Join us for a pop-up museum celebrating activism

Participate in our pop-up museum celebrating activism on Wednesday, February 21st from 12-4pm in the first floor lobby of Hornbake Library.

Bring your badgers, flyers, posters, pins, photos, audio and music, video and other material from social media, marches and cultural events for our temporary museum.

We want to preserve your stories of activism. Record your story at the event.

Be a part of campus history!

PopUpMuseum

Contact Laura Cleary with questions
lcleary@umd.edu
301-405-9988

Bobby Seale and the Black Panther Party in the Archives

Bobby Seale, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, will visit UMD on February 1st, 2018 as part of the Arts and Humanities “2017-2018 Dean’s Lecture Series: Courageous Conversations”. Seale’s visit prompted us at Special Collections and University Archives to look in our collections for information on Seale and the Black Panther Party.

Student newspapers such as the Diamondback and The Eclipse tell us that Seale spoke at UMD in Ritchie Coliseum in 1972 and in Hoff Theater in 1995. Seale also spoke at the STamp Studnet Union in 1974.

Continue reading

Phoney Papers, Racket Presses, and Fake News

1_racket press

Cartoon by AFL-CIO News cartoonist, John Stampone, illustrates both the ILCA and ILPA’s efforts to enforce their ethical standards and stop so-called racket papers from taking advantage of local businesses and unions.

National dialogue has radically changed over the first half of 2017. Phrases like “alternative facts” and concern over “fake news” has been the subject of presidential tweets and investigative reporting. While issues over reputable and authoritative news and information are critical discussions, concerns over the media are not only a thread throughout American history.  It was an issue within the labor movement as well. Continue reading

Current Events: What do Ben Affleck and Special Collections have in common?

While holding a hymnal in one hand, President Jimmy Carter holds his left hand in front of his face as he prays with the families of the American hostages in Tehran on November 15, 1979 during an afternoon interfaith service at Washington’s National Cathedral. (UPI Photo/Tim Murphy/Files)
Read about it: http://www.upi.com/Audio/Year_in_Review/Events-of-1979/Iranian-Hostage-Crisis/12311692377023-2/

One of my projects at the Special Collections has been labeling and recording data from  reel-to-reel tapes in the WAMU-FM archive. While this may not sound like the most fascinating job (unless you REALLY love Excel?), the collection itself is incredible. A few weeks ago, I found some reels labeled “Hostage Crisis Report” and “Hostage News Conference” dated 1979.

This is one of the moments when you feel the past speaking to you. As new tragedies emerge, and our nation considers how to handle the latest international events, we can expect many charged discussions about freedom of speech, media, and politics. For example, news sources are portraying the anti-Islamic film as a “US-Made” film; do we feel this is an accurate representation? How does our national right to free speech translate to an international platform like the World Wide Web? How have we handled such situations before, and how will that influence us moving forward? What events shaped the current crisis, and how do we understand them?

Photo from the movie "Argo"It is more important than ever to inform ourselves about not just current events, but historical events that impact our present. Before the death of our ambassador, I had planned to write about historical politics in modern day entertainment, connecting the Hostage Crisis tapes in the archives to Ben Affleck’s upcoming film Argo. But now it seems that this film and UMD Libraries have something more important in common than just interest in a time period. While the former is a means for inspiring the public to learn more about a certain event, the Special Collections exists to create the informed individual, someone who can interpret the data recorded from the past to shape our future in a knowledgeable way. In that sphere of creating an informed citizenry, entertainment and special collections sometimes successfully collide–as I believe this example demonstrates.

What is your opinion? How do you inform yourself about current events? What resources have you used to shape your knowledge of freedom of speech on the WWW and international politics? What other examples of political entertainment exist, and are they successful at informing the public, or inspiring the public to search for information?

Sarah Espinosa, Student Assistant at the Special Collections