Thursday, November 05, 2015

Historic Newspaper Collections from Digital Media Repository Included in Hoosier State Chronicles

Browsing the Muncie Times via the
Hoosier State Chronicles
The Muncie Post-Democrat and the Muncie Times are two of the latest collections of digitized historic newspapers to be added to the Hoosier State Chronicles, a digital repository operated by the Indiana State Library that provides full-text searchable online access to archives of newspapers published in the state of Indiana. Originally digitized and made available by Ball State University Libraries via the Digital Media Repository, these two archival collections, held in Ball State University Archives & Special Collections, will join over 220 other digitized historic newspaper titles in the state-wide research repository.

The Muncie Post-Democrat, a historic anti-Ku Klux Klan newspaper operated by Muncie newspaper editor and politician George Dale, was published from 1921 until Dale’s death in 1936 and continued as a local newspaper until the 1950s. The Muncie Times, a bi-weekly newspaper published by Bea Moten-Foster from 1991 to 2011, served the African American communities of Muncie, Indiana and neighboring cities including Richmond, Marion, New Castle, and Anderson. 

June 2, 1927 edition of the Muncie Post-Democrat
All archival newspapers available through the Hoosier State Chronicles repository are browsable by title and date and are also accessible via full-text keyword searching. User-friendly features also enable visitors to this site to freely download entire editions of papers and to directly share archival assets via social media.

The addition of the Muncie Post-Democrat and the Muncie Times archival collections to this site has increased the repository’s size by over 1,400 items, providing researchers with valuable primary source material documenting Muncie and East Central Indiana history from diverse perspectives. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Changing Gears Documentary Film Collection Captures the Experience of Deindustrialization in Muncie

A new digital collection in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository provides online access to video interviews and documentary footage capturing the local experience of deindustrialization in Muncie, Indiana.

The Changing Gears Documentary Film Collection contains digital videos captured during the production of the film Changing Gears: End of an Era. This feature-length documentary produced by Ball State University's Center for Middletown Studies in conjunction with the university's Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education focuses on the events surrounding the closing of Muncie's century-old BorgWarner (formerly Warner Gear) automotive parts plant. The film explores the meaning and significance of deindustrialization by examining the experiences of the plant’s workers and other members of the community as they come to terms with the loss of what was once a leading manufacturer of automatic transmissions in the United States and Muncie’s largest employer.

In addition to a complete version of the 2010 documentary film, the digital collection includes oral history interviews with former BorgWarner employees and labor union leaders; interviews with main characters from the film; and expert interviews with historians like Ball State University Professors Jim Connolly, Dwight Hoover, and Warren Vander Hill, as well as community leaders such as former Muncie mayor Sharon McShurley and former Indiana State Representative and current mayor of the City of Muncie, Dennis Tyler.

Dwight Hoover interview
These interviews discuss the closing of BorgWarner within the historical and sociology context of the Middletown Studies while highlighting the major impact the closing of the plant and the continued decline of industry has had on Muncie and similar cities throughout the Midwest.  In 2014, the Center for Middletown Studies conducted follow-up interviews with two of the main characters from the film, Bill McIntosh and Steve Penrod, both of which are included in the collection.
Bill McIntosh interview after closing
Additional documentation and digital files from the film project can be found in the Changing Gears: End of an Era documentary film records and are available to researchers in the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections.

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Digitized William Sutton Papers Include Correspondence with Prominent Authors, Research on Gender Bias in Language

William Sutton, former Professor of
English at Ball State University from
1947 to 1980.
Ball State University Libraries has made available through its Digital Media Repository a selection of digitized manuscripts, correspondence, and research materials from the papers of William Sutton, former Professor of English at Ball State University from 1947 to 1980.  The complete collection of the papers of William Sutton, whose research interests included 20th Century American authors and poets including Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg, is available at Ball State University Archives & Special Collections.
Sutton's correspondence with
Allen Ginsberg on the state of
the teaching of English.

The collection contains 90 documents dating from Sutton's tenure at Ball State University, and includes professional correspondence pertaining to his research, original scholarship and writings, Ball State University administrative documents, and original research materials and publications related to gender bias in the English language.

Sutton's correspondence with
sociologist Robert Lynd.
The collection also contains documents pertaining to matters of civil rights, affirmative action, and Sutton's service on the Muncie Human Rights Commission as well as correspondence between Sutton and prominent authors regarding the teaching of English and the interpretation of literature. Available in this collection is correspondence with prominent authors including Pearl Buck, John Dos Passos, Allen Ginsberg, Archibald MacLeish, W.D. Snodgrass, and Robert Penn Warren.

Also included is correspondence between Sutton and sociologist Robert Lynd, co-author of Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937), from 1962 in which Lynd reflects on his scholarly influences and his mindset when conducting the Middletown Studies.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Archivist Carol Street Wins Prestigious Publication Award

Carol Street, Archivist for Architectural Records in the Ball State University Libraries, has been awarded the Margaret Cross Norton Award from the Midwest Archives Conference for her article “Indiana Architecture X 3D: Archival Encounters of the 3-D Kind” published in the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Archival Issues. The award recognizes the best article published in the previous two years of the journal. 

The announcement of the award stated that Street’s work “is a well-written and exceptionally thoughtful article that documents her repository’s innovative use of computer 3D printing technology, coupled with public engagement, identifying users’ needs and working to fulfill them, as well as anticipating future research methodologies and interests associated with this technology.” 

According to the award committee, the article “also pushes the concept of archival engagement to an entirely different level that has not been part of archives’ traditional outreach methodologies.” 

Carol will receive a certificate and a cash prize of $250. The article was published in volume 36, number 2 (2015) of Archival Issues.  

Monday, July 06, 2015

Ball State University Libraries Celebrate Muncie's Sesquicentennial with Exhibits

A new Ball State University Archives and Special Collections exhibit celebrates Muncie’s 150 year history through the scope of the Middletown studies that were conducted in the early twentieth century. From Magic City to Middletown: 150 Years of Muncie’s History runs from July 6, 2015 to September 30, 2015 on the second floor of Bracken Library.

Though the industrial revolution is an era consistently associated with the late eighteen and early nineteen century, it took time for its concepts to spread to smaller cities. For Muncie, this came in 1886 with the beginning of the Gas Boom era. Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture (1929) was a study that examined sociological changes in Muncie from 1890 to 1925. “Middletown was the descriptive pseudonym given to Muncie, suggesting its selection was due to its “normalcy” as a typical small city representative of “contemporary American life.”

The exhibit is organized into the six categories identified in the original study by authors Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd: Getting a Living; Making a Home; Training the Young; Using Leisure; Engaging in Religious Practices; Engaging in Community Activities.

The display highlights some of the more unique local history items in Archives and Special Collections, including:
·         Early diaries documenting life during the Gas Boom in Muncie
·         A pardon of former Muncie Mayor, George R. Dale, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt
·         An 1859 deed that documents a sale between a Mary Jane Edmonds and George R. and Louisa Andrews for a parcel of land in Muncietown
·         An 1885 inventory for the Star Drug Store
·         Selections from the Marsh/Ryan family papers and photographs

The Muncie Sesquicentennial will be celebrated throughout Bracken Library. In addition to Archives and Special Collections’ exhibit, the GIS Research and Map Collection located on the second floor of Bracken Library will display historical Muncie maps. An animated Muncie map and also maps corresponding to the Thomas Neely diaries are being created especially for the exhibit. University Libraries’ Information Services will provide a display of local history books on the first floor of Bracken Library.

A digital version of the exhibit catalog can be viewed online:

For more information about this exhibit, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

 The Congerville (Muncie) Flyers were an NFL football team from 1920-1924.

Former Muncie mayors and political rivals, Dr. Rollin H. Bunch and George R. Dale, shaking hands, circa 1935-1936

Downtown Muncie, circa 1920s-1930s

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Stet Literary Journal Now Available in the Digital Media Repository

The Ball State University Archives has recently digitized a new collection featuring the student literary publication Stet, a journal produced by the Ball State Department of English from 1939-1982 spotlighting students' creative writing including prose and poetry.  The journal was sponsored by the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and was creatively printed on presses with support from the Department of Journalism.  The title Stet comes from a printers term (originally Latin for 'let it stand') which directs that a letter, word, or other matter marked for omission or correction is to be retained.

Stet provides a fascinating look into the literary output of past generations of Ball State students.  Works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry comprise the collection's 39 issues.  The publication accepted a wide variety of creative works with no set limits to subject matter or format.  Topics familiar to students of all generations including anxiety, love, family, and growing up are included in the journal's many works.

Altogether, Stet showcases the diversity of artistic passions and interests of Ball State students throughout an era famously known for constant change and development both on and off campus.

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mary Beeman Collection Now Available in the Digital Media Repository

A new digital collection in the Ball State UniversityDigital Media Repository showcases selections from the life and work of Mary Beeman, a pioneer in the field of home economics and the former head of the Ball State Teachers College Department of Home Economics from 1929-1951.

Ms. Mary Beeman, often described as the ‘grande dame of home economics’, lived from 1884-1984.  Throughout her life she was recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in the profession of home economics.  During her time at Ball State Teachers College, Ms. Beeman was responsible for an expansion of the Department of Home Economics.  She was instrumental in securing federal funding for the department’s programs, initiated the dietetics program in 1937 which continues to this day, and began an adult education evening class program available to members of the Muncie community.

Included within the collection are selections from Ms. Beeman’s correspondence while serving as department head, photographs of Ms. Beeman at work, and memoriams and obituaries recounting her life.  The collection also includes over 180 of her compiled recipe cards which provide unique takes on many classic staples of Midwestern cooking. 

I was intrigued enough to try my hand at her apple crisp recipe.  The recipe card provides two versions of the classic dessert: one with the regular flour based crumble topping, and the other using graham cracker crumbs as the basis of the topping.  Well, I love graham crackers; so the alternative recipe sounded too good to pass up.  I photographed the final product and am happy to say the recipe yielded the best apple crisp I’ve ever made.  I look forward to cooking more from her incredible recipe collection in the future.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ball State University Libraries Exhibits the Cartoons of Robert Cunningham

A new Ball State Archives and Special Collections exhibit features the original drawings and cartoons of former Muncie mayor, businessman, and cartoonist Robert G. Cunningham. Drawing on Muncie: The Cartoons and the Civic and Cultural Contributions of Robert Cunningham runs from April 6, 2015 to May 30, 2015 on the second floor of Bracken Library.

In 2005, the obituaries, memorials and remembrances of Robert G. Cunningham reflected the extraordinary life of an influential and respected Muncie citizen.  Cunningham has been described as a kind and generous man who always remained grounded in his values.  Each facet of his life displayed these remarkable qualities. 

In 1949, Cunningham opened the Red Front Grocery.  The store remained open until he purchased Cunningham’s Market in 1969. Cunningham was known to help community members who experienced financial difficulty.   Cunningham closed his grocery business in 1976 upon becoming Mayor.  He is remembered as being a “man of the people.”  Cunningham’s cartooning hobby was often juxtaposed with his professional career.  For instance, many of his grocery advertisements and political campaigns incorporated his drawings.  During his later years, he authored and illustrated a series of books, Growing Up in Middletown, U.S.A.: A Book About Those Wonderful Nostalgic Time of Days Gone By, and also made regular cartoon contributions to the Muncie Evening Press in a guest column titled “Cunningham’s Corner.” 

The Robert Cunningham papers consist of records documenting the personal and professional life of Robert Cunningham including records from the City of Muncie Office of the Mayor created during Cunningham's tenure as mayor, political campaign materials, local newspaper clippings, scrapbooks from Cunningham's political and personal life, original and printed cartoons drawn by Cunningham, and local history publications and photographs that were collected by Cunningham. Some of the materials in the collection were collected by Cunningham's family after his death. 

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

  Original drawing by Robert Cunningham of his locally owned store, Red Front Grocery

Robert Cunningham (seated) with Congressman Phil Sharp (in the black suit), circa 1976-1979

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Madill Farm Collection Highlights Over 60 Years of Productivity on a Local Family Farm

The Ball State University Libraries has digitized a collection of records that meticulously document the daily operations of a small family farm in rural Delaware County, Indiana from 1925 to 1987.

The Cecil A. Madill Farm Records digital collection provides online access to calendars, correspondence, account books and financial ledgers, farm labor and livestock records, agricultural event programs, and other records documenting the family farm business of Burl, Cecil, and David Madill located just outside Muncie, Indiana.

Cecil A. Madill farm

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from Purdue University in 1925, Cecil A. Madill began renting and managing one-third of his father's hog and grain farm. He gradually took over more acreage and by 1974 was managing, in partnership with his son David, a 700 acre farm and producing approximately 2,500 hogs annually.

Cecil A. Madill plowing a field

Cecil Madill believed strongly in the application business management principles to agriculture and maintained detailed labor and financial records to analyze the productivity of his farm business.  From 1927 until at least 1980, he contributed his farm records to Purdue University's Indiana Farm Account Project reports summarizing the productivity of individual farms as well the productivity of farms of varying sizes and specializations in the state.

Madill farm Indiana Farm account book, 1929-1930

Madill served actively within the Indiana agricultural community, working extensively with the Farmers' Institute, Farm Bureau, Purdue University Agriculture Alumni organization, and the Eastern Indiana Livestock Breeders Association. In 1974, Madill was awarded the prestigious Master Farmer degree by the Prairie Farmer

Congratulatory letter to Cecil A. Madill from U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, 1974

The digital collection is accessible online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital MediaRepository.

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ball State's Miller College of Business Turns 50

Founded in 1965 as part of Ball State's transition to a University, the Miller College of Business (named in 2003 after alumnus and benefactor Wallace T. Miller) has flourished as the home of some of Ball State University's most renowned academic programs. Ball State University Archives & Special Collections, a department of the University Libraries, has preserved the legacy of this College through a variety of paper and electronic archival collections.

Archives & Special Collections contains in its holdings over 15 individual paper collections documenting the history, activities, scholarship of the Miller College of Business faculty, departments, and students. The Ball State University Digital Media Repository, an online, open-access research repository containing over 200,000 archival resources, includes a collection of scholarship published by the Ball State's Center for Businesses and Economic Research.

In addition, collections in the Digital Media Repository include archival photographs, films and videos, newspaper articles, and other resources documenting the history of the College.

Ball State University College of Business students using duplicator machines, 1968

Before the completion of the Whitinger Business Building in 1979, Ball State's College of Business was housed in
the former Naval Armory Building at the intersection of McKinley Ave. and Neely Ave.
James R. Barnhart, Professor of Accounting, instructs student in mainframe computing applications, 1974. 

Ralph J. Whitinger at the dedication of the Whitinger Business Building in March 1980.  One of over 20,000 historic photographs of Ball State University housed in the Digital Media Repository.
Interview with Donald F. Kuratko, founding director of Ball State University's entrepreneurship program, 1991.  One of over 1,400 digitized films and videos documenting Ball State's history in the Digital Media Repository.
The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Digital Media Repository collection contains economic policy and forecasting research published by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Ball State Celebrates 50 Years as University

Fifty years ago on February 8, 1965 through House Enrolled Act No. 1014, Ball State Teachers College became Ball State University as the institution was granted University status by the Indiana General Assembly.  Both recognizing the tremendous growth of the college from a small teacher training school to a large regional institution and facilitating further expansion in size and scope, this change set Ball State on a course to flourish as a major teaching and research institution.  

The Ball State University Digital Media Repository (DMR), a project of the University Libraries, provides free online access to a variety of digitized archival resources documenting this red letter day in Ball State history. Including photographs, films and videos, audio recordings, newspapers, and institutional records and reports housed in Ball State University Archives & Special Collections, the DMR includes over 200,000 digitized historic resources.

Sign maker Bob Robinson congratulates Ball State with a billboard.  One of over 20,000 digitized archival photographs documenting Ball State history
Ball State students celebrate sign change from "Teachers College" to "University", February 1965.
Ball State University President John R. Emens with Indiana legislators Rodney Piper, George Stephenson, and David Metzger and Lieutenant Governor Robert Rock at University Recognition Day ceremony, February 12, 1965
Ball State News headline from February 12, 1965 announcing University status change,
including a greeting and statement from John R. Emens
As Ball State's name changed, so did its campus.  The LaFollette Residence Halls complex (under construction here)
was one of major campus construction projects at Ball State in the mid-1960s.

An audio recording of the University Recognition Day program has been digitized and made available online in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Schenley Distillery Architectural Drawings now available in the Ball State Digital Media Repository

A new digital collection in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository highlights an important era in Indiana’s industrial history by providing online access to architectural drawings of a distillery once owned and operated by one of the largest distillers in the United States.

The Schenley Distillery Architectural Drawings digital collection includes over 200 architectural plans for alcoholic beverage distillation and fermentation facilities operated by Schenley Distillers Corporation and its various subsidiaries in Lawrenceburg and Greendale, Indiana between 1934 and 1951. The plans were drawn by draftsman Frank C. Hall and include both original drawings and printed reproductions.

Industrial Alcohol Plant No. 226, Schenley Distilleries, Inc.
The Schenley Products Company was established in New Jersey in 1920. During the 1920s, the owner of Schenley, Lewis Rosenstiel, acquired approximately thirty distillers of whiskey and other spirits. In 1933, Schenley Distillers Corporation was created in Delaware. Later that same year, the corporation acquired Schenley Products Company and purchased the Squibb Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, making Schenley the second largest whiskey distiller in the United States. During World War II, the Schenley plant in Lawrenceburg (operating as Schenley Laboratories, Inc.) was converted to a penicillin production facility for the war effort. In 1949, Schenley Industries, Inc. was formed from the old Schenley Distillers Corporation. Schenley Industries was purchased by Guinness P.L.C. (United Distillers) in 1987.

The Schenley Distillery architectural plans were generously donated to Archives and Special Collections in the University Libraries by Milton A. Masing. The digital collection is accessible online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository.

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ball State University Libraries Digitize Correspondence of Prominent Anthropologist Clark Wissler

Clark David Wissler

The Ball State University Libraries has digitized the correspondence of influential American anthropologist Clark Wissler (1870-1947). The Clark Wissler Collection features over 6,000 letters between Wissler and prominent American and British anthropologists, psychologists, paleontologists, museum curators, publishers, and members of his family from 1906 to 1947. Notable correspondents include Yale University psychologist Robert Means Yerkes; Director of the American Association of Museums, Laurence Vail Coleman; American sociologist Robert S. Lynd; and British anthropologist Beatrice Blackwood.

A native of Cambridge City in Wayne County, Indiana, Clark Wissler served as the curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1907-1942 and was a professor at Yale University from 1924-1940. While at the American Museum of Natural History, Wissler conducted fieldwork and directed numerous projects within the fields of ethnology, physical anthropology, and archaeology, most of which concerned the cultures of North American Indian tribes. Wissler published eleven monographs based on his fieldwork and also wrote the foreword to the seminal 1929 sociological case study by Robert S. and Helen Merrell Lynd, Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture, in which he described the Lynds' study as a “pioneer attempt to deal with a sample American community after the manner of social anthropology.”

Letter from Clark Wissler and Robert S. Lynd, March 22, 1928
The correspondence that composes the digital collection was selected from a larger manuscript collection (Clark Wissler Papers, 1897-1979) held by Archives and Special Collections that also includes Wissler’s research and lecture notes, projects files, manuscripts, and publications. The digital collection is accessible online in the Ball State University Libraries Digital Media Repository.

For more information about this collection, contact Ball State University Archives and Special Collections at or (765) 285-5078.

Friday, March 14, 2014

University Libraries’ New Exhibit Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium

Summer Commencement, 1979
University Libraries invites you to come join the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Emens Auditorium as we present University Libraries invites you to come join the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Emens Auditorium as we present “The John R. Emens College-Community Auditorium, 1964-2014: 50 Years Of Arts, Culture, And Entertainment.” The new exhibit is located in Archives and Special Collections on the 2nd floor of Bracken Library and runs from March 10, to May 31, 2014.  

Arthur Fiedler directs the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, 1977

The display highlights the history of Emens Auditorium from its initial construction to recent performances held there and draws from several collections housed in the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections, with some materials also available on the University Libraries Digital Media Repository (  Featured collections are the Emens Auditorium Concert/Artist Series Programs and News Releases, Earl Williams Photograph Collection, Ball State University Subject Files, University Marketing and Communications Publications And Printed Ephemera, and many others.  In conjunction with the 50th Anniversary celebration Archives has also digitized selected materials from the Emens Auditorium collections and placed them on the DMR as the Emens Auditorium Collection

For more information on the exhibit, contact Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078 or email

Emens Auditorium Stage House Drawing, 1960

Monday, January 27, 2014

Robert R. LaFollette Papers Digital Collection Documents German Post-War Education Reform

Robert Russell LaFollette
"There were shortages of food and fuel. They sat in wrecked and partially wrecked buildings whose windows were out and whose doors were gone while bread and potato soup kept them alive but not adequately nourished. They sat in overcoats and overshoes with blankets draped around their shoulders as they wrote with gloved hands using their knees as desks."

So wrote Robert R. LaFollette, American historian and educator, when describing the challenges faced by students during the rebuilding of a German education system that had been ravished by both the physical destruction of World War II and by Nazi ideology.

Handbook of education
statistics (U.S. occupied area
of Germany), July 1949
Ball State University Archives and Special Collections has recently digitized a collection of papers documenting LaFollette's career, making it available in the Ball State University Digital Media Repository.  The collection emphasizes materials related to his role as an advisor to the rebuilding of the German education system following World War II.  LaFollette served as the head of the social science department at Ball State Teachers College (now Ball State University) from 1921 to 1961.

LaFollette's direct involvement with these post-war rebuilding efforts began in 1949, when he served as a visiting consultant in teacher education and social science with the Office of the U.S. Secretary of the Army in Bavaria. From 1950 to 1952, LaFollette served as an education advisor to the Education and Cultural Relations Division of the U.S. High Commissioner of Germany, organizing the International Social Studies Workshop in Heidelberg.  In 1952, LaFollette was the chairman of the American-German Historian and History Teachers Workshop in Braunschweig, a conference that evaluated history textbooks and curriculum in Germany.

From 1954 to 1955, he was the social studies specialist to North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry, and later served as a Fulbright lecturer to Germany and visiting professor at Oldenburg Paedogogical University from 1956 to 1957.
Diagram of Bavarian school system, 1949

The collection contains documents related to each of these assignments and includes reports and writings created and collected by LaFollette and his colleagues in their service as advisors to the Education and Cultural Relations Division.  It also includes information disseminated by branches of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany regarding rebuilding aims and initiatives, including maps, diagrams, and reports.

A more complete biography of LaFollette is available on the finding aid for the Robert R. LaFollette papers collection housed in Ball State University Archives & Special Collections.

For more information about this collection and other materials related to the career of Robert LaFollette, contact Ball State University Archives & Special Collections at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Exhibit in Archives and Special Collections Celebrates Black History Month

The Ball State University African-American Student Experience, 1960 - 2013:
 Activities, Organizations, and Programs

Talent portion of  Miss Black Ball State Pageant, 1976From the Marie Fraser papers and photographs collection. (RG.09.20.10)
 African-American students at Ball State University have a history of unity and action, taking pride in who they are and what they represent.  The outlets for bonding and activities include Greek organizations, black student organizations, alumni reunions, and special programs during events such as Unity Week. This exhibit highlights some of the main platforms African-American students at Ball State have used to come together and enrich their experiences as college students while also forging lifeline friendships and networks. The display includes samples from collections such as the Black Student Association Records, the Allen Williams Black Ball State Alumni Collection, The Robert Foster Papers, and the Marie Fraser Papers and Photographs. 

Gathering at Black Alumni Reunion, circa 1970's, from the Allen Williams Black Ball State Alumni Collection (Electronic Copy only) 


The Black Student at Ball State University booklet section on Greek Life.  From the University Marketing and Communications Publications and Printed Ephemera collection. (RG.09.20.07)                                              

 Also displayed are examples of some of the African-American student newspapers and other publications prevalent at Ball State during the 1970's.   These publications gave the African-American student population a means to communicate across campus and voice their opinions and frustrations of college life and society during that time period. Photographs, documents, and films featuring African-American students and activities can also be viewed online on Ball State’s Digital Media Repository at Please enjoy our look back at the many ways African-American students maximized their experiences at Ball State University as we celebrate Black History Month.

Black Alumni Reunion group photo, 1993.
From the Ball State University Alumni Association photographs and materials collection. (RG.09.02.10) 
The display is located in Archives and Special Collections on the 2nd floor of Bracken Library and runs from January 20, 2014 to February 28, 2014. For more information on the exhibit, contact Archives and Special Collections at 765-285-5078 or email 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New Archives and Special Collection Exhibit Features Downtown Muncie

“Everything Is Waiting For You, Downtown:” Muncie Stores and Storefronts, 1920-1970     

Corner of Walnut and Charles, FW Woolworth Dime store on NE corner. From the Spurgeon-Green Photograph Collection

In its heyday from the 1920’s through the 1960’s, downtown Muncie was vibrant and vital, with bustling crowds and busy stores and theaters.  As the popular song “Downtown” from the 1960s by Petula Clark said, “everything was waiting for you downtown.”  Indicative of this vitality was the various stores and their elaborate storefronts that displayed their wares to advertise specials, goods, and services and entice customer patronage. Big stores such as Ball Stores and Stillman’s were anchors of downtown business, while many smaller ones came and went through the decades. Also part of the charm and lure of many of these businesses was the architecture of the buildings themselves, such as the McNaughton Building and the Wysor Grand.

Ball Stores (W.A. McNaughton Building) 

Archives and Special Collections has a treasure trove of photographs, advertisements, documents, and drawings that depict images of these buildings and the businesses they housed.   This exhibit about the stores and storefronts of downtown Muncie draws from photograph collections such as Otto Sellers, Spurgeon Green, and W.A. Swift, as well as the Muncie and Delaware County Historic Photographs Collection. All these photograph collections are available to view on the University Libraries Digital Media Repository ( Enjoy a trip down memory lane as we reminisce about when downtown Muncie was the place to be, the businesses there were the places to go, and everything was waiting for you. 

Wysor Grand Building, from the Richard Greene Slide Collection