Digital Collections Update: Featuring World War I Germany and Bob Hope

Once again, it’s time for another update about our digital collections!

Now that the semester is underway, we are back to regularly adding new postcards. As I wrote about earlier this year, thanks to generous donations from Clyde N. Bowden, Allen Bernard, and Virginius C. Hall, we have been able to greatly expand the Bowden Postcard Collection Online project. Most significantly, nearly all of the remaining 13,000 or so Ohio postcards are currently being digitized by a commercial company which will greatly reduce the time it takes to bring the collection online. I am hoping to have completed adding all ~15,000 Ohio postcards to the digital collection by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year. The digitization should soon be completed, but in the mean time we have already begun adding new materials several times a week. Many of the postcards we have come in ‘souvenir folders’, which make them a more complicated affair to digitize. As a result, we decided to do these ourselves and so have been adding them while we await the completion of the larger digitization project.

Additionally, while sorting through our international cards, we came across a very interesting set that was given to one of our donor’s by his father’s friend. It is a collection of approximately 100 postcards, all from World War I France and Germany. Even more interesting is that they are all photographs taken by the German Army (and approved for public use, as we learned from the backs of the cards). The photographs themselves are astonishing pieces of history, depicting battlefields in media res, soldiers relaxing, and now-gone buildings.

Another series of postcards we are currently adding comes from the personal collection of donor Allen W. Bernard. A scholar of architecture, Bernard has gathered a set of postcards depicting the numerous Catholic churches constructed in and around Mercer County, Ohio, by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in the 19th century.

I’m also pleased to announce the launch of our newest digital collection, the WMUB Radio Archives. WMUB is a public radio station in Oxford, Ohio. In the late 1960s, a variety of student-produced programs were run on WMUB. Many of the students involved in these programs were also a part of the Studio 14 crew. Regular programs in this collection include: 529-3521, a live student call-in discussion program, and Newspoint, a half-hour nightly newscast. There are additionally a number of fascinating special broadcasts, including the 130th Miami University Commencement, with Bob Hope speaking.

Happy browsing!

Marcus Ladd
Special Collections Digital Librarian