Author Archives: Colin Kehm

Archives and Civil Rights

John_Lewis_1964-04-16From Thursday, April 6th, through Saturday, April 8th, I attended the 2017 Midwest Archives Conference, held in Omaha. Throughout these three days, I heard about (and saw) many examples of amazing online digital archives and came away from the weekend with many ideas for improving Bellevue University’s own archives, which I’ll begin to implement over the coming months.

What I want to talk about specifically, however, were the plot threads that ran all throughout the conference: civil rights and politics. The conference opened with a session on the history of the famous Standing Bear v. Crook case, and the bulk of the remaining sessions discussed subjects like documenting protests and riots and preserving the history of and reaching out to social minorities. Even the sessions that focused more on the technical aspects of archival work circled back to these themes.

One of the most compelling such sessions focused on Washington University’s efforts to restore the complete uncut interviews from Henry Hampton’s landmark Eyes on the Prize documentary series. You can view their efforts here (if you watch only one, I particularly recommend the 1985 John Lewis interview). Not only was the technical insight into film editing and restoration fascinating, but the history of the content itself and its continued relevance is remarkable. Of all the resources I saw at the conference, this was the one whose importance I was most struck by, and it would not have been possible without outside funding.

A recurring theme at the conference was the necessity of government funding for archives, libraries, and museums. Concern was expressed, session after session, about a recent budget proposed by President Trump that would see such funding essentially removed altogether. This proposal, coupled with the current administration’s stance on issues like immigration (and his feud with the above-mentioned John Lewis), lent the conference an almost revolutionary air, as several presenters delivered impassioned defenses of libraries, humanities, and the arts, pointing to their work as necessary for the continued improvement of social matters in the U.S.

You can read more about the proposed budget in question here.

The presentation on Standing Bear v. Crook was in part presented by author Joe Starita, whose book on Standing Bear is available to check out from the Bellevue University Library.

Nebraska History: The Original Bellevue College

bellevue college150 years ago this month Nebraska became the 37th state of the United States. (Which means that Bellevue University has been around for a third of the state’s history!) All this month you’re likely to see a lot of talk about Nebraska history and culture, and this post is no exception. Continue reading

Lunch and Learn Videos Archive

picture4blogFor years, the Library has been hosting ‘Lunch and Learn’ events, where staff, faculty, and students are invited to take their lunch in one of the Library’s classrooms and listen to a presentation given by a local expert on a particular topic. Recent Lunch and Learn topics have focused on University-specific subjects like the University’s history and practicing personal safety on campus, but have also covered topics of more general interest, like Chinese culture, overcoming a fear of public speaking, and evaluating Edgar Allen Poe’s work in a modern context. Continue reading

Read a New Book Month

BAL40890December is Read a New Book Month, and I’m curious… How do you go about finding new books to read? Could we exchange strategies? It’s so easy to fall into the too-comfortable habit of simply rereading books that I already know that I enjoy, and it can be quite the struggle to force myself to look outside my comfort zone (or even within it to books I haven’t read yet) for something new. Continue reading

Halloween Movies

Credit: CBS/MCA/UNIVERSAL / AlbumWe asked some Library staff what their favorite movies are to watch around or on Halloween and why they think you should watch them too. I’m pleased that we got such a wide range of picks here–from campy, funny movies to deadly serious, despairing horror movies and everything  in between, you should find something in this list to enjoy. Continue reading

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

102_525639We’ve written a lot about  keeping your computer clean on this blog before, but we’ve never written about National Cyber Security Awareness Month and what you can do to acknowledge the month. The two main elements to staying safe online are keeping your computer clean and protecting your personal information online. Continue reading

Do I Sound Gay? DVD Review

do-i-sound-gayDavid Thorpe does not like his voice. As a single gay man in his 40s, looking for a way to reinvent himself, he focuses on his voice, which conforms to the stereotypical speech patterns of gay men popularly, but mistakenly, called the ‘gay lisp.’ Do I Sound Gay? follows Thorpe as he seeks aid from a speech pathologist and a voice coach—he wants to sound ‘straighter.’ When he is not performing his voice exercises (his cats and the camera his only audience), he is on the streets interviewing other gay men about what they look for in an attractive voice and sitting down with notable gay celebrities asking about their voices. Continue reading