Life of Resilience: Maxine Maxwell and the First Protest Against UO Discriminatory Housing Regulations

maxine maxwell beaver 1929 pg350

Maxine Maxwell’s freshman photo The Beaver 1929

“My family has always had to fight, and we have maintained a creditable position in Salem, where I have lived all of my life. I do not feel that I am a “foreigner” and that I should be segregated from other students, although I do not want to make trouble for anyone.” – Maxine Maxwell, Eugene Register, October 2, 1929

Maxine Maxwell’s family is one that has a history of resilience. She was raised in Salem, Oregon and her family was highly respected and well known. Her father, Charles Maxwell, was a successful businessman who operated the restaurant “Fat Boy Barbeque” and a shoeshine shop in the Hollywood district of the city. He also ran a small neighborhood publication that enabled him to have significant political influence among the African American community. Despite his success, not everyone was enthused about his accomplishments. The 1920s were the heydays of the Ku Klux Klan in the state of Oregon, and Mr. Maxwell’s success drew their attention. In 1922, Mr. Maxwell received a letter from Klansmen that stated, “We have stood you as long as we intend to stand you, and you must unload, if you don’t we will come to see you.” However, Mr. Maxwell had no intention on leaving his home and responded by allowing his letter to be published in the Capitol Journal. He bravely called out the Klansmen and declared himself unafraid of their threats. His daughter, Maxine Maxwell would show similar courage and resilience when she attended the University of Oregon. Read more ›

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Posted in Documenting UO History Project, Events, Students, University Archives, University History

The First African American Woman to Graduate from the UO

Nellie Louise Franklin's 1932 Senior Photo Oregana

Nellie Louise Franklin’s senior photo
Oregana 1932

In honor of Black Heritage Month, the UO Special Collections and University Archives is highlighting the work of historian Herman L. Brame and his research examining individuals who are considered the “firsts” or are honorable figures in the context of African American history at the University of Oregon. Our first feature in our series is Nellie Louise Franklin. Similar to the first African American student at the University of Oregon, Mabel Byrd, Franklin lived in Portland, attended Washington High School, and would eventually attend the University of Oregon. However, what sets these two historic women apart is that Franklin would eventually become the first documented African American woman to graduate from the UO.

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Posted in Documenting UO History Project, Events, Students, University Archives, University History

Bob Zagorin: New Additions

Special Collections & University Archives is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of new materials from Eugene journalist Bob Zagorin (1945- ). Zagorin’s papers include materials related to his work as a radio and television journalist in Eugene, Oregon, including scripts, research files, government documents, publications, press clippings, correspondence, photographs, and audiovisual highlight reels of his broadcast stories for KEZI-TV. The materials cover c1974-2000. The papers are particularly strong in regional environmental and economic development stories, such as nuclear power, land use, the timber industry, and salmon fisheries. The collection also documents Zagorin’s reporting trips to Japan and China in the early 1980s when he accompanied Eugene Governor Vic Atiyeh on economic trade visits to those countries (see below).

This new acquisition enhances Bob Zagorin’s collection audio recordings for radio, 1975-1980 (Coll 300), and complements the Chambers Communications Corp. records (Coll 427) of local TV news.

Posted in New Collections

Online: Five New Finding Aids for Faculty Papers

We are pleased to announce five new finding aids are available on Archives West describing University of Oregon Faculty Papers. The University Archives’ collection of faculty papers represents generations of UO faculty and reflects a wide range of academic knowledge in the university.

 

Quirinus Breen faculty papers

Quirinus Breen served as a professor at the University of Oregon form 1938 to 1964. Breen taught in the history department, focusing his studies on Greek, Roman and French history during the Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation eras. The majority of the collection consists of lecture notes and course descriptions from the history courses he taught at the University of Oregon as well as the course notes for a class in this History of Education at Grand Valley State College. Additional materials include Breen’s unpublished papers as well as his personal correspondence.

 

William Cadbury faculty papers

William Cadbury has served at the University of Oregon since 1961 and continues to act as a professor of Emeritus in the English department today (2015). His study focuses on film theory and criticism. The Collection of William Cadbury’s Faculty Papers consists of a loose leaf copy of his book titled Getting the Point: Film as Literature.

 

Frederick Malcolm Combellack faculty papers

Frederick Malcolm Combellack (1906-2002) served at the University of Oregon from 1937 until 1977. He taught in the department of Classics, offering courses in Greek and Latin Literature. Combellack’s main area of Study revolved around Homer and the Odyssey. This collection of Combellack’s Faculty Papers includes his notes and publications on Homer as well as a collection of book reviews by Combellack on works concerning Homer. Additionally, the collection includes lectures and correspondence from Combellack’s time at the University.

 

Becky Sisley faculty papers

Becky Sisley was a University of Oregon professor and coach whose work focused on gender equality in sport and equal opportunity for women athletes and coaches. As the first Women’s Athletic Director from ‘73 to ‘79, Sisley pushed for change and progress in the UO Women’s Athletic Department. The Becky Sisley factuly papers contains documents from her time at the University of Oregon as well as her involvement in various Women’s sports organizations. The papers include course material from classes she taught, publications and articles written by her colleagues on title IX and gender equity in athletics as well as personal publications.

 

Harry B. Yocom faculty papers

Harry B. Yocom was a University of Oregon Professor who served in the department of biology from 1920 until his death in 1958. He taught classes in zoology and served as the head of the biology department until 1945. The collection consists of course and lecture notes from his time at the University of Oregon as well as research notes that center around the biological make-up of the Coos Bay Region of Oregon. The material also includes Yocom’s personal correspondence as well as four folders of his wife, Catharine W. Beckley’s  class and research notes.

 

 

Posted in Collection Highlight, Collections, Finding Aids, University Archives, University History

Dedicated Ducks: A Unique Donation and a Look Back at Rose Bowl History

1958 Rose Bowl Game Ball, donated by Ed and Cindy Barnick, 2015.

1958 Rose Bowl Game Ball, donated by Ed and Cindy Barnick, 2015.

There are many die hard Duck fans who are quick to support the team no matter the outcome. One such fan family, Ed and Cindy Barnick from Ohio, graciously reached out the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives this year to donate a very special piece of Duck memorabilia that has important significance for their family and University of Oregon football history — the 1958 Rose Bowl game ball. We take this opportunity to spotlight this recent donation and donors, as well as to showcase some historical highlights from the 1958 Rose Bowl game.

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Posted in Documenting UO History Project, New Collections, University Archives, University History

“Humbly Grateful”: A Glimpse at Bill Bowerman’s 1956 Olympics Journal

(University Archives Photo Collection)

(University Archives Photo Collection)

“It is difficult to express one’s appreciation for the many generous assists from the people in our great state of Oregon — I take this method, telling of my observations of the places seen, the people met, and some of the ‘inside’ on the 1956 Olympic games.”

— Bill Bowerman, San Francisco, November 18, 1956

 

So begins the first of 19 pages handwritten by Bill Bowerman to document his trip to Australia for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. This collection was recently rediscovered in the University Archives while processing correspondence and other papers from various University of Oregon coaches from the post-war period of the 1950s and 1960s.

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Posted in Collection Highlight, Collections, Documenting UO History Project, Sneak Peak From the Stacks, University Archives, University History

Rigged Elections: The Story of Theta Nu Epsilon

Logo from Theta Nu Epsilon stationery (UA 135, University of Oregon Archives and Special Collections)

Logo from Theta Nu Epsilon stationery (UA 135, University of Oregon Archives and Special Collections)

Since making their first appearance on campus in 1900, Greek life in the form of fraternities and sororities has been an integral part of the University of Oregon community. One of the principal tenets of Greek life, however, is specific affiliation with one fraternity or sorority. This did not preclude membership in clubs and honor societies, but Hellenic societies have long been rooted in specified membership and being anchored to just one fraternity or community.

In that context, the rise of Theta Nu Epsilon as a sub rosa interfraternity organization between the 1930s and the 1950s was anathema to the spirit of Greek life. Theta Nu Epsilon developed outside the fraternal infrastructure, incorporating members from each fraternity on campus in order to form a cabal that controlled student government and student life behind the scenes. This article takes a brief look at the organization and its illicit history on the University of Oregon campus.

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Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, University Archives, University History

The Fourth Estate: A History of the Earliest Student Publications at the University of Oregon

Early staff of the Oregon Daily Emerald (UA REF 3, Box 92, Folder 24)

Early staff of the Oregon Daily Emerald (UA REF 3, Box 92, Folder 24)

For the first fifteen years of the University of Oregon’s existence, the campus was without any student publications. During this nascent phase of the university’s development, though, the framework that would eventually lead to the proliferation of student newsletters, newspapers, and magazines was erected. The early formation of literary societies was critical in catalyzing the rise of student publications, and the early publications set a precedent for independent journalism for more than a century. Today’s post illuminates the early efforts of students to bring news and commentary to print, focusing on the first publications created by the UO student body.

 

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Posted in Documenting UO History Project, Research Highlights, University Archives, University History

Commencement Speeches from Yesteryear

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia from the turn of the century, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

One ubiquitous constant that has graced graduation weekend at the University of Oregon for over a century are the sage words of commencement speakers. These speeches offer both a window into a specific period of university history as well as eternal wisdom for present generations of graduates. Several collections in the University Archives house manuscript copies of student orations from the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as those of guest speakers from the 1970s and 1980s. As the 138th commencement weekend approaches we have highlighted some excerpts from various UO graduation addresses of yesteryear whose messages remain relevant in 2015.

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Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, This Week in History, University Archives, University History

Pomp and Circumstance: Zola Grimes, Graduation Attire and 19th Century Student Life

Zola Grimes, University of Oregon Graduation, 1899

Zola Grimes, University of Oregon Graduation, 1899

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia from the 19th century, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

Last year the UO Special Collections and University Archives received a unique donation from the family of Zola Grimes Sorenson. In the collection is the dress and shoes donned by Grimes at her 1899 graduation, the fan she carried on stage during the ceremony, and a portrait of the graduate in her dress from the commencement. The donation offered a rare glimpse of “typical turn-of-the century attire” that would have been worn by students of the late 19th century to graduation. This post highlights the donation of the collection and some background on Grimes while she attended UO.

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Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, New Collections, This Week in History, University Archives, University History
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