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William B. Young was an avid fan, enthusiast and historian of the Connecticut Company, particularly its trolley cars, which controlled the street railroad system that provided public transportation in the state’s towns and cities from 1905 to 1948.  Mr. Young, born in 1942, spent much of his youth in Stamford and Roxbury, Connecticut, where he explored local trolley right-of-ways, collected railroad documents and memorabilia, took photographs, and rode the trains at every opportunity, not just in the state but across the country.  While earning a degree in history (focusing many of his term papers on transportation history) at Yale University he worked summers as a Conductor on the Chicago Transit Authority.  After he graduated in 1966 he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Naval Aviator during the Vietnam War, and continued as a flight instructor after the war, when he left active duty in 1977.  After his service he became a database programmer and lived in North Carolina until his death in December 2010.

Mr. Young compiled an enormous and extraordinarily comprehensive collection of materials about the trolley system which includes publications, photographs, timetables, maps, postcards, manuals, and reports.  He corresponded with an extensive network of other knowledgeable railroad and trolley historians, where the minutiae of the cars and the broad history of the company were discussed and dissected with equal interest and regard.  His ultimate goal in amassing this information was the creation of a car roster database, which classified each car in the system by number, owner, purchase cost, weight, roof, type, builder, first year in service, accident history, motor type, compressor type, and controller.

In February 2011 Mr. Young’s sister, Mary Young, contacted the archives about donating the collection.  In the time between this initial contact and its ultimate donation in June 2012, Ms. Young and  her sister Lucy gathered the materials from Mr. Young’s home in North Carolina, separated those materials most appropriate for donation, boxed and organized the materials by format, created “finding guides” and other descriptions to ease discovery of the materials, and provided much of the written information about Mr. Young and the company that helped place it all in context. This comprehensive collection is now available for use by the general public, and its finding aid, which includes long descriptions of the life of Mr. Young and the Connecticut Company, is available at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/wbyoung/MSS20120077.html.  An electronic version of the database will be made available by the Shore Line Trolley Museum, but an extensive printout of the database can be found with the collection here in Archives & Special Collections.

The Connecticut Company, which by 1907 was controlled by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, operated most of the trolleys and buses in Connecticut, with fourteen divisions and, at its peak in the 1910s, a roster of over 2200 cars and nearly 800 miles of track that either ran in or connected twelve major Connecticut cities.  Ridership started to drop in the 1920s and systems were abandoned by the 1930s.  The last trolley ran on September 25, 1948, in New Haven, as the post-war boom of personal ownership of the automobile became widespread.

Connecticut is lucky to have two trolley museums to preserve this important aspect of transportation, including the Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven (http://www.shorelinetrolley.com/) and the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor (http://www.ct-trolley.org/).

The archive is deeply grateful to the family of William B. Young for this valuable collection that will serve as a vital resource for this corner of the state’s transportation history.

Laura Smith, Curator of Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

As the 2012 Presidential election gears up for the fall, American voters  are being inundated with statistics, information, perspectives and opinions on the candidates vying for office. Quite frequently, the reports are augmented by statistics generated from public opinion polls.  Archives & Special Collections has been collecting the papers of American pollsters since 1995 with the donation of the Elmo Roper Papers.  Those interested in the work involved in creating political polls and science behind them have a wide range of collections in which to conduct research.  The public polling collections, which include the papers of Archibald  Crossley, Samuel Lubell, Paul Perry, James Vicary and Daniel Yankelovich, now include the work of Warren Mitofsky.

 

Draft of report on Kentucky Gubernatorial election, 1967

 

Warren Mitofsky, who conducted and invented the first exit poll in the 1967 Kentucky Gubernatorial Election. Warren Mitofsky, was born on September 17, 1934, in the Bronx, NY. He attended and graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and did graduate work at the University of North Carolina. Mitofsky began his career working for the U.S. Census Bureau. While there, he designed many surveys on demographics including those for the poverty program and presidential commissions. During this time, he also developed,  with his colleague Joseph Waksberg, an efficient random digit dialing sampling method that would be widely implemented and an industry standard for many years. Mitofsky left the Census Bureau for CBS News in 1967 to become the executive director of the election and survey unit, a post he held until 1990. Inspired by George Fine’s surveys of moviegoers after they left the theater, At the same time he developed the analysis and projection systems used to call elections. Exit polls were first used in national elections in 1972 and remain in use to the present day.

Mitofsky’s career and work to refine the outcome of elections is well documented in his papers, and with the publication of the finding aid (http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/mitofsky/MSS20080071.html), the collection is now open for research.

 

–Betsy Pittman, University Archivist

Despite the fact that the history of the Italian peninsula is so rich and so well known, many people forget that Italy is a very young country—even younger than the United States.  In fact, the Italy that we know today did not become unified until 1861 and Rome did not become her capital until 1871.   The vast Italian Risorgimento collection held in Archives and Special Collections contains three parts—books, pamphlets, and broadsides—and allows us to better understand the Italian revolutionary period that led up to Unification.

I had the privilege of working on the broadside collection, nearly 6000 documents that would have been hung in public spaces to convey important information to people living in a given city or town.  The collection is in fantastic condition, and it appears that most of these particular broadsides were not actually hung, but were collected and catalogued by various people in the different regions in which they were produced.  Documents in such good condition are rare, and allow us to not only see the progression of historical events, but also the innovations in printing that occurred over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.  The earliest documents in the collection are printed on thick paper, often with a more ornate typeface and with intricate regional mastheads. Over the course of 200 years, the paper quality declines and typefaces become more standardized.  While there are still ornate mastheads, they are not nearly as intricate as earlier examples.

Excerpt of broadside dated 1800 from the Italian Risorgimento Collection

Excerpt of broadside dated 1852 from the Italian Risorgimento Collection

One of the most interesting things about looking at the documents as whole – which are now accessible to the public and in chronological order— is that one can see the evolution of the various issues that they discuss.  One day, there might be a document warning about a potential epidemic (often cholera or bovine influenza) and a few days later there may be another instructing people on how to sterilize their homes and barns in order to prevent further infection.

Many of the documents also speak to the dramatic political changes that occurred in the Peninsula.  There are a significant number of broadsides from the Napoleonic period, when Napoleon and his forces were in control of Northern Italy.  Napoleon created the Cisalpine Republic, and there are many documents from this provisional government.  What is most interesting about these broadsides though, is that they use the newly created French Republican calendar, which had an entirely different month/day scheme from the traditional Gregorian system.  While this makes dating the broadsides a bit more difficult, is also shows us the influence of the French Revolution on Italy and how interconnected the two nations were during the 19th century.

As the collection is focused on the Risorgimento, which means Resurgence in Italian, it is fitting that the largest number of documents come from major revolutionary years 1831, 1848, and 1849.  While there are so many interesting documents to see, two that I found particularly fascinating came from 1849.  The first is a proclamation from the Roman Republic, which lasted for only 6 months, declaring freedom on religion.  This was a major development, not only because of Italy’s Catholic legacy, but because it was coming from Rome, the seat of the Pope.  Keeping with this theme of religion, I also discovered a Republican Catechism.  This document is structured in the question/answer format of a traditional catechism, but discusses revolutionary goals, enemies, and allies.  It is a perfect example of the marriage between tradition and innovation in the newly developing Italian state.

Republican catechism (catechismo repubblicano) dated 1849 from the Italian Risorgimento Collection

This is just a sampling of the rich materials to be found in the Italian Risorgimento Broadside collection, which will prove to be an invaluable historical resource.

– Jessica Strom, Graduate Intern

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Dr. Philip Nel’s newest work, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss:  How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature, has been published by the University Press of Mississippi.  This book is the culmination of years of work to bring to light the lives and times of the man who created Harold and the purple crayon and the woman who, with Maurice Sendak, created A Hole is to dig.  Over the course of their marriage and collaborations, they created over 75 books and influenced some of the best in the business, including Chris van Allsburg who thanked Harold and his purple crayon in his Caldecott acceptance speech in 1981.  Nel points out that while Krauss and Johnson were “never quite household names…Their circle of friends and acquaintances included some of the  important cultural figures of the twentieth century” (pg.7).  This impeccably researched work which literally took Nel a decade to write, is arranged in 28 chapters, with extensive notes, bibliography, index and illustrations, some reprinted from published works and some from the three dozen archives he visited including the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  In his epilogue, Nel writes, “Crockett Johnson shows us that a crayon can create a world, while Ruth Krauss demonstrates that dreams can be as large as a giant orange carrot.  Whenever children and grown-ups seek books that invite them to think and to imagine, they need look no further than Johnson and Krauss.  There, they will find a very special house, where holes are to dig, walls are a canvas, and people are artists, drawing paths that take them anywhere they want to go” (pg. 275).

Congratulations, Dr. Nel, on an exceptional work of scholarship.

Philip Nel, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, 2012).  ISBN 978-1-61703-624-8.  EBook 978-1-61703-625-5.

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

Page from a 1918 catalog of the E. Ingraham Company of Bristol, Connecticut, now available online through the Internet Archive

For many years now Archives & Special Collections has been working to get more and more of our archival collections online, available to researchers off-campus and across the globe.  One of the ways we are doing this is by participating in the collaborative network of the Internet Archive, which provides access for the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.  We recently put up a set of product catalogs from the historical records of the E. Ingraham Company, which produced clocks and watches for well over a century in Bristol, Connecticut.

Researchers can access the catalogs directly from this link: http://archive.org/search.php?query=collection%3Auconn_libraries+AND+E.+Ingraham+Co and will see catalogs of the clocks and watches sold by the company from 1881 to 1940.  I want to extend my thanks to Tom Koenig, Catalog and Metadata Librarian, for cataloging the items prior to the scanning and to Michael J. Bennett, Digital Projects Librarian, and his assistants Allison Hale and Kathleen Deep, for their expert scanning and work to get the items on the Internet Archive.  This project is a great example of the ways the UConn Libraries staff collaborates on projects and I am grateful for everyone’s efforts.

More information about the E. Ingraham Company, and the historical records that are in Archives & Special Collections, can be found in the finding aid at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/Ingraham/MSS19800034.html.

Laura Smith, Curator for the Business, Railroad and Labor Collections

The James Slater Papers are ripe for any interested researcher, whether the topic is scientific, entomological, or historical. Here we have a fascinating man’s life, observations, and accomplishments awaiting study and reference.  James Slater was a remarkable person, and his papers, dating from the early 1930’s to 2004, prove it.

Slater’s chosen career at UConn was as a professor of entomology, but entomological study was not enough for him. There was another field that also caught his interest—the study of gravestones of the American Colonial period, and their carvers. He visited even the most neglected graveyards in Connecticut, carefully recording his discoveries of particular carvers, and published a book on the subject. The sheer amount of writing required for his scientific and historical work would be more than enough for most people, but not for Slater. Even while he was carefully recording data and writing on bugs and gravestone carvers, he recorded the daily events of his own life in a long-running daily diary. A look at all these things in the James Slater Papers offers us a glimpse of his scientific career, his historical avocation, and his inner thoughts.

The scientific, professional part of Slater’s life is the most prominent in the collection, with scientific subjects occupying much of the correspondence. It is here that Slater’s career is laid out in detail, and we can see how devoted and interested he was in his field. He frequently corresponded with other entomologists as far away as Russia, Germany, Australia, and South Africa, often assisting others in the study of true bugs (hemiptera) of the family lygaeidae, while gathering his own research through field work and specimen collections. We can see the product of this research in the large number of printed publications, detailing the discovery of new species of bugs, including Atrazonotus umbrosus, pictured here.

Atrazonotus umbrosus

Slater’s gravestone research and personal diaries are somewhat secondary in number to the extensive amount of entomological research, but they do not dwindle in importance or interest, and are far from sparse. The diary is composed of 61 volumes of its own, while the gravestone research is monumental enough to be distributed across several boxes. As a result of his long research into gravestones, Slater wrote a detailed book, The Colonial Gravestones of Eastern Connecticut and the Men Who Made Them.

Several iterations of the manuscript of this book, along with Slater’s detailed notes and correspondence on gravestones, can be found in the collection. The manuscripts and galley proofs provide photographs of all the stones that Slater describes. The large number of carefully organized drafts and research notes illustrate the careful, accurate research that Slater put into this project in his meticulous analysis of the work of early American carvers such as Jotham Warren, Obadiah Wheeler, and many others.

Excerpt of James Slater diary entry for August 8, 1945

James Slater approached this avocation with a professional interest, working with as much care as he devoted to the study of the bugs of his professional career. The same can be said for his diary. The 61 volumes present an almost uninterrupted account of his daily inner thoughts and observations from the years 1937 to 2004. It is here we can learn about his life in the days before his entomological career, and before his study of gravestones, of his time in the Navy in World War II, his thoughts on the war itself, its beginning in Europe and then the United States, and his horror at the news of the atomic bomb, pictured here in his entry for August 8, 1945.

The sheer extent of the time covered by the diaries provides us with both these descriptions of important historical events, while also illustrating the progress of this one remarkable, multifaceted, prolific man, from youth into old age. Through its extensive amount of documents, and such a wide range of topics, such a collection as this cannot be consigned to obscurity, but will surely remain an important resource to researchers from many different disciplines for many years to come.

– Daniel Allie, student employee

A recent addition to the Connecticut Soldiers Collection at the Dodd Center are the Raymond E. Hagedorn Papers.  Chronicling the training and war service of Major Raymond E. Hagedorn of Manchester, Connecticut, the papers will be of great interest to scholars and the public at large. Describing in vivid detail his training prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, and his service in the South Pacific, the Hagedorn Papers provide an invaluable account of America’s preparation for war and life in the Army.  From Camp Blanding, Florida to Guadalcanal, and back to Manchester, the letters between Hagedorn and his family and friends provide one family’s perspective on the Second World War.

From the quality and quantity of the food, and his constant battle to stave off boredom, Hagedorn brings life in the army and the war to life. Through detailed descriptions of army victuals, island life, his health, and his wife Gertrude’s descriptions of life at home, the Hagedorn Papers illustrate the sacrifices made by Americans at home and abroad.  Exposing the reality and quotidian nature of war, the Hagedorn Papers will be an invaluable source for anyone interested in daily life during World War Two. Providing often humorous details about the environments he encounters, including squawking birds, swarms of mosquitos, the variety of fruit available, and the activities of the native populations, Hagedorn’s letters confirm the military axiom that war is ninety-nine percent boredom and one percent sheer terror.

 

Cartoon Birthday Card, Jan. 1943. Raymond E. Hagedorn Papers

 

An officer in the Army’s 43rd Infantry Division, Hagedorn traveled from San Francisco to New Zealand, New Caledonia, and Guadalcanal between October 1942 and April 1943 before being diagnosed with low blood pressure and a nervous disorder. Focusing on his declining health, and the activities he engages in to stay busy, Hagedorn’s letters lose much of their early humor and by March 1943 take on a much more serious tone.

Evacuated to the United States in April 1943, Hagedorn describes life at military hospitals in and outside of the United States and the process of medical retirement from the Army, providing a wealth of information on an often overlooked aspect of war. Plagued by poor health, and the effects of the South Pacific’s tropical climate, Hagedorn’s letters present one soldier’s ongoing struggle to remain patriotic in the eyes of the army while also maintaining his health and well-being for his family.

Retired from active duty in May 1944 Hagedorn remained in the Connecticut National Guard following the war and was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. During the Korean War, Hagedorn served as an intelligence officer and aide to Connecticut’s Adjutant General. Briefly resuming his electrical business after the war, Hagedorn went on to become the plant engineer for the New Departure Division of General Motors in Meriden, Connecticut. Retiring in 1962 Raymond Hagedorn spent the rest of his life in Manchester, until passing away on September 21, 1985.

– James Brundage, Graduate Intern

The University Archives is a rich resource of information about the activities, events, interests and programs of UConn’s faculty, students, staff  since the establishment of the University in 1881.  Here are some of the materials that have been recently added to the collections:

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Records

Documents, reports, studies and correspondence pertaining to the finances of the institution from 1999 to the present.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/vpcfo/MSS20100001.html

Asian American Studies Institute Records

Materials associated with the “Day of Rememberance” program that were collected, produced and/or distributed by the Institute.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/aasi/MSS20100045.html

Bruce Bellingham Papers

Notes, photocopies, transparencies, research, scores, correspondence and publications pertaining to Professor Bellingham’s scholarly research in the history of music.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/bellingham/MSS20100055.html

Carl W. Rettenmeyer Papers

Professional correspondence with the National Science Foundation, colleagues and both personal and professional trip notes, i.e. – some from leading groups on trips (Galapogos) and some regarding collecting field trips (Panama).  (Inventory not yet available.)

Richard D. Brown Papers

Documentation of the professional and administrative career of historian, Richard D. Brown.  (Inventory not yet available.)

Cell Stress Society International Records

Publications, administrative records, legal and financial records, ephemera, posters, and correspondence documenting the establishment, management, development and growth of the Cell Stress Society International and its associated journal publication on the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut from 1995 to the present under the direction of Lawrence Hightower and Helen Neumann. (Inventory not yet available.)

School of Nursing War Veteran Oral History Collection

Oral history video interviews with graduates of the UConn School of Nursing who are (or were) nurses in the military.  (Inventory not yet available.)

Donald W. Cameron Papers

Bound manuscript written by UConn alum.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/cameron/MSS20100103.html

Eduard Mark Papers

Materials used by Mark (UConn alum) in his research as a historian of the Cold War era in U.S. history. A majority of the collection spans the years 1945-1960, with some materials falling before and after this timeline. The collection includes correspondence, notes, administrative records, transcripts, legal documents, manuscripts, photographs, clippings and books. These sources, which contain military and government correspondence, military reports, declassified documents and other materials, shed light on a myriad of topics relating to the Cold War, including military strategies and positioning, negotiations, intelligence and national security, territorial problems, military propaganda, international relations and European affairs.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/mark/MSS20100120.html

Waterbury Campus Records

Administrative records, awards, clippings, ephemera, notes, and publications about the programs, activities and history of the Waterbury campus since its establishment in 1946.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/waterbury/MSS20100121.html

Collins-Levine Family Papers

Correspondence, school papers, memorabilia, photographs and ephemera associated with two generations of the Collins and Levine families who attended the University of Connecticut between 1922 and 1948. The materials in the collection are useful in providing a perspective of college life and experiences from the student’s point of view.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/collinslevine/MSS20110024.html

Albert F. Blakeslee Papers

The collection contains reprints of scholarly articles published by Albert F. Blakeslee.  Also included are several journals with articles about Blakeslee, correspondence, calendars, travel diaries, as well as photographs and negatives associated with or documenting the career of noted scientist A. F. Blakeslee, professor at UConn 1907-1915.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/blakeslee/MSS20110046.html

University of Connecticut Educational Properties, Inc. Records

Administrative, financial and legal records pertaining to the development of property adjacent to the north side of campus for a Technology Park.  Of particular note is the documentation of the communication and documention between the parties involved in the development of the Park, the range of programs and properties and the complexity of the overall project.  (Inventory not yet available.)

Eric W. Carlson Papers

Notes, correspondence, reports, studies and similar materials pertaining to Dr. Carlson’s tenure as a professor of English at the University of Connecticut from 1942-1979.  (Inventory not yet available.)

Greater Hartford Campus Records

Course syllabi and schedules of classes for the Greater Hartford campus of the University of Connecticut.  (Inventory not yet available.)

–Betsy Pittman, University Archivist

Archives & Special Collections acquires new collections and additions to existing collections throughout the year.  Periodically, I will be posting information about collections that have been acquired or are newly available for your researching enjoyment.  First up are those documenting Connecticut businesses:

John Francis O’Brien Papers

Potographs, correspondence and certificates, most involving Mr. O’Brien’s service as an employee of the Southern New England Telephone Company.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/obrien/MSS20100030.html

Southern New England Telephone (SNET) Collection

Memorabilia and realia from the collections of people who were employed by the company.  The collection includes antique telephones and telephone equipment, include a climbing belt and lanyard of a lineman, an employee service pin and memorabilia of the Telephone Pioneers, a volunteer organization and service club made up of U.S. and Canadian telecommunications industry employees and retirees, a commemorative telephone directory, the cellphone used to make the first cellphone call in Connecticut, and a dress and a shirt made of pages from the SNET Yellow Pages.  http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaids/snetcoll/MSS20100118.html

Thomas Dublin Collection of the Jewett City Cotton Manufacturing Company

Research notes and datasets compiled by Thomas Dublin while he conducted research in the 1980s about workers at the Jewett City Cotton Manufacturing Company in Jewett City, Connecticut.  (Finding aid not yet available)

–Betsy Pittman, University Archivist

Michael Rumaker was born in South Philadelphia in 1932. The fourth of nine children, he grew up in National Park, New Jersey, a small town on the Delaware River, and later attended the school of journalism at Rider College in Trenton on a half-scholarship. After hearing artist Ben Shahn speak enthusiastically of Black Mountain College during a lecture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, he applied to the college and was granted a work scholarship. In September 1952 he transferred to Black Mountain–washing dishes seven days a week, managing dishwashing crews–and studied in the writing classes of Charles Olson and Robert Creeley.

His breakthrough was “The Truck,” written for Olson’s writing class in October 1954: “after two years of confused false starts and superficial scratchings, I wrote my first real short story, although, in what was to become usual for me, I didn’t know it till after the fact.” He had “reached back,” by his own account, into his adolescence in the mid-1940s and a street gang he knew in the northern section of Camden, New Jersey, “to get it.” Olson’s response was enthusiastic, and he suggested that Rumaker send the story to Robert Creeley for the Black Mountain Review.

Since 1955, Rumaker has published works of fiction, poetry and non-fiction in literary periodicals, novels including A Day and a Night at the Baths (1979), My First Satyrnalia (1981), and To Kill a Cardinal (1992), a collection of short stories, and the memoirs Robert Duncan in San Francisco (1996) and Black Mountain Days  (2003).

According to George Butterick, who began collecting Michael Rumaker’s literary papers at the University of Connecticut in 1975, where they reside today, “Rumaker has proceeded from writing about disengaged youth in a generation willing to declare its difference, to being a celebrant of total life and human joy. Actively participating in his own destiny, he has left a glowing trail of work to document the struggle toward identity. He represents, in his later writings, one extension of the Beat revolution: the embracing of sexual diversity. Governing all his work is an indefatigable spirit that gives the creative life reward.”

Join Archives and Special Collections and special guest — novelist, poet, short-story writer, and Black Mountain College alumnus Michael Rumaker — as we celebrate the much-anticipated opening of the Michael Rumaker Papers. The event will feature an interview with and readings by Michael Rumaker, an exhibition of the author’s manuscripts, letters and photographs, ribbon-cutting ceremony, and reception with students and special guests.  All are welcome.  This event is free and open to the public

April 10, 2012
4:00 to 6:00pm
McDonald Reading Room
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut

– Melissa Watterworth Batt, Curator of Literary Collections

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