Friday, March 23, 2007

Otis Bowen Exhibit

Upcoming Exhibit at Ball State University Libraries Highlights Otis R. Bowen, M.D., Former Indiana Governor and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Doc Bowen: From Indiana to Washington is an exhibit created by the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections that will be available for viewing from March 19 through June 29, 2007, on Bracken Library’s second floor.

Viewers may also see an online exhibit and video highlighting photographs, documents, and political memorabilia from the Dr. Otis R. Bowen Papers. View these at this URL,

There will be a ceremony as part of the Bowen Institute on Political
Participation’s announcement of the opening of the Papers. The event will be held at 4 p.m., March 23, 2007 at the Ball State University Indianapolis Center, 50 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

For more information, contact Maren L. Read, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections, at, (765) 285-5078.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Special Collections & Digital Projects News

African-American and Jewish Oral History Interviews from Muncie Now Accessible

by John B. Straw, Director for Archives and Special Collections Research Center and Directory, Digital Media Repository

Students, faculty, and researchers at Ball State University and from around the world can now hear the voices of Middletown USA as they tell the stories of the African-American and Jewish experience in Muncie, Indiana. The words illustrating the life and culture of persons past and present can be heard and read anywhere, anytime through a new collection that is now accessible through the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

Two oral history collections from the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Research Center have been digitized and transcribed and are now available for study, research, and classroom instruction via the Internet. The audio and transcripts of the “Black Muncie Oral History Project Collection” and the “Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I Collection” can be accessed in the Digital Media Repository,, under the “Middletown Digital Oral History Collection.”

The Black Muncie Oral History Project was conducted from 1971 to 1978 by Hurley Goodall, Ball State professor J. Paul Mitchell, and Ball State graduate students, with a grant from the Muncie Human Rights Commission. The interviews with longtime African-American residents of Muncie include discussions of subjects such as segregation, the Ku Klux Klan, the Great Depression, organized labor, and the economic, social, and religious experiences of African-Americans.

The Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I was conducted in 1978 and 1979 by Ball State
University professors Warren Vander Hill and Dwight Hoover, under the sponsorship of Mr. Martin Schwartz. The interviews document Muncie’s Jewish community during the 1920s and 1930s. Topics discussed include anti-Semitism, the Ku Klux Klan, and other economic, social, and religious issues.

These two collections will be joined by two other African-American oral history collections, another Jewish one, and three collections of oral histories conducted with members from the parishes of the Catholic churches in Muncie to make up the Middletown Digital Oral History Collection.

The creation of this digital oral history resource was made possible by a $25,125 grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) that was awarded to the University Libraries by the State Library of Indiana for fiscal year 2006-2007. This is the second consecutive LSTA grant for digitization awarded to the University Libraries.

For more information, contact John B. Straw, Ball State University Libraries’ Director, Digital Media Repository,, (765) 285-5078.

Middletown Digital Oral History

Ball State University Libraries Staff Collaborate to Make Middletown Digital Oral History Collection Searchable

by Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer, and Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections

Researchers can now search 42 oral history interviews in the Middletown Digital Oral History Collection, at

For the Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I, Dr. Warren Vander Hill conducted interviews with Martin Schwartz and Mort Pazol, among others. The Black Muncie Oral History Project, conducted by Hurley C. Goodall and J. Paul Mitchell, includes interviews with Muncie, Indiana citizens such as Ray Buley and Lucille Williams. Each oral history interview includes a streaming wma audio file and a transcript in PDF format. The inclusion of transcripts makes it possible for researchers to read along as they listen to the interviews or identify specific sections of the interview for listening. By providing the transcripts in PDF format, users can also print them for further study and analysis.

The transcripts provide students and faculty with several ways to search the collection. They can search each transcript for subjects, names, or places as well as search across all of the oral history interviews and the larger Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries.

Writing transcripts to accompany the oral history interviews has been a combined effort of people throughout the University Libraries, including staff and student assistants from various units within these groups:
• Access Services
• Acquisitions Services
• Archives and Special Collections Research Center
• Cataloging and Metadata Services
• Center for Middletown Studies
• Geospatial Center and Map Collections
• Metadata and Digital Initiatives

These personnel have spent many hours listening to the interviews to ensure that the transcripts are accurate. The transcripts are then checked and rechecked at least twice by Archives and Special Collections Research Center and Collection Resources Management personnel for accuracy.

Metadata and Digital Initiatives personnel also created an Oral Histories Wiki which assisted in ongoing training,

Using the Wiki, we share any areas not covered in the style guide with the personnel working on the project. For example, we have included “Common Capitalization and Spelling Questions,” a list of specific terms that have come up in the interviews, such as words related to Jewish and Catholic religious practices.

To facilitate locating oral histories, metadata records have been created for each interview using Dublin Core, a back-end standard used to describe digital content in a consistent way. We created user-friendly fields, such as Interviewee, Interviewer, Date Recorded, Duration, and Subject.

In addition to providing useful information about the oral histories, metadata records allow the collection to be searched within the larger Ball State University Digital Media Repository. For example, if you do an exact phrase search for Marion, Indiana, you will find digital objects from several collections including oral histories, audio newscasts, and newspaper issues.

For information on the process of transcribing and describing oral history interviews, contact Amanda A. Hurford, Digital Initiatives Multimedia Developer,, (765) 285-3349 or Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections,, (765) 285-5078.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Recent Proccessed Collections

MSS 259 - Burris Class of 1951 Archives, 1 box; 0.2 cu. ft.

Fifty-two Burris Laboratory School seniors graduated on June 6, 1951. The Class of ’51 has held regular reunions since its graduation, including a 50th reunion in 2001. The collection contains a 35th reunion letter from President Ronald Reagan (1986), a 50th reunion letter from President George H.W. Bush (2001), and a 50th reunion book honoring the class’s golden anniversary.

MSS 258 / OVA 258 / V 258 / PSC 300 - AARP # 1749 Muncie Chapter [American Association of Retired Persons], 1973-2003, 4 boxes; 2.6 cu. ft.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was founded in 1958 by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, a retired high school principal. AARP was originally named the National Retired Teachers Association and was formed because of the lack of health insurance provided for retired teachers at that time. The mission of the AARP is: “AARP is dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age. We lead positive social change and deliver value to members through information, advocacy and service.”

This collection contains records of AARP #1749 Muncie Chapter including meeting minutes, membership lists, newsletters, and financial records as well as AARP’s standing rules and bylaws. The collection has a scrapbook and also some artifacts both from the Muncie Chapter and the national organization.

MSS 260 - Muncie Photographers Index, 1 box; 0.2 cu. ft.

This card index of photographers in Muncie was created by an Archives student assistant. The creation date is unknown. The index lists professional photographers in Muncie from the late-19th through the mid-20th century. Information includes photographers’ names, business addresses, and biographical information (when available). Information is drawn in part from Muncie City Directories. Photographers whose photographs are held by Archives and Special Collections are noted.

MSS 193 - Grace Arthur Collection, 1926-1932, 1 box; 0.2 cu. ft.

Grace Marguerite Arthur attended Muncie Central High School, graduating in 1927. She was active in a variety of school activities and was a member of several organizations, including the Violet Club, English Club, Dramatic Club, French Club, Cicero Club, Girls Pep Club, A.F.C., and T.P.C. She was also a member of Delta Sigma sorority. After graduating from high school, she attended Ball State Teachers College, where she was a member of Alpha sorority. She received her B.A. in English and Social Science in 1932.

The collection consists of Grace Arthur’s school memory book covering her school years from 1926 through 1932. The book contains snapshots, new clippings, invitations and place cards, programs, autographs, and other school-related memorabilia.

MSS 141 / OVA 50 / F 31, Delaware County Tuberculosis Association, 1918-1991, 9 boxes; 7 cu. ft.

The Delaware County Tuberculosis Association (D.C.T.A.) Began in 1919 largely through the efforts of Mrs. Elem Whiteley and the State Tuberculosis Association. Three years later, the Association incorporated because it was decided that the efforts of association members could no longer be sustained on a purely voluntary basis. Over the years, the D.C.T.A. has expanded its scope to include not only the causes of tuberculosis but also other chest diseases, humanitarian visits to crippled children, and general improvement of health practices within Delaware County. The Delaware County Tuberculosis association continues its efforts today helping with testing and education but also treatment when needed. It played an integral part in reducing the number of tuberculosis cases as well as elevating the general level of education about infectious diseases in Delaware County.

The collection consists of files relating to the operation of the D.C.T.A. from 1918 to 1991. This includes annual reports, short histories, scrapbooks, statistical reports on tuberculosis in Delaware County, photographs, articles of incorporation, Christmas Seals sales, relations with other Delaware County organizations, policy, employment practices, and various programs. OVA 50 consists of the 1922 Certificate of Incorporation and a 1987 Proclamation of “TB Awareness Week.”

MSS 33 / R 5 / OVB 1 / POVC 4 - Black Muncie History Project Records, 1880-1978; 5 boxes; 1.6 cu. ft.

The idea for the Black Muncie History Project was conceived by Hurley Goodall, who wanted the story of black Muncie to be told so that blacks could have information about their heritage, and also for the sake of making the white population aware of the black culture. Goodall, one of the first two blacks hired by the Muncie Fire Department and the first black to be elected to the Muncie Community School Board, had earned the right to be heard by the people of Muncie. He made his request for a grant to the Muncie Human Rights Commission in February of 1971 and his request was granted in July 1971.

Goodall approached the Ball State University Department of History for help in working on this project. The head of that department talked to Dr. J. Paul Mitchell who was then teaching courses in black history. Mitchell agreed to work with Goodall on the project. As the culmination of this research project, Mitchell and Goodall published “A History of Negroes in Muncie” in 1976.

The collection focuses on information related to the history of blacks in Muncie. This information was gathered through interviews with blacks who had lived in Muncie in the early 1900s and from pamphlets, newspapers and other materials related to various organizations and activities which were centered on the black community.

The PROJECT FILES series contains material related to the research project including the proposal prepared for the Human Rights Commission by Dwight Hoover. J. Paul Mitchell and Raymond White of Ball State University’s Department of History, suggested questions to be used in interviews, grant information, and correspondence dealing with the study. Also included in this series is the publication, “A History of Negroes in Muncie” by Hurley Goodall and J. Paul Mitchell.

Correspondence, reports and clippings dealing with programs and organizations sponsored by or for the black community, comprise a large part of the SUBJECT FILES. Transcripts, summaries, and audio recordings are sub-series within the INTERVIEWS series. These interviews of blacks who lived in Muncie during the early years were conducted by Hurley Goodall and J. Paul Mitchell with the aid of graduate students from Ball State University’s Department of History. In 2006-2007, the original transcripts were retyped and edited for inclusion in the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository. Copies of these edited transcripts are also included within the INTERVIEWS series.

Within the final series, OVERSIZE, are housed materials such as photographs, old newspapers, maps, and calendars, which were produced between the 1920s and 1940s which depict various aspects of life in the Muncie black community at that time.


Recent Donations

Stoeckel Archives of Local History

Burris School, Class of 1951, President Reagan letter on White House stationary, 1986, George W. Bush letter on White House stationary, 2001, Reunion yearbook, 2001, (0.2 cu. ft.)

Scans of postcards, memo from Central Normal College, n/d, (0.1 cu. ft.)

Hague Sheet Music Collection, 292 pieces of sheet music, 1800s-1930s, (0.4 cu. ft.)

Warner Gear History, (0.1 cu. ft.)

Twenty-two books for Graeffe Japanese Studies collection, thirty-two Steinbeck books to Archives & Special Collections Research Center

Muster-in-Roll of 2nd Lt. William H. Murray, 19th Regiment, 1864, (0.1 cu. ft.)

University Archives

Muncie Normal Institute Diploma for Everett William Hutson, 1914, (0.1 cu. ft.)

School of Music, additions, Emens Auditorium general information, season brochures and programs, 1959-2005; 1963-1964; 2004-2005, (0.1 cu. ft.)

Vic Lawhead Papers, additions, student correspondence, (0.1 cu. ft.)