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Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

Today we are celebrating Nelson Mandela's birthday with a look at images from our Africa Focus collection.

Nelson Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and the former President of South Africa. On his birthday, we thought we would highlight images surrounding the 1994 elections. These were the first multi-racial elections to be held in South Africa. The African National Congress won the vote and Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the country's first black President.

On the left is an image of the South African Newspaper, The Sowetan. The headline, "IFP for poll," refers to Buthelezi's Inkatha Party. This paper was published on April 20th, 1994, just 6 days before the election, as seen at the top left corner of the paper. This is one of five images from our Africa Focus collection showing the 1994 elections.

The image on the lower right is also from this series. It shows a sample ballot from the elections. The African National Congress is 12th from the top with a small image of Mandela next to the black, green and yellow symbol.

This election is a great part of South African history, as is Nelson Mandela. The African Focus collection has more images surrounding the elections and the events leading up to them. Please take a moment to look through the images and help us celebrate Nelson Mandela's birthday.

Happy Birthday!


Archival Innovation

altWe want to give a shout out to the UW-Madison Department of Geography, the State Cartographer's Office, and members of our UWDCC team for being awarded the 2011 Governor's Award for Archival Innovation for their collaborative effort on the Baldwin-funded project, "Changing Landscapes of Wisconsin."

Our team members scanned over 38,000 aerial photos from the 1930s and 1940s, which were kept by the Robinson Map Library. The images cover the entire state and can give us an idea of what our state looked like before much of the construction we see today.

The State Cartographer's Office then made the images available on an innovative and interactive geographic interface, the WHAIFinder. Above is an image of the finished project. We hope that you will take time to explore the WHAIFinder and congratulate all of these teams on their great work.


A Royal Visit

altThis past weekend the Royal newlyweds ended their North American tour with a visit to California. While there, Prince William participated in a polo match and the couple attended various events. Although we were glad to see that the royals got to experience the U.S. we wished they would have stopped in Wisconsin for some real fun.

They wouldn't be the first royals to come to Wisconsin you know. In 1931, three members of the Siamese Royal family, Prince and Princess Svasti,, their son Prince M. C. Srjuna visited Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Parker in Janesville, WI. The image on the left is of the royal family and the Parkers standing in front of Mr. Parker's biplane. There is another image in our Janesville's Past collection of them in the plane.

Maybe we can convince Prince William and Catherine to visit the Midwest next time they come, I mean who wouldn't love some Wisconsin beer and cheese?


Happy Birthday!

altToday is one of our own's birthday! Check out Twitter today as she tweets her 5 favorite images.

Happy Birthday M!

Maybe this lady will share some of her cake with you...


An 'Ode to Kenosha

altThis past Thursday, June 30th, the downtown and lakefront area of Kenosha was hit by a terrible storm. The storm left thousands without power for a few days and flattened trees in the parks and neighborhoods around the lakefront. Kenosha is my hometown and today I wanted to give a little shout out to all the people affected and all the parks that are missing some beautiful old trees.

altOne of the places heavily affected was the Kemper Center and surrounding grounds. Kemper was an old boarding school, which is now a historic site used for events. The grounds are beautiful, just off of the water with tons of trees and green space. The image on the top is of the Kemper Hall Gymnasium from the late 1800s. Many of these trees were hit by the storm and were knocked down by the 80mph winds. A couple trees from Kemper were blocking the road all day Friday, as crews worked all weekend cleaning up.

Another park affected was Eichelman Park, just north of Kemper. The second image shows this park in the early 1900s. All of these new trees had grown up since then and many of them were also taken down by the storm.

So here is to my hometown, I look forward to seeing all the new trees being planted.


Wisconsin Parades

Can you believe how fast summer is flying by? Monday is already going to be the Fourth of July! This holiday is always filled with cook outs, fireworks and of course tons of parades. Every city, town and neighborhood has a parade to celebrate the 4th. To celebrate this year, we thought we could look through our collections and find images of Fourth of July parades from around the state.

First up, we have an image from our Two Rivers History collection. This image shows a Fourth of July parade from 1910 proceeding down Washington St. Back then the floats were pulled by horses and paper mache was not the decoration of choice, but it still has that stars and stripes theme!

This second image comes from my favorite collection, the Kenosha County History collection. This weekend I will be home in Kenosha for the parade. The parade in this image is from 1890 and is traveling down Main St. There is no longer a Main St. in Kenosha, it is now 6th Avenue and the parade still travels down that route. On Sunday, I will be one of those bystanders watching the floats go by!

Where will you be watching parades this weekend? We've got images from all over the state, maybe you can find an image from the town you'll be in.


Welcoming, Interim Chancellor, David Ward

altYesterday at a news conference the President of the UW System, Kevin Reilly, announced that David Ward would be appointed interim UW-Madison Chancellor. David Ward is not new to this role, having been Chancellor of UW-Madison from 1993-2001.

We've got a few images of and articles about Chancellor Ward during his time at the UW. Before, he was Chancellor, he taught at the university. This image at the left is from 1989, and must have been a staff photo from the UW.

We also found an article in the 1993 Badger Yearbook, when Ward took over as interim Chancellor for Donna Shalala. During his time as chancellor, he helped to enhance undergraduate learning and created the Chadbourne and Bradley learning communities. Here is another article from the 2000 Badger Yearbook, this article discusses Chancellor Ward's decision to leave the UW and all the great things he accomplished for this university.

We just wanted to say welcome back, Chancellor Ward!


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