Tag Archives: special collections

Happy World Day for Audiovisual Heritage!

Here’s something that you may not have known: this Sunday, October 27th, is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. And why should you care? While you may be hard pressed to find a Happy World Day for Audiovisual Heritage card at the Hallmark store, it speaks to a very important issue. Experts estimate that we have only 10 to 15 years left to digitize the wealth of content on analog audiovisual media—such as film, reel-to-reel tape, and even VHS—dating to the mid to late 20th century. This material constitutes an indispensable complement to the written record of our collective world history, and it is at risk of permanent loss due to the vulnerability of these media to decay, damage, and playback obsolescence.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2005 in order to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual recordings and raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken to preserve them.

Pepperdine University Libraries has responded to this charge by partnering with the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, an initiative of the California Preservation Program that provides digitization and access services for historic California audiovisual recordings. So far, more than two dozen films, reel-to-reel tapes, and other vulnerable recordings in our Special Collections and University Archives have been digitized for preservation purposes through this collaboration. These recordings, such as this recently digitized speech by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the 1985 Pepperdine Law School Dinner, are now available in our Pepperdine Digital Collections.

Please visit the links above to discover how you can contribute to the preservation of the world’s audiovisual heritage.

Special Collections Welcomes Three Interns

Special Collections is pleased to host three interns during the fall 2013 semester!

Beth McDonald is a graduate student in the Library and Information Science program at UCLA. During the internship, she will process two of our newest acquisitions the Alan Reed Papers and the Michael D. “Micky” Moore Papers. Reed and Moore were both active in the film and television industry. Reed is best known as the original voice of Fred Flintstone on the show The Flintstones while Moore is probably best known for his work as a second unit director on such projects as the Indiana Jones trilogy, Patton, and The Ten Commandments. The project includes arranging and describing materials, writing a finding aid, adding descriptive information to Archivists’ Toolkit, uploading the finding aids to the Online Archive of California, creating MARC records to add to the library catalog, and assisting the archivist with selecting items for digitization or an upcoming exhibit.

Kendal Copeland is a junior at Pepperdine University majoring in Sports Broadcasting and minoring in History. Kendal will enhance the finding aid of the Pepperdine University Athletics Records. Kendal will describe the collection in greater detail, adding folder level description to Archivists’ Toolkit and updating the finding aid. She will also assist the archivist with selecting items for digitization or an exhibit.

Victoria Collie is a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. She is currently working on the Edwards Metcalf Collection of Books on T.E. Lawrence. Victoria is creating a research guide to the collection, including a biography of Lawrence, an annotated bibliography of selected materials in the collection, and curated lists of research resources on Lawrence. In addition, Victoria will also be doing detailed processing of the related Metcalf Papers and creating an exhibit of materials from the collection.








If you see Beth, Kendal, or Victoria around this fall make sure you say hi!

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

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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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.)


Limited Edition Pennyroyal Caxton Bible Acquired by Special Collections

Due to the generosity of Bruce and Suzie Kovner, Special Collections and University Archives acquired the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible. This edition of the King James Version of the Holy Bible is illustrated by Barry Moser, the foremost American master of wood engravings. It is the first illustrated Bible of its kind since Gustave Doré’s edition of the Le Saint Bible in 1865.

Published by the Pennyroyal Caxton Press in 1999, the edition is one of 400 printed copies taking a total of three years to complete. The Bible is bound in two volumes. Volume one contains the five books of Moses, the historical books and the books of poetry. Volume two contains the books of prophecy and the New Testament. The bindings are full limp vellum with the title stamped in 24-carat gold on the cover and spine. Each signature was folded by hand and sewn on vellum tapes. There are  a total of 233 illustrations in the Bible.

The design of the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible owes much to the past. The arrangement of double columns is similar to many other great Bibles including the Gutenberg Bible.

To view the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible please contact Katie Richardson, Archivist for Special Collections and University Archives at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.

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.

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.