You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

This afternoon, Ken Davis will be signing copies of his new book University of Connecticut Basketball Vault, The history of the Huskies, published by Whitman PublishingDavis will sign copies of the book at the UConn Co-op on Friday, Oct. 15, beginning at 4:30 p.m., just before the 2010-11 basketball season kicks off with First Night activities at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.

University of Connecticut Basketball Vault, The history of the Huskies

The book is part of The College Vault series and features a “time capsule” approach, including historic images and reproductions of ephemera that are part of the team’s history, such as game programs, statistics sheets, and other items that enhance the comprehensive narrative about each team.  A considerable portion of the research was conducted in the University Archives and items from the collection have been reproduced as part of the publication.  More information about the author and the book in the UConn Today article by Kenneth Best (10/15/2010).  Details about the book signing are available on the Co-op website.  A copy of the publication has been added to the collection in the University Archives.


Long before the photocopier, desktop computers, and blogs, the mimeograph machine put inexpensive printing technology in the hands of poets and artists.  The Mimeo Revolution of the late 1950s brought about an explosion of DIY printing and independent literary magazines.  Although many of the mimeo magazines and small presses were short-lived, poetry superstars emerged from the mimeographed pages, including poet and little mag publisher, Ed Sanders.

The revolution was spawned by the youthful, counterculture poet-publisher, cranking out 100 copies of an outlandishly titled magazine on cheap paper.  The image of the iconoclastic and self-motivated poet, breaking the chain of convention, heading out for the territories with a sack full of magazines and making it new, formed and solidified in our common imagination as a direct result of the mimeo explosion. (M. Basinski from An Author Index to Little Magazines of the Mimeograph Revolution)

Join us for an afternoon as we explore the Mimeo Revolution and celebrate the poets and presses that made it flourish.  Events are free and open to the public.

October 26, 2010, 3:00pm to 6:00pm, Dodd Research Center


3:00pm Gallery Talk Little Magazines in the Archives with Melissa Watterworth, Curator of Literary Collections (McDonald Reading Room)

3:45pm Unveiling of special re-issue of the 1968 limited edition book Krulik Ksiega or Book of Rabbits by Cleveland poet Tom Kryss

4:00pm Poetry reading with Ed Sanders! (Konover Auditorium)

4:45pm Film showing If I Scratch, I Write: d.a. levy and the Mimeograph Revolution

6:00pm Reception with refreshments

For more information contact

Ah, we’ve stooped to this.  The talk always turns to potty humor, doesn’t it? 

As odd as it sounds, we here at Archives & Special Collections have toilet paper in one of our archival collections. That’s right — ARCHIVAL toilet paper.  In a business collection, if you can believe it.   Let me explain…

Cardboard cover for toilet paper manufactured by C.H. Dexter Company of Windsor Locks, Connecticut

The Dexter Corporation began in 1767 as a small, family-operated mill on land in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Originally a saw and grist mill, the business added a paper mill and began marketing specialty papers in the mid-nineteenth century.  In its third generation of family ownership, under the direction of Charles Haskell Dexter, the company established itself as the C. H. Dexter Co. and developed products for a well-defined market of papers and tissues.  Their Star Mills Medicated Manila Tissue was the first commercially-manufactured tissue. Together with his son, Edwin Dexter, and his son-in-law, H. R. Coffin, C.H. Dexter moved the company into the twentieth century as C. H. Dexter and Sons, Co. In 1914 the company was incorporated and was headed by A. D. Coffin, the son of H. R. Coffin.

The years of the depression in the 1930s saw the company’s further evolution with the development of the Long Fiber Papers, and through mergers and divestments.  In addition to its specialty tissues and paper covers, the company began producing tea bags and meat casings.

By the mid-twentieth century, having established the quality of its specialized papers, C. H. Dexter and Sons, Inc., began production of industrial finishes and laminates. The company renamed itself the Dexter Corporation in 1966 to reflect its expansion and development.

In 1999-2000, when a hostile takeover threatened to displace over 200 years of operations, the Dexter Corporation dismantled, leaving only a trail of toilet paper in its wake (not really. I was kidding about that).

Shown here is a cardboard cover for a package of toilet tissue, circa 1896.  For more information about the C.H. Dexter Company, and to see the cover and the toilet paper up close and personal, look at the finding aid at and come view it in the reading room at the Dodd Research Center.  I’ll warn you, though — toilet paper from 1896 is NOT as soft as a baby’s bottom.  Not by a long shot.

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

It’s the top of the eighth inning. The Yankees lead the Giants 3-0 in the second game of the 1922 World Series, and students at Connecticut Agricultural College listen to the game on radio on the lawn in front of the Mechanic Arts Building.

It was the first time that the entire World Series was on radio, and this second game would end in a 3-3 tie after a controversial call “on account of darkness” in the tenth inning.

Radio was relatively new for the campus – WABL, the first student radio station at CAC, began broadcasting that fall from studios in the Mechanic Arts Building. The station’s equipment was probably the source of the hook up to a speaker that was placed outside the front door of the building.

Students kept track of the game with a box score on a blackboard placed in front of the building

The winner of the “subway” series was the Yankees. They beat the Giants in five games.

Students of Connecticut Agricultural College listen to Game 2 of the 1922 World Series on October 5, 1922. Freshmen can be identified by their beanies, and just to the left of the photo center is a lone co-ed joining the boys for the afternoon of baseball. The Mechanic Arts Building on North Eagleville Road is now the Islamic Center on the main campus in Storrs.

In September 2008, the Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center began a new online feature, the “Item of the Month,” which showcases an item from the Archives & Special Collections for the University Libraries.  Each month, one of the curators from the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center selects an item from the collections, such as a photograph, letter, manuscript, rare book, or other item to be featured online for the duration of the month.  All items can be also viewed in person (by request) at the John P. MacDonald Reading Room at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, Monday- Friday, from 10 am to 4 pm.   The Item of the Month feature has been well-received by University faculty, staff, and students, and serves as a monthly reminder to the University community of the unique historical materials located in the Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Libraries. 

For October 2010, we’ve selected materials from the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Records pertaining to oil exploration and expansion in the Ecuadorian Amazon.   These materials have been selected in conjunction with the Dodd Research Center’s ongoing Human Rights Film Series, which continues with a screening of the documentary film, Crude, directed by Joe Berlinger.  The film will be shown on Wednesday, October 13, at 4 pm in Konover Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. 

The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) was founded in response to the April 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic. This armed intervention by the United States against a popular uprising–classic gunboat diplomacy–preempted the restoration to power of freely elected president Juan Bosch. It also paved the way for the thirty year dictatorship of caudillo Joaquín Balaguer. NACLA’s founders were especially struck by the Johnson administrations’ ability to disseminate its version of events virtually unchallenged, while mainstream opinion makers set the tone of a limited public debate. Moreover, as the U.S. intervention in Vietnam began in earnest, progressive critics and opponents of U.S. policy, both abroad and at home, began seriously to consider questions about the nature of public education, the role of independent media, and how to make critical analysis of the U.S. power structure accessible to a broad and interested public. 

NACLA, which took shape from these questions, was founded in October and November of 1966 in a series of meetings of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the University Christian Movement, and returned Peace Corps volunteers, along with assorted other individuals and organizations. According to its articles of incorporation, NACLA’s role was “to encourage, produce and distribute information designed to identify and explain those elements and relationships of forces in the United States and Latin America which inhibit and frustrate urgently needed profound social and economic change.” The “congress” in NACLA’s name was suggested by the “Congress of Unrepresented People,” a contemporary group of civil rights, antiwar, and labor activists who came together to challenge elite conceptions of the national interest as fundamentally opposed to the real interests of the majority of the American people. 

Most of the materials contained in this NACLA Collection were collected during the first twenty years of NACLA’s history (1966-1986). The special reports, newsletters, and eventually, magazines appearing under the NACLA imprint were the outcome of research and writing done by members of the collective. The materials that they amassed in their files ranged from newspaper clippings to original government documents to revolutionary communiques to corporate proxies. As NACLA established fraternal links with publications, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations across the region, it also acquired a substantial and varied collection of periodical publications, many of which can now be found only in this collection.   (Information from the preface to the finding aid for the collection,

The item of the month below is a selection from the periodical holdings from the NACLA Collection, from August 2, 1987  (NACLA Box 125, Folder 5). 

Action Bulletin from Survival International USA, a non-profit organization that aims to protect the human rights of indigenous peoples worldwide.

First page from the Survival International USA Urgent Action Bulletin.

For further information about these materials, contact Valerie Love, Curator for Human Rights Collections, or Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.   More information about the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and using the archival collections can be found here.   

Further reading: 

Sawyer. Suzana.  Crude Chronicles: Indigenous Politics, Multinational Oil, and Neoliberalism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2004). 

Varea, Anamaria and Pablo Ortiz-T.  Marea negra en la Amazonia : conflictos socioambientales vinculados a la actividad petrolera en el Ecuador  (Quito, 1995).

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