2014 is almost over! A few updates about our digital holdings before the break.
First, the recording of our second Special Collections Annual Lecture Telling our Stories: Building the Freedom Summer Legacy is now online here. Please note the audio master volume is set a little low so it may be necessary to turn up your speakers. The video features a panel of Freedom Summer volunteers first recounting their own stories and then taking questions from the audience.
Our fall exhibit Stories of Freedom Summer from the Western College Memorial Archives is over, but you can still enjoy the experience of our digital storytelling version here. Be sure to come in this spring to see The Ready Ones: American Children, World War II, and Propaganda, an exhibit guest curated by graduate student Katie Wills! Katie writes about the exhibit:
‘Stories from people who were children during World War II and the objects in this exhibit animate the past and inform us of a time when war took over daily life. “Retrospect is a very interesting thing,” says Ruthie Kallnder. “At the time I don’t recall any of the information we got as being propaganda,” but the government tried to influence children to make “necessary” sacrifices. Propagandists made the war a battle between good and evil, democracy and fascism. They also asked children to share in the war effort. In response, many children took on more responsibilities. Ruthie explains that boys and girls felt “if that’s what it was going to take” to win they “were willing to do it.” The memories of the people in this exhibit and their wartime actions show the power of propaganda’s messages and its lasting affect on their lives. Propaganda posters, children’s books, and classroom assignments demonstrate how propagandists reached children and involved them in the national war effort.’
Of course, it wouldn’t be one of my blog posts without mention of our digital collections. I was browsing some of the statistics of our digital collections website and learned some interesting things, most exciting of all (to me, at least) is that fewer than half of our users are accessing our digital collections within Ohio, and a full 15% of our users are coming in from outside of the United States. So to all of you – wherever you are – thank you, happy holidays, and wishing you all a very, very happy 2015!
Special Collections Digital Librarian