Audiovisual Collections: Blanche Martin and the 1957 Spartan Football Team

16 01 2017
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Blanche Martin

January 16, 2017 marks the 80th birthday of Blanche Martin – an academic all-American MSU football running back (1956-1959).  The 1957 Spartan Football team were national champions, one of six seasons in the team’s history in which they held that distinction, and thanks in no small part to Martin.  During that season, he scored 7 touchdowns and ran for over 600 yards.  But Martin is known for so much more than being a great Spartan running back.

Dr. Blanche Martin (DDS,  University of Detroit Dental School, 1967) was elected to the Michigan State University Board of Trustees in 1969, the first African American to hold the position.  He chaired the Board from 1974 to 1976, and served on the board until 1984.  Dr. Martin also made great strides in improving conditions for minorities at Michigan State, increasing minority hiring and enrollment.  Dr. Martin was also a co-founder of the College of Urban Development at Michigan State University.

A video of the October 26, 1957 game film against Illinois is available for viewing online at the MSU Archives & Historical Collections’ site for digital collections, On the Banks of the Red Cedar: http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-55F/msu-football-vs-illinois-1957/.  Other film reels from the 1957 season are available at the Archives, including most of the other games from that season, a highlights reel, and an “old timers” game reel!

If you would like to help preserve Spartan history and get this footage preserved and digitized for online access, please consider donating to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund (https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484). More information about the Film Fund can be found here: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-archives-preserves-spartan-history/.

Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist

Editor’s note: Dr. Blanche Martin was interviewed for MSU’s Sesquicentennial Oral History Project in 2000.  The recording and transcripts are available on our On the Banks of the Red Cedar website: http://onthebanks.msu.edu/sohp/Object/2-D-E3/blanche-martin/.

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MSU Board of Trustees, 1969. (standing L to R) Don Stevens, Frank Hartman, Warren Huff, Frank Thompson (sitting L to R) Stephen Nisbet, Blanche Martin, C. Allen Harlan, Frank Merriman

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Audiovisual Collections: 1960s College of Veterinary Medicine films

2 11 2016

Rainstorms can provide needed nourishment to dried-out grass and plants.  They can also promote an increase in the population of mosquitoes.  Water can be welcomed or cursed, depending on the situation.  During the end of August 2016, rain water and condensation leaking through indoor pipes caused concern for the safety of some archival materials.  Among some documents that were addressed for potential water damage were a set of nine 16mm film reels from the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Upon initial inspection at least a couple of reels showed slight signs of warping, which may or may not have been caused by the recent rainfall.  One of the films was sticking to itself along the first few frames, so great care had to be taken to unspool the film and ensure that the emulsion was not being removed.  While some of the boxes housing the films experienced noticeable water damage, the movies were still in good condition overall.  Inspecting the films also generated interest in some of the titles (“Campus Scenes, Summer 1969”, “MSU Farms, 1966”, “Outside Lepto Barn, 1966”, etc.).

If you would like to help preserve Spartan history by getting this footage digitized for online access, please consider donating to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund (https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484). More information about the Film Fund can be found here: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-archives-preserves-spartan-history/.

Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist