January 29, 2010 Archives Newsletter

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                        from Leopold and Loeb murder ransom note, Harold S. Hulbert Papers,
                        University Archives

January 29, 2010

Frances Willard holds forth in 1895.
News | Featured Collection | Monthly Highlights | Archives Tip


This Month's Highlights: Archives Exhibit in Main Library:
"Radical Woman in a Classic Town: Frances Willard of Evanston"
January 18 - March 19, 2010
Social reformer Frances Willard (1839-1898) earned a world-wide reputation for her charismatic speaking and for her leadership of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the largest and most powerful women's organization of its time. But Willard always maintained a bond with Evanston, her hometown from 1858 until her death. She also had a strong connection to Northwestern University, where she was the first Dean of Women and a Trustee. At the height of her fame and during her busiest years, she stopped to write A Classic Town (1891), a charming memoir of Evanston's, and Northwestern's, early days.

This exhibit, curated by Assistant University Archivist Janet Olson, examines the complex ties between Willard and the classic town that helped shape her vision of the world. Historic photographs, documents, and artifacts from the Northwestern University Archives, along with items on loan from the Frances Willard House Museum, illustrate Willard’s life from her student days at the Northwestern Female College to her success as an orator, a writer, and a leader of women. Learn more details here.

Archives Reading Room Gets a Facelift: The patina of time was washed away when the reading room got several new coats of paint at the end of 2009.  Sporting bands of NU purple, a lighter lavender, and off-white, the space seems much bigger and more open, though the removal of numerous file cabinets could also have something to do with this sensation. 

An extra table has also expanded patron work space. Significant rearrangement has allowed for some of the Archive's artifact treasures, such as the stuffed wildcat, to be displayed.  A newly installed picture runner will allow photographs and paintings to grace the walls.

University Archives Documents Campus "Coco-Mania": A group of Northwestern students honored Conan "Coco" O'Brien's final stint on the The Tonight Show by dressing up like the host and leading several groups of onlookers in O'Brien's signature "string dance" on January 22nd. "Coco" is a nickname given to the comedian by guest Tom Hanks during a 2009 interview. Katharine Kosin, a student worker in the Archives, helped preserve their love by capturing photos and videos for posterity.

Featured Collection: Robert C. Speed Papers
The Archives has recently finished processing the papers of the late Northwestern geologist Robert C. Speed (1933-2003). Speed held the endowed position of William Deering Professor of Geological Sciences and was a beloved colleague, mentor, and friend to many in the NU community.

The Robert C. Speed Papers cover the research, fieldwork, publications, and teaching life of the structural geologist and geophysicist.  Most of his professional career took place in relation to Northwestern University, where he taught from 1966-2002.  His work focused on tectonics, structural geology, and active continental margins, mostly in Nevada, Barbados, and across the Caribbean.  He was an internationally recognized leader in his field, publishing widely and authoring many original maps.  The collection contains correspondence, field notes, data sets, maps, photographs, manuscripts, student material, and publications by Speed and others.

The full finding aid is available here on the Universtiy Archives website.

Tip of the Month:

Northwestern University Library on Twitter: Follow library news, events, and the Archive's This Day in NU History on Twitter: twitter.com/NU_LIBRARY.

The University Archives:
The Archives has nearly 1000 processed collections and thousands of linear feet of material, including University records and publications, manuscripts of faculty, students, and alumni, graphics, sound recordings, and artifacts relating to Northwestern and its history. Browsing our website can help inspire choices of topics for research or general-interest purposes. Check our Finding Aids site for information about processed collections; our History and Traditions pages and Exhibits sites provide some great ideas; and browse through past entries in our This Day in NU History for items that pique your interest. As most of our holdings are not listed in the Library catalogue, we encourage inquiries by those looking for primary source documents or just a stroll through Northwestern's past.

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University Archives
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Email: archives@northwestern.edu
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