The legendary folk musician Pete Seeger passed away yesterday (January 27, 2014). Special Collections would like remind the readers that Pete and the “gang” were at Lehigh in 1972 (Saturday, April 28, 1972) for the “Portable Newport Folk Festival”.
Guest authors Arielle Willett, Class of 2015, and Eleanor Nothelfer, Class of 1980.
Today, November 22 2013, marks 50 years since John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Fifty years ago today the world came together to mourn the sudden and tragic loss of the 35th president of the United States. It was a dark day in American history, and in the midst of preparations for the upcoming Le-Laf game, the campus was devastated by the news.
Lehigh’s Special Collections in Linderman Library holds many memories from that day. As she is paging through the Special Collections’ “Kennedy Memorabilia”, volunteer archivist Eleanor Nothelfer, Class of 1980, retired from Civil and Environmental Engineering Department after 42 years of service as the librarian in Fritz Engineering Library and recalls hearing the news: “I worked at the Allentown Public Library at the time, and I was in the back filing catalog cards, my supervisor came and said that it was just on the radio, and that President Kennedy had been shot and honestly, I don’t cry easily, but I just sobbed and sobbed, it was such a shock, so sudden. He and his wife and his children represented the US in such a glamorous and hopeful image it was just such a shock. We didn’t think about those things it those days. It just didn’t happen. That was the beginning of when public officials were subject to that kind of mayhem. You would never have expected it. It was the end of an age of innocence.”
Even 50 years later, the world still remembers John F. Kennedy and the legacy he left behind. They hold ceremonies and memorials; and on our own campus the flag is half staff as it was fifty years ago.
To learn more about the Kennedy Memorabilia and other rare and unique documents, please visit Special Collections.
By Guest Author Arielle Willett, Class of 2015
This upcoming week begins final preparations not only for the next round of four o’clocks, but also for Halloween, one of Lehigh’s most deeply rooted traditions.
In the past, Halloween was one of the most celebrated holidays on Lehigh’s campus, second only to Le-Laff Weekend and House Party (or Houseparty). Fall House Party took place around Halloween, so that the Fraternity Houses were decorated accordingly*. Nowadays we celebrate around campus with decorations and pumpkins, but back in the day it was a full blown campus wide event- there were parades, dinners, and dances, and students went all out to win decorating competitions between residence halls: “The men of Taylor plan to transform the section E lounge into an orbiting space station, where they can spend the “Evening on the Moon”. The void of space will be filled with stellar sounds taped and recorded prior to blasting off.” -Brown and White, October 30th, 1959
Greek parties were brought down to campus as students dressed in masks and costumes flooded down from the hill spookily, in many cases even bringing the festivities to South Bethlehem residents. The administration was in on the festivities too, bringing in Halloween themed speakers and sponsoring Halloween performances in Packard. Halloween was the number one party theme for fraternities. Check the digital archives of the Brown and White for the historical coverage of these amusing events.
Halloween is still one of the most emphatically celebrated holidays on campus, and with a history like that it’s no wonder why.
By Guest Author Kevin Augustyn, Class of 2017
A Day that Will be Remembered in History
On June 28, 1919, Lehigh University held its Victory Peace Reunion in celebration of the end of World War I and in mourning of the alumni who gave their lives in service to the country. According to the Lehigh Alumni Bulletin article*, Lehigh was the only University to hold a peace celebration on this day, the same day as the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Every class from 1870 to 1919 was represented in the attendance for this event. There was an event known as the P-rade that is one of the most remembered events during this celebration. Each class marched with its class flag while returning veterans held American flags and their squad numbers. The air was filled with cheers of “Lehigh! Victory!! Peace!!!” That night, the entire student populace and the returning alumni witnessed Lehigh defeat Lafayette four to one in a baseball game. The next day, memorial services were held at the chapel. Many who attended these two days said that this event would be remembered forever.
Lehigh Alumni Bulletin, volume 7, issue 1, August 1919
*LTS and Special Collections are proud to bring you digital archives of Lehigh’s historical publications such as Lehigh Alumni Bulletin (1913-1951), The Brown and White (1896-2012), The Epitome (1875-2008), Course Catalogs (1866-1994). Contact Special Collections to access to these and many other significant collections.
Blogging is increasingly becoming an accepted part of the academic conversation. Blogs are often a great place to do collaborative work. They can serve as a space in which to get feedback from peers on ongoing research projects. The scholarly conversation conducted in a blog setting is more timely than is possible within the peer-review process, although the peer-review process is important and will not be replaced by blogs any time soon. Here at Lehigh, we have a growing number of faculty who maintain blogs. In this new series, we will periodically highlight the blog of a Lehigh faculty member.
The first blog that we’d like to highlight is Among The Stately Trees, by Earth and Environmental Sciences professor Bob Booth. In his blog, Professor Booth writes about ecological, environmental, and conservation issues and about his research in those areas. His latest post, Trembley’s “tangled bank” on the Lehigh campus, focuses on a forgotten piece of Lehigh history. No spoilers here, but do check out the link to the post to learn more about an early example of experiential learning at Lehigh. Among the Stately Trees is a fine example of the academic use of blogging technology to generate and foster a scholarly conversation.
Jean Johnson’s last day of employment at Lehigh is today, May 31.
She’s been here for more than three decades, for the last fifteen years as Team Leader for the LTS College of Education Team and Education Librarian.
Throughout her career, she’s displayed grace and warmth, insatiable curiosity and an unmatched ability to connect with library inquirers in a productive and personal way.
Jean has given so much of herself to life, learning and fun(!) at Lehigh, for which we will always be grateful.
Yesterday, she requested, so uncharacteristically, an event in her honor. She helped a small group turn the page of the Audubon Birds of America volume on display in Linderman in a little celebration marking the elephant-folio-sized page turn in her own life.
It is not an exaggeration to say that it would be surprising if you have not written any poetry in your youth even though you may hide it from everyone –even from yourself!
Thus, I have been writing poetry since my childhood, which is probably the common denominator of the people of the Mediterranean countries, rich or poor, wise or fool. You don’t have to be a poet to write a poetry, says an ancient Turkish poet; of course, one has to realize that not every poem you write makes you a poet.
The following poems of mine were written in Turkish and were then translated into English by me, humbly. I promised Heather Simoneau, our Humanities Librarian, to contribute to the library’s celebration of the National Poetry Month. Here they are as the closing of the Poetry Month.
Let’s not forget life treats well those who treasure poetry. Until the next Poetry Month, “be well, do good work and keep in touch”*
Discourse on Poet’s Memory
He memorized everything he has ever lived, they say. Word by word.
But he doesn’t remember a thing: Blurred are all the images in his imagination.
Light bulbs with tuberculosis, paralyzed machine.
Gramophone’s needle touches to his heart.
A cheap boulevard song hissing in the background.
They cut his speech at the podium. They mock him,
lower the mike’s volume at the climax of his poem.
It is a specialty to read poetry aloud.
The patriarch of Guild of Orators is so woeful,
his sermon is weeping with only consonants now.
“If we were as humble as sand
We would have had rain’s reputation”
Horses, Our Civilization
We never left you waterless
We replenished your food
Swept your feces; scraped your saliva from
the edges of water buckets, never ever complained,
as if we were in a worship service.
The world was spinning because you were walking
Trotting first, then galloping.
Our civilization has followed your march.
*Garrison Keilor’s closing line of his radio show Writer’s Almanac on NPR.
Written by Danielle Lehr
Master’s Candidate in History
For over twenty years, the world saw the Chrysler Corporation, and the American car industry itself, through the eyes of legendary chairman, Lee Iacocca (Lehigh ‘45). In his memorable commercials, Iacocca spoke directly to the consumer, challenging them to find another company that could top Chrysler’s products. As part of my archiving class this semester, I had the opportunity to see the Chrysler Corporation through the eyes of the man who convinced Iacocca to appear in Chrysler’s commercials, Leo-Arthur Kelmenson. In 1979, Kelmenson decided Kenyon & Eckhardt, the advertising agency of which he was chief executive, would give up an $80 million-a-year contract with the Ford Motor Co. to follow Iacocca to Chrysler. After Kelmenson’s death in 2011, his papers were donated to Lehigh. Now, researchers will be able to study a portion of his advertising career. Whether they are interested in examining printed advertisements, marketing plans, or commercial stills, they will see the advertising process in a new light. I found a collection of Lee Iacocca image surveys particularly interesting, as they demonstrate the intense research that went into creating Iacocca’s image and his lasting impact on the automotive industry.
Processing this collection opened my eyes to the detail-oriented world of archiving. My job was to arrange the collection in such a way that future researchers will be able to use the materials efficiently. Along the way, I had to make decisions concerning the preservation of the documents (“Should I keep that paper clip?”) as well as their organization (“Should the collection be organized chronologically or topically?”). Lois Black and Ilhan Citak guided me in this process, teaching me the intricacies involved in arranging and describing a collection that will ultimately be made available to the Lehigh community and outside researchers.
Of course, this collection will mean different things to different researchers. It is the archivist’s job to ensure they can find the collection in the first place. This involves creating a finding aid, an online document that will help researchers determine if a certain collection is relevant to their study. The finding aid will include a physical description of the collection (What is the format? How many boxes does it include?), specific information about the content (includes quarterly reports, meeting agendas, and personal correspondence), and a short biography if the collection is linked to an individual, such as the Kelmenson papers are.
You can access finding aids for the Special Collections on Lehigh’s Library Services website. I encourage all students to browse through. You may find that Kelmenson’s papers (or other treasures in the Special Collections) could be useful for your current research projects!
by Arielle Willett, Class of 2015
Working in Special Collections, you see all kinds of mysterious material come across the desk. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a collection of letters addressed to Sheldon Zalkind during his time in the military during World War II. He graduated Lehigh Class of 1945, and was a member of Pi Lambda Phi fraternity, participated in university productions, and served in the military at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Camp Lee, Virginia. He continued on to get his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1945, and his doctorate from NYU in 1951 before becoming a professor of Psychology at City College of New York. Among the 40 letters were ones from his mother, his friends from school, and his fraternity brothers, and a few postcards and newspaper clippings.
These kinds of collections are an especially important part of Special Collections because of the insight they provide into a different time period. The letters describe a time in history, and contribute to our understanding of the era, not to mention their contribution to Lehigh’s history- letters written by the Pi Lambda Phi brothers talk about their exams, their plays, their social life, the ‘must see’ movie of the year… all details that would have been lost had they not been preserved here.
As a student, reading the letters really made me think about my own time here. While handwritten letters are few and far between nowadays, every one of us sends thousands of texts, Facebook messages, and emails during our years at Lehigh. Like Zalkind’s friends, we write about campus events, social affairs, inside jokes. These letters were written almost seven decades ago, and yet here they are, mirroring our own lives.
The Zalkind Letters, along with other rare and historical documents, can be found in Special Collections at Linderman Library. To see or learn more about any of these documents, please contact Special Collections.
In honor of National Poetry Month, I have asked LTS staff members to send me their favorite poems or their original poetry. Each day during April, I will post their selections to LTS’s Facebook page and to the LTS Twitter feed, @lehighlib. Original poetry will appear here in Sages of the Pages. Today we have an original poem written by Larry Simek, a computer technician on LTS’s Technology Installation and Maintenance Services Team.
ACTIONS OF LOVE
Daddy, you have a Saints name we all know
And daddy, you’ve gone to the big show
I’m here to rhyme my feelings for you
Some may hate me for it, but to me it is all true
Daddy, I remember waiting for you to come home from work
I’d sit on the street corner for all it was worth
You’d cross the street and take my hand and walk us home
Oh how I wish it were a “real” home
I never heard you say the word “love”
But deep down inside I knew it was a word you thought of
You did so many things to show your love for us, for me
I never got to say “I love you for that daddy”
Daddy, I remember one winter’s night
My hands almost having frostbite
You put them under running water, then rubbed them between your hands
That was love, (no words but action) from where I stand
This next part is especially from MY heart
Many people may not believe this part
It’ll be like dropping a bomb
But I know daddy always loved mom
Daddy, I remember falling asleep on the floor
You would carry me to bed, and quietly close the door
All these little “ACTIONS OF LOVE” made you the best daddy
I just hope I can be half the dad you were to me
Daddy, I remember as a kid asking you for money
You always said the same thing, which now seems funny
“What do you think I am, a bank”
Sometimes you gave, when you didn’t my heart sank
Well daddy, once again my heart is sinking
But this time it’s just from thinking
I should have seen you more and taken everyone else’s lead
But instead all I can say is Gods speed daddy, Gods speed
For my dad, John Stephen Simek, I love you