Independence Day

Happy Independence Day from those of us here at Special Collections!  In honor of the day of America's declaration of independence from England, here are some items from our collections about the document that started it all.

First, from our poster collection, is this reproduction of the Declaration, produced by the Marquette Cement Manufacturing Company to "foster a greater appreciation of the fundamentals of Americanism" in 1925.  A block of text on the back asks the question "Why not celebrate the 4th of July by displaying this facsimile of the Declaration of Independence in your home or place of business."  To that we say: way ahead of you, Marquette Cement Manufacturing.

Here's a close up of some of the signatures that anyone familiar with the document will recognize:

Signatures

From our Rare Collection is this beautifully illustrated pamphlet on the story of the Declaration:

Pamplet

Published in 1903, it includes a history of the events leading up to the writing of the document, portraits of the signers, and an essay on the history of the American flag by John Quincy Adams.

For other items relating to Independence Day in our collections, including our collection of Fourth of July Orations, stop by and see us, and have a happy Fourth!

home Resources and Services, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books Special Collections contributes to the Missouri Over There digitization project

Special Collections contributes to the Missouri Over There digitization project

Special Collections and Rare Books recently contributed several World War I posters to the Missouri Over There digitization project.  Coordinated by the Missouri State Library, the Missouri Over There project explores the state's involvement in the first World War.  The posters selected for digitization deal with military recruiting and home front efforts such as food conservation, savings programs, and civic organizations.  Many pertain to the St. Louis area, but a few are specific to Columbia and mid-Missouri.

Take a look at the project blog, and browse the entire selection of posters in the Missouri Digital Heritage database.  Special Collections has a collection of over 900 World War I posters, including examples from France, Germany, and Belgium.  You can find a description of the entire World War I poster collection on the Special Collections website.

Wildfire Prevention

While we’re feeling the heat as truly summer-like temperatures in the 90s are making themselves known, the risk of wildfire increases throughout the country.

At the time this was written, 24 wildfires were burning throughout the country.  Maps put out by the National Interagency Fire Center (like this one) show the location of “large incidents,” or large uncontrollable fires that were currently burning at the time of map-making.  Other maps (like this one) can help you determine the likelihood of a wildfire starting in your area.

As a wise bear has said, we all have the power to prevent wildfires and forest fires.  Here at Special Collections, anyone looking through our poster collection will find several 1940s-era posters reminding us of this fact.

A somewhat menacing-looking Smokey reminds us to take care.

 

Smokey Bear, the bear who has such confidence in us humans to prevent forest fires, is the longest running PSA campaign in United States history.  In 1950, a bear cub was orphaned by a forest fire in New Mexico.  Rangers rescued him from the fire and nursed him back to health until he eventually left for a zoo in Washington, D.C. where he became the living symbol for the Smokey Bear fire prevention campaign that is still popular today.

As the poster to the left suggests, the importance of preventing wildfires was felt very strongly in the forties, due to the war-effort.  In fact, the first half of that decade was when this awareness/prevention campaign really started to spread like wildfire (pun intended).  Large, uncontained fires would take attention and supplies away from the troops that were in need of them, making forest fires not only a danger to those near them, but also to those overseas.  Luckily for all of us, there are several easy steps to take to prevent uncontained fires conveniently recorded on this poster, such as making sure your campfire has been put out thoroughly before breaking camp.

In addition to putting forth practical reasons for being careful with fire, the forestry service around this time also tugged at the heartstrings of Americans by issuing posters with Bambi and friends, imploring those that look upon them to not burn down their homes.  As the Disney movie had just debuted the previous year, this poster would have been particularly effective in its message of reminding people of the devastating effects fires have on forest wildlife.

So remember:

  • “only you can prevent wildfires”
  • to see these posters (and others) all you need to do is visit us at Special Collections!
home Events and Exhibits, Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books New Exhibit – World War II Posters: Women Called to Action

New Exhibit – World War II Posters: Women Called to Action

As many men went abroad to serve in the war, large numbers of women were left behind.  However, women played an integral part in the WWII victory.  War posters on display from the Special Collections Department of Ellis Library illustrate how women were called upon to help win the war both at home and in foreign lands.

World War II Posters will be on display in the Ellis Library Colonnade November 3rd-December 2nd, 2011.

Exhibit curated by Karen Witt, Special Collections Reference Librarian.

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Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is a librarian in the Special Collections and Rare Books department. She teaches information sessions in Special Collections, does reference work, and maintains the department's digital presences. Contact Kelli