IBIS Yearbook (1927-1959) Now Available Online

IBIS, the University of Miami’s yearbook, has been published annually since 1927. Click the image to browse the digital collection.

IBIS, the University of Miami’s yearbook, has been published annually since 1927. Click the image to browse the collection.

The University of Miami Archives has recently completed a significant digitization project resulting in online access to one of the University’s oldest and most-cherished publications, IBIS yearbook. The first 33 volumes of IBIS, from 1927 to 1959, are now available for browsing and research through the University of Miami Libraries’ website. The collection is fully searchable by keyword, and images can be saved or printed for research or personal use.

Foreword from IBIS, 1927, stating “we hope [this yearbook] will prove as good a guide to those who follow as the blazed trail was to the settlers of the western frontier.” (Click to enlarge.)

Foreword from IBIS, 1927, stating “we hope [this yearbook] will prove as good a guide to those who follow as the blazed trail was to the settlers of the western frontier.” (Click to enlarge.)

The project, which began in fall 2013,  was completed in collaboration with the Libraries’ Preservation, Digital Production, Cataloging & Metadata, and Web & Application Development departments.

Housed at the University Archives in the Otto G. Richter Library, the entire yearbook collection is one of the most frequently researched archival resources by the UM community. It’s also considered a record of enduring historical value on subjects ranging from student life and campus activities to regional and national events. The publication is a frequent past recipient of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown Award, the highest honor for college yearbooks in the country.

You can visit the University Archives, located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact University Archivist Koichi Tasa for questions or suggestions on archiving and using historical resources of the University of Miami.

Browse the IBIS Yearbook Digital Collection »



Life in an Archive: Records of a Library Champion

Archived Photographs and Stories Preserve the Legacy of Dr. Archie McNeal

by Koichi Tasa, University Archivist

Dr. Archie McNeal, director of the Libraries who served from 1952 to 1979, oversaw the completion of the Otto G. Richter Library.

Dr. Archie McNeal, director of the Libraries who served from 1952 to 1979, oversaw the completion of the Otto G. Richter Library. 

Throughout Archives Month, University of Miami Libraries (UML) archivists have been sharing stories conveying the importance of access to archives and the unique and historical materials preserved in them. The University Archives is a resource that houses photographs, yearbooks, student newspapers, administrative records, memorabilia, and many other materials pertaining to UM history.

Weeks ago I exchanged a heartwarming correspondence with a community member who had found an Otto G. Richter Library brochure from the 1960s while going through family albums. She wondered if we’d be interested in adding it to our collections. She also mentioned being the niece of the late Dr. Archie L. McNeal, the first director of the University Libraries who served from 1952 to 1979. With more than thirty-five years having passed since Dr. McNeal’s retirement, the donor didn’t expect anyone currently at the Libraries to remember her uncle’s name, yet I knew the name quite well.

In fact, the important legacy of Dr. McNeal and his service to the University is one that is well preserved at the Archives: Dr. McNeal led the Libraries through an important phase of collection development, during which the Libraries’ holdings grew from 273,000 volumes to approximately 1.4 million volumes. He oversaw the construction of the Richter Library, completed in 1962, and is also well known for leading a number of important scholarly research initiatives.

Searching for Dr. McNeal’s name led quickly to a number of links to online records from his tenure, including archived articles from The Miami Hurricane describing some of the library programs initiated under his leadership and iconic photos from the 1950s through 1970s featuring Dr. McNeal in action at the library (such as the ones in this post). I was honored to be able to provide Dr. McNeal’s niece with these records that document his important work at the Libraries, and am happy to share them with you as a part of Archives Month. Check out more photos of this former director in UML’s Digital Collections for a glimpse into the early years of the library and an important time of growth for our University.

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Dr. Archie McNeal and Jay F. W. Pearson, former president of the University of Miami. 

Stay tuned throughout Archives Month for stories about how UM students, researchers, donors, and community members are breathing life into UM Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections. Happy Archives Month!



COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL: Train Approaching UM’s Student Union

marcia-headshot_thumbA Pick of the Week from

Special Collections of the UM Libraries

By Marcia Heath, University Archives technician

 

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Train approaching Student Union, University of Miami Office of Communications and Marketing Historical Photograph Collection [Collection in Process]

A recent and generous donation from the University of Miami’s Office of Communications and Marketing has provided us with several boxes of captivating photographs which hail as far back as the mid-1900s and capture the essence of university life from UM’s formative years to the present. The growth and transformation of our campus is well documented in these photographs through candid, everyday shots of students, faculty, and staff. The photographs also focus on a particularly interesting aspect of the University during the near decade in which UM owned its very own locomotive train line.

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The Gold Coast Railroad operated from 1958 to 1966. University of Miami Office of Communications and Marketing Historical Photograph Collection [Collection in Process]

How this even transpired was largely due to the efforts of several train enthusiasts in University of Miami’s early administration, who managed to convince the U.S. General Services Administration to lease a set of railroad tracks that had been located near the University of Miami South campus to the University to be turned into a fully operational train. The Miami Railroad Historical Society was then formed and placed in charge of the entire operation, and they officially named the line “The Gold Coast Railroad.” It remained in service from 1958 to 1966, acquiring new train carts along the way through generous donations and concentrated efforts from the administration, and eventually expanded enough to offer rides to the general public.

The Gold Coast Railroad was discontinued during the Cuban Missile Crisis so that the land could be used by the CIA. The train line never reopened. However, the cherished memories of this once treasured University feature are well preserved through these photos. Be sure to visit the University Archives at the Otto G. Richter Library to view this collection.

COOLCRAZYBEAUTIFUL is written by Yvette Yurubi and showcases unique items at Special Collections and the University Archives discovered by librarians and staff members while on the job. They gather monthly for “Show and Tell” to present their top finds. You too can experience these items up close, and access other rare and interesting treasures, by visiting Special Collections and the University Archives, located on the 8th floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.



UM Libraries’ Archivists Kick Off “Life in an Archive” Series

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by Jay Sylvestre, Special Collections Librarian

October has been designated by the Society of American Archives as Archives Month, a collaborative effort by professional organizations, libraries, and archives around the nation to highlight the importance of the records we hold and to raise public awareness about the value of historical records and collections.

To celebrate Archives Month, archivists and librarians from UM Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections will be sharing stories from our experiences working in the archives at the University of Miami. The series will be called “Life in an Archive,” focusing on the stories of people who have used and/or donated to our collections.

Stories will be told from the perspective of archivists who have had the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world:

  • University Archivist Koichi Tasa will talk about leading UM alumni and their family members to photographs and records from their time at UM.
  • Cuban Heritage Collection Librarian Meiyolet Méndez and Archivist Natalie Baur will discuss helping researchers make new discoveries on Cuba and its diaspora.
  • Special Collections Librarian Jay Sylvestre and Manuscripts Librarian Beatrice Skokan will show how artist’s books, zines, and other unique materials held at Special Collections have impacted people’s lives.
  • Electronic Records Archivist Laura Capell and Visiting Archivist Emily Gibson will share stories from working with the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records Collection.

It is interactions like these with members of our community that provide the archivists and librarians at UM Libraries with a rich set of stories to share. Stay tuned for posts this month about alumni, veterans, researchers, and donors who have allowed us to be a part of their journey. I hope that you enjoy reading our stories as much as we enjoy sharing them.

Happy Archives Month!



“U of M Opened Here”

Dr. William Butler (left) and Dr. Henry King Stanford (right) in front of the sign “U of M Opened Here,” 2007.

This photograph features two historic UM administrators at the site of the Anastasia Building, known as the “Cardboard College,” near downtown Coral Gables. Dr. William Butler (Vice President for Student Affairs and Professor of Education beginning in 1965) and Dr. Henry King Stanford (President of the University from 1962 to 1981) worked at UM’s opening campus until 1967, when the University moved to its current location. Please click here to see pictures and learn more about the old “Cardboard College.”

The photograph was one of dozens donated by Dr. Butler as documentation of his career and the University’s activities from 1942. Dr. Butler was a UM professor for thirty-two years and retired in 1997. He is the founder of the William R. Butler Volunteer Service Center, and the author of Embracing the World: the University of Miami, from Cardboard College to International and Global Acclaim (2008). He has supported the University Archives with research initiatives and donated his video interview series, “Conversations with Dr. William Butler, 1995–2004.”

From the University Archives blog



UM Libraries Exhibition Commemorates Black History Month

by Sarah Block, Libraries Communications

Raymond Bellamy clutched the iron arrow in front of his chest as he marched across the University of Miami campus in the 1970s, leading the induction ceremony for the Iron Arrow Honor Society. One of the first African-Americans to be a part of the elite organization, he wore a tribal patchwork jacket over his plain clothes, proudly holding the instrument, as tradition dictates, for tapping new members.

“Bellamy had a natural ability to lead,” said Marcia Heath, research services supervisor at the University Archives, where Bellamy’s participation in the tapping ceremony is documented in the Iron Arrow Collection, 1968–1972. The photograph of the march is featured in The Truth Marches On, an exhibition at the Otto G. Richter Library commemorating February’s Black History Month through March. The sun peaks through the trees in the background of the photograph and overwhelms Bellamy’s tall figure as he forges ahead.

Raymond Bellamy leading the Iron Arrow tapping ceremony.

Bellamy enrolled just a few years after the University embraced racial integration, making him the Hurricanes’ first African-American football player. With the University’s financial support, he also was the first African-American player to receive a football scholarship from a major university in the Southeast. A near-fatal car accident his junior year derailed his athletic career, but the following year he decided to try out for an entirely new position, student body president, and won.

The Truth Marches On is full of stories about challenges that were faced with tenacity and resilience, its name inspired by a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after the deaths of three civil rights activists.

The lead curator of the exhibition, manuscripts librarian Beatrice Skokan, says she wanted many voices to tell the stories of black history. Displayed in a case about historic literature is a quote from Sula by Toni Morrison, telling the story of a woman who is unable to channel an artistic energy, which then becomes the source of her own destruction. “It describes the importance of expression for all,” Skokan said.

From the cover of March Book 1 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

The exhibition features materials about various African-American artists in the realms of music, television, pop culture—even comic books. The television case, for instance, provides mounted stills that help piece together the evolution from the days of minstrel shows and “blackface” through the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

“It shows ways in which minorities, who have been ‘othered’ historically, are now portrayed as an integral part of contemporary culture,” said Shannon Moreno, a circulation supervisor at UM Libraries. Moreno helped contribute materials from the Libraries’ circulations holdings, many of which also comprise a display for the topic of African-Americans in contemporary politics.

The case features symposia materials from Tavis Smiley’s The Covenant with Black America as well as Bell Hooks’ Ain’t I a Woman? “They are addressing the question of ‘What does it mean to be black today?’” Moreno said, adding that the discussion now also accounts for the black female experience.

President Obama on the cover of Still I Rise by Roland Owen Laird

The exhibition also provides reflection for a time when the topic of race was not yet discussed in the context of civil, or even human, rights. UM Libraries Special Collections contributed several original slave documents from its holdings, including handwritten letters from plantation owners on behalf of their slaves. One letter was carried by a slave identified as “Black Jesse.” It authorized the slave to work outside of the plantation, and detailed the percentage of future earnings he was obligated to send back to his master.

UM Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection  contributed primary source materials from its own holdings, including materials that reflect Cuban anthropologist Lydia Cabrera’s work  on Afro-Cuban culture during the mid-twentieth century. Cabrera’s most famous book, El Monte (The Wilderness), is an important text for practitioners of Afro-Cuban religions.

“She was studying Santeria, and she became part of the culture,” explained education and outreach librarian Lisa Baker. Cabrera’s works debunked sensationalized myths about African culture in Cuba, and helped to convey the richness of its many symbols and rituals.

The exhibition shares some of her original manuscript documents, and on the walls nearby hang celebrated portraits of the spiritual orichas, an important subject of Cabrera’s research.

Materials from The Lydia Cabrera Papers also appear in an ongoing exhibition at the CHC titled Out of the Shadows, commemorating the centenary of the birth of Afro-Cuban poet and writer Gastón Baquero, a corresponding literary force in Havana during the 1940s.

The Truth Marches On also includes materials related to Haitian Vodou, some of which partly comprise the written and photographic works of UM faculty members Kate Ramsey (The Spirits and the Law) and Maggie Steber (The Audacity of Beauty). A series of Steber’s large-format prints are featured in the exhibition, providing vivid insights into daily life in Haiti, which she will be discussing at an event presented by UM Libraries Special Collections at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 20, at Richter Library. A reception will precede the talk at 6 p.m.

Photo by Maggie Steber

“Maggie’s photos show there is beauty even in the face of great tragedy,” Skokan said, referring specifically to a photograph in the exhibition that captures a man studying by candlelight the faces of political candidates on an electoral ballot. She explained that images of candidates’ faces were used rather than a list of names due to the country’s high illiteracy rates. “That man was probably voting for the first time in his life,” Skokan said.

The election, which took place following the collapse of a thirty-year dictatorship in the late 1980s, resulted in the brief presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who attempted sweeping reforms on behalf of the country’s poor before he was overthrown by a coup. His photograph appears in the exhibition’s religion display. Steber captured him in his white suit, resting his head on a doorway after learning of a firebombing of a building that killed four children.

The wall of Steber’s photography ends with a portrait of Philomène, a young Haitian girl, posing in her village of Beauchamps. She is leaning against a school wall, her head tilted slightly to the left, as her eyes drift beyond the camera, leading the viewer to wonder where her thoughts may lie.

The Truth Marches On is on display at the Richter Library through March. The exhibition is made possible in part by the Lynda and Michael Gordon Exhibition Program.





Southern Suns and Sky Blue Water: A University of Miami Libraries Exhibition

Exhibition Shines on Alma Mater, Alumni

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

University of Miami Libraries’ University Archives unveils an exhibition highlighting the heyday of three generations of alumni heading back to UM for Homecoming Weekend to celebrate their 50th, 25th, and 10th-year class reunions.

The exhibition, titled Southern Suns and Sky Blue Water, will be on display from November through January 2014 at Otto G. Richter Library, featuring a collection of significant photographs, fanfare, memorabilia, and publications that reflect student life at the University during the 1960s, 1980s, and early 2000s.

“There is a vibrant history here at UM,” says Koichi Tasa, University Archivist and lead curator of this exhibition. He says the exhibition’s title, which is the first line of the University’s Alma Mater, alludes to the timeless backdrop that unifies University athletics, student activities, and campus events across many generations.

Among the exhibition’s ’60s generation mementos is a vintage photograph of soul music pioneer Ray Charles performing at the UM Homecoming Concert in 1963, just two years after the University officially desegregated the campus. Research Services Supervisor Marcia Heath, a curator of the exhibition, said that Charles’s performance was a catalyst in raising morale among the student body during the racially charged period.

“These materials really show us where we’re coming from…how far we’ve come,” she said, also referring to transformations in the University’s physical campus. One photograph taken in 1962 of Richter Library shows completion of the main floors and stacks addition, which earned a design award by Florida Architect in 1964. The library now houses a print collection of over four million volumes.

The exhibition, also curated by Education and Outreach Librarian William Jacobs and Special Collections Research Assistant Steve Hersh, includes IBIS yearbook spreads chronicling the evolution of traditions like Carni Gras, where students in the ’60s and ’80s flocked in high gear to embrace the Carnival spirit.

The exhibition even houses traditional fanfare such as a dink, once-required headgear sported during the first weeks of the semester by freshmen until Miami’s first touchdown, and then tossed into the air. “Like the world, the University is changing daily,” said Cynthia Cochran, Director of Alumni Programs. “The opportunity to visit some artifacts from those periods only enriches [alumni’s] visit back to campus, for some of whom it has been 50 years,” Cochran said.

Since he started at the University Archives in 2007, Tasa has worked closely with the UM Alumni Association. In 2010, artist Jacobina Trump created a mural at the Alumni Center, inspired by collection materials, conveying an unchanging horizon over the many generations to walk the campus. Like the exhibition, it also bears the words Southern Suns and Sky Blue Water. “Those words hit home for us all,” Tasa said.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the Lynda and Michael Gordon Exhibition Program.



Hispanic Heritage Month 2013

A University Libraries Exhibition

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, the University of Miami Libraries is displaying an exhibit celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Hispanic community in the United States. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for sharing and honoring the histories, cultures, and contributions of those who have come to the States from, or whose ancestors came from, Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Discover books, movies, and music that may be borrowed and enjoyed at home, and peruse rare photographs, one-of-a-kind artists’ books, musical scores, and literary manuscripts.
On view are selections from the Libraries’ many distinctive areas, including materials from Special Collections, the Cuban Heritage Collection, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library, and the University Archives, all celebrating Hispanic and Latino/a history, art, and culture. Learn more about the exhibition »



University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections website

The University of Miami Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of the newly revised University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections website. The refreshed design includes enhanced zoom and resizing tools; sharing feature; re-organized introductory collection landing and browsing pages; and an easy-to use search and refine interface.

The digital repository includes over 70 digital collections with over 50,000 items that contain cross-searchable materials. These rich, searchable collections include sheet music, photographs, media, manuscripts, correspondence, interviews, books, periodicals and other textual materials.  Many of these collections have substantial materials covering events and history within South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean.

Direct access to collection resources is found on the Library’s homepage.  Access to the collections, as well as descriptions, finding aids, exhibits and associated resources are found on the collection ‘landing pages.’   From the landing pages you may go directly to the digital materials by clicking “Browse All” in the navigation menu or the title of the collection.

The following are popular collections on the Digital Collections site: