Tag Archives: digital collections

Guess who’s turning 40? Stauffer Chapel (slideshow)

Stauffer ChapelPepperdine University’s own “little chapel on the hill” turns 40 years old today. Stauffer Chapel was dedicated on November 4, 1973 about one year after Pepperdine’s Malibu campus opened its doors. Named for longtime Pepperdine supporter Beverly Stauffer, the chapel stands at the southern edge of campus overlooking the wide vista of the Pacific Ocean. Encased by 3,000 square feet of stained glass, Stauffer Chapel is the spiritual heart of campus, providing a sanctuary for worship, prayer, song, or quiet reflection.

Our chapel has played this role now for four decades. To mark this milestone, we’ve assembled a brief slideshow of archival photos from Stauffer Chapel’s history. All of these images can also be found in the Pepperdine Digital Collections. Enjoy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Introducing Historypin: Putting Pepperdine history on the map

Search for historic photos near you with the Historypin mobile app

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of its new channel with Historypin.com, a website and mobile application that allows the pinning of historical photographs, audio recordings, and moving image files to Google Maps. Would you like to see the Malibu hills in 1969 before the arrival of Pepperdine University, overlaid seamlessly with the current Google street view? Or perhaps you’d like to take a drive across the newly opened San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in 1940? You can do all of these things—and more—in our new, interactive Historypin.com channel.

Historypin.com, developed by the nonprofit We Are What We Do in partnership with Google Maps, facilitates social mapping, in which individuals or institutions create a visual history of a particular spot on Earth through pinning digitized photographs (or other media) along with the stories that contextualize and enrich the history behind the images. Historypin calls this “fourth dimensional mapping,” a phenomenon that enables new ways for users to interact with historical photographs. For example, when you visit the Historypin website or mobile application, you can view the image, compare it with the current Google street view (when available), add your own stories to the image feed, use your smart phone to take a “Historypin Repeat” of the same scene, or link to the original image in our digital collections. In addition to searching or browsing images via the map, you can interact with materials in thematic collections or go on virtual walking tours.

Pepperdine University Libraries is utilizing Historypin to further the twin goals of its Special Collections and University Archives department: to preserve and disseminate the history of Pepperdine University and serve as the primary historical repository for the Malibu community. In addition to creating our own Historypin collections and tours, we are leveraging the unique strengths of Historypin to foster collaborations with other university departments and make new inroads into the Malibu community.

New Cold War era Herschensohn film online: Today’s featured digital object

Where were you at 5:02? May 18th, 1965, that is. Attending a Hindu wedding in New Delhi? Riding a roller coaster in Mexico City? Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rio de Janeiro? Or perhaps being born in San Diego? These are just some of the events captured by the film Eulogy to 5:02, written and produced by Bruce Herschensohn for the United States Information Agency in 1965. Narrated by Richard Burton, the 27-minute film presents twenty segments—each one-minute long—depicting a “minute lived in freedom” in twenty locations around the world. That minute? 5:02 Greenwich Mean Time on May 18th, 1965.

Filmmaker Bruce Herschensohn in 1965

It was a minute of no particular importance, but, as the opening narration tells us, “for the two-thirds of the world who lived in freedom on May the 18th, 5:02 was significant, for it was another minute spent in doing what they chose to do. Though their freedom went on as unnoticed as the time, 5:02 was theirs, to work if they wanted to work, to dream if they wanted to dream, to live as they wanted to live.”

Although clearly crafted for an explicit purpose at the height of the Cold War, Eulogy to 5:02 presents the viewer with a remarkable, multinational time capsule depicting life on Earth nearly 50 years ago. Tahitian women wash clothes on the beach as the sun rises; Arab construction workers build high-rise apartments in the planned-city of Ashdod, Israel; and youngsters play children’s games on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark. A little closer to home, a salesman maneuvers his convertible through the labyrinthine freeway system of Los Angeles, where it is 9:02 AM (the lack of traffic congestion would startle today’s commuter). All scenes are scored with Herschensohn’s lively and dramatic music.

At least as interesting as the film itself is the story behind its creation. This story plays out in the digitized scripts, production notes, and correspondence of the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Coordinating the simultaneous filming of twenty sequences in twenty global locations is a significant task—as is fudging the truth when circumstances don’t quite work out. Piecing this story together reveals as much about history and politics as it does about making movies.

Storyboard and still from "Eulogy to 5:02" refugee sequence

For example, the concluding one-minute segment of the film depicts the arrival of refugees to free soil. Herschensohn originally scripted the sequence with mainland Chinese seeking refuge in Hong Kong, but circumstances required the relocation of the scene to Vietnam. His instructions to the local film crew (employed by the USIA) included the following: “This is one of our main propaganda sequences and needs to come off with a real feeling of compassion. The family or families need to evoke a real empathy from the audience and no corn. The faces should be great old wrinkled faces as well as unknowing youth…” On May 24th, 1965, Ed Hunter of the USIA film crew in Saigon wrote to Herschensohn with news of the successful, although arduous night of filming. “I risked my life, got soaked to the skin, and was arrested four times during the shooting, if you like the footage and can’t pay, send a present.” The night before the film shoot, he explains, Vietcong disguised as Marines attacked an outpost only a quarter of a mile from the location. Hunter also references the bombing of the US embassy less than two months earlier, which his crew also documented. “Ghastly. Truly ghastly.” He writes of the embassy: “We now have safety glass in our office windows, and they have bricked up the library downstairs. Come back to Saigon…”

See the results for yourself. Click here to watch Eulogy to 5:02 in its entirety and then explore the materials related to the film in the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Enjoy.

Rare Martin Luther King, Jr. recording unearthed in University Archives—Listen online

In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to make available this rare audio recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in Los Angeles on the moral imperative of civil rights in 1964. Recently digitized, the complete recording is now available for online listening in our Historic Sound Recordings digital collection.

Dr. King delivered this forty-minute speech as the keynote speaker of “Religious Witness for Human Dignity,” a multi-faith event held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on May 31, 1964. Dr. King’s speech passionately and persuasively takes on the issues of race relations and human dignity, touching on topics of segregation, poverty, civil rights, and non-violent resistance. He evokes the memory of the late John F. Kennedy while urging for the quick passage of the Civil Rights Act, and his speech is immediately followed by a mass performance of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

Dr. King is briefly introduced by the Rev. Marvin T. Robinson, pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church of Pasadena, California, and President of the Western Christian Leadership Conference. The event, attended by approximately 15,000 people, was cosponsored by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations.

This recording captures Dr. King at a critical moment in American history and his own evolution as a public figure. This speech comes nine months after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and about four months before he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Civil Rights Act, stalled in the Senate by a filibuster, would be signed into law a month later on July 2.

The Special Collections and University Archives department of Pepperdine University Libraries came into possession of the nondescript reel of tape containing this historic speech by way of Fred Casmir, a former Communications professor. Dr. Casmir had apparently acquired the recording for use in his classes, and it arrived to us in a large box, hidden among more mundane audiovisual materials. It is our great honor to share this recording with the world and contribute another small piece to the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to listen online.

Student life 25 years ago today: Today’s featured digital object

In February of 1988, Pepperdine University’s alumni newspaper, The Pepperdine Voice, featured a photo spread titled “A Day in the Life of Pepperdine University.” The introductory text read:

“On Thursday, Jan. 7, 1988, seven photographers were deployed to scour all areas of campus to capture the daily activities of Pepperdine on film…What sort of day was Jan. 7? It was an ordinary day in Pepperdine life, and that is why it was chosen—to show the miracle of the mundane—students, faculty and staff at work, at play, in solitude and in action.”

The original prints and negatives produced for this project are now housed in our University Archives and were recently scanned for the University Archives Photograph (digital) Collection. Continuing our celebration of 40 years in Malibu, I encourage you to view this photographic time capsule of student life in the ‘80s. Technology and fashion may have changed, but I think you’ll agree that the “Waves spirit” captured in these photos is timeless.

View the slideshow, or explore these photos in our digital collections.

Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

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