The Purple Shirt Award started in the beginning of 2014 as a way for all of us to showcase the treasures of Special Collections and University Archives that we come across during routine reference and processing. Staff members can bring one item to each monthly departmental meeting and then we vote on a favorite. The winner gets bragging rights and the Purple Shirt automaton to display at his or her desk for the rest of the month.
There were two submissions for the month of May! Both were from very different collections, but centered around one of the central themes of UIC Special Collections and University Archives – social justice.
The first submission was our winner – a coloring book called I Remember Harold!, all about Mayor Harold Washington. It’s from a collection that is currently in processing, so we only have a picture of the cover. You can see more pictures at this listing, or you can view it in person at the Newberry Library.
The second submission is from the Emmett McBain Design collection. McBain was a graphic designer working in Chicago from the 1960s-1990s. He was one of the first prominent African-American designers and worked on many highly visible ad campaigns. This is a brochure he designed for the mutual self-help support group Still Doing Time, partially supported by Northeastern Illinois University (more information). This publication, “Look at You,” was designed specifically for women after release from correctional institutions and is full of different types of resources (from the McBain Collection, Box 3, Folder 32).