Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Evening Film Screening

Don't miss the FINAL installment of our Measuring Deliberate Speed Brown Bag Film & Discussion Series....

When: Thursday, February 25th from 7:00-9:00PM (Special Evening Screening!)

Russell Library Auditorium, West entrance of Main Library Building, UGA

The Film: Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later (2007)

The wave of desegregation that transformed the South during the 1960s began in Little Rock in September 1957. In this intimate documentary, filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud follow the lives of contemporary Central High students, teachers, and administration, as well as community leaders, over the course of a year, visiting classes, school meetings and assemblies, teenagers' homes and community events. Sharing the stories of both black and white students, the film reveals the opportunities and challenges facing them in and out of the classroom fifty years after school desegregation. (Running Time: 1hr, 10 minutes)

Following the film Jan Levinson (Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library) and Mary Miller (Peabody Awards Archivist, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection) will lead a discussion with the audience. For this special evening event, the Russell Library's main exhibit gallery will be open until 9PM on Thursday, February 25th. Exhibits currently on display include, "Measuring Deliberate Speed: Georgians Face School Desegregation" and "With All Deliberate Speed: The AP in Little Rock." Light refreshments will be served.

The Russell Library is located through a side door on the west side of the Main Library Building (Note: if facing the Main Library, follow the path along the right side of the building). For more information please call (706) 542-5788 or email jlevinso@uga.edu

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The New March Madness

This year, in celebration of Women’s History Month, the Russell Library is proud to co-sponsor a series of programs celebrating the life and legacy of Jeannette Rankin – the first woman elected to Congress. In total, the program series will include six events spread over the month of March in locations across the community and the University of Georgia campus. Join us for the new March Madness!

What inspired this celebration? Well, 2010 marks the 130th anniversary of Jeannette Rankin’s birth. Anticipating this benchmark, the founding mothers of the Jeannette Rankin Foundation – a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to low-income women pursuing undergraduate or vocational training programs – approached the Russell Library and a host of other entities at UGA to develop an event series that would remember the achievements and insights of this groundbreaking individual. Not only did Rankin make an impact through her role in national politics, but she was also a vocal community member in her adopted hometown of Watkinsville, Georgia.

Each program gives voice to an issue in which Rankin was deeply invested during her lifetime, while utilizing different presentation styles to relay the information: panel discussion, lecture, public forum. The event series will kick off on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at the Oconee County Library with a lecture-style presentation providing an overview of Ms. Rankin's life and career, with particular focus on her years in Watkinsville.

The Russell Library is excited to be among the co-sponsors for this event series and extends great thanks to our longtime supporter (and tireless volunteer for RFCLG!) Margaret Holt – one of those founding mother’s at the core of this effort. In the weeks to follow, we’ll post information on upcoming events, as well as recaps and photos from the series here on the blog – so check back for more!

In the meantime, to find more information about the program series visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/events/rankin/, call (706) 542-5788, or tweet @JR130Committee. Additional information can be found at the Jeannette Rankin Foundation website or Facebook page.

Where: Community Room, Oconee County Library
When: Sunday, March 7, 2010, 3-5PM

The Life and Legacy of Jeannette Rankin: Championing Election Reform,
Panel Discussion & Reception

Where: Auditorium, Athens-Clarke County Library
When: Sunday, March 14, 2010, 3-5PM

The Life and Legacy of Jeannette Rankin: Her Passion for Peace, Lecture & Reception
Where: Community Room, Oconee County Library
When: Sunday, March 21, 2010, 3-5PM

Too Little Too Late: Changes in the Legal Status of Women

UGA Women's History Month Keynote Address by Dr. Joan Hoff (Montana State University)
Where: University Chapel, University of Georgia
When: Monday, March 22, 2010, 3-5PM

The Life and Legacy of Jeannette Rankin: Defining America’s Role in the World, Community Forum & Reception
Where: Meeting Room, Oconee County Library
When: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 3-5PM

The Life and Legacy of Jeannette Rankin: Workplace Justice Then and Now,
Panel Discussion & Pizza Dinner

Where: Zell B. Miller Learning Center (Room 248), University of Georgia
When: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 5-6:30PM

This program series is presented by the JR130 committee with generous support and assistance from the following co-sponsors: Jeannette Rankin Foundation, Athens-Clarke County Library, Oconee County Library; and the following University of Georgia Units – Institute for Women’s Studies, Willson Center for Arts and Humanities, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Department of History, and Women’s Studies Student Organization. All programs are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Informal Forum (2/19/2010): The New Science of Food

The Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia (RFCLG) is hosting National Issues Forums on a monthly basis at the Russell Library. Our next informal forum will take place this Friday, February 19th from 3:00-4:30PM in the Russell Library auditorium.

This month's deliberative forum considers the issues in play at the intersection of food production and technology. The use of new biotechnology tools in our global agricultural and food system has rapidly increased during the past decade. Scientists can now use biotechnology to create characteristics in plants or animals by transferring genetic material from one source to another plant or animal. In the process, new personal and societal decisions emerge about these food and agricultural production practices.

Using the National Issues Forums Institute's guide, The New Science of Food: Facing up to Our Biotechnology Choices, the group will consider several approaches to tackling this complex issue. Trained neutral moderators will guide the discussion. The event is free and open to all. More information is available by contacting Jill Severn at 706-542-5766. For more information about Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, visit www.libs.uga.edu/russell/rfclg.

How to Find the Russell Library: The Russell is located on the bottom floor of the Main Library building on UGA's north campus. Follow the path down the right side of the main library building (the west facing side) and down the stairs to access our door!

Oral History Style

Oral history has an advantage.

As a student worker in the Media and Oral History unit of the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, I have a particular task. I sit down at a computer, throw on a pair of headphones, and listen to Georgia’s Republicans and Democrats tell their tales of political life. I transcribe these interviews, capturing the voices, the squints, the almost-Gallic shrug of shoulders in written words as video and audio recordings allow the personality of each politician to unfold.

This process should not be underestimated, Examining the ancient politicians of Rome or Greece, their character is determined today by the propaganda and biography found on old papyri. Georgia politicians are just as crafty and charming – and we can view it firsthand. Carl Sanders' immaculate bearing has not wavered over the years. Zell Miller displays the verve and showmanship of a country preacher. Max Cleland's intensity is punctuated with moments of sarcasm and guffaws. Oral history interviews capture the way these men and women see themselves and their careers, and their thoughts on Georgia politics today.

Students come to history on various paths. Many strive to close an existing gap in the field, whether it be a gap of language, time, or distance. Oral history offers us a different relationship with the past. It offers an immediate and lively transmission of historical events, something I have learned to appreciate. It is appropriate for our increasingly technological world. Oral history forces us to see a historical subject as human, and provides a glimpse at the past in the first person.

Post by Courtney Holbrook, Student Worker, Russell Library.

Courtney is a senior at the University of Georgia. She is the first contributor in a new series of blog posts titled, "Student Perspectives."

Monday, February 08, 2010

Revised Conclusions

When composing this month’s Outside the Box post, I proposed a few theories as to why Governor Lamartine Hardman would have owned a phrenology skull. After speaking with some colleagues here at the Russell Library (who have more insight into the collections) and doing in-depth research in the Hardman collection, I discovered some revealing documents that change these initial conclusions.

Sketches from Burnett Letter
In a file folder titled “fingerprints” largely containing correspondence from 1928, I found a number of documents that support the idea that Hardman actually practiced phrenology during his time as Governor (1927-1932).

Among several documents referencing phrenology in the folder is a pamphlet titled “Three Methods of Measuring Phrenological Faculties,” written by Dr. J.A. Burnett, M.D. of Dunbar, Oklahoma. This same Dr. Burnett sent Governor Hardman a letter providing sketches of his preferred step-by-step methods for head measuring. The folder also contains dozens of letters exchanged between Governor Lamartine Hardman and government officials and mental health providers in various surrounding states, discussing the potential use of fingerprints in determining criminality and insanity in prisoners.

Sealing Hardman’s connection to phrenology are several news clippings referencing the conviction and execution of three individuals implicated in a murder in Georgia in September 1928. The article, “Georgia Executive uses Pictures as Aid in Deciding Pleas Made for Mercy,” outlines Hardman’s use of phrenological principles in deciding clemency cases. The article quotes Hardman as follows:

“Believing that the verdict is just and that the parties are guilty, and with the additional impression of the pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Thompson and reading as best I can their physiognomy and phrenology, I feel that the court rendered a righteous verdict.”

It goes on to describe that the Governor believed
“careful physical examinations, paying especial attention to faces, heads, and finger prints, show whether prisoners are criminal types and whether they are insane.”

So there you have it folks. This series of documents indicates that Lamartine Hardman took more than just a curious interest in phrenology, as late as 1928. This revised conclusion demonstrates how more extensive research can lead to more refined answers in pursuit of historical questions. Further, I think this is a great example of how much can be learned when we utilize the three dimensional objects in our collections as well as the paper documents. Had we not decided to display the phrenology skull for this month's feature, I might never have ventured into this correspondence file in the Hardman collection.

Close-up of sketch on Page 3

For more information on the Lamartine G. Hardman Papers, please visit our website at http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell or email russlib@uga.edu.

Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library.

Friday, February 05, 2010

New Home for Collections

As mentioned in our previous post, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Special Collections Building took place last Thursday, January 28, 2010. Here are a few snapshots of the event!

Throngs of people arrive at the site!

President Michael Adam kicks off the program

Left to Right: Charles Campbell (former Chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation), Dr. William Gray Potter (Director, University of Georgia Libraries), and Dink Nesmith (current Chairman of the Richard B. Russell Foundation)

Faculty and Staff members of the University of Georgia Libraries! Including the Russell Library's own Renna Tuten, Sheryl Vogt , Abby Griner, Kat Stein, Craig Breaden, Christian Lopez

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Outside the Box - February

Object: Phrenology Skull
Collection: Lamartine G. Hardman Papers

Lamartine Hardman, Physician...
Though he served as Governor of Georgia from 1927 until 1931, Lamartine Hardman was a man of many talents and interests that began long before his career in politics. Like his father, Dr. William Benjamin Johnson, Hardman was a trained physician. He earned his medical degree from Georgia Medical College in Augusta in 1876. From there, he furthered his medical training at Bellevue Hospital in New York and with continued studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the New York Polyclinic, and Guy Hospital in London. After an extensive education, he returned to Georgia and opened the Hardman Sanatorium with his brother, William B. Hardman, in 1899.

What Was Phrenology?
Introduced in Germany in the 1790s, phrenology was a science that purported to determine an individual’s characteristics based on the size of various portions of the brain. Phrenologists considered the mind to be composed of distinct “faculties” which defined the characteristics of personality. Because of their distinct nature, it was determined that each faculty must have a separate seat in the brain and that the size of each was a measure of its relative power.
It was asserted that the skull took shape from the brain, so therefore the surface of the skull was an index of psychological aptitudes and tendencies.

This pseudoscience made its way to the United States in the 1860s and 1870s, but was entertained only on the fringe of academic medicine. It was largely discredited by the late 19th century; the American Phrenological Journal was discontinued in 1911. The legacy of phrenology, a practice known as “head measuring” was employed by racial anthropologists seeking to confirm the superiority of Europeans to other humans, in the early 20th century.

What Was On Hardman's Mind?
Why would Lamartine Hardman have owned such an object? His high-powered medical education in both the United States and abroad suggests that he would have regarded the skull as more of a curiosity rather than a useful aid for diagnosis. However, his interest in neurology (demonstrated by his research in anesthesia) and operation of a sanatorium might explain his interest in this artifact of psychiatry. Alternately, Lamartine might have inherited this skull from his father, a physician who practiced in an earlier era.

February's “Outside the Box” object will be on display in the lobby gallery of the Russell Library, open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, until March 1st. For further information please contact russlib@uga.edu or visit http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell.

Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library

Groundbreaking Events

The room fills...anticipation builds...
Last Thursday, January 28, 2010, was an auspicious day for the Russell Library. It marked the beginning of a new era for special collections at the University of Georgia Libraries, as it brought faculty and staff as well as donors and board members together at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Special Collections Building.

The new structure, slated for completion in 2011, will house the Russell Library, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, and the Hargrett Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. In addition to increased storage capacity for our growing collections, the building will provide expanded exhibition areas for each special collection. For us at the Russell, that means a more prominent role for our exhibitions program, expanded spaces for public programming, and a new oral history gallery and on-site recording studio…and that is just for starters. As a staff, we understand that the next year will involve a lot of work on our part as we relocate our holdings to this new facility (on the corner of Hull Street and Florida Avenue), but we also look forward to our new surroundings and the opportunities this building can open up for the Russell Library.

Blackmon preparing for the lecture
In addition to the groundbreaking, the Russell Library also hosted a prestigious speaker for several events on campus last Thursday. Douglas Blackmon, Atlanta Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for his book Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. Blackmon graciously served as the speaker for two events sponsored by the Russell. At 2:00PM he led an informal discussion in our auditorium describing his research methodology for Slavery By Another Name, followed by a more formal lecture at the Miller Learning Center at 4:30 titled “A Persistent Past: Reckoning with Racial History in the Era of Obama.” Blackmon is an amazing storyteller and kept the audience spellbound with tales from his youth in the Mississippi Delta and his thoughts on dealing with a painful history even as we celebrate the election of the first African American President of the United States. How do we deal with a persistent past? Blackmon said the first step is acknowledgement because there are still so many stories out there to be unearthed and understood in a broader context.
Russell Library Director, Sheryl Vogt,
provides the introduction

In the clips below, Blackmon begins his talk by answering one of the most frequent questions he is asked at speaking engagements, how he became interested in this history. He recounts his experiences in a seventh grade essay contest, and later a speech competition, where he incited "strange adult behavior" with his investigation of a farm labor strike a decade prior.

Post-lecture book signing

There's more where this came from, and in the next few days we’ll post the full version of the talk on our website HERE. Check back soon!

Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library.