Archives in the Outfield: An Intern’s Perspective of Archival Instruction

As a graduate student with both specializations in Music Librarianship and Archives and Records Management, I am fortunate to study at an institution that prides itself on maintaining and preserving records not only from its history, but from culturally diverse and historically significant events as well. This semester, I had the opportunity to work as an intern at the IU Archives under the supervision of the Outreach and Public Services Archivist, Carrie Schwier and Archives Director, Dina Kellams. The ability to get lost in the boxes containing the university’s history allows me to forge a deeper connection with IU history, the campus, and the community.

When one thinks of an archives, perhaps it conjures to mind images of dark basements, dusty books and boxes, cobwebs clinging to the rafters and tall bookcases, and the archivists who swear their lives to protect the secrets of the universe and lock away the true meaning of life. Of course, that is not always the case, the IU Archives is actually located on the 4th floor of Wells Library and not in the basement. And while the archivists do protect the secrets of the universe, their biggest priority is providing access. It is of the utmost importance that while collections are being collected and preserved, they are able to be used by researchers and made available and accessible to the public.

Archives house primarily paper records but also hold items such as books, photographs, music, posters, clothes, and sometimes objects! But once we have access to these materials, how do we properly utilize them to fully incorporate them into our research? At the end of February, Carrie and I combined forces to teach a 75 minute undergraduate History of Baseball class of about 50 students about archives and its value for their research. When I was an undergrad myself, I had the opportunity to give a brief introduction to archives to another undergraduate class, but this was my first teaching experience in which I had to give that introduction, create an activity, and lead a discussion. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least, but I was excited to take the lead and hopefully instill a new interest in archives for some of the students.

For the activity, Carrie and I selected items from collections pertaining to the history of baseball at IU and I chose to focus on the stories of Leonard Ruckelshaus and Eddie Whitehead. Ruckelshaus was a member of the IU baseball team who had the opportunity to travel abroad to Japan and compete against the Waseda University team in 1922. His collection includes his handwritten diary of the trip, his personal scrapbook, photographs, and his team sweater.

Eddie Whitehead was the first African American to play on the IU baseball team in 1956. The team did a tour through the South in which Eddie was not allowed to play, eat, or stay with the team in their accommodations.

Vintage black and white photograph of IU baseball team
Indiana University Baseball team photo from 1956, IU Archives image no. P0052289

For the “Think-Pair-Share” activity, I split the group into two teams and within those teams, two groups. Each group was given 4-6 items that represented one side to the story; for Ruckelshaus, it was the student vs chaperone/administrative perspectives and for Whitehead, it was his perspective vs the administrative and public reaction, which included a highly offensive and deeply racist letter. Each mini-group would have to “think” and ask questions about the items that the other mini-group would (hopefully) have the answers to, and together they would “pair” up back together to create the full story. At the end, they would “share” what they found with the class and be open for discussion. Because of the class size (neither the IU Archives or Wells Library has a classroom space to hold 50 students), after about 35 minutes the students swapped to another room in the Wells Library for a second activity lead by Carrie and vice versa. I then repeated the activity with the second group of students.

Upon reflection, there were a lot less dead eyes, slack jaws, and crickets chirping than I had originally anticipated, which I consider a complete success! The students were engaged, not only with me, but with each other and with Mary Mellon, the Digital Archivist, who was with me in the classroom for physical, mental, and spiritual support. They asked questions and challenged what they saw, some were curious and found small little things that they just thought were cool. The goal of the activity was to show that when participating in archival research, there is so much you can glean from beyond the physical item itself. There are questions that need to be asked and answered and history to be contextualized that can bring a deeper meaning other than “this is a letter.” And with those questions and answers, you create a sort of paper trail that will lead you down new avenues of your research. I hope the students walked away with at least a small seed of inspiration and understanding for their future projects and how archives could be used. After teaching the class, I found myself rather enjoying the aspect of not only interacting with the collections in that way but telling people about them as well! There are so many untold stories, and so much tea to spill, as it were. My biggest enemy was my running out of time, but I’m sure improving that skill only comes with experience and practice, which I certainly hope I’ll have much more of.

Behind the Curtain: Amanda Rindler, Records Manager

Color photograph of Amanda Rindler in front of a bookcase

Behind the Curtain is a series highlighting IU Archives staff, partners from various departments of the IU Libraries, and students who make all of our work possible.

Title and role: I’m the new University Records Manager. I work with units to help determine how long records should be maintained and to transfer records to the University Archives when appropriate. I also help with creating and updating unit-specific records retention schedules and assist with the development of unit-specific records management plans.

Records Management is an important part of the records life cycle, which includes creation or receipt, use, and disposition. The disposition may be destruction or transfer to the archives. Having a records retention schedule in place identifies records that should be transferred to the University Archives at or before the creation. This means that units can have a plan in place to regularly transfer records instead of keeping them in a basement for 40 years (although we’ll work with those records too!) By aiding units in practicing good records management, we are ensuring that those records that tell our history are preserved. Effective records management also improves accountability and compliance and can save time, money, and effort by not storing and retrieving records that do not need to be retained.

Educational background: I have a BA in History with a Public History specialization from Ball State University and an MLS with an Archives and Records Management specialization from Indiana University.

Previous work experience: I began working at the Ball State Archives as an undergraduate student and knew that’s what I wanted to do. As a student at IU, I worked for the IU Archives and other repositories on campus. After I graduated, I worked with government records management before becoming the Local Government Records Archivist at the Ohio History Connection. My experience is in guiding records creators in determining proper retention periods for their records and transferring records of enduring value for continued preservation.

Favorite experience (so far): I’ve enjoyed meeting with records creators to learn more about their work and the records they create. One of my favorite parts of records management is getting to talk to people about things I’m not familiar with, but that they are so passionate about. Often people are overwhelmed by the volume of records and I like being able to lighten that load by helping them create a plan.

Favorite item or collection: I haven’t developed a favorite quite yet. Not really a hidden gem at 612 cubic feet, but I did discover that the Indiana University President’s Office records, 1937-1962 (Herman B Wells) is a wealth of information. I recently had a reference question from a patron wanting to know more about their grandfather who attended IU for training during WWII. It was suggested that I look at this collection because a lot went through the president’s office at that time. I was surprised to find a letter written to Wells from the grandfather’s father asking President Wells to keep an eye out for his son while he was on campus. I was happy to be able to find something for the researcher and will keep this large collection in mind for future reference questions during Wells’ long tenure.

Current project: There are a lot of records coming in from various departments that are keeping me busy! I’ve recently accessioned records from the Interim Vice Provost and Marching Hundred. I’m also re-boxing several boxes of English Department records from the IU Warehouse for transfer and boxed some records from the Media School.

On top of that, I’ve been working on updating the records management webpage and making sure all our contacts are up to date. I would love to start doing more outreach to areas of IU that are underrepresented in the Archives. If you have records that may need transferred or want to set up a schedule for regular transfers, please reach out! Information on transferring university records can be found on our website under Archival Services.

What she’s learned about IU by working with the Archives:

IU does so many things! There are so many different departments and centers with people passionate about their subject matter specialties.

Heart and Seoul: Early Korean Students at Indiana University

As part of Korea Remixed, a campus-wide initiative to celebrate Korean culture, this spring the IU Archives is recognizing the earliest Korean students to become Hoosiers! Via a series of blog posts and an upcoming poster in the Wells Library Lobby, you will get a peek into the lives of four IU alumni from Korea while on the Bloomington campus and the ways they excelled afterwards.

Whether you’re a fan of K-pop, Kimchi, or their extensive skincare routines, there is a lot to love and appreciate about Korean culture. Respecting your elders and authority, caring deeply for family, and working together to advance their nation are all core values in Korea. Even up to recent years, it was not uncommon that younger generations had to leave their family behind in Korea to pursue better educational opportunities in order to create a better life for their family. While many later return to their homeland, some go on to become citizens of the United States and remain here for the rest of their lives. Acknowledging the hardships and perseverance each of the following early IU students from Korean went through in the pursuit of higher education brings a new perspective on the many different paths to excellence.



Eung Tyun Cho (Pyeng Yang, Korea) (PhD in Physics, 1928)

Before coming to the United States, Eung Tyun Cho, born circa 1897, attended a Korean Presbyterian Mission School followed by a Presbyterian Boys’ Academy for his secondary education. As a young adult, he attended Union Christian College where he received his bachelor’s degree. Upon graduation, Cho returned to Mission High School as a math teacher to teach young students much like his younger self, eventually working his way up to become superintendent of the high school. Despite his accomplishments, Cho felt the need to gain more education to better serve his home country, so he chose to leave his family at his father’s home so that he could travel to the United States – and Indiana – in 1922. Once in the Hoosier state, Cho enrolled in Tri-State College in Angola, where he earned a BS in civil engineering before continuing on to Purdue University to earn his MS in physics. (Indianapolis Star, 1928).

Eung Tyun Cho entered Indiana University in 1925 in pursuit of his PhD and a few years later was made a member of Sigma Xi, an honorary science organization (Indianapolis Star, 1928). To support himself financially during his student years, he did housework, mowed lawns, janitorial work, and other odd jobs he could find (1930 Census for Bloomington, Indiana). Cho specialized in research about radio and TV, completing his dissertation on the topic “A study of three-electrode vacuum tube oscillator: conditions for maximum current ”. In addition to his technological research, he published works on language learning, one being Spoken English, a manual for Korean teachers of spoken English and for students who were learning the English language (Indianapolis Star, 1928).

1927 black and white photo of the cosmopolitan club members, which were largely international students.

The 1927 Cosmopolitan Club which was largely comprised of international students such as Cho, IU Archives P0109572


After completing his studies at IU, Cho wished to return to Korea in order to be a scientific educator to young students like himself. At the time Cho was one of only 12 men in Korea to have a PhD! Even with his impressive credentials, some Korean authorities frowned upon his work, calling it a “waste of time”, which kept him from his dream of teaching. His research and science experiments lacked funding, so he had to give them up. He remarked, “I am a man without a country” (The Bedford Sunday Star, 1936).

Taking a break from his educational and scientific interests, Cho served three years as chief of police communications during the US Military Government period after Korea was liberated from the Japanese in 1945. He then served eight years in the Korean Army, four as chief signal officer. He later was appointed as vice minister of the Korean Ministry of Communications (The Daily Record, 1954). Before, during, and after his career, Cho participated in church communities as well as the YMCA in America and Korea.

And, finally for a satisfying conclusion. In 1964, Eung Tyun Cho became the new president of Tongkuk Engineering College in Seoul, Korea. After decades of perseverance, he became an educator, while at the same time reuniting permanently with his wife and children (The Indianapolis News, 1964).

**This blog post is the first in a two-part series. The next installment will features three more alumni from Korea. Pongsoon Lee, Chonghan Kim, and Thomas Kunhyuk Kim.

IU Football, Preston E. Eagleson, and the 1885 Civil Rights Act

The Eagleson family has been in the local news lately, with the renaming of Jordan Avenue through campus for the prominent Black Bloomington family. Below is a shortened version of an earlier story written for volume 2 issue 2 of 200: The Bicentennial Magazine about one of the family members and IU alums, Preston Eagleson. Head to https://tinyurl.com/26xu2dvj to read the full story!

Eagleson Shaving Parlors newspaper advertisement
Halson Vashon Eagleson, 1907 Arbutus, page 282

The Eagleson name is familiar to many at Indiana University and in Monroe County, as the prominent African American family is riddled with “firsts” and other high-level achievements, dating back to patriarch Halson V. Eagleson, Sr., a successful barber in town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today’s story turns to Halson’s son Preston, born in Mitchell, Indiana, in 1876.

During his earliest years, Preston’s family moved around throughout southern Indiana and St. Louis. According to one source, the family settled in Indianapolis about the time he was to enter high school but “his father needed his services” and as a result, Preston worked for a year in the print office of The World, an Indianapolis-based African American newspaper. He then went on to work for the Griffith Brothers, a wholesale millinery firm in Indianapolis before finally entering high school in 1889 when his family settled in Bloomington. At just 16 years old, Preston graduated second in his class from Bloomington High School in 1892.

Preston enrolled at Indiana University, entering as a freshman that fall. A skilled athlete, he became the first African American to participate in intercollegiate athletics at IU when he joined the football team as a freshman. (Yes, my research turned up stories of him playing in 1892, a full year earlier than previously thought!) Newspaper accounts identified the young player as a standout on the field and Eagleson continued as a major force on the team for the remainder of his undergraduate career.

Sepia toned group studio photo of IU football team.
The 1895 football team. Preston Eagleson is sitting on the ground, second from left. IU Archives P0023474

When Preston began at IU, there were only 10 years between him and IU’s first known African American student, Harvey Young, who entered in 1882. However, Indiana University still had not seen a Black graduate from the institution. While Eagleson was not the lone person of color on campus, his presence may have drawn some attention from the all-white faculty and pre- dominantly white student body. There is no evidence, however, that he faced any sort of prejudice on campus or from his teammates on the gridiron, but the same cannot be said of the team’s road trips.

In October 1893, the Hoosiers traveled north where they were scheduled to face off against Butler University. According to newspaper accounts, everything that could go wrong with this trip and game did. To start with, Butler did not greet the Hoosiers at the train station and the team had to find their own way to their overnight accommodations. Butler, in charge of said accommodations, reportedly put the IU men up in a “second class hotel.” The day of the game, the hosts did not arrange for a hackney (a horse-drawn carriage that served as a taxi) so the players had to take a streetcar that dropped them a great distance from the field, necessitating a long walk with equipment in tow. And, of the game itself, the Indiana Student (known today as the Indiana Daily Student) reported unfair calls, field brawls, and the crowd shouting racist expletives at Eagleson.

Eagleson’s race, sadly, became an issue once again the following year with dramatic results. On October 30, 1894, the Indianapolis Journal published this headline:

“AGAINST THE COLORED PLAYER: Two Hotels in Crawfordsville Refused to Take in an I.U. Man”

Indeed, when the IU football team traveled north to take on Wabash College, the proprietor of the Nutt House, upon learning one player was Black, would not accommodate the team unless they agreed to dismiss Eagleson. His request was met with refusal and the group went to another inn, where they were met with the same response. A third innkeeper, however, welcomed the entire team and they found board and lodging for the night. The incident, however, infuriated Eagleson’s father, Halson, and the next day the newspaper reported Halson planned to sue the two unaccommodating hotels under Indiana’s Civil Rights Act.

Sepiatone posed photo of Preston Eagleson in football uniform, 1893
Preston Eagleson, IU Archives P0056899

In 1885, Indiana passed a Civil Rights Act that stated all persons were “entitled to the full and equal enjoyments of the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of inns, restaurants, eating-houses, barbershops, public conveyances on land and water, theaters, and all other places of public accommodations and amusement.” Punishment for violations were up to $100 fine and/or up to 30 days in jail.

Preston’s father apparently did not initially know about the monetary limit, as the newspapers reported he intended to sue both parties for $5,000. Inexplicably, later reports dropped any mention of the second inn and ultimately, it was only the Nutt House and owner J.B. Fruchey named in the suit filed December 12, 1894.

The case was heard in the Montgomery County circuit court on January 29, 1895. The Crawfordsville Journal was on site to report to its readers. In their summary of the situation, the reporter states that innkeeper Fruchey had “agreed to allow Eagleson all the best the house had except the privilege of eating in the dining room. This, they said, they could not do, as their white patrons, traveling men, vigorously objected to eating in the room with a negro and threatened to leave if he was brought in.”

The jury deliberated throughout the night. On the first ballot, nine voted for Eagleson, three for the defendant. By the fourth ballot it was unanimous for the plaintiff but then there were deliberations over the damages. Eight jurors voted to award Preston the full $100 allowed, while the paper identifies two jurors, Messrs. Allen Robinson and Sam Long, who voted for one cent. Eventually they came to a compromise of $50, equivalent to just over $1500 today. Fruchey reported immediately that he planned to appeal. In March 1896 the case was reviewed in the Appellate Court of Indiana but the court affirmed the decision for Eagleson.

Preston Eagleson photo from 1896 Arbutus yearbook
Preston Eagleson, 1896 Arbutus

There were no other known incidents during Preston’s time at Indiana University. He continued as a leader on the football field and also proved himself an outstanding orator. During his junior year Eagleson won the right to represent Indiana University at the State Oratorical Contest, the first African American student to appear at the contest. There, he came in fourth place with his original address on Abraham Lincoln. Preston earned his bachelor’s in philosophy in 1896, graduating one year after Marcellus Neal, IU’s first Black graduate. He immediately began work on his graduate degree and through periodic enrollments, in 1906 he became the first African American at IU to earn an advanced degree with an MA in philosophy.

Despite earlier newspaper reports that Eagleson aspired to become a lawyer, he became a teacher, moving around between St. Louis, Indianapolis, and South-Central Indiana. At one point, Eagleson even taught at Indianapolis Public School #19, where fellow Black IU alumnus Marcellus Neal was principal.

Eagleson’s life ended tragically young and he died at home in 1911 at the age of 35. Of his death, the Bloomington Daily Telephone noted he had been in poor health for years and had sought treatment in both Indianapolis and Madison before coming home for his final months.

Many thanks to Cindy Dabney, Outreach Services Librarian at the Jerome Hall Law Library within the Maurer School of Law, for her assistance in locating–and explaining–19th century cases and laws.

The IU I Association records – My First Completed Collection

Photo of author Maya Cazares sitting behind a pile of loose archival materials
Sorting loose papers, searching for duplicates, and refiling

After Covid kept me home for the entirety of my sophomore year, I was finally able to return to campus in fall 2021 and be more involved in campus life.  I made a list of organizations and clubs to join, but one of my top priorities was to get a job at the Archives on campus.  Over the past three years that I’ve been a student at IU, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in one class a year that visited the Archives (or in the case of my completely online fall 2020 semester, had an Archivist meet on Zoom with us).  This was a great experience to connect with IU’s history and learn about the breadth of resources available to students.  Since I’m an anthropology/archaeology major, people and culture are at the core of my interests. Furthermore, I am deeply fascinated in history on the individual level, rather than the broad scope we usually learn about in primary school. I love to learn about the day to day life of people and what their community was like at the time they were alive.  I thought that working at the Archives would be a great opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable work experience, while still honing in on my varied interests.  

Organized and cleaned up folders
Box 1, tidy and alphabetized

I turned out to be right– there’s a little of everything here! With collections from all across campus that span the past 200 years, I am always reading and sorting through something interesting. My first project was processing a collection from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.  The collection was only two boxes, but a lot of the content was not sorted into folders. My first task was to reorganize the loose papers into categories that would be useful to researchers.  While doing this I also discarded any duplicates (if there were more than three).  This process of sorting requires a lot of reading, which I’ve found to be the most interesting part of the job!  There were emails, letters, forms, invitations, flyers, etc.  It’s a time capsule!  It was also interesting to get a better understanding of how things operate behind the scenes for planning committees and how much time and effort goes into their work.  

Surprisingly, I became attached to these people that I had never met.  In one month’s worth of reading, I saw one man’s career of 10 years condensed to a stack of correspondence.  He had gotten a promotion at the beginning of the files and by the end of the collection I had found a letter saying that he was retiring.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an anthropology student or because I’m a sentimental person (yes, even for these boxes of athletic alumni event materials to which I had no relation to when they were actually happening), but I was left feeling connected to the people, collection, and time period I was dealing with. Reading through these files gave me the chance to learn about the time generally (flyers, pamphlets, organizational materials), but also the history of the people involved themselves (emails, letters, hand-written notes). There is just something special about holding an object that people decades ago held before you, even if it was only 2 decades ago.  They probably did not know that their notes and doodles on documents would end up preserved and filed away 25 years later. 

I Association emblem with "The I Association - Your letterwinners club...Keeping our athletes connected. www.alumni.iu.edu/iassociation"
From a 2009 I Association mailing, Collection C732 Box 2

After organizing the files into something comprehensible, I was taught how to create a “finding aid” for the collection.  This is basically a tool that describes the collection so that a researcher can decide whether or not it’s something they want to investigate more.  After this, the collection was ready to go – and you can take a look! Indiana University I Association records, 1994-2010.

Overall this process took me a little over a month to complete and I learned a lot along the way.  Even during the process as I began to have a better understanding of the materials, I went back and fixed what I had done on the first few days.  Although meticulous, I really enjoyed processing and learning so much along the way (about Archives and IU)!