You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2011.

Archery team, University of Connecticut, 1951Community Chest parade float, University of Connecticut, May 1955University of Connecticut, Storrs campus, 1950sBy Beach Hall, University of Connecticut, 1952Sigma Chi Derby Day, University of Connecticut, 1950sAirplane spotters Officer Cable and Mrs. Jorgensen on the roof of Beach Hall, 1944
Connecticut Women's Land Army, 1942-1945Connecticut Women's Land Army bringng in cows, 1942-1945Connecticut Women's Land Army on the Lee farm, 1942Growing tomatoes at the Milford Labor Camp, 1942G.I.’s, University of Connecticut, 1945Army unit attending memorial ceremony for U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, University of Connecticut, April 13, 1945
ASTP structural drawing class, University of Connecticut, November 1943ASTP students surveying, University of Connecticut, November 30, 1943Military Day, University of Connecticut, May 1952Horse barn, University of Connecticut, 1940sJunior lamb show champion, Eastern States Exposition, 1942Little Eastern States Exposition, University of Connecticut, 1940
Little Eastern States Exposition, University of Connecticut, 1940Horse show in the new ring, University of Connecticut, 1942Audience at a horse show in the new ring, University of Connecticut, 1942Home and Farm Week square dance, University of Connecticut, 1950sLivestock parade, Farm and Home Week, University of ConnecticutHartford Extension Center, University of Connecticut, 1942

We are very curious about this and what it will look like. Here is a set of Kodachrome photographs from the archives for your viewing pleasure.


We are testing out our new flickr photostream. Hang in there, we’ll get it all working soon!

Old Saybrook, Connecticut, switch tower, on the New Haven Railroad. Photograph taken by James S. Klar, 1975.

James S. Klar spent his working life as a city planner, but his first love was photography. After he retired he indulged in his passion full-time, and received training in photography techniques. In 1975 he received a grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts to photograph 75 railroad stations in southern New England for an exhibition. This photograph of the Old Saybrook Interlocking, or switch, tower, was taken on June 10, 1975, for the exhibition.

James Klar died in 1985 and in 1990 his wife Marjorie donated the photographs from the exhibition to the Railroad History Archive at the Dodd Research Center. The photographs show exquisite details of old railroad stations and structures, many of them dilapidated.

The interlocking tower in Old Saybrook was built in 1912, for the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. An interlocking, or switch, tower was an important feature for railroad safety. It allowed the tower operator to communicate with railroad personnel about train movements, and to control junction switches and signals with a bank of levers on the second floor. In the 1920s the mechanical interlocking was replaced by banks of electrical relays, which were replaced by pneumatic assists. By the 1970s changes in dispatching technology rendered the tower obsolete and it was closed. The tower was razed in June 1998.

This photograph of the switching levers on the second floor of the tower was taken in 1997 by Robert Brewster when it was recorded for a Historic American Buildings Survey, which you can find in the Connecticut Historic Preservation Collection at the Dodd Research Center.

Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

Please join us for the 2011 Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Lecture in Human Rights.

“International Justice, Transitional Justice: What Have We Learned about What ‘Works’?”
Diane Orentlicher
Deputy, Office of War Crimes Issues, U.S. Department of State
Thursday, April 21 4:00 PM
Konover Auditorium, Dodd Research Center

Diane F. Orentlicher is serving as Deputy, Office of War Crimes Issues, in the Department of State while on leave from American University’s Washington College of Law, where she is a Professor of International Law. She has served in her current position, on appointment by Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, since October, 2009. The Office of War Crimes Issues advises the Secretary of State and formulates U.S. policy responses to atrocities committed in areas of conflict and elsewhere throughout the world.

Described by the Washington Diplomat as “one of the world’s leading authorities on human rights law and war crimes tribunals,” Professor Orentlicher has previously served in various public positions, including Special Advisor to the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Professor Orentlicher is also co-director (on leave) of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of American University. From 1995 to 2004, she served as founding director of the law school’s War Crimes Research Office, which provides legal assistance to international criminal tribunals and courts established jointly by the United Nations and national governments. Professor Orentlicher has presented congressional testimony on a range of issues of international criminal law, including U.S. legislation on genocide.

Jean Nelson, Public Outreach Coordinator

We have posted frequently about the collections, events and activities surrounding Archives & Special Collections in this blog.  Today I’d like to do something a little different and share an example of  the research being conducted in the reading room this spring.  Olivier Burtin, a graduate student from France and Strochlitz Travel Grant awardee, made a second trip to Storrs in March to continue his research in the Vivien Kellems papers.

Olivier Burtin, a Strochlitz Travel grant awardee, conducting research in the reading room.

A comment about his research from Olivier:

The research I am conducting on Vivien Kellems is the product of my broader interest in U.S modern history, and more specifically in the history of U.S conservatism. I started to delve into the subject early in 2010 for my Master’s Degree thesis at Sciences Po in Paris.    Since then, I have made two trips to the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where Kellems’ personal papers are located. There are a number of reasons why I decided to study this topic.

A successful Connecticut businesswoman, Kellems (1896-1975) founded and operated her own cable grips company for more than thirty years, at a time when managerial positions were overwhelmingly male-dominated. She was also a highly controversial public figure known primarily for her unorthodox opposition to income taxation, beginning in World War II. Her political involvement combined staunch anti-tax resistance (leading to several suits against the federal state), fierce conservative criticism of government and unwavering advocacy of women’s rights, all put forward by unique oratorical and public relations skills that made her famous nationwide. She acted as a prominent maverick in Connecticut politics, running several times for Congress from 1942 to 1962. Although she remains a lingering presence today in the memory of many conservatives and residents of this state, her personal papers – donated to the University by her nephew in 1992 – have yet to be thoroughly investigated by historians.

Kellems’ life is not only fascinating in itself, it is also a valuable addition to the growing literature on U.S conservatism and it helps us understand its historical development. Her career spanned a critical time in America when liberalism was flourishing; hence it offers an insight into the relatively under-documented origins of the conservative renewal in the 1940s and 1950s. Although she ultimately failed to create a perennial political movement around her, she gathered more than 10,000 sympathizers in the early 1950s with her national women’s organization, the Liberty Belles. Years later, she played a central role as a standard bearer of tax resistance in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with her struggle against unfair income taxation for singles. Her papers contain a wide variety of sources – political fan letters, membership lists, newspapers clippings, etc. – that allow me to document not only her career but also the growth of a political movement.

She passed away in 1975 as active as ever: she had just resumed her PhD a few years earlier at the University of Edinburgh and was about to submit her doctoral dissertation…on taxation, of course!

Mr. Burtin is one of several travel grant awardees who have come to Storrs this year to conduct research in the collections.  Over time, I hope to share more of their interests and stories with you.

Betsy Pittman, University Archivist

Given as an assignment to a first year studio foundation art class, students were challenged to consider the function of the book and encouraged to rethink its form as sculptural object. Additionally, the students were inspired by viewing some of the diverse forms of one-of-a- kind and limited edition artists’ books housed at the Dodd Research Center.

As an art project, altering a book page is a daunting concept; reconstructing and altering the whole book is a serious challenge.  First, one is confronted with the notion that through a seemingly destructive act, beauty and new art form can be constructed. Even when using cast-off books, that are about to be destroyed, one is faced with a rather unnerving sensation when beginning this process.

Through a series of transformative gestures and repetitive actions such as folding, cutting, scoring, curling, punching, incising and shredding, the function of book as object of information is transformed into structure, sculpture. These repetitive acts, to the point of exaggeration, have created new and startling physical shapes that we take notice of first. For some of the creators, the book’s title helped prompt an action informing us of the book’s potential content.  For others, a singular process took shape without considering the book’s original intention. Irony, wit, poetic reference, and obsessive gesture push the book’s singular recognizable form into a new physical shape. Some of the pages turn, but the text is not the text of legibility. Others offer the viewer a window into the process of alteration. 

Selections from First Year Studio Foundation Course Fall 2010, Professor Deborah Dancy.  Exhibitors: Brooke Bernegger, Taylor Byrne, Brandon Campbell, Emily Campbell, Gina Croteau, Rachel Eldracher, Kelsey McKissick, Alyssa Naim, Ruth Reinwald, Natalie Sequeira, Celine St. Pierre

Book As Sculpture
April 1-30, 2011, Monday-Friday 10-4
Dodd Research Center
John P. McDonald Reading Room

Kristin Eshelman, Curator of Multimedia Collections

Dodd Center’s Tweets