February 2013 Archives

Professor Carol Tilley, whose extensive research into the history of comic book censorship included sources from Archives and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota, has discovered that a key figure behind the move to censor comics falsifiedCCA_Announcement1.JPG his data about the impact of comics on youth. 

Professor Tilley is an Assistant Professor in The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Using Frederic Wertham's papers in the Library of Congress, Professor Tilley discovered inconsistences and misinformation in Wertham's cases studies and notes for his infamous book about the "evils" of comics, Seduction of the Innocent. (For more on her research, click here.)

Prior to her visit to the Library of Congress, Professor Tilley visited the University of Minnesota to use the records of the Child Study Association of America.  The records contain files documenting how the Association was caught up in Wertham's comics "witch hunt" and the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency Hearings in 1954. The Comics Code Authority, rules for industry self-censorship, was formed within CCA_Accouncement2.JPGmonths of the hearings.

Finding information on comics in the Social Welfare History Archives is a wonderful example of discovering the unexpected in Archives and Special Collections.  Many collections reflect the diverse activities and interests of the people and organizations that created them and often contain a new discovery or surprise for those who really "dig" beneath the surface. Researchers often make creative use of these sources to study topics and issues far different from the original purpose for which they were created.  

Givens Exhibition at Hennepin County and on Cities97

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Tubman Golden Legacy.jpgThe Givens Collection of African American Literature celebrates Black History Month with "Bibliophilia: Collecting Black Books," now on display at the Hennepin County Government Center until the end of February. Listen to Curator Cecily Marcus and exhibit Co-Curator Davu Seru discuss the Givens Collection and the exhibit on Cities97.

Click here to see a slide show of the exhibit or get more information on the Hennepin County Gallery, including location, hours and a map.

Cecily Marcus, Curator of the Givens Collection in African American Literature

Happy 85th Anniversary, University Archives!

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Folwell.jpgOn January 6, 1928, former President William Watts Folwell appeared before the Board of Regents and shared a piece of correspondence he had written to then President Lotus Coffman dated December 31, 1927.

Folwell wrote:

I beg leave to suggest for your consideration the establishment of University Archives. I have lately had occasion to turn over early minutes of the Board of Regents, and have noted mention of reports and other documents "placed on file" but have not discovered any office or place of filing. Some of them may have been utterly lost.

I do not need to impress on you the importance of collecting documents which have gone into history and all publications in all branches of the University... so that they may be found as easily as books in the library.

Paul O. Zelinsky: Reflecting on Children's Book Art

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zelinsky.pngPaul Zelinsky will talk about his recent experience as a judge of the Erza Jack Keats Book Award, what he was looking for in the work, and reflecting on his own work.

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Lecture, 8:00 p.m. signing

Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 120


Paul Zelinsky is recognized as one of the most inventive and critically successful artists in his field. Among other awards and prizes, he received the 1998 Caldecott Medal for his illustrated retelling of Rapunzel, as well as a Caldecott Honors for three of his books: Hansel and Gretel (1985), Rumpelstiltskin (1987), and Swamp Angel (1995).


Theatres and vaudeville stages were the entertainment outlets that Americans sought before the days of movies, television, and the Internet. The University of Minnesota will celebrate that bygone era with a new exhibit, titled "Creating the World for the Stage: 1893-1929 - An Exhibit of Scenic Sketches."

Painted renderings of backdrops, sketches, and other artifacts from the Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota Libraries will be featured in the exhibit that explores the exotic worlds created by the scenic artists for both public theatres and private fraternal spaces of the Freemasons. The exhibit is guest curated by Professor C. Lance Brockman of the University's Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. It runs from Jan. 15 through March 15, 2013 at the Elmer L. Andersen Library and is free and open to the public.

For a video tour of the exhibition, click here.

ryan blog post.jpgOn January 11th Andersen Library was pleased to welcome 50 students from Olson Middle school, Bloomington, MN. These 6th and 7th graders who are preparing for History Day projects learned about primary sources and toured the facilities. One parent - and past researcher - sent us the following note:

"Thank you for the great presentation to the Olson Middle School students on January 11. My daughters Claire and Amelia loved it--they are already history fans, so I am very glad for them to have every opportunity to develop their interest in this subject."

We were glad to have them!

Ryan Bean, YMCA Reference and Outreach Archivist

Photo: Meredith Gillies - Children's Literature Research Collection - explains how to "read" a primary source document

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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