April 28, 2016
by library
0 comments

From May Day to University Day: Exploring Connections Between Chatham Traditions

As part of this year’s University Day celebration, JKM Library and the Chatham University Archives are pleased to present an exhibit titled From May Day to University Day: Exploring Connections between Chatham Traditions.

This exhibition focuses on the history of Chatham’s May Day pageants and other end-of-the-semester festivities, such as Toe Dabbling Day, Buckets and Blossoms, and University Day. Photographs, programs, and ephemera documenting Chatham’s many springtime celebrations, some dating all the way back to the early twentieth century, will be exhibited at the JKM Library and in the lobby of the Women’s Institute. We even have a special presentation of some recently preserved film footage of the 1935 May Day pageant on the main floor of JKM Library!

These materials document both the May Day pageants held on the Chatham campus many times throughout the years as well as other fun campus traditions. Even though May Day is no longer celebrated at Chatham to the extent it was in the past, the tradition continues to this day when the maypole dance occurs on University Day. It’s fun to be part of this long line of maypole dancers, isn’t it?

Students, faculty, and other Chatham community members are welcome to explore “From May Day to University Day,” located at the JKM Library lobby and the Women’s Institute lounge. If you would like to learn more about Chatham’s history, click here for additional information about the Chatham Archives and Special Collections.

Check out some of our favorite May Day photographs from the collections of the Chatham University Archives and the video of the 1935 May Day celebration below!

May Day 1904

One of the earliest photos of the May Day pageant, taken in May, 1904. Here, costumed students perform the Maypole dance on Chatham’s lawn. These dances were viewed as a feminine form of exercise and a way to unify women through the shared experiences of womanhood and higher education.

May Day 1905

A hand-colored glass lantern slide depicts the 1905 Maypole dance. Audience members appear on the balcony of the original Berry Hall.

May Day 1907

Cornelia Bullock, the 1907 May Queen, poses with attendants.

May Day 1909

Student performers dance around the maypole during the 1909 May Day celebration. Onlookers watch from the balcony extending from Berry Hall.

May Day 1912

Those attending the 1912 May Day pageant watch as the students perform P.C.W.’s rendition of Vârful Cu Dor by Carmen Sylva.

May Day 1915

Spectators look down on students as they perform Paskkennodan: The City of Smoke Vapor written by P.C.W.’s speech instructor, Vanda E. Kurst. The celebration occurred on May 15, 1915 at the conclusion of President John Carey Acheson’s inauguration.

May Day 1916

The 1916 May Day pageant occurred near Lindsay House and the Andrew Mellon greenhouse. Students performed Vanda E. Kurst’s rendition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over 5,000 people attended the celebration!

Victory Through Conflict, 1920

Rather than putting on a May Day pageant in 1920, the P.C.W. community staged an elaborate production titled Victory through Conflict. Above, students Marion Gifford, Mary Jane Paul, and Frances Frederick pose together as Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

May Day 1923

Estelle Maxwell, who attended P.C.W. between 1922 and 1923, appears as an Egyptian princess alongside her attendants during the 1923 May Day pageant.

May Day 1929

Students dress as ghosts and perform a haunting dance during the 1929 May Day celebration titled Persephone: A Greek Festival.

May Day 1935

A distant photo of the 1935 May Day celebration captures Queen Elizabeth and the May Queen sitting side-by-side on their dais. Be sure to view archival film footage from the celebration below and in the lobby of the JKM Library!

May Day 1947

Several maypole dances conclude the May Day pageant of 1947.

 

What a production! We like to think about the history of the maypole dance every year when we see it performed as part of University Day.  It’s a pretty fun connection to our past, don’t you think?

Be sure to stop by the JKM Library, the lounge of the Women’s Institute, and this blog for more information about the May Day celebrations and how they’ve played into Chatham’s springtime celebrations, like Buckets and Blossoms.

April 22, 2016
by library
0 comments

App Review: IMDb

Looking to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation by watching a movie? If you’re like me, you’re looking to enhance your viewing experience by learning background information about the actors, script, or filming locations. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) offers the IMDb Movies & TV mobile app, which incorporates the functions of the popular website.

The app is free to download and available for iOS and Android users. IMDb is owned by Amazon.com.

Within the app, you can:

-Search and browse by movie titles, t.v., celebrities, news, and special features like details about seasonal television, award shows, film festivals, and IMDb user polls. The “movies” section allows you to browse by U.S. box office results, top and lowest rated movies, best picture winners, and more. New movie pages include a feature where you can check show times in your local area.

Screenshot_2016-02-26-12-31-07

 

 

-In individual movie pages, you can watch trailers, access major quotes, trivia, soundtrack information, and read reviews.Screenshot_2016-02-26-12-31-13

 

-If you have an account on IMDb you can use the app to add to your watchlist, track your ratings, manage lists, and “check-in” to movies or television programs you are currently watching. You do not have to have an account to access your viewing history or view notifications.

-Under settings, you can manage access to your device location, control video quality, and manage notifications about opening movies, recent trailers, or individual people. The “Contact Us” section includes links out to IMDb support pages, the site’s Google+ Community page, and email. The “About” section includes your app’s version number, updates to that version, legal information, and similar Apps from Amazon.

I like this app because I can get quick information without having to open a browser or interrupting whatever I’m watching, which is usually streaming from my computer. With around 185 million data items, there is a lot of content to access. There are in-app advertisements, but they are not overly intrusive.  The mobile interface is also very similar to the web version, making it easy to navigate for regular users of the site.

If you’re looking for a source of movies to watch, you can now stream for free from Swank now available through our database portal.

April 22, 2016
by library
0 comments

App Review: Poetry Month roundup

Happy National Poetry Month 2016! National Poetry Month was founded in April 1996 to highlight the achievements of poets in the United States, increase publication and distribution of poetic works, and aid teachers in bringing poetry to their students.

Last year, we reviewed The Poetry Foundation’s POETRY app. This year, we’ll take a look at a few apps to help you celebrate.

diamante2The Poet’s Almanac, created by the journal Poetry East at DePaul University in Chicago, matches a poem published in its pages to the current weather in your location using GPS and meteorological data. It is developed by digital publisher Appoet and is free to download for both Android and iOS devices. The layout is simple and easy to navigate and there are built-in options to share poems via Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. A shopping cart icon links out to the publisher’s website for purchase of the physical journal. Although the selection is limited to poems already published by Poetry East, I find myself checking the app regularly to see what poems are selected on rainy days or when it’s particularly sunny.

 

To get your own creative juices flowing, try the Diamante Poems app to experiment with a specific poetry style. Diamante poems are written in the shape of a diamond and use nouns, adjectives and gerunds (nouns made from verbs by adding –ing) to describe two opposing or one central topic. The Diamante Poems app is freely diamante3available for both Android and iOS. It was created by the International Reading Association, ReadWriteThink, and the National Council of Teachers of English. It provides a template to create a diamante poem and includes definitions for each element. It has a profile system that allows for multiple users to save and edit completed poems within the app. While a great tool for teaching, the text is very small and does not scale well to small mobile devices.

 

Speak2Check out some experimental digital poetry with Speak, part of a series of poems meant to be read as interactive text called P.o.E.M.M (Poetry for Excitable [Mobile] Media). Speak is free to download, but only available for iOS. To read the poem, you simply drag your finger across a black screen and letters from the background gather to form lines of the poem “What They Speak When They Speak to Me.” The longer you drag on the screen, the more words form in line and once you break contact, the letters dissipate once more into the background. According to the app’s description, this process is meant to replicate the confusion and frustration of communicating in a foreign place. You’re given the option to write your own poem or pull text from Twitter to interact in the same way.

 

Looking for more ways to celebrate? The Academy of American Poets has 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month.

April 19, 2016
by library
0 comments

Meet the JKM Library Staff: Lyra Bennett

Lyra:lyra

Is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle expert

Is usually planning her next trip abroad to somewhere fascinating

Is 100% on board with having a library cat

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I’m a part-time Reference Associate.

What made you choose your current profession?

I worked in higher education since graduating from college myself and I love the atmosphere of a college campus!  I’ve also always loved the atmosphere in libraries (thanks to my mom who was a teacher and volunteered at our local library) so when I decided to go to graduate school I chose Library Science.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An architect!  Then I realized a lot of math was involved so I gave that idea up – but I do still love looking at houses and I still have many of the floor plans (likely completely unrealistic) that I dreamed up as a kid.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Helping people realize all the great resources (for work, school, and for fun) that the library has.

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library- with no worries about time or expense, what would you do?

I am 100% on board with having a library cat.  Also, I think it’s a great idea to have a jigsaw puzzle out for people to work on when they need a break from studying!

What do you like to do on your days off?

I like taking a run outside on a nice day or fitting in some yoga if I have time.  I’m also taking French classes now and I actually enjoy doing the homework because it’s something I’m doing just for fun.  I love reading (obviously), baking (and eating), and hiking.  I also love to travel so I’m usually planning a trip (that may or may not happen).

What’s the last thing you checked out? (Brief reviews are appreciated)

I’m almost always reading more than two books at a time – two I recently finished are Mosquitoland by David Arnold (great!) and Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey (the main character is from Pittsburgh – Shadyside is mentioned once or twice) and I also check out a lot of French language movies – the last one I watched was Ernest & Celestine (lovely and cute).

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

This is a hard question!!  But the first thing that comes to mind is Sweetland by Michael Crummey.  I read this book more than a year ago and I still think about it and it’s characters regularly.  Some characters just stick with you, as if they were real people you knew.  But I just thought of something else I’d recommend too – anything by James Michener.  He writes long sagas based around a specific geographic region.  Some might find his books a little dry and boring but I love them – my favorite is Chesapeake.  When I finish one of his books I feel like I intimately know a place and its history even if I’ve never been there (ahem … Hawaii).

Some of our student workers update the popular reading display and are always looking for recommendations. If you could please list 5 or so of your favorite books that JKM has, that would be great!

I don’t know that many of these could be termed “popular reading” but:

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides,

Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen (one of my favorite Peace Corps-related memoirs – I’ve read almost every Peace Corps memoir that I know of so I can always give more recommendations on this or memoirs in general – my favorite genre!)

The Cider House Rules or The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

something by Willa Cather (like Shadows on the Rock, O Pioneers!, or My Antonia)

something by Bill Bryson (like the Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid)

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The landscape, hills, rivers – and the neighborhoods.

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? (This includes restaurant recommendations, of course)

Walk through Allegheny Cemetery.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself (2/3 would be great):

I am a bit of a jigsaw puzzle expert.

I love clothes and fashion but HATE shopping.

I got my nose pierced about 5 years before I got my ears pierced.  In fact, I only got my ears pierced because my friends thought it was weird that my nose was pierced but not my ears and took me to get them done!

April 15, 2016
by library
0 comments

Meet the JKM Library Staff: Megan Massanelli

Megan:megan 2

  • Is a fan of Pittsburgh’s hills (to look at, not climb)
  • Likes a good thrifting trip on her days off
  • Is a secret trekkie

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

I’m a Reference Associate! Which means… I help you find and retrieve the right books, articles, and other media to fulfill your research needs. I can help check-out materials for you or let you know about a resource that you might not have known about before. I do a variety of things and usually know the right person to ask if I don’t know the answer myself.

What made you choose your current profession?

I’ve always fancied myself a detective, so reference work is right up my ally. I’m also trained as an archivist and have an affinity for primary resources and preservation.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A cartographer and interior designer.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love hearing about what other people are into, what they get excited about. I also enjoy learning about how information systems, like the library catalog and databases. Being able to work around a bunch of books doesn’t hurt either.

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library—with no worries about time or expense—what would you do?

I know there’s been a theme in answers to this question involving a library cat, which would only improve all of our lives. We could even get one that is hypoallergenic. I’d also like to see a pop-up library somewhere outside elsewhere on campus or a seed library.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I love spending time outdoors, riding my bike or walking around town. A good thrifting trip or checking out an art museum or gallery are also high on my priority list on my days off.

What’s the last thing you checked out? (Brief reviews are appreciated)

Women of Steel. This short documentary was made by a group of former female steelworkers in the Pittsburgh area in 1984. In it, they discuss their experience finding work in the steel mills and subsequently getting laid off due to mill closings. There is a theme song and it’s amazing.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I’m interested in first-person narrative and autobiographies. I really like Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem. This book of essays on the theme of self-esteem connects external, social revolution to an internal revolution of spirit and consciousness. Several of the essays include parables from the lives of individuals such as Wilma Mankiller and Julie Andrews as well as observation from Steinem’s own experiences. I don’t know if I think everyone should read it, but it has certainly been meaningful to me.

Some of our student workers update the popular reading display and are always looking for recommendations. If you could please list 5 or so of your favorite books that JKM has, that would be great!

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

How to Save Your Own Life: A Novel by Erica Jong

Art 21: Art in the 21st Century (DVD). Any season.

Anything by Octavia Butler.

Contesting Archives: Finding Women in the Sources ed. By Nupur Chaudhuri, Sherry J. Katz, and Mary Elizabeth Perry

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

The hills! (Looking at them, not so much traveling on them.)

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city? (This includes restaurant recommendations, of course.)

Ride an incline, kayak on the rivers, eat pierogies, and visit an art museum. That’s four things.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself (2/3 would be great):

I moved from Arkansas to Pittsburgh about a year and a half ago.

I’m a Trekkie.

March 3, 2016
by library
0 comments

Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women and Politics

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the University Archives presents selections from our collection that highlight Chatham’s unwavering commitment to encouraging civic engagement in all levels of the political system.

This exhibition, Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women in Politics, demonstrates student civic engagement tracing back to the earliest days of the Suffragette movement, when students paraded through downtown Pittsburgh in support of women’s right to vote.

Pennsylvania College for Women float in support of women's right to vote, 1914

Pennsylvania College for Women float in support of women’s right to vote, 1914

Materials on exhibit illustrate a wide variety of activities, including rallies supporting equal access to education and student involvement in all levels of the political process.  The exhibit illustrates the continuity of the civic engagement among the student body and the university’s unwavering commitment to foster civic engagement as a core value.

We welcome you to explore Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women in Politics at the JKM Library and in the lounge of the Women’s Institute.  See below for some of our favorite archival records on this topic, plus a few that we just couldn’t squeeze into the display cases! Still hungry for more Chatham history?  Click here for more information about the collections in the Chatham University Archives & Special Collections.  

Clippings documenting Chatham's "Women and the War" conference

Clippings documenting Chatham’s “Women and the War” conference

During World War II, Chatham hosted an conference titled, “Women and the War” to discuss the role of women in the war effort.

Student volunteers update a poster showing the contributions of Faculty, Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen to the Fund to fight war and communism

Student volunteers update a poster showing the contributions of Faculty, Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen to the Fund to fight war and communism

Chatham students worked tirelessly to support the war effort, both at home and on the front lines.

World War II Veterans return to campus to continue their studies.

World War II Veterans return to campus to continue their studies.

In the 1950s, Chatham students turned their attention to increasing voter turnout, both on campus and within the broader community.

Students from Harrisburg, PA cast absentee ballots.

Students from Harrisburg, PA cast absentee ballots.

Chatham students with hand-painted signs.

Chatham students with hand-painted signs.

Student-lead efforts to increase voter turnout continue to this day.  In 1997, Chatham students collaborated with students from the University of Pittsburgh in a program to increase voter registration in the local community.

Two-page spread from the 1997 Cornerstone about voter registration efforts

Two-page spread from the 1997 Cornerstone about voter registration efforts

In the 1960s, Chatham women joined in the rising chorus of American students speaking out on issues of civil rights and the war in Vietnam.  After the Greensburg Four protested racial segregation at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in North Carolina, students from all over the south joined the sit-in.  In Pittsburgh, Chatham students protested outside the downtown Pittsburgh Woolworth, carrying signs reading “Chatham students protest civil rights violation,” and “Chatham students protest Woolworth lunch counter segregation.”  Click here to view a picture of this protest captured by legendary Pittsburgh photographer Teenie Harris housed at the Carnegie Museum of Art. 

Read more about the 1960 protest in this clipping from the Chatham student newspaper.

Article appearing in "The Arrow" on April 8, 1960 about Chatham student protest of lunch counter segregation

Article appearing in “The Arrow” on April 8, 1960 about Chatham student protest of lunch counter segregation

All across the country, college students voiced concerns about equality, civil liberties, and civil rights.  The university hosted a conference focusing on campus unrest in 1968, allowing college and university presidents, faculty, students and administrators to discuss and understand the changing political climate.

Brochure for conference on campus unrest held at Chatham in 1968

Brochure for conference on campus unrest held at Chatham in 1968

As the 1970s drew near, Chatham students became very engaged in discussion of the Vietnam War and continued to the support civil rights issues.

Chatham students protest the Vietnam War on Fifth Avenue

Chatham students protest the Vietnam War on Fifth Avenue

Chatham rally about Attica Prison riots

Chatham rally about Attica Prison riots

Material from Strike Information Central demonstrating student unrest

Material from Strike Information Central demonstrating student unrest

Editorial appearing in Chatham's "The Arrow" in 1970

Editorial appearing in Chatham’s “The Arrow” in 1970

Student civic engagement continued through the 1980s, when Chatham women participated in demonstrations in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.  One student attended a meeting at the White House with student leaders and President Jimmy Carter.

Bonnie McElvery, Student Government President, with President Jimmy Carter at the White House

Bonnie McElvery, Student Government President, with President Jimmy Carter at the White House

Chatham students protest the draft in downtown Pittsburgh

Chatham students protest the draft in downtown Pittsburgh

Chatham students at a Pro-Choice rally in Washinton, D.C. in 1989

Chatham students at a Pro-Choice rally in Washinton, D.C. in 1989

In 1995, Chatham students organized a rally in support of Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to preserve federal funding for student loans.  The rally was attended by over 2500 students from local colleges and universities and at least one University President.  Can you spot the University President in the pictures from the event below?

Images from 1995 rally to preserve federal funding for student loans

Images from 1995 rally to preserve federal funding for student loans

Over the years, Chatham has invited activists, heads of state, members of Congress, and other office holders to engage with students on local, national, and international political issues.

Fliers for some of Chatham's visiting speakers

Fliers for some of Chatham’s visiting speakers

Curious about Patricia Schroeder?  Here’s more information about her career and her visit to Chatham.

Brochure from Patricia Schroeder visit to Chatham in 2004

Brochure from Patricia Schroeder visit to Chatham in 2004

Wondering if Catherine Baker Knoll, who spoke at Chatham as the Treasurer for Pennsylvania, held any other public office in the years that followed?  Her records are open for research at the Detre Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center in downtown Pittsburgh.  Click here for the finding aid to her papers.  Remember, the Chatham University Archives can help you locate primary source records at other archival repositories.

Of course, we’re all looking forward to the 2016 commencement speaker, Chatham’s own Muriel Bowser.  Muriel Bowser graduated from Chatham in 1994 and was the eighth Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Chatham Alumna Muriel Bowser

Chatham Alumna Muriel Bowser

As much as we’ve shown through Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women in Politics, we have so much more material in the University Archives that documents Chatham’s unwavering commitment to encouraging civic engagement among students.  We’d be thrilled to show you more from our collections on this or any other area of Chatham history.  For more information about our collections and how to contact us, click here.

February 12, 2016
by library
0 comments

App Review: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fan App

Did you know that, as a Chatham student, staff, or faculty member, you can experience a world-class symphony for $15-20 (http://bit.ly/1PpszOp)? And you don’t have to leave town! The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been bringing classical music to Pittsburgh audiences since 1896 and today they have a mobile app that makes it easy to purchase tickets, listen to music, PSO Iconand more.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fan App is free and available for both Android and iOS users. It is developed by InstantEncore, a company that has helped create similar apps for institutions such as the New York Philharmonic and Houston Ballet.

Designed for phone and tablet use, the interface is attractive and easy to navigate. A rotating set of images representing upcoming performances set the background of the main page and a series of tabs at the bottom of the frame correspond to different content and media types. The content included in this app is dynamic and includes audio, video, maps, and calendar schedules. Additionally, the in-app browser makes it easy to view content on YouTube, various news sites, and the Symphony’s main webpage without taking you out of the app.

PSOScreenshot_1                      PSOScreenshot_2PSOScreenshot_3

 

Don’t know anything about classical music? Or looking to learn more?

  • The app connects you to the Pittsburgh Symphony’s YouTube channel. The channel features videos demonstrating different instruments as well as interviews with Symphony musicians and audience members. This function is available when clicking “Videos” from the “More” tab.
  •  The “Music” tab features free audio clips of Symphony performances, so you can get a small taste of the experience.
  • The “What’s New” tab includes links and clips of news articles, the Symphony’s blog, and videos relating to current performances.

 

Looking to plan a visit?

  • You can view a calendar of events in a list form in the “Events” tab as well as in a calendar in the “More” tab.
  • You can purchase tickets and share event information from the app.
  • Information about parking, dining, and accessibility services is also located in the “More” tab.
  • You can set up notifications for upcoming shows and concert series when you first download the app or later under “Settings.”

If you are interested in attending a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performance (they offer everything from Beethoven to music from the Pokémon video games), the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fan App is definitely worth the download.

February 11, 2016
by library
0 comments

Streaming Movies for Black History Month

Think you might spend the entire weekend indoors, huddled under a blanket, drinking hot beverages, and watching movies? If so, we have an exciting new database just for you: Swank! Swank features 300 streaming movies, from current popular titles to classics to documentaries.

With February’s celebration of Black History Month, we’d like to point out that Swank includes a number of great titles you can watch:

42Raisin Malcolm Xcolor purple

glory

For a full list of the 300 movies available, please click here (Excel file). Access to Swank is on a trial basis only and will end on June 30, 2016.

Swank requires Google Widevine, which you may need to install in your browser. It should just prompt you through the installation process, but if you have any difficulty, please contact a librarian for assistance.

Please note: Swank movies do not include public performance rights and are only intended for individual or classroom use.

February 3, 2016
by library
0 comments

Chatham: The History of Our Name (Part II)

Have you ever wonder how Chatham got its name or why it was changed from Pennsylvania College for Women?  If so, you might want to check out the article on the topic in latest Library Newsletter <click here>, which tells the tale of how the school came to cosider a name change, the various names considered, and the reception of the name at the time.

You’ll also want to take a gander at the images collected below.  These selections from the collections of the University Archives illustrate how the school spread the word on the new name and all the events that surrounded this pivotal moment in university history.

NameChange_Photo_011

PCW officials chose to name the college after Lord Chatham in recognition of his passion for education and democratic ideals.

NameChange_Photo_0081

On November 5, 1955, the school newspaper led with a bold headline announcing the name change from Pennsylvania College for Women to Chatham College.

PCC000004

David Lawrence, then-mayor of Pittsburgh, stands with Jane Stocker Burfoot from Chatham College’s Class of 1957. Together they are celebrating PCW having changed its name to Chatham College.

cornerstone1956chat_0011

Students commemorate the name change by holding a Chatham College banner over the institution’s former PCW-marked entryway.

NameChange_Photo_016

The school produced this small brochure to promote awareness of the new name.  The image above is the front cover.

NameChange_Photo_017

The brochure outlines the reasons for the name change and the reason for the selection of the name Chatham.

NameChange_Photo_018

The brochure closes with an expression of Chatham’s continuing dedication to providing quality education.

NameChange_Photo_014

A mailing card distributed to alumni around the time the college changed its name.

NameChange_Photo_015

The front cover of the dedication dinner program, which took place two weeks after PCW changed its name to Chatham College.

…And just the day before, former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower commended President Anderson and the Chatham community on the college’s huge accomplishment!

NameChange_Photo_019

We’ve got room for just one more picture…

NameChange_Photo_013

This booklet was distributed to the Chatham community and alumni shortly after the institution changed its name. It contains personal remarks from then-President Paul Anderson, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees George Lockhart, and Chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development Arthur Van Buskirk on the role of the school in the intellectual and cultural life of the region.

Hungry for more history?  Come see us during University Archives Office Hours on Mondays from 1:00 – 5:00 and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 or by appointment.  We’d love to share with you more about the name change to Chatham or any other aspect of university history you’re curious about!

January 15, 2016
by library
0 comments

Vintage Chatham Music to Air on WESA’s Rhythm Sweet & Hot Radio Show

You’re probably familiar with the Song Contest as one of the longest-running and most cherished of all the Chatham traditions, but have you heard any of the vintage recordings of these tunes in the University Archives?  You’ll have a chance this weekend as Chatham’s Archivist Molly Tighe joins the hosts of WESA’s Rhythm Sweet & Hot for a chat and a spin around the vinyl grooves cut by PCW singers all the way back in 1947.

During this week’s live broadcast, which airs from 6:00 until 8:00 pm on 90.5 FM, Molly will chat with hosts and hepcats Mike Plaskett and Dale Abraham about a recently discovered recording of the Class of 1947 singing classic Song Contest tunes We Sing Hi-Ho, Charm Girl of PCW and PCW Progress. Since these swingy tunes are sure to make you slap-happy and to blow your wig (21st century translation= become very excited), we decided to dig around in the University Archives and pull out some Song Contest treasures to get everyone prepped and ready for the big show.

First, a little bit of history.  Chatham’s Song Contest dates back to 1921, when a competition between the classes was enjoyed so much that it became one of the most hotly anticipated traditions of every school year.

Competitive Sing in the June 1921 issue of Sorosis

 Read the full June 1921 issue of The Sorosis here: http://tinyurl.com/jl896qc

For many years the Song Contest was held in combination with Color Day and together the two traditions generated a whirl of class spirit.  The two events would occur during the fall semester after the first-year students had successfully completed their first round of exams and had sufficiently settled into college life (including learning all the favorite school songs!).

handbookmerged

Selected pages from the 1927-1928 Student Handbook including mention of Color Day, Song Contest, and song lyrics.

In 1928, song lyrics and music were compiled by the Song Book Committee into a song book.

Copy of the Chatham Song Book from the University Archives and Photo of the 1959 Song Contest Leaders

The rules for the contest were a little different back then.  Each class was responsible for presenting three songs: one with original lyrics and music, one with original lyrics set to an existing tune, and one song selected by the judges just prior to the contest.

Chatham Song Contest, 1957

According to an article in The Arrow on November 22, 1944, each class would practice their songs daily, sometimes sending a secret operative to spy on the other classes to try to discover the competing classes’ performance plans.  On the day of the contest…

…there was a mad checker game struggle for the right seats for the right voices. After everything was under control except Bertha Butterfly in our stomachs, we sat through a hymn, through the announcement of the Freshman Commission, through Hail to PCW, the presentation of the colors and the reception of the new Freshman.  All the time we wondered- whether our class Rachmaninoff had remembered to fetch along her music.                                                            (Read the whole article here: http://tinyurl.com/homkedn)

Awaiting results of the Song Contest, 1959

In the early years, the winning class was awarded a five pound box of candy.

Song Contest Winners, 1959

Later, the candy box was replaced with a silver cup.

Song Contest, 1980s

There’s no mention of recording any Chatham songs until 1946, when a contributor to the student newspaper implored her classmates to join forces to document their musical history.  She writes, “Without old college songs to sing while in the shower, PCW graduates can probably hold their job competently or cheer hubby after his hard day at the office, but it might be nice to have something specific to help them reminisce once in a while.”

Editorial in a 1946 issue of The Arrow

Chatham University Archives maintains a healthy collection of LP recordings of Song Contest, no song recordings predate the late-1950s.  We couldn’t be sure if this 1946 editorial had spurred any action- until now!

LP covers of Song Contest recordings

A recently unearthed 1947 recording was produced at George Heid Productions & Transcription Services in downtown Pittsburgh and features the same three songs performed at the Senior Dinner for the Class of 1947.  Could it be that the 1946 editorial inspired the creation of this recording?  Could it be that the students took a trip downtown on a streetcar to cut record of the winning songs from the Song Contest?  Could it be that this is one of those very recordings?  We think so!

The recording, which you can hear when you tune your radio dial to WESA 90.5 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm this Saturday night, may very well be our earliest recording of a campus tradition that spans decades and even continues through to today (Click here for a video of the 2014 song contest).  We hope you’ll tune in!

Can’t wait for the show?  Want to prepare for a sing-along?  Here’s the music and lyrics to a couple classic Chatham tunes.

We Sing Hi-O, words and music by members of the Class of 1929

Chatham Charm Girl

Still hungry for more?  Come by the University Archives in the JKM Library on Monday from 1-5 or Thursday from 1:30-3:30 to chat with Chatham Archivist Molly Tighe about the Song Contest or any of your favorite Chatham traditions!

Skip to toolbar