Library staff have been busy this last year digitizing materials from the archives and other departments, all of which are now available at the Beloit College Digital Collections. We’ve selected material to include in these collections based on a number of criteria: usefulness to researchers, relationships to other campus initiatives, and reduction of wear on the physical items, to name a few. In many cases, these digital collections represent months of collaboration between library and archives staff, student workers, volunteers, and various campus departments.
The first new digital collection contains correspondence and original illustrations by Pulitzer-winning cartoonist and Beloit alumnus Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling. Before going on to create editorial cartoons for the Des Moines Register, Darling’s illustrations graced the pages of many Beloit College publications, including the 1899 Codex yearbook. Items in this digital collection reveal Darling’s colorful wit, fondness for politics and wildlife, and extensive travels (including an essay documenting his meeting with Joseph Stalin).
Last semester, creation of the College Radio History Collection wrapped up shortly after the first annual College Radio Day. This collection contains a variety of images of the WBCR studio and past students who have been involved with the station. You’ll also find images of interesting artifacts like a broadcast logbook from 1924, reception stamps, and news releases. Current and past WBCR programmers will not want to miss this collection!
On February 6, the Histories of Beloit College Collection officially went live. This collection currently contains two full-text histories of the college. Former President Edward Eaton’s history was originally published in 1928 and is regarded as a definitive account of the college’s early history. Robert Richardson’s history, which was never published, is a logical extension of Eaton’s book, upon which it is heavily based. Nearly 1,500 pages in length, this book exists physically in eight loose-leaf binders, but you can now view it as one uninterrupted text. The full text of both books can be searched at the collection homepage linked above. Watch for possible future additions to this exciting new digital collection. To learn more about the histories and their authors, visit this recent Fridays With Fred article.
Lastly, the Neese Theatre Historic Costume Collection was launched shortly after the Histories of Beloit College Collection. This collection is intended to offer a glimpse at a sample of the nearly 400 costumes that have been donated by alumni over the years. These garments are an invaluable resource to those studying theatre history and costume design. Pardon the digital dust around this collection—it’s still being actively worked on and edited by library and theatre department staff. Check back often to watch as this collection grows!
We’re very excited to bring library and archival resources out from the stacks and onto your computer screen! Many more fun digital collections are in the works for the summer and beyond. To get all the latest news about new additions to these and other collections, check out ISR on Facebook.