Category: Collections

The Magician Premieres Sept. 21st

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.

Group photo taken in front of shelves of books
(L to R) Elizabeth Peterson, Lauren Goss, Bill Dellinger, Jennifer O’Neal, Keri Aronson
Courtesy of Travis Thompson / Elevation 0m

 

Behind the Scenes: “Animal House” at 40

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.

Local celebrations will peak in August when Cottage Grove hosts a 40th anniversary parade, toga party, film screening, and other festivities. The historic Hollywood Theatre in Portland will screen a 35mm print of the film on August 17.

–Michael O’Ryan, Curatorial Assistant

New Finding Aid | George Alan Connor Esperanto Collection

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.

Esperanto flag, green with white square in top left with green star.
Flag, George Alan Connor Esperanto collection, Bx 178, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

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.

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Oregon Country Fair in the Local News

Ever since the annual Oregon Country Fair commenced in 1969, it has remained a communal space for self-expression, environmentalism, food, music, art and all other forms of creativity imaginable. SCUA’s KEZI-TV/Chambers Communication collection is home to outtakes, B-roll, and news segments of the fair dating back to the 1970’s. Held in Veneta, Oregon just outside of Eugene, this is an event which strongly embodies the spirit of the region. Examining this collection has taught me how unique and deeply-rooted western Oregon’s multifaceted brand of forward-thinking truly is.

-Michael O’Ryan, Curatorial Assistant

New Acquisition: The Revelers Vocal Arrangement Collection

Special Collections and University Archives has recently acquired a collection of handwritten musical scores for The Revelers, an American quintet composed of four male vocalists and a pianist popular on record and radio between 1925-1940.

This collection includes approximately 500 original vocal arrangements from The Revelers’ catalog of works performed in 1921-1939, including individual charts for each vocalist and master vocal scores. The arrangements are the work of two pianist-arrangers that worked with The Revelers: Ed Smalle (1887-1968) and Frank Black (1898-1969), with the latter forming the bulk of the collection. The scores include hand-written lyrics added by each vocalist for their part, as well as additional notes and annotations made by the arranger. Continue reading