Collection Highlight: The Adrienne Mandel papers

From the poet Emma Lazarus having her words inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty (you may remember the line “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”) to Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s accomplishments in the Supreme Court, Jewish women have been leaving their mark on America. This Jewish-American Heritage Month, we are highlighting one such woman in our collections: Adrienne A. Mandel, member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1995-2006. 

Campaign Flier for Adrienne Mandel. Features a Black and White Image of Mandel. Text Reads: "Re-Elect Adrienne Mandel Delegate- State Legislative District 19. With Local Loyalty and State Experience Adrienne MANDEL Speaks for YOU."

Adrienne A. Mandel was a Democrat who represented the 19th District, Montgomery County, in the Maryland House of Delegates. Her papers consist of committee files, correspondence, minutes, working papers, reports, photographs, speeches, and press releases pertaining to her service in the Maryland House of Delegates and bills that she supported, primarily relating to health care. The collection also includes topics directly relevant to Montgomery County,  the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and the Intercounty Connector (ICC). 

The papers also consist of a number of items directly related to Jewish issues. The papers reveal that Mandel would give out the traditional triangle-shaped cookies called hamantaschen to fellow Delegates during the holiday of Purim while educating her fellows about this holiday of victory in the face of evil. She also was a strong advocate for Holocaust survivors living in Maryland. On top of various Holocaust education efforts, she was one of the leading figures in passing H.B. 177, the Holocaust Victims Insurance Act, ensuring that Holocaust survivors would not be taxed on insurance claims received via the International Commission of Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) (more info here). 

Adrienne Mandel was but one of many Jewish Americans who have made this country what it is today.

Below are a few further resources to explore at UMD’s Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA):

Philip Perlman papers

Jo-Ann Orlinsky papers

Jewish topics in the Women’s Studies pamphlet collection

Publications from the Jewish Museum of Maryland held in SCUA

Books in Hebrew and Yiddish held in SCUA

Humanity in Archives

By: Ben Henry; Student Assistant- Maryland and Historical Collections

When people think of archives, they usually think of “important documents from important people.” Indeed, many archives have tended to function in this way, historically serving as repositories for official government documents. The Special Collections and University Archives is, to a degree, not an exception. One example of such a collection in our holdings is the Spiro T. Agnew Papers

There is more to the story, however. In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve handled thousands of postcards, come across newspaper clippings and microfilm, giant maps, old lacrosse sticks, and even the original Testudo (yes, there is an actual taxidermy turtle locked away in Hornbake Library). 

Oversize document on a white background. Pages are aged and text is machine-printed.

I experienced the variety of the materials that come into our collection during my first week at the Maryland and Historical Collections (MDHC). We had some new acquisitions, and I along with another newcomer to MDHC were tasked with creating an inventory.

At first the items seemed pretty random, a mish-mosh of old documents and books. Diving deeper, however, revealed a few treasures—one that I found particularly interesting was a bill from 1793 that failed to pass the Maryland state legislature regarding drafting citizens for the local militia (fig.1). 

Some of the other items included an overview of Methodism in the District of Columbia from 1892, a travel guide for North America and the West Indies from 1833, Baltimore directories from 1824 and 1829, and volumes 1-4 of the works of Scottish poet Robert Burns published between 1814 and 1815.

Two light blue rectangular boxes arranged vertically side by side. The box on the left contains larger items like booklets and photographs, the one on the right contains loose letters and other papers.

Published documents like these are not all we carry, however; we also collect items of a more personal nature. An example was the items we received belonging to Grace and Henry Post. Their items were stuffed haphazardly in a shoebox, which have temporarily been rehoused into two separate archival boxes (fig.2). I was thereby able to start piecing together their story.

I learned that Henry attended Columbia University from a copy of the 1904-1905 Columbia University Blue Book, complete with shopping lists scrawled on its blank pages. In a booklet from their church I learned that Grace and Henry were married on January 25, 1907, and from newspaper clippings inside the booklet I learned that they left for Valparaiso, Chile the next day, where Henry had “business interests.” I also discovered that Henry was an accomplished athlete in his student years and, “In student affairs he was greatly interested, being President of his class, and accredited as one of the most popular men in the university.” (fig.3)

Wedding booklet opened to the page showing the handwritten names of Grace and Henry and the date and location of their marriage. The booklet is surrounded by brown newspaper clippings.

Other materials included family photos; official documents regarding Henry’s time as an aviator in the US Army (the Air Force did not exist yet); dozens of letters and postcards to Grace and Henry from Valparaiso; and multiple documents, including newspaper clippings, official documents, and letters of condolence to Grace about Henry, “who plunged to his death in San Diego Bay” on February 9, 1914 as a result of an aviation accident. 

There is more I could say about the Posts, but my main takeaway was that archival materials are not just about official records. They have the power to tell us about the lived experiences of actual people, to close the distance between past and present, the living and the dead. Often, it’s the everyday items, the things that no one would expect would end up in an archive that tell the best stories.

Digital Exhibit Celebrates Voting and 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Thanks to the Society of American Archivists’ Women’s Collections Section for allowing us to share our exhibition!

saawcs

This post was written by Laura Cleary, Instruction and Outreach Librarian at the University of Maryland Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. Some of the text in this post was adapted from the Get Out the Vote exhibition.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of 15th amendment granting African American suffrage and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women suffrage, the University of Maryland Libraries created an exhibition to explore the history of voting rights in the United States of America. Debates over who had the right to vote, the mechanisms and timing of elections, and who is eligible to run for office have raged for hundreds of years. Barriers to voting have led many to advocate for a more representative electorate and to encourage greater participation in local, state, and national elections. At the heart of the fight for voting rights are these advocates and grassroot organizations who…

View original post 694 more words

New Exhibit: The Revolution Will be Printed – Graphic Arts as Activism

The Revolution Will be Printed: Graphic Arts as Activism is a celebration of printed works that drive social change through celebration, critique, and creation. To kick off this exhibit, I am thinking about artwork created for two different printed newspapers in Hornbake’s holdings, El Malcriado and the AFL-CIO News that cover the Delano Grape Strike.

In protest against poor pay and working conditions, over 800 farmworkers agreed to strike and walked off their jobs in the grape fields of Delano, California in September 1965. The strike leaders were Filipino members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC). They reached out to the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) for support. The NFWA membership, whose leaders included César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, voted in overwhelming favor of striking. The AWOC and the NFWA then became the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) union.

El Malcriado was established by César Chávez as the unofficial newspaper of the UFW (United Farmworkers of America) in 1964. It was titled after a rallying cry from the Mexican Revolution and was printed first in Spanish and then in English as well (1910-1920). The woodcuts, engravings, and pen-and-ink drawings for El Malcriado continue a Mexican-American (Chicano/a/x) graphic arts tradition.

This cover by Frank Cieciorka brings together cultivation and cultural heritage. Agricultural labor is brought back to ancient practice through the prominence of maize and the integration of Mesoamerican sculpture and architecture. Cieciorka is also known for the woodcut print of the fist that graced countless posters and buttons at demonstrations throughout the 1960s. 

Continue reading

Pamphlets for Progress: Uplifting the Voices of Black Women

February is Black History Month, and coming up soon in March is Women’s History Month. In Maryland and Historical Collections (MDHC) here at SCUA, we’re approaching these important occasions as opportunities to uplift collection materials that represent the lived experiences, struggles, and accomplishments of Black women. First up in our review is the Women’s Studies pamphlet collection (0274-MDHC). This collection was first established by Susan Cardinale, UMD’s Associate Librarian for Special Collections, in the early 1970s, and has continued to grow. In total, the collection takes up 13.5 feet of shelf storage space in our stacks. Arranged alphabetically by subject, the pamphlets in this collection cover a variety of time periods and topics, including the experiences of Black women and women of color.

Black and White Image: Two women; one looking at the camera, one looking to the side. Text on top left side reads, 'Black Women’s Liberation' (the O in Liberation is a female sign [♀]). Text on bottom right reads, ‘by Maxine Williams and Pamela Newman’
Black Women’s Liberation (1971) by Maxine Williams and Pamela Newman

But what exactly is a pamphlet? In its most basic format, a pamphlet is a small, unbound (or loosely bound) book. Pamphlets are generally used to promote an organization’s mission or goals or to raise awareness for a campaign, social issue, or political movement. A well-known historical example is Common Sense, Thomas Paine’s 47-page pamphlet that circulated around the onset of the American Revolution and advocated for independence from Great Britain. Pamphlets can condense complex ideas or large movements into concise arguments that can be easily shared with others.

From the Women’s Studies pamphlet collection, we want to spotlight some pamphlets that are written by and for Black women. With titles like The Status of Women of Color in the Economy: The Legacy of Being Other, Black Women’s Liberation, and Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female, these pamphlets discuss a range of social issues and are written for both readers with similar lived experiences as well as those seeking to be better allies. These pamphlets scrutinize obstacles, both historical and contemporary, that Black women have faced in the fight for justice, respect, and equal treatment and pay.

Continue reading

Missing Nature in Quarantine? Try Goin’ Fishin’

 Pull up a chair and join me for an episode of Goin’ Fishin’, Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) first nature program!  Produced in 1971 as part of a partnership with the Maryland Fish and Wildlife Administration, Goin’ Fishin’ will give you a simulated break from quarantine, appealing to both your inner sportsman and desire to be outside. Goin’ Fishin’ stars fish enthusiast Joe Reynolds, whose depth of fish knowledge is matched only by the length of his sideburns. Goin’ Fishin’ juxtaposes good old fashioned fish talk with gorgeous shots of scenic Maryland. Combine that with composer Donald Swartz’s score of mellow keyboard and woodwinds and you’ve got what may quite possibly be the most relaxing show ever made. It’s perfect pandemic watching: soothing, visually arresting, and just the right amount of quiet.

A man stands on a boat while holding a fishing rod as the boat drifts down a river that is covered in fog. In the bottom left corner is the title "Goin' Fishin'"
Screenshot of MPT’s Goin’ Fishin’, available from Special Collections and University Archives

 The February 1971 episode found in our Digital Collections features special guest Earl Shelsby, outdoor columnist for the Baltimore Morning Sun, and gives viewers the inside track on fishing for striped bass, tackle and where to find the goods. After Joe Reynolds talked some tackle, the scene shifted to the great outdoors, giving my quarantine-laden eyes a much needed dose of nature. 

General reference map featuring Maryland, but also showing portions of New Jersey (to the north east), Pennsylvania (to the north) and Virginia (to the south east).
1780 map of Maryland, Maryland Map Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland

Reynolds and Shelsby hit the Susquehanna, a 444-mile river that can be spotted in the map above, coming south from Pennsylvania, just east of Baltimore County. The fisherman started their day at Wagontop, a breathtaking and strange location described as a “rock nightmare” due to the large, smooth rocks scattered throughout the water. Advising bass-seeking viewers to drop their lines where fast water dips into a pool, the two fishermen created a tableau of yellow and orange jackets against the blue of the sky. Don’t know a striped bass from a yellow perch? These images from the United States Government Posters Collection in our digital collections will help. 

Color print of a striped bass fish. Covered in shimmery scales of brown, blue and pearl, it sits in front of a pale blue background with a sticker label reading I 49.14.F53 striped bass.
Image of a striped bass in the Washington, DC region (1980), United States Government Posters Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Maryland

With the heat, the hurricane and the pandemic, Goin’ Fishin’  is just about your next best option to regular summer programming. Let the soundtrack soothe your hot and weary mind. 

To learn more about Maryland Public Television’s Nature and Environmental Programming, please check out our online exhibit!

Episodes of Goin’ Fishin’ are available in Digital Collections, along with hundreds of Maryland Public Television programs.


Emily Moore is a second-year MLIS student with a background in art and theory. In addition to her role as a student assistant at Special Collections and University Archives, she works as the Archival Assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The Continuity Will Be Televised: MPT’s Our Street and Afro-American Perspectives

What does public television have in common with many libraries and archives? As arenas of discussion, education, and reflection, all three aim to engage with the communities they were ostensibly created to serve. How are communities enriched and strengthened through engagement with collections of manuscripts, text and mass media? What role does this type of engagement play in civic discourse and reflection? 

Recognizing the important role of public television in cultural dialogue, Maryland Public Television (MPT) founded, in 1969, the Urban Affairs Advisory Council, a group of 60 men and women from the Baltimore area. Together, this group designed a variety of half hour-long programs that addressed issues specific to Baltimore, including the daytime serial Our Street and the documentary series Afro-American Perspectives, produced as part of MPT’s educational arm, ITV. Episodes of both these programs are available in the University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections, and in watching them, viewers get access to both the perspectives of the past and commentary on the present.

The 56 episodes of Our Street tell the fictional story of the Robinsons, a Black family from East Baltimore. Syndicated to 20 stations around the country, Our Street introduced Baltimore to communities beyond Maryland, examining challenging themes within the framework of domestic drama. 

Picture of a newspaper with two photographs and a block of text. The top photo takes up most of the page and features a man with dark skin leaning over a couch to talk to a woman with dark skin, who sits with her lands in her lap. Text next to them reads black family's search for dignity and respect. Below, a photograph of a group of four people with dark skin, and 1970s fashion.
“Our Street” featured in Daytime TV, October 1972. Image: Daytime TV, October 1972.
Continue reading

Virtual Maryland Day 2020

Happy Maryland Day! The crowds are staying home this year while we all practice social distancing, but you can still enjoy a bit of Special Collections and University Archives fun from home!

Start off with the official UMD Maryland Day activity book! You can color Testudo, play work search, create finger puppets, and lots more! Download online: http://go.umd.edu/mdbook

Here are a few Maryland Day activities from Special Collections and University Archives you can explore from the comfort of home:

COLOR OUR COLLECTIONS

Get creative and unwind with these ready-to-color illustrations curated from our Rare Books collection! Choose from a selection including artwork by William Morris, Walter Crane, George Gaskin, and John Tenniel.

MAKE AN ORIGAMI HEART

Show your love with origami! ♥♥♥ Every Maryland Day in Hornbake Library, staff from the Gordon W. Prange collection show visitors how to make origami hearts. Grab some paper and follow the directions in the video below to make you own!

Continue reading

Collection Highlight: Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO records

A recent addition to the UMD Labor Collections is now available for the public: the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO records, containing material dating from 1896 to 2016.  The Metro Washington Council (MWC) is a local labor council representing a federation of 175 diverse local unions in Washington, DC and the surrounding area.  Presented to the archives in September 2018, the Metro Washington Council records examine

Continue reading

Join us for Afternoon Tea on September 26

UMD Libraries Special Collections and University Archives would like to invite you to join us for Afternoon Tea at our Annual Open House on Thursday, September 26th between 2-4pm

Special Collections and University Archives is home to a number of collections that can give us incredible insight into political rhetoric throughout US history. This year, in the spirit of the University of Maryland’s first year book, Demagoguery and Democracy by Patricia Roberts-Miller,  we invite you to explore the insights we can gain from these items on how to identify and challenge demagogic rhetoric wherever we find them. 

To participate, drop by anytime during the event. We can’t wait to share a cup with you.