Meet the Staff! Tony Barger

Name: Anthony “Tony” Barger

Undergraduate Major/Where: I have a B.S. in Deaf Education from Ball State University and a B.S. in History with a minor in Museum Studies from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Graduate Major: Library Science with a focus in Archives.

Title/Duties: I spend my time at the archives both as an intern and in a part time position of ‘scanner’. I am currently completing my internship under the guidance of Carrie Schwier. I have been processing the Philip Appleman papers and doing some following up on research questions for which I am currently 0 for 2! While the scanning project is relatively new, I believe that we currently have over 2 thousand documents that are being made available online for patrons’ research.

What are you working on right now? I am trying to finish up with the Philip Appleman collection. He is a retired Indiana University English professor and is best known for his poetry and his work regarding Darwin. In addition, he is also a novelist. Carrie already has my next collection to process. I will be working on the papers of T. James Crawford, who was a professor emeritus of both business and education. I am sincerely excited about getting that collection started.

Why Archives? It is a goal of mine to articulate why I think archives is so important and why I want to be a part of it. I hope that comes sooner rather than later. Recently I posed the same question to a peer and she shrugged and simply answered, “I like working with old things.” For now I am going to accept that as my answer, too, but in truth it has more to do with my interest in history and archives role in preserving that history.

Why I like my job/archives: My internship is allowing me to work in an archive, which is ultimately my professional objective. I am enjoying my time with the archives for this reason alone; still I have to say that the staff at the I.U. Archives has created a very positive environment when each person is encouraged to have a full experience and follow his/her interests.

New! William R. Ringer papers, 1916-2011

Can I share with you one of my favorite archival sights?

*squee* New student diaries!

Earlier this year, I received an email from a woman in Virginia stating that the diaries of her friend’s father – primarily dating from his time as an IU student in the late 1910s – had found their way into her possession and she wondered if we would be interested in them?

Yes yes yes yes! I mean, have you seen this picture of me hanging in the library somewhere? See what’s in my hands? 

I like diaries. It’s not – necessarily – that I am nosey. Rather, I like how they fill in a person’s story, whether it be the writer or the individuals written about. When I come across mentions or descriptions of student hangouts or campus traditions or faculty, I’m over the moon! And I love how they provide a personal perspective on major world events.

So, when that box above arrived, I forced myself to set it aside until I could spend some time with the diaries because I knew they’d be a time suck. And because I like to share, I decided to immediately write a finding aid so that you all could also have the opportunity to enjoy them!


William R. Ringer, Class of 1920

Hailing from Williamsport, Indiana, native Hoosier William Raimond Ringer entered Indiana University in 1916. As a student, he was very active in campus activities, and served as an officer for several campus groups. The small collection of papers held by the Archives consists chiefly of diaries maintained by Ringer while he was an IU student. He was devoted to writing in his journals – about what classes he had that day, what they did, where he ate, who he saw and talked to, etc.

Ringer’s time at IU coincided with World War I. Although he originally planned to leave college to teach, at the last minute he turned down his teaching job so that he could return to IU and join the Students’ Army Training Corps when it was formed in 1918. According to the 1919 Arbutus, with the SATC,

the government was to practically take over for military purposes the organization and equipment of every college able to muster a sufficient number of students for military drill. This surrender on the part of the colleges to the government control was to be voluntary, and the relation between the government and the college was to be a matter of contract. A duty rested upon the colleges to provide suitable barracks and subsistence for the members of the Student’s Army Training Corps, in addition to academic instruction, the colleges to be reimbursed as agreed upon in the contract with the governemnt.

Indiana University was one of the first to make this contract, and began early to make plans for the housing and feeding of the great number of soldiers who were to be trained here.

The Delta Tau house on Kirkwood served as "Barracks 1" for the S.A.T.C. William lived there for his short stint in the Army.

On October 3, 1918, Ringer and his friends were divided into SATC companies and he was told he would be living at the Delta Tau House, aka “Barracks 1.” He wrote in his journal, “I am in the army – and tonight is my first night. I am glad yet I don’t like the bunch here at all. All roughnecks at the house.” Ringer continued to log his experiences – including a brush with the Spanish flu, which I previously wrote about – with impressive regularity. Thankfully, he never did get pulled into the war overseas, as on November 27 they received word that the S.A.T.C. was to be disbanded within the month and he moved out of the barracks.

Ringer continued writing in his diary through March of his senior year. Rather sad that he didn’t finish up with his accounts at IU, but to date, this is nonetheless probably the most complete account of student life we have through a diary keeper. (Update! I heard from the donor that she has the remaining IU entries and they were waiting on my desk this AM!) While the bulk of the collection consists of these diaries, there is also one volume holding copies of his outgoing correspondence for a short period, report cards, as well as some of his poetry and other writings (he was active in the Writing Club on campus).

Of course, one cannot read a person’s diary and not develop an impression of the writer. With William, even as a young college student, it seems he was very serious and the shenanigans of the other students tended to exasperate him. I don’t know whether he said anything to the individuals in person, but he could be scathing in his opinions of dates, classmates, and professors.

So, at your leisure, check out the finding aid and let us know if you would like to see the collection!

Winter Sledding Advice – In the Words of William Henry Tecumseh Michaelmas

In my opinion there are few things which make winter “worth it,” the first one being waking up to fresh overnight snows such as the one from last night when the whole world seems a little but quieter…

Sledding (Winter 1936-1937)

The second is sledding.

For those of you looking for a little sledding advice to partake in the fresh snowfall today, I will refer to the expert advice of the revered William Henry Techumseh Michaelmas (aka Lawrence Wheeler, the first Executive Director of the IU Foundation) in his column “Indiana, Our Indiana” which was published in the weekly Bloomington Star-Courier from the early 1940s to the early 1950s.

Bloomington Star-Courier, January 2, 1948

Can you imagine a time in Bloomington when you could sled through the public square? And that your only worry might be running into a buggy?

Following graduation, Wheeler joined the editorial staff of The Indianapolis Star and shortly thereafter moved on to a career in fund-raising for a variety of colleges, churches, hospitals and other public institutions. Upon the call of president Herman B Wells in 1944, Wheeler returned to his alma mater to become the first Executive Director of the Indiana University Foundation. However, during this period he continued to pursue his journalistic career, authoring his column “Indiana, Our Indiana” under the name William Henry Tecumseh Michaelmas and composing comedic letters of congratulation to a wide variety of individuals both public and private under the name Oscar B Burlap (imaginary IU alumnus and owner of the Burlap Turnbuckle Manufacturing Company).

The IU Archives holds the published and manuscript versions of Wheeler’s “Indiana, Our Indiana” column in which Wheeler’s often tongue-and-check prose covers the entire spectrum of Indiana University current events and history, often capturing the unique

Bloomington Star-Courier, January 10, 1948

“flavor” of the campus in that era. Articles highlight athletic rivalries; the accomplishments of distinguished faculty such as folklorist Stith Thompson, Nobel prize winner Dr. Hermann Muller, and Rolla Harger, inventor of the “Drunkometer”, the predecessor to breathalyzer; campus events such as notable art exhibitions, performances by the Jordan River Revue and the proposed change of Jordan Field – the first athletic field on campus – into the present day IMU parking lot. Other columns highlight the activities of student groups such as the Board of Aeons and Sigma Chi fraternity; campus issues such as the massive increases in student enrollment following WWII, student employment and housing, and the use of the university library. To see copies of all of Wheeler’s “Indiana, Our Indiana” columns as well as his manuscripts contact the IU Archives.

New! IU Vice President and Chancellor’s records, 1963-1977

This is our last post from Heather, as she has moved on to the Kentucky Historical Society, where she serves as the Kentucky Folklife Project Archivist! Congratulations, Heather!

Chancellor Byrum E. Carter on the I.U. campus

When completing the final arrangement of Vice President and Chancellor’s records, I got a glimpse of what it was like at I.U. during the 1960s and 1970s. During this time Byrum Carter was working his way up the administrative ladder through hard work and determination. Carter was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1966-1969 and in July of 1969 following a large-scale reorganization, Carter was named Chancellor of the I.U. Bloomington campus by the Board of Trustees. During his time as Chancellor, there was great political unrest and large-scale demonstrations at I.U., as elsewhere throughout the country.

While sifting through the collection I came across information on a student protest against General Electric and related materials on the Vietnam War. On Wednesday February 18, 1970 a debate was scheduled in Woodburn 100 by the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam,


“Come prepared to question both the recruiter and the Chancellor.  If the recruiter chooses to remain on campus Thursday, we shall rally outside Ballantine on the Free Student Commons and march over to the Business Building where he will be holding interviews to discuss the role of GE in the Vietnam War” (demonstration was Thursday, February 19, 1970).  According to the flyer, GE received over $1.6 billion in Defense Department contracts during the fiscal year of 1969. An open letter to Chancellor Carter and the General Electric Corporation was also written by the student group calling out I.U. for allowing a “War Machine” to recruit on campus. The letter states,

“The GE recruiter on campus functions as an agent who channels students into the War Machine. By allowing war-related industries on campus, this university is giving visible support to their activities. The college campus is not a place where war should be promoted (if indeed there is such a place anywhere). Colleges cannot remain “neutral” because by doing so, they are taking a stand in favor of the status quo. They must take a stand AGAINST poverty, against racism and against war. As long as they are contributing to the continuation of the war in Vietnam and the American militarism and imperialism, they can take no such stand.”

Open letter to Chancellor Carter and the General Electric Corporation

Among the correspondence I also found a February 18, 1970 news release issued by Chancellor Carter regarding the G.E. strike and debate, stating “It is the policy of Indiana

News Release February 18, 1970

University to allow firms which conform to the requirements of the Equal Opportunity Act to conduct recruitment interviews on the campus if there are students who wish to be interviewed by such firms. There is no obligation on the part of the recruiters which requires them to engage in debate with students or faculty members who object to the practices of the particular company involved.”

On February 19, 1970 the IDS reported that, “Chancellor Byrum Carter said Wednesday afternoon that he would not debate with leftist students on the General Electric recruiting

Carter declines to debate

activities on campus and the post-G.E. strike situation in Bloomington.”

Among other things I discovered, campus and nation-wide demonstration fliers, a detailed list of precautions that should be taken in preparation for demonstration and multiple signed petitions. It appears that Carter played an active role in keeping the peace on campus while still allowing students to voice their opinions in a civil manner. However, as he advanced in the academic world his roles on campus slowly changed.

I was hoping to find some more information regarding the GE strike on campus, but after much time searching, I was unable to unearth any more information. If anyone was at I.U. during the Vietnam War and remembers the strike against General Electric I would love to learn more about it. To learn more about the role Chancellor Carter played at I.U., check out the collection’s finding aid and contact the Archives for access!

Processing Blog #7: The Henry H. H. Remak Collection

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted an update on the Henry H. H. Remak Collection. The fall semester is now behind us, and I’m happy to say that I have almost completed a first run through. My processing on this collection began back in April and since then, I have sorted through 99 boxes of materials and have only 9 more to go!

Up to this point I have sorted the files into various series: administrative files; teaching files; editorial files; research and publications; professional associations and activities; and correspondence. More recently, I’ve had to start sorting by decade, as many of the records came to us out of folders and without any clear organization. Over the last month, I’ve come across quite a few files, mostly correspondence, pertaining to Remak’s tenure as vice-chancellor and dean of faculties from 1969-1974. Also, if you are interested in Henry Remak’s research in comparative literature, a multitude of research notes will soon be available for you to peruse.

My work is far from over, but I hope to have this collection researcher-friendly by next fall. In the meantime, I’ll continue to keep you posted!