Found in the University Archives!

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109 Plays
Leslie Janett
St Patricks Day

From 75 degrees and sunny to 30 degrees and a foot of snow, Badgers have experienced many different St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Madison. UW students typically celebrate this holiday but festivities have changed quite a bit over the years.

While current students may simply celebrate at a friend’s house or a State Street bar, the Engineer’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was once a time-honored spectacle that included the entire campus and provided an forum for campus rivals to poke fun at each other.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwmadarchives/12994763485/

St. Patrick, the patron saint of engineers, motivated UW engineering students to adopt and embrace the holiday. From clothing accessories and parade floats to elaborate pranks, the engineering students’ celebration was bold, exciting and included an opportunity to skewer their campus rivals, the law school students.

As their buildings were situated across from each other on Bascom Hill, a natural rivalry brewed between these two groups over the years.

What started out as merely whimsical banter grew to be an intense rivalry, as evidenced by occasional snowball fights and egg throwing. Floats created for the St. Patrick’s Day parade provided an opportunity for both sides to poke fun at the other’s field of study and future profession.
 
As the rivalry escalated, the engineering and law school deans were called upon to mediate. Like many campus traditions, the St. Patrick’s Day parade ended by the 1940’s, as WWII and the departure of many students disrupted campus activities. Engineering did continue, however, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just not with an annual parade.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwmadarchives/6690261483/in/set-72157628852991839

This tradition no longer exists on campus now gone but remnants of the long-time campus rivalry remain. Students still enjoy a good snowball fight on Bascom Hill and, on occasion, law and engineering students engage in good-natured ribbing on campus social media sites.

More information about the oral history interview with Leslie Janett can be found here: http://bit.ly/1oJPbeT. 

Matthew Jackson for UW-Madison Archives

*****

For more information about this tradition or campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW archives engineering law school st patricks day

390 notes

todaysdocument:

The “Hello Girls”

"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"

During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France.  Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended.  It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.
Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls
* Today is also the anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for “Improvements in Telegraphy”, aka the telephone.

todaysdocument:

The “Hello Girls”

"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"

During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France.  Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended.  It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.

Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls

* Today is also the anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for “Improvements in Telegraphy”, aka the telephone.

(Source: research.archives.gov)

13 notes

The Right Stuff!

March 1, 1966. Upon their arrival at Truax Field in Madison, Wisconsin astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr. (Capt. USN) and Donald K. “Deke” Slayton entertained question from local and state press at news conference in the Base Operations Hangar. Some three to four-hundred spectators were present. Lovell attended UW-Madison for two years before transferring to and graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952. 

Left to Right: Fred Harrington, president of the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Governor Warren P. Knowles, Lovell, Slayton, Major General Frederick R. Terrell, commander of the 30th Air Division (ADC), Truax, and Otto Festge, Mayor of Madison. 

Image #S12817 (Acc 1985/054). 

*****

For more information about Lovell and Slayton’s 1966 visit to Wisconsin and UW-Madison, or campus history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW-Madison James Lovell Deke Slayton astronauts WIHistory campus history Madison Fred Harvey Harrington university Warren Knowles

1 note

Chadbourne Hall Foreign Students Program

The Chadbourne Hall Scrapbooks contain a thorough record of Chadbourne Hall activities and the lives of its residents in the 1960s when Chadbourne Hall was an all-girls dorm. The four scrapbooks cover 1960-1967 and include photographs, newspaper clippings, newsletters, and more documenting students’ academic achievements, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.

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One of my favorite stories from the scrapbooks is about Chadboure Hall residents raising money to sponsor international students.  Beginning in 1964 and continuing through at least 1969, Chad Hall students raised money to pay for the room and board of one to two undergraduate international students. In 1966, this cost $940 per student.

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The Chad girls used a variety of methods to raise the funds. They sold cookies, candy bars, and popcorn, auctioned off items like sweaters, jewelry, and hair rollers, and offered their services cleaning rooms, fixing hair, washing cars and clothes, and shining shoes. In all, the efforts of Chad Hall residents helped students from Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Norway pursue their education at the UW (Madison).

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One of the students was Maria Carlota Pinheiro Maia, who received funding from the Chadbourne program to study at Madison from 1964-1966. She was a native of Fortazela, Brazil and was recommended for the program by a UW student who met her while studying in Brazil. Pinheiro Maia attended the UW from 1964-1966 and studied English and French with the goal of becoming an interpreter.

Rachel Thompson for UW-Madison Archives

For more information about Chadbourne Hall or UW-Madison history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin!

Filed under UW-Madison chadbourne hall study abroad dorm life

1 note

Ralph Spetz: A Wisconsin Track Legend

The University Archives recently acquired a small collection of photos and memorabilia documenting campus life as experienced by UW alumni Ralph R. Spetz (‘23).

Ralph Ferdinand Spetz attended UW Madison as a Civil Engineering student and was a track team star captain. The University Archives received this collection of Spetz’s photographs, ribbons, athletic event programs, newspaper clippings and other materials from a distant relative. Together, they document Spetz’s time at UW, his participation on the track team and in athletic fraternities.

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There is just something about this style of portrait, it shows a very handsome and serious looking Spetz! 

He was part of several athletic and fraternal organizations, including the Star and Arrow, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Pi Kappa Alpha. Spetz was originally from Milwaukee, and returned there after he earned his degree in 1923 to work as a building inspector. He died very young, at 43.

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A tiny, startled version of Spetz. He was born April 5, 1898.

I got my hands on this small photograph collection a few weeks ago, and have been busy organizing, researching, and trying not to get too much crud on my hands (scrapbooks fall apart pretty easily guys). I loved researching Spetz, because I felt like I got to know him a little bit. These are a few more of my favorite photographs in the collection: 

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Three track team members dressed in their uniforms - take a close look at the shoes and imagine running in them…Also, if you squint, the guy on the right looks just like Joseph Gordon Levitt. 

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An action shot of Spetz closing in on the finish line.

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The “speedster” himself, on the cover of the Wisconsin Athletic Review.

By Lotus Norton-Wisla for the UW Archives. 

*****

For more information about this collection or UW-Madison history, contact uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu or visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On, Wisconsin! 

Filed under UW-Madison wisconsin wihistory history track and field Spetz athletics university campus history fraternities

4 notes

Harry Steenbock in his Laboratory (1929).

Steenbock, a UW biochemistry professor, is perhaps best known for effectively curing rickets by discovering that irradiation of food increases the food’s Vitamin D content. Quaker Oats offered him $1 million for patent rights to his irradiation device but he believed any profits from his invention should be for the benefit of the university as a whole. He and eight colleagues founded the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), he transferred his patent to WARF, and WARF in turn licensed the patent rights to Quaker.

Over the years, rights were also given to pharmaceutical companies and dairies. WARF continues to use its income to further the University’s research mission.

For more information about this photo or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu.

Video clip from 16 mm film titled “On to Wisconsin” (1929). Posted by Molly Temple for UW Archives.

Filed under Steenbock WARF research UW-Madison WIHistory university Vitamin D

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usnatarchives:

Doesn’t George Clooney look like Frank Stout, on the far left in this photograph from 1945? Clooney’s character in the film Monument Men is based on Stout.
Did you love the movie? Want more Monuments Men?
Don’t miss your chance to hear Robert M. Edsel, author of The Monuments Men on February 19 at 7 p.m. in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives.
Edsel will discuss his book and the film adaptation along with archivist Gregory Bradsher and others. A book signing will follow the program.
And on display until February 20 as our Featured Document display is a recently discovered album of artwork looted by the Nazis donated to the National Archives by Edsel.
And don’t miss the new exhibit at the Archives of American Art: "Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942–1946."
Image: Monuments Men (from left to right) George Stout, Sgt. Travese, Walker Hancock, and Lt. Kovalyak at the excavation of Bernterode. George Clooney plays a character based on Stout in the movie. (Walker Hancock Collection, courtesy of the Monuments Men Foundation.)

usnatarchives:

Doesn’t George Clooney look like Frank Stout, on the far left in this photograph from 1945? Clooney’s character in the film Monument Men is based on Stout.

Did you love the movie? Want more Monuments Men?

Don’t miss your chance to hear Robert M. Edsel, author of The Monuments Men on February 19 at 7 p.m. in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives.

Edsel will discuss his book and the film adaptation along with archivist Gregory Bradsher and others. A book signing will follow the program.

And on display until February 20 as our Featured Document display is a recently discovered album of artwork looted by the Nazis donated to the National Archives by Edsel.

And don’t miss the new exhibit at the Archives of American Art: "Monuments Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942–1946."

Image: Monuments Men (from left to right) George Stout, Sgt. Travese, Walker Hancock, and Lt. Kovalyak at the excavation of Bernterode. George Clooney plays a character based on Stout in the movie. (Walker Hancock Collection, courtesy of the Monuments Men Foundation.)

(via todaysdocument)

5 notes

UW Archives’ Monuments Men: Jesse Boell

The first two archivists at the University of Wisconsin Archives both had the distinction of serving with the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives program (MFAA) during World War Two. Both of these Monuments Men, Gilbert H. Doane and Jesse E. Boell, were instrumental in the creation of the collection we have today.

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An undated portrait of UW Archivist Jesse Boell smoking a cigar.

Jesse Boell was born in 1899 in Nebraska. He served in the Navy during the last months of World War I. Boell earned his B.A. from Nebraska Wesleyan University (where he played basketball and football) and M.A. from the University of Nebraska before moving to Wisconsin to continue his graduate studies in history at the UW.

From 1937 until 1941 Boell served as the State Director of the Wisconsin Historical Records Survey, a project to collect and publish an inventory of local, county, federal, church, and court records around the state, as well as manuscript and newspaper collections. The survey, a WPA project begun in 1935 to collect for the first time all repositories for vital statistics, became an increasingly important resource as the National Defense Program began demanding proof of age and citizenship for WWII defense workers.

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Archivist Jesse Boell examines records during his time at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

This effort complete, Boell transferred to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. where he was Assistant Chief of the War Records Division. Part of his work at the Archives involved the preservation and security of highly classified State Department records during WWII.

After the war, Boell went to Germany as an archives officer with the MFAA. As one of the Monuments Men, he helped in the efforts to preserve Nazi records, including some of those famously found stored in abandoned salt mines. Boell was also part of the military government in Germany and participated in the Nuremberg Trials.  

Boell returned to the United States in late 1946 and in 1947 he moved back to Madison to accept the position of State Archivist for the Wisconsin Historical Society.  His tenure at WHS was innovative, and Boell is credited with the development of several important archival ideas, including regional archival depositories and loaning federal depository documents.

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Wisconsin Historical Society archivist Jesse Boell in his office on the third floor of the Historical Society building.

Perhaps most important (in our obviously unbiased opinion) was his creation of the the collection that would become the University of Wisconsin Archives. Originally a division of the State Archives, the development of UW Archives hit its stride with the research and writing of Merle Curti and Vernon Carstensen’s two volume history of the UW. Boell worked with Carstensen to classify and catalog the University’s records, which they found in “appalling shape.”

Boell continued to expand the UW collection during his time as Wisconsin State Archivist. When Gilbert Doane, the first University Archivist, took time off for research in 1959, Boell was appointed director of the Archives and an associate professor at the University. Boell worked with Doane until Doane’s retirement in 1962, when Boell himself became University Archivist.

During Boell’s 12 years with the UW Archives the collection grew to over 12,000 cubic feet of records with 9,000 reference requests annually, the third largest academic archives in the United States. It was a hands-on job: “There is no attic or basement or temporary building on the campus I’ve not searched for valuable records,” he recalled during an interview. The collection continues to serve not only as part of the historic record, but as an important reference collection for students and scholars across Wisconsin and the nation.

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University Archivist Jesse Boell poses with a framed copy of ‘The Archivist’s Code’.

Although he retired in 1971 (only because of reaching the mandatory retirement age), Boell continued to work in the Archives as a volunteer, including writing a handbook for future University archivists. It was a labor of love: “This business of retirement. If you’re interested in what you’re doing, it’s the end, dammit.”

At the time of his retirement, he was named Emeritus Professor of History by the Board of Regents in 1971.

Boell died in Madison in 1991.

********

By Elzbieta Beck for UW-Madison Archives

For more information about this story or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On Wisconsin!

Filed under history wihistory Monuments men campus history UW-Madison archives UW archives library boell doane

6 notes

UW Archives’ Monuments Men: Gilbert Doane

The University of Wisconsin Libraries and Archives have two of their very own Monuments Men: Gilbert Doane and Jesse Boell.

Doane served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program from 1943 to 1945, while on leave from the UW. His service overseas was just one episode in a very accomplished career as a librarian, archivist, and scholar.

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A portrait of librarian Gilbert H. Doane.

Gilbert Harry Doane was born in Vermont in 1897. His library experience began in high school, when he worked for his local public library, and continued during his time as an undergraduate at Colgate University in New York. After receiving his B.A. in 1918, Doane spent two years in the Navy, where he served as librarian for the U.S. Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island.

After leaving the Navy in 1920, Doane earned a certificate from the New York State Library School in Albany. He then worked in the libraries of the Universities of Arizona, Michigan, and Nebraska (where he also continued his graduate studies) before coming to UW-Madison in 1937 as Director of Libraries.

Doane’s tenure as director was a time of huge change and expansion for the Libraries. When he arrived the Libraries had fewer than 50 full-time staff members, 400,000 volumes, a $200,000 annual budget, and had long since outgrown its space in the Wisconsin State Historical Society Building.

During his 19-year directorship, the collections expanded to over 900,000 volumes, maintained by 92 full-time staffers and more than 100 part-time student workers. The annual budget tripled, and Memorial Library was opened to house the growing collection and student body.  

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Mr L.C. Burke, emeritus associate librarian, carries the first book from the ‘old library’ into the new Memorial Library building. The other men, from left to right, are University president E.B. Fred; Oscar Rennebohm, vice president, Board of Regents; Gilbert H. Doane, library director; and M.H. Ingraham, dean of the College of Letters and Science.

Doane also served as Director of the Library School from 1938 until 1941, as well as lecturing in the history of books and printing.

The Libraries granted Doane leave in 1943 to allow him to serve overseas with the MFAA, where he assisted in conservation and restitution efforts. He served until 1945 when he retired from the Army with the rank of Major. Like so many of the Monuments Men, there is little record of individual contributions.

Upon his return, Doane worked to acquire the Chester H. Thordarson Collection of rare books, which became the heart of what is now the Libraries’ Department of Special Collections.

Doane stepped down from his position as director in 1956 to work full-time on research for his biography of Rev. Jackson Kemper, the first Episcopal bishop of Wisconsin. Doane himself was ordained an Episcopal priest that year, and served at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison.

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A newspaper clipping announcing Gilbert Doane’s ordination into the Episcopal Church, 1956.

He returned to the libraries in 1957 as the first University Archivist. For two years he worked side-by-side with Wisconsin State Archivist and fellow MFAA veteran Jesse Boell to arrange material from the State Historical Society and the Libraries into the core of the current collection. 

Doane remained at the Archives until his retirement in 1962. In addition to his 25-year career at the UW, he was also the author of a number of books, including a widely used genealogical research guide.

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University Archivist Gilbert Doane examines records in the midst of the archives’ stacks in Memorial Library.

Doane passed away in Massachusetts in 1980.

****** 

By Elzbieta Beck for UW-Madison Archives

For more information about this story or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On Wisconsin!

Filed under history WIHistory campus history Doane Boell UW-Madison library SLIS archives monuments men

7 notes

Monuments Men: Archives in Action

George Clooney’s latest film project, “Monuments Men,” will highlight some of the vast efforts of the men and women of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) unit of the Allied Forces, who worked to protect cultural heritage in Europe during the height of World War II. The unit, commonly known as the ‘Monuments Men,’ included three men from the University of Wisconsin-Madison community: Gilbert Doane, Jesse Boell, and R. Wayne Hugoboom.

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The ‘Monuments Men’ film poster, courtesy of Wikipedia. The movie will open February 7, 2014.

The danger the war posed to works of art and architecture in Europe was recognized early on, but it wasn’t until 1943 that the MFAA was formed to try to safeguard these treasures on the ground in the midst of combat. Many of the roughly 400 men of the MFAA were experienced librarians, archivists, museum personnel, archaeologists, and experts from other cultural institutions with knowledge in how to recognize and preserve works of cultural significance. They were primarily American and British, though experts were drawn from all more than 13 countries, including France, Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

MFAA members worked with military leaders to try to minimize some of the destruction of the Allied invasion of Europe. They were an active part of preparation for battle, using maps and aerial photographs to avoid bombing significant sites. The Monuments Men were also on the front lines of battle, entering towns ahead of Allied ground troops to secure and preserve artistic works.

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Recovery of looted artworks from Neuschwanstein Castle, 1945. From the James J. Rorimer papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Some of the most well-known work of the MFAA was in recovering caches of art and other items stored in hiding places across Europe. The movement and hiding of cultural artifacts was done both as part of looting by the Nazis and in legitimate evacuation and protection efforts by museums. Items recovered by the Monuments Men included paintings from the Uffizi, found stashed in a jail cell in the northern Italian town of San Leonardo; thousands of personal items stolen from France by the Nazi’s and stored in the famous Neuschwanstein Castle; and the bodies of Frederick the Great of Prussia and other famous German leaders, placed in a mine in Bernterode, Germany for protection. Perhaps most famous was the discovery of treasures housed in a complex of salt mines in Altaussee, Austria, which served as a hiding place for Austrian churches and museums, and later as a Nazi repository. The more than 6,500 paintings recovered from the mines included works by Michelangelo and Vermeer.

In 1945, the MFAA began the work of restitution of the items they had recovered. Central collection points were set up in Germany under the direction of General Eisenhower. Works were transferred to these points, then documented, studied, conserved, and, when possible, returned to their country of origin. The U.S. State Department took direction of MFAA efforts in mid-1946. Restitution work at the checkpoints continued until 1951, long after most of the MFAA personnel had returned home.

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Lieutenant Daniel J. Kern and Karl Sieber examining a panel of the Ghent Altarpiece inside the Altaussee salt mine, 1945. From the Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Two Monuments Men were killed in action, both in Germany: Captain Walter Huchthausen, an American professor of architecture, and Major Ronald Edmund Balfour, a British historian.

The restitution and conservation work the MFAA began continues even today. Major art museums, non-profit groups, and individuals are still struggling to determine the provenance and ownership of items looted during WWII. The recovery of treasures continues as well: 2010 and 2012 both saw discoveries of collections of art taken during the war.

Next week we’ll post more about Gilbert Doane and Jesse Boell, UW-Madison librarians and archivists who were part of the MFAA.

For more information on the Monuments Men and their work, visit:

The Monuments Men Foundation


‘The Rape of Europa’ film website 

Wikipedia articles on the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, and Nazi looting

The Archives of American Art’s Monuments Men exhibit

A Smithsonian Magazine article about the work of the Monuments Men in Italy 

A New York Times piece about Monuments Women

A National Archives piece about the recovery work in the Merkers Salt Mine

*******

By Elzbieta Beck for UW-Madison Archives

For more information about this story or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu. On Wisconsin!

Filed under WIHistory monuments men Doane Boell history library archives art

1,997 notes

todaysdocument:

Last night’s #ArchivesSleepover was a blast!  (Even if we are making up for lost sleep today…).  Plus pancakes this morning from author #BradMetzler and aotus, David Ferriero!
usnatarchives:

This was the scene this morning in the Rotunda at the National Archives as our guests woke up after a fun night of history at our first #ArchivesSleepover.
Kids and their parents enjoyed a special night playing games, writing with quill pens, meeting best-selling author #BradMeltzer, learning about the Constitution from #CokieRoberts, and talking with reenactors playing Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and Phyllis Wheatley.
A big thank you to our visitors, special guests, National Archives staff, and staff from the Foundation for the National Archives for a great night!


Awesome!

todaysdocument:

Last night’s #ArchivesSleepover was a blast!  (Even if we are making up for lost sleep today…).  Plus pancakes this morning from author #BradMetzler and aotus, David Ferriero!

usnatarchives:

This was the scene this morning in the Rotunda at the National Archives as our guests woke up after a fun night of history at our first #ArchivesSleepover.

Kids and their parents enjoyed a special night playing games, writing with quill pens, meeting best-selling author #BradMeltzer, learning about the Constitution from #CokieRoberts, and talking with reenactors playing Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and Phyllis Wheatley.

A big thank you to our visitors, special guests, National Archives staff, and staff from the Foundation for the National Archives for a great night!

Awesome!

4 notes

Washburn Observatory: Well-Equipped

The collection I’ve been going through recently is a series of photos and scrapbooks dealing with the history of the Washburn Observatory. To many UW-Madison students, the Washburn Observatory is just “the building that Observatory Hill is named after.” But there’s more to it than that!

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A print of Washburn Observatory, from the Washburn Observatory Photo Collection.

First, a little history: The observatory owes its name and existence to former Wisconsin State Governer Cadwallader C. Washburn. His legislature passed an act in 1876 allowing for the creation of the observatory. It would take five years for the building to be completed. At the time, the location was chosen for its distance away from the city of Madison, with the university in between as a buffer, if you can even imagine that.

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One of Washburn’s telescopes, from the Washburn Observatory Photo Collection.

Within a few years of operation, the observatory possessed a telescope with the third-largest refractor in the country, clocks that set the time for the rest of the city, and an impressive library (pictured below).

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The Woodman Astronomical Library, from the Washburn Observatory Photo Collection.

It also contained these. I have no idea what these instruments do, but we have tons of photos of them. They certainly look impressive and interesting! Any astronomy buffs want to weigh in on the details?

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????, from the Washburn Observatory Photo Collection.

—Posted by Abigail Springman, SLIS grad student (class of 2014)

*****
For more information about this story or UW-Madison campus history, visit http://archives.library.wisc.edu.

Filed under UW-Madison history wihistory Washburn Observatory astronomy