Labor unions were created by workers to protect their rights. Less recognized is labor’s role in advancing civil liberties, social justice, and economic equality for all Americans.
The labor movement has always supported the quest for economic justice, including demands for an eight-hour workday and a living wage. From the beginning of the 20th century, organized labor has championed religious freedom and the evolving demands of the environmental movement. By the end of the century, the labor movement consistently promoted international human rights.
In contrast, people of color, women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community faced exclusion, segregation, and discrimination by unions. These groups created their own organizations, fought for inclusion, and pushed the labor movement to broaden its central principles of liberty, justice, and equality. In the 21st century, organized labor has become an advocate for the rights of all these communities, including anti-discrimination and civil rights legislation, marriage equality, and protections for undocumented workers.
This exhibit explores the American labor movement’s contributions to social progress using documents, images, videos, and artifacts from the Labor History Collections within the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland Libraries.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland will be hosting the exhibition Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.
This exhibition explores Lewis Carroll’s creative genius. It begins with early editions of his most famous books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and includes Carroll’s other fictional, poetic, photographic, and mathematical works. The exhibition celebrates the worldwide and timeless appeal of Carroll’s legacy by showcasing how artists and illustrators from Tenniel to today have envisioned the Alice books. It highlights numerous foreign language illustrated editions, artistic bindings, unusual ephemera, and the role of Alice in popular culture over the past 150 years.
William Morris the visionary sought to make the world a better place and return to an idealized society inspired by the aesthetic of the Middle Ages. Through his study of culture and history, Morris came to believe that people in the Middle Ages lived meaningful lives because they worked in harmony with beautiful handcrafted objects, art and buildings. This vision animated his quest to revive traditional crafts and preserve the literary, artistic and architectural legacies of the medieval world.
Morris developed his vision in the context of the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Thus he stands as among the first to articulate a cultural critique against the dehumanizing impact of mass production. And he was not alone in his views. William Morris inspired many with his vision for how we might live, which remains relevant in a world where we continue to debate the merits of modernity, class distinction and corporate dominance.
To celebrate the 75th year of publishing of Nancy Drew books, the University of Maryland Libraries featured an exhibit on Girls' Series books in the Rose and Joseph Pagnani Collection. Although Nancy Drew is the star of the exhibit, other girls' series heroines such as Vicki Barr, Sue Barton, Judy Bolton, and the Dana Girls are also included.
This exhibit celebrates the publication of At the Barriers, the first book-length collection of essays about British-born poet Thom Gunn. Edited by Joshua Weiner, the volume surveys Gunn's career from his youth in 1930s Britain to his final years in California. Weiner's essay in the volume, "From Ladd's Hill to Land's End (and Back Again): Narrative, Rhythm, and the Transatlantic Occasions of 'Misanthropos,'" makes use of the University of Maryland Libraries' Thom Gunn Papers. Weiner positions "Misanthropos" as significant within Gunn's poetic oeuvre, as an attempt to capture his vision of and for poetry, in style, form, and occasion.
For over 75 years, the University of Maryland has been actively involved in radio. What began as an introductory course in the Speech Department blossomed into a thriving student-run station, first as WMUC AM 650, then as WMUC- FM in College Park and WMUC Digital.
Generations of students have lent their talents to WMUC. Many have gone on to broadcast-related careers in music, sports, journalism, reporting, production and engineering, while others have simply enjoyed the creative opportunities the station offered as an extracurricular activity. Whatever the future held for each of them, every voice at WMUC has helped to shape the identity of the university.
The University Libraries are proud to play a role in saving college radio at the University of Maryland. As we work to preserve the materials that tell the story of WMUC’s past, we are committed to ensuring that the station continues to serve the students, the campus and the greater Washington, D.C., area community well into the future.
This exhibit brings together traditions and many other fun and unusual tales about our campus, from its founding in 1856 as the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC) to the twenty-first century.
On November 29, 1912, smoke and flames interrupted a Thanksgiving dance in the Barracks of Maryland Agricultural College. Most students and faculty members had gone home to celebrate Thanksgiving, but the fifty or so who remained on campus faced a scene that would change the course of the institution's history. This exhibit is a story of the fire using a variety of primary source resources including oral histories, images, and published material.
How do we remember the past? What makes a place historic? Why have we ignored Bladensburg while celebrating the story of other, more picturesque places? These are some of the issues explored in this exhibit. The bicentennial of the Battle of Bladensburg in the War of 1812 is an ideal occasion to reexamine our answers to these questions. Bladensburg’s story has its dark sides, but by reconnecting with its forgotten past, we preserve something more than history – we preserve an understanding of the complex processes and contradictions that forged the nation we know today.
The exhibit demonstrates the importance of viewing American Civil War history through the lens of women's and gender history and to illustrate the particularities of living within the "border state" of Maryland.
The exhibit provides a glimpse into the lives and careers of 16 American women who worked in broadcasting during its most crucial years of development and expansion, in the mid-20th century.
Postcards and Americana
Vacation travel and sending postcards. For many, these two activities are inseparable. Travelers love to pick-up souvenirs of a memorable experience perhaps as keepsakes or to share with others. A picture postcard usually captures an evocative image and offers the convenience of an inexpensive way to send a brief message in an easily mailed format. The impulse to capture and share the essence of a place continues today. Modern portable technologies allow almost anyone to snap a photo and send the picture with a short message. This same desire propelled picture postcards into the center of American culture after they first appeared in the 1890s. If a picture tells a thousand words, then the millions of postcards sent over the past century suggest that postcards are a significant source for understanding how Americans spent their leisure time.
This exhibit provides a closer look at the real Adele Stamp (1890-1974) who arrived at the University of Maryland in 1922 to serve as the first Dean of Women, a position she held until 1960. It was during her time at UMD, that the number of female students increased from approximately 75 to 3,600.
This exhibit features early postcards of national parks and other natural wonders, scenic resorts, amusement parks, historic sites, world's fairs and American cities. The millions of postcards sent around the turn of the twentieth century suggest that postcards are a significant source for understanding how Americans then spent their leisure time.
The Maryland Agricultural College, forerunner of the University of Maryland, College Park, had scarcely opened its doors when the Civil War began. Those four years of conflict affected its organizational history and the personal lives of many individuals associated with it. This exhibit highlights the lives of a few individuals - students, faculty, administrators, stockholders, and trustees - examining this chapter of American history through a specific prism.
This exhibit explores the many facets of publishers’ cloth book bindings as cultural artifacts. It pays particular attention to the binding industry in 19th-Century Baltimore, an important secondary center of book production.
Musical Milestone proudly celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the University of Maryland Bands. This exhibit honors the history and tradition of band music at the university, explores many facets of the band’s evolution, and pays tribute to its remarkable contribution to campus life.