Tag Archives: archives

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!

1971—Construction commences in Malibu: Today’s featured digital object

Continuing our series on the historical events that shaped Pepperdine University in Malibu—in honor of the Malibu campus’ 40th anniversary—we arrive at April 13, 1971. On this overcast, unusually chilly day, approximately 500 Pepperdine supporters gathered on the freshly leveled dirt building pads of the new Malibu campus to observe ceremonies initiating construction of the campus buildings. Billed as the “Ceremony to Commence Construction of Academic Complex on Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus,” the event saw the dedication of three core buildings: Payson Library, the Pendleton Learning Center, and the Huntsinger Academic Center.

The namesakes of these buildings were on hand to make remarks, and President William S. Banowsky spoke about Pepperdine’s educational philosophy, but the real attraction of the day was the keynote address by Wernher von Braun, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA. Von Braun, a German rocket engineer brought into the fold of the US government following World War II, was one of the leading scientists behind the Apollo moon mission. His prominence following the first moon landing in 1969 contributed to the phrase “it’s not rocket science” to describe a simple task.

His appearance at the Commencement of Construction ceremony—less than two years after the moon landing—provided Pepperdine University with the perfect symbol of education, innovation, and achievement. It was an auspicious start to the buildings that now form the heart of Pepperdine University’s Seaver College in Malibu.

In our Pepperdine Digital Collections, you can listen to a recording of the speeches made that day, including the address by von Braun (he appears on Part 2 of the recording). You can also view a few of the archival photographs of the event. Enjoy.

Pepperdine Bible Lectures Finding Aid Online and Ready for Research

Another finding aid from Special Collections and University Archives is available on the Online Archive of California! The Pepperdine Bible Lectures collection (processed as part of the NHPRC project) is briefly described below.

The Pepperdine University Bible Lectures, coordinated by the Office of Church Relations, began in January 1943 and is an annual (sometimes semiannual) series of talks held at Pepperdine on religious and scriptural issues.  The Pepperdine University Bible Lectures collection includes paper materials (including programs, correspondence, and other items) and audio recordings taken during Pepperdine Bible Lectures held in Los Angeles (beginning in 1943) and Malibu (beginning in 1973).  Click here to view the finding aid.

If you are interested in seeing a program from any of the Bible Lectures, or listening to audio from lectures starting in 1972, consider making an appointment to see the collection! (Some years also have correspondence and other papers, but the bulk of the collection is programs and audio.) For more information about the collection, or to set up an appointment, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

Unfamiliar with this annual event?  Bible Lectures at Pepperdine is a long tradition — spring lectures have been held every year since 1943 (except for 1957) and additional summer lectures were also held for a few decades.  People from all over the United States and around the world travel to Pepperdine for a week to listen to a great number of speakers — sessions are packed in all day, including lectures during meals and large evening talks.  Entire families arrive to stay on campus, either living in the dorms or setting up mobile homes in campus parking lots.  Pie and coffee is served nightly to benefit student scholarships.  The Bible Lectures site is part of Pepperdine’s website, and includes information about the upcoming lectures, frequently asked questions, and a brief history of Bible Lectures.

1962 was celebrated at Bible Lectures as the centennial of the Restoration Movement; that year was also the last time George Pepperdine attended the lectures in March.  Mr. Pepperdine later died at the end of July, 1962.  Mr. Pepperdine can just barely be seen at the right side of a picture of the closing lecture (10,000 people attended!) on the Bible Lectures history page.

(The following images are from the Pepperdine Bible Lectures collection.  Click the pictures to view them larger.)


The cover and inside first two pages of the 1962 Bible Lectures program.


A large flyer (outside back and outside front, and inside left and right, respectively) advertises a charter flight from Nashville, Memphis and Dallas directly to Los Angeles to attend the Bible Lectures.  Another attractive prospect was the option to add excursions to Disneyland, Hollywood, and Knott’s Berry Farm!

Papers of Pepperdine Professors Open for Research

The collections of three Pepperdine professors have been processed by Special Collections and University Archives, with finding aids now available on the Online Archive of California for research!  The Ronald W. Batchelder papers, Joel S. Fetzer papers, and John F. Wilson paper, all processed as a part of the NHPRC project, are briefly described below.

Ronald W. Batchelder is a Professor of Economics at Seaver College, as well as an involved member of many Pepperdine faculty organizations.  Materials in the collection consist of correspondence, minutes, notes, memorandums, reports, handbooks and calendars mostly related to faculty issues and organizations at Pepperdine and Seaver College, including the University Faculty Council, Seaver Faculty Association, and the Social Sciences Division within Seaver College.  The collection spans from 1986 to 2009.  Click here to view the finding aid.

Joel S. Fetzer is a Professor of Political Science at Seaver College, as well as the author of numerous publications on comparative immigration politics and on religion and political behavior.  Materials in the collection consist of items collected by Joel Fetzer during his research trips to Germany, France, England, and Luxembourg in 2001 and 2008, including interview notes, audiocassettes and compact discs of interviews, correspondence, printed reference materials, and other printed materials used as research material for his two books,  Muslims and the State in Britain, France and Germany (2004), and Luxembourg as an Immigration Success Story: The Grand Duchy in Pan-European Perspective (2011). (The links will take you to the books’ catalog records in the library catalog.)  Click here to view the finding aid.

John F. Wilson is a Professor of Religion, Emeritus at Seaver College, as well as a field archaeologist, author, and lecturer on archaeology in the Middle East.  Materials in the collection consists of printed materials related to Wilson’s academic and professional career, including correspondence, date books, his faculty portfolio and a signed copy of the book Discovering the Bible (1986). (The link will take you to the books’ catalog records in the library catalog.) The collection dates span from 1953 to 1998. Click here to view the finding aid.

Other professors’ papers are already on the Online Archive of California, including the B. Lamar Johnson papers (Johnson was an educator known as the “father of the community college”), Earl Vivon Pullias papers (E.V. Pullias was a psychology professor and higher education scholar), and M. Norvel and Helen Young papers (Norvel was a professor and later an administrator, and Helen taught many Bible and womens’ classes).

For more information about the collections, or to set up an appointment to use the collections, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

The pictures below are from the John F. Wilson papers.  Click the images to view them larger.


John Wilson (right) as the Captain Corcoran in his high school’s production of the musical H.M.S. Pinafore, in 1955.


The program from the HMS Pinafore performance.


An advertising brochure for a “Bible Lands Pilgrimage” tour hosted by Dr. Wilson in 1969.  The multi-country, 8 day tour (with 2 extra days for flying) included roundtrip airfare between New York City and Tel Aviv, hotels, tours, and all meals for only $599!  (With inflation, that would cost about $3,600 in 2012 dollars.  It seemed like a deal…)

Blanche Ebert and Frank R. Seaver Papers and James L. Lovell Papers Ready for Research

This post was written by our graduate student assistant, Jessica Geiser.

Two more finding aids from Special Collections and University Archives are now available for research and can be found on the Online Archive of California!  The Blanche Ebert and Frank R. Seaver papers, and the James L. Lovell papers, both processed as a part of the NHPRC project, are briefly described below.

Blanche Ebert and Frank R. Seaver were prominent philanthropists in the Los Angeles area, thanks to Frank’s successful career in the oil industry.  The Seaver family proved influential in Pepperdine’s growth as a university through their generous donations, which was reflected in the decision to name Seaver College after Frank, as well as the appointment of Blanche as a Life Regent at Pepperdine.  Materials in the collection range from 1882 to 1996 and document Blanche’s involvement with Pepperdine; Frank’s business, the Hydril Company (an early oil company in Los Angeles; materials also include many pictures of oil equipment and workers); Blanche’s former career as a composer and musician; and their personal lives.  Click here to view the finding aid.

James L. Lovell, most often known as Jimmie, was a prominent member of the Churches of Christ, prolific author and editor of religious publications, and a member of Pepperdine University’s Board of Trustees for 35 years.  Materials in the collection span from 1932 to 1999, and contain correspondence, articles, minutes, notes, reports, photographs, and slides documenting Lovell’s relationship with Pepperdine and its administrators, his involvement in the Churches of Christ and individual churches, and his personal life including his career in the construction industry.  Also included in the collection are copies of publications produced by Lovell throughout his life, most notably West Coast Christian and California ChristianClick here to view the finding aid.

For more information about the collections, or to set up an appointment to use the collections, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

Mr. and Mrs. Seaver in Mexico in the 1950s.  (Click the image to view it larger.)

M. Norvel Young assisting Mrs. Seaver (right) in breaking ground on Pepperdine’s Malibu Campus (late 1960s).  Mrs. Pepperdine is in the blue on the left.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


Jimmie Lovell on the cover of a special issue of America’s Builders in 1966 celebrating his 70th birthday.  America’s Builders, a magazine for the construction industry published at Pepperdine, was one of the many publications founded by Lovell during his lifetime.  (Click the image to view it larger.)

Past Presidents’ Papers Open for Research

Three new finding aids for the papers of former Presidents of Pepperdine University, located in Special Collections and University Archives, are now available on the Online Archive of California!  The William S. Banowsky papers, David Davenport papers, and Howard A. White papers (all processed as part of the NHPRC project) are briefly described below.  (The papers of M. Norvel Young, another past President of Pepperdine University, were mentioned in an earlier post and are also available for research.)

The William S. Banowsky papers contain professional and personal papers of William S. Banowsky dating from 1926 to 2009. The bulk of the materials range from 1955 to 1990 and document his professional involvement with Pepperdine University, the University of Oklahoma, Gaylord Broadcasting Company, the Texas Superconducting Super Collider Authority, and National Medical Enterprises; political topics and professional services; collected printed and written material (such as poems and articles); and personal documents including speeches, personal and family history, travel, photographs, and book research for The Malibu MiracleClick here to view the finding aid.

The David Davenport papers contain materials from David Davenport’s time as president of Pepperdine University from 1985 to 2000, and includes earlier items from the president’s office beginning in 1968. The collection contains donor files and subject/correspondence files on various topics. Items include mainly correspondence, photographs, and other printed materials such as brochures and reports.  Click here to view the finding aid.

The Howard A. White papers contains professional and personal papers of Howard A. White dating from 1938 to 1991. The bulk of the materials range from 1957 to 1990 and document his professional involvement with Pepperdine University in various administrative roles, and personal documents including speeches, personal and family history, and book research for Crest of a Golden WaveClick here to view the finding aid.

For more information about the collections, or to set up an appointment to use the collections, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.


Architectural plans for an expansion of the Moore Haus in Heidelberg, Germany, where students stay during their time abroad.  The plans are dated October 23, 1979, and are from the Howard A. White collection.  This image shows the entire page of the plan.  Other drawings of individual levels and from other vantage points are also in the collection.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


This is an 11″x17″ scan of the architectural plan.  The colored parts appear to be the proposed additions.  Phrases include: “dachneigung” for “roof pitch”, “zimmer” for “room”, “untergeschoss” for “basement”, “mit 2 verschiedenen gebäudehöhen” for “with two different [options for] building heights”, “obergeschoss” for “upstairs”, and “erdgeschoss” for “ground floor”.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


This section reads: “Building Expansion, Graimbergweg 10 — Pepperdine University”.  The Moore Haus is located at Graimbergweg 10 in Heidelberg, Germany.  (Click the image to view it larger.)

The 2012 Los Angeles Archives Bazaar Is A Success!

On October 27, 2012, Special Collections and University Archives participated in the 7th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar held at Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus. Over eighty archives were represented and hundreds of scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the stories of Los Angeles attended the one-day event. Special Collections and University Archives shared materials from the Malibu Historical Collection, University Archives, and the Digital Collections with the public over the course of the day. Over one hundred people stopped by our table!

(Lindsey Gant and Katie Richardson exhibit some of the materials from Special Collections and University Archives)

The Rindge and Adamson family papers, which are part of the Malibu Historical Collection, were also featured in the special session “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives” where thirteen L.A. as Subject members shared one notable collection from their archives as a way of introducing their materials. Approximately 80 people attended the session.

A special thanks to Jessica Geiser, Lindsey Gant, and Kevin Miller for making the day a success!

For more information about Special Collections and University Archives please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.