Fay L. Hendry Outdoor Sculpture Project

30 10 2019

To celebrate Halloween this year, we will be highlighting the Fay L. Hendry Outdoor Sculpture Project records. Not a spooky ghost story or a forgotten celebration of Halloween from the turn of the 20th century, but a collection that highlights one of the most iconic images of Halloween: the tombstone.

Longstreet_Box4_Folder43

“Owl in the Tree Trunk” – Longstreet Monument, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Lansing

These records document a project that began in 1976 when Fay L. Hendry was hired by the Michigan History Division to create a report on cultural properties. Unable to locate much information on outdoor sculpture in Michigan but convinced that it did exist, Hendry decided to conduct a pilot study of sculpture in the Lansing area. Her study led to a photographic exhibition entitled Outdoor Sculpture in Greater Lansing: From Tombstones to Titus the Tinner held at the Michigan Historical Museum from June to December, 1977.

With additional funds from several Michigan organizations, the project grew to include outdoor sculpture located in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Between 1978 and 1980, Hendry located, photographed, and documented free-standing, architectural sculptures, regardless of their aesthetic merit, in all three cities. After the field inventory, Hendry selected sculptures to serve as the basis for guidebooks, which also led to a traveling photographic exhibit and public forums held in each city.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All the photographs were taken by Balthazar Korab. Born in Hungary, Korab trained as an architect in Europe and was known as a specialist in architectural photography.

Heeb_Box3_Folder140

“Dog” – Heeb Monument, Gunnisonville Cemetery, DeWitt Township

After the project was over, Hendry donated her research and the photographs to the MSU Archives and Historical Collections. She graduated from MSU with her B. A. and M. A. in art history and worked on her postgraduate studies at MSU, focusing on art history, computer science, decorative arts in the museum, historic preservation, and photography. During her postgraduate studies, Hendry worked at the MSU Archives as a departmental aide, writing descriptions of collections!

Rix_Box4_Folder140

“Woman Clinging to a Cross” – Rix Monument,
Mt. Hope Cemetery, Lansing

To celebrate Halloween, enjoy a few tombstones that Hendry researched for her outdoor sculpture project and found in the Lansing area cemeteries. In her guidebook, she felt sculptures were better understood when they were experienced in person rather than reading about them. Next time you’re in the Lansing area, take a stroll through one of the city cemeteries to take in the scenery and beautiful monuments. Of course, it is best to do it during the day, because you never know what is lurking in the cemetery at night.

Happy Halloween! Bahahahah!

All photographs credited to Balthazar Korab.

To learn more about the symbolism on grave markers, check out Douglas Keister’s 2004 book, Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by MJF Books.

Sources

Fay L. Hendry Outdoor Sculpture Project records, 00149, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Hendry, Fay L. (1980). Outdoor Sculpture in Lansing. ɩota press: Okemos, Michigan.

Written by Jennie Russell, Acting Records Manager





50th Anniversary of the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam

15 10 2019

A000637

Students gather to protest the Vietnam War on October 15, 1969 [A000637]

The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam was a demonstration and teach-in held across the United States on October 15, 1969.  At MSU, university administrators decided that faculty were free to cancel their classes, and students could choose to absent themselves from classes without penalty.  Further, university facilities were available for students and faculty to “participate in orderly discussions and peaceful expressions of conscience” (Policy Statement by Walter Adams, October 8, 1969).  Several events were held at MSU, including a teach-in in the morning, followed by a rally at the Auditorium, a peace walk to the State Capitol in the afternoon, and a rock concert during the evening.

1969 moratorium_Page_1

Moratorium Plans (from State News, October 15, 1969)

During the rally at the Auditorium, a surprise guest, Michigan Governor William Milliken, joined MSU acting president Walter Adams.  During his introduction of the governor, Adams quipped “some of us may quit this [anti-war] movement because it’s becoming too damned respectable” (State News, October 16, 1969).

The Moratorium was well attended.  An estimated 8000 peaceful protestors gathered at the State Capitol to hear speakers such as Senator Coleman Young, Representative Jackie Vaughan III, Zolton Ferency, Senator Basil Brown, MSU Trustee Blanche Martin, and James Harrison, chair of the Ingham County Democratic Party.  Nation-wide it was the largest anti-war demonstration, with people from all ages, political affiliations, socioeconomic statuses, and ethnicity “expressing sorrow for the war dead and hope for peace” (State News, October 16, 1969).  Although the conflict in Vietnam would continue for many years, the Moratorium sent a message to our country’s leaders that the nation longed for peace.

Audio recordings of speeches:

http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-191F/vietnam-moratorium-remarks-congressman-riegle-senator-hart-1969/

http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-191E/vietnam-moratorium-remarks-president-adams-john-duley-harold-johnson-1969/

Text of Walter Adams’ speech:

http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-15C9/vietnam-moratorium-walter-adams-remarks/

Film footage of the march:

https://mediaspace.msu.edu/media/Vietnam+Moratorium%2C+October+15%2C+1969/1_psw3vemx

This blog post was written as part of a celebration of Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections 50th Anniversary. 

UAHC 50 years graphic_no background

Written by Megan Badgley Malone

 

 

 

 





MSU Archives is Celebrating its 50th Anniversary!

23 09 2019

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Michigan State University Archives is celebrating its 50th anniversary.  In honor of this milestone, we have a variety of exhibits, events, blog posts, and social media planned.

UAHC 50 years graphic_no background

Pop Up Exhibit – “MSU Presidents”

For the MSU Libraries Special Collections Friday Pop Up Exhibit series, we have curated content from the University Archives about MSU’s presidents from 1857 to 2017.  The exhibit will feature images and documents, such as correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, reports, and diaries, from our first president through our 20th.

Date:  Friday, September 27, 2019

Time: 12 pm to 2 pm

Location: MSU Main Library, Special Collections classroom, 1st floor

 

Exhibit – “The Times, They Are a-Changin’: MSU in 1969-1970”

As we celebrate 50 years of preserving and making available MSU’s history, we are also looking back at the academic year of our founding – 1969-1970.  The exhibit covers a variety of events that occurred at MSU, including student protests, Homecoming, concerts, and the achievements women athletes.

Location & Dates:

Conrad Hall lobby, September 2019 – May 2020

MSU Main Library, 4W (next to the Music Library), February-May 2020

A005045

MSU students march carrying crosses with the names of the four students killed at Kent State University when Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on protesting students on May 4, 1970. Jeff Miller, one of the students killed, had recently transferred from MSU to Kent State. (A005045)

 

Exhibit – “History of the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections”

Learn about the origins of the University Archives, the materials we collect, and the services we provide.  The exhibit will feature photos of the reading room, the stacks, and the staff throughout the years.

Location & Dates:

Conrad Hall lobby, October 2019 – May 2020

A008569

Dean William Combs, first director of the MSU Archives, poses with archival materials, November 21, 1969. (A008569)

 

Movie Night at Conrad Hall (co-sponsored by UAB)

We are currently planning a movie event with the University Activities Board on November 21, 2019, the anniversary of our founding.  The event will be open to MSU students (student ID required).  More details to come!

 

Social Media

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for “On This Day” posts looking back at the academic year of our founding 1969-1970, with the hashtag #MSUArchives50.  We will also be writing a series of short blog posts about events that occurred on campus during that time.

 

We hope you can join us (in person or virtually) for this yearlong celebration!

 

Written by Megan Badgley Malone

collections & outreach archivist

 

 

 

 





Collections Spotlight: Ted F. Jackson Papers

23 07 2019
20190423_144150

Newspaper clipping “Veterinary school at MSU honors late Dr. Ted F. Jackson,” undated

In 1973, a Velsicol Chemical plant in St. Louis, Michigan mistakenly shipped a toxic flame retardant known as polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) to a livestock feed plant. Veterinarian Ted F. Jackson (DVM, class of 1944) discovered the PBB contamination in his patients, a herd of dairy cattle belonging to Frederic L. Halbert (MS, Chemical Engineering, class of 1968). Jackson was instrumental in determining that the cause of the herd’s illness was the feed.  The PBB contamination also spread to humans as the milk and meat from the affected cattle was consumed. One year passed before the animals were culled. Veterinarians euthanized approximately 30,000 cattle, 1.5 million chickens, and thousands of pigs and sheep.  They were buried in pits near Kalkaska, Michigan, along tons of food products made with contaminated milk.  That same year, Jackson and Halbert published “A Toxic Syndrome Associated with the Feeding of Polybrominated Biphenyl-Contaminated Protein Concentrate to Dairy Cattle” in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  In 1976, a long-term study was initiated to determine effects of the PBB exposure on humans.  The study continues today, administered by the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

20190423_143941

Cover of article reprint, “A Toxic Syndrome Associated with the Feeding of Polybrominated Biphenyl-Contaminated Protein Concentrate to Dairy Cattle” in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1974

Unfortunately, Jackson died prematurely in May 1975 after a heart attack.  As such, his contributions to the discovery of the PBB contamination are frequently overlooked.  In 1983, his son, Jeffrey F. Jackson, made a documentary film called “Cattlegate” about these events.

Recently, a small collection of papers belonging to Ted F. Jackson were donated to the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections. The collection primarily consists of research by Ted F. Jackson, D.V.M., and Frederic L. Halbert into dairy cattle that were fed PBB contaminated food, and the publication of their article in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association in 1974. There is also a draft of a letter written by Jackson’s family to Time magazine in response to a May 10, 1976 article which failed to include Jackson’s contribution to the discovery of PBB poisoning.  The Time article stated that Halbert began to study the cause of his cattle’s illness “[w]hen veterinarians were unable to diagnose the problem.”  It is unclear if the letter was published.

20190423_144128

Draft of letter to Time magazine from Jackson family members in response to a May 10, 1976 article

The collection also contains Jackson’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine diploma (1944), a Registered Veterinarian certificate from the State of Michigan (1954), and slides and photographs of his veterinary practice.  A biography of Ted F. Jackson, and an item level inventory of the collection, which was provided by the donor, is included as well.  The collection is open to the public, and the finding aid can be viewed online: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua10-3-382.pdf.

 

 

Written by Megan Badgley Malone                                                                                  collections & outreach archivist

 





Collections Spotlight: Ture L. Johnson Papers

17 04 2019

 

A002299

Ture Johnson in uniform poses in front of Beaumont Tower, circa 1937

Ture L. Johnson graduated from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1937 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. He came from Negaunee, Michigan, born to a family of Swedish immigrants. While attending Michigan State College, he was a member of the band and ROTC band. He played saxophone. He also was a member of band club, forestry club, the Band Formal Committee, and the basketball team.

college band

Michigan State College Band, Season 1936-37

diploma

Ture L. Johnson’s diploma from Michigan State College, 1937

After graduation, Ture returned to his family in Nagaunee and worked as a forester.  He married Helen Catheryn Petrie in September 1938.  Together they had a son.  They moved to Ohio, where Ture first worked in maple sugar production, then for the state of Ohio Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.  Following Helen’s death in 1951, Ture married Erma Mae Ramseyer in Trumbull, Ohio in 1953.  Ture continued to live and work in Ohio until his death in 2001.

forester dance card 2

Foresters Shindig dance card, May 29, 1937

forester dance card

Foresters Shindig dance card cover, May 29, 1937

In 2012, a family member transferred materials from Ture’s time at Michigan State to the MSU Archives.  Included in the collection are photographs of Johnson in his ROTC band uniform, commencement programs from 1937, band roster for the 1936 season, dance cards, and a Michigan State College B.S. diploma from 1937. There is also a map of campus published by Redfern and Reynolds and drawn by James F. Trott in 1940. The Ture L. Johnson papers are open to the public during our Reading Room hours.  The finding aid for the collection is available online: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua10-3-281.html

trott map

Map of Michigan State College campus drawn by James F. Trott, 1940

 

Content curated by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist





A one-of-a-kind 1900 Photo Album

15 02 2019

Back on October 16, 2017, I wrote a blog post about the history of the Michigan State University yearbooks. In this blog, I reported on all of the yearbooks that the Archives knew that we held in our collections. Between the Archives, the Libraries, and the Museum, the Archives have the largest and most complete collection of MSU yearbooks. While searching for materials related to an upcoming exhibit about the Kedzie Family, I came upon a folder in Frank Kedzie’s collection labeled, “M.A.C. Yearbook, 1899-1900.” Intrigued, I pulled the folder and saw that the item inside was not the 1900 Wolverine yearbook which with I am familiar.

cover

Cover of the 1900 Class Album

While the folder for this item is labeled as a yearbook, it is more of a photo album. It is like previous photo albums: it only has photos with very little text. The album itself is in great condition. The cover has no writing to indicate what it is and it has faded over time from a dark green to brown. The cover itself is a very thick, construction-like paper material and is missing one corner. A gold cord ties the book together. The inside pages are in great condition. The only drawback to this album is that most of the faculty portraits are displayed horizontally when they should have been placed vertically. It just means the reader has to turn the album 90 degrees.

What is confusing about this photo album from 1899-1900 is that we already have a yearbook from 1899-1900, so why do we have two items covering the same time span? The 1900 Wolverine was a new format for the yearbook and is the standard that we used to today. I compared the photo album and the yearbook and realized that almost all of the pictures are the same, but there were some different photos.

Women's Building

The original drawing of the Women’s Building, later known as Morrill Hall.

So why two different formats? There are many possible theories. Since this year saw the transition to the new format of the yearbook, maybe this photo album was produced for the people that preferred the “old” photo album format versus all the added content in the yearbook. Maybe it was cheaper to produce and sell the photo album than the yearbook, so both versions were made available to the public. My favorite theory is related to another blog post I wrote in 2017, The Forgotten Class Stone. The senior class of 1900 and the junior class of 1901 had a competition to publish the first Wolverine yearbook. The juniors beat the seniors, which caused the seniors to steal 75 copies of the yearbooks. I’m wondering if this class photo album is what the seniors produced. It’s a fun theory, but without any supporting documentation, there is no way to prove any of these theories true.

While most of the photos are the same in both the photo album and the yearbook, there are a few images that are either different or do not appear in the yearbook, such as the portrait of Major C. A.  Vernou and a faculty group shot in front of a giant American flag. There are also different images of the various buildings on campus.

This photo album is unique because it is the only copy we are aware of in the Archives. Since it was part of Frank Kedzie’s collection, it was overlooked when the yearbook collection was created. This photo album has been scanned and made available to the public. The Archives is currently digitizing MSU’s yearbooks, starting with the earliest, but it is a very slow process. To view the yearbooks that have been digitized, please visit, http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-18BD/msu-yearbooks/.

Sources

M.A.C. Yearbook, 1900, Box 1166, Folder 54, Frank S. Kedzie papers, UA 2.1.8, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Written by Jennie Russell, Acting Records Manager





Valentines and Love Letters

14 02 2019

People have a tendency to save things that bring them joy and happiness.  As such, it should be no surprise that many Valentines and love letters have been donated to the University Archives over the years.  We recently installed a small exhibit in the Reading Room (101 Conrad Hall) featuring expressions of love from our collections.

215 5

Below are images of a few Valentines in the exhibit.  Some are from students to their teacher and others from children to their parents.  One is from a young woman to her soon-to-be husband, and includes a sweet love note hidden within the folds of the Valentine.

 

 

The love letters featured in the exhibit are from two collections – the R. E. Olds papers and the Zee/Schober families’ papers.

Lansing automobile pioneer Ransom E. Olds wrote numerous letters to Metta Woodward, whom he married in 1899.  In his personal life, Olds was a devoted family man.  Even though his correspondence to Metta merely discusses day-to-day affairs, the letters show a sweet and affectionate side of Olds.  Valedictions such as “Ever your true and devoted Ransom” close the letters.

The great love they shared can be seen in photos taken after nearly six decades of marriage. They were parted when Ransom died August 26, 1950.  Metta died a week later, on September 2, 1950*.

Ransom and Metta

Metta and Ransom Olds

The second set of letters in the exhibit were written by Wilmer Zee to Elsie Schober.  The letters from early in 1928 are short and polite, but by the end of the year the content becomes personal, with the letters addressed “Dear sweetheart” [his emphasis] and signed “Your sweetheart love, Wilmer.”  He surrounds his signature with Xs to symbolize kisses.  In another letter, circa 1928, Wilmer writes “Sweet one it seems ages since I last saw those beautiful green eyes of yours and the last kiss from those only lips.”  Wilmer and Elsie courted for approximately three years, before marrying in July 1931.  They were together until Wilmer’s death in 1987.

 

For those of you in more of an Anti-Valentines Day mood, check out the Mark Flowers letters to Emma Miller on our Civil War history website (http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/collection/7-1C-7/emma-miller/).  The relationship has a promising start but ends in heartbreak.

7-1E-DF1-46-A003216_1

Not a good sign when a letter starts “Dear Friend Emma,” instead of the usual “My own darling Emma.”

To learn more about these collections:

Ransom E. Olds papers: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/027.html

Zee and Schober families papers: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/215.html

Leo M. Christensen papers: http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/174.html

Emma Miller papers: http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/collection/7-1C-7/emma-miller/

*Interesting side note: Metta and Ransom Olds were born three days apart (June 6, 1864 and June 3, 1864, respectively), and died a week apart.

Written by Megan Badgley Malone, collections & outreach archivist