From the IU Archives Trenches: Graduate student processor Amy Jankowski bids a fond farewell

After spending nearly a year and half working as a graduate student processor at the Indiana University Archives, it is time for me to bid adieu to my colleagues and fellow students as I embark on my first professional adventure. I have highly enjoyed my time here–both in Bloomington generally, as well as specifically here at the IU Archives–and a part of me is quite sad to see this chapter of my life come to a close.

Graduate Student Processor Amy Jankowski, installing her exhibit, "Borkenstein and His Monster: The Man Behind the Breathalyzer," in the Indiana University Archives reception area, March 2011

I was lucky enough to begin working at the Archives in February 2010 during my second semester of graduate work towards my Master of Library Science degree, which I pursued through the IU School of Library and Information Science, earning my degree in May 2011. Even before beginning the academic program, I developed a passion for cultural heritage preservation by way of archival documentation, thus I tailored my coursework to meet the requirements for the Archives and Records Management specialization. Coming to work at the IU Archives was instrumental in my ability to understand archival work from a stance of personal, experiential depth. I was able to apply the theories I learned in the classroom and through professional literature to hone my archival processing skills and better understand not just the technical concepts of archival work, but also the intricacies and unique issues with which one must contend to best address arrangement, description, and access as suitable for each individual record collection… not to mention I got to process some really fun collections and develop a deeper appreciation for Indiana University’s rich history! I am indebted to this position and to my supervisors for providing me with a diverse range of real world experience–including collection processing, encoding finding aids for online access, exhibit curation, basic reference, participating in social media outreach (i.e. this blog post!), and even just sharing day-to-day archivally oriented conversations–which proved invaluable during my job hunt.

Beginning in mid-July 2011, I will begin my first professional position as the Assistant Librarian at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, located within the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, California! This position is a surreal melding of my childhood and graduate student dreams, and I feel all too lucky for my good fortune. I could not be more excited about this opportunity, where I will have a diverse range of responsibilities including but not limited to: maintaining, preserving, organizing, and promoting access to the library’s archival and rare book collection, pursuing digital access and preservation efforts, exploring outreach opportunities, and otherwise supporting the library’s general plans, objectives, and operations. Perhaps I will even have the opportunity to begin my own repository blog at the San Diego Zoo Library!

The move to Southern California will be a major transition for my Midwestern roots, but I look forward to the adventure, as well as to learning more about regional and zoo history. For now, I bid one final thank you to my supervisors and colleagues at the IU Archives. Your guidance, encouragement, support, and archival wisdom never went unappreciated. I hope our paths cross again someday!

Best,
Amy Jankowski

Fun Frolic Over the Years

Fun Frolic, June 24, 1959
A small boy enjoys a night out at the third annual Fun Frolic on June 24, 1959

The days are long, humidity is high, swimming pools across town are bustling, and ice cream for dinner is starting to sound like a good idea. Summertime is here, and I think it’s finally here to stay! As many of you likely know, one more thing synonymous with the summer season in Bloomington is the annual Fun Frolic carnival, scheduled to start this coming Friday, June 10 and run through Saturday, June 18 at the Memorial Stadium Athletic Complex. It’s a can’t miss event for those looking to indulge in the delights of carnival rides, games, and fried delicacies!

Fun Frolic (slightly subdued by today's standards), 1960

Not only is the Fun Frolic a great escape, it’s also a fundraiser for a great cause rooted to a 54 year history. Beginning in 1957, the Fun Frolic was organized as an annual fundraiser by the Bloomington Staff Council, a representative body of University staff members created to provide staff with organized representation and a medium of exchange with University administration. The council used proceeds from the event to award scholarships on a basis of merit and need to children of University staff level employees. When the Bloomington Staff Council dissolved in 1993, the Fun Frolic was picked up by as a joint initiative between the Indiana University Day-Care Centers (more recently the IU Early Childhood Education Services) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana.

IU Physical Plant employee Robert Zink volunteers for the "Dunk-a-Man" game, 1970

The original Fun Frolic was not the elaborate carnival affair that the event grew into over the years. Instead, the first event in 1957 consisted of tents and simple games such as bean bag tosses and basketball, all set up and run entirely by staff council members. Proceeds the first year were just over $1,000. The event gradually grew to include other rides, games, and amusements, such as Add em up Darts, Dunk-An-Athlete (later Dunk-A-Man), a glass-blowing shop, and pig races in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent decades, the carnival has transformed into an elaborate celebration with the assistance of local amusement companies; Cumberland Valley Shows has been contracting with the Fun Frolic since 1975. Every year, classic rides such as the Ferris Wheel and Tilt-A-Whirl mix with new attractions that change with the times.

The Fun Frolic lights up a summer night, undated
The Fun Frolic lights up a summer night, undated

If you visit the Fun Frolic this year and want to know more about its history or see some of these great photographs in person, stop by the Indiana University Archives! Documents related to the fundraiser–including financial records, correspondence with event constituents, contracts, newspaper clippings, publicity information, and photographs–are available to indulge your curiosity.

Summer fun at the Biological Field Station

 In the summer of 1895, Professor Carl H. Eigenmann established a “Biology Station” at Turkey Lake in Kosciusko County, Indiana – the first inland biological station in the United States. Established with the consent of University Trustees, Eigenmann was allowed to use the apparatus from the zoology department for the duration of a nine week summer session with the understanding that there would be no cost to the University as a result of operating the station. The first year, however, was such a success that thereafter the trustees provided permanent equipment.

The purpose of the station was research and instruction in the biological sciences with a focus on the study of variation. The first year 19 students attended. That number grew to 32 the second year, 63 the third, and 103 the fourth year. The number of classes offered also increased so that by the summer of 1898, students could study zoology, botany, bacteriology, mathematics, French, and German. At the end of the fourth year, the station was moved to Eagle Lake (Winona Lake), where land was gifted by the Winona Christian Assembly along with funds for building two small, two-story frame buildings.

Buildings at Winona Lake

The 1920 announcement for the summer session outlines living arrangements for the students. It states students have a wide choice – they can tent camp; rent a room for $2-$4 week; or even stay at the local hotel with weekly rates of $10 and up. Boats could be rented for private use for $5-$10 for the entirety of the summer. Laboratory fees for the summer were $25. Work every weekday consisted of one lecture and six hours of laboratory or field work, with supplementary reading, or two lectures and five hours of lab or field work. Saturdays they finished up at noon.

In 1938, formal instruction at the station ceased, a victim of the Depression. After that, it was primarily used as a research center for faculty and graduate students. In 1960, the Department of Zoology brought forth a proposal for a new program in field biology, complete with a new Biological Station and Aquatic Research Unit, in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Conservation. The Board of Trustees approved the proposal, and in 1961, a new location was selected at Crooked Lake in Whitley and Noble Counties. In 1965, the land at Winona Lake was sold back to the Winona Lake Bible Conference for $2,000.

With support from the National Science Foundation, the Station at Crooked Lake was up and running within a few short years. Research centered on the utilization of normal stocks of fish in Indiana lakes as well as the exploration of ways to increase fish production. This field station is still owned and used by Indiana University researchers and students.

Interested in knowing more about any of the Field Stations? We can help; just drop us a line. I also recommend checking out this blog post from the Wylie House. In addition to being a museum, Wylie House also holds manuscript collections, including the papers of Morton C. Bradley, Sr. Among Bradley’s papers are letters he wrote whilst courting Theophilus Wylie’s granddaughter, Marie Boisen. In the linked-to post, the Wylie House has transcribed several letters written while Bradley was a student at the Turkey Lake Biological Station in 1897 and 1898.

Ballade of Commencement Eve

Congratulations to all those receiving their IU degrees this weekend!! We hope you enjoyed your time in Bloomington and remember your Alma Mater fondly. Today we’d like to share a poem written by IU alumna Bertha Burns Lee Broyles, Class of 1905, upon the occasion of her 50th class reunion.

Jim Thorpe: World’s Greatest Athlete

Jim Thorpe with punters
Jim Thorpe with Indiana punters

I recently caught the documentary “Jim Thorpe, The World’s Greatest Athlete” on WFIU. I love documentaries and this one is worth a watch. But unless I missed it, they never mentioned the time this legend spent at Indiana University!

If you do not know the story, Thorpe, a Native American, began his athletic career at Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1907 where he played baseball, football, and was a member of the track team. He excelled in football and under the tutelage of Glen Scobey “Pop” Warner, Thorpe became a star on the Carlisle team. Before long the small school was winning against the likes of Harvard and Yale.

In 1912, Thorpe went to Stockholm as a member of the American Olympic track team. There he smashed previously held records, winning gold medals for the pentathlon and decathlon. He came home with $50,000 in trophies, including a chalice in the shape of a Viking ship presented to him by the Czar of Russia. Sadly, within a month, the Olympic Committee stripped him of his hard won medals, as it was learned that he had been paid a small sum for playing summer baseball – Jim Thorpe, they decided, was no amateur athlete.

This hardly meant an end to his sports career – quite the opposite, in fact. In 1913, he signed a contract to play baseball with the New York Giants, and went on to also play for the Chicago Cardinals and Canton (Ohio) Bulldogs. In 1920, he was elected president of the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of today’s NFL.

Clearly, this guy was a big deal.

So where’s the IU connection?

Well, in 1914 IU hired C.C. Childs as its head football coach. In seeking out additional coaching staff, Childs considered — and passed over — job-seeker Knute Rockne (some of you may have heard of him) and remembered his fellow Olympic team member Thorpe. Thorpe was wrapping up a season with the Giants and he looked with interest at the opportunity to return to football. To assist with IU’s 1915 football season, he asked for $1000 plus a room for his family at a Bloomington hotel. A deal was struck and the students were thrilled to learn that the World’s Greatest Athlete would be joining the coaching staff. Sadly, his addition to the staff did not help lead the Hoosiers to glory that season. They finished with one victory, over Northwestern, and tied with Washington and Lee. Despite the poor record, Thorpe was welcomed as a hero on the campus and in the Bloomington community.

Thorpe left Bloomington to continue his professional athletic career in baseball and football. Throughout his life, Thorpe struggled with alcoholism and after retiring as a player, he found himself moving from job to job. When he died of a heart attack in 1953, he was penniless. Thorpe, however, would be long remembered for his athletic prowess. In 1983, the International Olympic Committee restored his Olympic medals and in 1999, Senator Rick Santorum sponsored a U.S. Senate resolution to name him Athlete of the Century.