2020 SCRC Faculty Fellows Program Now Accepting Proposals

The Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries (SCRC) is now accepting proposals for two faculty fellows who would like to provide students with an opportunity to handle, analyze, and interpret SCRC’s primary source materials in their classes.

The SCRC Faculty Fellows Program supports innovative curriculum development and fosters new ideas about how to transform the role of special collections in university instruction. Each fellow selected will receive a $5,000 payment, hands-on introduction to the collections, and ongoing classroom support throughout the semester. Proposal applications for the development or revision of a 3-credit course to be taught in the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semester from any discipline on campus are currently being accepted now through March 20, 2020.

The original funding for the SCRC Faculty Fellows Program was made possible through the generosity of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, which promotes the advancement and perpetuation of humanistic inquiry and artistic creativity by encouraging excellence in scholarship and in the performing arts, and by supporting research libraries and other institutions that transmit our cultural heritage.

Mini-Seminar with Professor and Associate Dean Carol Faulkner

Carol Faulkner, Professor of History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, will lead a mini seminar in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), 6th Floor, Bird Library, on Friday, March 6, 2020 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Faulkner will be discussing her recent book Unfaithful: Love, Adultery, and Marriage Reform in Nineteenth-Century America, which examines how an interconnected group of feminists, spiritualists, communitarians, and free lovers used the act and concept of adultery to challenge the legal institution of marriage. The mini seminar will include a hands-on exploration of select nineteenth-century archival resources from SCRC’s Oneida Community and rare book collections.

The mini seminar is open to the public; however, there is limited space available. Please RSVP to jschambe@syr.edu by February 28, 2020. If you require accommodations to fully participate in this event, please let us know in your RSVP.

Faulkner received her BA from Yale University, and her PhD from SUNY Binghamton. She is the author of Women’s Radical Reconstruction: The Freedmen’s Aid Movement (2004), Lucretia Mott’s Heresy: Abolition and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth-Century America (2011), and Unfaithful: Love, Adultery, and Marriage Reform in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). She is the co-editor of The Selected Letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott, Interconnections: Gender and Race in American History, and Lucretia Mott Speaks: The Essential Speeches and Sermons (University of Illinois Press, 2017).

New 150th Anniversary Exhibit: Milestones of SU Libraries

Syracuse University Libraries’ is featuring a new sesquicentennial exhibit of milestones of SU Libraries titled “Let the reader emerge!” on the first floor of Bird Library from February 3 until mid-May. A smaller collection of materials is also on display in the lobby of Carnegie Library. It was curated by Sebastian Modrow, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Special Collections Research Center.

The exhibit focuses on the SU Libraries as an evolving and expanding learning space and highlighting the history of the most important buildings on campus, including the von Ranke Library, Carnegie Library, and Bird Library. The sesquicentennial provides the University with an opportunity to reflect on both the origins and growth of the Libraries as a core stakeholder of the academic learning process.

“Academic libraries around the world are a critical cornerstone of universities, providing the history, context, and resources from which to build new ideas and scholarship. We are especially fortunate at Syracuse University to have a robust library system that has supported the campus community for 150 years. This exhibit contributes to the University by honoring our past, embracing the present, and impacting the future,” said David Seaman, University Librarian and Dean of Syracuse University Libraries.

Professor Sumathi Ramaswamy to Lecture on Mahatma Gandhi as an Artist of Non-Violence

Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, an internationally recognized historian who chairs the history department and teaches at Duke University, is currently working on a book about Mahatma Gandhi. She will be utilizing the primary research materials on Gandhi available through Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). While at Syracuse University, she will provide a public lecture in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. She is also offering a mini-seminar to a select group on November 15. Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC is uniquely positioned for this seminar as it houses the acclaimed Margaret Bourke-White archives, which include Bourke-White’s famous photographs of Gandhi for Life Magazine as well as her India journals.

Mohandas K. Gandhi has been described as “an artist of non-violence,” crafting a set of practices of the self and politics that earned him the mantle of Mahātma, “the great soul.” There is an enormous body of scholarship that has explored and critiqued Gandhi’s philosophy and praxis of satyāgraha, non-violent civil disobedience. Yet what does it mean to think of satyāgraha as an aesthetic regime, and its principal exponent as the paradigmatic artist of disobedience? Ramaswamy, who is currently president of the American Institute of Indian Studies, will discuss some modern artists in India who were inspired by Mahatma Ghandi’s non-violent civil dissent. She will sets out to answer these questions with the help of India’s modern artists who have turned to the Mahātma as their muse over the past century, but especially in recent decades. This talk will engage students and faculty from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences; specifically, from Art History, History, Photography, Political Science, African American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Dr. Sumathi Ramaswamy, an internationally recognized historian who chairs the history department and teaches at Duke University, is currently working on a book about Mahatma Gandhi. She will be utilizing the primary research materials on Ghandhi available through Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). While at Syracuse University, she will provide a public lecture in Bird Library’s Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13. She is also offering a mini-seminar to a select group on November 15. Syracuse University Libraries’ SCRC is uniquely positioned for this seminar as it houses the acclaimed Margaret Bourke-White archives, which include Bourke-White’s famous photographs of Gandhi for Life Magazine as well as her India journals.

Petrina Jackson Featured as Keynote Speaker at Society of Georgia Archivists

Petrina Jackson, Director of Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, gave the keynote address at the Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA) conference on October 17, 2019 in Augusta, GA. The conference theme was Strong Roots, Stronger Branches: SGA at 50.

In her keynote address, Jackson explored how her family’s stories have helped to shape her identity and perspective and how that shaping has impacted her approach to archives. Her family has roots in Georgia. She stated, “….my archival work has centered on advocacy, bringing stories relegated to the margins to the forefront, and guiding and empowering all staff to challenge their assumptions and lead from where they are to create an equitable and inclusive archives, workplace, and field.” She further stated that to accomplish her goal of an inclusive archives, she needs accomplices and allies to break out of the status quo and help bring strong, positive change.

Petrina joined Syracuse University Libraries in June 2019 from Iowa State University, where she was Head of Special Collections and University Archives since 2016, and before that was Head of Instruction and Outreach at the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, and Senior Assistant Archivist for the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell.

Petrina holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA in English from Iowa State University and a BA in English from the University of Toledo, and is well known nationally, being active in both the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section.

University Archives to Host Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Open Archives

To commemorate Remembrance Week 2019, Syracuse University Libraries Special Collections Research Center will host two Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Open Archives sessions on Thursday, October 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. and Friday, October 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, Assistant University Archivist and Pan Am 103 Archivist, will have prepared selections available for viewing in room 608 Bird Library, Spector Room.

The Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives holds over 400-linear feet of material, including correspondence, government reports and legislation, photographs, artwork, audio visual material, and personal items that belonged to the victims of the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. For more information, contact the the Archives at pa103archives@syr.edu or 315.443.0632.

Special Collections Research Center Opens Papers of Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical Center

black and white photo of several people chatting in group, with camera pointing at man wearing jacket and tie and smiling
Thomas Szasz, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries

Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is pleased to announce the opening of the Thomas Szasz Papers.  At nearly 200 linear feet, the collection represents the culmination of several years’ work by SCRC staff, including surveying, analysis, organization, rehousing, and documentation and description of the correspondence, writings, photographs, posters, awards, and memorabilia of the noted Hungarian-American psychiatrist. The collection is opening during Disability Awareness and Appreciation Month, celebrated in October.

Thomas Stephen Szasz (1920-2012) was an American psychiatrist and scholar, best known for his criticisms of psychiatry and modern medicine, as well as his theories on the intersection of law and psychiatry. Born in Budapest, Hungary on April 15, 1920, Szasz immigrated to the United States in 1938. He received his medical education at the University of Cincinnati and his psychiatric training at the University of Chicago Clinics. In 1956, he became Professor of Psychiatry at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York, a post he held until 1990, when he became Professor Emeritus.

“We are very pleased to see the completed finding aid to our father’s collection of papers. Kudos to the archivists at Syracuse University for creating a comprehensive inventory that will be indispensable for researchers and scholars for years to come,” said Margot S. Peters and Suzy Szasz Palmer, Thomas Szasz’s daughters.

Dr. Szasz was a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, which he referred to as “the therapeutic state.”  A libertarian, Szasz advocated for the legalization of all drugs, the abolition of involuntary mental hospitalization and the insanity defense, and “the right to be mentally ill.”  He was a prolific author and an active correspondent, with strong opinions on the power of language and the relationship between modern psychiatry and the state. His writings, lectures, and speeches often evoked lively debate.

Taken as a whole, the collection illuminates the growth and development of Dr. Szasz’s ideas and theories and his passionate belief in an individual’s right to control their own life. The collection provides useful and salient background context for themes immediately relevant today, such as the problem of addiction, the failure of the “War on Drugs,” and societal attitudes towards individuals suffering from mental health issues.

“We are very excited about the many possibilities that scholars, researchers and students will have to engage with the Thomas Szasz papers and look forward to the impact that the resulting scholarship will have on the field of psychiatry and discussions surrounding mental health,” said Petrina D. Jackson, Director of the Special Collections Research Center.

The finding aid for the Thomas Szasz Papers is available online. For more information about the Thomas Szasz Papers or to schedule a visit, please contact scrc@syr.edu.

Special Collections Research Center Acquires Several Notable Collections

man pointing to artifact while students look on
Teaching using the Special Collections Research Center materials.

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) acquired several notable collections over the past fiscal year (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019). With these new acquisitions, the SCRC now has 77,956 linear feet in its total collections.  New acquisitions include:

  • Josef Albers, Interaction of Color, New Haven, 1963.

The Interaction of Color by Josef Albers (1888-1976), published by Yale University Press in 1963, consists of a set of silk-screened prints that demonstrate how the eye perceives color differently when set next to other colors. The set was originally a limited run of 2000 sets of prints with an accompanying book. This work allows students and scholars to study the effects of color on the original prints on paper instead of reprints or digital surrogates, which is crucial for this kind of exploration. Albers was an influential teacher, writer, painter, and color theorist and taught industrial design at Syracuse University in the 1950s.

  • Bernhard of Clairvaux, [Works], Paris, 1508.

This volume, recently purchased with funds from the Library Associates, contains the works of Bernard of Clairvaux, a French abbot and major leader in the establishment of the Cistercian monastic order. This unique item, printed in 1508 by Jehan Petit, one of the official publishers at the University of Paris, documents the slow evolution of the book from the medieval codex to the Renaissance print. The book is decorated both with an illuminated initial and printed woodcut initials. The beveled wooden boards bound in blind-stamped pigskin still show the hole for the chain which would have secured it to a medieval bookshelf.

  • Alexander von Humboldt, Geognostische und physikalische Erinnerungen, Stuttgart/Tübingen, 1853.

Intended to be the first part of a whole series of geological, volcanological and physical publications, this first edition of the great German polymath’s description of Mexican and Andean volcanoes and the accompanying atlas are a milestone of 19th century scholarship. The tinted views of the atlas offer stunning examples of scientific pre-photography documentation practices.

  • John Fleming Gould Papers

SCRC received 12 linear feet of personal papers of the American painter, illustrator, and art instructor John Fleming Gould (1906-1996). Gould’s illustrations appeared in national publications such as the Saturday Evening Post as well as pulp publications such as Adventure Trails, Dime Detective Magazine, and War Birds, while his fine art pieces often portray historical subjects and the Hudson River Valley area. As an art consultant for General Electric Company’s Locomotive Division, Gould produced hundreds of illustrations for their corporate publications and advertising. Highlights of the collection include original artwork, illustrations created for General Electric, and more than 3,000 tear sheets of Gould’s illustrations for pulp magazines from the 1920s through the 1940s.

  • Jantzen Swimwear Photographs

This album of 111 silver gelatin prints highlights the Jantzen Knitting Mills swimwear line from 1937-1943. In the early 20th century, the company was on the forefront of tighter-fitting, elastic, and less-cumbersome designs that allowed their wearers to swim more comfortably than earlier fashions of bathing dress and were similar to ones glamorized by starlets in Hollywood. The later styles in the portfolio incorporate “Lastex” (a yarn that had an extruded rubber core encased with wool), “Rayon”, and cotton and silk threads. By 1932, Jantzen was reportedly the seventh most known trademark in the world.

  • WPATranscription Discs

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) Phonodisc Collection (351 discs) was acquired from the Newberry Library in Chicago with the assistance of SU Libraries’ benefactors William and Joan Brodsky. From the mid-1930s to the early 1940s, the WPA Federal Music Project routinely sent these transcription discs with original programming to radio stations around the country. Commissioned expressly for the WPA, programming includes standards from the classical and operatic repertoires, jazz ensemble works, choral music, and traditional American folk music and spirituals. All phonodiscs in the collection will be digitized in the Belfer Audio Archive and made available online for public access.

  • Antje Lemke Papers

Professor Emerita Antje Bultmann Lemke (1918-2017) received her master’s degree in library science from Syracuse University and served the University as a librarian and professor for 34 years. SCRC added 27 boxes of archival material comprising Lemke’s teaching and research files to the University Archives existing collection of her papers.

  • Patricia Mary Coyle Family Papers

Patricia Mary Coyle (1968-1988) was among the 270 victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. Patricia was a junior at Boston College majoring in Education. She had gone to Vienna, Austria to study for a semester through Webster College. The collection donated by her parents, Matt and Jan, includes family photographs, documentation of memorials, and two Dark Elegy artist’s models presented to Mrs. Coyle by sculptor Suse Lowenstein.

For more information about SCRC’s collections, contact scrc@syr.edu.

150 Years of Tradition Showcased at Syracuse University Exhibition


black and white photo of male and female students sitting closely on concrete bench in winter in front of Hendricks Chapel
Students on the Kissing Bench from the 1963 Onondagan. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

In celebration of Syracuse University’s sesquicentennial, Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) will open an exhibition on the sixth floor of Bird Library from Sept. 5 through spring 2020 titled “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University.” Curated by University Archivist Meg Mason, the exhibition commemorates the University’s founding through a selection of traditions, customs and ideas that unite the University community and connect the past with the present. The exhibition will be open for public viewing Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This exhibition is an opportunity for our campus, community and visitors to view interesting artifacts, memorabilia and other items that have been carefully curated by Syracuse University’s outstanding special collections team. It provides a fascinating look into the origins of many of our traditions and an engaging way to learn from our history,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud.

black and white photo of crowd of students in graduation caps and gowns cheering in the Dome
Graduates cheering at the 1983 Commencement. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

On display will be items from the University Archives—including photographs, printed materials, textiles and other memorabilia—that exemplify a variety of old and new traditions. Visitors will learn about the origins of the University’s official color, orange; the Block “S” logo; and the mascot Otto the Orange. Other traditions represented include alumni reunions, Commencement and other events such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Winter Carnival. Beanies and other items related to first-year student traditions will be on display, as well as cheerleading and marching band memorabilia, illustrating traditions that inspire spirit. For limited times (September to October 2019 and March through Commencement 2020),visitors will be able to view two especially rare items from the University Archives: Ernie Davis’ No. 44 jersey and the Alma Mater handwritten in author Junius Stevens’ hand.

Many special events and tours are planned throughout the run of the exhibition. Mason will provide tours of the exhibition during Orange Central weekend, Sept. 13-14; alumni can register for tours at orangecentral.syr.edu. The exhibition will be also be open for viewing during Family Weekend, Oct. 18-19.

In addition to the primary exhibition in Bird Library, the Syracuse University Libraries will draw from University Archives materials to present additional exhibitions in celebration of the University’s sesquicentennial, both on and off campus. These include:

black and white photo of two male students standing outside holding beanie caps in their hands directly above their heads
First-year students tipping their beanies, circa 1960s. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

  • Reproductions from the “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University” exhibition on display at Joseph I. Lubin House, home base for the University’s New York City operations.
  • “A Legacy of Leadership: The Chancellors and Presidents of Syracuse University” in the exhibition case on the first floor of Bird Library. This exhibition will provide a glimpse into the administrations of the 12 individuals who have guided the University through its 150-year history. Curated by Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, assistant University archivist and Pan Am 103 archivist, these documents and photographs from the University Archives chart the ways in which the University has grown and changed, from the institution’s first leader, Chancellor Alexander Winchell, to current Chancellor Kent Syverud. It will be available for viewing from September 17, 2019 through spring 2020.

color photo of 7 male chearleaders holding 7 female chearleaders on their shoulders. Each female is holding a letter to ame the word "Orange" with the last female holding a photo of an orange. Otto the Syracuse mascot is standing in front of the cheerleaders while they are in cheer. In background Dome is packed with fans.
Cheerleaders and Otto on the basketball court in 2000. Courtesy of Syracuse University Archives.

The “150 Years of Tradition at Syracuse University” opening reception will be held at the Robert Ortwine Gallery on the sixth floor of Bird Library on Thursday, Sept. 5, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tours may also be provided upon request by contacting the SCRC at scrc@syr.edu or 315.443.2697.


Sound Beat Celebrates 50th Anniversary of First Landing on Moon

Syracuse University Libraries’ Sound Beat, the Libraries’ 90-second daily radio program based on recordings from the Belfer Audio Archive, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon on July 20, 1969 with special “Moon Month” programming.

The Apollo 11 spaceflight landed Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969. In honor of that historic date, episodes of Sound Beat for the month of July, which are broadcast in 360 markets throughout North America, the Philippines and New Zealand, will celebrate the event through lunar-themed recordings from the Belfer Audio Archives. The program will also acknowledge Syracuse University alumni who have been associated with the space program, including former NASA Administrator and Syracuse University Professor at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Sean O’Keefe.

Sound Beat episodes will explore mankind’s relationship with the moon from a B.C. era hymn through classical compositions to the age of vinyl. Sound Beat will include the recordings Neil Armstrong brought aboard and played in orbit and on the Moon’s surface, and other recordings that examine how earlier generations and civilizations reconciled the glowing orb in the night sky. Selections will include:

  • We’re Going By Rocket to the Moon–an educational and entertaining look at space travel for kids, published 19 years before the lunar landing
  • The Airborne Symphony, composed by Marc Blitzstein, conducted by Bernstein–A history of human flight using music that the United States Army Air Forces originally commissioned for use in film
  • Under a Russian Moon– brief description of the Space Race between US and Russia and centered on Sputnik, the first man-made satellite in space
  • Music out of the Moon, Dr. Samuel Hoffman-–“the strange, electronic sounding music” that Neil Armstrong played while in transit, hurtling towards his historic moonwalk
  • Howling at the Moon, Hank Williams-–an exploration of the Moon’s place in cultural mythologies, from the man in the moon to werewolves and beyond
  • Debussy’s Clair de Lune, Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata, Jack Kerouac’s The Moon, and more

About Sound Beat:

Sound Beat is carried by commercial stations in major markets, community-supported stations in small communities, and reader services that provide news and entertainment to the elderly and visually impaired. Listenership is estimated at around 4 million per day and is one of the most popular carriages in the history of the audio interstitial format.