Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011
Joint project digitizes book memorializing IU veterans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 7, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A joint project to digitize the Golden Book, a hefty tome that records the names of military veterans connected to Indiana University as far back as the War of 1812, will be celebrated on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11.
Since 1961, the book has resided in the Memorial Room of the Indiana Memorial Union, located just outside Alumni Hall. It records the names of veterans connected to IU who served in the Black Hawk War, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Border Expedition and two world wars. The oldest name in the book is David Henry Maxwell, one of IU's original trustees when the university was founded in 1820 and namesake of Maxwell Hall.
The book also records the names of donors whose funds were used to construct three of IU's buildings: the old Memorial Stadium, the Indiana Memorial Union and Memorial Hall in the Agnes E. Wells Quadrangle, all of which bear the word "memorial" in their names to ensure the sacrifices of veterans are remembered.
The digitization project will allow visitors to browse the hundreds of names in the book through an electronic display on a 46-inch screen, which will be unveiled during a brief ceremony at 9 a.m. on Veterans Day in the Memorial Room. The event is free and open to the public.
"It's a way to show our current veterans that IU has a longstanding tradition of honoring military service," said Margaret Baechtold, director of Veterans Support Services at IU Bloomington, which collaborated with the Office of the Dean of Students, IU Digital Library program, Indiana Memorial Union and University Information Technology Services on the project. "And that there's still acknowledgment, that we value their commitment to serving their country."
A $10,000 grant from the IU Parents Fund helped fund the project.
Chris Eller, senior systems analyst for UITS advanced visualization lab, has created a 3-D documentary about the Golden Book that will screen at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 at IU Cinema as part of a student film showcase.
The film features former IU employee and Meadowood Retirement Community resident Dolores Rockwood, whose excellent penmanship landed her the task of single-handedly transcribing the names of all World War II-era veterans into the book in the early 1950s.
Baechtold said her office intends to begin collecting the names of military veterans connected to the university after World War II, in an effort to bring the Golden Book's rolls up to date.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Veterans Day, various representatives of IU will participate in a nationwide effort to read aloud the names of the more than 6,200 men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. That event will continue throughout the day in the Memorial Room.
The Memorial Room
The Memorial Room was dedicated in June 1969. It is home to the Golden Book and a large bronze floor seal designed by IU alumnus John Carlisle Bollenbacher, one of the architects of the original Indiana Memorial Union. The seal, which tradition decrees never be stepped on, bears the words: "In memory of the sons and daughters of Indiana University who have served in the wars of the Republic."
The room also features two stained glass windows, acquired by Booth Tarkington from the collection of an Austrian count and later donated to the university by Mr. and Mrs. H. Frederick Willkie. One window, "The Flight to Egypt," dates to 1290 A.D. and depicts Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child. The second window, "The Epiphany" or "Adoration of the Kings," dates to the middle to late 15th century and depicts three Wise Men offering gifts to the Madonna and Christ Child.