Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | April 16, 2014

Civil War 150 Traveling Exhibit and Programs

Civil War 150 is coming to Morris Library’s Hall of Presidents April 28 to May 16, 2014. This traveling exhibit traces major events during the Civil War through the eyes of soldiers, presidents, freedmen, and families. The Special Collections Research Center will host several public programs for the exhibit, including talks on April 28, May 2, and May 9. A companion exhibit in the Hall of Presidents will depict the war in southern Illinois, showcasing local Civil War letters in Special Collections. For more information, please contact the Special Collections Research Center at 453-2516. Civil War 150 is a national traveling panel exhibition organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with The Library of America. The project, Civil War 150: Exploring the War and Its Meaning through the Words of Those Who Lived It, has been made possible in part through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | March 5, 2014

Carbondale Remembered Oral History Project

The Carbondale Remembered Oral History Project is a joint effort between Special Collections Research Center of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Carbondale, Illinois Preservation Commission. Interviews were conducted by Dede Lingle Ittner, who interviewed individuals with ties to the Carbondale, Illinois community. This ongoing project began in 2004 and currently consists of 37 oral history interviews. All of the interviews were originally recorded on audio cassettes. These have been digitized and are now available as mp3 files.

The oral histories concentrate on twentieth century Carbondale, Illinois history with an emphasis on political history, architecture, and education. Other topics include Black history, Southern Illinois Normal University (later Southern Illinois University Carbondale) history, business history, the Great Depression, natural disasters, World War II and Vietnam.   Interviews will be added as they become available.

To listen or read these interviews, visit: http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm4/index_sic_oralhis.php?CISOROOT=/sic_oralhis

The oral histories can also be accessed in Special Collections Research Center, as well as at the Carbondale Public Library

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | February 25, 2014

Presentors at the Science, Religion and Philosophy Conference 2014

Presentors at the Science, Religion and Philosophy Conference 2014

SCRC hosted its first “Science, Religion and Philosophy: A Commemoration of the World’s Parliament of Religions” conference last weekend in La Salle, IL at the Hegeler Carus Mansion. The keynote speaker was Cornelis de Waal, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Indiana and recipient of the 2013 Alwin C. Carus Research Award, who spoke on “The Marriage of Religion and Science Reconsidered: Taking Cues from Pierce.” Other speakers included: Suyan Moodley (South Africa), Roger Adams (Connecticut), Ewoud Halewijn (Delft University, Netherlands), Liz Hartman (SIUC), Avik Mukherjee (India) and Saboura Hajiali (Visiting Scholar from Iran, SIUC) and Pangratios Papacosta (Columbia College Chicago). Christina Bleyer and Blouke Carus also participated. Great discussion was also a present. Special thanks to the staff of the Hegeler Carus Mansion, the Hegeler Carus Foundation and the Alwin C. Carus Mineral Trust for making this conference such a success.

“Science, Religion, and Philosophy: A Commemoration of the World’s Parliament of Religions” conference to be held February 21-22, 2014 at the Hegeler-Carus Mansion, LaSalle, Illinois.

In 1893, The World’s Parliament of Religions met in Chicago from the 15th of May until the 28th of October. 2013 marked the 120th anniversary of this gathering where the leading representatives of the religions of the world engaged in dialogue. To commemorate this event, Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in conjunction with the Hegeler-Carus Foundation and the Alwin C. Carus Mineral Trust is hosting a symposium on the relationship between science, religion, and philosophy.  One of the themes of the Parliament was “…the actual harmony of science and religion; and the origin and nature of the alleged conflict between them.” Featured speakers will address these issues igniting fascinating conversations you will not want to miss.

Our Keynote Speaker is Cornelis de Waal. He will give a paper on Friday evening entitled, “The Marriage of Religion and Science Reconsidered: Taking Cues from Peirce.” Cornelis de Waal is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Indiana and is the Editor-in-Chief of Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society.  Professor de Waal is also a recipient of the Alwin C. Carus Research Award.  

To register, please visit

http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=kn7puneab&oeidk=a07e8t2jh1k0fe16dcf

[1] Bonney, Charles C. “The World’s Parliament of Religions” in the World’s Parliament of Religions and the Religious Parliament Extension.  (Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1896) 6.

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | January 16, 2014

Hegeler – Carus families papers

The Edward Hegeler- Paul Carus Family Papers are now open. The papers include correspondence, diaries, printed materials, glass plate negatives and photographs as well as the family’s financial records for their various businesses. The collection documents the daily life in LaSalle, Illinois at the turn of the 20th century. It dates from 1868-1936. Some notable items in this collection include a working copy of Paul Carus’s dissertation, Mary Hegeler Carus’s university and graduate school records, music scores by Paul Carus, and blueprints by W.W. Boyington as well as correspondence with him related to the construction of the Hegeler-Carus mansion.

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ccording to the Library of Congress, this photo Adepicts "Several Kwakiutl people dancing in a circle around a smoking fire, in an effort to cause a sky creature, which they believe swallowed the moon, to sneeze thereby disgorging it."

According to the Library of Congress, this photo shows “Several Kwakiutl people dancing in a circle around a smoking fire, in an effort to cause a sky creature, which they believe swallowed the moon, to sneeze thereby disgorging it.”

A new exhibit opening November 1 in The Hall of Presidents and Chancellors at Morris Library highlights the art of Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952), whose photographs of Native Americans captured a vanishing way of life.  Curtis published The North American Indian in 20 volumes with support from financier J. P. Morgan and President Theodore Roosevelt.  SCRC holds 13 of these volumes, offering researchers a rare opportunity to study these iconic images firsthand.

SCRC’s Beth Martell curated the exhibit and chose 130 images to show how Curtis traveled throughout remote areas of the American west, Canada, and Alaska to depict Native Americans in traditional dress posed for portraits, engaged in daily activities, and performing sacred rituals.  Curtis took thousands of photographs over the course of three decades, many on large glass plates that he transported over rough terrain.

Tobadzischini, Navaho

Navajo in ceremonial dress.

Curtis also wrote at length about his subjects and Martell includes many excerpts that shed light on the photographs and the man who took them.  In one passage, Curtis explains how Nez Perce parents taught their children to fast from an early age as part of their spiritual upbringing.

“What a picture of Indian character this affords: a mere infant starting out alone into the fastnesses of the mountain wilds, to commune with the spirits of the infinite, a tiny child sitting through the night on a lonely mountain-top, reaching out its infant’s hands to God! On distant and near-by hills howl the coyote and the wolf. In the valleys and on the mountain side prowl and stalk all manner of animals. Yet alone by the little fire sits the child listening to the mysterious voices of the night.” (From Volume 8, The Nez Perces, Part 12.)

Martell will discuss the exhibit at a brown bag lunch talk on Thursday, November 14, at noon in the Hall of Presidents.  Dr. Gray Whaley, associate professor of History, will speak on “American Indian Activism and the Primitive Imaginary in the Age of Edward Curtis.”

SCRC encourages students and anyone interested in photography, photojournalism, anthropology and Native American culture and history to tour the exhibit and pursue further research using the Curtis volumes.  For further information please call Beth Martell at 453-4097 or contact SCRC at 453-2516.

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | October 16, 2013

Celebrate Archives Month 2013

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Celebrate Archives Month 2013!!  Remember letters from relatives, your grandmother’s diary, photos and video of you and your friends, and other material collected over the years provides vital and unique information about your life or the history of your family. Obviously these items are important to you. But they also may be important to your community, state, or country, too. Whether or not members of your family attained a degree of fame, they have contributed to the heritage of a certain place and time. When you donate your personal or family papers to an archives, your family history becomes a part of your community’s– and America’s – collective memory.

Archives Month is a time to focus on the importance of records of enduring value and to enhance public recognition for the people and programs that are responsible for maintaining our communities’ vital historical records. In Illinois, we are celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Illinois.

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | September 23, 2013

Read Your Favorite Challenged Book

Morris Library and the Special Collections Research Center are participating in this year celebration in the following ways:

An exhibit featuring a selection of books challenged or banned recently can be viewed in the library’s rotunda on the first floor.

On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, everyone is invited to participate in the national Read-Out at 2pm in the library Rotunda.  Anyone may participate by preparing a short introduction and reading a small passage from one of his favorite banned books.  If you are need help selecting a book, check out the American Library Association’s list of banned books or visit SCRC to select one from our Ralph McCoy Freedom of the Press Collection.

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | September 18, 2013

Banned Book Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. This year, Banned Book Week is from September 22-28, 2013.  It highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.   First observed in 1982, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take the freedom to read for granted.  Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom has received reports of 9,500 attempts to remove books deemed by some as inappropriate.

Special Collections Research Center has Ralph E. McCoy’s personal collection of material related to First Amendment Freedoms. This collection traces the intellectual history of the concept of freedom of expression in the United Kingdom and the USA from 1600 to the present. The McCoy Collection is perhaps the most rich and diverse research collection of printed materials in SCRC. Freedom of expression has been developed and debated in many arenas in the Western world, and the materials in the McCoy Collection document such varied topics as the Popish Plot of 1678, Victoria Woodhull’s advocacy of women’s suffrage and “free love,” and the legal controversy over the “obscene” nature of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover

ImageFor 2012, the top 10 Challenged Books out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
Posted by: Aaron Lisec | June 4, 2013

One Hundred Years Ago at S.I.N.U.

George Hazen French

George Hazen French

Professor George Hazen French (1841-1935) taught the natural sciences at Southern Illinois Normal University from 1877 until he retired in 1917.  Professor French also curated the university museum.  For decades he kept a journal of weather observations and brief notes on the day’s activities.  Professor French recorded the weather in a kind of shorthand code typical of government weather bureaus of the late nineteenth century.  Each set of numbers begins with the low and high temperature, followed by a cloudiness index number ranging from 0 to 10, then a measure of rain or snowfall, and finally two barometric pressure readings.

George Hazen French journal entry, June 4, 1913.  Faculty Papers, University Archives, SCRC.

George Hazen French journal entry, June 4, 1913. Faculty Papers, University Archives, SCRC.

From his journal entry of June 4, 1913, we learn that on Commencement Day, S.I.N.U. elected Henry W. Shryock to succeed Daniel B. Parkinson as president.  Shryock joined the faculty in 1894 as English professor and rose to vice president and registrar.  Installed in October 1913, he served as president until his death in 1935, nearly equaling Delyte W. Morris as the school’s longest serving leader.

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