Friday, April 29, 2011

"Video/Online Social Networks" Workshop at E.I. Conference--PowerPoint Slideshow Now Available to Download

Click the hyperlink below to download the MS-PowerPoint slideshow presented during the "Video/Online Social Networks to Promote E.I. & Your Library" workshop at the Evergreen Indiana Conference sponsored by the Indiana State Library on Friday, May 6, 2011. The presenter, William R. Buckley, of Mooresville Public Library (Mooresville, Indiana), has uploaded the slideshow (in MS-PowerPoint Show format) for the convenience of attendees (and others interested) who would like to have a viewable copy with active hyperlinks.

 This hyperlink above will take you to the Media Fire website.

Look for a yellow box to start the download procedure.  It looks like this:

Once you have clicked the yellow box link, this window should pop-up:

Select either "open with [Microsoft Office PowerPoint (default)]" or "save file," depending upon which choice you wish to make.

When you attempt to run the MS-PowerPoint Show, this security alert will probably pop-up:

There are Macros and ActiveX controls in the PowerPoint slideshow, so you should choose "Enable the content" and click the OK button.  Otherwise, the slideshow may not display properly.

In the slideshow, if the embedded video boxes appear with X's on the PowerPoint slides, this indicates broken hyperlinks. However, the titles of each video (as shown on the slides above the X boxes) are also hyperlinked, so clicking the titles should open a pop-up window playing the videos. Active textual hyperlinks should appear in blue or purple.

Please email the presenter should you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your interest.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You Could Look It Up

In 1941 James Thurber wrote an amusing short story called "You Could Look It Up," in which a three-foot tall adult was a pinch-hitter in a baseball game, just so he could be "walked" (because the pitcher couldn't fathom the strike zone in someone so diminuitive).  This ploy was actually used in 1951 by the St. Louis Browns, with Eddie Gaedel, at 3 feet, 7 inches, going to bat (once in his major league career) against the Detroit Tigers.

There are many such curious historical tidbits lost to conventional histories.  Ripley's Believe It or Not has been a long-standing staple because of readers' appetites for the obscure, unusual, and peculiar.  Indiana has its own version of Ripley's in Indiana's Believe It or Not, by Fred D. Cavinder (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990).  Interestingly, the book was republished under the title Amazing Tales From Indiana (1990), prompting me to suspect that Ripley's may have threatened a lawsuit (or perhaps filed one) for trademark infringement.  Whatever the title, the book is a gem of Hoosier historical minutiae.  Its success brought forth a sequel, More Amazing Tales from Indiana (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003), in which Cavinder delighted readers with more surprising historical facts that people probably didn't learn when studying Indiana history in the third or fourth grades.

Cavinder, who was an Indianapolis Star reporter for over three decades and editor of the Star Magazine for 16 years, handles the stories deftly with an entertaining and engaging prose.  Each story is short and sweet (most are less than a page in length), and the scope and variety will easily hold your attention.

Let's test your knowledge of obscure Hoosier history:

  • Which Indiana county has the highest elevation?
I once lived there, so I know the answer, as will many of my readers.  But, in case you haven't had time to search the Internet for the answer, Cavinder tells us:  Randolph County, from or near which originate many Hoosier streams and rivers.

  • (Almost) President John W. Davis
Dr. John W. Davis, of Carlisle, Sullivan County, Indiana, was a compromise candidate at the 1852 Democratic national convention.  He lost to Franklin Pierce by a single vote.  Pierce, as the Democratic candidate, won the election and became the country's 14th president.  It could just as easily have been Davis, which would have given Indiana a second holder of that prestigious office (Benjamin Harrison was the Hoosier state's sole American president; William Henry Harrison, his grandfather, was from Virginia).

  • Where (and when) could you find magnetic water in Indiana?
If you had lived during the 1870s, you might have visited Jim Bailey's homestead near Plymouth, Indiana.  His water well produced an estimated 500 gallons a minute, and metallic objects became magnetized when placed into the water.  A compass needle would be affected if held within two feet of a bucket of Bailey's "attractive water."

  • Whose grave was in the center of a Hoosier highway?
Nancy Barnett, who settled with husband William in Johnson County, Indiana, around 1821, lived on three acres of land near Sugar Creek.  When she passed, she was buried, pursuant to her last wishes, overlooking the creek.  As the decades passed, highway construction forced removal of the cemetery's graves--except for Nancy's.  Descendants of Nancy Barnett fought governmental projects for many years, and Cavinder included a photograph in the 1990 edition of his book showing Nancy's grave, complete with an official state historical marker, sitting in the middle of County Road 400 South (what was once Hill's Camp Road).  The road separates into two tracks to accommodate the interment.

Cavinder delights readers with dozens of similar historical tales.  If you are interested in Hoosier history and enjoy the offbeat and peculiar, then look for Cavinder's books (the ones mentioned above, plus many, many others about Indiana) at your public or school library.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The End of a Landmark (1881-1989)

On the northeast corner of the intersection of Main and Indiana Streets in downtown Mooresville, Indiana, which was the site of Samuel Moore's general store (1824-1869), was built the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) building (1869-1881).  Destroyed by fire in 1881, it was rapidly replaced by the second I.O.O.F. Building, which housed a variety of businesses and organizations over nearly a century, including the I.O.O.F. Morgan Lodge #211 (1869-1960s), Pleas Mills Dry Goods (1890s-1930s), Kroger Grocery (1940s), and Tompkins Jewelry (1950s).  Most of the structure was demolished in 1965-66 (when Citizens Bank built its current structure and parking lots), but a portion of the first floor was salvaged and continued to host businesses until 1989, when the last of the second I.O.O.F. Building fell to demolition.

Thanks to Jack Broyer, we have photographs of I.O.O.F. Building #2's last day.  (All photos are dated April, 1989).

Warren Insurance was the final occupant of the remnant of the second I.O.O.F. Building.  The remaining structure was demolished in April, 1989.

A front end loader/backhoe brings down the last vestiges of I.O.O.F. Building #2.  Notice the businesses (in April 1989) across North Indiana Street in downtown Mooresville

Citizens Bank was (and still is) located immediately north of the demolished structure (on North Indiana Street in downtown Mooresville)

Note the dedication stone commemorating Samuel Moore's general store, which was the first wood-frame business in Mooresville and was situated at this location (1824-1859).  The stone remains at the site, which today is Hadley mini-park.

A surprisingly tall pile of rubble left by the demolished one-story remnant of the second I.O.O.F. Building

Looking south toward East Main Street in downtown Mooresville.  The building visible across the street was constructed in the 1890s by George W. Bass and was home to Citizens Bank from 1931 to 1966.

The MPL Indiana Room has some digitized materials (click here and here) that summarize some of the history of the site.

To learn more about the history of Mooresville's I.O.O.F. chapter (Morgan Lodge #211, organized July 7, 1859), read pages 92-93 of  A Brief History of Mooresville, Indiana, 1824-1974, by Clara Sellars Richardson.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

1949 Soup Box Derby Competition in Downtown Mooresville, Indiana (UPDATED)

The Library recently received a donation of an undated photograph of a Soup Box Derby competition, which was held in downtown Mooresville, Indiana.  (SOUP box?  Isn't it called "Soap Box Derby"?  Not this one--I'll explain presently.)  When and where did this event occur?  There are several suggestive clues in the photo.  Can you see them?

Undated Photograph Purported to be Downtown Mooresville, Indiana

A comparison to a more current photograph (see below) of downtown Mooresville enables us to positively identify the buildings in the picture above to be the south side of East Main Street, in downtown Mooresville.  So location is definitely nailed down; but what about time period?

The spectators' clothing and hairstyles are suggestive of the 1940s, although a small town such as Mooresville would have seen similar styles well into the late 1950s and early 1960s.  The businesses occupying various downtown buildings, all of which still stand today, are a solid method of establishing date ranges.  Knowing, for example, that, during the 1940s, Voelz & Son Market was located in the Jake Mann-constructed building shown in the photo is extremely helpful.  Mooresville Homes & Auto Supply was nearby Voelz during the late 1940s and into the 1950s.  So we may narrow our date range between, say, 1947 and 1952.

Fortunately, the MPL Indiana Room Collection has approximately 2,500 vertical files detailing local, county, and state history.  These files were assembled over the Library's 100 year history (and earlier, from information saved by thoughtful residents who later donated them to the Library).  The librarian most responsible for compiling and safeguarding these rare, irreplaceable historical materials was Wanda Potts, MPL Indiana Room Librarian (1966-2002), who was Assistant Director during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Helping Wanda amass this historical gold mine were MPL Director Bonita Marley (1961-1984), her assistant, Myrtle Keller (1960s-1970s), and current MPL volunteer Beth Hensley.

Among our vertical files is one captioned "Soap Box Derby (Mooresville)," which includes a packet of undated photographs that include a smaller print of the photo above.  Happily, the packet is marked "1949 Soap Box Derby" (yes, the file tab and photo packet both say "soap box derby," but that's a mistake, as we will see shortly), and newspaper clippings from 1949-1950 reprinted some of these pictures contained in the packet.

Thanks to the resourcefulness of Wanda Potts and her colleagues, we may definitively date the donation photo above to the 1949 Soup Box Derby race.  We know from the newspaper clippings (Mooresville Times, July 7, 1949) that Bud Beasley, who drove the Gibbs Regal Store car, won the Class A Division.  (Gibbs Regal was a local grocery store at the time.)  The Class B Division title was captured by Larry Laudig.  Ray House, who was the timer at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was the official starter for the Derby.  Beasley edged Laudig for the grand championship title.

Compare the 1949 photo above with a more recent picture (May 8, 2008) of the same section of downtown Mooresville (below).

A Portion of the South Side of East Main Street,
Downtown Mooresville, Indiana (May 8, 2008)

Soup or Soap?  Another Mystery

The Mooresville Times over the years used both "soap" and "soup" in articles about the races.  It was referred to as the "Soup Box Derby" in the July 7, 1949 edition.  The local newspaper referred to both the 1949 and 1950 races as "soup box derby" events (Mooresville Times, July 27, 1950).   Local reporters mentioned the "1953 Soup Box Derby" in a newspaper article (Mooresville Times, Aug. 6, 1953).

The 1934, 1935, and 1965 races, however, were identified as "Soap Box Derby" contests.  (Mooresville Times,  Aug. 6, 1934; Aug. 22, 1935; July 22, 1965).  So what's the difference?

Thanks to alert reader Larry Laudig, who won the 1949 Class B Division Title and was runnerup that year for the grand championship title, we know who "put the soup" in the derby racers.  As Mr. Laudig mentioned in our comments section, in 1949 Mooresville was running a local race that was not affiliated with the National Soap Box Derby competition.  The name was presumably trademarked, and so Mooresville officials changed their local event to the Soup Box Derby.  It is a catchy title, if you think about "souped up" (i.e., fast-running) cars.  "Souped up" was certainly a commonly used expression in the vernacular of the time period.

Based upon the newspaper accounts from 1950 and 1953, the races held during those years must also have been unaffiliated with the National Soap Box Derby, and so explains the name differential.

Careful reading of the newspaper clippings cited above also reveals why the 1934-1935 and 1965 races were called "Soap Box Derby."  The 8/6/1934 Times story stated that "Raymond Kerns, living about 3-1/2 miles southwest of Mooresville in the Bethseda neighborhood, won the Indianapolis All American Soap Box Derby."  The 7/22/1965 Times column said that Mark Marksbary, then a Mooresville High School sophomore, won the 28th annual Bloomington Soap Box Derby and competed in the national races.  One may presume that these events, held in Indianapolis and Bloomington, were affiliated with the national Soap Box Derby organization and therefore were permitted to use the "official" soap box derby name.

Many thanks to Mr. Laudig for alerting us to this important distinction!  We appreciate receiving first-hand knowledge of historical events, which we can then trace through the secondary source historical materials available at Mooresville Public Library (in the Indiana Room Collection) to assure that correct details are provided.

Samuel, Meet Samuel

Recently, our Library's Youth Services Department conducted our annual chick hatching experiment, about which you may have read in our hatching chicks blog.  A record number of chicks hatched this year, and each hatchling received its own special name.  One chick was called Samuel, after Samuel Moore, the founder of Mooresville, Indiana.  (You may read more about founder Samuel in past postings on this blog.  Use the search line in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.)

Recently, Suzanne Walker, M.L.S., MPL Youth Services Librarian and Head of the YS Department, posted an update about Samuel (the chick).  In one of the photos, Samuel (again, the chick) held himself with great dignity and self-assurance.  Along with the white feathers under his chin and on his chest, the picture reminded me of Samuel Moore's photograph in our Indiana Room Collection, in terms of posture and dignified manner.  Compare for yourself.

Samuel (the founder) had a sense of humor, despite the seriousness of his expression in the photograph, so I think he would have been amused at the similarities with Samuel (the chick).  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Tri-Kappa Art Show on Display at MPL

This week the 2011 Tri-Kappa art show has been on display at Mooresville Public Library.  Students from public and private primary and secondary schools serving the communities of northern Morgan County, Indiana, presented their artistic creations for our enjoyment and education.  There is much fine work to see.

There were too many pictures (35) of the artwork to upload directly onto this blog, so we have uploaded them instead to the Library's account, which you may access by clicking the hyperlink below.

We hope you enjoy this wonderful art exhibition.  If you are in the neighborhood, stop by my Library this week to see these expressive creations in person.

P.S.  Since art is so colorful, here is Donovan singing his hit single "Colours" (1965).  Donovan (Donovan Leitch, Litt.D., University of Hertfordshire, 2003) was known in his early career as the "Scottish Woody Guthrie," and his impact of 1960s music (folk, folk rock, and folk jazz fusion) can scarcely be exaggerated.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Blog Features

We have added some new features to this blog.  (For a more humorous description, take a look at our feline roving reporter's blog, Cat's Eye View @ MPL, by Cauli Le Chat.)

You may now subscribe to this blog by email.  There is an email subscription box on the right side.  Simply type your email address and click the submit button.

We have also added a video thumbnail strip hyperlinking some of our videos from the MPL YouTube Channel.  Simply click the thumbnail, and a video pop-up window will appear to the left.

We hope you enjoy these additional blog features.  If you would like to see other "Blogger gadgets" added to the blog, please let us know in the comments section.

Thanks for reading!

Bill Buckley
MPL Indiana Room Historian & Reference Coordinator, Adult Services

CONTENTdm, Metadata, and Old Settlers History

In S631 Advanced Cataloging, students at the IUPUI School of Library and Information Sciences (SLIS) are learning to use CONTENTdm software to create metadata for digitized images.  For you library folks out there, CONTENTdm is an OCLC product, so I imagine subscriptions must not be cheap.  (This is why I forgot everything from a CONTENTdm workshop I took in 2008 at INCOLSA--my Library couldn't afford to subscribe.)  However, CONTENTdm is easy to use, quite flexible, and it organizes uploaded or linked materials (and their associated metadata) rather nicely.  For my project, I have assigned metadata to Old Settlers Picnic & Festival (Mooresville, Indiana) photos and videos from the MPL Indiana Room Collection.  Want to see?  Just click the URL below:

[UPDATE (7/8/2011)It looks like OCLC or the course instructor has taken down the class postings for this CONTENTdm assignment.  So the link will "time-out," which means you can't see the project.  That's too bad.]

Need more information about metadata, including definitions?  Try this manual published by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).  If you'd like to learn more about CONTENTdm, please visit the OCLC web site.  You might also like to watch one of OCLC's videos.

Bill Buckley
MPL Indiana Room Historian & Reference Coordinator, Adult Services