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Eric Bartheld
Indiana University Bloomington Libraries

Last modified: Monday, September 22, 2008

Politics, presidents, music and film: IU libraries to celebrate archives

Sept. 22, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of a nationwide campaign to recognize the importance of archives to teaching and research, in October the Indiana University Libraries will present "Politics and Presidents," a month-long series of events for the university and Bloomington communities.

In September, the National Society of American Archivists awarded Indiana University's annual campaign top honors for its creative programs and thematic approach.

Lee Hamilton

Lee Hamilton, who served the 9th District of Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1965 to 1998, will be the keynote speaker for "Politics and Presidents."

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The celebration kicks off on Friday, Sept. 26, with a reception at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Keynote speaker for the series is Lee Hamilton, who served the 9th District of Indiana in the United States House of Representatives from 1965 to 1998. Hamilton will discuss the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government at the IU Bloomington Fine Arts Auditorium, room 15, on Thursday , Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

"Academic research libraries, increasingly homogenized by widely available electronic collections, will in the future distinguish themselves largely by their unique holdings," says Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Patricia Steele. "IU has an astonishing array of archives and special collections, and this annual event showcases them in a way that engages our community."

Wilson Sheet Music

IU's Lilly Library features campaign sheet music in its archives, including this piece for Woodrow Wilson.

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In 2006, Indiana University showcased Indiana-related materials, and in 2007, film-related collections. "We're honored the Society of American Archivists applauded our thematic approach. Politics seemed a natural match this year," said Phil Bantin, university archivist. "Because it's an election year we wanted to feature materials relating to the political process. "

IU holds the congressional papers of Lee Hamilton and more than 50 Indiana political figures whose manuscripts form an impressive university resource. Among the notable Hoosiers represented: William Henry Harrison, who was governor of the Indiana Territory in the early 1800s and later U.S. president; Charles Warren Fairbanks, U.S. senator for Indiana and vice president under Theodore Roosevelt; Birch Evans Bayh, who served as Indiana's U.S. senator from 1962 to 1980; and Wendell Willkie, Republican nominee for president in 1940.

Although usually thought to be the institutional documents of a university or government, archives may also contain collections of personal papers, sound recordings, films or memorabilia.

Special collections are materials that because of their rarity, subject matter or format (photos, sheet music or manuscripts, for example) are best handled separately from the main book collections. To enhance their research value, such materials are brought together to form a "special collection."

October Events for Indiana University Libraries' "Politics and Presidents"

Opening Reception Friday, Sept. 26, 5-7 p.m. : "Sex and the Presidential Election: Selections from the Kinsey Institute Collections," The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Morrison Hall 302

From bawdy political cartoons to insightful Playboy interviews, the Kinsey Institute collections include a surprising number of materials relating to the modern presidency. Viewed together, they offer a unique perspective of evolving societal attitudes regarding sex and the White House.

Archives Talk Wednesday, Oct. 1, 4-5 p.m.: "Building a Campaign," Kate Cruikshank, Political Papers Specialist, IU Bloomington Libraries, Office of University Archives and Records Management, Herman B Wells Library E460

Stump speeches, parade appearances, and rope lines are all part of running for office, but, as the archives of politicians often reveal, the key to winning an election is often building a solid campaign.

Film and Panel Discussion, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 7-9 p.m.: The Man (1972) starring James Earl Jones, Fine Arts 102, Facilitator: Michael Martin, Director, Black Film Center/Archive

James Earl Jones plays Sen. Douglass Dilman, who becomes president of the United States through circumstances beyond his control. He battles power-hungry politicians, his daughter and his own doubts while learning to govern. The Man was the first film to depict an African-American as U.S. president. Sponsored by the Black Film Center/Archive, the Department of Communication and Culture, and the Department of History

Exhibition and Reception, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 5-6:30 p.m.: "A Change is Gonna Come": Black Music and Film from the Civil Rights and Black Power Eras, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Bridgwaters Lounge

Through rare visuals and artifacts from the collections of the Archives of African American Music and Culture and the Black Film Center/Archive, this exhibit explores music and film of a pivotal time in U.S. history. The exhibit also weaves the story of how black communities drew on their sacred and secular musical traditions to create the powerful sounds of an era. Sponsored by Archives of African American Music and Culture and Black Film Center Archive (with support from the IU Moveable Feast of the Arts program and ArtsWeek)

Program and Reception, Thursday, Oct. 9, 5-7 p.m.: "We Want to Be President!", Presidential Campaign Songs throughout History, Slocum Room, Lilly Library

The vast sheet music collection at the Lilly Library features campaign songs of presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Richard Nixon. Christopher Goodbeer of the IU Jacobs School of Music will perform selections ranging from the upbeat to the obscure, including "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "Get Yourself A Nice Brown Derby (And Fall in Line for Al)." Sponsored by Friends of the Lilly Library.

Keynote Address, Lee Hamilton, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7:30-8:30 p.m.: "The Congress and the President," Fine Arts Auditorium, room 15, IU Bloomington.

Lee Hamilton, who served the 9th District of Indiana in the United States House of Representatives from 1965 to 1998, will discuss the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government and how executive power has changed over time.

Patten Foundation Lecture, James O'Donnell, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.: Ballantine Hall, Room 109

Classicist James O'Donnell, provost at Georgetown University considers the meaning of history. Is it the long-term movement of DNA-carrying peoples and their economic development, or the crises of a given president or prime minister? Ancient history and its narratives shaped much of what we think of as history, so this lecture will use Greco-Roman examples to think through these issues, and show that the lecture title is a daring proposition for a historian to utter.

Student Essay Competition: Deadline: Nov. 7, 2008, Submit to: Prize: $100 for IU graduate student winner; $100 for IU undergraduate winner.

Tell us how Politics and Presidents influenced your thinking this election year. Write a brief essay (not more than 300 words) describing an experience related to any of the activities of the month-long celebration. Entries will be judged by curators of the campus's archives and special collections. Submissions must include name, student year, university ID, home address, and phone number.

All events are free and open to the public. Exhibitions occur throughout the month. For more information go to: