Category: National Celebrations

New Spotlight Exhibit: Oregon Women Vote!

Abigail Scott Duniway writes and signs Oregon’s Equal Suffrage Proclamation, November 30, 1912. Photo credit: University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives.

The year 2012 marked a centennial for the state of Oregon – a truly historic victory in the lives of Oregon women in 1912 — suffrage, or the right to vote.  Pioneers breaking down barriers in the cause of woman suffrage in Oregon included Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Esther Pohl Lovejoy, Abigail Scott Duniway, and Hattie Redmond, among many devoted others.  As the rise of forces for suffrage continued, the United States Congress passed the 19th Amendment in June 1919.  This was only the first step toward its final passage.  The amendment required thirty-six states to ratify the amendment in order for it to be formally passed into law.  After sustained toil and arduous efforts, Oregon became the twenty-fifth state to ratify the amendment.  By August of 1920, a total of thirty-six states had ratified the 19th Amendment, the requisite number, enacting the amendment into law.  August 2020 marks the centennial, the 100th anniversary, of woman suffrage in the United States and the enactment of the 19th Amendment into law.

The activism and leadership required for this feat are incomparable and immeasurable in our nation’s history.  The level of sacrifice and the energy exerted in support of such a paramount cause as suffrage is reflected throughout its long history.  Humanity is wrought with periods of crisis and victory; it is inherent and inseparable to our existence. The dawn of the struggle for suffrage in the 19th century reflected a sustained period of tests and trials, of determination and fortitude, and of ardent devotion. Perseverance ultimately remedies inaction; Oregon woman suffrage stood trial at the ballot box six times prior to its passing.

The common adage to study history so that it may not be repeated can be transmuted in acknowledgment of cycles of crisis and victory. It is of principal importance to turn to history in order to see triumphs in the face of adversity, to pay homage, and to extract tactics, be enlivened by the spirit, and to transform what has been learned for tests and trials today. There remains much to be learned, and there is much more still to be done.

The new Spotlight exhibit, Oregon Women Vote! Commemorating Woman Suffrage in Oregon and the U.S., honors and highlights the Oregon and national suffrage movements and the official enactment of the 19th Amendment into law.  It examines the contributions of Abigail Scott Duniway and her contemporaries, contributions of women of color, racism in the suffrage movement, and the political influence of the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus and pivotal leader of Oregon politics, Gretchen Kafoury.  Join us in memorializing this historic feat, one of many that have passed, and one of many still to come.

Written by Alexandra Mueller, Special Projects Archivist

Black History Month Presentation by Dr. Lissa D. Stapleton

RESCHEDULED – FEBRUARY 28TH (details below)

Join us for an upcoming guest presentation:

Underground Tunnels Revealed: Unearthing the History of Black Deaf Education

by Dr. Lissa D. Stapleton

Knight Library, Browsing Room,
Friday, February 28th, 9am-10:30am

Black History Month is usually a time to explore, remember and celebrate the journey and lives of Black Americans. However, during this month, only certain Black Americans and stories are highlighted. This presentation will explore untold stories of Black history – Black Deaf Americans. The Deaf experience is often mistaken as a White experience and the Black experience is often only understood as a hearing experience. However, both are untrue. This interactive presentation will challenge the historical invisibility of Black Deaf communities with a specific focus on education. There is a past of racism and audism particularly within Black Deaf educational systems. However, there has been a complicated relationship of oppression, resistance, and collaboration among Black hearing and Deaf people. The research that guides this presentation looks at the historical relationship between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Black Deaf education in the 1860s-1930s. Dr. Stapleton will focus on two HBCU institutions, Southern University A & M in Louisiana and Hampton University in Virginia. Black Deaf educational challenges have yet to be resolved. However, to understand current educational experiences, it is important to consider the historical happenings in which the present is based and what can learn from the past.

Portrait of Dr. Lissa D. StapletonDr. Lissa D. Stapleton is an assistant professor at California State University Northridge in the Department of Deaf Studies and core faculty for the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program. Her research focuses on equity and access, identity development, and the educational history of Deaf students, faculty, and staff with a particular interest in the intersections of race, gender, and disability. Her desire to support Deaf college students of color, led Stapleton to pursue her doctorate at Iowa State University. She graduated in 2014 with her PhD in education with an emphasis in higher education and social justice and a minor in women’s studies. She won the 2015 Melvene D. Hardee NASPA Dissertation of the Year award, and is a 2018 Ford Postdoctoral Fellow and Penn Center for Minority Serving Institution Elevate Fellow. Previously, Stapleton worked in student affairs at various institutions and with Semester at Sea. She is involved with the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the National Black Deaf Advocates. She earned her MSE in college student personnel from the University of Dayton and BS in social work from Wright State University. Stapleton was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, is a proud first generation college student, and loves dancing and having a good meal with lots of laughter with friends and family.

Sponsored by the UO Libraries, the Disability Studies Minor and the ASL Program.

Celebrating Preservation Week 2018

Why is preservation important?

In 2005 the first comprehensive national survey of the condition and preservation needs of the nation’s collections reported that U.S. institutions hold more than 4.8 billion items. Libraries alone hold 3 billion items (63 percent of the whole). Some 630 million items in collecting institutions require immediate attention and care. As natural disasters of recent years have taught us, these resources are in jeopardy should a disaster strike. Personal, family, and community collections are equally at risk (LOC).

Preserving library collections

In Special Collections and University Archives we have many dedicated librarians and archivists who help routinely preserve our collections through housing and arranging archival collections. This includes careful consideration and mitigation of key environmental risk factors such as light, pollutants, heat, and moisture. We are also fortunate to have the technical expertise and assistance of conservation technicians in the Beach Conservation Lab, who provide services in conservation, preservation and housing of paper-based collection materials in SCUA, and to all other units of the Library.

Take a behind the scenes look in the Beach Conservation Lab to see the important work being done to preserve UO’s collections.

An array of completed enclosures and spine repairs.

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Collection Highlight | Oregon Women’s Political History Collection

 

Political poster that reads "Win with Women"
Political poster, Oregon Women’s Political Caucus Records, Coll 369, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon

In honor of Women’s History Month, Special Collections and University Archives is highlighting the Oregon Women’s Political History Collection.

The Oregon Women’s Political History Collection comprises over a dozen individual manuscript collections. These collections constitute over 200 linear feet of manuscript material and represent women’s political and activist work in Oregon in the latter half of the twentieth century.  The collection was started in the 1990s as a collaborative collection development effort among UO Libraries, the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS), and the Friends of the Oregon Women’s Political History Collection.

The collections include:

  •  Anderson, Jean Fuller Papers (Coll 312) 1978-1990, Finding aid
  • Davis, Eleanor Papers (Coll 351) 1963-1989  Finding aid
  • Dost, Jeanne Papers (Coll 366) 1972-1988  Finding aid
  • Dunn, Nancy Papers (Coll 362) 1986-1990  Finding aid
  • Eugene Women’s Crisis Center Records (Coll 313) 1977-1991  Finding aid
  • Fadeley, Nancy Papers (Coll 349) 1971-1989  Finding aid
  • Frye, Helen Papers (Coll 348) 1971-2011  Finding aid
  • Hendriksen, Margie Papers (Coll 365) 1971-1992  Finding aid
  • Kafoury, Gretchen Papers (Coll 353) 1971-1983  Finding aid
  • Milligan, Marian Papers (Coll 370) 1974-1983  Finding aid
  • Novick, Jane Papers (Coll 368) 1968-1990  Finding aid
  • Oregon Now Records (Coll 371) 1971-2006  Finding aid
  • Oregon Women’s Political Caucus Records (Coll 369) 1971-1999  Finding aid
  • Ryles, Nancy Papers (Coll 364) 1972-1990  Finding aid

Political pamphlet that says "We have a lot to win"Pol,tical button that says "I'm pro-choice and I vote"The activist women represented in these collections worked to increase women’s political engagement in Oregon and empower women to fully participate in elective politics and government agencies at the local, county, and state levels. The story of women’s political work in Oregon in the mid-to-late twentieth century has not been fully told; these primary documents–the sources necessary for the writing of history–are essential to that process. Through support by LSTA funding administered by the Oregon State Library, grant project staff were able to process, catalog, and publish finding aids for these collections and provide access to these collections.

Researchers can find out more about related SCUA collections documenting Women, Gender, and Sexuality in our research guides.

New Exhibit | Black Deaf Americans: History, Culture, and Education

Poster of exhibit titled Black Deaf Americans.

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has recently mounted an exhibit focusing on Black Deaf Americans to celebrate Black History Month.

Black Deaf people have one of the most unique cultures in the world. The Black Deaf Community is largely shaped by two cultures and communities: Deaf and African-American. Some Black Deaf individuals view themselves as members of both communities. Since both communities are viewed by the larger, predominately hearing and White society as comprising a minority community, Black Deaf persons often experience an even greater loss of recognition, racial discrimination and communication barriers coming from both communities.

Little has been written about the Black Deaf community. Even though segregated schools existed until the mid-1950s, no historical analysis of that experience, its people, or events has been written. Only a handful of memoirs by Black Deaf individuals have been published. Recent interest in Black Deaf sign language has produced a seminal work on the subject, The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL, but much more research needs to be pursued. This exhibit seeks to highlight the history, experiences, and accomplishments of Black Deaf Americans through six themes: segregated schools for Black Deaf students, memoirs by Black Deaf adults, incarceration of Black Deaf, Black Deaf sign language, Notable Black Deaf, and artwork of Black Deaf. Some of the archival material exhibited is extremely rare and difficult to find. Several publications on exhibit are considered rare books. Even some recent titles on exhibit are difficult to find.

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