Category Archives: Special Collections

Purple Shirt Award: The Best and the Weirdest from Special Collections

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.

Here’s one of our winning submissions from February with a BONUS picture from the same collection that won at an earlier meeting. These submissions are both from the Maps department and are from the Kuhlman Chicago Area Photo Services (CAPS) Collection of prints and negatives. KC_002

This first photo is a close up of the plan used to take the pictures. Our maps librarian, Becky Lowery, has identified it as a Curtin JN model from 1925 (otherwise known as a Jenny).

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This was our winning shot! Who doesn’t love a dog pilot? The picture is dated June 26, 1925.

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The above shot is from the same project, but obviously much later. Unfortunately we do not have a date or an exact location – does this look familiar to anyone out there?

Learn about Black life in 19th century at Library program on 2/23

The UIC Library will host a panel discussion, “Behind Uncle Tom’s Cabin:  Black Life in the 19th Century,” on Monday, February 23, 5 – 7 p.m., in the Daley Library conference room 1-470.

Barbara Ransby, professor of African American studies and history and director of UIC’s  Social Justice Initiative, will moderate a panel with speakers R. J. Ellis, University of Birmingham (U.K.); Katrina Thompson, associate professor of history at Saint Louis University; and Jane Rhodes, head of African American studies at UIC.  Johari Jabir, assistant professor of African American Studies at UIC, will be a discussant with the panel.

The program explores the themes presented in the current exhibit in the Daley Library Special Collections department, “Visualizing Uncle Tom’s Cabin:  Pictorial Interpretations of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

The panel discussion is co-sponsored by UIC’s African American Studies department, African American Cultural Center, the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks, and Institute for the Humanities.

#TBT: Purple Shirt Award: The Best and the Weirdest from Special Collections

In honor of our one-year anniversary of the Purple Shirt Award, here’s our first post, which debuted on our tumblr in January of 2014!

We’ve started asking Special Collections staff to bring their favorite items to share with everyone else at our departmental meetings and our inaugural competition was last week!  The newly dubbed Purple Shirt Award comes with bragging rights and an automaton made by our new department head, Sonia Yaco! Here’s the winning item and the award:

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We had some great suggestions, but Dan Harper won the day with an (intentionally) hilarious set of memos and letters from the Forest Preserve of Cook County about their new bathroom designs in the 1940s. Most of the correspondence is between Roberts Mann, FPDCC Superintendent of Maintenance, and Dorothy Waugh, of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.  The last two letters are between Mann and a FPDCC patron dissatisfied with the toilet design (a must read). We’ve got photographs of some of the initial letters between Mann and Waugh and also the initial letter from the dissatisfied Forest Preserve patron.

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Other entries this time include a draft of a New Year’s greeting card from the Ralph Creasman collection and three WPA murals from the University Archives painted by Ethel Spears called “Winter Sleigh Ride.” The latter were on display in the girls’ ward of the University of Illinois Orthopedic Institute. Due to preservation issues, the murals are not currently publicly accessible.

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Citations for the above collections:

FPDCC Toilet letters: “V. 8. The Fuction Foiler, Roberts Mann, 29 pp., 1935 through 1945,” 1935, 1945.  Forest Preserve District of Cook County records, Series III, Subseries I, box iii-2, folder iii-2-20.

Creasman New Year’s card: Ralph Creasman Design Papers, Series I, Subseries VI, Box 4, folder 106.

WPA Murals: Spears, Ethel. “Winter Sleigh Ride.” University Archives. No current accession number, but check out more information on Spears as a muralist!

Learn to use web content legally during Fair Use Week

Fair Use Week, observed February 23 – 27 in 2015, is an annual celebration of the doctrine of fair use and the important role this limitation on copyright plays in achieving the Constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights:  to promote the progress of science and the useful arts.

The Library, University Legal Counsel, and UIC Digital Communications are sponsoring a discussion on “Copyright, the Internet, and You” on Thursday, February 26, 2015, noon to 1 p.m., in the Daley Library, room 1-470.  Michael Harte, University Legal Counsel, Pia Hunter and Sandy DeGroote, University Library, will discuss best practices for using copyrighted text, images, and media.

If you cannot attend in person, you can attend via Blackboard Collaborate. The session will be recorded and archived.  N.B. All new Collaborate users on Windows or Mac need to install the Blackboard Launcher before you can enter a session.

ACRL presents a free webinar “Celebrating Fair Use Week: Does Fair Use Really Work?” on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, from 1 – 2 p.m., featuring  Kevin Smith, Director, Copyright and Scholarly Communication, Duke University Libraries.  See details on the ACRL Insider Blog.

Additional Fair Use Week events are described on the ARL website

Purple Shirt Award: The Best and the Weirdest from Special Collections

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.

We only had one submission for January, but it’s one of our favorite topics – World’s Fairs! This is a photograph of a Liberty Bell made out of fruit. The photograph appears in Portfolio of Photographs of the World’s Fair No. 8. You can see more, too – all of them have been digitized by the Illinois Digital Archives. The Internet Archive also has several completely digitized documents if you’d like to research more about the World’s Columbian Exposition.

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(From the World’s Columbian Exposition collection, Box 4, Folder 48)

Purple Shirt Award: The Best and the Weirdest from Special Collections

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.

Our submissions from December included a text about Baconian Ciphers published in 1916 by George Fabyan in nearby Geneva, IL, as well as a 1988 map of the downtown Chicago Pedway, which included some interesting health-related advertisements. The assertions that Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays were no match for hernias and hemorrhoids, and the map won this month!

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(From the Lenox Lohr Collection, Box 5, Folder 41)

Loop_s_underground_walkway_gets_longer_0014 (uncataloged, Maps department)

Purple Shirt Award: The Best and the Weirdest from Special Collections

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.

Our winner this month was Chicago Board of Trade archivist Megan Keller! Her submission was an undated hand-drawn map in Series IV: Real Estate and Building Committees, Subseries 11.

This hand drawn map of Chicago’s financial district was likely made by a worker laying telegraph line for the CBOT. It includes some buildings that are still standing–the Continental and Federal Bank buildings, the Rookery–but also includes some that are no longer standing, such as the “Women’s Temple” which housed the Women’s Christian Temperance Union among others. Note also the “car tracks” denoting the pre-El cable car route.

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ILLiad service interruption scheduled for 12/3

The UIC Library’s Interlibrary Loan and Article Delivery service (ILLiad) will be unavailable for approximately two hours on Wednesday, December 3, in order to facilitate a server upgrade.

Library users will be unable to log into or create new ILLiad accounts beginning at 10 a.m. on this day. It is anticipated that normal service will resume at noon.

For information about interlibrary loan services or the scheduled upgrade, please contact your home ILL office listed on the website.

Purple Shirt Award: The Best and the Weirdest from Special Collections

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.

We had three great submissions for the Purple Shirt Award for October!

First, a submission from the Chicago Board of Trade records. The dust jacket for a book entitled Satan’s Bushel – grain never sounded so exciting! This is from Series VII, Box 57, Folder 19.

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Second, we have a the front and back cover, as well as an inside page of The Fix-It Boys; the Inside Story of the New Deal and the Kelly-Nash Machine , written by Elmer Lynn Williams and published in 1940. As you can see, Chicago Public Schools were still a political fighting point.

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Third we have our winner, an article from the January 31, 1966 Chicago Illini newspaper “Legalize Long Locks,” describing a student fighting with his father (and the court) over whether or not he could keep his shaggy haircut. Some convincing arguments are put forth, with the student even alleging that his peers would consider him a “square.”

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Exhibit explores popular images of “Uncle Tom”

The Daley Library Special Collections department is hosting the exhibit, “Visualizing Uncle Tom:  Pictorial Interpretations of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” through April 30, 2015.

The exhibit explores Harriet Beecher Stowe’s textual descriptions of characters and events in the 1852 anti-slavery novel and how they have been visually represented through the years.  Items on display are from the personal collection of R. J. Ellis, Professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and include early editions of the book, film stills and posters, and other popular culture ephemera. Professor Ellis also curated the exhibition.