Tag Archives: archives

Today is Constitution Day. Take the Quiz!

Today is Constitution Day, the 226th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. It’s a day dedicated to the education and celebration of one of our nation’s principal founding documents. So, how much do you know about the U.S. Constitution? For example, did the Senate initially want the Constitution to refer to the U.S. President as “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties”? Find out when you take the Washington Post Constitution Day Quiz.

You can also celebrate Constitution Day by visiting Pepperdine University’s Payson Library, where rare Colonial documents are currently housed in our Special Collections Reading Room (appointments recommended). Featured in the recent library exhibit, “Becoming America: An Exhibition of Colonial Documents,” the materials available for browsing span from 1686 to 1781 and represent the cultural, philosophical, and political atmosphere leading up to and during the Revolutionary War (see image above). Although the exhibit has ended, these priceless Colonial-era documents are currently on loan to Payson Library from Pepperdine alumnus and attorney Michael J. Marlatt (JD ’84).

Happy Constitution Day!

Pepperdine Digital Collections launches the Malibu Historical Photograph Collection

The Malibu Historical Photograph Collection is now available online through Pepperdine Digital Collections. Designed for historians, students, Malibuites, or anyone interested in the visual history of our seaside community, the Malibu Historical Photograph Collection includes images of Malibu people, places, and things dating back to 1890. Each photograph has been scanned and uploaded at a high resolution to allow detailed in-browser zooming with options to download. Furthermore, users can identify a photo’s original vantage point on Google Maps through historypin.com; you can even compare historical photos with today’s Google Street View, when available (hint: move the “Fade” switch back and forth).

Pepperdine University Libraries is very grateful to Lani Netter, whose donation of historical prints served as the seed for the Malibu Historical Photograph Collection. And keep your eyes on this collection—it will grow fast as we digitize our vast archive of historical photographs donated to Pepperdine University by The Malibu Times. Enjoy.

Change at the Corner of Manchester and Vermont

A few months ago, the archives received a reference question asking us to search for photos and information about early landscaping at George Pepperdine College, at the campus located at 79th and Vermont in Los Angeles.  Hmm, tough…  While I searched the archives for pictures of landscaping and the Los Angeles campus, the first collection I went to was the George Pepperdine College records.  The collection was recently created by gathering materials from University Archives files (mostly papers and photographs) about Pepperdine between 1937 and 1972 not already divided into other collections.

What completely surprised me was a pile of photographs in the middle of an enormous stack — panoramic photographs of the intersection of Manchester Avenue and Vermont Avenue, just half a mile south of the site of the Los Angeles campus!  Best of all, there were five photographs, taken in 5-year intervals to document the changes at the intersection from 1920 to 1945.

Notice how the Clark Drug Store stays consistent in the early photographs (but gets a building upgrade!), and how there is even a Western Auto Supply Company store in the 1930 and 1940 photographs?  Take a closer look for yourself to see how the area changed.  (Click the images to make them larger, and click once again to see the full size image.)

To view these images in person, to view the George Pepperdine College records or other collections, or do research on any of these materials or other collections in the archives, please contact Katie Richardson, Archivist for Special Collections and University Archives, at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.


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1940

Kennedy in June, 50 Years On: Today’s featured digital object

President Kennedy at the Berlin Wall in "The Five Cities of June"

It was Fifty years ago today that President John F. Kennedy made his historic Cold War era speech at the western gate of the Berlin Wall. The speech, highly critical of communism’s restrictions on personal freedom, included the memorable refrain “Let them come to Berlin” and, of course, the famous phrase “ich bin ein Berliner.” President Kennedy’s speech was captured by filmmaker Bruce Herschensohn, who used the speech as the final segment of his 1963 documentary The Five Cities of June.

Produced for the United States Information Agency, The Five Cities of June features five distinct historical events, each taking place in June 1963 in five different cities around the globe. These events include the election and coronation of Pope Paul VI in the Vatican; the launching of a rocket from an unknown Soviet location; skirmishes between North and South Vietnamese in Ben Tuong, South Vietnam; the integration of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with the assistance of U.S. Marshals; and President Kennedy’s speech at the Berlin Wall. Charlton Heston provides the narration; Bruce Herschensohn provides the screenplay, music, and direction. The film was nominated for Best Achievement in Documentary Production (Short Subjects).

JFK and West Berlin Mayor Willie Brandt on souvenir postcard, 1963

The Bruce Herschensohn Collection in Pepperdine Digital Collections provides access to a wealth of rare materials related to the production of this film and the events it depicts. This includes correspondence, production notes, artwork, scripts, and ephemera. View, for example, a souvenir postcard from the Berlin Wall signed by President Kennedy bearing a special cancellation mark for the occasion. Click here to browse other materials in the Bruce Herschensohn Collection related to The Five Cities of June. You can view the entire 27-minute film here. Enjoy.

Pepperdine Students Make Progress on Archival Collections

Two Pepperdine undergraduate students were hired in May to work on projects for Special Collections and University Archives.  Their work is a valuable contribution to our goal of making more archival collections available to researchers and more accessible online.

Craig Taylor spent five weeks with the department, working on a variety of collections.  He assisted with the ongoing effort to provide more detail to the M. Norvel and Helen Young papers by creating folder lists; helped move our boxes in storage to their permanent locations; assisted Archivist Katie Richardson with surveying the Jerry Weintraub Collection of Motion Picture and Television Program Reels; and rehoused, organized, and wrote a finding aid for the Gavin MacLeod Collection of Scripts.  (The Weintraub collection includes film reels from movies such as The Karate Kid [1984], The Avengers [1998], and others.  The MacLeod collection includes scripts from productions including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat, and others.)

Myia Lane-Vickers continues her work through the summer, also on collections covering various topics.  She provided more detail by adding a folder list to the Churches of Christ Church Bulletins and Weekly Programs (covering churches in California, Oregon, and Texas), and is currently working on refoldering and listing scripts and production files from the Ivan Goff Collection of Television Scripts (including shows such as Mannix, The Rogues, and others).  A complete list of episodes will be online in the near future.

We appreciate the help of our student workers, and look forward to completing more projects with them in the future!  Special Collections and University Archives also welcomes interested students looking for internships with the department.  For more information about these collections, to view collection materials or perform research, or discuss internship opportunities, please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.


Student workers Craig and Myia take a break from processing collections to highlight objects from the archives! (Click the image to view it larger.)


When the President came to Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

President Gerald Ford (right) greets actor John Wayne, with benefactor Richard Seaver (center)

On Founder’s Day, September 20, 1975, as Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus began its fourth year of activity, the university was honored by an official visit from the President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford. This was the first time a sitting President had visited Pepperdine, a milestone indicative of both the prestige the university had gained nationally and the ties its administration held with the Republican Party. The day was marked by two building dedications on the rapidly growing campus, both of which featured remarks by President Ford. A VIP brunch ceremony dedicated the Brock House, home to the university president, and this was followed by a public gathering of over 18,000 attendees to witness the dedication of the Firestone Fieldhouse, the campus’ athletics facility. Newly discovered and digitized, the audio recording of President Ford’s dedication of the Firestone Fieldhouse is now available online in our Historic Sound Recordings collection.

The 18,000 strong crowd at the Firestone Fieldhouse dedication, 1975

In addition to a twenty-minute speech by President Ford (on the important role of independent universities and free enterprise in the national education system), the recording also features the pomp and ritual particular to that era, including Pat Boone singing the national anthem and John Wayne leading a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Although it may not be apparent in this recording, President Ford’s visit to Pepperdine occurred during a period of heightened anxiety for both the president and the university. Just two weeks earlier, Squeaky Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, had attempted to assassinate President Ford in Sacramento (the gun failed to discharge). Security at Pepperdine was intense and there were no incidents; however, just two days later, Sara Jane Moore fired on the president in San Francisco in a second failed attempt. Meanwhile, four days before President Ford was to arrive at Pepperdine, M. Norvel Young, Chancellor of Pepperdine University, crashed his car into another vehicle on the Pacific Coast Highway, causing the death of two motorists. The shadow of this tragedy nearly derailed the Presidential visit, but the event continued as planned.

In addition to listening to the recording, you can also view photographs of the day’s events. Enjoy.

Introducing Historypin: Putting Pepperdine history on the map



Search for historic photos near you with the Historypin mobile app


Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of its new channel with Historypin.com, a website and mobile application that allows the pinning of historical photographs, audio recordings, and moving image files to Google Maps. Would you like to see the Malibu hills in 1969 before the arrival of Pepperdine University, overlaid seamlessly with the current Google street view? Or perhaps you’d like to take a drive across the newly opened San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in 1940? You can do all of these things—and more—in our new, interactive Historypin.com channel.

Historypin.com, developed by the nonprofit We Are What We Do in partnership with Google Maps, facilitates social mapping, in which individuals or institutions create a visual history of a particular spot on Earth through pinning digitized photographs (or other media) along with the stories that contextualize and enrich the history behind the images. Historypin calls this “fourth dimensional mapping,” a phenomenon that enables new ways for users to interact with historical photographs. For example, when you visit the Historypin website or mobile application, you can view the image, compare it with the current Google street view (when available), add your own stories to the image feed, use your smart phone to take a “Historypin Repeat” of the same scene, or link to the original image in our digital collections. In addition to searching or browsing images via the map, you can interact with materials in thematic collections or go on virtual walking tours.

Pepperdine University Libraries is utilizing Historypin to further the twin goals of its Special Collections and University Archives department: to preserve and disseminate the history of Pepperdine University and serve as the primary historical repository for the Malibu community. In addition to creating our own Historypin collections and tours, we are leveraging the unique strengths of Historypin to foster collaborations with other university departments and make new inroads into the Malibu community.



New Cold War era Herschensohn film online: Today’s featured digital object

Where were you at 5:02? May 18th, 1965, that is. Attending a Hindu wedding in New Delhi? Riding a roller coaster in Mexico City? Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rio de Janeiro? Or perhaps being born in San Diego? These are just some of the events captured by the film Eulogy to 5:02, written and produced by Bruce Herschensohn for the United States Information Agency in 1965. Narrated by Richard Burton, the 27-minute film presents twenty segments—each one-minute long—depicting a “minute lived in freedom” in twenty locations around the world. That minute? 5:02 Greenwich Mean Time on May 18th, 1965.

Filmmaker Bruce Herschensohn in 1965

It was a minute of no particular importance, but, as the opening narration tells us, “for the two-thirds of the world who lived in freedom on May the 18th, 5:02 was significant, for it was another minute spent in doing what they chose to do. Though their freedom went on as unnoticed as the time, 5:02 was theirs, to work if they wanted to work, to dream if they wanted to dream, to live as they wanted to live.”

Although clearly crafted for an explicit purpose at the height of the Cold War, Eulogy to 5:02 presents the viewer with a remarkable, multinational time capsule depicting life on Earth nearly 50 years ago. Tahitian women wash clothes on the beach as the sun rises; Arab construction workers build high-rise apartments in the planned-city of Ashdod, Israel; and youngsters play children’s games on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark. A little closer to home, a salesman maneuvers his convertible through the labyrinthine freeway system of Los Angeles, where it is 9:02 AM (the lack of traffic congestion would startle today’s commuter). All scenes are scored with Herschensohn’s lively and dramatic music.

At least as interesting as the film itself is the story behind its creation. This story plays out in the digitized scripts, production notes, and correspondence of the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Coordinating the simultaneous filming of twenty sequences in twenty global locations is a significant task—as is fudging the truth when circumstances don’t quite work out. Piecing this story together reveals as much about history and politics as it does about making movies.

Storyboard and still from "Eulogy to 5:02" refugee sequence

For example, the concluding one-minute segment of the film depicts the arrival of refugees to free soil. Herschensohn originally scripted the sequence with mainland Chinese seeking refuge in Hong Kong, but circumstances required the relocation of the scene to Vietnam. His instructions to the local film crew (employed by the USIA) included the following: “This is one of our main propaganda sequences and needs to come off with a real feeling of compassion. The family or families need to evoke a real empathy from the audience and no corn. The faces should be great old wrinkled faces as well as unknowing youth…” On May 24th, 1965, Ed Hunter of the USIA film crew in Saigon wrote to Herschensohn with news of the successful, although arduous night of filming. “I risked my life, got soaked to the skin, and was arrested four times during the shooting, if you like the footage and can’t pay, send a present.” The night before the film shoot, he explains, Vietcong disguised as Marines attacked an outpost only a quarter of a mile from the location. Hunter also references the bombing of the US embassy less than two months earlier, which his crew also documented. “Ghastly. Truly ghastly.” He writes of the embassy: “We now have safety glass in our office windows, and they have bricked up the library downstairs. Come back to Saigon…”

See the results for yourself. Click here to watch Eulogy to 5:02 in its entirety and then explore the materials related to the film in the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Enjoy.

Rare Martin Luther King, Jr. recording unearthed in University Archives—Listen online

In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to make available this rare audio recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in Los Angeles on the moral imperative of civil rights in 1964. Recently digitized, the complete recording is now available for online listening in our Historic Sound Recordings digital collection.

Dr. King delivered this forty-minute speech as the keynote speaker of “Religious Witness for Human Dignity,” a multi-faith event held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on May 31, 1964. Dr. King’s speech passionately and persuasively takes on the issues of race relations and human dignity, touching on topics of segregation, poverty, civil rights, and non-violent resistance. He evokes the memory of the late John F. Kennedy while urging for the quick passage of the Civil Rights Act, and his speech is immediately followed by a mass performance of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

Dr. King is briefly introduced by the Rev. Marvin T. Robinson, pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church of Pasadena, California, and President of the Western Christian Leadership Conference. The event, attended by approximately 15,000 people, was cosponsored by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations.

This recording captures Dr. King at a critical moment in American history and his own evolution as a public figure. This speech comes nine months after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and about four months before he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Civil Rights Act, stalled in the Senate by a filibuster, would be signed into law a month later on July 2.

The Special Collections and University Archives department of Pepperdine University Libraries came into possession of the nondescript reel of tape containing this historic speech by way of Fred Casmir, a former Communications professor. Dr. Casmir had apparently acquired the recording for use in his classes, and it arrived to us in a large box, hidden among more mundane audiovisual materials. It is our great honor to share this recording with the world and contribute another small piece to the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to listen online.

Student life 25 years ago today: Today’s featured digital object

In February of 1988, Pepperdine University’s alumni newspaper, The Pepperdine Voice, featured a photo spread titled “A Day in the Life of Pepperdine University.” The introductory text read:

“On Thursday, Jan. 7, 1988, seven photographers were deployed to scour all areas of campus to capture the daily activities of Pepperdine on film…What sort of day was Jan. 7? It was an ordinary day in Pepperdine life, and that is why it was chosen—to show the miracle of the mundane—students, faculty and staff at work, at play, in solitude and in action.”

The original prints and negatives produced for this project are now housed in our University Archives and were recently scanned for the University Archives Photograph (digital) Collection. Continuing our celebration of 40 years in Malibu, I encourage you to view this photographic time capsule of student life in the ‘80s. Technology and fashion may have changed, but I think you’ll agree that the “Waves spirit” captured in these photos is timeless.

View the slideshow, or explore these photos in our digital collections.

Happy New Year!