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Archive for the ‘A&SC student employees’ Category

When I took the graduate class in historiography in Fall 2016 as a requirement of the Master’s degree program in USD’s history department, I was very excited when my professor Dr. Molly Rozum announced that the class would be working directly with historical materials in the USD archives. My class had the responsibility of doing the preliminary organization and processing of the Krueger-Kruse collection, the personal correspondence and papers of Carrie and Herman Krueger, written at the end of the 19th century – the Krueger family donated the collection to the care of the USD archivists. I had some experience with archiving as an undergraduate, having taken an archiving class at Augustana, so I was looking forward to the chance to dig into historical documents again with the Krueger-Kruse collection.

The sense of connection with the past was palpable as I propped open the lid of the acid-free box and gently lifted out the letters from their folders, the correspondence still neatly tucked into envelopes postmarked with dates from more than a century before. The contents of the box I worked on mainly consisted of letters from relatives and friends to the future Carrie Krueger, then Carrie Kruse, during her time as a young unmarried woman working as a teacher in a schoolhouse in rural Illinois. The authors of the letters, usually Carrie’s brother and sisters or her sister in law Emma, were frequent correspondents, often writing several times a month to fill Carrie in on the news back home.

The letters contained some unexpected items as well, slipped in between the musty folds of letter paper – in one I found a small brown twig Carrie’s brother sent her as a souvenir of his mother in law’s attempts as an amateur naturalist during a family stroll in the countryside. I found myself chuckling at Fred’s account to Carrie in the accompanying letter, describing his good humored impatience with “Ma’s” interest in collecting odds and ends on their walk. In another I discovered several fronds of dried fern leaves pressed between the musty folds of letter paper, so delicate they threatened to disintegrate with the lightest touch. The little scrap of paper with a child’s drawing of a little girl in nineteenth century clothing was probably my favorite find though, tucked in with a letter detailing news of the family Christmas.

What I remember best about my experience archiving the collection though was the emotional connection I felt with Carrie and her relatives when reading her letters. Having worked as a teacher’s aid in a preschool in the past, I sympathised when Carrie’s relatives tried to offer consolation for her stories of the sometimes bumpy process of starting her job as a schoolteacher. And I could not help but be drawn in to the series of letters between Carrie and Emma in which they discussed Carrie’s then secret feelings for her future husband Herman, and enthusiastically discussed Carrie and Herman’s planned summer meeting at the Chicago World’s Fair, where Carrie felt she would finally decide if Herman was Mr. Right. It seems obvious that people of all times have always gone through the everyday things of life like the anxiety of starting a new job, or the excitement, sometimes thrilling but sometimes exasperating, of a budding relationship. However, reading all about it in the spidery handwriting of a nineteenth century woman, different from me and yet in many ways the same, was a poignant reminder that everyone can relate to the struggles of young adulthood, even people from over a century ago.

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It’s that time of year again! Halloween is slowly approaching once again. If you are a book lover and very festive during this time of year, come take a look in the Archives and Special Collections. We have some very interesting and spooky stories up here. From documents of ghost towns to books with murder mysteries. We also have some interesting books in the Mahoney Music Collection. Such as the Vampires Violin by, Michael Romkey. A story about a Vampire who is in dire need to find his lost violin once again. Yet a young woman named Maggie O’Hara now possess it, and she has no idea what is lurking in the dark, determined to have his violin back by any means. This book is a good choice for this time of year.

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Growing up just a half hour away from Mt. Rushmore, I can tell you that the beauty and grandeur is as great as the hype about it is. Though as a Rapid City native I have not visited the monument as often as one would guess, really I can count on my hands and feet the number of times I have been there (that I can really remember). To me, it is one of those places in which, less is more. I have a greater respect for the monument now that I am older and not living within its shadow.

To think that 75 years ago, the Mt. Rushmore the world knows today, was but an idea a large group was working to cultivate. That Gutzon Borglum and his team of carvers began work on the face of Washington. The project was in the works from 1927 when carving began to 1941, when what is now the finished project was unveiled, after the death of Borglum. Throughout the years of carving, many made journeys to see the monuments work in progress, including two US presidents Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Today the monument attracts visitors from all over the globe. They are amazed by the monumental size of the sculptures, and by the beauty of the visitor’s center which gives an abundance of information on the monument. One of the prominent reasons for visiting Mt. Rushmore would be the lighting ceremony held at the end of every night. This is a major part of the monument and during the ceremony, park rangers leading the ceremony ask that any and all former and active duty service men and women take center stage. This part of the ceremony is the most moving point and as each member of the military explains who they are and which war they were a part of, there is little to no noise as this is a moment of thanks to those in service. Another great reason to visit Mt. Rushmore is the ice cream, or so I’ve been told.

The biggest lore surrounding the monument is the famed Hall of Records that is located behind the head of Lincoln. The room does exist though it is not found behind the head of Lincoln but off to the side of the monument.

Within the University of South Dakota’s Archives and Special Collections, there are 19 collections that contain information regarding Mt. Rushmore, and the process in which it took for the monument to be built, including papers between those who helped fund, sculpt, and shape the monument and visitors center in the modern beauty that it is today.

If you would like to know more about those involved and the process that they went through to create the monument, come visit the Archives and Special Collections to see the display for Mt. Rushmore or ask about the collections that discuss Mt. Rushmore. The display will be up and ready for viewing by November 1, 2016.

And as a friendly reminder, if visiting the monument, take a moment to stop and smell the pine trees, you never know if one will smell like vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch or strawberry.

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The Osborne Collection of Early English Children’s books, were donated by Edgar Osborne, to the Toronto Public Library after he visited the library in 1934. He was so impressed with their children’s program that he donated 2,000 books to the library. Since then the collection has grown into a large collection of over 80,000 children’s books. The Osborne collection is just one of three collections in the libraries children program. Those books that are a part of the Osborne Collection have parameters that require them to have been printed before 1910.

The facsimile collection of Osborne books is made up of 35 books published in 1981. The University of South Dakota houses all 35 books with in its Special Collection, in the Archives and Special Collections. An interesting fact about the books is that they were printed in the same manner as the originals. So if pages are printed blank, like they are in A Book of Nonsense then that is the way they were meant to be printed.

Many of the books within the collection are interactive. The Mansion of Bliss is in fact not a book but a spiral board game that was meant to improve one’s moral values. The game was one of chance, in which 2-4 players were racing one another to see who could make it to the mansion of bliss first. Along with the game is a rule book that explains each space and whether the player who landed there will be punished or rewarded.

Come and enjoy viewing the Facsimile Osborne Collection of Early English Children’s Books, now on display up in the USD Archives.

Bibliography

Toronto Public Library. “Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books.” Copyright 2016. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/osborne/ [accessed October 19, 2016].

Dunedin Public Libraries. “Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books.” Julian Smith, August 13, 2015. Copyright 2016. https://hail.to/dunedin-public-libraries/article/D1lQo6S [accessed October 19, 2016].

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Freshmen Initiation

Friday, September 19, 1913, otherwise known as Black Friday, the newly acquired graduating class of 1917, gathered outside of Main Hall (today one could assume they meant Old Main) promptly at 7:30 pm to begin their journey through the time honored tradition of hazing the incoming freshmen. Though this practice has gone by the way side in recent decades, the memory of the events live on in the stories that remain and a poster found while cleaning in the Archives.

The poster details the rules of decorum which the freshmen class were required to follow. As well as a large paragraph of colorful descriptions (for the time period, mind you) the upper classmen threw at the freshmen. As the poster states, any rumors that certain freshmen were exempt from the activities of freshmen initiation were utter lies and all freshmen were required to participate in any events demanded by the upper classes. In accordance with the poster laying out the rules of the initiation, the Volante followed up with tales of the event in the first issue of the Volante published that school year.  In an article titled “Initiation—Black Friday” the article’s author briefly lays out what went down and encourages the freshmen to pick up their caps at the end of the article.

The jocularity of the event didn’t last long, as two weeks later another article was published in the Volante that described a certain student who was blatantly ignoring the rules. The student body called for the punishment of the student, which led to an article that detailed the suspension of five students who brutishly and publicly tried to bring the student to heel in accordance with the rules set up for the freshmen class. A week after the first article detailing the suspensions was released, a follow up of the proceedings were published and detailed further what had caused the suspensions. As well as they would enforce the student’s suspensions until January 6, 1914, when they would be able to return to classes at the university.

The poster and volante are now on display in the archives for a limited time so stop in and read about the events that freshmen today no longer have to fear.

 

Black Friday Poster. USD Archive Oversize Material: Photographs—USD Panoramas.

The Volante. Vol. 27-30. May 1913 – July 1916.

1915 Coyote. Pg. 229

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The first week of May everyone on campus was cramming for finals and preparing for summer. I was in the same boat as everyone else, cramming for finals and preparing to head home for a week. It was within that week that I was informed that a position in the archives was open and I quickly put in an application. It wasn’t until the next week, while I was at home that I heard anything on the job, and through email correspondence I set up an interview time for the following week. As the interview came and went I felt very positive about the prospect and possibility of receiving a job within the archives, and before the week was up I had a new job in the archives.

The following week after accepting the job offer, my struggle was real and the twister of life sucked me up and dropped me into the land of archives (once all my paper work was in order). From that first week up to now it has been an adventure, somethings such as phase boxes and photo copying take longer than others and aren’t to entirely glamorous. The staff in the archives are some of the friendliest and nicest people I have had the experience to work with. Doris is always ready to help answer my question and direct me in the right direction.

As time continues I feel that much like the scavenger hunt I completed at the beginning of my time here in the archives, some tasks will be easier while others I will struggle my way through. Yet at the end of the day I know that this is only the beginning of my adventures here in the archives.

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IMG_0300Well, this is it.

It’s my last day.

Today I get to turn in my key, submit my last time sheet, and clean up all my files on the computer, and I have to take home my sweater, wrist warmers, blanket, and refillable Einstein Bros. coffee mug . . .  plus say goodbye to probably the coolest job ever and all the wonderful people I’ve worked with.

The Archives and Special Collections has been an oasis for me through the grueling voyage of undergrad – tucked in the corner of the library, above the crowded sidewalks and away from the drama and stress of school.

I started here the summer after my sophomore year, after miserably spending the previous summer as a waitress. I began as a temporary hire for Sarah, allotted 120 hours to put in basically whenever, doing a lot of photo identification and negative-sleeve making. But I also got to work with Jim Legg’s collection of slides from Wounded Knee during the volatility of the 1970s (wow!).

When the fall semester started, Doris adopted me from Sarah. I began to make box labels instead of negative sleeves, pull boxes for patrons, make inventory lists of incoming collections, take the recycling down, and pick up the mail. Sure, a lot of my job involved removing rusty staples (yes, my tetanus shots are up-to-date), spending hours at the temperamental photocopy machine, and leafing through old Volante newspapers or yearbooks for an answer to a patron’s question.

 

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However, I did some pretty amazing things here, too. Simply working with the Mahoney Music Collection was a dream! – how did my two favorite things in the world, books and music, end up combined in the back of the USD library? Though I couldn’t work exclusively with this collection, there was almost always a little project with it to satiate me. Writing press releases, creating a LibGuide, managing the website records, creating little exhibits, helping patrons, and writing blog posts were just a few things. I was invited to just go back and browse the stacks if I wanted, to get to know the books, and I got to correspond with the donor, Dr. John P. Mahoney, and even meet him this summer! I met a lot of great books, too. And who knows?  – maybe I’ll be back in a few years to do my own research with the collection.

 

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The archives have forever changed me. Now I can’t bring myself to use staples or tape on anything, and I have a mission to preserve all my photos in acid-free paper. I learned so much that I don’t think I can fit it all on a résumé. And, thanks to Sarah, I’ll never be able to listen to Kishi Bashi or Van Morrison without nostalgia of the archives. I will sorely miss everything and everyone here – how did I get so lucky?

So what’s next? I have a couple more days in sunny Vermillion, then it’s off to Ohio, where I’ll be attending grad school for my master’s degree in music performance at Kent State (they have an Einstein Bros. too, so the mug comes with!).

 

 

P.S. For the record: I never got the lights turned off on me in the back room. Once the power went out when I was back there, though, and the terrifying flickering before tipped me off.

 

 

P.P.S. And my desk piggy’s coming, too! 🙂

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