Sonny Capone, the only son of Al Capone, was a Cane!

Last December, we received an inquiry for pictures of Sonny Capone from a researcher in Europe who was writing a biography of the only son of the legendary gangster Al Capone. The Office of the President forwarded me the inquiry, I was able to tell my colleagues at the Office that it is a well-documented fact that Albert Francis “Sonny” Capone graduated from the U, and then they agreed for us to provide a permission for the author to use the image from the 1941 Ibis yearbook on the cover of the publication.

Below is the image the author selected, which is one of the only two pictures (both from Ibis) we could provide him from our collection. He kindly sent us a copy of the biography and we will add it to our permanent collection.

See the image below from the 1941 Ibis.

Albert Francis Capone (left) in the 1941 Ibis

See also the image below from the 1940 Ibis. He is listed as “Al Capone(!)”

He is listed as “Al Capone” in the 1940 Ibis

Go to the link below for The Miami Hurricane articles, where he appeared as “Sonny Capone” in 1938 and 1940 who loved golf and infatuated with Rosemarie Neil (could this be a new discovery?).

(Sonny Capone in TMG)

He appeared once as “Albert Capone” in the May 22, 1941 issue of TMG. (link below)

(Albert Capone in TMH)

I hope this example convinces the University community that the historical publications of the University of Miami are invaluable resources for genealogy research! Also, I would like to point out that the patron was able to discover our collections from thousands of miles away. It is the result of the successful collaboration of Richter departments to digitize the UM’s historical resources and make them accessible online.

The U’s Memorial Ceremony for Dr. King

The current media spotlights on Dr. Martin Luther King after 50 years of his death made me think we should repost the image below of the University of Miami’s memorial service held after 5 days of assassination we hold in our historical photo collection. The image was also exhibited at our February 2017 exhibition “We Were Pioneers,” which contained a display case on Dr. King’s historic visit to the University of Miami in 1966 as well as the memorial service for his tragic death in 1968.

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the U’s diversity history including Dr. King’s historic visit to the University in 1966.

“Services Will Be Held for King”
The Miami Hurricane, April 9, 1968

Upon Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968, the United Black Students and President Stanford organized a memorial service for Dr. King at the Whitten Student Union patio on April 9. Guest speakers included Senator Harry Cane, Rev. Theodore Gibson, Robert Sims, Cecile Rolle, and Archie Hardwick. Fourteen years after Dr. King’s death, President Stanford introduced Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. King, when she spoke at Gusman Hall on October 29, 1980.

The Miami Hurricane Collection
University Archives, University of Miami Libraries

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Also, read The Miami Hurricane article on the subject below:

(April 9, 1968 article on the service – the picture is the only image we could find from Dr. King’s historic visit to the U in 1966.)

Reading Room is Now Open!

We would like to inform our patrons that The Kislak Center Reading Room is now open as of March 16th, Monday. This is one of the proudest moments of the University of Miami Libraries from the University Archivist’s perspective! Below are the pictures of the beautiful space with the first patron I took this morning. FYI, I received a permission from the patron to share the image on social media.

Please come visit us (registration required at the entrance) to look at the Center as well as our exhibits on 1) The History of the Kislak Center Venue and 2) Pan-American Concept under the Past Administrations and the Frenk Administration. We will post a story shortly on the 2nd theme of our exhibition shortly.

Kislak Center Reading Room

Another View of the Reading Room

The History of the Kislak Center Venue

March 20, 2018 became one of the most important dates for the Otto G. Richter Library to remember. To help celebrate the dedication of the Kislak Center, the University Archives is offering two exhibitions in the beautifully renovated space. The first theme is “The History of the Kislak Center Venue,” and the other is “Pan-American Concept in the Past and Present Administrations.” Below, please see the text and exhibits from “The History of the Kislak Center Venue.”


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The History of the Kislak Center Venue

The opening of the Kislak Center’s Reading Room signals the triumphant return of the University of Miami Libraries’ premier scholarly and cultural presentation space.

Originally, this portion of the Library was built as Phase One of a central library for the University. When opened in 1960, it housed collections brought together from multiple storage locations and provided workspace for a few technical staff members. It was not open to students or faculty. Over the following two years, above and beside the structure that houses today’s Kislak Center, the main library was built and named for the benefactor Otto G. Richter.

In 1963, the University named the first floor of the Phase One facility in honor of George A. Brockway, who was the first significant donor to the University’s construction fund for a library building.

Over the next three decades, Brockway Lecture Hall was used for conferences, poetry and theatrical presentations, concerts, and exhibitions. It was also the gathering space for the very successful Friends of the University of Miami Library. Founded in 1960, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas served as the Friends’ first president.

Beginning in 1993, this space was used for other purposes, including collection storage. From 1999 until 2003, Brockway also housed the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Today’s opening of the Kislak Center brings the mission of this space full circle – once again celebrating a mission of scholarship, culture, and community engagement.


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President Ashe (Left) Receiving a Donation from George A. Brockway

Brockway was an upstate New York “Gentleman Farmer” who wintered in Miami. He made the first major gift toward construction of a central library. In recognition, the University named the Kislak Center venue the “George A. Brockway Lecture Hall” in 1963.

University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection
University Archives, University of Miami Libraries


Phase One of the Construction of the Otto G. Richter Library Completed in August 1960

The stand-alone Phase One structure was primarily used for collection storage. There was no public access.

University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection
University Archives, University of Miami Libraries


Interior View of the Lecture Hall
ca. 1963

University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection
University Archives, University of Miami Libraries


Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy holds a press conference in the Lecture Hall

The Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation provided a grant and the land toward construction of the Mailman Center for Child Development.

University of Miami University Communications Collection
University Archives, University of Miami Libraries


Richter Exhibition in the Lecture Hall

Richter Library’s Open House was an annual event in the 1980s to welcome the University family and showcase its services and collections. The Lecture Hall was the focal point of the festivities for the guests to browse historical materials and rare books.

University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection
University Archives, University of Miami Libraries


Dr. Josephine Johnson’s Poetry Recital held in the Lecture Hall

Dr. Josephine Johnson is Professor Emeritus of the University of Miami School of Communication, former Chair of the Department of Communication, and an alumna of the University. Her scholarship extended from W. B. Yates to post-modern British poets and she was a recognized solo performer throughout the country.

Josephine Johnson Papers
Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

Fact Books (1972 – 2016) Are Now Accessible Online!

The fact books provide the most reliable benchmark data about the University.

We are pleased to announce the completion of a digitization project of another invaluable publication of the University of Miami, the entire run of the “Fact Books,” produced by the University of Miami Office of Planning, Institutional Research, and Assessment (PIRA).

The fact books provide the most reliable benchmark data about the University, such as student enrollments, retention and graduation rates, degrees granted, class sizes, library statistics, tuition and expenses, research funding, financial highlights, and endowment statistics. They are also an excellent source of information about the University’s history, administration and facilities, student life, and athletics.

The best way to research the collection is to browse the volumes one by one. Please click the icon “Browse All in this collection” at the landing page (link below) to access the digitized fact books. Once you have selected the volume you need, click the “Download” icon on the upper right corner of the screen, and select “All (PDF)” to save the file on your computer.

UM Fact Books Landing Page

For further information about the PIRA, please visit their website at the link below.

PIRA Website

The digitization project of the Fact Books was made possible by an interdepartmental collaboration among the University Archives, Digital Production, Metadata & Discovery Services, and Web & Application Development at the Otto G. Richter Library.