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Posts tagged ‘History’

Many parts of history would be easily forgotten if we did not have those who are committed to recording it.

“When I started, much of the historical information wasn’t available.” recalls Purdue professor Fred Whitford.

Now, after authoring more than 250 research, extension, and regulatory publications, delivering over 5,800 presentations to a wide array of audiences, and writing several books about the history of Indiana agriculture, Whitford is responsible for a great deal of what is known about the history of agriculture and extension in Indiana.

Whitford’s books include Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family: A Photo History of Indiana’s Early County Extension Agents; Scattering the Seeds of Knowledge: The Words and Works of Indiana’s Pioneer County Extension Agents; For the Good of the Farmer: A Biography of John Harrison Skinner, Dean of Purdue AgricultureThe Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: The Biography of William Carroll Lattaand The Queen of American Agriculture: A Biography of Virginia Claypool MeredithThese books study the history of agriculture and extension agents at Purdue and in Indiana, often through concentrating on important figures throughout our history. (Find a flyer for the series of books here)

John Calvin Allen, professionally known as J.C., is one of those figures. He worked as a photographer for Purdue University from 1909-1952, and operated his own photography business until his death in 1976.  Allen’s photos are the source for Whitford’s upcoming book Memories of Life on the Farm: Through the Lens of Pioneer Photographer J. C. Allen (September 2019), co-authored by Neal Harmeyer an archivist at the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections. The book uses Allen’s photographs, which were taken on glass slides, to get a unique look at Indiana’s agricultural history.

“People love old pictures,” says Whitford, “it brings people back.”

This volume contains over 900 images, most never-before-seen, of men, women, and children working on the farm, which remain powerful reminders of life in rural America at the turn of the twentieth century. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the collection of photographs is the importance of the the time period they cover. They act as a historical account of a major transitional period for agriculture. “He told the story of change” says Whitford, he explains that it was a time when tractors replaced horses, and superior crops and animals were being introduced.

Why research the history of agriculture and extension in Indiana in such an expansive way? Whitford believes that the past repeats itself, and that learning from it will always have value.

“We take so many things for granted, and all of these things we take for granted had to start somewhere.” says Whitford.

Just as important, it’s a reminder of culture and mission.

“It shows what the culture of extension is, we’ve always been here to help.” says Whitford. “We are here to serve growers.”

 


 

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Memories of Life on the Farm: Through the Lens of Pioneer Photographer J.C. Allen will be available in September 2019. Get 30% off when you order directly from the Purdue University Press website and enter the code “PURDUE30” at checkout.

A Look Back Exhibit in Purdue Libraries' HSSE Library, Fall 2018

“A Look Back” in the HSSE Library was designed by Purdue Libraries Professor Judy Nixon, Director of Purdue Libraries Facilities Nanette Andersson, Library Assistant Pat Whalen, and the “A Look Back”-exhibit planning team.

“A Look Back” is a new exhibit in the Humanities, Social Science, and Education (HSSE) Library that pays tribute to Purdue University’s first Library in University Hall.

The event “Celebrating the History of Purdue Libraries”–to highlight the display and commemorate Purdue Libraries’ history–is set from 3-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Periodical Reading Room on the first floor of the HSSE Library. The event is open free to the public.

At 3:30 p.m., Purdue Libraries Professor Judy Nixon will provide a brief background about the exhibit and introduce David Hovde, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections. Hovde will share his work on his book about the history of Purdue Libraries. At 4:15 p.m. attendees can take part in a tour of the 1913 stacks.

The display in HSSE Library was designed by Nixon, Director of Purdue Libraries Facilities Nanette Andersson, Library Assistant Pat Whalen, and the “A Look Back”-exhibit planning team.

“A Look Back” is part of the Purdue University’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, 150 Years of Giant Leaps. Learn more at takegiantleaps.com.

readup2016_newIt’s University Press Week 2016 and this year’s theme is community. University presses have long supported all communities whether they’re local, intellectual, or cultural. Purdue University Press continues to celebrate Indiana’s community with our books and projects featuring hidden stories of Hoosier heroes, Purdue traditions, and Indiana history.

We have decided to highlight books that represent the Purdue and Indiana community in our blog along with our favorite places to read them, for University Press week. It’s a treasure trove of the striking Indiana landscapes, university traditions, and biographies of famous alumni including Official Endorsed Bicentennial Projects celebrating Indiana’s rich heritage.

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Read: A Place Called Turkey Run: A Celebration of Indiana’s Second State Park in Photographs and Words by Daniel P. Shepardson — Official Endorsed Legacy Project
Where: The horticulture garden near Pao Hall.

Read: Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family: A Photo History of Indiana’s Early County Extension Agents by Fredrick Whitford, Neal Harmeyer and David Hovde — Official Endorsed Legacy Project
Where: The Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center where you can read and also explore more Indiana and Purdue history.

Read: Slow Ball Cartoonist: The Extraordinary Life of Indiana Native and Pulitzer Prize Winner John T. McCutcheon of the Chicago Tribune by Tony Garel-Frantzen — Official Endorsed Legacy Project
Where: Enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee and calming atmosphere at a local coffeehouse.

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Read: Spacewalker: My Journey in Space and Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer by Jerry Ross and John Norberg
Where: Take a break near Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering.

Read: Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom by George Leopold — Official Endorsed Legacy Project
Where: Relax on a bench near the Class of 1939 Water Sculpture on Purdue Mall.

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Read: The Deans’ Bible: Five Purdue Women and Their Quest for Equality by Angie Klink
Where:  Curl up by the fireplace in the Purdue Memorial Union on a chilly day.

Read: A University of Tradition: The Spirit of Purdue Second Edition compiled by the Purdue Reamer Club
Where: At Reflection Park next to the Bell Tower.

Read: Just Call me Orville: The Story of Orville Redenbacher by Robert W. Topping
Where: At Hicks Undergraduate Library in the study spaces.

As the holiday seasons begins find all the titles above and many more that represent several forms of community in our Winter Gift Catalog. Purdue University Press will continue to support community. Find out more on current and upcoming projects by following us on Facebook and Twitter and signing up for our Newsletter.