Home News

Housewife Day

Did you know that today is National Housewife Day? To celebrate this quirky holiday you might take a look at a few photos of classic Badger Housewives from the Badger Village Sections of our University of Wisconsin Collection.

Housewife Day (an officially unrecognized holiday as far as we can tell) celebrates the importance of stay at home wives and moms. The term housewife dates as far back as the 13th century according to the Oxford English Dictionary and is often used to describe a woman whose main occupation is managing a household.

There are several publications in the UW Digital Collections containing domestic guides for women and girls, instructing them how to best manage daily household duties. Take a look at Playing House: Homemaking for Children to learn more. On the UW Madison campus once stood a a Home Management House where students lived for two weeks in order to apply budgeting and household management skills. You can see images in Home Economics to Human Ecology: A Centennial History at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.



Janesville's Past: Additions to the Collection

Have you seen Janesville's Past? With recent additions made possible through a 2011 Library Services and Technology Act grant (LSTA) this is a collection worth checking out!

Janesville, located in southern Wisconsin near the Illinois border, was settled in 1835, making it one of the earliest communities in the state. The collection contains photographs by Lowell "Bud" Gruver, showing Janesville's changing cityscape in the 20th century. The nineteenth-century is well represented through many books and the newest additions to the collection include several histories written by citizens of Janesville, detailing everything from growing up in the city to entertainment and the schools.

Digitization of Janesville's Past is collaborative project completed by the UWDCC and the Hedberg Public Library and was funded, in part, through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. This grant provides financial support for public libraries to digitize and make available online, their local library resources.

Be sure to look through all of the new material that can be found in this collection!


Freaky Photo Contest

Halloween is right around the corner and to help get us all in the spooky spirit we are having a Freakiest Photo contest. We have haunted ghost babies, smoking cauldrons, dissected bodies and even dolls that make Chucky look adorable!

Just look through the albums on our Facebook page of creepy creatures, ghastly ghouls, and scary skeletons and pick which ones make your spine tingle the most!

The pictures with the most votes in each category will move on to our Creepiest Picture Bracket. The pictures you vote as spookiest, craziest and most downright disturbing, will go head-to-head over the three-day period leading up to Halloween. Each day the pictures will be narrowed down and half will be bumped out of the running. On Halloween we will have our final showdown; the freakiest photos of all time will go head-to-head to see who gets the Creepy Crown of UW Digital Collections!

Post your predictions for who will be in the finals and who will be crowned. So don’t forget to visit our Facebook page and help the photo that makes you wake up screaming make it to the finals on Halloween!

Who do you think will be the freakiest photo of them all!?


Paul A. Chadbourne

Todaalty, Friday October 21st, is the birthday of Paul Chadbourne who was president of UW Madison from 1867-1870. Many of you may have once lived in Chadbourne hall as a Freshman or have at least walked past it on your way up Bascom Hill, well this is the president it was named after.

Paul Ansel Chadbourne
President, 1867-1870

In 1866 the Wisconsin legislature passed an act to enlarge and restructure the university including its curriculum, faculty, and students.  The legislature also created a new corporation and a new Board of Regents.  One of the first pressing needs was to find a chief executive, now called president, for the reorganized university, and the regents settled on Paul Chadbourne. Chadbourne was a strong administrator and laid the groundwork for the growth of the university in later years.  The Law School was established during his administration, and the first professor of agriculture was hired.  Ladies Hall, which originally housed the Female College and later was a women's dormitory, was named for Chadbourne.

Chadbourne was born in North Berwick, Maine on October 21, 1823.  He attended Phillips Academy and worked for several years before graduating from Williams College in 1848. Chadbourne resigned in June, 1870, and later became president of Williams College from 1872 to 1881 and then returned to the Massachusetts Agricultural College as president in 1882.  He died in New York city, where he had gone for business, on February 23, 1883.

If you would like to read more about Paul Chadbourne or some of our other university presidents, A history of housing at the University of Wisconsin (1987), by Barry James Teicher is a great place to look.


Welcome Freshmen

One (almostFreshmen Beanie) full week of classes is in the books. We hope all the freshmen out there are settling, finding their way around campus and learning about how great college really is. Back in the day, freshmen were expected to wear a beanie, or cap, from Varsity Welcome (the first Friday of fall semester) through Thanksgiving and from Easter until Varsity (Cap) Night in late spring. And, Freshmen were supposed to touch the red button on top when speaking to upperclassmen. Penalties for not doing so ranged from singing university songs to being thrown in the lake.

Other freshmen hazing including long walks back to campus, peanut rolling and sophomores were known to "kidnap" freshmen, loading them in to trucks and locking them in barns nearby campus.a long walk home

So, no matter how stressful this week has been, at least today's freshmen don't have to worry about unexpected dips in Lake Mendota or questionable fashion statements (at least not caused by upper classmates)! Learn more about campus history in our wonderful University of Wisconsin Collection. Welcome back!



UW-Madison Day at the State Fair

altThe Wisconsin State Fair started last week, and already thousands of people have enjoyed the deep fried goodness that can only be found at the fair. Yesterday was officially UW-Madison Day and students, alumni and of course the UW Marching Band took over the fair grounds. The UW is celebrated it's history of service and outreach to the state with musical performances, science demonstrations, athletic contests and product samples developed at the university. They also sponsored a school supplies drive for Milwaukee area children. For more information about UW-Madison Day you can visit their website!

Our Wisconsin Blue Books collection is full of information about the Wisconsin State Fair. Did you know that the State Fair was held on the Camp Randall grounds in 1860? At this time, permanent structures were to be built, but these plans were suspended during the Civil War. The fair has been held in various location from Janesville and Madison to Fon du Lac and Milwaukee. It found its home in Milwaukee (West Allis) in 1886 and has been there ever since.

On the left is the article from the Blue Books describing the history of the Wisconsin State Fair, to read the history click on the image. This collection contains tons of information from past State Fairs such as what types of cows were first shown and when, the number of people in attendance, and the people in charge of the fair each year.

The State Fair is a tradition. I know this year I am eager to try some deep fried butter! Did you visit the fair for UW-Madison Day?


National Watermelon Day

According to our calendar it's National Watermelon Day! Although we are not sure the historical significance of this day, we love watermelons and today seems like a beautiful day to celebrate them!

Did you know that there is a National Watermelon Championship? This image on the left is from our UW-Madison Archives from the days when the National Watermelon Seed Spitting Championship was held in Madison. The girl on the right is the National Watermelon Queen, I wonder how she got that title? This collection also has images of participants in the Watermelon Seed Spitting Championship.

Everyone loves watermelon, even animals! On the right is an image from our PrimateImages: National History Collection, showing a couple of Rhesus monkeys eating a watermelon. They have a very interesting way of eating this watermelon, but hey, why not just dig right in!

Did you know that a watermelon is 90% water, but that doesn't stop them from tasting delicious! It's a beautiful day outside for a picnic, so don't forget the watermelon! Happy National Watermelon Day everyone!


Page 6 of 24

News Archive