Tag Archives: finding aids

Special Collections and University Archives Celebrates Two Years of Contributing Finding Aids to the OAC

February 2014, marked our second anniversary of contributing finding aids to the Online Archive of California (OAC). We are excited about the fact that in a little over two years we have increased our finding aids from 0 to 120, and we have seen an incremental increase in our visitor usage. While we have a few collections in our growing areas of Film and Television (6 collections) and Politics (3 collections), most of the materials we have processed fall within our 3 main collecting areas:

1. The University Archives (95 collections)

2. The Malibu Historical Collection (10 collections)

3. The Churches of Christ Heritage Center (6 collections)

With the processing of these materials, we have been able to track visitor usage and are pleased to see that more and more people are using our finding aids to access information. During our first month of operation, we had 14 unique visitors look at our finding aids; however, by the end of 2012, we increased to an average of 91 unique visitors per month. By 2013, our numbers jumped to an average of 384, and now, just within the first three months of 2014, we’ve average 425 unique viewers each month.  In addition, usage in the reading room has increased as well.

For any given month, we have been able to monitor such interesting things as what finding aids are most popular, how long researchers spent looking at our finding aids, and what keywords did researchers use to find our materials. Some of the more popular finding aids as of late include the Pepperdine College Freedom Forum Records with 56 views, the Chuck Waters Papers with 46 views, and the Michael D. (Micky) Moore Papers with 37 views.  About 80% of researchers have spent 30 minutes or less looking at a particular finding aid and some popular keywords include “Malibu” and “Pepperdine.”  In addition, we can tell what day is most popular (this month it’s been Sunday) and where researchers reside (32% of our recent viewers reside in Malibu, followed by 20.4% in Houston, and 9.6% in Seattle). Researchers from such countries as China, Ukraine, France, Canada, India, Ireland, and Brazil have looked at our finding aids. Interestingly enough, we can also tell that 1:00 a.m. appears to be a popular search time.

Needless to say, all of this would not be possible without the hard work of our dedicated team. A most sincere thanks to everyone who has participated in the processing of these 120 finding aids. To view our finding aids please click here. If you are interested in learning more about our collections, please contact katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.

T.E. Lawrence Exhibit Opens in Payson Library

This blog post was written by Victoria Collie, Special Collections and University Archives Intern.

An exhibit highlighting the Metcalf Collection of Books on T.E. Lawrence is now open on the main level of Payson Library. Housed in the Special Collections and University Archives, this is the first lawrence bk collectiontime the books have been on display. The book collection and associated Metcalf papers were donated to Pepperdine by Edwards H. Metcalf (1911-2001), a Pepperdine University board member and grandson of millionaire Henry Edwards Huntington. Metcalf was a T.E. Lawrence enthusiast, and helped plan Pepperdine’s T.E. Lawrence Symposium in 1988. The book collection alone contains over 400 books on Lawrence and the Middle East. If you would like to learn more about T.E. Lawrence and the book collection, check out the new InfoGuide! It provides a good starting place for research.

from With Lawrence in Arabia

T.E. Lawrence, 1919
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:With_Lawrence_in_Arabia.jpg

T.E. Lawrence, or “Lawrence of Arabia,” was an extremely intelligent and complex person, who seemed restless until he found his calling in the Middle East fighting alongside the Arab leaders during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918. He had been familiar with the region before, taking several trips to the area and becoming used to the language and the Arab way of life. His use of guerrilla activities against the Turks during the revolt gained him sudden notoriety. After the war, he ran from his new found fame, using assumed names when enlisting in the Royal Air Force. He died in 1935 at the age of 46. Lawrence wrote a variety of works, including Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which is on display. Also included in the exhibit is his college thesis, Crusader Castles (1936). There are many controversies surrounding Lawrence’s career and life, but he will continue to be the subject of admiration and speculation for years to come.

amman aerodome 1921

Sir Herbert Samuel is pictured in the white hat; Lawrence is pictured to the left of him, and Emir Abdullah is seen on the right. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-19413

Pepperdine Honors 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Death with Screening and Exhibit

Herschensohn Exhibit Poster jpgOn Friday, November 22nd, from 2-4:30pm, fifty years to the day following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Pepperdine University Libraries and the School of Public Policy will host a screening of John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums, with director Bruce Herschensohn.

During the entire month of November, a complementary exhibit will be held in Payson Library that explores the making of this film with photographs, correspondence, posters, memorabilia, and other images.

The 90-minute film, produced by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and written and directed by Herschensohn, examined the life, death, and impact of John F. Kennedy shortly after his assassination. It features extensive excerpts from Kennedy’s speeches, including color footage of his swearing in and inaugural address. Gregory Peck served as the narrator of the film, and it was ultimately shown in more than 100 countries and in 30 languages. The USIA produced media about American for foreign audiences. Because audiences were so moved by this film, a special act of Congress in 1965 allowed it to be distributed in the U.S. for viewing by domestic audiences.

The film screening at Pepperdine will be followed by a Q&A with writer and director, Bruce Herschensohn. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, which will be on display in Payson Library throughout the month of November, features materials from the Bruce Herschsensohn Papers about the making of John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums. These materials document the filming of the worldwide reaction to Kennedy’s death, including the funeral proceedings in Washington, D.C., and memorial services around the world; the development of the film script and music; the worldwide release and international acclaim of the film; and the distribution within the U.S. Related materials can be found in the Pepperdine Digital Collections.

The materials in the exhibit are taken from the Bruce Herschensohn Papers, which are held by Pepperdine University’s Special Collections and University Archives, where they are available for research. Digital images from the collection are also available online in the Pepperdine Digital Collections. The collection includes items collected and created by Herschensohn as an independent filmmaker, a Director of Motion Pictures and Television at the United States Information Agency (USIA), a member of staff at the White House for Presidents Nixon and Reagan, and a political commentator for the KABC television and radio stations. Materials include correspondence, photographs, video and audio recordings, manuscripts, musical compositions, drawings, newspaper clippings, and other items related to the development of his films.

Bruce Herschensohn is a political commentator, author and senior fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy in Malibu, California.  He served in the Nixon and Reagan administrations and is the author of nine books, in addition to being a filmmaker and producer.

Please contact Melissa Nykanen at (310) 506-4434 or at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu for questions about the screening or exhibit.

Premiere of the film in Karachi, Pakistan, November 25, 1964.

Premiere of the film in Karachi, Pakistan, November 25, 1964.

A poster from the U.S. distribution of the film.

A poster from the U.S. distribution of the film.

Pepperdine Students Conclude Special Collections Internship

Austin McElrath, Andrea Oates, and Sarah Dannemiller recently concluded their 15-week, for-credit internship during the spring 2013 semester.

Austin processed and created a finding aid for the Elinor Oswald Collection of Southern California Tourism Ephemera. The collection comprises a wide variety of tourist ephemera relating to Elinor Oswald’s professional career as a tour guide in the Southern California area between 1968 and 2009. The project included arranging and describing materials, writing a finding aid, and adding descriptive information to Archivists’ Toolkit. The finding aid is online and viewable by clicking here.

Andrea also processed and created a finding aid for a collection. She processed the John D. Nicks Jr. Papers. Nicks was a former professor, dean of the business school, vice president of academic affairs, and vice president of development at Pepperdine University from the 1970s to the 1990s. The project included arranging and describing materials, writing a finding aid, and adding descriptive information to Archivists’ Toolkit. The finding aid is now online and viewable by clicking here.

Sarah worked on two projects during the course of her internship. She enhanced the finding aid for the M. Norvel and Helen Young Papers. The Young papers are our single largest collection at 225.59 linear feet. Sarah described the collection in greater detail, adding folder level description to Archivists’ Toolkit and updating the finding aid. She also assisted the archivist with exhibit preparation for Bible Lectures. Sarah selected Churches of Christ hymnals to display and researched the hymnals to make captions.

Sarah had this to say about her internship experience in Special Collections:

After reflecting upon my experience as an intern I realized how I had underestimated the importance of an archivist’s work and also the amount of time that goes into a project. I thought that I had a legitimate reason as to why I should be selected to do this internship. I wrote a paper for my HIST 200 class that required the use of the university’s archives. I spent hours flipping through folders and papers that had little relevance to my research in order to find the “jackpot.” I thought there needed to be more organization and better detailed finding aids so I wasn’t spending all my precious research time flipping through folders. However, once I was assigned to creating a finding aid and expanding it I realized just how much time it took to create the bare minimum. I came to appreciate and to respect the time and effort that archivists put into making materials available for researchers, regardless of how much detail they put into the finding aids.

Not only did I gain a new appreciation for archival work but I also enjoyed the creative aspect of it. I was lucky enough to be interning at the same time that an exhibit for Pepperdine’s Bible Lectures was being set up. As a member of the Churches of Christ, the opportunity was great not just for my career but also for my spiritual involvement. I was excited to learn about my own tradition’s history and through what seemed like a personally edifying research process, felt like I was able to give something back to my church family. I was able to use my research skills as a historian and my creative capabilities to contribute something to an event that brings many Christians together in a spirit of unification and fellowship.

Sarah standing in front of the exhibit case she worked on.

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

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.)

Four New Archival Collections Ready for Research

Four finding aids from Special Collections and University Archives are now available on the Online Archive of California! The Pepperdine University Archives Individual Files, the Pepperdine University Archives Individual Photograph Files,the Kenneth Hahn collection, and the Zeta Kappa collection (all processed as part of the NHPRC project) are briefly described below.

The Pepperdine University Archives Individual Files is a collection created by Special Collections and University Archives staff and consists of biographical information, article clippings, correspondence, publications, memoranda, and speeches about former faculty, staff, donors, distinguished guests, and other individuals associated with Pepperdine University. Materials are filed alphabetically by individual’s last name.  Click here to view the finding aid.

The Pepperdine University Archives Individual Photograph Files is a collection created by Special Collections and University Archives staff and consists of photographs, slides, and negatives of former faculty, staff, donors, distinguished guests, and other individuals associated with Pepperdine University. Materials are filed alphabetically by individual’s last name.  Click here to view the finding aid.

Kenneth Hahn was a former Los Angeles County Supervisor and Los Angeles City Councilman who served for over 40 years, making him the longest serving elected official in California’s history. The Kenneth Hahn collection contains materials about Hahn’s life and passing, including photographs, collected obituaries, and items from a public television program on Hahn produced after his death entitled “A Salute to Kenneth Hahn”. Click here to view the finding aid.

The Zeta Kappa collection contains materials related to Zeta Kappa, a local sorority on the Pepperdine campus in existence from 1938 to 1996. Materials in the collection include scrapbooks documenting sorority activities and members; annual member lists and accomplishments of the chapter; photographs and slides of sorority events; and memorabilia related to events and activities of the sorority. Also included are materials from the Zeta Kappa Alumnae Association, including newsletters, photographs, histories, correspondence, and event invitations.  Click 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.


Harry S. Truman shakes hands with Kenneth Hahn.  This photo is one of many in the collection taken with United States presidents; most are signed and dedicated to Kenneth Hahn.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


A page from the 1951-1952 Zeta Kappa scrapbook.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


A 1994 Zeta Kappa scrapbook, complete with lacy ruffle and ribbon ties. (Click the image to view it larger.)

Donald V. Miller Papers and Earl Vivon Pullias Papers Ready for Research

Two more finding aids from Special Collections and University Archives are now available on the Online Archive of California! The Donald V. Miller papers and Earl Vivon Pullias papers, both processed as a part of the NHPRC project, are briefly described below.

Donald V. Miller was a Life Regent at Pepperdine University, who also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1956-1976.  The materials in this collection are photocopies of original correspondence, reports, and other items collected by Miller, related to administrative changes at Pepperdine in 1957 and 1958.  Click here to view the finding aid.

Earl Vivon Pullias was a professor, administrator and scholar of higher education.  The collection includes materials that document his positions at Pepperdine College (as Dean of Students and psychology professor) and the University of Southern California (as a professor of higher education), his academic career and research on higher education, and his personal and family life.  Materials in the collection range from the 1910s to the early 2000s.  Click 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.

Some items in the Earl V. Pullias papers include photographs, and a large number of letters written between Earl and Pauline (his wife) during their courtship and after their marriage.  See an example of one of each, below.  (Click the images to view them larger.)


Earl Pullias with two students wearing freshman beanies.

Earl writes a letter to Pauline, describing the long trip he took to get to the mailbox to find her letter.  The envelope was dated 1929; the two married in 1930.