Can you dig it?

It’s groovy. It’s funky. It’s psychedelic. Yeah, it’s the 1972 Sullivan (Indiana) High School 1972 Spring Swing Out concert! This photograph shows the far-out, foxy seniors who participated in the spring musical. Yeah, man, you’re digging it — those are smiling faces hanging around!

This photograph is part of the Harry Jarrett Collection at the Sullivan County Public Library, 100 S. Crowder Street. The library is one of several partners of Wabash Valley Visions & Voices.

To view this image more closely, click here.

Peace out, dude!


Letters from the battlefield

As we rapidly approach the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Wabash Valley Visions & Voices is putting the final touches on a special collection celebrating and remembering the War Between the States or the War of the Rebellion. Many of the items in this collection are personal letters of soldiers. These letters provide a “ground level” view of the war — the hardships, sickness, death and, yes, the simple joys of life.

One such letter [a transcript] is from Confederate soldier Joseph Thompson to his wife, Mary, written near Corinth, Miss., April 27-29, 1862. It is part of the Vigo County Historical Society’s collection. Part of this letter reads:

“At dress parade, an order from [P.G.T.] Beauregard [Confederate general] was read commanding us to cook five days[’] rations and always keep that much ahead. Our boys were very much excited last evening as it was thought that the enemy would attack us this morning. They are surely advancing upon us. Yesterday, our advance guard had a bloody skirmish with them. Quite a number of our men was lost. Indeed, there is not a day but what there is a skirmish.

“The conscript law is, I fear, going to do much more harm than good. Our Volunteers are greatly excited. While regiments and companies whose time expired last week are now under arrest for stacking arms and declaring they would go home. The Soldiers feel that this law takes away their liberties and robs them of all the honor and patriotism of volunteering. With compulsory feeling in their breasts, they never will fight as they have done.

“They say that they will pay us today and, as soon as I get the money, I will close this letter. O, how I wish I could take the money to you my Self! Although my time is now so short, God only knows, in these critical times what may happen [h]ere then. But some how, I am bouyed up by hope, and hope bids me be of good cheer. What a blessed thing is hope.”

To view this transcript more closely, click here. To learn more about the Vigo County Indiana Civil War Sesquicentennial Project, visit here.

The digitization of Civil War memorabilia is made possible by a Library Services and Technology Act Mini-Digitization Grant from the Indiana State Library. Partners in the project include Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library, the Vigo County Public Library, the Vigo County Historical Society and the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.


Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month and 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. In recognition of these two events, Wabash Valley Visions & Voices shares the following image of a daguerreotype showing an African-American soldier in full Union Army dress. A small, ornate case with soft material protects the image. To view this image more closely, click here.

The repository for this daguerreotype is the Vigo County Historical Society located at 1411 S. 6th St. in Terre Haute, Ind. To view more images from the historical society’s collection on WV3, click here.


An early version of eHarmony?

“The Inter-dormitory Council provides social organization for men living on campus. During the fall the I.D.C. sponsored a Computer Dance in conjunction with Saint Mary of the Woods, featuring date selection by computer correlation of personal data questionnaires. The Council sponsored mixers with four I.S.U. coed dorms and semi-formal Christmas and Valentine dances were given in the Hulman Memorial Union.”

This was an entry on page 60 of the 1967 issue of Modulus, the official yearbook of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (then called Rose Polytechnic Institute). Modulus is available online here. To view more closely this particular page, click here.

The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Logan Library is one of many Wabash Valley Visions & Voices partners. To view Rose-Hulman’s WV3 collection, visit here.


John G. Stephenson: Lincoln appointee

As the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln draws near it’s a good time to uplift the services of Terre Haute denizen John Gould Stephenson. Stephenson was chosen by President Lincoln to be librarian of Congress, beginning in May of 1861. At that time, the Library of Congress was located on the first floor of the Capitol Building.

Mike McCormick, Vigo County historian, wrote of the interesting life of Stephenson in an ad sponsored by Terre Haute First National (Financial) Bank, Wabash Valley Profiles: A series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history.

Stephenson was at the helm of the library until Dec. 31, 1864. During that time 13,000 books were added to the collection. In an interesting historical tidbit, it was Stephenson who asked Congress to remove the bread ovens in the Capitol basement because of the damage to the books that was created by soot!

To learn more about Stephenson and his contributions to the nation, click here. Be sure to celebrate our 16th president’s birthday on Feb. 12.