Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Digitization update

Written by: Emily Cottle

Since beginning our digitization work in January 2014, we are excited to report that we have grown our collection from our initial five items to over one hundred!

Items available include all issues from The Echo dating 1909-1912, items from our photograph collection, and inauguration programs from some of our presidents.

You can browse our available items here.
Click to browse digitized items.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My favorite things, part III

Written by: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

This week's post features the last in our series documenting the favorite or most interesting finds of the Archives' staff.

At the same time HBO aired its movie, The Normal Heart, I came across Executive Order No. 83, issued by Delaware Governor Michael N. Castle, while processing employment materials for staff and faculty in the Delaware State archives. This executive order addressed the need to establish a policy on AIDS in the workplace.

The 1980’s saw the emergence of what some have termed a world-wide pandemic. Although cases of HIV and AIDS were unknowingly reported decades before, the widespread publicity in the 1980’s regarding the spread infection alarmed everyone, and the alarm was validated by governments around the world. It did not end in the 1980’s. As recent as 2001, the CDC reported, “In the early 1980s, most AIDS cases occurred among whites. However, cases among blacks increased steadily and by 1996, more cases occurred among blacks than any other racial/ethnic population.”(1)

HBO’s movie showed us that the HIV/AIDS epidemic should not be forgotten. The purpose of Executive Order No. 83 was to prevent discrimination in light of the fear and ignorance that surrounded HIV/AIDS. Delaware State clearly supported this, and distributed the order to all of its staff and faculty.

Protecting the rights of current and potential workers was a step forward. Making sure historical material is cared for, such as policies and stories about this matter as they relate to Delaware State University, is an important task for those of us in the University Archives. Stop in and see how we do this!

(1) “HIV and AIDS --- United States, 1981--2000". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 8, 2001. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5021a2.htm [accessed June 20, 2014].

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My favorite things, part II

Written by: Cale McCammon

Welcome to part II in our favorite things series. If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s post here. My favorite items in the Archives are those that illuminate things that you walk by on a daily basis, especially things that concern university buildings.

Have you ever wondered about the mural around the William C. Jason Library’s entrance? Our collection of administrative records from the Library may provide some insight. These records date from the early 1970s to the present day and include staff meetings, publications, reports, and correspondence that provide information on the Library’s expansion.

William C. Jason Library entrance, November 1988

Completed in the late 1970s by alumnus Bernard Felch, the mural incorporates traditional African symbols, which ultimately speak to the Library’s place as the center of learning. That’s putting it in lay terms, however. These scanned pages of the records contain the words of the artist himself and speak more truly to what the symbols represent. So the next time you’re on campus and wonder what’s the deal with so-and-so, we just might be able to help you out.

The following document entitled Symbolism in the Wall for the Jason Library at Delaware State College is included in the William C. Jason Library Records available at the Archives. 

Be sure to check back next week for Leigh-Anne’s favorite item!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My favorite things, part I

Click to see available digitized newspapers.
Written by: Emily Cottle

This week’s post is the first in a three part series entitled my favorite things. Each week we will feature a staff member of the University Archives who will share their favorite collection items.

The collections at the University Archives contain so many wonderful items that trying to pick a single favorite is almost impossible! I’d say the group of items that I find most intriguing and historically valuable are the issues of the school newspaper.

I think school papers are interesting because they give a first-hand account of what’s happening at an institution at a particular time. You can tell what issues students were facing or learn about controversies that were happening on campus. There is also important basic information like when campus events, such as Homecoming, Commencement, Founders day, were held and accounts of who was there or what happened.

In addition to news articles providing these primary source accounts, you get to see advertisements, photographs, how formats or layout styles changed, and other contextual clues that provide so much information beyond the simple text of an article.

Our collection of school papers begins in 1909 with issues of The Echo, as the school paper was known then. (Note: Our complete collection of The Echo from 1909-1912 has been digitized and is available online.) Our run picks up with The Hornet in 1950 and continues through to 2014. Come visit the Archives to browse some of these newspapers yourself.

Come back next week to learn about Cale McCammon’s favorite item!