June is National Dairy Month
As June Dairy Month Goes, So Goes the Nation.
The first June Dairy Month in Wisconsin was celebrated back in 1939. Modeled after National Milk Month, Dairy Month was intended to showcase the national dairy industry, always important to Wisconsin, in the face of drastic milk surpluses and plummeting milk prices. Early June Dairy Months included grocery displays, newspaper advertisements, and radio "milk talks" spots (donated by stations like WTMJ and WISN). In 1944, the concerns of the dairy industry had changed dramatically. June Dairy Month during the war years promoted dairy and the dairyman as "vital to victory" and worked to "portray the supreme effort being put into winning the ward by they dairy industry."
By 1950, June Dairy Month was promoting June as the month in which "when Nature's bounty is most abundant and our dairy herds achieve their greatest and best production" and science was used to back up health claims. Students experimented with white rats and milk to show the healthful qualities of milk. The experiments were supported and and sponsored by the Dairy Council.
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.
Kenosha 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.