Tag Archives: University Archives

New Malibu matchbook and postcard collection online

Lighthouse cafe matchcoverAccording to the New York Times, “Close Cover Before Striking” is the most printed phrase in the history of the printed word. Perhaps you remember the days when every business, it seemed, advertised its services via free matchbooks bearing a logo, address, and phone number. Matchbook cover advertising rose and fell with the popularity of cigarette smoking, and was all but obliterated by the advent of the cheap, disposable Bic lighter in the early 1970s. Although customized matchboxes have made a bit of a comeback recently (think high-end restaurants), the heyday for the matchbook cover remains in the past, charting a visual history of midcentury American culture and commerce.

Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce the Eric Wienberg Collection of Malibu Matchbooks and Postcards, the latest addition to the Pepperdine Digital Collections. This online collection includes over forty matchbook covers that chronicle the history of business establishments and sites in Malibu and the surrounding area. The collection covers a period between the 1930s and the 1980s, and features matchbook covers from restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, motels, stores, and other businesses from Malibu, Topanga, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Venice Beach. The matchbooks and postcards were collected and generously donated by former Malibu resident Eric Wienberg.

The digital collection allows users to view both sides of the matchbook cover, either individually or side-by-side. Many businesses used the underside of the cover for hidden images or jokes, in addition to further details about their services (see below). The user can also see the matchbook cover on a map showing the business’ original location, or take a west to east tour of these historical businesses along the Pacific Coast Highway via the Library’s Historypin.com channel.

Return to a time when Alice’s Restaurant graced the Malibu Pier, when Duke’s Malibu was known as the Las Flores Inn, when lovers rendezvoused at the Albatross Hotel, and when Pacific Palisades had the Lighthouse café (and a working lighthouse). Enjoy.

Underside of Malibu Beach Motor Inn match cover

Underside of Malibu Beach Motor Inn match cover

Screenshot of matchbook covers in Historypin.com tour

Screenshot of matchbook covers in Historypin.com tour

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Pepperdine University Libraries digitizes the early years of the Malibu Times

malibu_timesOn May 2, 1946, the inaugural issue of The Malibu Times reported on several items. Locally, a truck driver was sentenced to 90 days in county jail for driving drunk. National news included mention of an electric window shade featured at the World Inventor’s Expo in Chicago. And Judge John L. Webster, a community leader, heralded the newspaper with these words: “With the advent of the first issue of THE MALIBU TIMES, this western beach and mountain section of Los Angeles county is entering upon a new era. The development planned for Malibu will make it one of the finest, if not THE finest, coastal areas along the entire Pacific slope.”

Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce that the first five years of The Malibu Times are now available online and freely accessible through Pepperdine Digital Collections. Spanning the years 1946 to 1950, these early years of Malibu’s longest-running newspaper are now available, for the first time, as full-text searchable documents. Readers have the option to flip through the paper via an online reader, download a complete PDF of an issue, or highlight a particular article for download or printing (article level segmentation). Click here to access the collection.

The Malibu Times, our coastal community’s premier newspaper, includes sections on the community, Malibu life, news, sports, opinion, obituaries, and entertainment. The paper was founded in 1946 by two Malibu couples: Reeves and Eileen Templeman, and William and Marian Macfadyen. The Templemans carried the paper through the decades until Arnold and Karen York bought the newspaper in 1987. The Malibu Times, still going strong, remains under their ownership today.

Pepperdine University Libraries digitized the first five years of the newspaper as part of a pilot program, and we are actively seeking donations to help us digitize the full run of The Malibu Times. We have, in our Special Collections, the only complete run of this historical newspaper, and digitizing the paper and making it fully searchable online would be an invaluable service to the Malibu community. Click here if you would like to make a contribution.

Many thanks and enjoy.

Exhibit on the Early Years at George Pepperdine College Opens in Payson Library

This blog post was written by Lindsey Sommer, Special Collections and University Archives Intern.

September 6, 1972, marked the first day of class for students at Pepperdine University in Malibu. Prior to that time, the campus was located in the Vermont Knolls area of Los Angeles, a few miles south of downtown. Students at George Pepperdine College were involved in all sorts of activities. Some wrote for the student newspaper the Graphic, while others were involved in theatre, athletics, fraternities, or sororities. On display are a variety of materials illustrating students at George Pepperdine College from 1937 to the 1960s, participating in these activities, shown through historic photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, scrapbooks, uniforms and memorabilia. The exhibit is divided into four sections: 1. General Student Life, 2. Athletics, 3. Performing Arts, and 4. Sororities and Fraternities.

Section 1: General Student Life

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Homecoming images, such as the one seen here from 1961, show potential homecoming queens arrayed on the lawn at Pepperdine College. Also on display are images of student photographers for the Graphic, and an early Beanie worn by students attending Pepperdine college.

 

 

Section 2: Athletics

pepperdine.contentdm.oclc.orgThe athletics case features Football memorabilia and photographs, featuring men’s NCAA football team (seen here in 1946-1947) as well as an image of the women’s intramural football team. Additionally, on display is an original Pep Club uniform from 1939 and programs from men’s football games.

 

Section 3: Performing Arts

pepperdine.contentdm.oclc.orgAdditionally, on view are several programs and historic photographs showing student participation in the fine arts, such as an image from the 1959 production of the King and I, which can be seen with the original program. Viewers may also see original art show announcements and images of the Pepperdine College singing group the Singing Travelers.

 

Section 4: Sororities and Fraternities.

pepperdine.contentdm.oclc.orgFinally, a selection of memorabilia and photographs show students participating in Greek life at Pepperdine College, with scrapbooks, rush pins, and fraternity mugs. For example, in the photograph to the left, pledges can be seen pushing marbles down a corridor in Baxter Hall in 1942.

 

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

 

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.

Introducing the Alumni Memories digital collection

Bernice Pitts receiving her degree at GPC from President Tiner

Bernice Pitts receiving her degree at GPC from President Tiner

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of the Alumni Memories Collection, a new digital collection designed to honor the lives of our alumni and the special bond they’ve formed with Pepperdine University. The collection, freely accessible online, is composed of photographs, memorabilia, documents, scrapbooks, correspondence, and other materials donated to Pepperdine University Libraries by alumni of George Pepperdine College and Pepperdine University. The items in this collection, arranged by theme or donor, strive to capture the “Pepperdine experience” while providing a glimpse into the lives of the men and women that call Pepperdine their alma mater.

Christmas Card sent to the Pitts from M. Norvel Young and Family

Christmas Card sent to the Pitts from M. Norvel Young and Family

The flagship donation for the Alumni Memories Collection comes to us from Bernice M. (Carr) Pitts (’49), who provides numerous photographs and documents related to the life she shared with her husband, Carroll Pitts, Jr. (’54). Bernice and Carroll were the first African-American students to live in Normandie Village, the married student housing complex on the original Los Angeles campus of George Pepperdine College. In addition to photos of campus, the collection includes photos and clippings related to the Pitts family, Churches of Christ history in Southern California, and the Pitts’ ongoing relationship with fellow GPC alumnus Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.

Bernice and Carroll Pitts receive a commemorative certificate from L.A. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn in 1982

Bernice and Carroll Pitts receive a commemorative certificate from L.A. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn in 1982

Carroll Pitts, Jr. also earned an M.A. in Religion from Pepperdine College in 1969, producing his thesis A Critical Study of Civil Rights Practices, Attitudes and Responsibilities in Churches of Christ. Throughout his career, Carroll specialized in church administration and personal evangelism, serving as the Minister of the Normandie Church of Christ in Los Angeles for over two decades. Carroll and Bernice traveled widely in support of Christian education, conducting workshops and gospel meetings in places as diverse as South Africa, Egypt, Rome, London, and Haiti. Carroll also taught classes at the annual Pepperdine Bible Lectures in addition to teaching part-time in Pepperdine University’s Religion Division. He passed in 1987. We are very grateful to Bernice for this donation, which we hope will honor his memory and celebrate the achievements they made together through a life devoted to God and Christian education.

If you are an alumnus interested in donating materials to this collection, please contact our Archivist, Katie Richardson at (310) 506-4323 or Katie.Richardson@pepperdine.edu.

Special Collections Intern Processes Two Collections

Kendal Copeland, a junior at Pepperdine, interned in Special Collections and University Archives during the fall semester. Kendal was responsible for enhancing the finding aid of the Pepperdine University Athletics Records and the Pepperdine College Freedom Forum Records. She described both collections in greater detail, adding folder level description to Archivists’ Toolkit and updating the finding aids. Kendal had this to say about her experience interning in the department:

football60004This semester I had the opportunity to intern in Special Collections and University Archives. The experience was a lot of fun, interesting, and educational. I learned all about the hard work that goes into maintaining, organizing, and preserving a collection.I worked on two collections; the Pepperdine University Athletics Records and the Pepperdine Freedom Forum Records.

While processing the athletics records, I was able to see the evolution of sports at Pepperdine from the late 1930’s to the present. Through articles, programs, newspaper clippings, videos, and photographs I had the opportunity to see how sports became more integrated. In addition, I was able to see the progress of women athletes over the years.

One thing I really enjoyed was being able to read and look at photos of the Pepperdine football team from its beginning to end (1946-1961).  I was even able to box a 1946 football lettermen jacket. The evolution of uniforms and how much they have changed was fun to see. I think it was for the best that men’s basketball uniforms have evolved the way they have.

A photograph I found very interesting was of a women’s football team here at Pepperdine. The caption on the back says “Women’s Football, 1960.”

football60003When I finished working on the athletics records, I processed a small collection on the Pepperdine College Freedom Forums. The Pepperdine College Freedom Forum was a three day seminar on promoting and defending American values co-sponsored by Pepperdine College and the National Education Program held annually on campus from 1959 to 1971. I was amazed at the amount of guest speakers over the years that came out to the forums. It was very insightful to read the speeches because I got a chance in a small way to experience what times were like during that time period.

For further information about viewing the collections or for information on the types of internships available with Special Collections and University Archives please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu

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.

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 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.