You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.
l-r:Terri J. Goldich, Curator; Billie M. Levy, Donor; Kena Sosa, Researcher. Seated: Mrs. Eva Greenwood, Interviewee
Ms. Kena Sosa of Grand Prairie, Texas, was the 4th recipient of a Billie M. Levy Travel and Research Grant awarded by the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection. Ms. Sosa is a school librarian and teacher, with a BA in English and an MA in bilingual education with emphasis on teaching the gifted and talented. Her topic of research is the experience of Jewish children who escaped Nazi persecution to England and other countries by means of the Kindertransport program. The Northeast Children’s Literature Collection holds works on this topic which Ms. Sosa used to gather information on the experiences of the children faced with new sights, sounds, language, and in some cases, new families. Ms. Sosa also interviewed two women who were transported to England as part of Kindertransport to create oral histories documenting their experiences. (NOTE: Mrs. Greenwood’s interview begins in the middle of a sentence.)
Ms. Sosa has published on a wide variety of topics ranging from biracial children’s literature to netiquette for kids. She hopes
to use the results of her research to write a children’s book about the Kindertransport experience. Ms. Sosa presented the results of her research on April 21, 2011, at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
–Terri J. Goldich
Click here to listen to the music (Thanks to Prof. Vargas Liñán for providing this music)
Since embarking in the project of digitizing a selection of Spanish Women’s Magazines from our Spanish Periodical and Newspapers Collection we have learned that making the collection accessible online has had the positive effect of attracting new users and visitors to the collection in-situ in addition to the many new users online. One of these visitors last spring was Prof. Belén Vargas Liñán, a Strochlitz’s awardee, from the University of Almería, Spain, who came to research the relationship between music and women’s images found in our print collection of Spanish women’s magazines.
In her own words she shared with us:
My research at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center is part of my doctoral thesis, currently ongoing, on the music in Spanish magazines between 1833 and 1874. Five years ago I became aware of the Dodd Center periodical collection (through the online catalog), but my interest for this collection increased last year when I visited the digital portal of women’s magazines prepared by Marisol Ramos. The collection of Spanish magazines and newspapers in the Dodd Center is very valuable to researchers as a complement of Spain’s archival collections, because it contains newspapers that do not exist in the public archives of our country and it completes partial collections preserved in them, especially emerging musical and cultural magazines from Madrid and Andalusia. Moreover, we note that many specimens preserved in Storrs are not as damaged as their peers at the National Library in Madrid, and many titles still contain many supplements fashion plates and scores that existing copies found in the Iberian Peninsula did not preserved.
Newspapers are primary sources that are extremely helpful to approach the study of musical life, anytime, anywhere. It does not only provides information on works, composers and performers, but it also allows the study of sociological aspects of music such as musical taste of the public, the business of music publishers, the main musical spaces of a city, type of music education offered by institutions and professionals, or the controversy surrounding the opera and zarzuela in the Spanish society of the time. In this line, an extremely interesting facet that we can discover in the pages of nineteenth-century press is the image of women and their relationship with music.
Prof. Vargas Liñán came to the Dodd Center to study different types of magazines and newspapers which contain music and how it was presented to a female audience and how that reflected a vision of feminism in Spanish society during the 19th century. While at Storrs, Prof. Vargas Liñán shared her findings with us in the traditional Strochlitz Lecture which we taped. Click here to listen to her video presentation (in English–you should download the viewer Silverlight). Also, click here for the presentation’s text (both in English).
It was a pleasure to support Prof. Vargas Liñán’s research and we look forward to providing more ways to give access to all our collections at the Dodd Center.
Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections
Join me in welcoming our new guest blogger, Krisela Karaja, UConn student, intern, and author of SideStream, a brand new blog series that highlights archival materials available at the Dodd Research Center. The new series will offer an insider’s view of the rich collections useful for studying the history and evolution of global environmental issues today. Krisela will explore the diversity of materials from the Alternative Press, Human Rights, and political collections, and share her discoveries along the way. Take it away Krisela!
Melissa Watterworth Batt, Curator of Literary, Natural History and Rare Books Collections
The APC originated in the late 1960s, inspired by the political, social, and cultural advocacy of UConn students at that time. The materials in this collection emphasize the importance of grassroots organizations and alternative media in providing different stories and perspectives to a public drowning in mainstream. Unfortunately, most UConn undergrads are unaware that these invaluable research materials are at their fingertips, literally waiting to be examined. I was one of these students until two weeks ago, after being formally introduced to all the resources the Dodd has to offer in subject areas ranging from politics, to women’s studies, to the environment itself. This got me to thinking: what about other students? What about students majoring in Environmental Studies or other areas that deviate from the typical subjects often associated with archival research? Would it even occur to them to look in the APC when researching a historically documented ecological issue? Well it should!
I’ve been digging through the APC archives for a while now and believe me—it’s a gold mine ranging back to the late 1950s and 1960s. I personally struck gold when looking through Northwest Passage, a bi-weekly Bellingham, Washington newspaper printed from 1969 to 1986. The paper grew very popular as far as grassroots news is concerned and it quickly evolved into an ecological
journal with a national subscription base, including a number of mainstream media sources.
Publisher Frank Kathman, one of the three co-founders, boasted: “[W]e soon found that the Passage had a monopoly on environmental information in the Northwest.” Add the newspaper’s penchant for publishing risqué stories on topics such as personal marijuana cultivation, its willingness to include articles and commentaries from subscribers, and the “Molasses Jug,”—a local funk section including everything from old wives’ remedies to advice on herbal supplements—and you’ve got a recipe for underground news success. This recipe was especially savored in Bellingham, because as Kathman asserted, “[It] seemed like a microcosm of the American dream. A place where a small but ambitious paper could really be effective.” It was, indeed, effective—especially when it came to
covering key environmental issues of the period: “[We] made establishment papers look like they were shirking their duties.”
Of course any mainstream paper would have been shamed, had its coverage of the 1971 Anacortes Oil spill, for instance, been compared to the incessant coverage of Kathman’s staff. Northwest Passage had addressed the oil issue for some time before the spill, as the controversial debate raged over expanding ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Company) oil tankers and production in Alaska. The Anacortes incident sent 210,000 gallons of no. 2 diesel oil spilling into the Guemes Channel. The number was initially reported as 5000 gallons, not barrels, delaying action until six to sixteen hours later. Only about 5% of the oil was cleaned, and a study of the previous 1969 spill near the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute found that bacterial degradation after oil spills is slow. Toxic hydrocarbons remain—especially if diesel fuel is spilled. The most toxic areas dissipate quickly, and cannot be cleaned at all. The Passage was apparently also successful at portending the future. The April 26, 1971
issue included an article titled “Our Fine Feathered Friends,” explaining how to care for birds, should they be harmed by potential oil spills. Author David Wolf concluded his article on a hopeful note: “May we never find ourselves in need of these procedures.” Turns out these procedures would be needed the same day the issue was printed!
Apparently the supposedly archived environmental hot topics of the late 60s and early 70s are still simmering—dare I say boiling?–in the world outside the Dodd Center today.
Krisela Karaja, Student Intern
Kathman, Frank. “Passage History.” Northwest Passage [Bellingham, Washington] 15 Mar. – 28 Mar. 1971: Vol. 4 No. 2. Alternative Press Collections. Archives and Special Collections
at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.
Northwest Passage [Bellingham, Washington] 10 May – 23 May 1971: Vol. 5 No. 3. Alternative Press Collections. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.
University of Connecticut. UConn EcoHusky. UConn Office of Environmental Policy, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2011. http://ecohusky.uconn.edu/.
Wolf, David. “Our Fine Feathered Friends.” Northwest Passage [Bellingham, Washington] 26 Apr. – 9 May 1971: Vol. 5 No. 2. Alternative Press Collections. Archives and Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries.
…the Hurricane of 1938 slammed into southern New England.
No Tweets, no IM, no text messages. To reach fellow students with news about a devastating hurricane, the Connecticut Campus (it wouldn’t add Daily to its name until 1954) put out a special edition on September 22.
Printing presses were not operating, so the editors used a hand-cranked mimeograph machine to publish the news. The 1938 hurricane was a surprise. There wasn’t a week of watching and waiting as the storm neared by Connecticut shoreline as we had with Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
A survey of the damage conducted in the days following the hurricane by two forestry students would find 1,762 trees were either snapped off or uprooted on the campus grounds. Sherman P. Hollister, superintendent of grounds, told the Campus it might take one hundred years for the campus to regain its former beauty.
On page 65 of the 1939 Nutmeg Yearbook, a sixteen-photograph montage shows some of the damage on campus. The only caption reads: Windy Wednesday.
Decades later, Provost Albert Waugh, a faculty member in 1938, wrote in his diary:
“How the wind blew! How the rains fell! And how the hug oaks were torn out by their roots or their great trunks broken in half! Thirty-five years later we have in our back yard a great swamp maple with a long spiraling scar once and a half around its truck where the tree was twisted like a corkscrew!”
–Mark J. Roy, University Communications (retired)
Tariffville Dam, a set on Flickr.
This week we’ve shown a handful of photographs of the old Tariffville Dam, which was built in 1899 on the Farmington River by the Hartford Electric Light Company, and lasted until 1955 when it was destroyed by floods. We’ve put more photographs of the dam on Flickr — check them out!
Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections
The last two posts of this week showed some photographs of Walter Atkin, an employee at the Tariffville Dam, who went fishing from an open window at the hydroelectric station. Those photographs were just three of many interesting images of the dam that we find in the Hartford Electric Light Company Records, one of which includes this beautiful wide angled shot of the dam, taken circa 1915.
Here’s the deal about the man with the fish.
This gentleman is identified on the photograph as Walter Atkin who presumably worked at the Tariffville Dam hydroelectric station on the Farmington River in Simsbury, Connecticut. The date of the photograph is 1948. This photograph is from the Hartford Electric Light Company Records, a collection of business records of this company that we have here at the Dodd Research Center.
The collection has these photos of Mr. Atkin fishing directly from a window in the power station, something I personally think is hilarious. I wonder if his employers were aware that he was spending his time in this manner while on the job. Hmmm…I wonder if my supervisors would approve my fishing in Mirror Lake during work time.
Hey, it worked for Walter…
Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections
Who is this man? What’s with the fish on a stick? What’s the story behind this photograph?
You want to know, don’t you? Well, I’m not going to tell you, not yet. What I want is YOU to tell ME what you think is going on here.
Here’s a challenge to our loyal blog readers. Use the comments to give your best guess. Where is this man? What year do you think this photo is from? And why in the world is he grinning from ear to ear at the fish?
Make up a story about him if you want.
I’ll give you more information on Wednesday. In the meantime, I want to hear from you about what you think is going on with this photo.
Laura Smith, Curator for Business, Railroad and Labor Collections
This month marks the tenth anniversary of one of the most difficult times in the history of the United States. Every American was touched, in one way or another, by the multiple tragedies experienced that fateful fall day. Christopher Shays, Connecticut Congressman representing the 4th district, became involved with individuals and organizations soon thereafter as a co-founded of the 9-11 Caucus (http://maloney.house.gov/911caucus/index.html) and worked with colleagues in 2005 to change rules to “bring Congressional oversight in line with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations.” His involvement with multiple 9/11 activities is documented in his papers which are housed in Archives & Special Collections.
-Betsy Pittman, Curator of Political Collections