connecticut Women’s Educational and Legal Fund (CWEALF), a non-profit public interest law firm, was founded in 1973. CWEALF helps women gain equality under the law and focuses on discrimination in such areas as education, employment, insurance, and health care. CWEALF is also concerned with reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ issues. In particular, relevant materials concern education and outreach on legal rights for gays and lesbians, as well as medical and legal information surrounding the HIV/AIDS crisis. The finding aid can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/334

Marriage Equality and LGBT Activism in Connecticut Oral History Collection The collection comprises eleven oral histories with leading activists in Connecticut who have been a part of the marriage equality movement and engaged in other forms of LGBTQ+ activism in the state and beyond. The interviews were conducted by Valerie Love, Curator for Human Rights and Alternative Press Collections, between July 2010 and April 2011. Six of the eleven interviews have been transcribed and are available. The finding aid can be accessed here: https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/925 and digitized transcripts from the collection can be accessed here: https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A20110076

We invite you to view these collections in the reading room at Archives & Special Collections in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Our staff is happy to assist you in accessing these and other collections in the archives.

This post was written by Shaine Scarminach, a UConn History Ph.D candidate who is a student assistant in Archives & Special Collections. 

Musicology in the Archives

The Spring 2020 semester is off to a roaring start with curricular engagement in the Archives & Special Collections. In addition to several classes visiting the archives for introductory sessions, return visits for collections use, and weekly sessions about memory and the recorded past, the UConn archives is taking part in teaching a School of Music seminar for the first time this semester. Currently, Archivist Graham Stinnett is co-teaching Music 3410W on Archives, Music, Memory and Culture with Prof. Jesús Ramos-Kittrell, Assistant Professor in Residence of Music History and Ethnomusicology in the UConn School of Fine Arts.

Students have engaged with assigned readings from popular culture scholars to critical theorists, amateur historians and archivists, as well as producers in the record business and public librarians. The course works with three major musical genres, the Country Blues, Psychedelic Rock, and Punk Rock drawing from the respective collecting areas at the UConn Archives: Samuel and Ann Charters Archives of Blues and African American Vernacular Musical Culture; Alternative Press Collection; Joe Snow Punk Rock Collection. Students are asked to engage with primary sources to investigate the production of a musical culture through its recorded past. As a writing class requirement the students will produce a research project and presentation drawing on topics found in the archives as well as their personal experiences with music in the digital age and notions of their own personal archives as far as the materialist commodity of music is concerned.

We look forward to working with students this semester to develop their critical learning skills through archives and producing unique and engaging projects that shed light on how young adults engage with music and make it their own.

The Love Game

Oliver O. Jensen was a writer, editor, self-taught historian, and railroad enthusiast born in 1914 who grew up in New London, Connecticut. He attended Philips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, matriculated to Yale University and graduated a Phi Beta Kappa student in 1936. At that point Jensen became a free-lance writer for several advertising agencies.

On June 25, 1938, Jensen submitted a patent to the U.S. Patent Office for a board game he developed, which he called The Love Game. As part of the advertising for the game he hired models and actors to enact the game “in the flesh.” He designated one of the models as Dorothy Davis, President of “Love, Inc.,” the mock company that designed the game. One of the actors was real life puppeteer Bil Baird and the photographs were taken by the now famous photographer Fritz Henle. The outdoor scenes were taken in Darien, Connecticut.

All of the captions notes were on the back of each photograph and played along with the spoof of Dorothy Davis, her twin sister Dibbie, and various players of the game.

Love goes to a party at the country home of the Love Girls. While enacting a game in the flesh, Dibbie Davis starts to recover her heart from a player who has just nabbed it. What Pres. Dottie Davis of Love, Inc., and another player are doing in the background, God knows. (Meadow is in Darien, Connecticut). [The man in the background is Oliver Jensen]
A chorus of enthusiastic yesses for Love. Picture shows girl guests in specially designed costumes at a party given by Miss Dorothy Davis, President of Love, Inc., at which guests enacted scenes from the new board game in the flesh. Here they are lined up at the start in a Darien, Connecticut, meadow for the photographer.
The villain, Bil Baird, famous puppeteer, pursues lovely Jamie Jamieson in the game of Love. She’s got his heart, which is all right with him, but he wants to gain possession of hers — which is not all right, as far as she’s concerned.
Sent Home to Mother: President Dottie Davis giving a realistic twist to one of the plays in The Love Game, rushing to the matronly arms at her home in Darien, Conn., where Love, Inc., gives a party and plays the Love Game in real life.
[Oliver Jensen with Dottie and Dibbie Davis]
Love, Inc., President Dottie Davis talks about The Love Game. [Oliver Jensen is standing on the right].
In Love’s New York Office: Miss Dorothy Davis (left), President of Love, Inc., maker of the Love Game, talks about business to her sister, Miss Dibbie Davis. Pres. Davis, who originated the humorous game on the theory that America needs Love, is known as the “Most Beautiful Corporation President in the World.”
Page from the Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent Office noting that Oliver Jensen patented The Love Game on June 25, 1938

 In 1940 Jensen landed a permanent writing position on the staff of Life Magazine. After the outbreak of World War II, he took a duration-of-the-war leave from Life to join the United States Navy with the rank of ensign. From 1942-1943 he served on the U.S.S. Babbitt, a First World War destroyer deployed on convoy duties in the North Atlantic and Icelandic waters in addition to Carribean and North African runs. After transferring to naval aviation, Jensen spent time in England among search-plane squadrons and served in the Pacific aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown until the end of the war. Drawing on his experiences in the Navy, Oliver penned Carrier War in 1945 and returned to Life Magazine as a writer/editor until 1950.

Following his employment with Life, Jensen co-founded the American Heritage Publishing Company along with James Parton and Joseph J. Thorndike, Jr. The non-advertising, hardcover, popular history magazine American Heritage was launched soon after in 1954. While serving as editor from 1959-1976, he also wrote numerous articles for American Heritage and its sister publication Horizon Magazine. From 1971-1974, he served as president of the Connecticut Valley Railroad Company and from 1976-1980 as chairman of the board of directors. In 1981, Jensen went on to become chief of the division of prints and photographs at the Library of Congress until 1983. He remained involved with American Heritage Magazine and a variety of clubs and organizations dealing closely with history, railroads and Connecticut, including the Connecticut Historical Society, Acorn Club, Friends of the Alice Austen House, Society of American Historians, Eastern National Park and Monument Association, Century Association, Yale Club, and American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. After spending much of his life in Connecticut, Jensen died on June 30, 2005, and is buried near his home in Norwich.

Oliver Jensen donated his papers to the UConn Archives in 2003.

Pea Soup and Pink Loafers

The following guest post is by Elizabeth Barnett, recipient of the 2019 Billie M. Levy Travel and Research Grant. Ms. Barnett is an assistant professor of English at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, where she is the director of the Midwest Poets Series and editor of the Rockhurst Review. Her essays and poems have appeared in Modernism/modernity, Gulf Coast, and The Massachusetts Review. She is working, with great pleasure, on Marshall’s literary biography, tentatively titled Egads!

“But how then can you really care if anybody gets it, or gets what it means, or if it improves them. Improves them for what? For death? Why hurry them along? Too many poets act like a middle-aged mother trying to get her kids to eat too much cooked meat, and potatoes with drippings (tears). I don’t give a damn whether they eat or not.”

—Frank O’Hara, “Personism”

James Marshall’s voice had two kinds of drawls, the homey “ahs” of his Texas childhood—“I was told y’all are shy. You can’t be any shyer than I am”—and the playful “ohs” of the queer, East Coast communities he moved to soon after—“I live in New York as well as Connecticut and I go to galleries all the time and everything I see in painting is soooooo dull, suuuuuuch crap.” Marshall’s voice maps his identity. It also conceals it. A voice, as opposed to the words it speaks, can’t be “on the record,” so can supplement, complicate, and contradict those words.

I knew Marshall’s authorial voice—witty, warm, and weird—from gentle hippo friends George and Martha; sweet teacher Miss Nelson and her witchy alter ego, Viola Swamp; and the tragiocomedic Stupid family.[1]

Cover of George and Martha by James Marshall

More than 25 years after his death, I came to know Marshall’s actual voice when University of Connecticut archivist Kristin Eshelman guided me to an amazing and extensive cache of recordings. From 1976 to 1990 Marshall visited his friend, one-time landlady, and devoted admirer, Francelia Butler’s “kiddie lit” class most semesters, reading his stories; chatting about the art world, publishing industry, and their intersection in picture books; and, most revealingly, participating in Q&As. Thanks to the generosity of Billie Levy and the University of Connecticut Libraries, I was able to listen to the run of these tapes, which begin at the peak of Marshall’s career and end two years before his death of complications from AIDS.

Marshall’s first visit, from the Fall 1976 class photo album. (The class made a photo album!). Francelia Butler Papers, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library

A question I had for the tapes: how did Marshall navigate being a gay artist at a time when it was, full stop, impossible to be an openly gay man making books for children? Eavesdropping on those Regan-era, AIDS-blighted years, I never heard Marshall say he was gay.  He never spoke as though he weren’t. Marshall’s authorial persona, distilled in his voice, suggests a key insight about his books, which also had to straddle the line between authentic artistic creations and market-dictated norms. What he says and how he says it are analogous to the words and pictures in one of his books. The voice says what the words can’t, just as the pictures, at times, undercut the moralistic conventions of children’s literature.

In Butler’s classroom, for example, I heard Marshall gesture to the limits of what he was allowed to say in an October 10, 1979, interaction with a female student. The student asked if Marshall was married. Marshall answered first with several beats of silence, then with a single word, “no,” then another beat of silence, then “I’m not” followed by a dismissive “next question.” The question asker perhaps wanted to catch Marshall out or perhaps didn’t understand what Marshall’s voice had been telling her. She asks an “innocent,” superficially unobjectionable question. But that banal surface hides (or not) the power of the dominant culture that the question summons. It really asks: Are you one of us? The asker uses the language of power and Marshall subverts that language by making it superfluous, his answer conveyed through silence and tone, not the words themselves.

This brief interaction reminded me of “Split Pea Soup,” the first story in 1972’s George and Martha, Marshall’s first book as both author and illustrator. It begins, “Martha was very fond of making split pea soup. Sometimes she made it all day long. Pots and pots of split pea soup.” These three simple sentences amplify each other and give a sense of something a little off about Martha’s soup making, the repetition mirroring Martha’s repetitive actions, recasting conventional domesticity as a less-cozy compulsion. Why is she making soup all day long? Why is she making so much? What begins in a normal place ends in a slightly absurd one. Or perhaps it’s just that the absurdity of normality comes through in the repetition. In the illustration, the framed slogan “Soup’s On” underlines Martha’s extreme enthusiasm for soup.

Illustration of Martha cooking pea soup

James Marshall, George and Martha

The illustration shows Martha, a hippo, in a massive checkered apron tied with an equally massive bow. She wears no other clothes. Her performance of femininity draws attention not to her femininity but its status as performance. (Here I echo and Marshall anticipates Judith Butler’s theorization of performativity). She is a topless large animal playing the part of a demure housewife. A drawn border surrounds the image, emphasizing that, like Martha in the kitchen, the book itself is performing. The redundant border puts “children’s story” in quotation marks by not allowing the page itself to function as the boundary, by insisting on something more artful, and by drawing attention to that artificiality. 

So Martha loves making soup. We then learn that George hates split pea soup but eats it anyway to make Martha happy. However, he’s only hippo and reaches a point where he can eat no more. How, though, can he tell Martha that this good, normal thing she’s doing makes him miserable? He can’t—he pours the soup into his loafers. His pink loafers. And Martha catches him.

James Marshall, George and Martha

“Light in his loafers” was a common euphemism for homosexuality in the mid-century heyday of loafers and sexual repression. Pink is coded as female or gay. Until a new, more economical method of full-color printing was pioneered in Japan in the mid-1980s,  most of Marshall’s illustrations were color overlays, which means that Marshall drew the picture then traced each thing that he wanted to be yellow, or blue, or red onto separate sheets of paper and colored those in with graphite, indicating if any colors were to be diluted by giving the percentage of that color to be applied. All to say, the pink was absolutely a deliberate choice.

Color overlay for George and Martha One Fine Day

Example of color overlay from George and Martha One Fine Day. de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi.

George’s disposal of the soup in his loafers might be read as a symbolic refusal of compulsory heterosexuality. It is also a refusal of language, suggesting the complicity between the two. George “says” he hates the soup through his actions because language would imbricate him in the very power structure he’s resisting. I see Martha as the question-asker here. She is playing the feminine role as she’s supposed to. She’s aligned with the dominant culture. George is Marshall; he can’t tell Martha he hates the soup because here she is doing exactly what she’s supposed to do (however inane), and he’s messing it up. George avoids the language trap just as author/illustrator Marshall does—they don’t put the subversive part into words. 

The too-pat ending of “Split Pea Soup,”—Martha tells George, “Friends should always tell each other the truth,” and they eat chocolate chip cookies—to me signals that Marshall wants his reader to feel the tension between what the story says and what it means. I probably think that because that’s what I hear happening in the classroom interactions on the archive’s audio tapes. Marshall’s language, punctuated with strategic silences and curtness, insists on its own inadequacy, drawing an arrow to what’s left out. The story’s sharp turn to the didactic reads to me like the drawn border around the illustrations. It signals its own performativity, here of the norms of the picture book, which are weakened, rather than reinforced, by their inclusion.

Frank O’Hara’s 1959 critique of poetry-as-moral-vitamin anticipates Marshall’s later refusal of children’s literature’s didactic imperative. In both cases, queer writers already existed outside of mainstream culture, their morality maligned by that culture. It follows they may have been especially wary of the inherent value of literature being used for ethical indoctrination. Both suggest the value of their art form is not the moments it teaches us something, but the moments it refuses to.

In 1979 Marshall “answered” the student question with words that would not endanger his art and livelihood.  Marshall’s delivery suggests he wants the audience to know that’s why he’s saying them. The performative conformity is one way to understand the more conventional moments in Marshall’s startlingly original body of work. He tells us when he’s playing by the rules to protect the magic of when he’s not.


[1] The latter credit Harry Allard with authorship but, as Jerrold Connors convincingly argues in his post on this site, and Marshall’s materials confirm, Allard often provided the creative spark for a piece, but Marshall shaped the narrative and the finished prose.

There & Back Again: A Hobo’s Tale

An exhibition is currently on display about Hobo culture, train hopping, and boxcar art over the last 150 years. The exhibit will run from January 9 – February 28, 2020 in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center Gallery at the University of Connecticut. Drawing from the extensive railroad collections at the UConn Archives & Special Collections, this exhibit seeks to present the love of trains from an alternative approach through art, folklore, and travelogue.

The exhibition will feature an opening reception and film showing of Bill Daniel’s Who is Bozo Texino: the epic account of the improbable discovery of the true identity of the world’s greatest boxcar artist. (2005) on Thursday, February 6th, 2020 from 7-9pm.

Resources in the Archives on Storrs and Mansfield, Connecticut

As indicated in Wikipedia, Storrs, Connecticut, is a village and  census-designated place in the town of Mansfield, within eastern Tolland County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 15,344 at the  2010 census. It is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of the main campus of the University of Connecticut.

Yes.

But…

From the Pequot and Mohegan people who originally inhabited the region to the legal incorporation of the Town of Mansfield in 1702, the area around the University of Connecticut’s Storrs campus has a long and eventful history.

The Storrs name first became associated with the area in the seventeenth century. In 1663, Samuel Storrs left Nottinghamshire, England, to begin a new life in North America. Landing first in Massachusetts, he moved to what is now Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1698, where he founded a family farm in the area around UConn’s present-day campus.

The more proximate connection between the Storrs family and the University of Connecticut centers on brothers Charles and Augustus Storrs. Descendants of Samuel Storrs, the Storrs brothers were born in the early nineteenth century and raised to work on the family farm just as members of the Storrs family had done for generations. As young men, though, Charles and Augustus left the farm for New York, where both became successful businessmen.

In 1880, the Storrs brothers offered $5,000 and 170 acres of land and some buildings to found an agricultural school in Connecticut. After some investigation, the General Assembly accepted the offer and established the Storrs Agricultural School in 1881. In the following decades, the school continued to grow and change. During the 1930s, the agricultural school completed its transformation into a modern research university and after several name changes became known as the University of Connecticut in 1939. Since then, the University has continued to expand and adapt to the needs and interests of the state, the student population, and the wider landscape of higher education.

But some lineages of the late nineteenth century still remain. For example, the original Storrs post office, run by the Whitney family, still stands near Mirror Lake (though it’s not currently in use). The Storrs Brothers are still around too. Both are buried in the New Storrs Cemetery located along North Eagleville Road.

If you’d like to know more about the history of the Storrs area beyond the confines of the University, one place to look is Archives & Special Collections. Among some of our relevant collections are:

Women’s Club of Storrs Records. The Women’s Club of Storrs was founded in 1903. Originally called the College Club, the purpose of the organization was to promote literary and social culture. Membership consisted of women associated with the University of Connecticut, including some of the university’s female faculty and the wives of male faculty members. In 1917, the club changed its name to the Women’s Club of Storrs and opened membership to any women in the local community interested in joining. The collection comprises the organization’s working papers, including meeting minutes, reports, bulletins, yearbooks, as well as photographs and newspaper clippings concerning the Club’s activities. The yearbook (membership directory) of the organization is restricted for ten years from the date of publication. https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/755

Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station Records. The Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station is one of the first of its kind was established in 1888 with Wesleyan University Professor Wilbur Olin Atwater as its director. The station conducted research and experiments to further agricultural science in Connecticut. The station published its findings in bulletins that were made available to local residents. Field experiments were conducted at Storrs Agricultural School, while laboratory work was performed at Wesleyan. In 1903, Professor Atwater resigned and the station became associated solely with the University of Connecticut. The collection comprises substantial information on the early history of the station, especially correspondence between station staff and local farmers and businesses interested in their findings. https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/40

World Federalist Association, Mansfield (Connecticut) Chapter Records. The World Federalist Movement emerged in the 1930s and 1940s out of concerns about the perceived inadequacies of the League of Nations. Members hoped to create a world government that would abolish war and ensure peace by using international law to manage global problems. The Mansfield Chapter of the World Federalist Association, the oldest continually operating chapter in the United States, was founded in 1948. The collection comprises pamphlets and newsletters from both the national association and the local chapter; material on the arms race, nuclear winter, and other topics; as well as correspondence, membership lists, memos, and statements. The collection also includes the personal files of Lawrence Abbott, who ran the chapter for many years. https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/743

Storrs Congregational Church Records. The Second Ecclesiastical Society, creator of the Storrs Congregational Church, was authorized by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1737. Its parent church was the First Congregational Church of Mansfield Center. The first meeting house was built in 1745-1746 on the site of the current church, the present corner of North Eagleville Road and CT Route 195. Situated adjacent to the campus of the University of Connecticut, the church has served the town and the university jointly since the creation of the Storrs Agricultural School in 1881. The collection comprises administrative records and historical documents of the Storrs (Connecticut) Congregational Church. https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/684

Edwin O. Smith High School Records. In 1955, the Connecticut General Assembly authorized funding for the construction of a junior-senior high school in Mansfield, Connecticut, to be administered by the University of Connecticut. The purpose of the school was to provide secondary education in the Town of Mansfield, as well as to train teachers for schools throughout Connecticut. The school opened in the fall of 1958 as a division of the UConn School of Education. The University named the school after Edwin Oscar Smith, who served as acting-president of UConn in 1908. In 1987, the University formally transferred the property and buildings to the Town of Mansfield. The collection comprises administrative records and correspondence from the early years of the school, as well as blueprints from a building addition to the school in the mid-1960s. https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/361

Storrs Family Photograph Collection. The collections contains photographs of the property of Augustus Storrs in Mansfield, Connecticut, that is now part of the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut. Monographs associated with the photographs have been separated and catalogued. https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/683

We invite you to view these collections in the reading room at Archives & Special Collections in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Our staff is happy to assist you in accessing these and other collections in the archives.

Another relevant place for research on the town of Mansfield is the Mansfield Historical Society.

And lastly, let’s not forget that in 2005 Storrs was named by Slate as “America’s Best Place to Avoid Death Due to Natural Disaster.” You can bet the full-time residents of Storrs enjoy that one and throw it out as often as possible.

This post was written by Shaine Scarminach, a UConn History Ph.D candidate who is a student assistant in Archives & Special Collections. 

Importance of Grassroots Activism in Crafting a Larger Movement: Student Exhibit

by Mackenzie Caron, Undergraduate Intern

Exhibition Currently on View

Environment of Change: The Importance of Grassroots Activism in Crafting a Larger Movement

December 2 to December 15, 2019, Reading Room

Archives and Special Collections, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut

Historical archives provide students and researchers with a variety of source materials for investigating contemporary social issues and the development of social movements.  In my exhibit I explore environmental grassroots activism, utilizing archival materials including pamphlets, posters, zines, periodicals, underground press publications, artist’s books, and organizational records to highlight environmental issues of the 1970s and 1980s and illustrate how grass roots organizations responded to the political and social pressures of their time.  I also provide examples of how contemporary organizations and activists are responding to environmental changes and crises of the present day.

The 1970s and 80s saw the birth of the environmental movement we know today, as Deborah Lynn Guber explains in The Grassroots of a Green Revolution. That period represented a coalescence of various grassroots efforts throughout the United States. The sources in this exhibition demonstrate the different approaches and viewpoints taken during those decades on environmental protection. Many methods of environmental activism were employed, including conservation and regulation both by protest and by lobbying, education through protest and distribution of independent presses, and spreading awareness through artistic projects. These efforts were aided by an independent press that allowed for a free exchange of ideas outside of commercial news outlets. The viewpoints within the exhibit vary wildly, as does the expertise, but in all of these sources there is a commitment to preserving our natural resources and the tools of protest and free communication by which we protect them.  Together, these sources demonstrate the ways grassroots activism can work effectively to create change.

The sources consulted in the creation of this exhibition are listed in an annotated bibliography.

Exhibition on Display From December 2 to December 15, 2019, Reading Room, Archives and Special Collections, Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut

Free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Resources in the Archives — Jewish Voices: Personal Accounts of the Holocaust

“I remember distinctly how it all began. The day when the gates of the Ghetto were closed and a watch was set at its entrances. It was 1939…and nobody realized that it [was] going to be an overture to what has been the most tragic opera ever played in the history of humanity.” – Irena Urdang de Tour

In her account of life in the Warsaw ghetto, Irena de Tour provides insight into the experience of Jews and other persecuted minorities during the Holocaust. The ghetto and the horrors suffered by its inhabitants would be repeated in other Jewish communities across Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. World War II allowed Hitler and Nazi officials to undertake the “Final Solution” to what they considered the “Jewish question.” Relying primarily on the use of extermination camps, Hitler’s “Final Solution” resulted in the murder of six million Jews (nearly two-thirds of European Jewry) by the end of the war in 1945. The destruction of entire Jewish communities meant that once liberation came, Holocaust survivors often had no homes to which they could return. As a result, displaced persons camps run by the Allied powers and the United Nations Refugee and Rehabilitation Administration took in more than 250,000 survivors. Many Jewish displaced persons left Europe for Israel, while others (including Irena and her family) immigrated to the United States.

Archives & Special Collections holds materials across multiple collections that tell the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of survivors. This includes records from the 1945-1946 Nuremberg Trials, which make up part of Senator Thomas J. Dodd’s papers. At the Nuremberg Trials, prosecutors collected evidence of the atrocities committed by the Nazis against Jews and other groups perceived to be biologically or racially inferior. Additionally, the archives holds collections containing personal stories of Holocaust survivors, some of whom settled in Connecticut after the war. Recorded at different times, these individual narratives give a human face to the events of the war, and offer details concerning life for Eastern European Jews before, during, and after the Holocaust. Also available are publications from a variety of Jewish and human rights organizations, which include accounts of survivors. These collections help to keep the experiences and voices of those who lived through the Holocaust present in the minds of people today and in the future.

Irena Urdang de Tour Collection of Holocaust Materials: The materials in this collection include de Tour’s account of her life and escape from the Warsaw ghetto, as well as stories from other Holocaust survivors. The collection is also comprised of a variety of newsletters, publications, letters, and other documents from Holocaust survivor and support organizations in the United States. Additionally, the collection contains periodicals from American Jewish organizations. The finding aid is available at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/846.

University of Connecticut, Center for Oral History Interviews Collection: Under the subgroup, “Holocaust Survivors in the Connecticut Region, 1980-1981,” this collection contains twenty-six oral histories from Holocaust survivors living in Connecticut. Conducted by UConn’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, these oral histories include information about survivors’ lives before, during, and after the Holocaust. In some cases, the survivors discuss how they were able to maintain their faith while living through the horrors of the camps, including one memorable story from Isidore Greengrass about how he and his fellow prisoners celebrated Passover at Auschwitz. The finding aid is available at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/archival_objects/146101.

University of Connecticut Film Collection: This collection includes videos and films taken during conferences, presentations, and activities at the university. Two videos in particular contain stories from Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. These were recorded in October of 1995 at the “Fifty Years after Nuremberg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law” event, which was held to dedicate the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The first video, “Fifty Years after Nuremberg: Nobel Laureate Address by Elie Wiesel” (1995), is available at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860073877. The second, “Fifty Years after Nuremberg: Nuremberg and the Legacy of the Survivors” (1995) is available at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860073866.

Thomas J. Dodd Papers: this collection consists of materials pertaining to Dodd’s career as an attorney and Connecticut senator. Significantly, the collection contains records of Dodd’s work as a member of the team of U.S. prosecutors at the Nuremberg war crimes trial before the International Military Tribunal from 1945-1946. Included is a section on human rights, specifically from the case for crimes against humanity. This consists of trial briefs and translated documents used as evidence, including materials dating back to 1936 detailing anti-Semitic measures taken by the German government. Also part of this collection are transcripts of presentations Dodd gave before the court about the concentration camps. Some of his evidence came from affidavits taken right after US troops liberated certain camps (such as Flossenburg and Mauthausen), as well as translated letters from survivors recounting their experiences. Dodd’s papers also include excerpts from the “Israelitisches Wochenblatt,” a Jewish newspaper that recorded atrocities against the Jews during the war. The finding aid is available at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/771 and digitized documents and photographs are at https://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3AIMTNuremberg

Norman H Finkelstein Papers: An award-winning author of nonfiction for children and adults, Norman Finkelstein writes on the Holocaust, the Jewish-American experience, and other topics within Jewish history. This collection contains Finkelstein’s manuscripts, galleys, proofs, professional correspondence, as well as published and unpublished works. The finding aid is available at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/374.

Laurie S. Wiseberg and Harry Scoble Human Rights Internet Collection: Founded with the purpose to educate people on human rights issues, the Human Rights Internet Collection holds thousands of publications from around the world on human rights related topics. The materials in this collection date from 1977 to the present, and contain materials not available in other North American libraries. Most of the publications consist of non-professional reports and studies, newsletters, and other documents collected from non-government organizations. Also included in the collection are books, journals, magazines, and newspapers acquired from human rights groups such as the Human Rights Watch, the International Council on Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Anti-Slavery International. In particular, the collection holds publications concerning the Holocaust and information about Jewish survivors. The finding aid is available at https://archivessearch.lib.uconn.edu/repositories/2/resources/110.

We invite you to view these collections in the reading room in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center if you need resources on Jewish accounts of the Holocaust. Our staff is happy to assist you in accessing these and other collections in the archives. Additional information on the Holocaust can be found at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum at https://www.ushmm.org/, and Yad Vashem: the World Holocaust Remembrance Center at https://www.yadvashem.org/.

This post was written by Alexandra Borkowski, a UConn PhD student and student assistant in Archives & Special Collections.

DAYGLO AND NAPALM – In Closing: The Making of a Dissident

Peace March, New York City, April 15,1967.
Howard S. Goldbaum Collection of Connecticut Daily Campus Negatives.

The following essay is an extended closing remark to the exhibition Day-Glo and Napalm: UConn from 1967-1971, by guest curator and contributor, George Jacobi (’71).The exhibition runs until Friday, October 25th, 2019.

Thanks to the GI Bill, the Fifties are a favorable time for most Americans home from the war to build a career and raise a family. Powered by Unions as well, the rise of the largest middle class in history finally includes some Black and Latino citizens. Suburbia is invented. The 1964 World’s Fair in New York promises we’ll all be working far fewer hours and getting there in a flying car, asserting that technology only benefits mankind. Robots will do the tough jobs. The future seems so far away that this is almost believable. Are white kids in New England spoiled? Compared with previous generations, sure we are, and so has each generation since. Growing up then is generally benign, and the result is a chance to examine ourselves and America with less national responsibility than our parents. Our patriotism thus leans toward social betterment, not defense or personal economic progress.                                                              

Under the veneer of white middle-class American life rumblings of unrest have begun. Academics are suggesting that modern society is unfulfilling. Rachel Carson has shown America that it is in the process of killing nature with chemicals. Kerouac has been “On the Road” and Jackson Pollock has blown up the art world. Jazz has turned from big band dance music into individual expression. Ginsburg writes “Howl” and thus comes out as a gay man; the book is immediately banned. Yet in Greenwich Village people are “suddenly free of the shackles, the baggage of tradition”: Liam Clancy. Nevertheless, beatniks are portrayed as a joke on TV.                                                                                                                                                  The political and cultural events that took place at UConn during the years 1967 to 1971 of course reflect wider American historical forces. For simplicity, label these Politics, Spirituality, Culture, and the Arts. In reality, they are jumbled together; breaking them down in order to clarify each is a rare side benefit of the passage of time.                                                                                                                                         

The following account lists this history, phenomena that took place or began prior to 1967. By that year, society is increasingly seen by an influential youth minority as hypocritical or empty of value. It has become apparent that the norms are mythological and serve only the powerful. Alienation results with what is initially a quiet insurrection against uncritical acceptance of the status quo. While most of the country isn’t paying attention, there is a cultural shift; all of a sudden something changes. Several small groups at first, an anti-establishment minority slowly appears. Most folks in America and at UConn in the mid-1960s go about their own lives whether they are sympathetic to this rebellion or not. A majority of UConn students, including us, will spend most of our hours being students.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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