Author Archives: Colin Kehm

World Egg Day

Today is World Egg Day!  In the U.S., our eggs are generally unpreserved (other than being refrigerated) and unfertilized white chicken eggs and, if not used as one ingredient in another dish, are generally eaten fried, scrambled, or hard-boiled. Would it surprise you to learn that the kinds of eggs we eat and how we prepare them represent but a small fraction of what kinds of eggs are used and how they’re prepared worldwide? Continue reading

International Literacy Day 2017

LiteracyToday is International Literacy Day, first declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 52 years ago. Its principle purpose is to highlight the importance of literacy and its links to poverty and empowerment.

This year’s theme is ‘Literacy in a Digital World.’ Digital technology has obviously fundamentally changed every aspect of work, school, socialization, and personal life for billions of people around the planet, and has opened up numerous possibilities for information access.

Continue reading

Book Lover’s Day

12019945_905239589554845_5897748802326188993_nToday is Book Lover’s Day! At last count (or estimate, really), I had about 500 books in my home, spread across six shelves, one cabinet, one table, and three rooms. Despite their pervasiveness I rarely get to spend as much time with them as I’d like to, and often have to purposefully set aside the time to do so–and what better time is there than today? Continue reading

Fake News

132_1256928‘Fake news’ is not a new phenomenon, but within the last two years its prevalence in the public consciousness has exploded as one of the primary contributing factors to the concept of the ‘post-truth’ society. In an age when most of us get our news from social media feeds we encounter fabricated news stories on a near daily basis, and the best way to avoid falling for them is to consistently exercise one’s critical thinking capabilities and to be unafraid to perform a little detective’s work whenever you encounter something questionable. Continue reading

Founding of McDonald’s Restaurant in Our Archives

McDonaldsThe Bellevue University Archives are home to a small collection of quite unique documents, possibly the only ones of their type that are available for public viewing in the world.  They are the work of Thomas Dolly, a one-time student at Bellevue University, and are the result of ten years’ worth of correspondence with Richard (Dick) McDonald, who, with his brother Maurice (Mac) developed and opened the first McDonald’s restaurant, and whose detail-oriented approach to fast-food restaurant design arguably still shapes the fast-food industry today. Continue reading

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