Category Archives: Updates

A History of Extracurricular Activities at Florida State College for Women

Considering how long students have been coming through the walls of our historic university, it goes without saying that we have a rich and varied history of extracurricular, student-run activities. At Florida State University, many of these long-standing traditions and activities were established during our time as an all women institution, between 1905 and 1947. Campus-wide extracurriculars were an extremely important part of student life during this time. Students felt taking part in events with peers built pride and appreciation for their alma mater. For this year’s Women’s History Month, we’ll be looking into the early years of recreation at Florida State College for Women (FSCW): how our peers of the past made friends, garnered school spirit, and just passed the time.

Two of the earliest student organizations were the Thalian Literary Society and the Minerva Club, founded and run by our female predecessors. These organizations were formed with the goal of “enabling the girls to speak more fluently in public,” but they did much more for the student body (Talisman, April 1906, Pg. 26). They were an expressive outlet for students and encourage peer-to-peer discourse and connection.

In 1906, just one year after our transition to a women’s college, the Thalian Society and Minerva Club began publishing the first college literary periodical in the state of Florida, The Talisman. (The Book Lover’s Guide to Florida, 1992) It served as a recreational avenue for students to express their thoughts and to learn about campus happenings. The Talisman went on to become the Florida Flambeau newspaper in 1915, still run entirely by women.

From the first five years of the establishment of FSCW, our women students were establishing recreational sports teams of all kinds. By 1906 our small campus had facilities for tennis, basketball, field-hockey, croquet, a swimming pool, and a full gymnasium! (Talisman, April 1906, Pg. 30)

Student organizations are a crucial part of university life and this has been the case at our university for over 100 years! The 1910 and 1911 yearbooks from FSCW show us that students were forming all sorts of clubs for a wide variety of interests and commonalities…

Scrapbooking was an extremely common practice between students at Florida State College for Women. Here at Heritage & University Archives, we have over 30 of these student-made scrapbooks and they give us endless insight as to how they chose to spend their free time.

Scrapbook
From the Julia Pelot Scrapbook

Many of these records are available online at DigiNole. For more information about our University related collections, please contact Sandra Varry, the Heritage & University Archivist.

Florida Home Economics Association Scrapbooks

With our work on extension service scrapbooks with the Havana History and Heritage Society for Gadsden County, we took a look at our own collections and found Leon County scrapbooks for a similar period on our own shelves! The Florida Home Economics Association Records holds scrapbooks which are mostly Leon County extension service records from 1923-1966. The collection also holds the administrative records of the Association and Florida State College for Women (FSU’s predecessor) was an integral part of the instruction branch of the association.

Digitization of scrapbooks is always a challenge. The scrapbooks were dis-bound before being brought up to our studio for digitization. Dis-binding scrapbooks such as these and other similar material allows us to capture higher quality images of individual pages faster than if they were left in their original, bound state. From a preservation standpoint, this also reduces the amount of potential wear-and-tear on older items such as these can sustain during the digitization process. 

Since we digitized the material as individual pages instead of bound scrapbooks, we relied primarily on our overhead camera setup to complete this project. This setup utilizes an IQ180 reprographic camera system and Capture One Cultural Heritage software to create high quality, high resolution images. We digitized all material in this collection as 400 PPI (pixels per inch) TIFF images as recommended by our FSUDL Imaging Guidelines document. 

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Capturing high resolution images of individual pages using our IQ180 system

Being a tethered system, all images are automatically and instantly transferred from the camera to the computer where the Capture One software handles basic editing of the images including color correction, cropping, file naming, and exporting the final images to our internal server before being loaded into the FSU Digital Library

The Cultural Heritage version of Capture One allows us to increase the rate of image processing by providing helpful features such as auto-cropping and advanced white balance adjustments. The software also acts as a file management tool and allows us to batch-edit and export the images we’ve digitized. We use this to apply the same color and exposure settings to all pages of an item at once instead of performing the edits one-by-one on individual pages, which would take much longer to complete.  

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Screenshot of Capture One CH software showing batch editing features

The scrapbooks, once they were digitized and images ready for the digital library, were loaded into the FSU Digital Library. Please enjoy browsing these materials and the fascinating glimpse they offer into the work of the extension services in Leon County over several decades.

Astrological Healing from the Seventeenth Century

An herbal is a book containing the names and descriptions of various plants, and usually contains the effects that were associated with each one. Effects could range from a plant’s toxicity to its magical power. In the 15th century, it was common practice to publish medical journals in Latin, which was only accessible to those with wealth or nobility. In 1652, Nicholas Culpeper published one of his most notable works, The English Physician, in English, allowing those who did not read Latin to be able to practice medicine. 

Culpeper’s herbal was groundbreaking for its combination of the “doctrine of signatures” with astrology. The doctrine of signatures was the idea that plants and herbs that looked like human body parts would help heal ailments that stemmed from that part. Combining this practice with astrology formed what is known as astrological herbalism. Astrological herbalists connected herbs to different signs of the zodiac. They treated specific ailments by determining what sign and planet ruled over the part of the body that needed care, and then prescribing an herb of the same astrological sign.

Culpeper’s British herbal ; and, Complete English family physician. (1802)

Culpeper’s earlier works mainly relied on written descriptions of the plants to be able to identify them. As he progressed, his herbals included more images and color, illustrating them with etchings that are then colored in with watercolors, such as the 1802 edition of his British Herbal.

The heart and blood, for example, are ruled by Leo, which is ruled by the sun, so for ailments such as anemia, the patient would be prescribed “centaury,” or centaurium erythraea. Issues like anxiety are ruled by Mercury, and depending upon your astrological sign you might be prescribed lavender as a treatment. The process goes more in depth depending on your sign and other planetary factors.

While we cannot recommend depending upon Culpeper’s prescribed treatments — medicine has come a long way in 400 years — it is fun to see what herbal applications he found for a variety of ailments. FSU Libraries Special Collections and Archives possesses seven editions of The English Physician, from the 1652 first edition up to one from 1932. Fortunately, three editions have been digitized and are available for your perusal from home!

Culpeper’s English Physician and complete herbal. (1798)

Culpeper’s British herbal; and, Complete English family physician. (1802)

Culpeper’s Complete herbal. (1817)

Update #2 on Coronavirus and FSU Special Collections

As many institutions are doing at the moment, Florida State University is changing operations for a period to respond to coronavirus. What does that mean for Special Collections & Archives?

Original Campus Library Doors, ca. 1940-1944 [original image]

Until further notice, the Special Collections & Archives public areas, including all reading rooms, are closed to the public for the safety of our staff and our patrons. However, our collections are still available even if you can’t come visit them in person. Please contact Special Collections & Archives at lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu for help in doing research in the archives. Also, our online catalog, finding aid database and digital library remain open for remote use. Please be aware much of our staff is working remotely at this time so answers to reference questions or digital reproduction requests may be delayed until we are in the building again.

The Heritage Museum and the Claude Pepper Library and Museum are closed at this time as well.

This is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation and we will do our best to provide updates if and when any of this information changes. Please check back with the FSU Libraries COVID-19 Updates and Resources webpage for the latest information. We ask everyone to be safe during this time.

Update on Coronavirus and FSU Special Collections

As many institutions are doing at the moment, Florida State University is changing operations for a period to respond to coronavirus. What does that mean for Special Collections & Archives?

Nursing students standing outside Jackson Memorial Hospital, 1950s [original item]

Until further notice, access to all FSU Libraries is limited to holders of FSU IDs and students from the joint FAMU/FSU College of Engineering. Community members or traveling scholars will be unable to visit our collections in person. However, our collections are still available even if you can’t come visit them in person. Please contact Special Collections at lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu for help in doing research in the archives while they are closed to the general public. Also, our online catalog, finding aid database and digital library remain open for remote use.

For our FSU campus community, our hours will reduce, as they normally do, during Spring Break. March 16-20, the Research Center Reading Room, Exhibit Room and Norwood Reading Room will be open from 10am to 4:30pm. The Heritage Museum will be closed and the Claude Pepper Library and Museum will be closed as well.

This is a very fluid and rapidly changing situation and we will do our best to provide updates if and when any of this information changes. Please check back with the FSU Libraries COVID-19 Updates and Resources webpage for the latest information. We ask everyone to be safe during this time.

New Exhibit Coming Soon!

March 13, 2020 will be the last day to view the current exhibit in the Special Collections & Archives Exhibit room,  “A Century of Mystery and Intrigue”.

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Our new exhibit, “Earth Day 50”, will be opening in April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day: April 22, 1970. “Earth Day 50” is a collaborative effort between FSU Sustainable Campus and Special Collections & Archives. The goal of the exhibit is to illustrate the role that prominent figures in FSU and Florida history have played in the environmental movement and highlight environmental activism here at Florida State University in the past 50 years.

Earth Day Activities
Schedule of Events at Florida State University for the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970. Florida Flambeau, April 22, 1970

Keep an eye out for more information about the opening of the new exhibit, as well as events and activities in celebration of Earth Day on campus.

Black History Month: Notable University History Collections

February is Black History month and for those interested in studying Black History at Florida State University, we thought we would highlight a few of our collection in Heritage & University Archives.

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BSU Scrapbook, 1990-2008.

Perhaps the most obvious place to look, and one of our more informative collections on the topic, is our Black Student Union collection. This collection contains items from previous organizational campaigns, financial information, and a very large scrapbook. This collection has received several additions in the past couple of years, adding to this information, and will continue to grow.

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FSU Black Guild Players in a promotional photo for the production of “The Colored Museum,” 1989.

The Florida State University Historic Photograph Collection and the Florida Flambeau/FSView Photograph Collections are some of Heritage & University Archive’s best resources for a visual history of the university. Among the photographs are images of Maxwell Courtney, FSU’s first African American graduate, and the Black Players Guild.

Boardman Letter
Letter to John Boardman from Doak Campbell, 1957.

Lastly, an important group of records for any research on campus history, are the Presidential Files. This is several different collections covering several of FSU’s Presidents and include topics related to almost every aspect of the university. An extremely important file on John Boardman is present in the Doak Campbell Administration Files detailing events surrounding Boardman’s expulsion from FSU after inviting three African American students to a Christmas Party on campus. The entire file has been digitized and is available on Diginole.

For any questions or reference help regarding these collections, you can email the Heritage & University Archivist, Sandra Varry at svarry@fsu.edu.

Sunshine State Digital Network New Local Site

The Sunshine State Digital Network has a new local site. This page aims to highlight the “rich history and culture” of Florida through user-friendly search technology and pre-made collections. SSDN.DP.LA, the new local site, has many filters that make searching and sifting through content an easy and enjoyable experience. Some of these filters include contributing institution, date range, type of content, language, or more. Users can uncover content ranging from text, images, videos, audio clips, books, or more.

The new local site has 4 highlighted, curated searches for users to browse. Users can look through search results focused on the Caribbean, Civil and Human Rights, maps of the state of Florida and its local communities, and Florida’s environment. Users can access these pre-made searches straight from the homepage of the new local site.

This is the Browse by Partner page of the new SSDN.DP.LA site.

Another unique feature to the new local SSDN site is the browse by partner tab. In the upper left hand corner of the SSDN.DP.LA page is an option to browse the content via the contributing institution. All 21 contributors are available to browse through. This browsing option makes it easy to access a specific contributor’s content or discover a new contributor whose content you have never accessed before.

Just Kidding – Construction Delayed

It’s never a dull moment around here! Our new carpet has been delayed but that means we’ll be open our normal operating hours much sooner!

We’ll still be closed for the FSU Winter Holiday Break from December 23-January 1. We will resume normal operating hours on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

You are welcome to email us at lib-specialcollections@fsu.edu while we are closed and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible in the new year.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Students Joking around on Campus, December 1946 [see original image]

Under Construction

Grounds Closed Sign
Two Women Standing Behind “Grounds Closed” Sign. From the Mary Leora Singeltary Collection, 1919-1923 [original image]

Some of the Special Collections & Archives space will be under construction starting on Monday, December 16th (we’re getting new carpet!). Because of the need to move furniture and materials for this work, the Special Collections Research Center Reading Room, Exhibit Room, and the Norwood Reading Room in Strozier Library will be closed starting on Monday, December 16. We will resume our normal operating hours on Monday, January 13, 2020.

The Pepper Library and Museum will be closed for the FSU Winter Break from Monday, December 23 until Monday, January 6, 2020.

During these times, you can still search our collections in our finding aid database, the library catalog and access digitized materials in DigiNole: FSU’s digital repository. If you have any questions, you can contact the division through email.

We here in Special Collections & Archives wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season!