Happy Birthday Aesop

While not much is known about the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop, including how much of the author’s life is legend versus fact, today many celebrate his birthday.  One of the Toppan Rare Books Library collection areas features items for and about children, including volumes of Aesop’s fables.

The Little Esop. Philadelphia: Smith & Peck, 1843. Fitzhugh Collection, Toppan Rare Books Library. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The Little Esop. Philadelphia: Smith & Peck, 1843. Fitzhugh Collection, Toppan Rare Books Library. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The library’s holdings include many works that go beyond the fables of Aesop, featuring stories that have enchanted children for centuries such as the well-known Cinderella, Old Mother Hubbard, Arabian Nights, and Pinocchio; others are stories by Newbery Award winning authors and have illustrations by Caldecott Award winners up through the mid-20th century.  The library also contains thematic children’s collections such as the Louise Jackson Collection of books about boys and girls having adventures in the American West.

Playthings and Pets. Chicago and N.Y.: Conkey, 1888. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Playthings and Pets. Chicago and N.Y.: Conkey, 1888. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

While many of the children’s items in the library feature fun and whimsy many other items depict societal expectations of children and are solely educational in nature.  Printed books teach children the proper way to behave in society, with texts teaching etiquette or religious expectations (some of which are based on gender).  Educational items show not only how children learned in the past, but can also depict the darker side of society, such as the perpetuation of racism.  Works of fiction from the nineteenth century serve a moral purpose in descriptions of orphans and the lower classes.

If you wish to view some of the library’s more light hearted items, currently on display in the American Heritage Center’s loggia is the exhibit, “Cute Children Dressed in Costumes and Clothes of the Past (plus a cat in an apron and a doll in a cradleboard).”

Dennison’s Costume Book. Framingham, Mass.: Dennison Manufacturing Co., ca 1920s. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Dennison’s Costume Book. Framingham, Mass.: Dennison Manufacturing Co., ca 1920s. Toppan Rare Books Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

For more information about the exhibit or the Toppan Rare Books Library, please contact the library’s curator Anne Marie Lane at 307-766-2565 or etoppan@uwyo.edu.

-Anne Marie Lane, Toppan Rare Books Library Curator and Amanda Stow, Reference Archivist

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In Honor of Memorial Day

Today the American Heritage Center honors military veterans and those in active duty; and commemorate those who never came home. Thank you.

Albany county recruits posing in front of courthouse before leaving for Camp Lewis, World War I, 1918. Ludwig-Svenson Studio collection, #167, neg. #4006.2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Albany County, Wyoming recruits posing in front of courthouse before leaving for Camp Lewis, World War I, 1918. Ludwig-Svenson Studio collection, #167, neg. #4006.2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

World War I monument on 2nd Street, Laramie, Wyoming, 1924. Ludwig-Svenson Studio collection, #167, neg. #11566.3. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

World War I monument on 2nd Street, Laramie, Wyoming, 1924. Ludwig-Svenson Studio collection, #167, neg. #11566.3. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Reporter and combat photographer Richard Tregaskis chatting with fighter pilots during WII. Richard Tregaskis papers, #6346, Box 4, Folder 16. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Reporter and combat photographer Richard Tregaskis chatting with fighter pilots during WWII. Richard Tregaskis papers, #6346, Box 4, Folder 16. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

 

 

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History in Flight at the American Heritage Center

On this day in 1927 Charles Lindbergh landed his plane in Paris and gained instant fame for being the first to fly across the Atlantic solo.  In honor of this day in aviation history the American Heritage Center is excited to highlight some of its aviation collections.

Richard Leferink learned to fly during World War I. When the war ended he eventually settled in Wyoming and started an air cargo business throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, and even Canada.  Leferink’s collection includes scrapbooks and correspondence kept through his aeronautical career.

Aviation scene from Richard Leferink scrapbook, 1923-1944. Richard Leferink Scrapbook, #8979, Box 1, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Aviation scene from Richard Leferink scrapbook, 1923-1944. Richard Leferink Scrapbook, #8979, Box 1, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Martin Jensen was an innovator in aviation history by researching and designing new aircraft as well building a place in the business of aviation, including the establishment of his own company.  Jensen was also a seasoned stunt pilot, and participated in the 1927 James D. Dole Derby Trans-Pacific Air Race.  Jensen’s collection includes photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence about his aeronautic developments.

Jensen’s collection is not the only aviation collection featuring aviation developments and business.  The Manufacturers Aircraft Association encouraged and aided aeronautical development.  The association’s records contain information about different companies, designs and patents, expositions, and competitions.  Trans World Airlines contain records regarding not only the company but aircraft vendors as well, including Boeing and Lockheed.

American Heritage Center aviation collections also go beyond U.S. history.  For example  Wolfgang Klemperer’s  papers (an aeronautical engineer who did eventually come to the U.S.) contain visuals of German aviation during World War I.

Aircraft type Lohnergroβflugzeug [10], 1915. Wolfgang Klemperer papers, #10955, Box 2, Folder 6. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Aircraft type Lohnergroβflugzeug [10], 1915. Wolfgang Klemperer papers, #10955, Box 2, Folder 6. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

 For more information regarding the American Heritage Center’s aviation and other transportation records collection guides are available online. In addition, some photos and other material from aeronautical collections have been digitized and are accessible through our digital collections site.

-Amanda Stow, Reference Archivist

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why an Immigration Symposium?

Immigration reform is a topic of local, state, and national concern, but why would the Simpson Institute have particular interest in this topic?  The namesake of the Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership was once at the forefront of the immigration debate. Almost thirty years have passed since the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed in 1986 in order to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Former Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson co-sponsored the legislation together with Democratic Rep. Romano Mazzoli from Kentucky.

Neither lawmaker was a natural fit since this issue little affected their constituents, they were plunged into a position of leadership as chairs of their respective immigration subcommittees. Nevertheless, Senator Simpson had a passion for the issue. He recalled in a March 2014 Daily Beast interview that, as a young lawyer, he saw Hispanic workers flown into Park County, Wyoming to pick sugar beets. They were called “braceros” and by 1964, when an excess of “illegal” agricultural workers occurred, “Operation Wetback” deported them.  Simpson recollects, “I helped a lot of them when they were screwed by car dealers, things like that.”

Al Simpson meeting with President Ronald Reagan and staff about immigration reform, 1981. Alan K. Simpson papers, #10449, Box 144, Folder 2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Al Simpson meeting with President Ronald Reagan and staff about immigration reform, 1981. Alan K. Simpson papers, #10449, Box 144, Folder 2. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

According to Simpson and Mazzoli, the 1986 act had three “legs.”  The two politicians noted in a 2006 reflective Washington Post piece, “We quickly realized that if immigration reform was to work and be fair it had to be a ‘three-legged stool.’ If one leg failed, so would the entire bill.” “Leg one” was improved security against illegal crossings at the Mexican border and, for the first time, penalties imposed on employers who knowingly hired undocumented workers. “Leg two” was the H-2A Visa temporary program for agricultural workers, designed to ensure wage and workplace protections and not to be another exploitative “bracero” program. “Leg three” was “legalization,” by allowing some, but not all, undocumented aliens then living and working in the U.S. to regularize their unlawful status and begin to earn permanent residency and citizenship.

What is the legacy of the Immigration Reform and Control Act?  Results depend on the eye of the beholder.  Thanks to the act, about 3 million formerly undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the U.S. before 1982 were granted residency and a chance for U.S. citizenship. But, instead of slowing the flow of people across the border, illegal immigration accelerated.  According to Simpson, “The bill didn’t work because they took the guts out the night before.” This refers to a more secure “identifier system” for workers that received fervent opposition from both the left and the right, who labeled it a national ID card.  The security measure was pulled from the bill, effectively killing the legislation. In the aftermath of the bill’s passage, there were raids as the federal government cracked down on employers that knowingly hired illegals, but enforcement lagged, and nothing really changed.  “The real irony for me,” Simpson said in the Washington Post interview, “is that congressional Republicans are talking about retinal scans and fingerprints, and I haven’t seen a single article about a slippery slope to a national ID.”

For more information about the Simpson Institute’s immigration symposium, see our website at: http://www.uwyo.edu/ahc/about/departments/simpson/immigration/index.html.

-Leslie Waggener, Simpson Institute Archivist

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World War II Films Digitized: Paul J. Halloran

The American Heritage Center has digitized and made accessible online 30 films from the Paul J. Halloran papers #4832. Paul J. Halloran was a prominent naval officer and civil engineer during the twentieth century. He oversaw construction of Pacific airbases used for bombing raids on Japan in WWII. The collection includes naval records, photographs, and 16 mm films from Halloran’s time in the navy, with the majority stemming from his work on the Norfolk naval base and his time in the Pacific Theater.

Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands), Paul J. Halloran papers, #4832, Box 20, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center

Film still of Tinian (Northern Mariana Islands), Paul J. Halloran papers, #4832, Box 20, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center

 

Links to digitized items and additional information about the Paul J. Halloran papers can be found in the online collection inventory at: http://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah04832.xml

Please direct any questions to Jamie Greene at jgreene@uwyo.edu or 307-766-3704.

Posted in Archival Film, Digital collections, military history, newly digitized collections, World War II | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Holocaust Days of Remembrance

In the past week many institutions have commemorated Holocaust Days of Remembrance week in different ways, by reading names; featured exhibits; and table displays featuring historical resources.  The American Heritage Center commemorates Holocaust Days of Remembrance week by highlighting one of its collections, the Murray C. Bernays papers.

Bernays was an influential lawyer during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials and his papers contain indexes, correspondence, legal documents, reports, and clippings from the trials.

Inspection group made up of British, French, and U.S. representatives, arriving at Nuremberg, Germany July 21, 1945. Murray C. Bernays papers, #3817, “Photographs” Folder, Box 3. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Inspection group made up of British, French, and U.S. representatives, arriving at Nuremberg, Germany July 21, 1945. Murray C. Bernays papers, #3817, “Photographs” Folder, Box 3. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

By preserving Bernays’ papers, and several other collections from Americans involved with war crime trials during World War II, researchers at the American Heritage Center for generations to come can access a record of events from a terrible time in history, and it can be said we will not forget.

-Amanda Stow, Reference Archivist

 

 

 

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Jacques Kapralik and the Art of Film Promotion

The American Heritage Center is fortunate to hold the papers and artwork of Jacques Kapralik. Kapralik was a commercial artist and caricaturist whose art was used in the promotion of motion pictures throughout Hollywood’s Golden Era of the 1930s-1950s. Born in Romania in 1906, Kapralik first worked for various European newspapers, drawing cartoons and caricatures of famous Europeans and important events. In 1936, Kapralik immigrated to the United States. He first provided celebrity caricatures for various newspaper columns focusing on Hollywood gossip and events.

Jacques Kapralik, undated. Jacques Kapralik papers, #4064, Box 15. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Jacques Kapralik, undated. Jacques Kapralik papers, #4064, Box 15. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Kapralik was fortunate to work during a time considered the Golden Age of Hollywood and a zenith for celebrity caricatures. Movie studios were putting increased focus and publicity on their stars, attempting to make them household names. Kapralik’s output of celebrity caricatures increased as he left the newspaper world and began working for movie studios such as RKO, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and MGM, creating likenesses of Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, and Lucille Ball, among many others. He developed a distinctive and highly recognizable style for his studio publicity work, much of which was shown primarily in press kits and trade magazines such MGM’s Lion’s Roar Magazine, as well as the weekly Pictorial Review newspaper insert. While heralded as a master of Hollywood caricature by industry insiders of the time, due to the nature of his work, today he remains relatively unknown to the general public.

Man of the West with Cary Cooper and Julie London, 1958. Jacques Kapralik papers, #4064, Box 38. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Man of the West with Cary Cooper and Julie London, 1958. Jacques Kapralik papers, #4064, Box 38. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

The caricature style Kapralik became most well-known for involved the creation of miniature models from paper and balsa wood. The models were then photographed and used as promotional posters for motion pictures, predominantly MGM films. These 3-D caricature scenes were incredibly elaborate and detailed, taking up to six weeks complete.

Notorious with Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains, 1946. Jacques Kapralik papers, #4064, Box 70. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Notorious with Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains, 1946. Jacques Kapralik papers, #4064, Box 70. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Kapralik also created title sequences for films in the 1930s-1950s, an early innovator at a time when title sequences were just starting to evolve from simple text. His title sequence work included 20th Century Fox’s The Three Musketeers (1939) with the Ritz Brothers and MGM’S Presenting Lily Mars (1943) with Judy Garland. Aside from movie publicity, Kapralik also did advertising work for companies such as Nutrilite, S&W, and Squirt.

The Jacques Kapralik collection at the American Heritage Center contains framed originals of Kapralik’s miniature models, original caricature drawings done as publicity for many films, and caricatures used in advertising such products as milk and canned vegetables. The collection also contains many sketches and drafts of his finished works. Numerous copies of the newspaper insert Pictorial Review are also present, the covers of which all feature caricatures drawn by Kapralik. Some of his artwork created prior to moving to the United States is also contained in the collection, mostly featuring famous Germans or other Europeans. Some personal and professional files are also present, including correspondence and newspaper clippings. The collection also contains photographs of Jacques Kapralik, including photographs of him and his wife creating his models. Scanned images of many of Kapralik’s 3D caricature scenes will soon be available on the AHC’s digital collections site.

A traveling exhibit is also available from the American Heritage Center. Titled “Cut It Out!: The Hollywood Art of Jacques Kapralik,” the exhibit consists of 23 framed panels of Kapralik’s work, and focuses on how Kapralik’s work coincided with the rise of the Hollywood star system and society’s growing fascination with celebrity culture.

 

 

 

 

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