home Government Information Mizzou Homecoming Goes to Washington

Mizzou Homecoming Goes to Washington

With the whole campus community excitedly gearing up for the 108th Homecoming, Ellis Library’s Government Documents department decided to bring their own unique spin to the preparations. Certainly, with such with a long and glorious tradition, the University of Missouri’s Homecoming celebrations can be found in Federal Government publications, we thought, Let’s find out!

With the help of the Government Publishing Office’s terrific database govinfo, we found three Congressional Record entries that mention Mizzou’s Homecoming.

The first dates from October 18, 2000, when Senator Kit Bond addressed the Senate to acknowledge the recent death of Governor Mel Carnahan:

“I was with him on Saturday at the homecoming for the University of Missouri. We shared a common interest on that day; our football team didn’t do well. But Mel Carnahan, with a ready smile and a lovely wife, was there. We enjoyed our time together as we appreciated and looked back on the tremendous accomplishments he had and the contributions he made to the State of Missouri.”

Congressional Record Volume 157, Issue 154 (October 14, 2011). Source: govinfo.gov.

We continue on a happier note with two entries recognizing the 100th anniversary of MU’s Homecoming. On October 13, 2011, Blaine Luetkemeyer rose to congratulate MU on the landmark celebration (see insert to the left). Russ Carnahan did the same the following day on October 14. “The tradition of ‘homecoming’ at the University of Missouri,” Carnahan said, “served as a model for homecoming celebrations across the country.” He continues, saying:

“Each year, thousands of students and alumni come home to celebrate one of the university’s greatest traditions. Homecoming at Mizzou has gone beyond school pride and football. Through this event, Mizzou has broken the world record for the largest peacetime blood drive on a college campus, and has organized other large community service events. Moreover, the University of Missouri’s homecoming celebration was recently named the best homecoming in the Nation.”

It is good to be a Tiger; here’s to another great Homecoming, Mizzou!





Lindsay Yungbluth

Lindsay Yungbluth is a Library Information Specialist at Ellis Library where she works in Government Documents.

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Government Information State Documents Detail Missouri Beer Production and Consumption from the 1930s to the 1970s

State Documents Detail Missouri Beer Production and Consumption from the 1930s to the 1970s

While their covers and titles can be on the generic side, annual reports of State Agencies are filled with interesting information that can be hard to find anywhere else. A great example of this is the Annual Report of the Department of Liquor Control of the State of Missouri, which has chronicled the production and consumption of alcohol in the Show-Me State for four decades.

The Missouri Department of Liquor Control was established in 1934 with two major functions, the collection of revenue and law enforcement. As such, their annual reports are filled with statistical tables detailing how much beer, wine and liquor was produced in and shipped out of Missouri each year, per capita consumption, types of violations charged and more.

The links below contain samples of some of these fascinating tables from 1938 to 1968, including how many millions of gallons of liquor, beer and wine were consumed per year:

If this just wets your whistle and you want to learn more, visit Government Documents in Ellis Library.

Lindsay Yungbluth

Lindsay Yungbluth is a Library Information Specialist at Ellis Library where she works in Government Documents.

home Government Information, Resources and Services Take a Look at the Fashions of the First Ladies with Government Documents

Take a Look at the Fashions of the First Ladies with Government Documents

With the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition coming up next week (accompanied, of course, by the opening celebration Gala on Monday), May means fashion. To add to this month’s conversation on fashion and its place in society, we are excited to showcase the delightful government publication The Dresses of the First Ladies of the White House by Margaret Brown Klapthor.

Published in 1952 by the Smithsonian Institution, this book contains images of dresses worn by First Ladies, from Martha Dandridge Curtis Washington to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, lovingly displayed on a plaster figure with the appropriate accessories, coiffure and posture of the woman who wore them.

Detailed descriptions of each dress, as well as a portrait and brief biographical sketch of each woman, are also included. The gowns, which belong to a collection of the United States National Museum, “represent the changes in fashions in this country from the administration of President George Washington through the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt” as Klapthor says in her introduction.

Klapthor authored two supplements to this title, The Gown of Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1958) and The Gown of Mrs. John F. Kennedy (1963), to extend her survey of fashion through the Kennedy administration.

To view the gown of your favorite First Lady, visit the Government Information department at Ellis Library.


All images from Dresses of the First Ladies of the White House, by Margaret B. Klapthor, 1952.

home Government Information Historic climatological publications available from the National Centers for Environmental Information

Historic climatological publications available from the National Centers for Environmental Information

This winter has certainly been one for the history books when it comes to weather—it is a rare event indeed for Chicago to be colder than the North Pole! Weather data is fascinating, but knowing where to go to find historical data can be tricky.

Luckily, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information exists to preserve and provide public access to the Nation’s weather data and information! Their site has an impressive digital archive of historical climatological data publications, with access to series such as Climatological Data, Storm Data, Hourly Precipitation Data, Monthly Climatic Data for the World, Local Climatological Data, and more.

The Weather Bureau’s Climatological Data series, for example, is a monthly publication with an annual edition as well. The monthly issues contain tables of daily maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation amounts at over 8000 weather stations all across the nation, while the annual gives an overview of the year, including temperature extremes and freeze data. They are issued by state, and date all the way back to 1884!

These could be used to find out what the weather was like a hundred years ago today, on days of historical significance, on the day you were born, or more. Most fascinating, don’t you think?




home Government Information, Resources and Services Government Information takes you behind the scenes of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Government Information takes you behind the scenes of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The 2019 Oscar nominations get one thinking of all the great films that came out in 2018. What were some of your favorites? Academy Award-winning director Morgan Neville’s documentary about Mister Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, certainly garnered a great deal of acclaim! It also gives us an opportunity to make use of historic U.S. government publications.

One important scene in the film shows Fred Rogers speaking before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications; the date is May 1, 1969 and the committee is in hearings on a bill that would authorize the appropriation of $20 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the 1970 fiscal year. Mister Rogers gives a powerful testimony that can be read in full in the published hearing Extension of Authorizations Under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which the University Libraries have access to through our online database subscriptions.

An excerpt from Fred Rogers’ statement in Extension of Authorizations Under the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967

The film, which played locally in 2018 at both Ragtag Cinema and True/False Film Fest, is available at the Columbia Public Library if you are interested in watching it.

And if you want to find out if more of your favorite personalities have made appearances before Congress, visit the Government Information department at Ellis Library.


Lindsay Yungbluth

Lindsay Yungbluth is a Library Information Specialist at Ellis Library where she works in Government Documents.

home Government Information, Resources and Services Government Documents give a glimpse at the beginnings of Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.

Government Documents give a glimpse at the beginnings of Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.

“This daylight-saving plan will afford an opportunity to many thousands of working people, those who work in offices and in factories and in mills and probably in mines, and on railroads, so that if they feel disposed they will have an opportunity to use an hour in the evening, or more, to till their gardens. If we are going to start an individual conservation scheme, and it looks as though that idea is going to take root, it will be one of the blessings that will grow out of this world difficulty. It will get the people back to the land, if it is only a square rod or two. It will give them an opportunity to know how to raise produce.”

Thus spoke Mr. Arthur E. Holder, representing the American Federation of Labor, at a hearing before the Committee on Interstate Commerce on Thursday, May 3, 1917, where he was adding his voice to the support of a bill to establish a daylight saving time in the United States.

Harris & Ewing, photographer. Senate Sergeant at Arms Charles Higgins turns forward the Ohio Clock for the first Daylight Saving Time, while Senators William Calder NY, William Saulsbury, Jr. DE, and Joseph T. Robinson AR look on, U.S. Capitol building, Washington, D.C. [Between 1910 and 1920] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
With the end of this year’s Daylight Saving Time approaching on November 4th, MU Libraries’ historical government document collection can shed a little light on the early days of national daylight saving laws (there have been many) in the United States – a little something to think about as you turn your clocks back.

The 1958 Interstate Commerce Commission monograph Standard Time by Thomas E. Pyne examines the Standard Time Act, the result of ‘the agitation for ‘daylight saving’ during World War I to conserve fuel and increase national efficiency”, which caused the first national daylight saving to be inaugurated at 2 o’clock on March 31, 1918.

“The act, approved March 19, 1918, is entitled ‘An act to save daylight and to provide standard time for the United States.’ It served a twofold purpose. It divided the territory of the continental United States into five zones, eastern, central, mountain, Pacific, and Alaska…. It also provided that the time of each zone should be advanced 1 hour on the last Sunday in March of each year and returned to normal time on the last Sunday of October…”

The document gives a glimpse of the situation prior to this act, when each State adopted one of four standards of time “for its own use by statute, ordinance, or more usually, public sentiment or habits”:

“The areas embracing the States, cities, towns, and railroads observing the same standard of time were so irregular as to preclude an attempt to define them even approximately. In some instances localities employed a different time form that of the railroad serving them, and in other instances two railroads serving the same point used different standards of time.”

Imagine how difficult that must have made coordinating travel and the transport of goods!

While the daylight saving provision of this Standard Time Act was short lived (it ended after only two summers), other national daylight saving laws have a curious history in the U.S.—one was reinstated year round during World War II, another was passed in 1966, more—that you can learn more about by visiting the Government Information department at Ellis Library after you enjoy an extra hour of sleep on Sunday.

And now you know a bit more about daylight saving time in the United States, how it was initially coupled with the standardization of the time zones and how it was influenced by railroads and the World Wars.

home Databases & Electronic Resources, Government Information University Libraries Provide Access to Online Data Fair

University Libraries Provide Access to Online Data Fair

The University of Missouri Libraries are not just places to find books and journals – we also make available data that is ready for quantitative analysis.  Through the University Libraries, all of our faculty, staff and students have member-level access to two data archives: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. The ICPSR offers training and webinars as well, and we are pleased to announce their 2018 Data Fair is approaching. Here’s more from their news release:

ICPSR’s 2018 Data Fair focuses on the most important variable: you.  Data is in the news at a dizzying rate, reminding us that our choices in collecting and sharing data are of great consequence. Join us for the Data Fair, a series of webinars taking place October 1-5, to learn from thought leaders who will delve into important topics like:

  • data transparency
  • data activism
  • data in the community
  • what to do with data
  • and more

Watch this one minute video for more information, and review the full list of webinar sessions

Since 2010, the ICPSR Data Fair has provided thousands of participants with world-renowned data training and resources. All for free, all virtual, and all open to the public. We invite you to join us for the 2018 Data Fair by registering for sessions here.

home Cycle of Success, Ellis Library, Government Information Knowledge of Sailors’ Wages Enhances Tours of Only Above-Water Whaleback Ship Museum

Knowledge of Sailors’ Wages Enhances Tours of Only Above-Water Whaleback Ship Museum

This guest post is written by Martin Karpa, Volunteer with the Superior Public Museums in Superior, Wisconsin.

My first job after graduating high school was on a ship sailing the Great Lakes. I worked the freighters for four seasons, hauling iron ore, coal, grain, sand and limestone from Duluth, MN, to Buffalo, NY, and numerous ports in between.

It was just within the last two years that projects around the home were winding down, freeing up more time for interests. With a sailing history and fondness of said, I took an interest in the Superior Public Museums, Superior, WI, of which one of the museums is the last-in-the-world above-water whaleback steamship S.S. Meteor. Volunteer efforts with the museums started out with their annual Volunteer Work Weekend held every last weekend in April when people come from across the Upper Midwest to preserve and prepare the Meteor for guests who tour the ship and learn about its history, sailing in the 1890s, the conception of its unique design and the influence this design has had on the present day shipping industry.

The first work weekend on the Meteor only piqued my interests and I wound up volunteering to come every couple of weeks or so to help out with routine seasonal maintenance on the ship. One thing leads to another, and this role in maintenance has now expanded to also being a volunteer tour guide not only for the Meteor but also at another of the museums, Fairlawn Mansion.

My opinion: dedicated tour guides are not given enough credit. These individuals put themselves out there before the general public and are expected to be the resident authority of what they are teaching, able to field any question thrown at them. Guides will learn the tour script, of course, but many will go above and beyond, gleaning all the facts they can about their particular expertise in order to answer even the most unpredictable question as best they can.

Marie Concannon

One such question was, “What were the sailors’ wages at the time?” (referring to sailors in the 1890s). I didn’t know, said so, and spent some time with the individual after the tour trying to find an answer on the internet without satisfying success. This lead to a more extensive internet search later at home, also without much concrete success. Now, I am not an idiot, but doing such specific research is not in my educational background. All of the clicking around on the net somehow lead me to Marie Concannon‘s contact information as the University of Missouri Libraries’ Head of Government Information. With mounting frustrations over negative search results and no better idea as to where to go with this question, I fired off an email to Marie last August, knowing it was a crapshoot . . . a roll of the dice . . . and I hit the jackpot!

Marie responded promptly, and a very pleasant correspondence followed, impressing me with her passion and dedication to her work. It was obvious even across the internet that she is enthusiastic about researching an issue and my hat is off to her. Information provided by Marie has now been adopted and fit into my personal script when giving tours of the S.S. Meteor, giving those interested in this aspect of our nation’s industrial history a better understanding of daily life at the end of the Victorian Era, beginning of the Gilded Age and into the Progressive Era. Being able to offer more detailed information to guests of the museum also gives them a fuller experience, which in turn helps spread an even more positive review of their visit.

Cycle of Success is the idea that libraries, faculty, and students are linked; for one to truly succeed, we must all succeed. The path to success is formed by the connections between University of Missouri Libraries and faculty members, between faculty members and students, and between students and the libraries that serve them. More than just success, this is also a connection of mutual respect, support, and commitment to forward-thinking research.

Although the Cycle of Success typically focuses on the relationships among the Libraries, faculty, and students, the Libraries also contribute to the success of all the communities Mizzou serves. The Libraries are an integral part of Mizzou’s mission “to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in the state, the nation and the world.”

If you would like to submit your own success story about how the libraries have helped your research and/or work, please use the Cycle of Success form.


Jennifer Gravley

I am a Research and Instruction Librarian with a background in creative writing.

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits, Government Information Century-old Soil Survey Maps Also Reveal the Built Environment

Century-old Soil Survey Maps Also Reveal the Built Environment

Have you seen our latest display in the Bookmark Café? From a distance, these maps–neither paintings nor drawings–look like antique marbleized papers with amorphous shapes in a dreamy blending of lavenders, corals, blues, golds and pinks. But up close another scene is unveiled: villages as they appeared nearly a century ago. Schoolhouses on hilltops. Green plantations on the banks of the Rio Grande river, looking out into Mexico. Islands in lakes. Cemeteries and church buildings. Serpentine trails that wander through the wilderness, terminating at lone cabins. On the south wall, you can visit Las Vegas back when it only had a dozen streets each way, dots indicating buildings.

Sampson County, North Carolina

For nearly 100 years, a large collection of these soil survey maps have been folded up and tucked in the back of U.S. Department of Agriculture documents in Mizzou Libraries’ Government Information collection. Although the project’s purpose was to document soil types and alkalinity, the maps show much more than that.

These maps are generally too fragile to unfold without tearing, but with the help of award-winning preservation specialist Michaelle Dorsey, some maps from a 1923 volume were very carefully opened up and placed inside clear plastic envelopes, custom made in our on-site preservation shop. See the original maps on display now because they are for the most part not available online. However if you want to see one for a different place or year, you can use this guide to discover which areas were mapped on which dates, and we can help you view others in our print collection.


home Databases & Electronic Resources, Government Information, Resources and Services Prices and Wages Give Us a Glimpse into the Past

Prices and Wages Give Us a Glimpse into the Past

The Prices and Wages by Decade research guide has found fans across campus, the state, and the world since Marie Concannon, Head of Government Information, created it six years ago.

Esteemed research scientist Jay Zagorsky, who collects data for the National Longitudinal Surveys of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is one of the latest scholars to use the detailed lists of resources for prices and wages throughout the history of the U.S. Zagorsky investigated how prices at high end restaurants have changed since 1899 using menus found via the guide.

Marie enjoys making historical prices meaningful by placing them in context with average wages paid at the time. The guide directs users mostly to U.S. federal and state government information, supplemented by other primary sources when needed.

The audience for the Prices and Wages by Decade guide has dramatically increased each year. Maries notes that the vast majority of visitors find the guide through Google searches. She says, “I developed the site expecting that most people would look for hard-to-find information from the 1800s, but it turned out that the most popular decades are the 1920s, 1950s and 1970s.”











If you use the guide, let us know about your project and how the information you found on prices and wages made the research process easier.



Jennifer Gravley

I am a Research and Instruction Librarian with a background in creative writing.