Archive for February, 2011

E.H. Crane; 2 hours on the chalkboard

Next week, outside the Archives and Special Collections, we will be exhibiting material from the C.B. Kennedy Papers in the display case on 3rd floor. This collection contains correspondence and souvenirs from Cornelius B. Kennedy, a businessman and circuit judge who moved to Canton, South Dakota in 1849.

Also in the collection are manuscripts, drawings, and poetry by E.H. Crane. Crane authored many documentations for archaeological and anthropological projects involving mound building natives, and was skilled in the embalming and taxidermy of animals.

This exhibit will be open from March 8-31st.

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The Archives and Special Collections has recently received a 1799 edition of the Farmer’s Almanack. This periodical, which changed its name to the Old Farmer’s Almanac in 1832, is the oldest continuously published periodical in the United States and “has captured America’s fancy with its homespun admixture of fact, fun and folklore.”

Park, Edwards, and Susan Lapides. “Weathering every season with one canny compendium.” Smithsonian 23, no. 8: (November 1992): 90.

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The Black Hills flood of June 9, 1972 is of particular interest to the author of this post, being a native of Rapid City.  The unusually heavy rainfall that caused the flood and the death and destruction it left behind make it one of the state’s worst-ever natural disasters. While exploring the Black Hills books that are part of the Chilson Collection, I came across one entitled The Black Hills Flood of June 9, 1972 : A Historical Document, edited by Douglas M. Newlin.  After doing a little research in library catalogs, I learned that copies of this book can also be found on the public shelves of I.D. Weeks Library, as well as in the Rapid City Public Library.

The book contains many reports that detail actions taken by citizens on the night of the flood, as well as in the days and weeks that followed.  Content of the reports varies; personal experiences, emergency procedures, telephone and electrical company reports, and descriptions of outreach are just several examples of the large amount of information contained in this book.  In addition to the many reports, the book features numerous photographs of the destruction left behind by the flood.  There are also some really interesting before and after photographs of the Canyon Lake area.

Books such as this one serve to provide detailed information about such devastating disasters, as stated in the dedication of the book:  “It is the hope that reading the events and the happenings in this book, will bring an understanding to those around the world, of the need to be prepared for any disaster that can happen, for it can happen.”

Check out the Rapid City Public Library’s flood website here:  http://www.rapidcitylibrary.org/lib_info/1972Flood/index.asp

The Digital Library of South Dakota also has some flood images:  http://dlsd.sdln.net/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/1972

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Here is another unidentified photograph from the USD Photograph Collection.  If you have any information concerning this photograph, please leave a comment or contact the USD Archives and Special Collections.  Thanks!

–Information gathered from the USD Photograph Collection, Series 3

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Cecil Forsyth (b. 1870 – d. 1941) was an English composer and violist. He wrote mostly choral works, but he also composed a concerto for viola. Additionally, he published a famous book on orchestration that can be found in the Mahoney collection, titled Orchestration. According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, it is “for its time the most comprehensive treatment of the subject.” This quote, from the preface, describes how the book is set up:

“In this book an attempt is made first, to describe our modern orchestral instruments, where they sprang from, how they developed, and what they are to-day; next, to trace the types of music which have been reflected in these constructional changes and, in especial, the types most familiar since Beethoven’s time.”

The instruments that Forsyth talks about in his novel are: side drum, bass drum, tenor drum, tabor, tambourine, triangle, cymbals, gong, castanets, rattle, wind machine, anvil, kettle drums, bell, glockenspiel, celesta, dulcitone(or typopohne), xylophone, valve trumpet, bass trumpet, cornet, valve horn in F, tenor trombone, alto trombone, bass trombone, double bass trombone, tuba, saxhorns, fluegelhorns, saxophones, sarrusophones, obsolete brass-wind, flutes, bass flute, piccolo, oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn, rarely-used woodwind, bassoon, double bassoon, clarinet bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, bassett horn, alto clarinet, pedal clarinet, obsolete woodwind, cuckoo instrument, violin, viola, viola d’amore, cello, viola da gamba, double bass, harp, chromatic harp, mandolin, guitar, and dulcimer. This does not include older forms of these instruments that he mentions while detailing their history.

Forsyth’s writing in Orchestration is accessible and surprisingly humorous. The section on writing parts for viola, which he calls the “big but not quite big enough Violin,” is wonderful. He talks about how composers shouldn’t do things violists hate, such as write parts that are really high or write parts in treble clef that should really be written in alto clef. He also mentions the “bad old days when Viola players were selected merely because they were too wicked or too senile to play the Violin” in reference to a soli part in a piece that he thinks most violists probably wouldn’t be able to play.

Forsyth does offer valuable advice, complete with excerpts from scores and examples from many famous pieces. Most of the tips he gives are still useful for composers writing music today, even though the book was published almost a century ago.


Forsyth, Cecil. Orchestration. 1. London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1914. Print.

“Cecil Forsyth ORCHESTRATION.” MIDI classics. N.p., 14 Mar 1999. Web. 17 Feb 2011. <http://www.midi-classics.com/p1439.htm&gt;.

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This section from a 1915 South Dakota map shows Cedar Pass Scenic Highway that went from the Oacoma area to Interior. In the 1920s and before, many roads in the United States received names. They were often associated with a booster group which collected dues and published trail guides and newsletters. Please contact us if you have information about the Cedar Pass Scenic Highway or its booster association.

The South Dakota map was published by the Geographical Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois in 1915. After the 1920’s, the United States and many of the states developed a numbering system for roads. This route was slightly altered to became US Highway 16, and later, altered again to become Interstate 90.

This map will become part of the Chilson Collection.

The following is the source of this information and more:

“Transportation and Tourism” in A new South Dakota history, edited by Herbert T. Hoover and John E. Miller (Sioux Falls SD: The Center for Western Studies, Augustana College, 2005), 483-498.

Weingroff, Richard F. From names to numbers: the origins of the U.S. numbered highway system. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. http://wwwcf.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/numbers.cfm (accessed February 15, 2011).

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Last Friday evening at the Annual Stilwell Student Art Awards Exhibition’s opening reception, the Libraries’ Adrienne Evans (Archives and Special Collections student assistant – photographs) and David Lethcoe (Archives and Special Collections student assistant – photographs and digitization/Circulation) did very well!

Adrienne had two pieces selected for inclusion and was awarded Honorable Mention by the art faculty. Adrienne had one of her pieces selected for the Diversity Office Purchase Award and that piece will be permanently installed in the Academic Commons once the exhibition comes down. (Adrienne is a senior English major and photography minor.)

David Lethcoe had one piece selected for inclusion and was awarded the prestigious Art Department Faculty Choice Award. (David is a senior sculpture major.)

A tradition of the Stilwell Student Art Awards Exhibition is the exhibition for one night only of the pieces that did not make it into the juried Stilwell Exhibition. This salon is organized by the students and is called the Stilwell dés Refusés. The best of show is called the Muse Award and is selected by vote of the public. I am happy to announce that David Lethcoe was the winner of this year’s Muse Award.


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Photographs come to the USD Photograph Collection from numerous locations. Sometimes, photographs are labeled or depict easily identifiable subjects and are thus easy to process. It is usually the case, however, that processing requires extra historical research. Searching to discover as much as they can about a certain photograph, photograph collection employees turn to sources like yearbooks, newspapers, and other primary documents. When this method of research fails, photographs run the risk of remaining unidentified, making them useless to archives patrons. Help us figure out how photographs like the one above fit into the story of USD and Vermilion. If you have any information regarding the identity of the photographer, what and who the photograph depicts, or when the photograph was taken, please leave a comment or contact the USD Archives and Special Collections. Thanks for your help!

–Information gathered from the USD Photograph Collection, Series 3

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Spring Poem

Short poem printed in the May 1892 issue of The Volante.

Spring Poem

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Young Women's Christian Association

A photograph taken on October 18, 1912, of the YWCA Student Conference at the University of South Dakota on the stairs of the Arts and Sciences building.

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