New Finding Aid: Newell and Eleanor Long Show files, 1939-1982

The finding aid for the Newell and Eleanor Long Show files is now available!  Newell Long was a music professor at Indiana University from 1935 to 1975 and his wife Eleanor taught English at IU from 1939 to 1962.  Together the couple wrote a number of musical pageants, plays, and skits for university and local events.  Newell Long would write the musical scores and Eleanor Long composed the scripts.  The collection includes general information on the shows, music, programs, and scripts.

Many of these shows were either Indiana or IU themed, including “All’s Wells That Ends Well,” a musical tribute to Herman B Wells upon his retirement as IU President in 1962.  The musical revue was performed by faculty and their spouses and included songs such as “The Might of the Humble B,” “Wells’ Belles,”  and “Be Yourself.” Other items you will find in the collection about “All’s Wells that Ends Wells” includes notes, musical scores, lyrics, scripts, and a newspaper article.

“Gloriana, Indiana,” a musical history of IU, was written by the Longs and presented to the University Club for the 150th anniversary of Indiana University.  Original songs include “Tomorrow is Foundation Day” and “Equality for Women.”  The show files also contain music for “Hymn to Indiana” and “Hail to Old IU.”

Among other shows featured in the collection are “The Cradle of the Commonwealth,” for the Corydon Sesquicentennial, “The Tale of the Lonesome Tulip Tree,” for the Tulip Trace Council of Girl Scouts, and “Never Underestimate the Power of a Woman,” for the University Club.

New finding aid: School of Fine Arts professor and fiber artist, Joan Sterrenburg

The finding aid for retired IU School of Fine Arts faculty member, Joan Sterrenburg, is now available! The collection offers a unique view into the teaching theories and professional development of fine arts faculty. Sterrenburg taught at IU from 1970 until 2004 and was part of an innovative group of professors who helped develop studio art into the dynamic program it is today.

In the late 1970s and early 80s IU offered one of the largest and most comprehensive textile programs, teaching traditional and non-traditional techniques, handwork, and off-loom processes. The Sterrenburg papers reflect the evolution of the program. In addition to her work as faculty in textiles, Sterrenburg founded and directed the Indiana University Handmade Paper Facility from 1979-1989. The collection contains an extensive amount of research about the history and practice of papermaking and development of dye recipes.

In a 1983 exhibition catalogue, Sterrenburg explained her artistic practice, which combined “image involvement with color interaction, modular construction, and an interplay of visual systems composed of constants and variables. I work to create energy and tension. I am totally seduced by the surface and ‘edge’ quality I can generate with hand-made paper. I have always worked to achieve a magical interaction of surface/material and structure/process.”

This philosophy of aesthetics is apparent in the large amount of 35mm slides included in the collection. There are also exhibition catalogs containing images of Sterrenburg’s works such as this piece from a 1983 show at the Hillwood Art Gallery, Long Island University, New York:”

Joan Sterrenburg, Colorado Strata, 1982. Dyed handmade rag paper, 70 x 72 x 2 in.
Joan Sterrenburg, Colorado Strata, 1982. Dyed handmade rag paper, 70 x 72 x 2 in.

There are also numerous teaching slides that illustrate the perception of color, perspective, and pattern, meant to inspire students to integrate the concepts into their work. Sterrenburg maintained contact with many of her students; the collection contains letters from appreciative students describing their post-graduation accomplishments and slides of their artworks and exhibitions.

This collection demonstrates the effort that goes into developing the curriculum of a studio art program and the challenge of balancing the inspiration of students along with the maintenance of one’s own artistic development. Sterrenburg’s papers are evidence of the excellence and creative spirit of the School of Fine Arts faculty.


New finding aid: Vice President and Dean of the Faculties records

 Do you need to know anything about Indiana University from 1940-1959?  This just may be the collection for you!  The finding aid for the Indiana University Vice President and Dean of the Faculties records is now online and is a treasure trove of information on university activities before, during, and after World War II.

The Dean of the Faculties Office was created in May 1940 for the purpose of overseeing the administration of academic affairs. In creating this office, university president Herman B Wells hoped to distribute his duties, particularly during his absences, by giving the Dean of the Faculties responsibility for undertaking some of the public appearances, acting on academic problems and proposals, and serving as a member of all university faculty groups.

The first Dean of Faculties, Herman T. Briscoe, oversaw the office during World War II and during the post war rise in attendance.  Most prominent in this collection, which dates from Briscoe’s tenure, is correspondence relating how the university responded to World War II, including national defense, curriculum, and student affairs.  The patient researcher will find records addressing whether or not Japanese-Americans should be admitted to IU and how to assist students from China who had lost all communication with their families.

Since the Dean of Faculties was a member of all faculty groups, there are also records about the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Law, Graduate School, Music, Education, Arts and Sciences, and Business, as well as numerous committees and departments.

As always, let us know if you would like additional information or to schedule an appointment to access the records!

Bureau of Public Discussion

The finding aid for the Bureau of Public Discussion records is up!  The philosophy behind the services of this Indiana University department established in 1914 was that state universities should serve the people of the state.  Services included aids to teachers at all levels as well as home reading courses for Indiana residents.

The Bureau sought to stomp out prejudice through education.

One of the Bureau’s largest activities was the Package Library service.  Early on, this service consisted of maintaining collections of clippings or materials drawn from recent publications on current issues, and by 1944 they began publishing Package Library Briefs.  These Briefs contained short explanations on present-day hot topic issues and included a bibliography for further reading.  There are Briefs on all sorts of topics in the collection – from the American school system and foreign policy to those focusing upon minorities.

The Bureau was also involved with the Indiana Federation of Art Clubs which sought to bring art clubs from around the state together in an effort to coordinate exhibits and lectures.  Their bulletins chronicle the goings-on of the art world in Indiana and those in this collection span from the first one in 1927 through 1954.


 Additionally, the Bureau of Public Discussion administered a reading course program on behalf of the U.S. Office of Education for residents of Indiana.  People could sign up for the course, then read the prescribed books on topics such as history, literature, or parenting,  and then write and submit summaries.  In exchange, they would receive a certificate of completion.  One reading course targeted to boys reasoned that they only work ten hours a day, six days a week, leaving plenty of leisure time for reading! Perhaps parents and grandparents are right and kids do have it easy these days!

As always, for further information on this collection, contact the Archives!