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Happy Birthday Les Paul

We wanted to commemorate Les Paul on his birthday today. Well known for creating the solid-body electric guitar, Les Paul was a Wisconsin native, Waukesha to be exact. Our Waukesha County History collection has a few images of his from his childhood.

In this image Les Paul poses with his "Red Hot" Rag time Band in front of a Junior Optimist parade float with the band members in costume. He is the fifth from the left, holding the guitar and a harmonica around his neck. alt


Remembering Barneveld

altOn June 8th of 1984, a devastating tornado hit the village of Barneveld, just west of Madison. The F5 tornado left the town in pieces. Today we would like to share pieces of this story with you. In our State of Wisconsin Collection, we have a scrapbook of the 1984 tornado, put together by Lilas Miller.

altThis scrapbook pieces together newspaper articles along with images during this time. The articles in this book tell the stories of the people of Barneveld. Miller has included news paper clippings about the debris that was found in Green Bay, stories of families involved and images of the wreckage. On many of the images she has labeled people in the photographs and included which paper they came from. There is even a story about the town five years later.

This collection is a great commemorative piece of WI history. The stories and images within this scrapbook, although devastating, show the history of our state and how we have worked through disasters.

If you are interested in learning more about what happened in Barneveld during this time or just want to commemorate all of the people involved in this disaster, this scrapbook is a great place to start.


Summer Heat Waves

The first summer heat wave of the season seems to be upon us, how will you be spending your days? We thought today we could look at images of great summer activities around some of our WI lakes. There are so many beautiful lakes in WI let's look at some of the great activities they offer for these hot summer days.

One great way to enjoy the lakes is boating. Any type of boat, kayaks, canoes,or motor boats, can provide a great family or group activity. This image on the left is of a boater on Paddock Lake in Kenosha County. Back in high school, I spent many summer days on this lake with my friends.

Lately, I've really been enjoying biking around Madison in this heat. It is a great way to be active and still enjoy your surroundings. This image on the right is of a group biking around Fox River in Waterford, WI.

One thing I've always wanted to learn is sailing, that seems like a great activity for these summer days. What kinds of activities will you participate in during this heat wave? Swimming? Walking? Sports? Let us know!


The Summer Spirit

altWell, UWDC followers, it seems that summer is finally here. I was absent these past couple weeks, on vacation in sunny Florida. The weather was beautiful, and when I got back I was greeted with more beautiful weather right here in Madison. Let's hope that the grey day we are having clears up and its sunshine for the rest of the week. Until then, here are some pictures to keep you in the summer spirit.

altThe beautiful beach reminds me of vacation. I hope we get days like this here in Wisconsin, unfortunately ours won't be surrounded by palm trees. Laying on the beach, cooking out and relaxing, sounds great doesn't it?

The clear blue waters and tiki huts of this pool scene are sure to keep you hoping for more sunny days. A pool party is a must this summer, getting all of your friends together and spending some time in the sun is what summer is all about.

I hope these sunny pictures get you through until the sun peeks out from behind these rain clouds. What are your summer plans? I'm excited for Summerfest, the State Fair and all the other festivals that summer brings. So let's hope that the sun will come out tomorrow.


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.


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