Monday, September 24, 2007

New Grad Assistants

Matthew L. Stephenson is a Graduate Assistant in Archives and Special Collections where he provides reference and research assistance to students, faculty, and other researchers. Matthew is working on a graduate degree in history. He plans to continue his education with a doctorate

Jennifer C. Wyatt is a Graduate Assistant in Archives and Special Collections. She provides reference and research assistance. She is a graduate student in anthropology with a focus on archaeology. Her goal is to work as an archaeologist with specialties in GIS. She plans to pursue her doctorate degree to teach.

Steinbeck Scholar

Steinbeck Scholar from Japan Visits Steinbeck Collection for Research Project

Kyoko Ariki, Ph.D., professor of American Literature at Shujitsu University, made the long trip from Japan to spend the week of September 10 – 14, 2007, conducting research in the Hayashi Steinbeck Collection and Archives of the Ball State University Libraries. Dr. Ariki’s research trip was funded by the Steinbeck Research Fund in Honor of the late Dr. John M. Ditsky.

As one of the first two recipients of the Ditsky Award, professor Ariki made her first-ever trip to Ball State University to study the scope of Steinbeck-related research holdings in Archives and Special Collections and to collect essential data for a series of articles on “A Study of the Origin, Development, and Growth of the Ball State University-Centered Steinbeck Projects.”

Speaking of her research visit, Dr. Ariki said, “This is my first visit to Ball State University and Muncie, and I am really impressed by the huge and beautiful campus. I’m excited about being given such a great opportunity to do research here.”

Ms. Kay Bosse, Department of Communications/Theatre at the University of Dayton, was the other recipient of this year’s Ditsky Award. She visited the University Libraries in August to conduct research on Steinbeck and the Vietnam War.
Oral Histories with Muncie Labor Leaders Available Online
through the
University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository
by Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections

Students and scholars can now access oral history interviews that document the history of organized labor in Muncie, Indiana through the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository. The Muncie Labor Oral History Project Collection includes 15 interviews with prominent labor leaders from the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections’ Muncie Labor Archives.

Inspired by former Indiana state legislator and union leader Hurley Goodall, these interviews were conducted as part of the Center for Middletown Studies’ effort to document recent economic changes and the history of labor unions in Muncie. Participants from all the major unions in Muncie were interviewed by C. Warren Vander Hill between December 2005 and February 2006.

The digital collection consists of recordings, transcripts, and photographs. Representatives from major employers, such as Chevrolet-Muncie, the Ball Corporation, and the Borg Warner Corporation were interviewed. Topics discussed include union activities, the importance of unions in the lives of workers, and the future of unions.

The collection can be accessed in the Digital Media Repository,, under the “Middletown Digital Oral History Collections.” For more information, contact Maren L. Read, Assistant Archivist for Manuscript Collections, Ball State University Libraries,, (765) 285-5078

Indiana Memory

Special Collections and Digital Initiatives News
by John B. Straw, Director for Archives and Special Collections and Director, Digital Media Repository The University Libraries Contribute to Indiana’s Digital Memory

Indiana Memory is a collaborative project of Indiana libraries, museums, archives, and other related institutions to provide digital access to the state’s unique cultural and historical heritage. The development of this state-wide digital library by the Indiana State Library is intended to serve Indiana citizens, students, lifelong learners, scholars, researchers, state and federal government, businesses, and others.

Through the continuing growth of the Ball State University Digital Media Repository,, the University Libraries are well positioned to make a significant contribution to Indiana’s long-term digital memory. Many current collections provide digital windows into the lives, history, and culture of past and present residents of East Central Indiana. Several planned and anticipated future collections will also have an Indiana focus.
The two past Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant projects completed by the University Libraries had Indiana themes.

Created by the 2005-2006 LSTA grant, The Digital Repository of U.S. Civil War Resources from East Central Indiana, provides a rich source of handwritten letters, diaries, photographs, artifacts, and other research materials that document the involvement of Indiana soldiers and civilians during the War Between the States.

The recently completed 2006-2007 LSTA grant project focused on providing access to digital audio and transcripts of oral histories with African-American, Jewish, and Catholic citizens of Muncie, Indiana, in the Middletown Digital Oral History Collection.

The current LSTA grant project for 2007-2008 will provide access to another Indiana historical resource, The Muncie Post-Democrat newspaper. This anti-Ku Klux Klan paper from the 1920s through the 1950s is being digitized and will be accessible and searchable through the Digital Media Repository in mid-2008. Other collections in the Digital Media Repository that
preserve Indiana’s digital memory include:

• More than 5,000 historical photographs in the Middletown Digital Archives, including the Otto Sellers, W. A. Swift, Spurgeon-Greene, and Other Side of Middletown collections
• 380 issues of The Muncie Times, an African-American newspaper
• 568 photographs of Indiana courthouses in the Daniel W. Hartwig Collection
• 87 photographs of covered bridges in Indiana in the Alvin W. Holmes Collection
• 167 broadcasts of Indiana Public Radio’s Indiana ArtsDesk program dedicated to fostering awareness, appreciation, and participation in the arts in East Central Indiana
• 629 digital videos of NewsLink Indiana news briefs produced by Ball State University
• WIPB videos on Ed Ball’s Century and Gene Stratton Porter: Voice of the Limberlost
• Video, photographs, and other documentation of Robert F. Kennedy’s speech at Ball State University in 1968
• Video, photographs, and other documentation of The Man Haters, an historic 1915 silent movie filmed in Muncie, Indiana, featuring local residents in the cast Additional Indiana-focused digital resources in the Digital Media Repository are slides of Indiana architecture in the Architecture Images Collection, Ball State campus photographs and building plans, and films by Ball State students.

As the Indiana Memory project moves forward, the digital collections being created by the Ball State University Libraries, especially through partnerships with other community, educational, cultural, and historical institutions, will provide a rich resource representing the lives, culture, history, and contributions of the citizens of East Central Indiana.

For more information on the Indiana Memory project, visit the State Library’s Web page at For more information about Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository, contact John B. Straw,, (765) 285-5078.

Revamped Website

New Archives and Special Collections Home Page Offers More Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Research
by Philip James Deloria, Assistant Archivist for Digital Projects and University Archives

A new and improved home page for the Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections now provides more information and resources for students, faculty, and researchers. Archivists Philip J. Deloria and Maren L. Read developed the webpages.

New Features
The new home page includes many new features. Archives and Special Collections is now featuring an Ask an Archivist service similar to the Ask a Librarian service offered from the University Libraries home page. The home page features a button at the bottom of the page that links to information about how to ask an archivist a reference question by email, phone, or in person. The home page also features a New and Notable banner to create awareness about current exhibits, news stories, and upcoming events. Currently it is featuring the Bernarr MacFadden Physical Culture Exhibit, the upcoming Digitizing Oral History Conference, the archives blog, and news stories featuring Archives and Special Collections. The new Homepage also takes advantage of features like a rollover menu and images that rotate upon refresh. All images on the page, including those in the banner at the bottom of the screen, link directly to the Digital Media Repository collections from which they are drawn.

New Content
The new homepage links to new secondary pages presenting information grouped according to the following categories: About Us, Collection Areas, Digital Collections, Conducting Research, Services and Forms, and Donating Materials.

The Digital Collections page, the Conducting Research page, and the Instructional Sessions and Tours page offer new avenues for students and faculty to access information as well as new content to facilitate the reader’s interaction with the Archives and Special Collections in more
meaningful ways.

A new Alumni Portal is under development. It will provide access to resources of particular interest to alumni wishing to revisit their days at Ball State. Visit the new home page either directly at or navigate to it from the University Libraries home page by clicking on the About button, then on the link to Archives and Special Collections in the Collections category. I invite your comments and suggestions. For more information, contact Philip James Deloria, Assistant Archivist for Digital Projects and University Records,, (765) 285-5078.