Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | October 24, 2014

#AskAnArchivist October 30th

On October 30, archivists around the country, including from SIUC, will take to Twitter to answer your questions about any and all things archives! This day-long event, sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, will give you the opportunity to connect directly with archivists in your community—and around the country—to ask questions, get information, or just satisfy your curiosity.

Tweet: SCRC at SIUC #AskAnArchivist Day on Oct 30: Archivists from the Special Collections Research Center at SIUC will answer your questions about historical materials. Ask them anything!

As professional experts who do the exciting work of protecting and sharing important historical materials, archivists have many stories to share about the work they do every day in preserving fascinating documents, photographs, audio and visual materials, and artifacts. Increasingly, archival work extends beyond the physical and includes digital materials. #AskAnArchivist Day will give you a chance to connect with archivists who are tackling the challenges of preserving our digital heritage for the future.

What questions can be asked?
Archivists participating in #AskAnArchivist are eager to respond to any and all questions you have about archives and archival work.
No question is too silly…
• What’s the craziest thing you’ve come across in your collections?
• If your archives had a soundtrack, what songs would be on it?
• What do archivists talk about around the water cooler?
…and no question is too practical!
• What should I do to be sure that my e-mails won’t get lost?
• I’ve got scads of digital images on my phone. How should I store them so I can access them later on?
• How do you decide which items to keep and which to weed out from a collection?
• As a teacher, how can I get my students more interested in using archives for projects?

How does it work?
#AskAnArchivist is open to everyone—all you need is a Twitter account! To participate, just tweet a question and include the hashtag #AskAnArchivist in your tweet. Your question will be seen instantly by archivists around the country who are standing by to respond directly to you.

Have a question for a specific archives or archivist? Include their Twitter handle with your question. They may not know every answer right away, but they will get back to you after they’ve had the chance to do some digging.
Don’t have a question right away? Search Twitter for #AskAnArchivist and follow along as questions and answers are shared!

So get ready!  Twitter to answer your questions all day long on October 30 at SCRC at SIUC #AskAnArchivist.

The Society of American Archivists is a professional organization that represents one of today’s most exciting professions. Archivists have the expertise to protect and share important historical material and to save today’s vital records for our future needs.

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | September 11, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014

BBW14_CoverArt_op2Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, 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.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Come to SCRC and see our 1st Amendment collection.  While you are there, read a banned book!!

Posted by: Pam Hackbart-Dean | August 1, 2014

Fifty Summers Ago: SIU Students in Mississippi

The Special Collections Research Center in Morris Library presents “Fifty Summers Ago: SIU Students in Mississippi,” on exhibit in the first floor rotunda through September 12. Using contemporary articles from the Daily Egyptian and other archival material the exhibit documents the role that SIU Carbondale students played in the Mississippi Summer Project, or Freedom Summer.

Freedom Summer

In the summer of 1964 a small group of SIU students joined their peers from across the nation in Mississippi. Working alongside African-Americans across the state, college students taught in Freedom Schools, established community centers and registered voters despite harassment and threats of violence.

With experience in civil rights struggles on campus and in southern Illinois communities from Carbondale to Cairo, SIU students contributed energy and leadership to Freedom Summer. Kay Prickett’s time in Greenville was chronicled in Redbook magazine. Brothers Charles, Carver and Cortez Neblett worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Charles Neblett, one of SNCC’s Freedom Singers, wrote the lyrics to “If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus,” a civil rights anthem. John O’Neal founded the Free Southern Theater. Jane Adams chaired SIU’s effort and taught in the Freedom School in tiny Harmony. Her brother Jim Adams registered voters in the country around Greenville. Sue Nichols taught in Mileston. Ed Hamlett served as SNCC field secretary. Back in Carbondale friends and family raised money to support the volunteers and collected books and supplies for the Freedom Schools.

In conjunction with “Fifty Summers Ago” the library will hold a public discussion and reception in the rotunda on Friday, September 5, from 3:30 to 5. Speakers will include Father Joseph A. Brown, Professor of Africana Studies, and Carbondale City Councilwoman Jane Adams, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology.  This exhibit and event were curated by Aaron Lisec.

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:

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

[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.


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


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.

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