Monday, May 04, 2009

Archives Contributes to Middletown Article

The Archives and Special Collections staff recently contributed to "Hard Times in Middletown: How the Middle Class Became the Brittle Class," by Laurie Stern and Stephen Smith for The Real Face of Poverty, a American RadioWorks' series on poverty and opportunity in the United States.

The website states, "For almost a century, Muncie, Indiana has been known as "Middletown," the quintessential American community. But now, as the rust-belt city grapples with deepening recession, many residents are losing their hold on the middle class. Think of them as the brittle class, just one fragile rung above poverty on the economic ladder."

Effects of moving from manufacturing to service economies, a timeline of Middletown studies throughout the 20th centry, a slidehow of Muncie's early industrial life, an interview with Staughton Lynd (son of Robert and Helen Lynd) and profiles of Muncie citizens' experience with poverty are also included on the website.

American Public Media, a nonprofit organization, is the second largest producer and distributor of public radio programming and the largest owner and operator of public radio stations in the nation.

The blog can be found at:

Summer Break Hours

Summer Interim & Summer Session Hours
Monday, May 11 - Monday, August 24
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Memorial Day, Monday, May 25
Fourth of July, Friday, July 3
Labor Day, Monday, September 7

New DMR Collection

We are pleased to announce that the Muncie Redevelopment commission Minutes Collection is now available in the Digital Media Repository at

Archetype Exhibit Provides Educational Experience for Art Students

Archetype: Future Designers Inspired by the Past is the second annual exhibit collaboration with Art Department Associate Professors Christine Satory, Sam Minor, and their students. The exhibit opened April 6 and will run through June 15, 2009 in exhibit cases on Bracken 1-East and Bracken 2-West.

The event has provided an educational opportunity for students to work with professional archivists to acquire experience in exhibit preparation. Archives and Special Collections’ contributions to this exhibit included publications, poetry, posters, photographs, historical documents, Ball State yearbooks, and ephemera.

The Archetype exhibition is designed to allow visual communication majors to display their artwork, as well as provide them the opportunity to conduct research, plan, and implement an exhibit. Each year the students are encouraged to look at a specific period’s art, and design a modern piece of artwork inspired by that time period. This year’s students looked at the design styles of the 1960s

According to Professor Satory, during the 1960s, there was an unprecedented integration between the arts, popular culture, and commerce. “Distinctive graphic styles were developed by those using graphic design for the counter-cultural backlash against the traditions of the ‘establishment.’ Styles ranged from psychedelic art popularized by the hippies to the acerbic graphics of social and political activists,” she said. “Our future designers have been challenged to research and develop pieces inspired by the content and style of this era.”

Students were required to design a poster and booklet that melded past design styles with a current sociopolitical cause or aspect of life. Topics range from alcoholism to music piracy. Three dimensional pieces are also on display, including Homelessness in America and Trapped in the 60s.

For more information, contact Lajmar D. Anderson, Archives and Special Collections Supervisor,, 765-285-5078.

Archives Now Providing Reference Services in Second Life

Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections now offer reference hours in Second Life, a free online virtual world.

Archivists Maren L. Read, a.k.a. Em Ziplon, and Carolyn F. Runyon, a.k.a. Carolyn Robonaught, are available to answer questions on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon and Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. A “drop box” is also available at the reference desk to leave questions and comments about the University Libraries and the Middletown Studies Library and Archives

This new service has been made possible, in part, through an Innovative Library Program Grant for 2008-09 to the University Libraries as part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), funding for which was appropriated by the U.S. Congress in 1996 and administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Indiana State Library.

In collaboration with Ball State’s Center for Middletown Studies and the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA), the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections has been working this past year to develop the virtual Bracken Library and the virtual Middletown Studies Library and Archives on the Ball State University Island in Second Life.

When the project is complete in June 2009, students, faculty, and researchers will be able to chat with archivists, explore an exhibit on the history of Muncie as Middletown, watch films such as The Man Haters (35 mm silent movie filmed in Muncie in 1915) in the library screening room, and gather for classes and meetings “inworld.”

For more information, contact Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections, or Carolyn Runyon, Archivist for Digital Development and University Records,, 765-285-5078.