Love in another time…

Happy Valentine’s Day! I thought today would be perfect for delving into some of the “schmoopier” materials in our collection, which brought to mind our Avis Tarrant Burke papers. Avis, active within the IU Extension Division, was the wife of Fine Arts professor Robert E. Burke. Her papers reflect her life of travel and philanthropic endeavors through travel diaries, correspondence, and awards, but also included are papers passed on to Avis by her mother and namesake, Avis Booth.

This letter, written in 1858 by Cuban immigrant Andres Moynelo, is just one of 19 letters written to both Avis and her mother from August through December. All of them carry the same message – when will you love me, Avis? We do not have any of the letters Avis wrote to him, but his responses indicate that the 14 year old was just. not. interested. The last Moynelo letter in our collection, dated December 4, may very well have been his final correspondence with Avis, as the tone carries with it a touch of resignation.

Nevertheless, this letter, written early in his courtship of Avis, couldn’t be more appropriate for this day of love. Enjoy!

Stratford Aug 30th 1858

Avis beautiful and loved,

I am thinking that if you should not see me for one month, you would forget me, but my heart tells me that you shall be faithfull till the last moment of death.

I have sworn to be yours in preference to any other woman and if it is not so I shall be unfortunate all my life.

You are the girl that has inspired to me the most ardent love in the world and consequently you must be the girl that I shall love all my life.

I do not know wether [sic] you will love me or not. I do not know but that you have not told me that you love me, to see if I am constant, the time shall tell you that to you, if you love me you shall see me occupied in you, if you do no love me you will see me succumb to the tomb.

 I remain sobbing and thinking that I have but a few days longer to see you, but that is for a short time only, because if you are going to another place I shall go there for the pleasure of contemplating your beautifull [sic] form, which makes me suffer in such a manner.

Handsome Avis, I want you to tell me where you are going in November, the place, the street, and the number of the house for I want in December or in January to have the pleasure to see you.

I suplicate to you, that you tell me what directions I must have in the letters which I send to you.

I suplicate to you this, for to know of your health, and to show you that I will never forget you.

You will please excuse the faults what this contains.

Yours in hope,

Andres Moynelo

Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 Digital Collection

The IU Libraries Modern Political Papers collections and the Digital Library Program announce the opening of the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 Digital Collection. The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 created the framework for universities to develop and profit from products emerging from federally funded research, which had previously been nearly impossible. The legislation also simplified patent procedure, dissolving the logjam of 28,000 patents awaiting approval in the U.S. Patent Office and eliminating overlapping and redundant procedures. Its effect on universities and the development of all kinds of technologies has been tremendous. The Bayh-Dole Act Digital Collection consists of the documents relating to that legislation in the Birch Bayh Senatorial Papers of the IU Libraries Modern Political Papers collections. The digital collection is complemented by online resources on the Bayh-Dole Act History and Research Central site of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property of the University of New Hampshire Law School, providing an incomparable collection of resources on the struggle for passage of the act and the extensive bipartisan work that made it possible.

The Old “Pest House”: Early Medicine on the Indiana University Campus

With flu season upon us, we thought it would be a good time to revisit campus health care from yesteryear. Students on the present-day Indiana University campus may take for granted the wealth of medical services available through the Student Health Center. However, for more than eighty years—from the University’s founding in 1820 until the turn of the twentieth century—no formal, organized health services or health center existed to serve student needs. In response to worries over the smallpox epidemic sweeping the nation following the Spanish-American War c. 1898 and a growing student body coming to IU from areas with poorly enforced vaccination regulations, Indiana University administrators set plans in motion to construct or purchase a building to be used as a hospital for students with infectious diseases.

After reports of smallpox’s increasing virulence within the state of Indiana, University President William Lowe Bryan took precautionary measures and moved forward with plans to secure a site for a smallpox hospital. On December 15, 1902, the University purchased a two-story frame building—originally a farm house—on South Henderson Street, approximately one mile south of the University Campus; at the time, this spot was on the outskirts of Bloomington, though the site is near the present-day Templeton Elementary School just south of the Bryan Park neighborhood. The building’s distance from the University along with the five acres of land on which it sat ensured that potential spread of disease to healthy students or neighbors would be minimized. The building essentially became the University’s Isolation Hospital, though it was colloquially deemed the “Pest House.” Students suspected of having contracted a contagious disease were confined to this house until they fully regained their health.

Click to see a map of where the “Pest House” was located in relation to the Indiana University campus.

Harvey Pryor became the first Pest House caretaker and nurse for contagious patients. Pryor was chosen for this position because he exhibited resistance to smallpox after having it in his family, though he is not known to have had any formal training in medicine. As anticipated and detailed in Bryan’s President’s report in March, 1903, several students—five with smallpox and one with scarlet fever—were admitted to the Pest House during its first winter of operation. The facility was continually used to treat students with infectious diseases such as smallpox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and influenza until 1939, when a larger Health Center building was constructed near the current I.U. Chemistry Building. Advances in modern medicine made the need for an isolation hospital nearly obsolete, and the new Health Center could better accommodate the wide range of health needs demanded by a burgeoning student population; this facility was replaced by the present-day Health Center in 1965. The old Pest House was eventually dismantled in 1957 after standing abandoned and in disrepair for a number of years.

The "Pest House" facing dismantling in 1957

The University Archives houses various records and reports related to the Pest House’s role on campus in terms of the presence of disease among the student body, specific patient stays, fees incurred for hospital care, and building maintenance and inspections. Please do stop by the Archives to learn more if this brief history piqued your curiosity!

Dreaming of Springtime

This morning we woke up to a campus which looks quite similar to this scene from 1943…

December 27, 1943

For those of you you aren’t exactly embracing this, close your eyes and envision the following in the words of IU alumna Edith Hennel Ellis (1911) about campus:

” It is more than a thing of beauty. Its trees are sanctuaries under which old men may dream dreams and young men may see visions. Certain scenes stamp themselves indelibly upon the mind: lingering shadows of tall trees creeping across the grass on long summer afternoons;… masses of of Forsythia bursting into sudden yellow bloom; and that loveliest of all Indiana springtime pictures, white dogwood and pink red bud blooming against a green background of maples.” (Indiana University Alumni Quarterly, Vol. XVI No.3, p.331)