Contribution to “America in Color”

The producers took the image of the team picture taken at the first season and colored it for the program. [source: University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection]

About a year ago we were contacted by a British company asking for materials about the early history of the University of Miami including images. Last month they contacted us for another inquiry so I asked them if they had created a program using the materials we had provided.

They said yes and told me that the series they produced titled “America in Color” would start airing in July on Smithsonian Channel. Please read the recent Miami New Times’ story (link below) to find out how the series was created as well as to watch the Miami segment from the Episode titled “The 1920s.” I have never seen such a vivid presentation of the Great Hurricane of 1926.

Read Miami New Times article “Here’s Amazing Footage of the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 Restored in Full Color”

I googled to look for more about Ralph Earle, who was the movie cameraman captured the hurricane footage, and was surprised to find so many websites and videos about the Great Hurricane of 1926 are available on the Internet.

The University of Miami Libraries is listed as a contributor among the prestigious institutions around the country.

Please go to the link below to find out more about the 5-part series “America in Color.” A full story of Episode 1, as well as snippets from the rest of the episodes, are available at the website.

Smithsonian Channel’s website “America in Color”



UM’s Historical Image on the Cover of “Preservation Today”!

The University of Miami’s two most iconic historical images were featured in the inaugural issue of “Preservation Today” published by Date Heritage Trust in May 2017.

We were pleasantly surprised when we saw the cover of the inaugural issue of “Preservation Today,” which was published in May by Dade Heritage Trust. On the cover is the iconic historical image of the University of Miami taken on January 14, 1925 at the groundbreaking ceremony of Solomon G. Merrick Administration Building.

The elegantly dressed dignitaries gathered here are (from left to right) Phineas Paist, architect for Coral Gables; Denman Fink, artist, artistic advisor to George Merrick, and Professor of Architecture and Art at UM ; Frederic Zeigen, Managing Regent of the University of Miami; Myrtle Zeigen; Bertha M. Foster, Regent and first Dean of the School of Music; and Clara Price, wife of Regent Judge Mitchell D. Price.

Also, the feature story of the publication “How to Succeed in Business: Miami’s Oldest Businesses Share their Secrets of Survival” written by Karen Buchsbaum displays the another iconic image of the University “Keep the World Coming to Florida, Build the University of Miami” illustrated by Denman Fink circa 1925. The author contacted the UM’s University Communications for assistance in April, we provided her introduction to UM history and offered her available images on the early days of the university, and she selected the two impressive images for the publication.

The promotional poster “Keep the World Coming to Florida, Build the University of Miami” was illustrated by Denman Fink circa 1925. He was a nationally known artist, artistic advisor to George Merrick, and Professor of Architecture and Art at UM.

This informative and educational publication advocates preservation of architectural, environmental, and cultural heritage of the Miami-Dade County. We look forward to assisting them again in the near future because we think Richter’s distinctive collections (Cuban Heritage Collection, Special Collections, and University Archives) could contribute to their mission by providing research assistance and historical materials.



New Addition to the UM Campus Architecture Collection

We were excited to receive over 360 blueprints of the residence halls, which my Campus Planning & Development colleague has not seen before.

Two months ago we were delighted to receive a phone call offering over 300 never-before-seen architectural blueprints of UM buildings from the 1960s. They are plans of the UM’s residence halls designed by the Miami firm Connell, Pierce, Garland, and Freeman in 1967 and 1968. The donor of this wonderful gift is Mr. Lorenzo Otero Jr., a retired architectural draftsman, who studied at the University of Miami in the 1950s and worked for several architectural firms in Miami for four decades.

We appreciate very much the kindness of Mr. Otero’s two grandsons, Benjamin and Brian, who brought us the huge pile of the drawings in the rain saying that “we did not want to throw them away because we thought they could be valuable for the University.” They were very happy to find out that we would create an inventory list of all the drawings donated, preserve them with a help of Richter’s Preservation and Conservation specialist, and make them accessible for the University and the public.

I would like to share with you a picture of Mr. Otero when he was a Cane. I also looked up Mrs. Otero (maiden name Sylvia Masson) because the brothers told me their grandparents met when they were students at the U. Below please see their pictures from the 1952 and 1955 Ibis yearbook.

Meet Mr. Lorenzo Otero, Jr. in the lower right corner of the group photo fond in the 1955 Ibis yearbook.

Meet Mrs. Sylvia Otero in the lower right corner of the group photo found in the 1952 Ibis yearbook. You can also see her graduate portrait (1954 yearbook) as well as her name in the Spring 1955 commencement program.

Architectural drawings, blueprints, and historical images of the University of Miami’s buildings are important components of the University Archives. The collection has been developed in close coordination with UM’s Campus Planning and Development Office, and it has provided excellent materials for our exhibitions, University’s anniversaries and celebrations, and the School of Architecture’s faculty and students. Please go to the links below to find out more about the collection.

Click here for the archival collection of the UM Campus Architecture Collection and its downloadable container list (inventory list in PDF format)

Click here for the digitized blueprints from the UM Campus Architecture Collection

Click here for the digitized historical images of the UM’s buildings and campuses



Media Reaction to “First Black Graduate Project”

The article was published on February 16th online and the printed article came out on the 19th in the Neighbors section.

Because of the PR effort of the hard-working organizers of the First Black Graduates Project, their program has been receiving favorable media attention. Please go to the links below for two articles. The exposure is wonderful for us because they mention our current exhibition “We Were Pioneers.”

Miami Herald, February 16, 2017 article by Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields

University of Miami News, February 10, 2017 by By Robert C. Jones, Jr.

Also, stay tuned in on WVUM this Friday from 8 PM to 10 PM and Saturday from 1 PM to 3 PM because several UTrailblazers will appear on their programs!

WVUM 90.5FM – Listen Live



Never-seen Images from the Early 1960s Donated

We have recently received over 100 never-seen images of the University of Miami from the early 1960s. This wonderful gift was given to us by Mr. Richard Riker, who was a former photographer for Ibis when he studied at the U.

I think these pictures were taken at the 1963 Homecoming.

In late January, Mr. Riker contacted us asking if we wanted to receive images of Richter Library he took during construction of the building in 1962. We were thrilled to accept his offer because we do not have many images of Richter under construction in color. I sent him a thank you note right away, then he sent us additional images of the University.

These candid pictures reveal the mood of the campus in 1960.

I researched our digital resources and found his pictures listed as Ibis photographer. In the Office of the President Records, I found out he was the President of Gamma Theta Upsilon for the academic year 1964-65. Also, I learned he received his B.A. in 1964 in the recently digitized Commencement Program Collection.

I found him listed in the 1963 Ibis under Photographers section.

Mr. Riker, thank you so much for donating us these wonderful images! To find out more about donated images, please go to the link below for the “Richard Riker Photograph Collection.”

Richard Riker Photograph Collection



Now On View – Our New Exhibition “We Were Pioneers”

Entrance view of the exhibition “We Were Pioneers.”

The University Archives is pleased to announce a new exhibition “We Were Pioneers” for the African American History Month to honor the University of Miami’s African-American Students, Faculty, and Administrators of the 1960s and 1970s.

Front wall of the exhibition space honors 12 student UTrailbrazers.

The exhibition features publications, images, memorabilia, and other artifacts from the University Archives’s collection in 9 exhibition cases and surrounding walls on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library. You will be able to find out University of Miami’s desegregation history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic visit to the University, United Black Students, first African-American athletes, first African-American faculty and administrators, local resources on diversity, and so on in the exhibits. This exhibition also showcases Richter’s Special Collections’ materials on Miami’s desegregation and civil rights movement history.

We will create an online version of this exhibition shortly so that future faculty and students can research the materials and resources we put together for the exhibition. Also, we hope this exhibition will inspire our fellow colleagues as well as former and current Canes to archive with us.

Have you thought U’s centennial celebration is only 8 years away? We hope we will be able to curate a monumental exhibition to celebrate the U’s centennial jubilee with historical materials from all the schools, departments, and student groups of the University.

Rear wall of the exhibition space honors UTrailbrazer faculty and administrators.

The rich contents of “Malaika,” published by the United Black Students in the 1970s and 1980s, made possible for us to curate the exhibition.



Now Accessible: The University Communications Collection

The collection, donated in 75 large moving boxes in 2013, is now neatly organized by approximately 4.000 topics and housed in acid free archival folders and boxes. Richter provides optimal environment for storage of our archival collections in the library as well as the offsite storage facility.

The collection, donated in 75 large moving boxes in 2013, is now neatly organized by approximately 4.000 topics and housed in acid free archival folders and boxes. Richter provides optimal environment for storage of our archival collections in the library and at the offsite storage facility.

The University Archives is pleased to announce the addition of a new essential historical resource to our collections, the UM University Communications Collection.

The collection contains historical images, videos, publications, and news clippings of the University from the 1980s to the 2000s, which have never been available at the Archives before. We believe it is going to be one of the most frequently researched materials by the University community to research for their anniversaries and other celebrations.

We appreciate very much the University Communications colleagues who trusted us to transfer such important materials to be archived. They came in 75 large moving boxes in 2013, and the Archives staff and student assistants worked throughout 2016 to sort everything in the boxes, compiled a massive 266-page-long inventory list, and stored them in 135 archival boxes.

Please go to the link below to see the collection record. Also, please click the link provided at “Container List (PDF)” to download the inventory list. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.

Click here for the collection record



Melvin Ladson was the first Black student enrolled in 1961!

The Miami News reported on June 19, 1961 that fist integrated session went all serene at the University.

The Miami News reported on June 19, 1961 that fist integrated session went all serene at the University.

We are extremely excited to discover this never-been-reported information in The Miami News article published on June 19, 1961, because it is about the first Black student enrolled at the University of Miami in the summer of the first integrated session.

The student’s name was Melvin Ladson, who graduated George Washington Carver High School and was a brilliant student with an IQ of 144. He began college work at 15, got his master’s degree at 21, and he was already working as a speech therapist in Atlanta when he enrolled at the U at 24. Please click the above image to read the whole story.

The article also reported that there were approximately 40 Black students enrolled for the first year of the integration. This is also a new discovery for us because we used to think there were 19 students enrolled. Why isn’t there an exact figure? It is interesting to know that enrollment records did not reflect the race of the students.

FYI, it is a well-known historical fact that Mr. Benny O’Berry was the first African American student to graduate with a degree. He completed a Bachelor of Science degree in the School of Education and received his diploma in 1962 at the age of 46.



Legendary Alum Makes Visit to the Archives

Meet Mr. Ray Bellamy who visited the University Archives on September 28, 2016 (Photo by Cory Czajkowski, Special Collections)

Pioneering UM alum Ray Bellamy visited the University Archives on September 28, 2016 (Photo by Cory Czajkowski, Special Collections).

By Koichi Tasa, University Archivist

Even when I was a newly hired University Archivist in fall 2007, I knew the name Ray Bellamy, his face, and his historical importance for the University as the first black athlete (1967) and the first black president of the student government (1971) from Dr. Charlton Tebeau’s 1976 publication The University of Miami: A Golden Anniversary History, 1926-1976.

So, the staff of the University Archives were thrilled to meet the legendary alumnus during his recent visit to Miami in the last week of September. He first visited the current UM Libraries exhibition Miami Celebrates: The Orange Bowl Festival, 1930s-1990s, then came up to the 8th floor to review our materials on him as well as our historical collections of black students and faculty.

I was happy to find the picture of this historic moment in the February 1, 2002 issue of The Herald Tribune.

The Herald Tribune, February 1, 2002.

He talked to us about his experience when at the University in the midst of the racial integration struggle in Miami.

You can find out a lot about Mr. Bellamy’s accomplishments on the Internet and YouTube as well as in numerous articles and publications of the University. I would like to show you a compelling documentary I found on YouTube titled Changing the Game: a Deep South Conflict, a Compromise of Attitudes, which was created by David and Matt Mariutto (see below). I think this is not only a great piece on Mr. Bellamy but also a powerful teaching material on diversity.

Mr. Bellamy was brought to us by Ms. Denise Mincey-Mills, who is one of the co-chairs of the Alumni Association’s program “First Black Graduates Project,” which celebrates the first black graduates of the University of Miami in the 1960s and the 1970s. Please go to the link below for further information about the program, which takes place on February 24 and 25, 2017.

Ms. Mincey-Mills (pictured on the right) has been a driving force for the First Black Graduates Projects. We met her in January 2015, when she visited us to research Ibis yearbooks from the 1960s to identify black students. (Photo by Cory Czajkowski, Special Collections)

Ms. Mincey-Mills (pictured on the right) is a driving force behind the the First Black Graduates Project. She visited us first in January 2015 to research Ibis yearbooks from the 1960s to identify black students. (Photo by Cory Czajkowski, Special Collections)

Included in the program is a visit to the Otto G. Richter Library to view an exhibition “U Trailblazers – Black Students and Faculty Who Broke Color Barrier in the 1960s and the 1970s” (*tentative title) curated by the University Archives for the Black History Month as well as a reception offered by Richter and a lecture by UM’s history professor Dr. Donald Spivey.

See also: Miami Magazine article on the First Black Graduates Project

(Courtesy of Hurricanesports.com / Release: 2/04/2013)



American Football in Cuba

A reporter from the prestigious NCAA magazine “Champion” contacted us last week. She asked us a permission to use our image for their future story about the 50-year history of playing American football in Cuba. Here is the image they wanted to use.

UM vs. University of Havana game was held on November 25, 1926 on CG campus.

UM vs. University of Havana game was held on November 25, 1926 on CG campus.

Unfortunately, we do not have the original item in print in our collection, but I am very hopeful to discover it when we start processing the University of Miami Athletics Collection later this academic year. We will incorporate our existing collections of athletic programs, organizational records, and old video tapes into one comprehensive collection which ranges from the 1920s to the early 2000s.

(Click here for the collection record “University of Miami Athletics Collection”)

I got interested in the subject, searched the Internet, and found the two blog stories below. I am very happy to discover Richter’s Cuban Heritage Collection and Univeristy Archives contributed to the two online publications.

American Football in Cuba: A Brief Introduction

Cuba: 50 Years of Playing American Football

A visual history of Miami Hurricanes football stadiums: from the Orange Bowl to Miami Gardens

UM’s athletic program has a huge following, so I anticipate that the Athletics Collection will attract lots of sports journalists as well as sports fans when processed.