Where Are We Now: Immigration Policy and Its Impact

The AHC’s Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership is sponsoring a symposium on a highly topical matter – immigration.  The event, “Where Are We Now? Immigration Policy and Its Impact from a Wyoming and a National Perspective,” will occur September 17 – 18, 2014 at the AHC and the UW Conference Center.  The symposium will examine the complex nature and scope of immigration and discuss how immigration has impacted the social, economic, and political fabric of our state and nation.

Immigration touches on crucial issues of our changing work force, the role we want to play in the world, and our cultural identity.  The discussion event on September 18, 2014 will, among other things, explore the themes of nationhood, citizenship, and belonging; values, and social otherness; borders; questions of social justice; individual, national, and cultural identities; and the ways in which people reinvent themselves, their cultures, and their worlds in new contexts, as well as the role language plays in controversial conversations such as assimilation and education.

Lovell group displaying U.S. and Mexican flags. Hugo G. Janssen Photographs, #11712, Box 2, Folder 5. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Lovell group displaying U.S. and Mexican flags. Hugo G. Janssen Photographs, #11712, Box 2, Folder 5. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

On a national and a state level, we will probe such basic questions as: how significant is the illegal alien situation?  How has immigration historically been treated by established populations?  Where is immigration having the largest impact?  How important should economic need (of the immigrants and of the employers) be in discussing immigration issues?  Do employers/established communities have an ethical obligation to provide affordable housing to immigrants, and if so how close to the job sites?

The event will bring to Wyoming leading voices in the national immigration conversation.  The overall goal of the event is to raise awareness on the part of audience members, at UW, Wyoming, and elsewhere, about the variety of issues under the broad umbrella term of “immigration” at both a state and a national level.  More specifically, at the state level, we hope to clarify issues for Wyoming’s congressional delegation and to assess what impact immigration will have on Wyoming’s future.

For the latest updates on this exciting event, as well as immigration-related news stories, please see our website at:  http://www.uwyo.edu/ahc/about/departments/simpson/immigration/index.html.

-Leslie Waggener, Simpson Institute Archivist

 

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Elementary School Children Visit the American Heritage Center

The AHC had a great time on March 7 hosting grades K-6 from Carbon County School District #2.  The Oregon Trail was the featured topic.  All of the students, teachers and parent chaperones were treated to a tour to begin their visit, thanks to reference archivist John Waggener and Simpson Institute archivist Leslie Waggener.  Leslie recalls how excited the students were by the AHC storage area, especially the compact shelving that “magically” moves back and forth.  It took several attempts to tempt the students away from those fascinating shelves.

Sweet Water Station I.T., Military Posts and Telegraph Stations on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming, 1863. Grace Raymond Hebard, #400008, Box 5, Folder 41, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Sweet Water Station I.T., Military Posts and Telegraph Stations on the Oregon Trail in Wyoming, 1863. Grace Raymond Hebard, #400008, Box 5, Folder 41, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

After the tour, reference archivist Amanda Stow sat down with the kindergarten through 2nd grade students to read Roughing It on the Oregon Trail, an age-appropriate picture book by Diane Stanley that describes a typical emigrant journey.  Oohs and aahs were prevalent.  Next Amanda, Leslie and digitization supervisor Jamie Greene asked the students to compare and contrast drawings and photographs depicting the Oregon Trail journey with pictures from life today.  A photo of a convenience store/gas station and a drawing of Fort Laramie had students noticing that both were stopovers for supplies, but that you couldn’t put gasoline in oxen to make them go.  They talked about the importance of grasslands and water for the emigrants’ mode of transportation.  The K – 2 activities culminated with a drawing session in which each student drew some aspect of the Oregon Trail that interested them.  It was fun to see the pride when a number of the students showed off their work to Amanda, Leslie, and Jamie, and the teachers.  In fact, one 1st grade student loved the attention so much she produced a number of lovely renditions of purple, yellow and orange Conestoga wagons.

Photo of Mormon trail, used as example of pioneers and westward expansion. Photofile: Trail-Oregon-W.H. Jackson Art. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Photo of Mormon trail, used as example of pioneers and westward expansion. Photofile: Trail-Oregon-W.H. Jackson Art. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Processing archivist Laura Jackson, processing archivist Emily Christopherson, and digital programs manager Tyler Cline led the activity for the 3rd-6th graders, who in groups of three and four went to different stations to explore the Oregon Trail through maps, photographs, paintings, and diaries.  The kids read firsthand accounts of pioneers through letters, and viewed an actual trail diary, complete with faded period script.  Though the handwriting of the period gave them a bit of a challenge, they comprehended the pioneers’ experiences through transcripts.  The groups also got to see how the trails corresponded to geographical features such as mountains and rivers, and set the path for future railroads and highways, through a series of maps.  As an added bonus, the groups watched a film of early tourists at Yellowstone National Park, and drew comparisons between early pioneer days, visitors at the dawn of the tourist age in the 1920s, and visits they themselves might have taken to the park.

Map from postcard. Photofile: Trail-Oregon, folder #2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Map from postcard. Photofile: Trail-Oregon, folder #2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

All in all, the students saw how hard life on the trail was for the early pioneers, and how different it was from their lives today.  It was a pleasure to host Carbon County School District #2.

-Leslie Waggener, Simpson Institute Archivist; Laura Jackson, Processing Archivist; Tyler Cline, Digital Programs Manager

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Murie Family Films Digitized

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center (AHC) has digitized and made accessible online 461 films documenting Wyoming, including a film of the Heart Mountain Japanese Relocation Center, Alaska, Chesapeake Bay, Ireland, Brittany, Portugal, and South Africa from the Murie Family papers. These films were digitized as part of a Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund Grant project to digitize film in our collections that cover different aspects of Wyoming history and culture.

Still image of Grand Tetons from Hendrick Point in the Snake River Valley. Murie Family Papers, #11375, Box 37. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Still image of Grand Tetons from Hendrick Point in the Snake River Valley. Murie Family Papers, #11375, Box 37. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The Murie Family Papers consist predominately of the professional papers of three famous conservationists, Olaus Murie, Margaret Murie, and Adolph Murie. The collection contains reports, correspondence, memoranda, field notes and journals, publications, and an extensive collection of films. The materials relate to public land management wildlife conservation in Alaska, western Wyoming, and the desert Southwest.

Olaus Murie worked for such prestigious institutions as the Carnegie Institution and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was President of the Wilderness Society from 1950-1957 and was active in a variety of conservation societies and biologists’ professional organizations. He received numerous awards for his environmental efforts and wrote several books, including The Elk of North America and a Field Guide to Animal Tracks.

Still image of Murie, Olaus Johan, 1889-1963. Field guide to animal tracks. Murie Family Papers, #11375, Box 33. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Still image of Murie, Olaus Johan, 1889-1963. Field guide to animal tracks. Murie Family Papers, #11375, Box 33. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Margaret E. Thomas met Olaus in Alaska while he was working on a study of caribou. She married Olaus in 1924 and became an outspoken advocate for the environment in her own right. Soon after their marriage, the two moved to Moose, Wyoming, where they spent the rest of their lives. She helped to found the Teton Science School in Jackson, Wyoming, and was instrumental in the designation and protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. She and her husband were also active participants in the designation of Grand Teton National Park in 1929. Along with Olaus, Margaret was credited with preparing the way for the passage of the Wilderness Act, and she was frequently called to give testimony on environmental issues before Congress. She was referred to by many as the “mother of the modern conservation movement.”

Adolph Murie, the brother of Olaus, was an award-winning author. He wrote The Wolves of Mount McKinley and the Ecology of the Coyote in Yellowstone. He was an employee of the National Park Service for most of his adult life, which enabled him to study wildlife in a variety of pristine settings. The U.S. Department of the Interior recognized him with its Distinguished Service Award. Adolph married Margaret’s sister, Louise, and the two subsequently moved to Moose as well.

Links to digitized items and additional information about the Murie Family papers can be found in the on-line finding aid at: http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah11375.xml.

If you have questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact Jamie Greene in the AHC’s Digital Programs department at  jgreene@uwyo.edu or 307-766-3704.

 

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Public scanners now available at the American Heritage Center!

Public scanners are now available for use in the reading room!  The preference by our researchers for electronic copies is increasing; to meet this growing need the American Heritage Center recently expanded its duplication options to include self-serve onsite scanning available from machines in the reading room.  Features on the scanner include the choice of color or black and white; different file formats (for example, PDF or JPEG); and the ability to scan to email or a jump drive.  Self-provided digital cameras are also allowed in the reading room.  Scanning and/or using a digital camera also have the benefit of being free of charge!

UW student using scanner in the American Heritage Center reading room.  Photograph by AHC faculty.

UW student using scanner in the American Heritage Center reading room. Photograph by AHC faculty.

If you still prefer a paper photocopy this is still an option, at a newly reduced rate of 20-cents per page.

We look forward to seeing you in the reading room!

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Louis C. Brandt: Producer and Director

The American Heritage Center has recently processed the papers of Louis C. Brandt (collection number 6800). Mr. Brandt was an assistant director and producer for television and films from the 1930s to the 1970s.

During his career, Mr. Brandt worked with Phillip Yordan and Samuel Bronston, two famous American movie producers. Bronston’s production company, Samuel Bronston Productions, was a pioneer in the practice of filming epic-scale movies overseas due to the less-expensive production costs.

One example of this practice is the movie King of Kings (1961), on which Brandt was an Executive Production  Supervisor. Brandt’s papers contain production materials related to King of Kings and several other films shot overseas during the 1960s, including El Cid (1961) and Battle of the Bulge (1965). The production notes consist of production meeting minutes, budgets, shooting schedules and other materials that give a thorough perspective on the challenges of filming overseas. Reviews of studio facilities in a variety of countries are included in the collection as well.

memo from production of King of Kings, 1960, Louis C. Brandt papers, #6800, Box 2, Folder 13. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Memo from production of King of Kings, 1960, Louis C. Brandt papers, #6800, Box 2, Folder 13. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

In addition to chronicling Brandt’s work filming overseas, the Brandt papers are notable for the inclusion of production materials related to the 1950s television series Superman. Correspondence related to Brandt’s personal life and professional career are included as well, as are production ideas, screenplays and equipment catalogs, among other things.

Labor distribution log for Superman, 1952. Louis C. Brandt papers, #6800, Box 3, Folder 6. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Labor distribution log for Superman, 1952. Louis C. Brandt papers, #6800, Box 3, Folder 6. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

An inventory for the Louis C. Brandt papers can be found at the following link: http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah06800.xml. Processing of the Brandt papers was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, a unit of the U.S. National Archives.

-Shaun Hayes, Processing Archivist

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In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb: March!

Or, should that be the other way around?  Most likely, a lot of that depends on where you live.  While some areas have been blanketed with snow and have consistently seen below-zero temperatures, other locations in the U.S. have enjoyed a fairly temperate winter, or nothing too far out of the ordinary.  Whether the month of March began for you like a lamb or a lion, we’d like to share some photos from AHC collections that illustrate this well-known saying.

Pilot Roscoe Turner embraces his pet lion, Gilmore. The weather this year was a lot more beastly than this ol' guy!  Roscoe Turner Papers, 1897-1972, #5267, Box 113, Folder 8. UW American Heritage Center.

Pilot Roscoe Turner embraces his pet lion, Gilmore. Turner, a barnstormer, actually took his lion in the air with him, in an open cockpit! The weather this year was a lot more beastly than this ol’ guy! Roscoe Turner Papers, 1897-1972, #5267, Box 113, Folder 8. UW American Heritage Center.

A ewe grazing with her lamb, Charles J. Belden Photographs, #598, Box 13, Item 1463 .  UW American Heritage Center.

Ewe grazing with her lamb, Charles J. Belden Photographs, #598, Box 13, Item 1463 . UW American Heritage Center.

Here’s hoping that spring comes quickly for us all!

–Rachael Dreyer, Reference Archivist

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Celebrating Wyoming Women: Women’s History Month

It’s finally March, when our thoughts tend to turn to spring, warmer temperatures, and the possibility of spending time outdoors.  Every year, March also brings us Women’s History Month, a celebration of women’s accomplishments and progress towards equal footing with men.  Here are a few Wyoming women with notable firsts to help kick off the month right.  

Of course, no mention of women’s history in Wyoming could be complete without paying homage to Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman elected governor of Wyoming–but also in the nation.  Shortly before election day in 1924, Democratic candidate William Ross died. His wife, Nellie Tayloe Ross, was elected in his place.  While she ran for re-election in 1926 and was unsuccessful, her gubernatorial term took place so recently after women were granted the right to vote that it remains an important milestone on both state and national levels.  To learn a bit more about Governor Ross, be sure to check out “In Pursuit of Equality,” an online AHC exhibit.

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Nellie Tayloe Ross Papers, Accession Number 00948, Box 18, Folder 2

Nellie Tayloe Ross, right, with female ranger and Horace Albright in Yellowstone National Park, 1925.  Nellie Tayloe Ross Papers, #948, Box 18, Folder 2. UW American Heritage Center.

Grace Raymond Hebard is another pioneering woman from Wyoming.  Hebard was appointed as University Librarian at the University of Wyoming in 1908 and held the title untiul 1919. As a librarian, professor, and historian she worked tirelessly to promote and preserve the history of Wyoming and the West.  Her efforts, by the way, largely led to the founding of what would later become the American Heritage Center.  Many of the historical markers that identify key places and momentous events throughout the state of Wyoming have been placed due to the work of Grace R. Hebard.  In addition to her historical pursuits, Hebard was also extremely active in the cause of women’s suffrage.

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Grace Raymond Hebard shooting a rifle out of the back of a covered wagon, UW American Heritage Center Photofile: “Hebard, Grace Raymond.”

Photograph of Grace Raymond Hebard shooting a rifle out of the back of a covered wagon, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Photofile: Hebard, Grace Raymond

Grace Raymond Hebard standing in front of Old Main, UW American Heritage Center Photofile: “Hebard, Grace Raymond.”

Harriett Elizabeth Byrd is another Wyoming woman whose accomplishments must be recognized.  She was the first African American woman to serve in the Wyoming State Legislature, as well as the first African American to be elected (1980) to the Legislature since Wyoming gained statehood.  Prior to politics, Byrd was an elementary school teacher in Cheyenne.  She served two terms in the Wyoming House of Representatives, running for a seat in the State Senate in 1988.  She won, becoming the first African American to serve. Of Byrd’s key accomplishments, one of the most memorable is her sponsorship of a bill that created Martin Luther King, Jr./Wyoming Equality Day.

Harriett Elizabeth Byrd Papers, Accession Number 10443, Box 9, Folder 2.

Byrd’s legislative portrait, Harriett Elizabeth Byrd Papers, #10443, Box 9, Folder 2. UW American Heritage Center.

Harriett E. Byrd Collection, Accession Number 10443, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center

Harriett Byrd in the classroom, 1967.  Harriett E. Byrd Collection, #10443, Negative # 29475. UW American Heritage Center.

Of course, there are many women in Wyoming deserving of recognition; these several examples only scrape the surface of the many stories out there of women’s success. We invite you to share your experiences of women’s history and success in the “Comments” section, if you feel so inclined!

–Rachael Dreyer, Reference Archivist

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