Monday, September 22, 2008

Instructional Sessions and Tours

Archives and Special Collections supports research and learning at Ball State University by offering instructional sessions and tours. We also welcome the opportunity to collaborate with faculty on course and immersive learning projects.

Instructional Sessions

These sessions will be developed to meet the specific needs of students in your class and will help them:
  • Learn how to conduct research using primary sources
  • Locate materials on specific topics within Special Collections and the Digital Media Repository
  • Use rare books and specialized research collection

Archivists can also suggest research materials and strategies appropriate to your class and syllabus and provide course-related handouts for use in the classroom and on Blackboard.

These classes may take place in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room of Bracken Library during our regular hours or by special appointment. Archivists can also visit your class or group for instructional purposes.

To schedule an instruction session please contact the appropriate staff member directly.

For an introduction to the Archives and Special Collections, and/or instructional sessions on rare books and special collections, contact John Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections ( or Lajmar Anderson, Archives and Special Collections Supervisor (

For an instructional session on the Stoeckel Archives of Local History and/or the Middletown Studies Collection, contact Maren Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections (

For an instructional session on the University Archives, contact Carolyn F. Runyon, Archivist for Digital Development and University Archives (

For information on collaborating with Archives and Special Collections on immersive learning projects, contact John Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections (

You may also fill out the Request for Instructional Session Form or contact us at or (765) 285-5078.

Tours and Group Visits

Archives and Special Collections offers tours of its facilities to visitors and groups on the Ball State University campus and to the community. Please contact us by email or phone to arrange a tour or group visit.

Personnel Additions

Joseph M. Brugos is an intern this fall with Archives and Special Collections. He is currently processing papers and photographs for the Dr. Otis Bowen collection. Joseph is pursuing a bachelor’s degree from the Department of History with an emphasis in public history and plans to attend law school after graduation.

Bridget K. Hahn is pursuing a master’s degree in history. Bridget’s father, Doyne Hahn, was a reference librarian at Bracken Library for over 25 years, retiring in 2001. Bridget obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Mary’s College. She is currently working in the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections where she is involved with processing the Martin D. Schwartz Papers.

Lauren E. Holditch is a graduate student in anthropology, hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. She came to Ball State after an internship with the Indiana Historical Society and plans to pursue a doctorate degree to teach at a university. Lauren is working in the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

Martin D. Schwartz Donates Varga Sculpture of Raoul Wallenberg to the University Libraries

Students, faculty, alumni, and visitors to the Alexander M. Bracken Library are now able to see and study a work of art depicting an important part of the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust.

Mr. Martin D. Schwartz, local businessman and philanthropist, donated a bronze sculpture by Hungarian artist Imre Varga, perhaps Hungary’s best-known contemporary sculptor, entitled Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. The work is one of nine smaller versions created by Varga from the original work found in Budapest that was erected on a small patch of grass beside a roadway on the Buda side of the Danube River.

Raoul Wallenberg (August, 1912 – July 17, 1947) was a Swedish humanitarian sent to Budpest under diplomatic cover to rescue Jews from being sent to death camps in the later stages of World War II. He issued them protective passports from the Swedish embassy that identified the bearers as Swedish nationals awaiting repatriation. Wallenberg was arrested on January 17, 1945, by order of Soviet Deputy Commissar for Defense Nikolai Bulganin. In 1957, the Soviets responded to diplomatic pressure and announced that Wallenberg had died of a heart attack in 1947 in Lubyanka prison in Moscow, but that has been disputed.

Sculptor Imre Varga was born in Hungary, November 1, 1923. He served as an air officer in World War II and returned to Hungary from captivity in 1945. He has won many awards for his work over the years and his work has appeared in numerous European museums.

Varga said of the Wallenberg sculpture that it served dual purposes. First it is a tribute to Raoul Wallenberg who Varga said “showed the way of honesty, the way of real heroes.” The other reason was more personal. Varga’s former professor, and later friend, Pál Pátzay, made the first Wallenberg monument and Varga made the second.

The sculpture was given by Mr. Schwartz in honor of his late wife Helen. They acquired the work of art when they were in Budapest around 1987 when the original monument was erected. It resided in their home until he recently gave it to the University Libraries.

The bronze sculpture is 25.5 inches in height by 16.5 inches in width and 12.75 inches in depth. It is currently on display outside of the Archives and Special Collections on the second floor of Bracken Library. When the Helen B. and Martin D. Schwartz Special Collections and Global Digital Complex is completed on Bracken Library’s first floor sometime during Spring Semester 2009, the sculpture will be located in that space.

Dr. Luchen Li Receives Ditsky Award for Steinbeck Research in the Ball State University Libraries

Through the generosity of donors, the Ball State University Libraries provide opportunities for students and scholars to advance their education and research. An outstanding example is 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. Luchen Li is this year’s recipient of the Ditsky Award. He will visit the University Libraries during the week of September 29 through October 3, 2008 to conduct intensive research on Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck, using the Steinbeck Collection in the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

Dr. Li is Associate Professor of Humanities and Communication and Director of the Office of International Programs at Kettering University, Flint, Michigan. He has authored numerous Steinbeck-related publications, including A Critical Companion to John Steinbeck (co-authored with Geoffrey Schutz) and John Steinbeck: A Documentary Volume. He serves as Vice President of the International Programs for the John Steinbeck Society of America.

The topic of Dr. Li’s research is the ethical dimensions of John Steinbeck’s world. Examining Steinbeck’s works, he will focus on the author’s personal ethics and societal ethics concerning business, war, politics, and ethnicity. He will research how Steinbeck offers “a unique set of moral discourses – novels, novelettes, short stories, plays, scripts, and essays – that have helped define much of our own American ethics while providing contemporary insight for negotiating our moral responsibilities to our own fellow human beings, society, and environment.”

The Steinbeck Research Fund established by Mrs. Ditsky in honor of her late husband is intended to assist and encourage emerging Steinbeck visiting scholars and/or doctoral candidates in conducting research in Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections on an appropriate 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, President of the New Steinbeck Society of America, a poet and poetry editor, a music critic, and 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. Mrs. Ditsky recently donated her husband’s papers and books to Archives and Special Collections to augment and strengthen the Steinbeck Collection.

For more information on the Steinbeck Research Fund in honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky, contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections,, (765) 285-5078.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Exhibit

Cardinals Through the Decades: 90 Years of Ball State University on Exhibit in Bracken Library

Explore the history and memories of Ball State from 1918-2008 by visiting Archives and Special Collections on the second floor of Bracken Library. Cardinals Through the Decades: 90 Years of Ball State University will be on display from September 15 through October 31, 2008.

This exhibit of memorabilia, artifacts, and historical items celebrates the 90th anniversary of Ball State University. The display includes photographs of the dedication of Beneficence in 1937, a glass time capsule from Burris, 75th anniversary memorabilia, miniature B-Books, a 1940’s wooden scrapbook from Lucina Hall, Orient yearbooks, and other historical documents. Books in this exhibit explore the history of Ball State from its conception in the late 1800’s to the Ball State of today.

For more information, please contact Lajmar Anderson at,(765) 285-5078.