June 24, 2016

Shakespeare beginnings on campus

To help commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the Folger Shakespeare Library is sending a First Folio on a tour of the country. From June 20 through July 30, 2016, the Cleveland Public Library will be the host site in Ohio. To join in this celebration we wanted to touch on Shakespeare in the classroom and on stage at CWRU.

For much of the 19th century the classical curriculum was taught and required of all students. In the late 19th century electives began to be offered.

On 2/29/1892, as reported in the College for Women faculty minutes, a committee was appointed to consider forming a lectureship on Shakespeare. On 5/3 the “Committee on Lectureship on Shakespeare reported that arrangement had been made with Professor Lounsbury to deliver 8 lectures.” A week later, the WRU Board of Trustees Executive Committee approved the appointment of “Professor Thomas R. Lounsbury of Yale Scientific as lecturer on Shakespeare at a salary of $500.” These lectures were given in the Spring 1893 semester.

The first course in Shakespeare at the College for Women was taught in the 1893-1894 academic year. Here is the description from the Catalogue:

“Shakspere. Four plays selected for their illustration of different stages in the development of Shaksperian art, and as a basis for textual criticism. The prescribed work will include the Rolfe edition of the plays, the Shakspere Primer (Dowden), Shakspere’s Versification (Browne), and collateral reading from Shakspere: His Mind and Art (Dowden), and Shakspere as a Dramatic Artist (Moulton).” The class was taught by Mr. C. W. Ayer.

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Lemuel S. Potwin

The first Shakespeare class at Adelbert College was taught in 1895-1896 by Lemuel Potwin. However, according to the 1892-1893 annual report by Potwin, a class was held (1892-1893) studying English poets from Chaucer to Tennyson. During the second half of the year a class of six seniors and juniors “read the whole of Shakespeare, one play being discussed on each day of recitation. Points of discussion were: The characteristics of the different periods of the poet’s work. A comparison with some earlier dramas, and the merits of select passages.” There was also held a class in the Elizabethan Dramatists. A graduate of Yale, Potwin was professor of Latin at Western Reserve College and Adelbert College (1871-1892), professor of English Language and Literature, Adelbert College (1892-1906) and professor emeritus (1906-1907).

In the library’s catalog of 1849 there was a Shakespeare book listed but no title given. It was book 604 on shelf 62. In the 1851 catalog the listing was for Shakspeare William, Dramatic Works.

Coming: Shakespeare performances on campus

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May 24, 2016

Namesakes - Morley Chemical Laboratory and Edward W. Morley

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Edward Williams Morley

A small building on campus, surrounded by Rockefeller Physics and Strosacker Auditorium, Eldred Hall, and Millis Science Center is the Morley Chemical Laboratory.

The building honored former faculty member Edward Williams Morley, renowned scientist, internationally known for his accurate determination of the atomic weights of hydrogen and oxygen. He also worked with Albert A. Michelson on the 1887 ether drift experiment now known as the Michelson Morley Experiment.

Edward Williams Morley was born 1/29/1838 in Newark, New Jersey. The family moved when he was a small child to Hartford, Connecticut. At age 19 Morley entered Williams College and received the A.B. in 1860 and the M.A. in 1863. He attended Andover Theological Seminary, 1861-1864 becoming an ordained minister. He served in the Sanitary Commission 1864-1865. Morley continued his studies for a year and then taught at the South Berkshire Institute 1866-1868. He was offered a ministry in Twinsburg, Ohio and was appointed to the Western Reserve College faculty in 1868. He and his wife Isabella Birdsall Morley arrived in Hudson 1/1/1869, and were met at the station by Professor Carroll Cutler, who later became president of the College. Morley served as Hurlbut Professor of Natural History and Chemistry at WRC (later Western Reserve University),1869-1906, as well as Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology (1873-1881) and Professor of Chemistry (1881-1889) in the Medical Department (now the School of Medicine). He was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, 1906-1923.

In his early years at WRC, Morley taught a range of scientific subjects including botany, geology, mineralogy, zoology, mathematics, astronomy as well as chemistry. He offered practical instruction in the use of a microscope and field work. This was in an era when all students were taught the classical curriculum.

Professor Morley was one of the professors who made the move with the College from Hudson to Cleveland in 1882. He recounted the details of the move in letters to his parents. Transcripts of these letters were made available on the Archives blog, Recollections, in 2012.

Edward Morley retired from WRU in 1906 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he died 2/24/1923. The Morley Chemical Laboratory was constructed after his retirement. It was used by the Chemistry and Geology Departments upon its opening. It was in continuous use by academic departments through the 1999-2000 academic year. Several plans have been made over the last 20 years, including renovating it as well as razing it and constructing a courtyard in its place. The final fate of the building has not yet been communicated to the university community.

Professor Morley had a long and distinguished career in science. Some of the many honors he received were the Sir Humphrey Davy medal of the Royal Society, the Elliot Cresson medal of the Franklin Institute, and the Willard Gibbs medal of the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society. He received honorary degrees from Williams College, Western Reserve University, Lafayette College, University of Pittsburgh, Wooster College, and Yale. He served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. He was a member of professional societies such as the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America among others. Morley served as honorary president of the Eighth International Congress of Applied Chemistry.

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Morley's laboratory in Adelbert Hall

In 1995 the American Chemical Society designated Morley’s work on the atomic weight of oxygen a National Historic Chemical Landmark. A special program was held on campus and a new plaque was unveiled commemorating Morley’s work. This plaque hangs in the basement of Adelbert Hall, near the site of Morley’s laboratory.

Edward Morley's papers are held at the Library of Congress. Copies of the correspondence along with research notes and reprints are held in the University Archives.

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May 20, 2016

Color Our Collections

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During reading days and final exams at the end of each semester, Kelvin Smith Library offers a range of support activities to help our students. Librarians are available for help finishing up research projects. Therapy dogs comfort and soothe. Collaboration rooms and study areas are available - and heavily used. This year the Scholarly Resources and Special Collections (SRSC) team contributed a de-stressing activity - coloring.

Archives, libraries, and museums have embraced adult coloring. Pages from unique collections are digitized and transformed into coloring pages. In early February this year Color Our Collections Week was organized by the New York Academy of Medicine. Over 200 institutions participated. SRSC's University Archives and Special Collections was unable to participate at that time, but began preparing for an end of semester activity.

Drawings from student yearbooks, maps, bookplates, a poster, and even a football program were selected to offer a range of coloring challenges. The pages and crayons, colored pencils, and markers were available in the Hatch Reading Room on the second floor of Kelvin Smith Library during reading days and finals. The pages are now available for download as a PDF for anyone who'd like to try their hand. We'd love to receive copies of finished artwork via email to archives@case.edu. Checking almost any social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest) for #ColorOurCollections will reveal a wealth of coloring opportunities. Locally, our colleagues at the Dittrick Medical History Center also have a coloring book.

We had fun making our coloring book and hope you enjoy using it.

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April 29, 2016

To All To Whom These Presents May Come...

Since we are approaching Commencement, it seems a good time to consider one of its established elements - the diploma. As a document type, diplomas represent an interesting mix of continuity and change. The diploma’s purpose, tanglble testimony that a student has met the requirements of a course of study and that a degree was conferred by a university, has endured for centuries. Its form, however, has undergone some intriguing changes.

At Western Reserve, for most of the 19th century, the diplomas were in Latin, not English. The School of Medicine voted to adopt English for its diplomas in 1883.

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1842 Western Reserve College diploma - in Latin

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1884 Western Reserve University School of Medicine diploma - now in English

The size of our diplomas has varied, from approximately 9x12 inches to 18x24 inches. Generally, the size of the diploma has decreased in size over time. These size changes have not been universally applauded. In 1930, the Law School students objected on the basis that the smaller diploma, “is inadequate for the needs of a professional man.” In 1966, the Law and Dental School students objected both to the size and to the simplicity of the typography and decoration of the diplomas. In supporting the students, the Dean of the Law School, Louis A. Toepfer, wrote, “...a great many lawyers take special pride in having a handsome diploma which they display in their offices.” When the issue was brought to the School of Medicine students, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, John L. Caughey, Jr. reported that, “the decision of the members [of Student Council] was that they didn’t really care enough to get involved.”

Parchment was used in the early days of WRU and Case, eventually replaced by paper. At various times, ribbons were affixed to the diplomas, as were colored and embossed seals.

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Ribbon on Western Reserve diploma from the 1870s and Seal on Case School of Applied Science diploma, 1895

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For many years, diplomas were rolled when presented to the graduates, such as these College for Women students in 1910.

One of my favorite diploma graphics is the picture of Leonard Case, Jr. that adorned the Case diplomas from the 1880s through the 1910s.

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Leonard Case, Jr. on an 1887 Case School of Applied Science diploma

After Federation in 1967, the question of what university’s name would appear on diplomas lingered for several years. Requests for post-1967 diplomas with pre-1967 university names were considered by the Board of Trustees on a case-by-case basis through much of the 1970s. In 1981 the Trustees approved a single diploma style and size to be used by all the schools.

Diplomas have lasting significance, both for students and the university. Some students are unable to attend Commencement to receive their diplomas personally. In spite of the best efforts of university staff, it can sometimes take awhile to deliver these diplomas to graduates. The Archives has documentation of successful efforts to unite diplomas and graduates decades after the degree was awarded. The longest such effort we have identified was the 1963 delivery of his diploma to a 1909 graduate.

Congratulations to all our 2016 graduates. Cherish those diplomas - you've earned them!

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April 21, 2016

Patricia B. Kilpatrick

We recently mourned the loss of Patricia B. Kilpatrick, Vice President and University Marshal Emerita on 3/3/2016. To the staff of the University Archives Pat holds a special place. While she held a number of important positions, it was her duties as Secretary of the University that made her our boss. The University Archives was established in 1964 through the persistence of Secretary of the University Carolyn Neff and the hard work of University Archivist Ruth Helmuth. When Pat succeeded Carolyn as Secretary of the University in 1979, she inherited us.

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Pat with student protesters outside Haydn Hall, 1969

Pat was born 5/19/1927 in Cleveland. She entered Ohio Wesleyan University in 1945 and transferred to Flora Stone Mather College in 1947. Pat received her B.A. in 1949, majoring in History. She earned the M.A. in Physical Education in 1951. After graduation she married and started a family. She returned to Western Reserve University in 1962 as Instructor in Physical Education. She became an Assistant Professor and served as Chair of the Women’s Physical Education Department, 1970-1972.

In 1965 she became an assistant dean of Mather College. She served on the faculty until 1972, when she moved into administrative work full-time. In 1972 when Adelbert, Mather, and Cleveland Colleges merged, Pat became Associate Dean for Non-Academic Affairs and then Associate Dean for Student Affairs for Western Reserve College. She also served as Director of Thwing Center. With the looming retirement of Carolyn Neff, President Toepfer appointed Pat Assistant Secretary of the University in 1977 so she could learn the various duties. In August 1979 Pat became the last Secretary of the University.

The duties of the Secretary were important and varied. Some of the major responsibilities included administrative support of the Faculty Senate, the Visiting Committees, oversight of the University Archives, commencement, and Squire Valleevue Farm. In 1987 she was promoted to Vice President and University Marshal. The 1991 University Ball was held in her honor and Pat retired 6/30/1992.

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Pat Kilpatrick at the University Ball in her honor, 1991 (photograph by Daniel Milner)

Pat served on many committees, one of the most influential being the President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women in the University - which she chaired (1971-1973). Pat was very involved in the Mather Alumnae Association (serving as President) and the Episcopal Church, in which she held a number of positions on the local and national level.

When the sheep barn at Squire Valleevue Farm was renovated in 1992 it was named Pat’s Place in her honor. Also in 1992, the Physical Education Department created the Patricia B. Kilpatrick Award to be presented to the four-year varsity letter-winner with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Pat was involved with many other committees, awards and accomplishments. Too many for this short post. You can hear Pat discuss her career in this 2008 Case Stories interview and this interview for the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.

A number of years ago, Pat brought to the University Archives the two original flags of the newly federated CWRU. When Barbara Snyder became president, Pat told her about the flags and that they should hold a place of honor. We selected the flag in the best shape, it was restored, and is now hanging in the first floor lobby of Adelbert Hall.

On a personal note, my last conversation with Pat was in mid-December 2015 when she called to say she wanted to take the Archives staff out to lunch. We could not get it scheduled before the holidays and agreed to set it up after the new year. Unfortunately, we were unable to have that lunch.

Goodbye, Pat. We’ll miss you.

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