In September 2019, SCUA began working on a new project: Twentieth Century Children’s Literature: Exploring the Past, Understanding the Present. This project is generously supported by a two-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a division of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
This project will greatly improve access to the collections of three prominent children’s literature authors: Kurt Wiese, Edwin Tunis, and Kurt Werth. The goals of this project are to:
rehouse manuscript material and original illustrations
update associated finding aids to current standards
mount online and local exhibitions promoting the historical significance of the material
The collections identified for this grant represent a core strength in the University of Oregon’s holdings, with broad appeal that reflects upon the American experience during and after the two World Wars. Children’s literature, which often flies under the cultural radar, is a fascinating rubric through which one can understand the ideological tenor of a society. Our collective values, for better or worse, are mirrored back to us in the stories and lessons of our children. Twentieth century children’s literature echoes the radical changes that occurred in American society: at times celebratory, optimistic, and inclusive; and alternately vexing and racist, presenting a white-washed and Eurocentric account of American history.
Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to announce a new finding aid published for the Ursula K. Le Guin papers (Coll 270). The finding aid is available on Archives West.
The Ursula K. Le Guin papers document Le Guin’s career as a novelist, short story writer, children’s author, essayist, and poet best known for her world-building science fiction and fantasy works. Her papers not only capture her public persona as an author, a teacher and mentor of other writers, and an activist for various causes throughout her lifetime, but also as a private individual devoted to the welfare of her family, friends, and community. The papers include correspondence, literary works, legal and financial files, public appearances and publicity materials, personal papers, photographs and artwork, audiovisual material, website and social media, and writing of others.
SCUA recently provided archival footage for the producer of The Magician, a documentary film celebrating the influence of Bill Dellinger, the legendary UO track and field coach. The premiere is on Friday, September 21st at Mac Court from 7pm-9pm. The event is free and will feature guest speakers, a raffle, and a no host bar. Learn more about the film’s creation and the premiere in this recent KMTR interview.
Produced by Travis Thompson of Elevation 0m, the film incorporates interviews with former student-athletes and members Dellinger’s family. Interwoven are clips of archival footage of Dellinger competing and coaching. SCUA provided this footage from various collections, including KEZI-TV/Chambers Communications Corp records (Coll 427). Earlier this summer, the UO Libraries had the honor of hosting Dellinger and his grandson, and showed them selections from our various athletic collections.
In the fall of 1977, John Landis and his Universal Pictures production crew came to Eugene, Oregon, to begin filming their college comedy Animal House on the campus of the University of Oregon. They recruited dozens of UO students as extras, and used many well-known campus buildings and landmarks as locations. The video above is a compilation of behind-the-scenes footage shot by local TV news crews, including the iconic parade scene shot in Cottage Grove, Oregon, as well as the demolition of the Delta house in the early 1980s. The news footage all comes from the KEZI-TV/Chambers Communications Corp. records (Coll 427), and the still images come from University Archives Photographs (UA Ref 3) in Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA).
Some of this same footage, plus additional clips and images from SCUA, is also available in a related video produced by the University of Oregon’s Communications & Marketing department to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the the film’s release. An article in the summer 2018 issue of the Oregon Quarterly explores the film’s local history and its ongoing impact as a cult favorite.
Both videos demonstrate how archival footage can be combined in different ways and recontextualized to tell new stories about history.
As a student delving into this archival collection of behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes, this project felt transportive as I immersed myself in images from the past forty years. It was also a learning experience in the context of the culture of UO, as well as the evolution of what we deem as socially responsible in relation to comedy. Archival video footage and images are unique in their ability to present the viewer with a view of the world as it used to be, which can lead to greater understanding of how the past influenced the present.
You don’t need to be a student at the University of Oregon to find something in KEZI-TV news collection to connect with. Parents, alumni, faculty members, fans of the movie, and all types of Eugenians will come across familiar sites as they stood forty years ago. From downtown Cottage Grove run amok to John Belushi finagling a horse through Johnson Hall, this collection provides us with a vision of our campus and the surrounding area through a retro, Hollywood lens.
For me, the image of Belushi playing his guitar in a booth at the EMU fishbowl resonates strongly. To see a Hollywood star sitting by the same windows many of us have gazed through while working on a project or getting lunch with friends makes the connection between then and now all the more palpable.
Of course, the film isn’t without certain problematic tendencies. While I’m not excusing the myriad punchlines that come at the expense of a variety of social communities, I will say that this archive is a fun look into the loose atmosphere of the film set. Furthermore, this film still serves as the largest vehicle for the city of Eugene’s representation in Hollywood lore, as it grossed over $140 million and spawned an entire generation of knock-offs. Because of this, our archival collections serve as an important look into the creation of Eugene and the University of Oregon’s Hollywood immortality.
Special Collections and University Archives is pleased to announce a newly updated finding aid published for the George Alan Connor Esperanto collection (Bx 178). The finding aid is available on Archives West.
The George Alan Connor Esperanto collection was compiled by American Esperantist George Alan Connor and includes his collection of books, serials and periodicals, personal papers, and artifacts related to Esperanto. The collection includes publications in English on the topic of Esperanto, as well as pamphlets, advertisements, and artifacts published in Esperanto and braille Esperanto.