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Graduation Weekend

altThis weekend many students will be celebrating their graduation from one of our great UW universities. We wanted to take a moment to congratulate all of the graduating seniors for all of their hard work, and wish them luck on their future plans. We hope that all of your ceremonies go well and you get some time to celebrate with your friends and family.

altOur UW History collection has graduation images from all of our UW campuses. At the top is a great image from the UW-La Crosse History collection. The image is from a 1940s graduation walk, showing graduates walking in traditional cap and gown across the campus grounds. It looks like a beautiful day, I hope this year's weather will be as nice.

The image on the bottom is from the 1951 badger yearbook. The page highlights the events of senior week, "a picnic, senior ball, band music and pleasant relaxation..." Hopefully all of the seniors are finished with their finals and get a chance to relax a little before their ceremony.

We've been tweeting even more images from the collections of graduation ceremonies. If you aren't already, follow us on Twitter @UWdigiCollec, to see tons of great images.

So who out there will be graduating this weekend? What are your plans for after graduation? Whatever they are we hope you don't forget about us! Have a great weekend graduates, and once again, congratulations!


New Artists' Books

altRecently,we went live with new books for our Artists' Book Collection. If you haven't already taken a look at this collection, you should take a moment to browse these beautiful books. This database is an illustrated, descriptive index to the Artists’ Book Collection, located in the Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The artists’ books are finely crafted and visually stimulating works made by more than 150 presses and artists worldwide. They comprise limited edition, one-of-a-kind, and offset books, representative of major book artists working during the past thirty years, including many who trained in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department.

The image at the top is from a titled, A'tugwaqan: three Mi'kmaq Indian stories, created by Jim Lee and written by Ruth Holmes Whitehead. The book contains 20 woodcut images that required 14 press runs to be completed. There were 100 copies printed and signed by the author. The book was inspired by the lore and history of the Mi'kmaq People.

altThe next image is from the book Chasing Paper by Claudia Cohen.This is the third book in her series about her passion for collection paper of all types. This book has over 300 paper samples arranged in different ways. The paper is woven throughout the book and contains paper such as pre-20th century wallpaper, consumable packages, marbled, handmade, and labels.

There are about 30 new books that we have added to this collection that are crafted with fine detail and contain interesting information. I encourage you, if you have a moment, to take a look at these art works.


Images of the African Diaspora

altWe recently went live with a new collection in our African Studies Collections that we would like to share with you. The Images of the African Diaspora collection brings together images of architecture, painting, performance, sculpture, ritual objects, and textiles and ritual dress. The collection documents Afro-Brazilian visual and performance arts and artists primarily in Salvador, Bahia but also other sites primarily in northeastern Brazil.

Professor Henry Drewal, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been documenting these items since 1974. Professor Drewal is the Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies and Adjunct Curator of African Art at the Chazen Museum of Art at UW-Madison. He has published several books, edited volumes and articles, and curated exhibitions primarily on the arts of Yoruba-speaking peoples of West Africa and the Yoruba diaspora in the Americas.

This is an interesting and well documented collection. Please take a minute to look through these images and maybe you will discover something new.


School's (almost) out for summer

The spring semester is winding down and for many UW students this will be our last week of classes before the dreaded week of finals. So let's take a moment to reminisce about the times we have had this semester in lectures, labs and discussions across our UW campuses statewide.

On the left, from our History of UW-La Crosse collection, are some students from the campus sitting in a lecture hall in 1962. Professor Jim Lafky is teaching his class in Main Hall. Does this scene look familiar to any UW La Crosse students this year?

From the History of UW-Oshkosh collection, here are some students working in a lab in the 1930s-1940s. I wonder what kind of experiments they are working on? How are the student scientists out there doing; are you almost finished with your work for the semester?

And lastly, what about all of you artists out there? Have you had enough time this semester to explore your artistic side? These students on the left are listening to their professor during an art education class during the 1960s. I hope you have had enough time to prepare and are ready to turn in your final pieces.

Well, this is it, the final days of the semester. I hope everyone learned a lot and will be ready when fall rolls around again.


Wedding Fashions

As I'm sure everyone in the world knows by now, this weekend is the royal wedding. On Friday, Prince William and Kate Middleton will be married at the famous Westminster Abbey. The flowers have been chosen the seating plan is confirmed, but one important piece is still being kept secret: the dress. There have been rumors about who will design the dress and what it will look like, but the people will not know until that day.

While the world is thinking about what dress Kate will wear, we thought we would look at some wedding dresses from our collections.

On the left, from our collection on the history of Kiel, WI, is Ernst and Adela Oemichen Witthuhn in their wedding attire from the late 1800s. She is wearing a high-necked dress, draped with fringe and rows of beads. We know Kate's dress will also be very modest and covered up, much like this dress.

Now this dress on the right is fit for a royal. This is a model of a wedding dress in the Middle Atlas. The image is from our Africa Focus collection and was taken by Douglas Boyan. I'm guessing that Kate's dress won't be this colorful, but it should be this grand much like the dress Princess Diana wore at her wedding.

Our collections are full of wedding dress fashions from around the world. Soon we will have a day of Twitter images dedicated to wedding dresses.

So what do you think Kate's dress will look like? Will you be watching the royal wedding?


Celebrating 100!

Today we are celebrating our 100th blog post! We hope that you have enjoyed reading our blogs and will continue to read them as we go. We want to keep providing you with interesting and useful information. To celebrate our 100th, we asked some of our coworkers what their favorite collections were, here is what they said.

One person said they could get lost in our Casselman archive. The Casselman Archive of Islamic and Mudejar Architecture in Spain is a beautiful image collection containing over four thousand color slides and black and white photographs of medieval Spain taken by the late Eugene Casselman during his thirty years of travel throughout the Iberian peninsula. It is easy to see how you could get lost in this collection, the images are so detailed and interesting.

Another collection, which many of you may recognize, got two votes for staff favorite, one of them being mine. The Kenosha County History collection is another well digitized image collection. The image collection is made up of the Dewey Lantern Slides and the Louis M. Theirs Glass Negatives. I highlight this collection quite a bit, but I can't help but love the great images of my hometown. This image is probably my favorite in the Kenosha History collection and arguably my favorite in our entire collection.

Lastly, the Artists' Book collection was also mentioned as a favorite. This collection is a descriptive index to the Artists’ Book Collection, located in the Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The images in the collection provide a detailed looks at the books within the physical collection. The database indexes approximately 760 of those titles, over 500 of which have one to four images to visually represent the structure and/or content of the book. These books are very intricate and detailed. If you haven't yet, take a look and then visit the actual books over in the art library.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will continue reading. Do you have a favorite collection? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you.


Happy Birthday to the Wisconsin Band!

This past weekend the University of Wisconsin Varsity Band performed three concerts celebrating their 125th anniversary. The birthday celebration featured pyrotechnics, multimedia, special guests and surprises, all led by conductor Michael Leckrone.

To commemorate this 125th birthday, we wanted to highlight some images of the Varsity band through the ages. On the left is the first known photograph of a University of Wisconsin-Madison band. The photo dates back to 1896. This band looks pretty small compared to the 300 person band we see at football games today. I wonder if they even had enough people to make a stable pyramid?

Here is a photo of Mike Leckrone directing the band in 1982. Leckrone has been the band director since 1968. I wonder if he knew how to 'Bucky' back then?

Our History of UW-Madison collection is full of images of the band. There are images from football games, hockey games, images of the band in formation and standing on their heads. It is a great collection and anyone interested in the band should take a look.

For those that went to the concert this weekend, how was it? Do any of our images do justice to your experience? Let us know!


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