Friday, May 18, 2012

College of Architecture and Planning Guest Lecture Series Audio Recordings now available in the Digital Media Repository

The College of Architecture and Planning Guest Lecture Series Recordings collection contains digital audio files made from recordings of lectures held at the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning since its founding in the 1960s.  The college has a history of fostering a vibrant guest lecture series that brings numerous architects, landscape architects, designers, urban planners, and preservationists to speak to the students and faculty. Some of the important design professionals reflected in the collection are Louis Kahn, Nathaniel Owings, Evans Woollen, and Ewing Miller. Most of the early lectures were recorded onto audiocassette tapes which have been digitally enhanced for optimal listening. Depending on circumstances during the original recording, the quality of the audio recordings can vary.

Clicking on the item thumbnail will take you to the embedded audio player and accompanying metadata record

The materials presently available are the first digitized installment of 50 audio recordings in the collection that contains over 400 recordings. More lectures will be added as they are digitized.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ralph J. Satterlee Indianapolis 500 Photograph Collection now available in Digital Media Repository

Lucy Foyt, A. J. Foyt, and Diane Hunt,
in victory lane with Borg-Warner trophy,
1961 (P.065-0980)
Ladies and gentlemen, start your research! The Ralph J. Satterlee Indianapolis 500 Photographs digital collection is now available in the Ball State University Libraries’ Digital Media Repository. This digital collection includes over 800 images documenting Indianapolis 500 pre-race and race day events from 1960-1973. These images visually portray the competition and interaction between the drivers, pit crews, car owners, and race officials during a storied decade of the Indianapolis 500. The collection also includes images documenting the many events and traditions surrounding the race including the 500 Festival parade, celebrity appearances, and the fan experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harlan Fengler, Gloria Stewart, and James Stewart
with Borg-Warner Trophy, 1965 (P.065-1020)
Ralph Satterlee was the editor and photographer of Borg-Warner's Gear-o-Gram magazine from 1944-1972. In addition to documenting company and community activities, he photographed the Indianapolis 500 extensively, serving as an official Indianapolis 500 photographer from 1960-1972. This status gave Satterlee unique access to document the race from a closer vantage point than the average fan. That access proved to be perilous, however, in 1971 when the pace car carrying Astronaut John Glenn veered off the apron and into the photographers stand moments after the start of the race. The accident did not deter Satterlee in his coverage as he took a photograph of the first aid tent while being treated for a broken nose and then returned to the track to photograph the remainder of the race.

500 Festival Queen finalists sweep
starting line, 1962 (P.065-0988)
As an official Indianapolis 500 photographer, Satterlee used his camera to capture the moments on and off the track that came together to make the Indianapolis 500 the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. His photographs of the drivers, car owners, and pit crews leading up to the race portray the preparation involved, as well as candid moments of interaction between rivals. His photographs of the fans at the race capture the building anticipation leading up to the start of the engines. Satterlee documents the thrill of victory in his images of the presentation of the Borg-Warner trophy to the race winner.

Indianapolis 500 lap one, 1965 (P.065-1027a)

This digital collection is a great resource for students, researchers, and race fans studying the history and experience of the Indianapolis 500. It is also of interest for researchers examining such diverse topics as sports photography, the Borg-Warner Corporation, 1960’s celebrities, and sports culture. So take a few moments and explore this collection for your next research paper, to find pictures of your favorite driver, to try and find pictures of yourself in the crowd, or simply to prepare for that day in late May when race fans from around the world feel like they are back home again in Indiana.
For more information about Ralph J. Satterlee’s photographs and manuscripts, please see our finding aid for the Ralph J. Satterlee papers or contact our Archives and Special Collections staff at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wilkinson Lumber Company Drawings Online

The Ball State University Libraries is pleased to announce the release of the Wilkinson Lumber Company Architectural Drawings digital collection. The collection contains 144 drawings made in the 1930s by the design service bureau of the Wilkinson Lumber Company. These drawings represent plans for 51 houses and one boat dock. Only one set of drawings is associated with an address; the others appear to be stock plans that customers could purchase to build their house. This practice was widespread among lumber companies; several offered similar services, and many continue the practice.

The Wilkinson Lumber Company was named for Indianapolis businessman Allen A. Wilkinson. Wilkinson attended a business college in Glens Falls, New York, as a teenager before moving to the Midwest with his parents. He started his business career in Muncie, Indiana, in 1882. Ten years later, he and his wife moved to Indianapolis, where he became secretary-treasurer of S. L. Greer Lumber Co., a business owned by his brother-in-law. Eventually, he gained an ownership interest in the business, which became Greer-Wilkinson and then, in 1906, the Allen A. Wilkinson Lumber Co.

Wilkinson eventually opened 36 branch locations and built a massive woodworking and joinery shop at 907 E. Michigan St. in Indianapolis, before his death in 1929. Anna Greer Wilkinson then assumed control of the business and ran it through the late 1930s. About 1946-47, the name of the firm was changed to Midland Building Industries. The building on Michigan St., then known as the Midland Building, remained actively used for lumber purposes into the 1970s. It was later turned into the Midland Antique Mall.

Images: Wilkinson Lumber Company plans 482, 441. Wilkinson Lumber Company Architectural Drawings, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.