Sound of the Archives

a podcast dedicated to archives


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07: Ruthie and Jim’s Lovely Letters

You can listen to the podcast HERE or subscribe to our podcast via iTunes!

Sound of the Archives teamed up with SLIS grad student Shannon Wilsey, who writes the blog Letters to Ruthie, to share these funny, light-hearted, sweet, and heartfelt letters in honor of luuuuuuuuv month. We hope you enjoy hearing the words of Jim and Ruthie, two lovebirds courting in the early 1940s while Jim was away for army training. This is one of the most-stated reasons for becoming an archivist anyway: so we get to read other peoples’ love letters!

For more letters, head to Shannon’s blog: http://letterstoruthief.blogspot.com/

Ruthie & Jim on a Picnic

Ruthie & Jim on a Picnic

How’d you meet your beau or sweetheart? Dana met hers in a library! :)


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Hot Town, Summer in the Archives

Listen to the podcast HERE.

Here’s our third episode!

Dana, Sarah (though she was not able to record with us), Laura, and Katherine, a new guest, all contributed to this podcast. This episode has a summer theme, focused especially on travel and how we love to tell the story of how we experience the summer.

Katherine talked about the hand oil companies play in maps we use to travel from maps cataloged by her at the Newberry Library. You can find the records of some of these maps through a search on Standard Oil of Ohio.

Sarah, a contributor who was on the last episode, could not be here for the recording but was gladly going to chat a bit about the Travel Film Archive. It’s a lovely little website with videos from all over the place and throughout the decades that Dana briefly went over.

Laura described the Wisconsin Historical Images gallery website and the benefits both archivists with limited resources and users with expectations. The State Fair gallery is especially fitting for the summer’s festivities!

Lastly, Dana veered a bit away from everyday American travel and focused on the Root Commission of 1917. President Wilson sent Elihu Root and other diplomats, including Cyrus McCormick Jr. to Russia in June, which was a tense time indeed — between the February Revolution and the October Revolution. The Wisconsin Historical Society has some unique images from this trip, plus a large map in its collection. The photos of this map are below — photos taken with permission from the McCormick collection’s archivist, Lee Grady.

(1) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

(2) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

(3) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

(4) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

(5) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

(6) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin

(7) map of Root Commission trip 1917, McCormick-International Harvester Company Collection; Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin


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Archives as … Irish for a Day!

Listen to the podcast HERE.

The first episode our podcast had a super successful first run, and we thank you all deeply for that. As a token of gratitude, want to give you the gift of the luck o’ the Irish! This second episode highlights 5 different archives or collections by 5 students in the UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies. We aimed to emphasize the archival value of these, as well as their general interest and uniqueness.

Prairie discovered the relationships of people in letters. Laura looked into the concepts of evidential and informational value of small collections. Dana looked into archives as supportive of national identity. Leslie looked into the power of archival documents to uphold historical upheaval. And last but not least, Sarah looked into a born-digital web archive documenting the General Election of 2011. We hope you found these as interesting as we did.

SlĂ inte!

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