Tuesday, July 17, 2007

July: Donation of the Month

Baby Book Collection
2 Boxes; 2.0 cu. ft.

The Baby Book Collection consists of forty-five books and one certificate ranging from 1889 through 1940. It has been broken down into five categories. These include: Baby’s First Year; Baby’s Storybooks; Childcare Books; Frances Brundage Illustrations; and Oversize Materials.
Baby’s First Year holds seventeen books which focus on special occasions and dates. Many of these do have some notations pertaining to the child for whom they were purchased. Baby’s Storybooks has three books which are fictional in nature. There are also three Childcare Books which are primarily general information. The Frances Brundage Illustrations has twenty-two books. These are mostly special occasion, picture, and date books; however they were illustrated by Brundage, who was well-known in the field of children’s illustrations.

Historic Magazine Exhibit


University Libraries Exhibit Historic Magazines


Bernarr Macfadden and the Physical Culture Magazine will be on display on the second floor of Bracken Library from July 16 through September 30, 2007. This Archives and Special Collections exhibit will include articles, advertisements, and magazines from the Physical Culture Magazine Collection.


For more information, contact Hannah D. Cox, Archives and Special Collections Supervisor,
HDCox@bsu.edu, 765-285-5078.

University Libraries Offer Digitzing Oral Histories Conference

University Libraries Offer Digitizing Oral Histories Conference — September 20, 2007

Ball State University Libraries personnel learned a great deal about the issues involved in digitizing oral histories during the recent Middletown Digital Oral History Collection Project funded by a 2006-2007 Library Services and Technology (LSTA) Digitization Grant. They are planning to share their experiences with other library, archives, and information technology professionals through a conference hosted by the University Libraries.

Can You Hear Me Now? Digitizing the Voices of the Past, a one-day conference on digitizing oral history, will be held Thursday, September 20, 2007, at the Ball State Alumni Center. The conference will focus on the needs, opportunities, and challenges of transferring audio documentation of the past to new digital formats for preservation and global access. Key issues to be discussed include:

• Planning and funding
• Copyright issues
• Audio digitization procedures, equipment, and standards
• Transcription
• Metadata
• Demonstration of current projects

Using CONTENTdm for making digital oral histories available will be a focus of the conference, but other systems will be discussed also.

In addition to participants from the Ball State University Libraries, the program will include:

Brenda Burk, Philanthropic Studies Archivist, Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Carrie Daniels, Assistant Professor and Associate Director, University Archives and Records Center, and Co-Director, Oral History Center, University of Louisville

Jeffrey Green, Sweetwater Sound, Inc.

• Cinda May, Assistant Librarian and Project Director for Wabash Valley Visions and Voices, Indiana State University

• Kathleen Medicus, Cataloger, Special Collections and Archives and Media Services, Kent State University

Connie Rendfeld, Library Services and Technology Act Consultant, Indiana State Library

The luncheon and keynote address will be given by Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter, Marshall University, and Elizabeth Campbell, University of Indiana, Pennsylvania. They will discuss The Other Side of Middletown oral history project that they conducted while at Ball State University. The interviews from that project have now been digitized and transcribed and are available as part of the Middletown Digital Oral History Collection in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, a project of the University Libraries. Co-sponsors of the conference include the Center for Middletown Studies, the Ball State Department of History, and the Society of Indiana Archivists.

For more information on the conference or to register online, go to www.bsu.edu/library/conference/oralhistory or contact John B. Straw, conference chair and Director for Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, at JStraw@bsu.edu, (765) 285-5078.

Middletown Digital Oral Histories Project Completed

The Ball State University Libraries Complete the Middletown Digital Oral Histories Project

The University Libraries successfully completed the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Digitization Grant project for 2006-2007 in June. The LSTA funds were used to digitize, transcribe, and make available collections of oral histories in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, http://libx.bsu.edu/.

The complete Middletown Digital Oral History Collection contains digital audio and transcripts of 188 interviews and is now available globally at http://libx.bsu.edu/MidOrHist/midorhist.php
for research and classroom use. The oral history collections include:

• Black Middletown Project, 35 interviews conducted with African-Americans in Muncie by Rutledge M. Dennis and Vivian W. Gordon from the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University respectively in 1981.

Black Muncie Project, 23 interviews conducted with African-Americans in Muncie by Mr. Hurley Goodall, Ball State professor J. Paul Mitchell, and Ball State graduate students between 1971 and 1978.

Middletown Jewish Oral History Project I, 20 interviews conducted with members of Muncie’s Jewish community by Ball State professors C. Warren Vander Hill and Dwight
Hoover in 1978-1979.

Middletown Jewish Oral History Project II, 24 interviews conducted with members of Muncie’s Jewish community by Ball State professor C. Warren Vander Hill in 2003-2004.

Other Side of Middletown Project, 56 interviews conducted with African-Americans in Muncie by Ball State professor Eric Lassiter and a group of students as part of a collaborative ethnographic project and funded by the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry in 2003.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Project, 10 interviews conducted with members of the St. Francis of Assisi parish in 2006.

St. Lawrence Catholic Church Project, 10 interviews conducted with members of the St.
Lawrence parish in Muncie in 2006.

St. Mary Catholic Church Project, 10 interviews conducted with members of the St. Mary parish in Muncie. The oral histories were selected for the grant project based on the lack of representation of the African-American, Jewish, and Catholic populations of Muncie in the original Middletown study conducted by Robert and Helen Lynd in the 1920s. Students and scholars now have increased access to these resources through the Internet.

This project was truly a University Libraries-wide effort. In particular, staff from throughout the library contributed to the time-consuming and difficult task of transcribing many interviews. Special thanks go to all of the individuals involved in making this a successful grant project.

Special Collections and Digital Projects News

Special Collections and Digital Projects News
by John B. Straw, Director for Archives and Special Collections and Director, Digital Media Repository

Ariki and Bosse Receive First Ditsky Awards for Steinbeck Research at Ball State University

Through the generosity and support of donors, the Ball State University Libraries provide opportunities for students and scholars to advance their education and research. One outstanding example is found in the recent establishment of the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky that was established by his wife, Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky of Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Kyoko Ariki and Ms. Kay Bosse are the first two recipients of the Ditsky Award.

They will visit the University Libraries in late summer to conduct intensive research on Nobel
Prize winning author John Steinbeck, using the resources of Archives and Special Collections. Dr. Ariki is a professor of American Literature at Shujitsu University in Japan and Director of the John Steinbeck Society of Japan. Her Steinbeck-related publications include numerous articles, translations, and two recent books, Sutainbekku-wo Yominaosu (Rereading Steinbeck) and the Main Thematic Current in John Steinbeck’s Works: A Positive View of Man’s Survival.

Ariki will travel to Muncie for a week in September 2007 to study the scope of Steinbeck-related research holdings in Archives and Special Collections and collect essential data for a series of articles on “A Study of the Origin, Development, and Growth of Ball State University-Centered Steinbeck Projects.” Her research will also include the historical evolution of the Steinbeck Newsletter, Steinbeck Quarterly, Steinbeck Monograph Series, and otherpublications that have benefited students and scholars of Steinbeck in Japan.

Ms. Bosse teaches in the Department of Communications/Theatre at the University of Dayton. She has written, adapted, and directed plays by and about Steinbeck. Her most recent Steinbeck-related publication, John Steinbeck’s Global Dimensions, was based on a paper titled “Detached Participation: Steinbeck’s Theatrical Vision” thatshe presented at the Sixth International Steinbeck Congress in Kyoto, Japan.


The focus of Bosse’s research during her visit in August will be John Steinbeck and the Vietnam War. She will concentrate on Steinbeck’s response to the Vietnam War, his friendship with President Lyndon B. Johnson, and how the escalation of the war during the final years of Steinbeck’s life greatly influenced his artistic, political, and personal life and his work. Her goal is to formulate and articulate the significance of these years in relationship to
Steinbeck’s legacy.

The Steinbeck Reseach Fund is intended to assist and encourage emerging Steinbeck visiting scholars and/or doctoral candidates in conducting intensive research in Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections on an appropriate scholarly topic related to author John Steinbeck.

Dr. John Michael Ditsky (March 9, 1938 – May 15, 2006) was Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He was a world-renowned Steinbeck scholar, Vice President of the International Steinbeck Society, former President of the New Steinbeck Society of America, a poet and poetry editor, a music critic, and former Chair of the Editorial Board of the Steinbeck Quarterly. Dr. and Mrs. Ditsky were long-time friends and colleagues of noted
Steinbeck scholar and Ball State University professor Dr.Tetsumaro Hayashi, who was instrumental in establishing the outstanding Steinbeck Collection in the University Libraries.

For more information on the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky, contact John B. Straw, Ball State University Libraries’ Director for Archives and Special
Collections, JStraw@bsu.edu, (765) 285-5078.

Historic 1915 Silent Film Available

Historic 1915 Silent Film Available in University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository
by Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections

Almost 15 years after it was discovered and restored, the historic film The Man Haters is now accessible online through the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository.

This rare 1915 silent movie is one of the few surviving films documenting life in the World War I years, and it provides a rich resource for film and history students at Ball State University and researchers around the world.

The film was produced by Basil McHenry, a traveling film producer from Akron, Ohio. He financed the film with sponsorship byMuncie's MajesticTheater and The Muncie Evening Press newspaper. Readers of the Press were asked to cast their votes for the leading actresses using coupons printed in the newspaper. Out of Muncie’s population of 34,000, there were over 22,000 votes cast in the contest. Dora Grim, a 17-year-old telephone operator, won the starring role of Ruth and 16-year old Vernon Davis was cast as the male lead. Filming began in Muncie, Indiana on November 3, 1915.

The movie opened at the Majestic Theater at417 South Walnut on November 15, 1915. The film contains rich documentation of theMuncie landscape and local life in the early 20th century. Basil McHenry also produced similar films in other towns in Indiana and Ohio. Archives and Special Collections acquired the film from the Dora Grim-Vlaskamp family in 1994.

The family found it in storage at a local car dealership. Nancy Turner, former director of Archives and Special Collections, and the late William (Bill) Barnett, former Director ofLibrary Business Services, recognized the importance of the film and applied for a$3,000 grant from the Indiana Humanities Council to have the original 35mm nitrate film transferred to VHS and music, narration, and additional footage added. The film was shown at numerous screenings in Indiana and nationwide and a documentary on the film aired on the History Channel.The Man Haters Collection contains the 10-minute original version and the longer documentary version of the film, newspaper clippings about the contest, still photographs from the film, and a booklet about the history of the film by Nancy Turner. The collection can be accessed in theDigital Media Repository, at http://libx.bsu.edu/, under the “The Man Haters Film Collection.”

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