An interview with Lydia Lutz, digitization and metadata assistant

Lydia Lutz, Rare Books and Manuscripts digitization and metadata assistant, has been digitizing and creating metadata for the Will H. Hays collection since October of 2018. This project is funded by a National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Access to Historical Records: Archival Projects grant.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to work on this project.
I earned my Master of Library Science from Indiana University in 2017. Before realizing my passion for digitization and preservation of various artifacts, I always enjoyed watching shows on the History Channel and National Geographic about ancient papers and pieces being restored and shared with the public. Prior to coming here, I prepped materials for the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative and digitized a collection for the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University. I have worked with analog audio-visual and paper-based media. I was mostly drawn to this project because of the Hays Code. It’s a term I’d heard in passing and its definition was somewhat familiar to me. I wanted to learn more about the man behind Hollywood’s moral code and about the code’s influence on the industry. Having just come from the world of antique audio formats and watching their transformation into their modern form, I was curious about the world of film. I also knew that by digitizing the Hays Collection I would be a part of someone’s introduction or further exploration into Hays and his era. It is nice to know that your work makes difference and can be useful to others.

What have you learned about Hays or the film industry that you didn’t know?
I didn’t realize how complex the shift from silent films to films with sound – even just background music – was. I saw a documentary a few years ago that addressed the shift from actors’ and actresses’ viewpoints. From their positions, some didn’t like their voices or their voices didn’t fit the characters they portrayed. Other times their production companies would have them in a contract forbidding them from using their voices in films. The documentary did not discuss society’s viewpoint on the shift though. Judging by the correspondences and the news articles in this collection, one of the most problematic consequences of this shift was moviegoers and companies fearing the watching experience would be ruined by sound and that audio should be left to the theater. I can’t fathom living in an era where sound films would be considered a poor distraction. Seeing the transition play out through the collection was certainly fascinating.

As for Hays, I have learned that he could be very sassy in his letters to friends, which is lovely because it makes him seem less like a myth and more like a human being.

What’s your favorite item you’ve discovered within the collection?
My favorite item was a letter written on Christmas Eve 1931 to Mr. Hays regarding a highway that was going to essentially remove Santa Claus, Ind. from the map. The author was pleading that Santa Claus remain a town name because future generations of children would miss out on the wonder of passing through Santa Claus’s home. It was an eye-opening piece because I grew up going to Holiday World to see Santa and my parents went to Santa Claus Land for the same reason. Without the town these parks may never have been conceived. Perhaps this letter played a role in maintaining the magic of Santa Claus for past, present and future children and dare I say, adults.

My favorite film-related item would be production information about Lon Chaney’s silent film, “The Phantom of the Opera” simply because I love that movie.

How has working on this project shaped your views of providing access to and preserving collections?
My views on accessibility and preservation only continue to be strengthened through projects such as this. It is important for the public to have the opportunity to see how society has been shaped in order to boost their understanding of how we got to where we are. It seems cliché, but knowing the timeline of our history can change perspectives on our present. It is also fun to learn for the sake of learning. On a more serious note, though, without preservation historical cultural practices could go unnoticed by future generations and movements, such as moral codes in cinema,  could be erased from living memory.

This project has also made me realize how much work needs to be done with text-to-speech software, however. Currently, the technology has the accuracy of public TV subtitles: sometimes whole sentences are omitted and words are often unrecognizable. The technology is great and certainly useful but it has a long way to go. I hope in the near future more intelligent technology can be created in order to share even more of this and other collections.

This blog post was written by Bethany Fiechter, Rare Books and Manuscripts supervisor, and Lydia Lutz, Rare Books and Manuscripts digitization and metadata assistant, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

‘Ladies Speak Up!’ – Film discovered and shared

We found an uncatalogued film in our vault! Without a working reel-to-reel player, we were left just staring at the reel, which is probably why it was stored away at the time.  Happily, our amazing film volunteer, Brian Wells, was able to digitize the film. Turns out it’s a television program from 1960 called, “Ladies Speak Up” – an Indiana Republican booster program for women voters which aired in the months leading up to the election in November of 1960. The hosts asks the women to vote, bring their neighbors to vote and reminds them to vote for Richard Nixon and Crawford Parker.

Parker was the Indiana Republican candidate for Governor in 1960. He was Lt. Gov. at the time, and former Indiana Secretary of State. He went on to lose this election to Matthew Welsh. Nixon also lost.

Parker seems stiff and this is definitely scripted to fit the paid programming slot, which was paid for by the Republican State Central Committee. The women in the audience chant on cue and have signs to hold up at the end of the program. There is a panel of six Hoosier women onstage, dressed in pearls, with handbags and hats. Of course, their questions are softballs lobbed at Parker. The issues? Flood control, tax reform, highway safety, education, mental health facilities and reapportionment of the General Assembly.

I think the women in the film are the real highlight here. Not for what they say, but their poise and presence is striking. Do you know these women? They are introduced as Helen Cox, the mayor’s wife from Peru; Julia Tindall, a doctor’s wife from Shelbyville; Peg Crowder, a PTA member with four children from Indianapolis; Betty Marr, former school teacher from Columbus; Fannie Posey-Jewell, bookkeeper and housewife; and Virginia Barst, from Ridgefield, Indiana.

Enjoy this bit of moving film and keep your eye out for more films as they are added to our Digitized Archives playlist on the library’s YouTube channel.

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

An overview of the federal E-rate program

The federal E-rate program began over 20 years ago with a focus on providing low-income areas, schools, libraries and healthcare providers with telecommunications services, internet access and internal connections, including installation and maintenance at discounted rates. It is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission and administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company. Within USAC, there is a division specifically for E-rate in schools and libraries.

While the Telecommunications Act that established the E-rate program was passed in 1996, it really grew out of the Communications Act of 1934 that established the FCC and aimed to make telephone service universal, bringing it to rural communities across the nation. E-rate originally focused on both telephone and internet service, but in 2014 the E-rate modernization order was given in an attempt to close the Wi-Fi gap by providing only broadband funding. I guess they figured everyone had telephone service at this point, so yay for us!

The E-rate funding year runs from July 1 through June 30, but libraries actually start the process of applying for funds in the previous year. Right now, folks are starting to join the consortium or notifying vendors that they are seeking services for the funding year 2020, which won’t start until July 1, 2020. So, they’re always thinking at least six months ahead and usually an entire year.

This is the general timeline of the filing windows for the various forms, but the exact dates are announced through USAC’s website.

The State has our own State Technology Grant Fund that we use to help reimburse public libraries for a portion of their internet bills. This is allocated from the Build Indiana Fund and is a completely separate program from E-rate. We do, however, take into account the amount of money a library would be reimbursed by E-rate whether or not they actually file for it. So, if a library received a 90% discount from E-rate, we would only look at that 10% left when determining how much to reimburse the library from the State Technology Grant Fund.

Something that we aren’t involved with here at the State Library, but which may be useful to residents, would be the Lifeline program, which is also administered by USAC. The Lifeline program provides discounted phone and internet rates for those whose income is 135% or less than the federal poverty guidelines, as well as those who participate in federal assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, SSI, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit and certain Tribal programs. They may also qualify if their child or dependent participates in any of these programs.

This post was written by Hayley Trefun, public library consultant, Library Development Office, Indiana State Library.

Grace Julian Clarke papers now online

One of Indiana’s most noteworthy manuscript collections on women’s suffrage is now available to the public in the ISL Digital Collections. Researchers can freely access letters from leaders of the American suffrage movement such as Susan B. Anthony, May Wright Sewall and Carrie Chapman Catt, along with other materials, in time for the women’s suffrage centennial in 2020.

Grace Julian Clarke, age 43, 1909 (OP0).

Grace Julian Clarke was a noted clubwoman, journalist and suffragist hailing from Irvington, now a neighborhood on Indianapolis’s east side. Clarke came by her political and social activism honestly, due to the examples set by her father, George Washington Julian, and grandfather, Joshua Reed Giddings, both abolitionists and U.S. congressmen. She helped establish and lead several state women’s organizations, including the Indiana General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Legislative Council, and the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana, the forerunner to the League of Women Voters of Indiana.

Pledge to pay $5 a year to the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana “until Suffrage is won in Indiana,” 1915 (L033).

Before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, Clarke demonstrated her agency as a woman in politics on numerous occasions, such as this 1912 women’s suffrage automobile tour and the GFWC presidential race in 1915. After passage of the suffrage amendment, she contributed to the American peace movement as a staunch proponent of the League of Nations.

Letter from Susan B. Anthony to Grace Julian Clarke, January 20, 1900 (L033).

Explore the Grace Julian Clarke collection and many more items regarding women’s suffrage in the state library’s Women in Hoosier History digital collection, which holds a diversity of materials “from and about Indiana women, both ordinary and extraordinary.” More information on the upcoming women’s suffrage centennial in Indiana can be found here.

This blog post was written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian Brittany Kropf. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or via the “Ask-A-Librarian” service.

Get out! Exploring the Children of Indiana Nature Park and its website

Run into the woods! When I told Jonas, my four-year-old, we were going to a park he asked, “Are there slides?” We’ve taken many hiking trips in his lifetime, so I knew he wouldn’t be disappointed, but it’s common for children now to need entertainment planned. We met my two nieces, Grace and Melody, who frequent the park and, along with my daughter Finlea, set off onto the trails. We found an avenue of trees and I told them to, “Run! Run into the woods.” There were no plans, no expectations, no programs, no devices; just an invitation to run.

The Children of Indiana Nature Park was created as a Signature Project of Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration. It’s located in Centerville, near Richmond on the east side of the state. The park is divided by county to allow children of Indiana to claim a ceremonial deed to the park. Counties that have higher populations are bigger in size. This gift of nature is given to the children in Indiana to create a sense of ownership of the land around them and bring awareness to conserving and protecting our earth. Outside of the park, I recently gave deeds to a group of children I work with and they couldn’t wait to grab their parents’ phones to see their land in the park. When presenting to the group we talked about being good stewards of the land around us as a tribute to the park. We headed outside for a quiet moment. They joyfully ran and we sat on blankets and were silent for five minutes listening to all the nature that surrounded us.

We started our visit at the Cope Environmental Center. This new facility houses a classroom, offices, critters to meet, bird watching and space for meetings and events. The building was constructed using rigorous guidelines for green building and is working toward participation in the Living Building Challenge. We were greeted by executive director Traci Lewis who introduced us to all of the animals and provided a tour of the beautiful building. My favorite was the usage of trees dying from emerald ash borers. They trees were repurposed by a local volunteer to be included in the design. The traces of the damage are visible, bringing context to this invasive species.

My niece borrowed one of the backpacks before heading to the park site. Traci met us and shared more information about the original center. We headed into the woods at the sign for the Children’s Park. The magic and wonder in a tree lined trail captured the hearts of Jonas, Grace and Melody. They ran and giggled up and down the trail. Jonas found a piece of trash when we visited the park. When he picked it up he naively whispered, “I think it was bad guys.” I wore my daughter, Finlea, and walked further into the trail. The stretches of wild flowers were teaming with butterflies and bees. Finlea’s curiosity at 16 months is heightened outside. The open-ended appeal and natural visual stimulation is perfect for her brain development. The map below shows the division of counties and trails. Future trails will be ADA accessible. A personal note: I did not bring my stroller, but a stroller would navigate most of the trails.

If you’ve been in the Indiana Young Readers Center lately, you may have noticed the varying window displays each month. August’s displays highlighted books by Indiana authors about parks, trees and animals native to Indiana. There is also information about Indiana’s State Parks and Indiana Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. I created our August storytime, themed “Trees,” to highlight the park and provide deeds to the oldest participants. The deeds provide a great conversation starter for taking care of the Earth and a reminder to spend time outside. If you’re interested in any of the books on display or from our storytime, a list is provided below.

If a park isn’t nearby, there are a multitude of resources for children and educators alike located on the park’s website. I used the information on the site through two sets of eyes: an educator and a parent. I looked first as an educator and was dazzled by all of the resources. I was pleased at the connections to Indiana standards readily listed. The different agencies providing these did a phenomenal job of creating engaging lessons. I was most surprised at not just the quality, but the quantity of resources. I cannot emphasize enough the thoughtfulness to connecting nature in the classroom to Indiana Academic Standards.

My children are not school-aged yet, so they loved looking at the Animals and Plants on My Land section of the website and using the zoom-in features on the coordinate map. It has a helpful, Find Nature Near You feature that connects you to resources for nearby parks. It also gives practical tips for exploring nature in your own backyard. “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv, which explores the need for children to be outdoors, opens quoting a fourth-grader in San Diego, “I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” This sentiment is echoed in my experience with children in the classroom. When brainstorming for a journal prompt about spring and summer only two out twenty-three children mentioned an outdoor activity. As a parent, I often feel defeated when the first words out of my son’s mouth are, “Can I have the iPad?” I often self-justify his love for the device because learning is his favorite thing, and he does chose to watch educational videos. This park visit reminded me of my need as a parent to weight outdoor play over indoor conveniences. I was raised to play outside for hours, but I lived in a rural area with a stay-at-home mom. The ideas on the website are realistic for any working family.

I personally believe in the dangers of nature deficiency in children, but it’s difficult as a working parent of young children to navigate screen time with outdoor play. The teacher webinar in the Educational Resources tab on the website is worth 1 PGP and provides compelling research on the topic. It mentions the Oxford Junior Dictionary eliminating “natural world” words in favor of “digital” words. It cites a 2010 study by Solutions Journal referencing children’s abilities to “recognize over 1,000 corporate logos, but few can identify more than a handful of local plants and animals.” The message provided by both the park and website is loud and clear, “Get out! Get outside!” We finished our visit to the park, just my children and I, under the shade of a tree. We sprawled out and watched the butterflies dance in a patch of wildflowers. We listened, as any avid birder would, for the calls of birds we recognize. My children had no plans, no expectation, no programs, no devices, and no slide; we found ourselves delightfully free.

Nature books from the Indiana State Library:
By April Pulley Sayre: “Trout, Trout, Trout,” “Squirrels, Leap,”  “Trout Are Made of Trees,” “Bird, Bird, Bird,” “Woodpecker Wham!”
By Lola Shaefer: “Because of an Acorn,” “Lifetime”
By Helen Frost: “Step Gently Out”
By Christie Matheson: “Tap The Magic Tree,” a 2015 Firefly Award nominee.

The Peace of Wild Things

The post was written by Indiana Young Readers Center Program Coordinator Tara Stewart.

Library service to immigrant communities: Then and now

According to the Pew Research Center, there were more than 40 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2017, comprising approximately 13.6% of the overall population[1]. However, over a hundred years ago that number was even higher. The United States saw the largest waves of immigration occur during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the peak occurring around 1890 when 14.8% of people were foreign-born.

Then as now, libraries in the United States strove to provide effective library service to immigrant communities. Numerous publications were created to help librarians with this and the Indiana State Library still retains several of these in our collection. According to one 1919 booklet titled “Making Americans: How the Library Helps” (ISLM 21.28 G722m), libraries were well situated to assist recently-arrived immigrants because “The Library… is unbiased and unprejudiced. It seeks to represent all types of thought, culture, or religion, and is unexploited by any one agency. It is one American institution which can preserve the native heritage of all peoples and exclude the literature of none. For this reason, it has an initial point of contact that no other one agency can have.”

A class of Italians at the Fairmount Branch of the St. Louis Public Library in 1919

Of primary concern to libraries was providing reading materials to immigrant communities in their respective native languages. To this end, the American Library Association compiled a series of booklets with foreign language bibliographies.

An excerpt from “The German Immigrant and His Reading” (1929) (ISLM Z711.8 .P47)

Other books in this series included bibliographies for Italian (ISLM 21.28 S974i), Polish (ISLM 21.28 L472p) and Greek (ISLM 21.28 A372g) immigrant groups.

While stressing the importance of curating foreign-language collections, the authors of these booklets acknowledged the concern that such practices would inherently hamper immigrants from acquiring English language skills. In the booklet “Bridging the Gulf: Work with the Russian Jews and Other Newcomers,” (ISLM 21.28 R795b) the author states that “Definitely and emphatically it is our experience that increases in the circulation of foreign books are always accompanied by increases in English book circulation, particularly in books on learning English, on citizenship and American history and biography.”

Almost a hundred years have passed since these booklets were published and librarians continue to produce guides on providing excellent library service to immigrant groups. In addition to the publications created in response to the large wave of immigrants arriving in the United States at the turn of the 19th century, the State Library has plenty of newer titles concerning outreach to more recent immigrant groups.

Some recent titles from the ISL collection:

Additionally, ALA maintains an extensive list of resources for modern librarians which can be accessed here.

This blog post was written by Jocelyn Lewis, Catalog Division supervisor, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at 317-232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

[1] Data from: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/17/key-findings-about-u-s-immigrants/

 

Photograph family record of Henry Curtis and family

Chart after repairs and cleaning

This remarkably complete “Photograph Family Chart” shows the parents and children of Henry Curtis and Elizabeth Bever. The chart was created by J. Boller Sexington and is not dated. Although many examples of charts similar to this exist in libraries and private collections, this chart is unique in that every photograph slot is filled. The decorative elements on the chart are a mix of watercolors and ink.

This chart recently underwent minor repairs in the library’s conservation lab to clean the chart itself as well as straighten the photographs. As seen in this before photo, many of the images had moved with time and been reattached with tape. Also, the top edge of the chart had sustained several tears.

Back of chart before repairs

In order to repair the chart, all the photographs had to be removed. Once removed, the photographer’s marks as well as background details in the images were revealed.  These details provided more information about the family, but sadly, most people were not identified. The photographs are a mix of tintypes and albumen prints, primarily from photographers in Illinois. Some were cut down to better fit in the chart.

Selected images from the chart

Once the chart was cleaned and repaired, the photographs were remounted – without tape! – and realigned. The chart is now available to researchers in the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library.

Curtis family in the 1860 Census.  Illinois.  Tazewell County. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 232. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record Administration, n.d.

Further research on the Curtis family revealed that Henry was born in New York, while Elizabeth was born in Ohio. They married in 1838 in Fountain County, Indiana, and lived in Indiana until about 1850, when they moved to Illinois. They eventually settled in Tazewell County, Illinois, where most of the photographs were taken. Since many of the photographs are unlabeled, they images may be of Henry and Elizabeth’s children, or they may be of later members of the Curtis family.

As named on the photographic chart, Henry and Elizabeth’s children were: Henry, Martha, Michael, Hiram, Margaret, Phebe, Mary, Thomas and Emily. Henry was the son of Joseph Curtis and Martha Mattison and Elizabeth was the daughter of Michael Bever and Margaret Zumwalt.

This blog post is by Jamie Dunn, Genealogy Division supervisor.

Treatment of a water-damaged 1943 U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps poster

As a follow-up to a recent post regarding material from the Indiana State Library’s Government Documents Division, this post will summarize the repair of a 1943 U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps poster that was damaged during an air handler water leak on April 15, 2019.

The poster is a 1943 lithographic poster for the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, drawn by artist Carolyn Edmundson. On that morning, a leak was discovered in the public documents room in the library. By the time it was discovered, the water had caused damage to a variety of pieces that had been left on a table under the leak spot. One of these pieces was the nursing poster. It was apparent, that while the poster had suffered water damage, there was also damage to the poster that predated the leak. The poster suffered from severe creasing, tears and areas of loss. A small amount of old pressure sensitive cellophane tape was found on the back and the paper was very dirty and brittle. Staining had occurred from the water damage. Additionally, the paper was cockled.

The treatment of the poster began with documentation. Both sides of the poster were photographed, and a report was written documenting its condition and proposing treatment options to address the damage. The first step was to dry clean both sides of the poster to remove the dirt and grime. The cellophane was then removed with the use of a hot air pencil.

The entire poster was washed in alkalized water and dried between wool felt blankets.

The area of loss was filled with re-pulped paper and the entire poster was lined onto a sheet of Japanese tissue with wheat starch paste.

The poster was photographed again and a final report was written documenting the treatment.

The poster is now safely back in the flat file cabinet with the library’s other broadsides.

This blog post was written by Seth Irwin, conservator, Indiana State Library.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch to chair Indiana 2020 Census Complete Count Committee

Here at the Indiana State Library, our Indiana State Data Center Program has had an official partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau since 1978. We share statistical information and talk about the importance of access to good public data on a daily basis. Each decade, however, our efforts with the Census Bureau ramp up and we help “count everyone once, only once, in the right place” as of Census Day, April 1. The State of Indiana includes multiple stakeholders who take part in this effort.

On Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced that Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will lead Indiana’s statewide Complete Count Committee for the 2020 Census. The goal of the committee is to encourage all Hoosiers to answer the census. Indiana’s CCC kick-off meeting will be Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, at 1 p.m. Eastern in the Indiana Government Center South Auditorium. You are invited. Register for the meeting here

The 2020 Census will be the very first census that provides online response. People can answer via their smartphones, use their home computers and laptops or go to their local library and use a public computer terminal. Because of this, libraries will see increased traffic next year during March and April. Indiana librarians will receive questions about what the census does and why the Census Bureau counts people. We will need to provide help with how it’s done.

This May, the American Library Association released its Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census. It explains the importance of the 2020 Census and also addresses the risks that we face if groups of people are undercounted in 2020. This is the reason that CCCs and promotional campaigns carry weight. Our efforts will impact the accuracy and completeness of next year’s count. Libraries are trusted voices, and librarians can make efforts to prepare ourselves to inform our communities.

Start learning about the census with Census Bureau’s Shape Your Future. Start Here website. Get details about promoting the census locally on the 2020 Census in Indiana website. Register and attend the CCC kick-off on Monday, Aug. 19 to learn more!

This blog post by Katie Springer, reference librarian. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services Division at 317-232-3678 or submit an Ask-A-Librarian request.

Elizabeth “Betty” Wason, pioneering journalist and Hoosier cook book author

“I was young and wanted to see the world. I had no money, so I decided I would become a journalist.” – Betty Wason

Elizabeth “Betty” Wason was an American author and broadcast journalist. Born on March 6, 1912 in Delphi, Indiana, she grew up studying classical violin and painting. After high school, she enrolled in Purdue University, hoping to pursue a career as a dress designer.

After graduating from Purdue on June 13, 1933, Wason went to work selling yard goods in the basement of the L.S. Ayres Department Store in Indianapolis. It wasn’t until her first broadcasting experience, working on a radio program for a cooking school in Lexington, Kentucky, that she would move toward a career in journalism. This would eventually lead her to New York.

Wason wrote, “I went around to New York editors announcing I was going to Europe and would like to be their correspondent.” She was once asked by Herbert Moore, president of Transradio Press, a wire service for radio newscasters, where she expected to go. Wason said boldly, ‘Wherever things are happening!”

During World War II, Wason traveled Europe as a war correspondent, but remained unrecognized as being one by her employer, CBS. During this time, she worked for, and with, Edward R. Murrow. Despite her significant contributions she, and a handful of other journalists working with Murrow, were barely recognized for their work in the famed group of war correspondents known as the “Murrow Boys.” After several months of traveling, she ended up in Greece for six months during the Axis invasion.

After her time in Europe, Wason returned to the United States where she had become one of the women pioneers in war-time correspondence. Wason was inundated with interview requests, lecture requests and press attention. “Everyone made a fuss over me, but CBS,” Wason wrote. “When I went to see [news director] Paul White, he dismissed me with, ‘You were never one of our regular news staff.’ Then what, I wondered, had I been doing for CBS all that time in Greece?”

After a disappointing career with CBS, Wason lived in Washington, D.C., New York and Portugal while working in public relations and as a freelance writer. She authored 24 books, with her most successful book being her 1942 story of the Axis invasion of Greece, “Miracle in Hellas: The Greeks Fight On.”

However, Wason’s other books were about one of her longtime favorite hobbies, cooking. Her personal and professional travels gave her firsthand knowledge of food history and traditions.

Her bibliography of cookbooks includes:
“Cooking Without Cans” (1943)
“Dinners That Wait” (1954)
“Cooks, Gluttons & Gourmets: A History of Cookery” (1962)
“The Art of Spanish Cooking” (1963)
“Bride in the Kitchen” (1964)
“The Art of Vegetarian Cookery” (1965)
“A Salute to Chinese” (1966)
“The Art of German Cooking” (1967)
“A Salute to Cheese” (1968)
“Cooking to Please Finicky Kids” (1968)
“The Language of Cookery” (1968)
“Betty Wason’s Greek Cookbook” (1969)
“The Everything Cookbook” (1970)

Wason settled near her daughter and grandchildren in Seattle in 1985, where she died on Feb. 3, 2001.

For more information on Wason, please visit the following resources: Betty Wason, Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, Wikipedia and “Gender Discrimination in the 1940s: Why a Correspondent Turned from War to Cookbooks.” Additionally, the Indiana State Library currently has a display of Wason’s works on the second floor.

This post was written by Chris Marshall, digital collections coordinator for the Indiana Division at the Indiana State Library.