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New Glarus and Green County Local History

Here is a wonderful new addition to our collections. This collection of New Glarus and Green Country Local History was made possible by the 2011 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant.

In 1845 emigrants from the canton of Glarus in Switzerland, leaving their homeland because of dire economic conditions, established a colony in southern Wisconsin and named it New Glarus. Over the following years, more Swiss from various cantons settled in New Glarus and other areas of Green County.  Throughout its history, the community has nurtured its Swiss cultural heritage. Today, the people of New Glarus maintain a high level of interest in the village’s origins, history, and family lineages, and continue to honor its heritage through festivals, historical museums, and the preservation of buildings, historical artifacts, and genealogical information.

This collection focuses primarily on the first 100 years of New Glarus’s history. It includes narratives about the settlement and early history of the village, family records from the first church in New Glarus, tax rolls of the Town of New Glarus, old maps and plat books of Green County, the first yearbook of the New Glarus High School, and photographs of individuals and families, school groups, community organizations, events, street scenes, businesses, and agriculture. The New Glarus Public Library, the New Glarus Historical Society, and the Swiss United Church of Christ of New Glarus have collaborated to make available to the public these selected materials documenting the history of New Glarus and the surrounding area.

This collection and many more can be found on our website as part of our State of Wisconsin Collection.


Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India

Welcome to Olakh and the University of Wisconsin’s digital archive of grassroots feminist posters from India. This is a brand new addition to our Gender and Women's Studies Collection.

India has been home to a vibrant women’s movement (or rather women’s movements) with a global influence.  Historically, grassroots women’s organizations -- initiated and sustained by farmers, students, workers and housewives alike -- have been the backbone of the women’s movement. These groups have had a vast repertoire of communication strategies for creating awareness, mobilizing support, and protesting against injustice. However, posters have been one of the most widely and effectively used communication media.

The poster collection represented in this archive is physically located in the offices of the feminist organization, Olakh (meaning Identity) in India. Members of Olakh have designed and produced some of these posters.  Many others they have collected from different women’s groups and feminist organizations from all over India. These posters are not simply beautiful pieces of material culture created by individual artists. Most of the posters are the outcome of a collective political process in which community members, activists, students, and/or survivors brainstorm together to translate a deep social concern into words and images.

Even though posters have been widely produced and used in the women’s movement, few organizations have preserved or documented them systematically. When posters are lost to decay or simply gather dust in storerooms or cupboards of individual organizations, they are lost to future generations who wish to engage with the material aspects of historic moments characterized by struggle and social change. Olakh has done a commendable work in collecting and preserving these posters over three decades and University of Wisconsin-Madison extends this work further by supporting preservation, cataloging and wider sharing of this rich historical material.

This brand new collection can be found in the Gender and Women's Studies Collection. We hope you take the time to look at these beautiful posters that represent a unique part of India's history.


Images of Wat Tham Krabok Refugee Camp

The Wat Tham Krabok refugee camp, located on the grounds of a similarly named Buddhist monastery, “Cave of the Teaching Monastery”, about 81 miles north of Bangkok, the Thai capital, was the last Hmong refugee camp in Thailand. Beginning in 2004, almost 30 years after the end of the Vietnam War and companion “Secret War” in Laos, the Hmong’s former home, the camp was closed, with approximately 15,000 Hmong people to be resettled in the U.S., especially in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Our newest addition to the Southeast Asian Images and Texts collection is Images of Wat Tham Krabok Refugee Camp which consists of 200 images primarily taken by Pao Lor as a member of a Fulbright-Hays Group Study Abroad delegation of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) educators who visited the camp in July 2004 when he was an assistant principal and language arts teacher at Neenah High School in Neenah. Later, as an assistant professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, he took a few additional images at the former camp site when leading a group of University study abroad students in January 2009. At that time, all that remained of the camp were a few people and houses.

On the DPI group’s two-day visit in 2004, they met with Hmong camp leaders and other individuals, Thai Task Force 546, who administered the camp, and school teachers, for example. The latter were from the camp’s school and a Thai school, Ban Tharn Thong Daeng School, attended by some of the Hmong children outside the camp. Pao Lor’s photographs present a representational overview of life as it was in the camp, showing living and working conditions, schooling, some traditional Hmong shaman ceremonies, aspects of refugee processing, and more. His purpose was two-fold: “To capture an important segment of Hmong history, and to advance understanding of the Hmong experience at Wat Tham Krabok.”

If you found this collection interesting, be sure to check out the Southeast Asian Images and Texts for more collections like this one.


Silver Buckle Press Collection

We just went live with a very interesting new collection containing some rare type specimen books!

Silver Buckle Press is a working museum of letterpress printing dedicated to preserving the craft of fine printing through educational programming, publications, exhibitions and tours. The Silver Buckle Press holdings of books, wood and metal type, hand presses, and printing equipment are part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries.

Books in the Silver Buckle Press Collection database represent printing history materials from our reference shelf. This core sample was chosen to make hard-to-find items available to students and researchers. The database consists primarily of type specimen books. Type specimens were issued by type and printing equipment manufacturers as sales catalogs. Another category of type specimen books in this collection were in-house specimens made by commercial printers to show prospective customers what types the business had available for job printing.

Type specimen books are becoming increasingly scarce. Though many of them were lavishly produced and substantial in size, type specimens were essentially sales catalogs and therefore ephemeral. Many simply did not survive intact—either because of heavy use, or because the books were discarded when new issues appeared. Additionally, few libraries collected or retained these now highly valued printing history items. Many of these books are in the category of library materials said to be “medium rare,” that is, they were once readily available but are now becoming difficult to locate. These materials are essential for research in type, design and printing history. We are pleased to make them more readily available for students and researchers.

Stay tuned for new updates because we will continue to add new and interesting material to this unique new collection.


Kenosha's Lost Industries

Here is another example of a new addition to our collections that has been made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant.

Kenosha's Lost Industries: Photographs and Corporate Materials, 1850s-1990s

From the 1850s to the 1970s abundant water, a lake port, and railroad corridors crossing Kenosha and Kenosha County, Wisconsin impacted the growth of industry. Kenosha’s development was essentially connected to its strategic location on the western shore of Lake Michigan and in the urban corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago. Kenosha manufacturers gained access to cheap midwestern natural resources of iron, copper, wood, coal and water. These simple facts were the primary cause of Kenosha County’s industrialization. Larger markets were created as products reached more remote places.

Kenosha County industries enabled tens of thousands of immigrants from around the world to come to the area, adding their skills to the workforce and enriching society with their remarkable ethnic diversity. Minorities also found employment here. Their presence and contributions in the automobile industry during the 1950s were rarely documented in Wisconsin employment histories.

Kenosha’s industrialization allowed inexpensive production of wagons, tanned leather, bicycles, foundry products and machine tools. The natural groundwork was laid for the production of automobile, rail, and transportation components such as industrial wire and tools. For nearly a hundred years this work, accompanied by rapid population growth, created and supported the manufacture of products and commodities demanded by American workers and the world market.

altKenosha and the United States literally grew up together. The city became a major manufacturing center intertwined with regional, national and international economies. The once stable industrial base, which strengthened the southeast Wisconsin region and Kenosha’s local economy, is now changing, weakening, or disappearing altogether. Kenosha is losing, and has lost, over a century of its industrial legacy.

This new addition to our collections serves as a great compliment to another Kenosha subcollection, more generally focused on Kenosha history, Kenosha County History: Images and Texts, 1830s-1940s. Be sure to take a look at both of these collections and learn about Kenosha's interesting history.


What Does Finals Week Need? Pizza!

In honor of finals week quickly approaching, we're highlighting an article written by Julie Jacob in the 1985 edition of the Wisconsin badger.

We hope this helps some of you remember pizza during finals week and maybe even use it as a tool to maximize study time!

Pizza! A Food for All Seasons

Gyros come, and gyros go, and tofu has its time, but pizza has endured the tests of time and students' taste, and remains a comforting constant in the joys and trauma of college life. Eaten out or ordered in, deep dish or regular, it plays many roles, say on an ordinary Friday night.

1. Pizza as the food of negotiation and diplomacy.  Like an overabundance of manna from heaven, this particular Friday brings enough things to do for 1,000 Fridays. Invitations to three parties, friends coming in unexpectedly from LaCrosse, free concert tickets, a long-awaited date, and a friend's birthday celebration. Pizza is ordered in, (it has enough calories for a long night) and munched between phone calls arranging meeting times and places ("Okay ... first we'll go to Amy's party, then we'll cruise down to Hart's, meet Karen, stop in at Flamingo's have a drink with Pam,".. .

2. Pizza as the antidote to Friday night blues - it's another Friday, this one sans money, sans roommates (who have migrated home). Pizza salvages the evening. ("What did you do last night? Nothing?" "No, I ordered a Pit and watched Dallas)"alt

3. Pizza as the Great Comforter - Pizza as a warm, greasy and spicy security blanket to assuage the pain of failed exams, broken heart, empty checkbook, or dead plants. Pizza offered by roommates or friends as a token of their concern ("Here life's not all bad we just ordered an extra-large pizza - we even got anchovies and pepperoni - your favorite.")

4. Pizza as the ultimate nightcap - What can be a more perfect ending to a wild night out than to pass out with the cheek nestled against a slice with extra sauce and onions?

6. Finally, pizza during finals week. - The quick, easy way to shove calories into the body without wasting precious time cooking. Pizza as the ultimate study break, as a way to chew away anxieties.

Ah pizza. Is college complete without it?

If you want to browse through some more old copies of the Wisconsin Badger for more gems like these, check out our University of Wisconsin Collection!


Farewell to the Card Catalog

From Univeristy of Wisconsin News: http://www.news.wisc.edu/20057

It will be the end of an era when the public card catalog is removed from its home in room 224 of Memorial Library on the UW–Madison campus.

Withdrawal of the 6,700 drawers’ worth of cards will begin shortly, with the removal of their 112 cases to be completed in mid-May, to make room for new types of library spaces devoted to fostering innovative approaches to research and technology.

Card catalogs used to represent all of the books, journals, and resources in the libraries’ collections. Memorial Library’s card catalog has not been updated since 1987 after the first online catalog was implemented in 1986.

The millions of cards will be recycled and the majority of card cases will go to the university SWAP (Surplus with a Purpose) store where they are sold individually. SWAP is open to the public for those in the market for a piece of library history. Memorial Library is also planning on keeping some of the built-in cases and a sampling of cards.

The current plan is to use the space for a new Libraries’ initiative called The Humanities Research Bridge. The collaboration with DoIt Academic Technology and the College of Letters & Science Learning Support Services will provide a suite of services and spaces designed to facilitate and advance collaborative research in the humanities.

The space is intended to provide a hub for building a strong network of scholars, graduate students, and staff interested in digital research, workshops, consultations, and collaborations.


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