Tag Archives: Archival Collections


Pepperdine during World War II: Remembering “On the Beam”

On_the_beam_graphicIn September of 1944, as Allied efforts in World War II neared crescendo, George Pepperdine College (GPC) reported 350 students in service to the nation. Total enrollment at the time was only 418. Many students, such as basketball star June Tuggle, put their education on hold to serve in the armed forces. As a labor of love, GPC basketball coach Al O. Duer started a monthly newsletter called On the Beam in order to maintain communications with GPC students and alumni serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Second World War. Carrying the motto “Dedicated to Young Pepperdiners in the Service,” the newsletter ran from June 1943 to at least January 1946. Coach Duer, who edited the newsletter, often closed his monthly message with: “Keep those chins up and stay ‘on the beam’.” The publication included news updates about student and alumni wartime activities and deployments, including photographs and contact information. On the Beam was a critical resource for GPC students, faculty, and friends on the home front who sent letters and care packages to the troops overseas. The newsletter claimed a circulation of 4,500 by July 1945.

Of course, not every GPC student would return from the war. In February 1945, On the Beam retroactively reported the death of Pfc. June Tuggle, the first Pepperdine casualty of the war. There would be five others: Robert Carter, Bruce Munday, Charles Stivers, Hugh McCullough, and Jack Slade. In this 70th anniversary year of Allied victory in World War II—and on this Veteran’s Day—Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce the fully searchable online publication of On the Beam in Pepperdine Digital Collections. We extend a very grateful thanks to Pepperdine veterans of past and present, and to all veterans everywhere.

Cover of "On the Beam," May 1945

Cover of “On the Beam,” May 1945

Photo spread of GPC servicemen in "On the Beam"

Photo spread of GPC servicemen in “On the Beam”

Trainees in silhouette during bazooka training at Fort Ord

Rare, Intimate Korean War Photos Published Online for the First Time

Trainees in silhouette during bazooka training at Fort Ord

Trainees in silhouette during bazooka training at Fort Ord

On Sunday, June 4th, 1950, Hanson A. Williams, school photographer and editor of the yearbook, graduated from George Pepperdine College in Los Angeles, California. Three weeks later, in the early hours of June 25th half a world away, North Korean soldiers with Russian tanks crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea, launching what would become known as the Korean War (1950-53). By the close of the year, Williams, only twenty-two years old, found himself drafted and engaged in basic training at Fort Ord, up the coast near Monterey. He brought his camera with him, and his photography skills were soon put to use as a member of the U.S. Eighth Army Signal Corps serving in the Korean War.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, Pepperdine University Libraries are pleased to announce the launch of the Korean War Photography of Hanson A. Williams, a new online collection published through Pepperdine Digital Collections. This collection includes nearly 2,400 of Williams’ photographs, providing an intimate, rarely seen, and visually stunning vision of the Korean War. Images document basic training in California, the cramped journey by ship to Japan and Korea, and the full spectrum of the soldier’s experience during the protracted stalemate of 1952. Williams also took his camera into the villages of South Korea, documenting Korean culture and the resilience of a people devastated by war. All images derive from the Hanson A. Williams, Jr. Collection of Photographs and Negatives, which was generously donated to Pepperdine University by his widow, Talma (Tommie) Williams.

To create the digital collection, we scanned all negatives in the collection, scanning prints only when there was no corresponding negative. About 45 images are represented by both the negative and a representative print to demonstrate Williams’ work and creativity in the darkroom. Our goals in creating this digital collection were to honor Williams’ achievements, both as a photographer and as a veteran; to recognize the sacrifice made by all veterans of the Korean War; and to provide new resources for research and education on the Korean War, with an anticipated audience ranging from historians to K-12 students.

Although many photographic collections of “the Forgotten War” exist, the Williams collection is unique for its intimacy and breadth. As a fellow soldier, Williams captured the detail of daily life, whether in the barracks during basic training or the bunker-lined ridges of the Korean front line. Williams did some of his best work away from the battles when he turned his camera toward Korean subjects in the small towns, villages, and rural areas. Years later, he would reflect on the challenges in capturing a “true representation” of the Korean people: “Candid photographs are the best, but the Koreans knew every move I made, so it was difficult to get that true ‘candid shot.’ Once in awhile, I was lucky.” Since film and supplies were scarce, Williams did not have the luxury of bracketing his shots (taking several shots of the same subject using different camera settings), so he had to try his best with a single shot.

Writing more than half-a-century after the Korean War, Williams summarized his relationship with his Korean subjects as a photographer and a soldier:

“As I recall, my motives for photographing people in villages and small towns was to capture on film the spirit of survival. The utter destruction of war can make a hard life even more difficult. Food, shelter, and basic need override everything else. When you look at Korea today, they have won a victory over disaster. Fifty-four years later, they have turned their country into an international export economy. We in America can be proud that we contributed a small measure to their success. Without their determination, it could never have happened. Don’t believe my pictures…you won’t find the same Korea.”

Hanson Williams (right) and another soldier posing with human skull

Hanson Williams (right) and another soldier posing with human skull

Soldier reading on the USS Meigs en route to Korea

Soldier reading on the USS Meigs en route to Korea

Possible inspiration for "Painless Pole" Waldowski of M.A.S.H fame?

Possible inspiration for “Painless Pole” Waldowski of M.A.S.H fame?

Korean woman with a baby on her back sifting through rubble

Korean woman with a baby on her back sifting through rubble

Young Korean girl standing against war-damaged building

Young Korean girl standing against war-damaged building

Moore in Japan to film "The Yakuza" (1974)

Actor and director Micky Moore digital collection now open for research

Moore (right) as the boy Apostle Mark in DeMille's "The King of Kings" (1927)

Moore (right) as the boy Apostle Mark in DeMille’s “The King of Kings” (1927)

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the online release of the Micky Moore Collection, which adds over 2,500 digital objects to our growing film and television research area. The collection features the photographs, correspondence, media clippings, and production materials of Michael D. “Micky” Moore, a child actor turned film director whose career spanned the evolution of filmmaking from the silent era to the millennium. Between 1917 and 1929, Moore acted in over 40 films and worked with such silent screen stars as Mary Pickford, Jack Holt, Gloria Swanson, Lillian Gish, Conrad Nagel, and Tom Mix. During this time, Moore developed an influential relationship with legendary director Cecil B. DeMille, who became his mentor. Moore acted in four of DeMille’s films, including the epic The King of Kings (1927)DeMille helped Moore transition from childhood actor to a career behind the camera.


Moore (center) attending to a very wet Elvis for “King Creole” (1958)

From the 1960s on, Moore became well known as a reliable second unit director with a knack for action sequences. (The second unit, as the name implies, is a discrete crew that captures shots and sequences that do not, typically, require the primary actors). Moore worked with some of the most important filmmakers of the 20th century, including Norman Taurog, John Sturges, Franklin Shaffner, George Roy Hill, Sydney Pollack, John Huston, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Irvin Kershner.

This digital collection is based on the Michael D. “Micky” Moore Papers, generously donated to Pepperdine University by Moore’s daughters, Tricia Newman and Sandra Kastendiek-Drake. We are honored to be the custodians of Micky’s legacy.

Moore in Japan to film "The Yakuza" (1974)

Moore in Japan to film “The Yakuza” (1974)

Visitors to the site may search the collection or browse by series or film title. Additionally, we’ve pulled a selection of about 100 items into a highlights collection, an expansion of the exhibit Behind the Scenes: The Micky Moore Collection, held at Pepperdine University in 2014 and curated by Katie Richardson. Enjoy.

Pepperdine’s Fight against Communism: Announcing the Pepperdine College Freedom Forum digital collection

Freedom Forum luncheon in the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, 1960

Freedom Forum luncheon in the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, 1960

The Pepperdine College Freedom Forum was an annual, three-day seminar designed to promote American values as a defense against communism, held in Los Angeles between 1959 and 1971. The model for the Freedom Forum grew out of the National Education Program developed by George S. Benson, President of Harding College. At Pepperdine, President M. Norvel Young carried the idea forward, where it was sometimes referred to as the California Freedom Forum. The Freedom Forum was part of a larger constellation of anti-communist activities at Pepperdine College, which included a weekly Speaker’s Bureau, an anti-communist film series, and various citizen education and teacher training programs.

Billed as a “seminar to prepare leadership for American resistance to the spread of Communism and Socialism,” the inaugural Freedom Forum in 1959 featured talks such as “Communism’s Invisible Weapon—Brainwashing” and “What Socialism Has Delivered in Europe.” The featured speaker that first year was Senator John L. McClellan, who delivered the keynote “Can American Freedom Survive?” before a packed house of 800 California business leaders in the ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel.

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce that hundreds of program booklets, typed speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings, and interviews from all thirteen years of the Freedom Forum are now available to researchers and the interested public through the Pepperdine College Freedom Forum digital collection. This collection is a digitized subset of the Pepperdine College Freedom Forum Records available for research in our Special Collections and University Archives located in Payson Library on the Malibu campus.

Richard Arens of the House Committe on Un-American Activities speaking at the 1959 Freedom Forum

Richard Arens of the House Committe on Un-American Activities speaking at the 1959 Freedom Forum

Program cover featuring Senator Barry Goldwater, 1961

Program cover featuring Senator Barry Goldwater, 1961

Don McCulloch presenting on Communism and brainwashing at the 1959 Freedom Forum

Don McCulloch presenting on Communism and brainwashing at the 1959 Freedom Forum


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.

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.

Welcome Special Collections and University Archives Interns!

3 interns and 1 volunteer joined the Special Collections and University Archives team this semester. Each student is assigned a unique project that is tailored to their interests, desired learning outcomes, and departmental needs.

Lindsey Sommer is a second year graduate student in the UCLA MLIS program. She is processing the papers of Shirley Roper. Roper served as an assistant to numerous Pepperdine presidents including Benton, Davenport, White, and Young, as well as assistant to Provost Adrian. Roper worked at Pepperdine from 1963 to 2012. Her records play an integral role in documenting the history of Pepperdine through her near 50 years at the university and are a valuable asset to the university archives. In addition to processing the collection, Lindsey will create a finding aid and a MARC record for the collection.

Kendal Copeland is a junior at Pepperdine majoring in History. Kendal will enhance the finding aids of the Pepperdine Associates Records and the Pepperdine University Convocations, Founder’s Day and Presidential Inaugurations Collection. Kendal will describe the collections in greater detail, adding folder level description to Archivists’ Toolkit and updating the finding aids. She will also take part in an important preservation activity to preserve the student newspaper the Graphic.

Sophie Zhu is a junior at Pepperdine majoring in History. Sophie is processing a recent acquisition from Tommie Williams, wife of Hanson Williams, who served as a photographer at Pepperdine College. The new acquisition focuses solely on Williams’ time during the Korean War. Williams took many photos while in the military, stationed in Korea from 1951-1952. She will update the finding aid for this collection, Mylar, and organize the photographs.

Amber DelaCruz is a recent graduate of San Jose State University with a MLIS degree. Amber has worked on several projects including creating a finding aid for the Pepperdine Oral Histories Collection and also updating the Gavin McLeod Collection of Scripts. Currently, she is processing the Pepperdine University Campus Planning and Construction Collection.

Thanks interns and volunteers for all of your hard work!

Interested in interning in Special Collections and University Archives? Contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310)506-4323.

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.

Intern Completes Special Collections Project

Alexandra Mogan was one of two Pepperdine students to intern in Special Collections and University Archives during the fall semester.  Mogan was responsible for organizing, describing, and creating a finding aid for the Charles Marowitz collection of the Malibu Stage Company.  Marowitz, a well-known writer, director, and entrepreneur, is also the co-founder of the Malibu Stage Company. The collection Mogan processed includes Marowitz’s files from the period he served as Artistic Director of the company from 1990 to 2002. The finding aid is available here. For further information about viewing the collection or for information on the types of internships available with Special Collections please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu

This is what Mogan had to say about her experience interning in Special Collections and University Archives:

We live in a world spinning with information. While extraordinary, it also makes it difficult to discern what is truly factual. In our quest to discover truth we often turn to the publications of others who have performed the harrowing task of sifting through piles of information for us. Yet some unrelenting minds may still wonder:  where do researchers obtain their information? Where is the starting line for researchers’ race to the truth? The answer is in the Archives, the mecca for all researchers in search for information straight from the source. It is in these archival institutions that the past remains alive. Through careful preservation and processing of collections containing anything from books to photographs to surfboards, archivists prepare the past to answer questions for the future. Part historian, part scientist, part detective, archivists examine and record their findings as they take a journey back into time. With each collection they shadow the lives of the past, watching as history unfolds in front of their eyes. Archives give researchers direct access to primary sources, keeping the truth as pure and untouched as possible. As it was found, it has remained. During my internship at Pepperdine’s archives, I gained insight into this safe house of information. Born with a love for history, I have a natural hunger for information. Be it a book, a program on the History Channel or a historical marker on the side of the highway, I enjoy gathering information. As a student of History, I have learned to become critical of the information presented to me. Is it biased? Is it well-researched? Where have the facts come from? Flipping to the back of the book and looking at the cited works can only do so much. Through my internship I have discovered that archives make the past tangible; it brings the scholar face-to-face with his research. In the archives, the past has not been analyzed and put into a historian’s words; the information remains there, pure and untouched. It has been interesting being a part of the behind-the-scenes work before sources are made available to the researchers. To be an archivist is not simply to be a good processor and organizer. To be an archivist is to be the constructor of the foundation from which truth will be built upon.

Mogan working on her collection.