March 3, 2016
by library
0 comments

Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women and Politics

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the University Archives presents selections from our collection that highlight Chatham’s unwavering commitment to encouraging civic engagement in all levels of the political system.

This exhibition, Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women in Politics, demonstrates student civic engagement tracing back to the earliest days of the Suffragette movement, when students paraded through downtown Pittsburgh in support of women’s right to vote.

Pennsylvania College for Women float in support of women's right to vote, 1914

Pennsylvania College for Women float in support of women’s right to vote, 1914

Materials on exhibit illustrate a wide variety of activities, including rallies supporting equal access to education and student involvement in all levels of the political process.  The exhibit illustrates the continuity of the civic engagement among the student body and the university’s unwavering commitment to foster civic engagement as a core value.

We welcome you to explore Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women in Politics at the JKM Library and in the lounge of the Women’s Institute.  See below for some of our favorite archival records on this topic, plus a few that we just couldn’t squeeze into the display cases! Still hungry for more Chatham history?  Click here for more information about the collections in the Chatham University Archives & Special Collections.  

Clippings documenting Chatham's "Women and the War" conference

Clippings documenting Chatham’s “Women and the War” conference

During World War II, Chatham hosted an conference titled, “Women and the War” to discuss the role of women in the war effort.

Student volunteers update a poster showing the contributions of Faculty, Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen to the Fund to fight war and communism

Student volunteers update a poster showing the contributions of Faculty, Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshmen to the Fund to fight war and communism

Chatham students worked tirelessly to support the war effort, both at home and on the front lines.

World War II Veterans return to campus to continue their studies.

World War II Veterans return to campus to continue their studies.

In the 1950s, Chatham students turned their attention to increasing voter turnout, both on campus and within the broader community.

Students from Harrisburg, PA cast absentee ballots.

Students from Harrisburg, PA cast absentee ballots.

Chatham students with hand-painted signs.

Chatham students with hand-painted signs.

Student-lead efforts to increase voter turnout continue to this day.  In 1997, Chatham students collaborated with students from the University of Pittsburgh in a program to increase voter registration in the local community.

Two-page spread from the 1997 Cornerstone about voter registration efforts

Two-page spread from the 1997 Cornerstone about voter registration efforts

In the 1960s, Chatham women joined in the rising chorus of American students speaking out on issues of civil rights and the war in Vietnam.  After the Greensburg Four protested racial segregation at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in North Carolina, students from all over the south joined the sit-in.  In Pittsburgh, Chatham students protested outside the downtown Pittsburgh Woolworth, carrying signs reading “Chatham students protest civil rights violation,” and “Chatham students protest Woolworth lunch counter segregation.”  Click here to view a picture of this protest captured by legendary Pittsburgh photographer Teenie Harris housed at the Carnegie Museum of Art. 

Read more about the 1960 protest in this clipping from the Chatham student newspaper.

Article appearing in "The Arrow" on April 8, 1960 about Chatham student protest of lunch counter segregation

Article appearing in “The Arrow” on April 8, 1960 about Chatham student protest of lunch counter segregation

All across the country, college students voiced concerns about equality, civil liberties, and civil rights.  The university hosted a conference focusing on campus unrest in 1968, allowing college and university presidents, faculty, students and administrators to discuss and understand the changing political climate.

Brochure for conference on campus unrest held at Chatham in 1968

Brochure for conference on campus unrest held at Chatham in 1968

As the 1970s drew near, Chatham students became very engaged in discussion of the Vietnam War and continued to the support civil rights issues.

Chatham students protest the Vietnam War on Fifth Avenue

Chatham students protest the Vietnam War on Fifth Avenue

Chatham rally about Attica Prison riots

Chatham rally about Attica Prison riots

Material from Strike Information Central demonstrating student unrest

Material from Strike Information Central demonstrating student unrest

Editorial appearing in Chatham's "The Arrow" in 1970

Editorial appearing in Chatham’s “The Arrow” in 1970

Student civic engagement continued through the 1980s, when Chatham women participated in demonstrations in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.  One student attended a meeting at the White House with student leaders and President Jimmy Carter.

Bonnie McElvery, Student Government President, with President Jimmy Carter at the White House

Bonnie McElvery, Student Government President, with President Jimmy Carter at the White House

Chatham students protest the draft in downtown Pittsburgh

Chatham students protest the draft in downtown Pittsburgh

Chatham students at a Pro-Choice rally in Washinton, D.C. in 1989

Chatham students at a Pro-Choice rally in Washinton, D.C. in 1989

In 1995, Chatham students organized a rally in support of Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to preserve federal funding for student loans.  The rally was attended by over 2500 students from local colleges and universities and at least one University President.  Can you spot the University President in the pictures from the event below?

Images from 1995 rally to preserve federal funding for student loans

Images from 1995 rally to preserve federal funding for student loans

Over the years, Chatham has invited activists, heads of state, members of Congress, and other office holders to engage with students on local, national, and international political issues.

Fliers for some of Chatham's visiting speakers

Fliers for some of Chatham’s visiting speakers

Curious about Patricia Schroeder?  Here’s more information about her career and her visit to Chatham.

Brochure from Patricia Schroeder visit to Chatham in 2004

Brochure from Patricia Schroeder visit to Chatham in 2004

Wondering if Catherine Baker Knoll, who spoke at Chatham as the Treasurer for Pennsylvania, held any other public office in the years that followed?  Her records are open for research at the Detre Library and Archives at the Heinz History Center in downtown Pittsburgh.  Click here for the finding aid to her papers.  Remember, the Chatham University Archives can help you locate primary source records at other archival repositories.

Of course, we’re all looking forward to the 2016 commencement speaker, Chatham’s own Muriel Bowser.  Muriel Bowser graduated from Chatham in 1994 and was the eighth Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Chatham Alumna Muriel Bowser

Chatham Alumna Muriel Bowser

As much as we’ve shown through Celebrating Women’s History: Chatham Women in Politics, we have so much more material in the University Archives that documents Chatham’s unwavering commitment to encouraging civic engagement among students.  We’d be thrilled to show you more from our collections on this or any other area of Chatham history.  For more information about our collections and how to contact us, click here.

February 12, 2016
by library
0 comments

App Review: Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fan App

Did you know that, as a Chatham student, staff, or faculty member, you can experience a world-class symphony for $15-20 (http://bit.ly/1PpszOp)? And you don’t have to leave town! The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been bringing classical music to Pittsburgh audiences since 1896 and today they have a mobile app that makes it easy to purchase tickets, listen to music, PSO Iconand more.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fan App is free and available for both Android and iOS users. It is developed by InstantEncore, a company that has helped create similar apps for institutions such as the New York Philharmonic and Houston Ballet.

Designed for phone and tablet use, the interface is attractive and easy to navigate. A rotating set of images representing upcoming performances set the background of the main page and a series of tabs at the bottom of the frame correspond to different content and media types. The content included in this app is dynamic and includes audio, video, maps, and calendar schedules. Additionally, the in-app browser makes it easy to view content on YouTube, various news sites, and the Symphony’s main webpage without taking you out of the app.

PSOScreenshot_1                      PSOScreenshot_2PSOScreenshot_3

 

Don’t know anything about classical music? Or looking to learn more?

  • The app connects you to the Pittsburgh Symphony’s YouTube channel. The channel features videos demonstrating different instruments as well as interviews with Symphony musicians and audience members. This function is available when clicking “Videos” from the “More” tab.
  •  The “Music” tab features free audio clips of Symphony performances, so you can get a small taste of the experience.
  • The “What’s New” tab includes links and clips of news articles, the Symphony’s blog, and videos relating to current performances.

 

Looking to plan a visit?

  • You can view a calendar of events in a list form in the “Events” tab as well as in a calendar in the “More” tab.
  • You can purchase tickets and share event information from the app.
  • Information about parking, dining, and accessibility services is also located in the “More” tab.
  • You can set up notifications for upcoming shows and concert series when you first download the app or later under “Settings.”

If you are interested in attending a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performance (they offer everything from Beethoven to music from the Pokémon video games), the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fan App is definitely worth the download.

February 11, 2016
by library
0 comments

Streaming Movies for Black History Month

Think you might spend the entire weekend indoors, huddled under a blanket, drinking hot beverages, and watching movies? If so, we have an exciting new database just for you: Swank! Swank features 300 streaming movies, from current popular titles to classics to documentaries.

With February’s celebration of Black History Month, we’d like to point out that Swank includes a number of great titles you can watch:

42Raisin Malcolm Xcolor purple

glory

For a full list of the 300 movies available, please click here (Excel file). Access to Swank is on a trial basis only and will end on June 30, 2016.

Swank requires Google Widevine, which you may need to install in your browser. It should just prompt you through the installation process, but if you have any difficulty, please contact a librarian for assistance.

Please note: Swank movies do not include public performance rights and are only intended for individual or classroom use.

February 3, 2016
by library
0 comments

Chatham: The History of Our Name (Part II)

Have you ever wonder how Chatham got its name or why it was changed from Pennsylvania College for Women?  If so, you might want to check out the article on the topic in latest Library Newsletter <click here>, which tells the tale of how the school came to cosider a name change, the various names considered, and the reception of the name at the time.

You’ll also want to take a gander at the images collected below.  These selections from the collections of the University Archives illustrate how the school spread the word on the new name and all the events that surrounded this pivotal moment in university history.

NameChange_Photo_011

PCW officials chose to name the college after Lord Chatham in recognition of his passion for education and democratic ideals.

NameChange_Photo_0081

On November 5, 1955, the school newspaper led with a bold headline announcing the name change from Pennsylvania College for Women to Chatham College.

PCC000004

David Lawrence, then-mayor of Pittsburgh, stands with Jane Stocker Burfoot from Chatham College’s Class of 1957. Together they are celebrating PCW having changed its name to Chatham College.

cornerstone1956chat_0011

Students commemorate the name change by holding a Chatham College banner over the institution’s former PCW-marked entryway.

NameChange_Photo_016

The school produced this small brochure to promote awareness of the new name.  The image above is the front cover.

NameChange_Photo_017

The brochure outlines the reasons for the name change and the reason for the selection of the name Chatham.

NameChange_Photo_018

The brochure closes with an expression of Chatham’s continuing dedication to providing quality education.

NameChange_Photo_014

A mailing card distributed to alumni around the time the college changed its name.

NameChange_Photo_015

The front cover of the dedication dinner program, which took place two weeks after PCW changed its name to Chatham College.

…And just the day before, former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower commended President Anderson and the Chatham community on the college’s huge accomplishment!

NameChange_Photo_019

We’ve got room for just one more picture…

NameChange_Photo_013

This booklet was distributed to the Chatham community and alumni shortly after the institution changed its name. It contains personal remarks from then-President Paul Anderson, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees George Lockhart, and Chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development Arthur Van Buskirk on the role of the school in the intellectual and cultural life of the region.

Hungry for more history?  Come see us during University Archives Office Hours on Mondays from 1:00 – 5:00 and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 or by appointment.  We’d love to share with you more about the name change to Chatham or any other aspect of university history you’re curious about!

January 15, 2016
by library
0 comments

Vintage Chatham Music to Air on WESA’s Rhythm Sweet & Hot Radio Show

You’re probably familiar with the Song Contest as one of the longest-running and most cherished of all the Chatham traditions, but have you heard any of the vintage recordings of these tunes in the University Archives?  You’ll have a chance this weekend as Chatham’s Archivist Molly Tighe joins the hosts of WESA’s Rhythm Sweet & Hot for a chat and a spin around the vinyl grooves cut by PCW singers all the way back in 1947.

During this week’s live broadcast, which airs from 6:00 until 8:00 pm on 90.5 FM, Molly will chat with hosts and hepcats Mike Plaskett and Dale Abraham about a recently discovered recording of the Class of 1947 singing classic Song Contest tunes We Sing Hi-Ho, Charm Girl of PCW and PCW Progress. Since these swingy tunes are sure to make you slap-happy and to blow your wig (21st century translation= become very excited), we decided to dig around in the University Archives and pull out some Song Contest treasures to get everyone prepped and ready for the big show.

First, a little bit of history.  Chatham’s Song Contest dates back to 1921, when a competition between the classes was enjoyed so much that it became one of the most hotly anticipated traditions of every school year.

Competitive Sing in the June 1921 issue of Sorosis

 Read the full June 1921 issue of The Sorosis here: http://tinyurl.com/jl896qc

For many years the Song Contest was held in combination with Color Day and together the two traditions generated a whirl of class spirit.  The two events would occur during the fall semester after the first-year students had successfully completed their first round of exams and had sufficiently settled into college life (including learning all the favorite school songs!).

handbookmerged

Selected pages from the 1927-1928 Student Handbook including mention of Color Day, Song Contest, and song lyrics.

In 1928, song lyrics and music were compiled by the Song Book Committee into a song book.

Copy of the Chatham Song Book from the University Archives and Photo of the 1959 Song Contest Leaders

The rules for the contest were a little different back then.  Each class was responsible for presenting three songs: one with original lyrics and music, one with original lyrics set to an existing tune, and one song selected by the judges just prior to the contest.

Chatham Song Contest, 1957

According to an article in The Arrow on November 22, 1944, each class would practice their songs daily, sometimes sending a secret operative to spy on the other classes to try to discover the competing classes’ performance plans.  On the day of the contest…

…there was a mad checker game struggle for the right seats for the right voices. After everything was under control except Bertha Butterfly in our stomachs, we sat through a hymn, through the announcement of the Freshman Commission, through Hail to PCW, the presentation of the colors and the reception of the new Freshman.  All the time we wondered- whether our class Rachmaninoff had remembered to fetch along her music.                                                            (Read the whole article here: http://tinyurl.com/homkedn)

Awaiting results of the Song Contest, 1959

In the early years, the winning class was awarded a five pound box of candy.

Song Contest Winners, 1959

Later, the candy box was replaced with a silver cup.

Song Contest, 1980s

There’s no mention of recording any Chatham songs until 1946, when a contributor to the student newspaper implored her classmates to join forces to document their musical history.  She writes, “Without old college songs to sing while in the shower, PCW graduates can probably hold their job competently or cheer hubby after his hard day at the office, but it might be nice to have something specific to help them reminisce once in a while.”

Editorial in a 1946 issue of The Arrow

Chatham University Archives maintains a healthy collection of LP recordings of Song Contest, no song recordings predate the late-1950s.  We couldn’t be sure if this 1946 editorial had spurred any action- until now!

LP covers of Song Contest recordings

A recently unearthed 1947 recording was produced at George Heid Productions & Transcription Services in downtown Pittsburgh and features the same three songs performed at the Senior Dinner for the Class of 1947.  Could it be that the 1946 editorial inspired the creation of this recording?  Could it be that the students took a trip downtown on a streetcar to cut record of the winning songs from the Song Contest?  Could it be that this is one of those very recordings?  We think so!

The recording, which you can hear when you tune your radio dial to WESA 90.5 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm this Saturday night, may very well be our earliest recording of a campus tradition that spans decades and even continues through to today (Click here for a video of the 2014 song contest).  We hope you’ll tune in!

Can’t wait for the show?  Want to prepare for a sing-along?  Here’s the music and lyrics to a couple classic Chatham tunes.

We Sing Hi-O, words and music by members of the Class of 1929

Chatham Charm Girl

Still hungry for more?  Come by the University Archives in the JKM Library on Monday from 1-5 or Thursday from 1:30-3:30 to chat with Chatham Archivist Molly Tighe about the Song Contest or any of your favorite Chatham traditions!

October 19, 2015
by library
0 comments

A Very Chatham Halloween

The Ghosts of Chatham

As Halloween approaches, again comes the time of year for trick-or-treating, gorging on candy, and costume parties. It’s also the time of year that we are especially conscious of spooky things. Among various ghoulies like black cats, vampires, and witches, the most popular creatures of the night that dominate our imagination around Halloween are ghosts. It’s a great time for telling ghost stories, everyone knows at least one, and even Chatham has several that have been passed around over the years. Here is some history on “our” Chatham ghosts.

PCW students gathered on the lawn of Berry Hall I in 1914. Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

PCW students gathered on the lawn of Berry Hall I in 1914.
Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

The Ghost of Berry Hall

There are two versions of the Berry Hall Ghost (also known as the PCW Ghost) story, but they both are equally disturbing. The first version was published in the Chatham newspaper, The Arrow in 1926.

Back before the existence of Woodland, Laughlin, and even Dilworth Hall, the Berry family lived in the Berry mansion. George Berry was a member of the first Board of Trustees, and at the time his home was said to be the largest private residence in Allegheny County.

One night the nanny was sitting in the house’s tower with the family baby. There was a storm, and lightning struck the tower. The nanny screamed with fright, and jumped, dropping the baby. As the story goes, the baby rolled down the stairs and died. The departed baby was said to return occasionally, floating around and crying. Supposedly it used to visit the girls in what was then Room O, directly beneath the tower.

A view of the Berry Hall I tower.  Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

A view of the Berry Hall I tower.
Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

The second version of this story was actually part of the first year handbook in 1948. In this sanitized version, the nursery was in the tower, and the nanny heard a scream, only to find the infant missing from his crib. The infant was never found, and the tower was locked and boarded up. In this version, the ghost is a prankster, putting splinters in chairs to rip nylons, draining the soda machine, and clanging the radiators. There is even a joke about him playing a dirge on the organ. While creepy, this later tale is almost funny, and it’s interesting to see how the tale evolved from chilling to entertaining over the 20 year period.

Other Chatham Ghosts

Some of the other Chatham ghosts seem to have their grounding in location rather than fright. It is still a popular tale today that Andrew Mellon roams the Mellon building. The previous Laughlin House also was known for its resident ghost. As another story goes, one night a man had a flat tire in front of the Spencer House, and as he stopped heard the voice of an old woman screaming his name.

Portrait of Michael Late Benedum overlooking Benedum Hall.  Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

Portrait of Michael Late Benedum overlooking Benedum Hall.
Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

One of the more popular stories took place at Benedum Hall. The Benedum’s oldest son, Claude, was killed in World War I. Claude was thought to haunt the home, and then when it became a dormitory, pestered the girls living in the dorm. Some of his hijinks include turning the water off and on in what used to be his bathroom, curtains moving with no wind, and doors slamming open and closed. Typical ghost fare. One story even goes that a group of students were working on tutorials on the history of Benedum Hall when the marble table they sat at collapsed beneath them.

Students conversing in one of the Benedum Hall dorm rooms.  Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

Students conversing in one of the Benedum Hall dorm rooms.
Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

It’s unclear which of these stories have basis in truth, and which were made up to scare incoming first years. Nonetheless, the stories of ghosts on campus continue, so if you experience something a little spooky over the next few weeks, don’t worry. It’s just our longstanding residents, coming out for a visit.

Benedum Hall Gardens and Fountain.  Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

Benedum Hall Gardens and Fountain.
Source: Chatham University Archives & Special Collections

August 5, 2015
by library
0 comments

Library (and 24/7 space) CLOSED Monday August 10

The JKM Library, including the 24/7 study space, will be closed all day this Monday, August 10 due to a planned power outage.

Reference Librarians will be available to assist you with all your library and research needs during the hours of 8am to 10pm. To contact a librarian:

  • IM us at JennieRef, or use the chat box on our website.
  • Text us at (724) 919-4645
  • Email us at jkmref@chatham.edu

To contact a specific librarian, use the following email addresses:

Please note that this power outage includes most campus classroom buildings and all computer labs. We have checked with IT, and it is extremely unlikely that any lab space or printers will be available for student use on Monday. If you need computer or printer access, please make sure to do so off-campus or get everything done the day before.

July 7, 2015
by library
1 Comment

Meet the JKM Library Staff: Kiera Mudry

Kiera Mudry:Kiera!

  • digs Pittsburgh’s music scene
  • can tell you all about Buffy
  • probably has a restaurant recommendation for you

What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?

As a Reference Associate, my job is to help you track down any and all information that you would need help finding when you’re in the library or Asking-a-Librarian from home. I’m like the Sherlock Holmes of the library.

What made you choose your current profession?

It might be cliché to say that I have always wanted to be a librarian because I love reading, but my love of reading was what helped me find my passion for research. I chose this profession because nothing makes me happier than to help someone find that hidden piece of information that they have been searching for.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An actress – I always loved an audience 🙂

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of working with reference is the fact that I get the chance to help others find what they are looking for, as well as learning more about the subject areas myself! It’s cool to be able to help someone out and to expand my own knowledge base.

If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library—with no worries about time or expense—what would you do?

I think a mobile food cart in the foyer or something along the lines of a small café on the first floor would definitely be a great addition to the JKM library. Especially because some people view their coffee as going hand in hand with a long night of studying in the library.

What do you like to do on your days off?

I am a huge television series person. I love to tackle full series of shows when I have time off from school and work. One of my favorites that I have finished this year is Buffy the Vampire Slayer 🙂

What’s the last thing you checked out?

I’ve been doing a lot of research in my History of Children’s Literature class so the last book I’ve checked out was the Oxford Handbook of Children’s Literature. It’s a good read for those interested in authors and aspects of early to modern day children’s literature.

What book do you think everyone should read? Why?

I’m going to suggest The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. The story is chilling, raw and honest. I definitely would recommend any title by Lamb, but this one has just always stuck with me.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?

My favorite thing about living here is the variety of food that you can try out in and around the city. I love having so many different options and because Pittsburgh has so many different neighborhoods, you can always find something new to eat. Also, the music scene! 🙂

What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city?

Visit all of the museums that Pittsburgh has to offer – especially the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Anything touristy is actually really cool to go visit or try out. Pittsburgh is always surprising me and I’ve lived close to the city my entire life! You should also go to the Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room in downtown and try their bacon candy with a margherita pizza.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself:

  • I was active with voice and piano lessons when I was young and even starred in a play as Sara Crewe in A Little Princess at 11 years old.
  • I completed my undergraduate Capstone project on the “Paul is Dead” hoax regarding The Beatles and the infamous rumor that Paul McCartney died in 1966 and was replaced by a look-a-like. (I was a Communication major with a focus in Media Studies.)
  • I’ve seen a lot of really excellent concerts, featuring artists such as Steely Dan and Hall & Oates. I love to catch as many shows as I can for fun. 🙂
Skip to toolbar