‘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

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.

Historical children’s books – Elsie Dinsmore

Learning to read? Reading to learn? Same today as it’s ever been; though, Mother Goose may honk at being put aside for a guy named Captain Underpants. No matter what you make of that, children reading is a good thing. With colorful illustrations and simple and poignant messages, kid’s books make an impression on us that we remember long after we’ve outgrown them.

The Library of Congress has curated a digital collection of classic children’s books. These are all in the public domain and completely downloadable. They are fun to browse or read in depth. The collection is available online here. 

I was excited to see that one of the books in the collection is by Indiana author, Martha Finley. Finley grew up in South Bend, Indiana and resided there until her 20s. She lived much of her adult life in Maryland, where she died on Jan. 30, 1909 at the age of 80. The Library of Congress selected the first edition of the first book in the Elsie Dinsmore character series. According to their notes, the copy in the Library of Congress came to them in a 1939 donation from auctioneer Arthur Swann. “Superb copy, and extremely rare … first edition.”

The Indiana State Library has a few editions of Elsie Dinsmore, but not a first edition. The character first appeared in 1867. The earliest edition we have is 1896. In one edition, the publisher has noted they used a new set of type for the 25th anniversary edition, as the original type settings had worn away from the repeated demand for re-printing.

The character is a religiously devout young girl who was raised on a southern plantation with family, and now lives with her father, a well-traveled and more practical-minded military man. The two clash as the characters develop, with Elsie’s Christian faith playing a most crucial role. The character must have appealed to many readers, although modern readers should be weary of Finley’s portrayal of slave life and speaking dialect given to those characters. The popularity of Elsie Dinsmore led Martha Finley to write a total of 28 books in the series. The character was revised in an updated series called, “Life of Faith: Elsie Dinsmore,” in 1999.

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

Trade, association and club publications

The Indiana State Library’s newest digital collection focuses on trade, association and club publications. The library has numerous materials in our Indiana and Rare Books and Manuscripts collections from various organizations, clubs, associations and trades across the state. The purpose of the collection is to provide access to a sampling of the materials from these organizations. Some runs of periodical materials are not completely digitized, so please check our catalog for further holdings for individual organizations or titles.

Trade publications are specific to a trade like construction, business or manufacturing. Among the publications, you can find the Indiana Construction Recorder, the official publication for the Society of Indiana Architects. This publication lists numerous building projects from around the state, making it a great source for architectural research.

Association and club publications are usually geared toward hobbies, interests or educational pursuits. They often provide general information about the topic, members, meetings, conventions and articles.

The Indiana Federation of Clubs was a parent organization to many smaller and local clubs during the early 20th century. We have several of their convention programs available in the collection.

The Y’s Man was the publication of the Senate Avenue’s Young Men’s Christian Association in downtown Indianapolis. This particular YMCA focused on the African-American community in that area. The newsletter covered the World War II era and had information about the service men and women.

The Indiana State Bee Keepers Association provided information about bees, their maintenance, the group’s meetings and its members. We also have a few issues of the Gladland News, a group focused on gladiolas and their cultivation. The Nature Study Club of Indiana’s yearbooks and publication, The Hoosier Outdoors, are also included in the collection.

You can find this digital collection, as well as others, on our website. We constantly continue to build our digital collections, so please check back periodically to see what new materials we have added. Please chat with one of our librarians who will be happy to help you get to our digital collections and also to help you learn more about the materials in the collections.

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

R.I.P. VHS

Most sources say VHS magnetic tape has a life-span of about 30 years. For many tapes in our collection their 30th birthday has come and gone. The degradation is evident. The sound goes tinny, the image begins to streak and rattle across the screen. Have no fear, we are currently in the process of migrating our VHS to DVD and digital format.

Until now, I had hardly browsed our VHS collection, but this project has given us a chance to view some real gems. VHS was the main form of commercial video for about 20 years in the ’80s and ’90s, so this collection falls heavily within those decades. We have VHS tapes of A&E Biographies of famous Hoosiers. Many contain original local programming. Do any of these programs jog your memory: “Hoosier History” with Rick Maultra on TV-16, “Across Indiana” on WFYI or “Our Hoosier Heritage” on WFBM?

Some of the VHS is footage originally transferred from 16mm film. It was converted to VHS to preserve the film and make it accessible. From the VHS we will make DVDs. We have a couple of these on the State Library’s YouTube channel.

YouTube and Archive.org have a lot of neat historical films available:

  • Bernie Sanders’ film about the Socialist-party leader from Indiana, “Eugene V. Debs.” The film was made in 1979. Sanders doesn’t appear on screen, but you’ll recognize his voice as Debs.
  • “Family of Craftsmen” is a promotional company film from 1953. The film follows the Bokon family of South Bend who work at the Studebaker plant. “Family of Craftsmen” is available on Archive.org.
  • Madison, Indiana is featured as an ideal American town in the 1945 Office of War Information film, “The Town.”

Moving images capture our attention and allow us to see the past more vividly. We’ve transferred footage of the Foster P. Johnson family hamming it up for the home camera in the 1930s.

Do you have any interesting videos in your home collections? It’s time to get in touch with a professional and have them transferred!

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

Emily Kimbrough, Hoosier native and European traveler

“I believe that there are no memories that are okay to forget. Every man’s memory is his private literature. Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” – Emily Kimbrough

Emily Kimbrough. The Indianapolis Times collection, ISL L722.

Emily Kimbrough was born in Muncie, Indiana on Oct. 23, 1899. At the age of eleven, her family moved to Chicago. She attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania before moving to Paris, back to Chicago, Philadelphia and finally settling in New York.

Kimbrough began her writing career in Chicago in 1923 with Marshall Field Magazine, the department store’s quarterly catalog. In 1926, she moved on to become the fashion editor and then managing editor for Ladies’ Home Journal. She wrote about her years at Marshall Field’s in “Through Charley’s Door,” published in 1952. From the 1930s to 1950s, she wrote freelance with articles published in Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker.

While raising a family, she began to write and lecture about her fascinating travels, misadventures and experiences. “Our Hearts Were young and Gay,” co-written with her closest friend and actress, Cornelia Otis Skinner, describes their 1920s tour of England and France, as young women in their 20s. She continued to write several books about her European travels, eventually having a bibliography of 16 books.

In 1976, the city of Muncie created the Emily Kimbrough Historic District, later being placed on the National Register in 1978.

By Nyttend - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18019895

Emily Kimbrough Historic District

Kimbrough died Feb. 10, 1989, in Manhattan, New York City.

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

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Kimbrough
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Hearts_Were_Young_and_Gay
http://www.muncie-ecna.org/kimbrough.html
https://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/11/obituaries/emily-kimbrough-90-magazine-editor-and-popular-author.html

Turnverein Clubs of Indianapolis

While exploring the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood district on the Southside of Indianapolis recently, I noticed a beautiful old building at 306 Prospect Street. I wanted to find out about its history. After conducting an internet search for the address, I found out that the structure was built in around 1900 for the Southside Turnverein Club. I then looked in the Indiana State Library catalog to see what types of materials were available about Turnverein Clubs.

From the mid-19th to the beginning of the 20th century, German-American Turnverein Clubs were spreading across North America. Indianapolis had several of these Turnverein, or Turners, clubs, which were athletic clubs for German-American immigrants.

According to the “Indianapolis Turnverein 1851-1926 Seventy-Fifth Anniversary” pamphlet (ISLO 977.201 M341 no. 40), the Indianapolis Turnverein was started in 1851 by August Hoffmeister, a “zealous agitator for the founding…” of the club. Below is a rendering from the program of some of the “turnhalls” in Indianapolis included in the pamphlet.

These Turner Clubs were social clubs as well as for physical fitness and gymnastics. The best known Turnverein Club in Indianapolis is the Athenaeum, which was built from 1893-1898 and was originally called Das Deutsche Haus.

The Turnverein Clubs helped German-Americans preserve their German culture and philosophies, while also honoring their new homeland, the United States. The Turners’ philosophy was that mind and body wellness and fitness were of great importance and integral to a healthy life.

Among several German-language titles in the Indiana State Library’s newspaper microfilm collection, we have one geared specifically to Turnverein Clubs. This newspaper was called Die Zukunft. Organ des Nord-Amerikanischen Turner-Bundes, which roughly translates to The Future. Organ of the North American Turner Foundation. This Indianapolis newspaper was printed using the Indianapolis Telegraph’s press on a weekly basis from about 1867-82. If you read German, you may be interested in seeing this title on microfilm. Here is the front page of the Oct. 29, 1868 edition of the newspaper:

Turnverein Clubs flourished in the United States until after the start of World War I, when growing anti-German sentiment caused the clubs’ membership and funding to dwindle. Despite efforts to revitalize Turners Clubs during the second half of the 20th century, most of the buildings here in Indianapolis were sold or used for other purposes. Fortunately, the Southside Turnverein building is in the process of being remodeled and reopened as a corporate headquarters later this spring.

This blog post was written by Leigh Anne Johnson, Indiana Division newspaper librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana Division at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”

Collecting hole or research hole? Where are the minority voices?

It becomes evident pretty quickly that black and minority Hoosier voices are hard to hear within the collections at the Indiana State Library. Historically, the seminal works on Indiana’s history are heavy with the prominent voices of the day: legislators, lawyers and wealthy white men. The county histories published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries almost completely leave out people of color who were living in the towns in our counties.

That’s not to say we don’t have a lot of neat resources where black lives rise from the pages; we do. For a sample see the black history research guide here. However, most of what we have was published more than 20 years ago. A search in our catalog for Julia Carson or Boniface Hardin retrieves zero results.

We collect published printed material for the Indiana Collection. It’s not until historians seek out and publish about these lives and events that they intersect with the well-trodden histories in the collection.

The Afro-American Journal was edited by Father Boniface Hardin and Sister Jane Schilling, both of whom were founders of the Martin Center and Martin University. The Journal gave voice to policy ideas and issues facing black Americans, as well as historical research on black communities and leaders. Hear Father Boniface Hardin in his own words discussing the aim of the Journal here. The Indiana State Library has scattered holdings from 1973-1976.

I want to put a call out for donations or suggestions to enrich our print collections specifically capturing the voice of black Hoosiers and other minorities. I encourage you to contact me or comment here with title suggestions. Are you researching and writing articles? Self-publishing? I’d like to know. Does your organization have a publication that we lack in our holdings?

Do you have a collection of photos, a diary, a collection of letters, recipe cards? These might make wonderful additions to our manuscripts collections. Don’t toss them or hide them in your attic; consider making a donation to the Indiana State Library. Learn more about donating manuscripts here.

Once added to our collection these publications and documents will be processed, findable and researchable! It starts with you, then the librarians and archivists, then the historians, then the publishers and then comes the Netflix docuseries… oh, wait, I got ahead of myself.

Contact us for more information.

This post was written by Indiana Collection Supervisor Monique Howell

Picture it… Indianapolis… 1852.

Image traveling through a forest so thick that you could do it without ever touching the ground. You could go from tree limb to tree limb, with very little visible grass or flowers, just climbing along. Now imagine this area being Indianapolis, circa 1780. Up until around 1820, the area we now know as the capitol of Indiana was exactly that, a massive dense forest. Settlers then moved in, cleared land, began farms and started to form a community.

Several maps of early Indianapolis show the layout of the mile square, but it wasn’t until 1852 that we saw the first map of the city with any detail.

When we first got this map out and saw exactly what we had to deal with, we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy task to digitize it. In fact, the two pictures below show what the book looked like. It had been dissected, glued onto linen and folded to fit on the shelf, which was a very common library practice early on. Nowadays, we don’t do that.

Rebecca, our conservator, painstakingly took pictures of each section, then recreated the completed image that you now see in our digital collections. This was a several day process. Now this extremely rare map has come back together and we can study it and learn what the layout of the city was like in the early 1850s.

For example, the railroad lines and their depots beeline the map, showing how the trains moved merchandise, goods and passengers in all directions. Passengers might have seen a map like this hanging at the train station. Checking the legend, they could have found several houses for accommodations, such as The Palmer House (H) or The Bates House (J), both at the corners of Illinois and Washington Streets, just a few blocks up from the station. After getting settled in, they might have walked up to the governor’s residence to pay a call on Joseph Wright, Indiana’s governor in 1852.

The map also shows the small portion of the massive 296-mile planned canal system and its path through the city; only eight miles of the canal were completed. Beginning at the White River, the canal ran east, then headed north and south. The canal helped facilitate interstate commerce and also provided alternative transportation for passengers.

Most of the transportation routes, such as the canals and railroads, are south of the residential areas, including the current Lockerbie Square and the old Northside neighborhoods. Oftentimes, residential areas grew north of the industrial areas as winds would blow the smoke and pollution south.

Later maps, such as those published in 1855 and 1866, show fewer details. Both maps can be viewed on the Library of Congress’s website. We have the maps at the state library, but the Library of Congress has done such a great job digitizing their copies that we just refer researchers to those digitized maps. Our copies, sadly, are in need of much repair.

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

ISL hidden resource – Federal documents at the Indiana State Library

The Indiana State Library participates in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), serving as the regional depository for the state of Indiana. Providing access to government information is only one service offered by the library. ISL is committed to promoting government information literacy to all Hoosiers. That information is found on the Indiana Federal Documents website. Created to be the resource destination for learning and locating government information, Indiana Federal Documents contains tips and resources relating on the federal government geared for both researchers and librarians.

The Indiana Federal Documents site features blog posts promoting specific government resources, services or upcoming educational events. Beyond the blogs posts are research and subject guides. The research guides cover an overview of the SuDoc classification, how to research congressional documents and reports and how to research public and private laws. The subject guides are compiled government resources on a particular topic. The guides include the site, URL and a short description of the resource. Currently, there are subject guides for the following topics: children’s resources, college resources, family history resources and popular government resources. All of the sourced information comes from an official government agency or government project.

Indiana Federal Documents also includes information specific to librarians, like Indiana’s Light Archive Agreement, Indiana’s State Focused Action Plan, procedures, guidelines, links to government information webinars and government information Listservs. Additional resources relating to government information can be found from the federal documents collection page through the Indiana State Library. In addition to linking directly to IFD, the federal documents page has information on ISL’s history in the FDLP, information on Government Information Day (GID) conferences and links to prominent government resources. For any questions, or sources not discussed, Federal Documents Librarian Brent Abercrombie is available to contact for guidance.

This blog post was written by Indiana State Library Federal Documents Coordinator Brent Abercrombie. For more information, contact the Reference and Government Services at (317) 232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian.”