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Wisconsin Goes to War

Yesterday was the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. We've been tweeting Civil War related images all day and though it would be nice to highlight one collection in particular, the Wisconsin Goes to War: Our Civil War Experience collection.

Wisconsin Goes to War is filled with first person stories and narratives from Wisconsin soldiers and citizens. The collection includes poems, letters, diaries and other written records that help us understand Wisconsin's part in the Civil War and how it effected us at home.

Many of these items are hand written and were chosen based on subject matter and legibility. Many of them also include a typed transcription to help with research.

In the collection is a poem written by Jules Francois in March 1862 while in Camp Utly at Racine, Wisconsin. Here is an excerpt from the poem:

We come from the valleys of the young Badger State, Where the prairies are so grand, so magnificent and great. We have rallied round the banner of the brave and the free, Around our own starry banner in Dillion's battery.

The rest of the poem can be read in the collections. When you have time, take a look at some of the letters, they can help you get a real sense of Wisconsin's part in the Civil War.


National Library Week

This week, the UWDC and libraries all over the country are celebrating National Library Week 2011. We are celebrating by highlighting some library gems in our collections.

This image on the left is from our History of UW-La Crosse collection. Students and faculty worked “all day and into the evening” Feb. 4, 1957 for operation book lift. They carried books from the library in Graff Main Hall to the university’s new library, the Florence Wing Library, named for the school’s first librarian.

This image on the right is from the Kenosha County History collection. The image takes place in Library Park and the large building in the back is Simmons Library. I remember visiting this library for the first time when I was little, it was beautiful. This image was taken on the day the monument was unveiled.

Do we have any images of libraries that you want to celebrate this week? Let us know and we will highlight them for you!

Also, we are tweeting libraries all day! If you aren't already, follow us @UwDigiCollec.


Wisconsin Supreme Court History

As everyone may know by now, tomorrow is the election in the state of Wisconsin for Supreme Court. We thought we would highlight this event with a little history information about the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Our Wisconsin Blue Books collection remains the primary one-volume reference source about the state, documenting the organization of the state’s three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial). Our collection dates back to 1853 and includes all sorts of information on Wisconsin government.

This image on the left is from the 1907 Blue Book. It has sketches of the Supreme Court Judges.

If you search "Supreme Court" in the collection you will find tons of sketches and interesting information. Take a look and see what you can find.


A Hidden Gem

This collection is little known but is a great for anyone who enjoys reading Vogue or any other women's magazine of today. The Peterson's Ladies National Magazine collection contains two magazine's from 1865 and 1867.

These magazines are extremely interesting and document stories and fashions of the time. This image on the left is from the 1865 magazine and talks about the latest fashion from Paris, the Patti jacket. The article talks about how this fashion came to be, how it is made and the different styles it comes in. There are reviews on books and other culture references.

This is a great collection for a day like today when the weather is terrible and you just want to lay around and look at something interesting. This is a bit of a hidden collection but take a look and you will be surprised at the material that people were talking about in the 1860s.


Congratulation LSTA Winners!

On Wednesday, LSTA, the WI Library Services and Technology Act, will grant 5 libraries funding for projects. These libraries include the Kenosha Public Library, Indianhead Federated Library System, Hedberg Pubic Library, Eastern Shores Library System and New Glarus Public Library. We want to say congratulations to these libraries!

In the past, we have worked with three of these libraries on digitizing their content. One collection that you may recognize is the Kenosha County History Collection. This collection contains texts that depict the early European-American settlement in Kenosha and a great image collection. The family albums in the collection are two of the most well-preserved documents created by L. M. Thiers. Handwritten photograph captions and detailed descriptions make them the most personal works featured in this collection.

We have also worked with Indianhead Federated Library System on the Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, St. Croix, and Rusk Counties: Local History Collection. The Indianhead Federated Library System is comprised of 53 member public libraries in West-Central and Northwestern Wisconsin. The collection’s texts are comprised of community records, local history narratives, retrospectives, and high school yearbooks. The collection’s images include street scenes, historical buildings, notable people, and important events.

Lastly, we worked with Hedberg Public Library on our Janesville's Past Collection. This is an excellent image collection, which also includes city and County directories, providing researchers information for both the 19th and 20th centuries.

These are all great collections and are widely viewed and appreciated. We are excited to see what new projects all of the grant winners will be working on this year.


It's a crazy hat kind of day...

This week has been pretty stressful and to easy the tension I thought I would blog about something fun, crazy hats. Hats are awesome, and at some point in your life you will either want to or have to wear a crazy hat. So let's have a little laugh this friday, and look at some crazy hat pictures.

Now this image at the left does not really have a crazy hat in it, but come on, a dog in a hat is crazy. This picture just makes me less tense just looking at it.

This hat on the right, is amazing. If I could find a hat like that I would definitely wear it. Can you guess what this hat is a uniform for?

And then there is this picture of the crazy hat store! Oh wait, these are “Royce” brand women’s hats at the Henderson-Hoyt department store in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The display includes more than a dozen hats!

This woman on the right has the kind of crazy hats I want to wear. I wonder if she bought this hat at the store in the previous picture?

All of these hats have made my day a little more fun. Do you have any favorite images of crazy hats in our collection? Or maybe a fun story about your favorite crazy hat?

I hope everyone goes out and has a great weekend.


Fun Facts and New Collections

Yesterday we tweeted images from one of our new collections, the School of Library and Information Studies Teaching Slides Collection. This collection brings together unique and valuable teaching materials from University of Wisconsin staff and faculty. This collection hopes to aid in scholarship and study of these materials and disciplines.

Our Twitter and Facebook fans enjoyed seeing parts of this collection and we learned some fun facts about the content.

Fun Fact #1: The image on the left is from the book Der Struwwelpeter, which also happens to be the book Dwight reads to the children in The Office episode, Take your Daughter to Work Day.

Fun Fact #2: We also learned that one of our Facebook friends was given this book while they lived in Germany to learn the language!

This collection is very interesting and different then a lot of other materials we have throughout our collections. Did you see anything yesterday or in the collection that you thought was particularly interesting or had a fun fact you want to share?


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