Fred Marshall World War I Digitization Project Completed

We are pleased to announce that a variety of World War I materials from the Fred F. Marshall Papers (MS-53) are now freely available online, anytime, through the Wright State University Campus Online Repository, CORE Scholar. These recently digitized materials include correspondence, newspaper clippings, cartoons, ephemera, and more than 200 photographs.

Fred Marshall holding a camera out the window of a train car, ca. 1914-1918 (photo ms53_10_02_002)

Fred Marshall holding a camera out the window of a train car, ca. 1914-1918 (photo ms53_10_02_002)

Fred F. Marshall (1891-1972) was an engineer, aviation journalist, photographer, environmentalist, and local historian. Marshall was attached to the Signal Corps in World War I; he then returned to Dayton to work at McCook Field where he was editor of the aviation journal, Slipstream. Retiring in 1955 after working for several engineering and aircraft firms, Marshall devoted his time to writing articles dealing with the history of the Yellow Springs, Clifton, and Cedarville areas of Greene County.

The Fred Marshall Papers (MS-53) include drafts and finalized copies of original stories, newspaper clippings, correspondence, certificates, awards, scrapbooks, as well as a large number of photographs both personal and related to military life in World War I.


A cartoon drawn by Marshall, "Some of the High Spots in the Signal Corps Show" (ms53_05_11_004)

A cartoon drawn by Marshall, “Some of the High Spots in the Signal Corps Show” (ms53_05_11_004)

With the centennial of World War I, or “The Great War,” as it was then known, happening now, we have selected several of our WWI-related collections for digitization. Other WWI-related materials currently available in CORE Scholar can be found in our World War I gallery and include:

These digital projects are a collaborative effort between the University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives and the University Libraries’ Digital Services Department, which provided the digitization, metadata encoding, and uploading of digital content to CORE Scholar.

Please visit the Special Collections & Archives’ CORE Scholar page to browse additional digital collections. Don’t forget to check out the University Archives’ CORE Scholar page as well.

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Lest We Forget Project Videos, documenting History of Developmental Disabilities, Now Online

We are pleased to announce that oral history videos from the Lest We Forget Collection (MS-396), documenting the stories of individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, have recently been digitized and are now freely available online, anytime, through the Wright State University Campus Online Repository, CORE Scholar.

Lest We Forget was a film and audio project that captured personal and historical reflections and remembrances of people with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities, their families, their advocates, and their communities who lived during the decades of statewide institutionalization and subsequent deinstitutionalization in Ohio. The goals of the project were to collect oral, video, and written histories of the personal stories of people with mental retardation who lived in a state institution for any period of time. The project also collected the stories of their family members, professionals who worked in the institutions and advocates who worked toward social and legislative change.

For a complete listing of the contents of the Lest We Forget Collection, please view the collection’s finding aid (PDF).

This digital project has been a collaborative effort between the University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives and the University Libraries’ Digital Services Department, which provided the digitization, metadata encoding, and uploading of digital content to CORE Scholar.

Please visit the Special Collections & Archives’ CORE Scholar page to browse additional digital collections.

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WRIGHTSTOCK: The Festival of Life

Over the years I’ve heard many references to an infamous event in WSU’s early history, namely the “Wrightstock” festival. I had never been able, however, to find much documentation at all about this in the University Archives. Much of what I knew was based on rumor and second hand stories. But after a couple of coincidental discoveries while researching other topics, I began to dig a little deeper, utilizing back issues of The Guardian and The Dayton Daily News. I was able to slowly begin separating fact from fiction about what we knew, or thought we knew, about Wrightstock.

The first thing I discovered was the event was not infamous at all. It was in fact an official university event, organized by the WSU Student Government.  In May of 1970, Student Government organized the first WSU music festival, inviting a variety of bands from Dayton and the surrounding area to perform. The initial purpose was publicity for the young university and to attract young people out to campus to see what it was all about. The event, nicknamed “Wrightstock” by many of the attendees, was held on Achilles Hill, the large hill on the backside of the current Nutter Center property, and it was a big success. The following year the Student Government tried to build on that success by expanding the event to a three-day, 18 band outdoor music festival, officially titled “Wrightstock Reborn: The Festival of Life”. Proceeds from the festival were to be used to help fund a variety of student initiatives, including community service scholarships, a campus rescue unit, a drug abuse information program, and a book co-op, among other things.

It appears the event was a rather convincing emulation “with a wink” to the original Woodstock, right down to the Star Spangled Banner guitar solo, (which reportedly was AWFUL). The event began at 10am on Friday, April 30, running for three full days, ending at 8pm on Sunday, May 2. By all accounts, it was a giant, messy success. While we can’t confirm how many attendees there were, Student Government’s report to the Academic Council put the numbers at “35,000 over the course of the weekend, with a maximum of 8,000 at one time”. It also appears, however, that the event was a victim of its own success. Many complaints began surfacing after the conclusion of the event about the massive effort it took to organize, relegating Student Council to “a large group of concert promoters and event organizers”. There were large cost overruns, due largely to uncollected ticket sales: “Nearly 7/8 of the people got in free”. It was extremely unpopular with local residents, due to three days of loud music, large crowds, and the massive mess that was left behind. Billed as a “back to nature, earth-friendly event”, the clean up effort of Achilles Hill took many weeks and was badly criticized. In the end, it became fodder for Student Council candidates and the opinion pages in the Guardian, and not worth the associated risks for Council to continue.

While it lasted, though, it sure sounded like a pretty good time.

 

An ad for the Wrightstock Music Festival (The Guardian, April 7, 1971)wrightstock_ad April 7 1971

 

A weekend pass to Wrightstock (University Small Collections/Newman Center)wrightstock_2

 

 

Preparing for the 18 band music festival on Achilles Hill (Dayton Daily News, April 29, 1971)

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Band stand being constructed (Dayton Daily News, May 1, 1971)

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Festival goers at the Wrightstock Campsite (Dayton Daily News, May 2, 1971)

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Band performing at Wrightstock Music Festival (University Times, May 7, 1971)wrightstock_5

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