March 3, 2016
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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 cast their absentee ballots.

Students from Harrisburg cast their absentee ballots.

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.

Woolworths

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 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.

April 18, 2015
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Explore Pittsburgh this summer!

Get out and explore the city this summer with inspiration from one of the books displayed on the First Floor.

Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, or the culture of Pittsburgh, you’ll find a helpful guide to your summer adventures. Dates to the biggest festivals and events around the city will be posted in the Lobby for your convenience.

Find something that peaked your interest? Make sure to ask a librarian about how you can find more books about the Steel City!

April 18, 2015
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Gardening Resources

Whether you’re planning a vegetable or rain garden, JKM Library has the resources you need!

Stop in to the First Floor and check out books on a variety of garden styles and the plants you’ll need.

Don’t have a green thumb but find inspiration in being outside? Check out either of Jamaica Kincaid’s books on how she finds peace and happiness in the natural world. 

March 17, 2015
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FOIA and Libraries: The Persepolis Story

On March 16, 2015, Jennie King Mellon Library celebrated Freedom of Information Day, an annual observance of our rights to speak out, to share information freely, and to obtain information that the public has a right to know. See our display of related books and materials in the first floor lobby!

Libraries are information repositories, and are based upon the idea that information should be freely shared and experienced. Libraries and librarians are often on the front lines of First Amendment and information freedom concerns. A recent example is the controversy that occurred when, in 2013, the Chicago Public School System pulled Marjane Satrapi’s award-winning graphic novel Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood from their curriculum.

persepolisThe banning of the work could not have happened without discussion amongst various administrators in the school system, much of which occurred in writing, and so the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) all put in Freedom of Information Act requests for the correspondence in early 2013. FOIA allows for anyone to access, or to request and receive, any information held by the federal government (including public schools) that is not specifically required to be kept confidential. The professional organizations received only a few pages of documents, including a heavily-edited version of the email chain which began with a complaint about the book and ended with the determination that it would be banned.

Over a year later, in December 2014, Jarrett Dapier, a student of library science at the University of Illinois who was writing a paper on censorship in K-12 classrooms, submitted his own Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the subject and received the complete email correspondence chain.

The full correspondence received by Dapier reveals that the decision to pull the book from the curriculum was based on two pages in Persepolis identified as being “not appropriate” by one school principal. In a domino-effect panic, the book was thus ordered to be removed from curricula across the entire Chicago Public School System. The correspondence also reveals that some teachers and librarians at the affected schools initiated “pushback,” by noting that the book is acclaimed, and that librarians retain the authority to purchase and make available to students even those texts that have been deemed controversial.

Responding to the controversy, the Chicago Public School System ultimately allowed the work to remain in its libraries, and approved it for study in 11th and 12th grade classrooms. The story indicates how progressive causes can use information transparency to effect change, but also how imperfect the system can be. Information access is a right that needs to be exercised continually to be retained. March 16 is a better time than any to take advantage of this right! See http://www.foia.gov/ for more information.

Sources:

http://www.foia.gov/

http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/persepolis-rising/

http://ncac.org/blog/how-chicago-public-schools-dumped-persepolis/

http://www.ftrf.org/blogpost/852091/161174/FTRF-files-FOIA-request-to-Chicago-Public-Schools-over-removal-of-Persepolis

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/advleg/federallegislation/govinfo/opengov/freedomofinfo

March 4, 2015
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Spring Break Popular Reading

Spring break is just a few short days away, so you better stop by JKM Library to check out the books on your Spring Break Reading List! Don’t have a list prepared? Have no fear…the Popular Reading Display has just been stocked!

Here’s what’s new on the table:

Pittsburgh Noir, edited by Kathleen George
The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, edited by Sue Ellen Thompson
Inside by Alix Ohlin
Dancing on the Edges of Knives, poems by Ed Ochester
Allegheny, poems by Ed Ochester
Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
Wicked and Son of a Witch, by Gregory Maguire
Prodigal Son, by Dean Koontz
The Pittsburgh Book of Contemporary American Poetry, edited by Ed Ochester and Peter Oresick

pop reading March

February 1, 2015
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Blind Date with a Book Display

IMG_2080Have you ever read a book and thought, “This is true love!”? Well, we’re hoping to set you up with your next favorite book (or film) this Valentine’s Day. Stop into the library and pick up a wrapped book from the display, check it out, and unwrap your date! Was it a dud? Is it getting put in the friend zone? We hope you find new love.

January 26, 2015
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Popular Reading Display

As we neared the end of the fall semester, we at the library asked our patrons to let us know what they wanted to see on the Popular Reading Display. You suggested, and we listened! The display was filled with new titles in the middle of January, so make sure to stop by and see what made it to the table.

Here are some of our new features:Pop Reading Jan

Have your own suggestions for the Popular Reading Display? Send an email to circdesk@chatham.edu or stop by in person and let us know!

January 10, 2015
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January Displays – Mentoring and Women in Politics

Mentor DisplayProfessional mentoring is commemorated during the month of January. JKM Library is highlighting the importance of mentoring and leadership in the workplace in conjunction with the 2015 Ready to Run Conference with a book display on the First Floor. Books are available on mentoring, leadership, and women in American politics. If you’re interested in finding more information, ask a Reference librarian for help finding articles and e-books.

Ready to Run is presented at Chatham by the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics. The two-day conference will be held on January 30th and 31st. Registration is required. Day one’s pre-conference focuses on Women of Color in Pennsylvania Politics, and the topic of day two is Campaign Training for Women. Keynote speaker is Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.

December 2, 2014
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Dying for a great mystery?

Dying for a great mystery? Our mystery-theme book display is exactly what you need!

There are cozy mysteries, detective stories, thrillers, and classics for everyone to enjoy. Authors include: Kathy Reichs, P.D. James, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Alexander McCall Smith, and many more.

Not sure which genre you like? Sample a few, or check out one of the non-fiction books on the history of mystery.

October 2, 2014
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October Reads: Scary Tales, Curious Mysteries, and Terrifying Monsters!

It’s officially October and time to find some good reading material!  Check out our display of scary tales, curious mysteries, and terrifying creatures-all sure to set the mood for the upcoming Halloween holiday.  For those who love vampires, we have Dracula, The Historian, and The Vampire Lestat.  There’s also more classic titleshalloween-150363_640 such as Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Turn of the Screw.  We are also featuring some select horror films along with some books about monster makeup in movies.  Stop by today and see what there is for you to pick up!

Don’t forget to check out An Evening with Poe” which features two of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short stories: The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart. This performance will keep you on the edge of your seat and get you in the Halloween spirit! Directed by Don DiGiulio and John Michnya.

October 17, 2014 to October 18, 2014
7:30 PM
Eden Hall Campus – Large Barn

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