Maryland Day 2017 in Special Collections & University Archives!

On Maryland Day 2017, Special Collections and University Archives welcomed hundreds of visitors to Hornbake Library for a day of coloring, crafts, exhibits, protests, and most importantly…fun!

Visitors enjoyed Maryland Day favorites like designing their own terrapin, coloring their favorite Sesame Street character, recording a radio commercial with our Mass Media and Culture staff, and snagging with very own crochet turtle bookmark as they heard the story of the real Testudo from our University Archives staff.

We also hosted tours of two exhibits, “The Washington Home of the Philippine Suffrage Movement” and “Frederick Douglass and the Wye House: Archaeology and African-American Culture in Maryland”. Visitors also enjoyed tours of the Katherine Anne Porter Room, which houses the personal library and items belonging to American writer Katherine Anne Porter.

For Maryland Day 2017, we introduced a new activity hosted by our Labor Collections. Visitors were invited to Picket and Post: Join the Movement, as they showed their support for Labor Unions and Labor history.

Thank you to all the staff a visitors who made Maryland Day so much fun! You can view more images from Maryland Day 2017 in Special Collections and University Archives in our Flickr Album!

Special Collections Students at Work: The Baltimore News American Photo Archives

The University of Maryland’s Special Collections & University Archives houses a particularly interesting and highly utilized acquisition in the Baltimore News American collection. Acquired 30 years ago when the News American stopped its presses for the last time, the collection contains subject and biographical photos used in the Baltimore News American family of newspapers from 1904 through 1986. The fully processed section of the collection spans close to 1600 boxes and over 660 linear feet. And that doesn’t even consider the oversize materials and extensive unprocessed boxes which bring the total number of images to possibly over 1.5 million. The numbers are certainly impressive, but you cannot get a scope for how big the collection is until you see entire walls in our archive stacks solely dedicated to the photographs.

BNAboxes_brightMaking this collection more accessible is the work of many hands, including volunteers and student employees. The work often begins by pulling a number of photos, organized in folders, from one of our unprocessed boxes. We collect information from both the folders and the images including the subject, first and last name, number of photos, and relevant dates [when the photographs were taken, or when the images were published in the newspaper]. All the while, the photos are moved into better, safer acid-free folders and boxes and entered into a database of processed images. Also, given the number of people who have processed this gargantuan collection, we take the time to proofread each other’s data entry work.

Continue reading

Preservation Maryland Open House: A Celebration of 86 Years of Historic Preservation Stewardship and Advocacy

On April 27, 2017, Special Collections and University Archives hosted a Preservation Maryland Open House. I organized the open house as part of my practicum for the Museum Scholarship and Material Culture graduate certificate program with guidance from Maryland and Historical Collections Curator Liz Novara. The Preservation Maryland archives are one of many Historic Preservation collections available for research here at SCUA. This particular collection is significant in that it documents the transition of the nation’s second oldest preservation organization from a model of stewarding historic structures to advocacy of historic preservation. The Preservation Maryland archives, dating back to 1931, document a preeminent force in the modern historic preservation movement.

Housed at Special Collections and University Archives, Preservation Maryland’s archives are an incredible resource for the university’s historic preservation students, the historic preservation community, and anyone interested in Maryland history. These documents are open to the public and you can find out more here.

DSC_0019

Left to right: Maryland and Historical Collections Curator Liz Novara, Jen Wachtel, Communications Director Meagan Baco, Development Director Douglas Harbit, Executive Director Nick Redding, and Engagement Director Elly Cowan posing with Testudo after Jen Wachtel’s welcoming remarks. Photo courtesy of Preservation Maryland.

Continue reading

Best of the Building Campaign

For the past several weeks we have been delving into the history of various buildings on campus through Instagram (@hornbakelibrary)! Here we will recap a few of our favorite features.

We chose buildings based on:

  • An interesting or unusual name
  • An unrecognizable name
  • The importance of the building to UMD students

Feature buildings included Taliaferro Hall, Preinkert Hall, H.J Patterson Hall, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Tawes Hall, and Van Munching Hall.

Taliaferro Hall—one of particular interest to many students because seemingly no one knows the correct pronunciation. That is, aside from the history professors whose offices reside in this building and who are quick to correct any mispronunciation! It is regionally pronounced “Tolliver.” The beautiful and often overlooked building on South Campus was built in 1899. At the time it was home to the School of Engineering, which is why it was named after Thomas Hardy Taliaferro, Dean of the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences.

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center – this consortium of 10 interconnected structures is the largest single building ever constructed in the State of Maryland. It was named for artist and alumna Clarice Smith who was a notable water color painter, and spread her talents by teaching in the D.C. area and funding our performing arts center!

Continue reading

Turtles, Terrapins, and Tortoises…Oh My!

A new exhibit in the Maryland Room is all about turtles, terrapins, and tortoises! On display are several illustrated natural history books from the rare book collection held in Special Collections and University Archives at Hornbake Library. They include Nomenclator Aquatilium Animantium (1560), by 16th century Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner,  along with a variety of 19th century works highlighting the artistry and science of herpetology.

Also on display is Historia Testvdinvm Iconibvs Illvstrata (1792) by Johann David Schöpf. Schöpf was chief surgeon for the Ansbach regiment of Hessian troops, who fought for the British in the American Revolutionary War. After the war, he returned to Europe and published several natural history works.

Nestled among the rare books are a small selection of turtle figures acquired over the years by University Archivist Anne Turkos. These turtle toys, figures, and accessories help decorate every inch of her office with that “Go Terps” spirit!

Continue reading

3rd Annual Labor History Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

2017 edit a thon flyerBring your laptop and join a community interested in promoting labor history by editing entries in the popular online encyclopedia. WikimediaDC will be on hand to give a short presentation on how to edit in Wikipedia, and be available with expert help during the editing time. We’ll focus on developing entries related to the Labor History Collections at the University of Maryland, including the AFL-CIO Archives. Participants will receive complimentary issues of Labor’s Heritage journal. No editing experience necessary – Basic computer skills needed – Virtual editors welcome!

Date: Friday, May 5th
Time: 12:00-3:00pm
Location: AFL-CIO Headquarters, Washington, DC
Can’t make it?  Consider editing any time during the month of May with these resources!

Preservation Maryland records in UMD’s Special Collections

Preservation Maryland Dispaly in the Maryland Room

Jen Wachtel with the Maryland Room Mini-Exhibit, Steward to Advocacy

Marylanders value the state’s history and often recognize Preservation Maryland as one of the state’s foremost historic preservation organizations. Preservation Maryland is nationally renowned for its advocacy, outreach, and funding efforts. Founded in 1931, Preservation Maryland made the University Libraries its official institutional repository in 2008. These records are an incredible resource for historic preservation students as well as anyone interested in Maryland history.  An abstract of the collection is available here, and you can check out a Preservation Maryland mini-exhibit in the Maryland Room for the month of April! Continue reading