Lee Causseaux: FSU’s First Chief of Police

Lee Causseaux's FSU Chief of Police badge
Lee Causseaux’s FSU Chief of Police badge. Badge courtesy of Patsy Yawn.

Born in 1900 in Woodville, FL, Lee Causseaux was the descendant of a long line of Leon County residents and spent his whole life serving the greater Tallahassee community. Considering FSCW and FSU his second home, “Mr. Lee” (as most people called him) occupied many positions on campus, ranging from laundry operations, Superintendent of Landscaping, and his eventual promotion to Chief of FSCW Police in 1945. His influence was felt outside of campus, too – he was often called on by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Culley’s Funeral Home for assistance.

 
Chief Declares Cops Guard Students, Florida Flambeau, October 16, 1956
Chief Declares Cops Guard Students, Florida Flambeau, October 16, 1956

Before taking his position as FSCW Chief of Police, Causseaux protected students from a pervasive threat: the sun. As the Superintendent of Landscaping, one of his major projects was transplanting live oak trees from the campus arboretum to various locations around campus and Tallahassee. Causseaux’s love of landscaping never faded after leaving the position, evident from the friendship he had with accomplished horticulturist and FSU’s first First Lady, Mrs. Edna Campbell. He helped her landscape  the President’s home after renovations, and she would often share plants with him for his new home.

Causseaux on Campus
Lee Causseaux on Campus. Photo courtesy of Patsy Yawn.

Causseaux’s law enforcement career started in 1932, when he was sworn in as a Leon County Deputy Sheriff and FSCW’s first day officer. In a 1956 Florida Flambeau article about the necessity of campus police, Causseaux remarked that when he started at the university in the early 1930s, there was only “one man, whose duties were chiefly those of a night watchman.” Throughout the 1930s, the FSCW police force grew to include 3 more officers, and by 1939, police uniforms had been issued. The department continued to grow during the 1940s, as the transition from FSCW to FSU saw an increased need for police. By the time of Causseaux’s death in 1959, the FSU Police Department employed nearly 20 officers. Lee Causseaux served as Chief of Police from 1945-1959.

Lee Causseaux and his Wife, Alma
Lee Causseaux and his Wife, Alma. Photo courtesy of Patsy Yawn.
Lee Causseaux had two children with his wife Alma, whom he married in 1923. Causseaux’s daugher, Patsy Yawn, describes her father as someone who “cared for all [his] employees,” saying that he considered “FSCW/FSU faculty and staff [as] his extended family.” On October 24, 1959, after seining for mullet out of the FSU Marine Laboratory, Causseaux complained of not feeling well and passed away on the shore.  Yawn proclaims that her father’s death on FSU soil was “a fitting exit for a man who loved, lived, and breathed for the school.”

Establishing the Emmett Till Research Archives

till17276966[1] copyThe Florida State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Division and Professor Davis W. Houck are delighted to announce the establishment of what will become the foremost research collection on the life and death of Emmett Till, an African-American teenager whose murder in Mississippi in 1955 sparked protest in the South.

Till’s death helped galvanize the civil rights movement in America, and Friday, August 28, 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of his murder. Till, 14, was kidnapped, beaten and shot after he allegedly flirted with a white woman.

We are truly humbled and honored to be working with scholars and researchers such as Davis Houck, Devery Anderson, and Keith Beauchamp are donating their research materials to FSU and are willing to share their important work with generations to come.

“We’re very excited for this project because there is just simply nothing like it,” said Houck, a faculty member in the College of Communication and Information who authored Emmett Till and the Mississippi Press. “We’ve spent 20 years accumulating this material, most of which involved travel to Mississippi and archives around the South. It’s long past due that we had a ‘one-stop-archive’ for all things Emmett Till, and with this collection, we’ll finally have that.”

The collection will feature newspaper coverage from the Till murder trial and court proceedings by domestic and international press, and materials from FBI investigations, court records and interview transcripts.

Author Devery Anderson will contribute a comprehensive collection of newspaper articles, genealogical work, interview transcriptions and obscure magazine articles used to write his recently released book, Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. Anderson’s research not only tells the story of the Till case as it unfolded in 1955, but follows the case to the present day, incorporating the FBI’s investigation and source materials, including a complete trial transcript.

Interviews and oral histories gathered by filmmaker Keith Beauchamp for his Emmy-nominated documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, will also comprise part of the archive. Beauchamp’s research was pivotal in convincing the FBI to re-open the case in 2004 — an investigation that resulted in more than 8,000 pages of important material.

These materials from some of the nation’s foremost Emmett Till researchers will be a great addition to our archives and an outstanding resource for students, researchers and civil rights historians worldwide.

Claude Pepper Library 101

Welcome back students, staff and faculty to another Fall Semester here at FSU! Here on campus and around town, there are some really great locations and spaces for learning and engaging with the past. One space in particular is the Claude Pepper Library at FSU. The Claude Pepper Library was established in 1985 as the official repository for the Claude Pepper Papers, a unique and multi-faceted collection of manuscripts, photographs, audio/video recordings, and memorabilia documenting the life and career of U.S. Senator and Congressman Claude Denson Pepper (1900-1989).

Congressman Pepper in his office, ca. 1980.
Congressman Pepper in his office, ca. 1980.

Since the library’s opening over 30 years ago, the holdings at the Claude Pepper Library, located on West Call Street on the FSU Campus, have grown in size and scope. The Pepper is currently home to 17 collections with varying focuses including the Tallahassee National Organization for Women Chapter Records, The Reubin Askew Papers, and The Thomas LeRoy Collins Papers among others.

Our staff currently consists of Claude Pepper archivist Robert Rubero and archives assistant Mallary Rawls. The mission of the Claude Pepper Library is to support and advance research, teaching and engagement by acquiring, preserving and providing access to collections dealing with the political history of the State of Florida on national and local levels for use by students, faculty and researchers worldwide. The focus of our current major project is the digitization of the Claude Pepper diaries, which chronicle over 40 years of political involvement through the late Senator’s eyes.

An example of memorabilia found in the NOW Chapter Records.
An example of memorabilia found in the NOW Chapter Records.

At the Pepper Library we also enjoy posting to our Facebook page and enjoy updating our followers through our “Today in Pepper History” posts. More importantly, we offer patrons a firsthand experience with primary source materials from a variety of creators, all giving a glimpse into the political landscape in the State of Florida with a range of over 75 years. The Pepper Library has regularly hosted archives training sessions, class tours and guest lecturers and plans to continue these events in the future. There is also a museum component located in the Pepper Center which chronicles the life of Senator Pepper and is based on his book, Eyewitness to a Century.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as we bring you more great examples from our collections here at the Pepper Library!

Welcome to FSU!

Or welcome back as the case may be!

We here at Special Collections & Archives are wishing all new and returning students a safe and successful fall semester!

Glad registration is online now? Here's a look at registration for new classes in Fall 1958.
Glad registration is online now? Here’s a look at registration for new classes in Fall 1958. See original photograph here.

Our Research Center Reading Room and Norwood Reading Room have returned to their normal semester hours in Strozier Library. We’re open Monday-Thursday, 10AM to 6PM and on Fridays from 10AM to 5:30PM.

Wonder what Special Collections & Archives can do for you? Over the next two weeks, we’ll be highlighting our collections and services here on our blog to introduce you to what we do and have here in our division.

Happy Fall everyone!

Happy Birthday, Napoleon!

Happy birthday, Napoleon!

Born on the French island of Corsica in 1769 on August 15th, Napoleon Bonaparte is known for being the steadfast emperor of France who conquered much of Europe during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. After winning most of his conflicts against relentless European coalitions, Bonaparte was ultimately defeated by the British at the famous battle of Waterloo in 1815. He was imprisoned on the remote island of St. Helena where he died at the age of 51 in 1821.

Just after Napoleon’s passing on the island, one of his doctors created a customary death mask for the remembrance and final portrayal of the great leader. In addition to over 20,000 rare books and manuscripts from this significant era, the Special Collections Department at FSU houses one of the few remaining authentic death masks of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon's Death Mask, FSU Special Collections and Archives
Napoleon’s Death Mask, FSU Special Collections and Archives
Napoleon Bonaparte on his Celebrated White Charger, Ireland's Life of Napoleon Vol. 1
Napoleon Bonaparte on his Celebrated White Charger, Ireland’s Life of Napoleon Vol. 1

In the early 1960s the Department of History established the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution which thereby led to the creation of this rich collection currently held in Strozier Library. Together, FSU’s Department of History and the Institute allow students a unique opportunity to study this historical period without traveling to Europe. Visitors to our Research Center can access French Revolutionary newspapers, primary source materials, letters, and, of course, Napoleon’s death mask.

Part of the French Revolution and Napoleon Collection is already available online and does not require a campus visit to peruse. Focusing on this period, the FSU Digital Library’s French Revolution Collection on Camille Desmoulins, Lucile Duplesis, and Arthur Dillon contains high-resolution images of original manuscript letters, notes and pamphlets from the years 1702-1876. This unique online collection and many others in the Florida State University Digital Library is open to the public.

Feel free to stop by the Special Collections Research Center at Strozier Library to wish Napoleon Bonaparte a happy birthday and learn more about the fascinating history surrounding his life.

A Few of My Favorite Things

As my graduate assistantship in the Special Collections & Archives Division nears its end, I thought I’d say good-bye to Special Collections by sharing a few of my favorite items from our collection.

My previous MA focused on medieval religious and intellectual history, and unsurprisingly, my favorite items in FSU Special Collections & Archives relate to that field.

Anulus Nuptialis

“The Nun’s Book:Anulus Nuptialis , Vault BT769 .A56

From the catalog: Written in a humanistic hand by a single scribe on parchment. Initials in red with gold, blue with gold and green with gold ornament. Written by nuns in a convent.

Why I love it:  Anulus Nuptialis is notable for its binding (thought to be the original Renaissance binding).  But I also love its topic.  Written by Venetian nuns during the Renaissance, it describes the nun’s mystical union with God.  This was a popular theme among medieval religious women, and I love seeing its continuity through the Italian Renaissance.  For more information about this volume, see here.

“The Chained Book:Sermones Discipuli, Vault BX1756 .H448 S4**

From the catalog: Written in one hand, in Gothic cursive script. Rubricated. Contemporary monastic binding, heavy wooden boards with remains of leather covering, brass cornerpieces and 10 brass bosses, clasps wanting; leaves from an earlier manuscript on vellum have been used for linings; hubbed spine exposed; heavy metal ring with three links of chain attached.

Why I love it:  The chained book is a show-stopper, and draws attention in every class we brought it out for.  More than that, it illustrates a very different idea on the value of books and knowledge than we consider in our age of open access, intellectual freedom, and circulating libraries.

17th century BreviaryBreviarium Romanum, Vault BX2000 .A2 1600z**

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From the catalog: Latin text, without musical notation, beginning with last part of Psalm 29 and ending with hymn: Aurora iam spargit polum, and verse. Includes most of the psalms 30-108, 142.  Large breviary of the type used by a choir for readings for Church services. Large signatures of heavy paper, stitched together with heavy string, with leather headband sewn over stitching. Covers of wooden boards, covered outside with leather and glued to inside of covers, with parchment endpapers glued over them. Holes and impressions on covers indicate metal ornaments were formerly there. Repairs in folio made with strips of plain or Spanish printed paper and verso strips of musical notation (neumes) glued over center edges of pages near binding. Some pages show erasures with letters printed over them and dusted with a white powdery substance.  Rubricated ms., possibly hand-printed or stenciled in large black letters, with verses and sections each beginning with 1 or more red letters.

Why I love it:  This breviary is huge!  It’s large enough to have been seen and read by a monastic choir during their daily recitation of the Divine Office.  I love being able to interact with this centuries old breviary and actually experience how the monks would have recited their daily prayers.

Vellum AntiphonalsRoman Catholic Church Antiphonals, Vault M2147 .M36*

From the catalog: Twelve examples of manuscript music scores used by the Roman Catholic Church in Europe. The texts are in Latin. The music notes are a type of mensural notation. The media is ink on vellum.

Why I love it:  During the Middle Ages, vellum was the preferred substrate.  Though this antiphonals were made in the 16th century, it is illustrative of the difference between vellum and paper.

A Book About All the Things

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1485 imprint of De proprietatibus rerum (Vault oversize AE2.B27 1485)

The Liber de proprietatibus rerum Bartholomei angelici (On the Properties of Things) is a medieval encyclopedia that was written by the 13th century Franciscan scholar Bartholomeus Anglicus, who sought to gather the rapidly expanding corpus of knowledge of the Late Middle Ages into a single volume. As Bartholomeus himself says in the epilogue to De proprietatibus rerum, he wrote his book so that “the simple and the young, who on account of the infinite number of books cannot look into the properties of each single thing about which Scripture deals, can readily find their meaning herein – at least superficially.”¹ A single source for surface-level knowledge about everything? In other words, medieval Wikipedia. De proprietatibus rerum is arranged into nineteen books, moving in order of importance from spiritual beings, to human beings, to the natural world.

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Little pointing hands, called manicules, in the margins indicate lines that were of interest to a former reader.

Over one hundred manuscript copies of De proprietatibus rerum survive, indicating its popularity and widespread use, and it continued to be printed into the seventeenth century, purportedly being used over the years by the likes of Shakespeare and Dante.² FSU Special Collections & Archives has two printed copies of De proprietatibus rerum – the first edition in English printed in London in 1582 (Vault oversize AE3.B313 1582) and a 1485 imprint from Strassburg (Vault oversize AE2.B27 1485), which is featured here.

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Manuscript waste used as endpapers inside the front covers to protect the text block.

The 1485 imprint is a stellar example of an incunabule, a book printed before 1501 in the first half-century after Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. FSU’s copy is in its original binding of alum-tawed pigskin decorated with blind fillets and stamps of popular Gothic imagery such as the griffin and the Agnus Dei (the sacrificial Lamb of God). The cover is also stamped with a small banner tool of Gothic lettering (unfortunately illegible) that could be the name of the bookbinder. The endpapers inside the front and back covers are made from re-purposed medieval manuscripts on vellum. In early printers’ shops, paper was always at a premium, and it is not uncommon to find fragments of older manuscripts used as endpapers, bindings, and sewing supports in newer books. Discoveries like these are one of the great joys of working with rare books in-person. In fact, fragments of yet another medieval manuscript have also been re-purposed on FSU’s copy of De proprietatibus rerum to make tabs, which aid the reader in turning directly to specific sections of the encyclopedia.

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A tab made of manuscript waste and an unfinished decorative capital.

The study of incunabula provides a fascinating glimpse into a period of history when the book was adapting to the challenges and demands of new technologies. On the opening page of the 1485 De proprietatibus rerum, the capital letter “C” is sketched in, perhaps in preparation for illumination that was never completed; on early printed books, decoration and rubrication (red lettering) was still done by hand. Throughout the rest of the book, however, the space where a decorative capital would have been drawn is left blank and marked by a small, printed letter. As printing increased the output of new books, forms of decoration that were routine for scribes and illuminators fell to the wayside. This is not to suggest that a total break with the past occurred, however. To the contrary, the very act of printing De proprietatibus rerum is an example of new technology being used to spread old ways of thinking. The presence of manuscript waste and marginalia on FSU’s copy are physical manifestations of the links between the old and the new that can be discovered in early printed books.

Katherine Hoarn is a graduate assistant in Special Collections & Archives. She is working on her Master of Library and Information Science degree at Florida State University.

References

1. Quoted in R. J. Long, Bartholomaeus Anglicus On the Properties of Soul and Body, Toronto, 1979, p. 1.

2. R. J. Long, Bartholomaeus Anglicus On the Properties of Soul and Body, Toronto, 1979, p. 2.

Bound with Trouble: A Cataloging Mystery

Have you ever wondered how a book is cataloged or who constructs the records that allow you to find a resource within the library? If so, then today is your lucky day. Special Collections’ Complex Cataloging Unit created a Film Noir short on the cataloging process. Directed, filmed, and edited by Dominique Bortmas, Complex Cataloging Specialist, and written by Cataloger Elizabeth Richey, the film provides a comical yet insightful view into the world of cataloging.

“A Firm Liberal”: Robert Griffin and the Florida Flambeau

bobgriffin-yearbook1952
Bob Griffin, 1952.

It was with great delight that Heritage Protocol & University Archives welcomed Robert Griffin and his family for a two day visit at FSU. Bob Griffin attended FSU from 1948-52, and left a lasting impression as a student journalist. While he was involved with many campus groups and activities, including The Collegians (men’s glee club), Omicron Delta Kappa, and Gold Key, nothing captivated his attention quite like working for the Florida Flambeau.

Mr. Griffin started writing for the Florida Flambeau as a freshman, and worked his way up to editor by his senior year. During his tenure as editor, Mr. Griffin pushed the envelope at the paper and often published articles dealing with controversial subject matter. After reprinting an editorial from the St. Petersburg Times that boldly criticized FSU’s decision to cancel a football game against Bradley University because there were black team members, Mr. Griffin was almost expelled from FSU. Fortunately, this judgment wasn’t handed down to him after the student body president, Milton Carothers, had advocated for him.
Bradley Cancellation Slaps Shame, Disrespect on FSU, 1952.
Bradley Cancellation Slaps Shame, Disrespect on FSU, 1952. This article almost caused Bob Griffin to be expelled from campus.
His tireless dedication to the Florida Flambeau earned him high praise in the 1952 yearbook, where he was described as “a worker with ideas” with “editorial policies [that] were carried through with vigor and sincerity.” Prior to becoming the Flambeau editor, Mr. Griffin served as the Business Manager of the paper, and was “notorious for grabbing unsuspecting students and putting them to work as solicitors or in various other capacities.” His methods may have seemed unorthodox at the time, but were successful – he nearly doubled the income from advertising in a year.
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Robert Griffin and his family try on FSU championship rings and check out some of the HPUA memorabilia collection.
While visiting campus last month, Mr. Griffin brought along a complete set of Florida Flambeau from 1948-52, which are now available on the FSU Digital Library.

Reflections from RBMS 2015

Special Collections librarians are constantly learning–both from the collections we curate and from each other.  We share our research, knowledge, and best practices through journals and the meetings of professional societies.

The Bancroft Library is the University of California Berkeley's rare book and manuscript repository
The Bancroft Library is the University of California Berkeley’s rare book and manuscript repository

In late June, I traveled to Oakland and Berkeley, California to attend the conference of one such professional society, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, better known as RBMS.  The topic of the RBMS 2015 Conference was “Preserve the Humanities! Special Collections as Liberal Arts Laboratory.”  Session topics ranged from incorporating digital humanities, engaged collection development, community archives, and, of course, instruction with Special Collections materials.  You can find a full schedule of the RBMS 2015 Conference program here.

For myself, RBMS 2015 was inspirational.  Ethics, the politics of collection development, innovative practices, instruction, and outreach were all up for discussion during the conference.

Sather Gate, The University of California Berkeley
Sather Gate, The University of California Berkeley

Having spent the spring semester immersed in rare book instruction, most (though not all) of the sessions I chose to attend at RBMS 2015 related to instruction and public services.  I took over eighteen pages of notes over the course of 10 sessions (including three plenaries).  My favorite sessions focused on breaking down the barriers that keep students and researchers from visiting Special Collections, and raised the question of how to best provide access to Special Collections materials.  With this in mind, three especially notable sessions were:

Seminar H: Meeting Researchers Where They Are: A User-Driven Manifesto

The presenters of this seminar wrote a “manifesto,” advocating that user needs should drive all aspects of a Special Collections library–from technical services to public services, and then presented on their efforts to do so at their institutions.

Seminar K: Mess is Lore: Navigating the Unwieldy World of Social Media

Panel presenters centered their discussion around the idea of social media as a conversation with users.  Special Collections libraries can use social media to highlight their holdings, but at its best, social media is a conversation.

Papers Panel 10: Special Collections and Credit Courses: Opportunities and Challenges

In designing a for credit class on the history of the book, presenter Anne Bahde approached her class visits to Special Collections as a science teacher would approach a “lab session”–an opportunity for hands on learning.  Scheduling four Special Collections for her semester long class, she further broke down each visit thematically, allowing the students’ knowledge to build with each visit.

This is just a brief sample of some points that stuck with me, a week after I’ve returned to Florida.

For those interested in attending a future RBMS conference: RBMS 2016 is in Coral Gables, Florida.

I look forward to attending again next year!