By: Sky Santiago, Bicentennial Intern, Master of Liberal Studies, South Bend
Sometimes as a creative person you have secret longings that you do not know how you will fulfill. I had never mentioned it to anyone, but I have been feeling a strange pull when walking past the sign in the library that reads ARCHIVES.
I had wanted to do some kind of creative work with this collection, but never knew what this project might be or how it might come to fruition. This is an experience only another artist may understand: a sign that is a sign of things to come.
Finally in February I was asked to create a pictorial history book for the jubilee celebration at IU South Bend, with a chance to dive into the archival images collection. Without hesitation, I agreed.
My short backstory is I had attended “IUSB” (later to officially come to be known as IU South Bend) in the late 1980s as an undergrad and never finished my degree. I returned in 2011, and took up a new degree in Integrated New Media Studies, and graduated in 2015. I am in now in the Master of Liberal Studies degree program, so I have several decades of experience at IU South Bend where I witnessed some of the evolutions of this campus.
To start the bicentennial internship and pictorial history book project, I met with Dr. Joe Chaney from Wolfson Press and Director of the Master of Liberal Studies degree program, and Alison Stankrauff, who is the Archivist at the Schurz Library, who gave me plenty of good mentorship and guidance to begin.
They suggested I read a book, A Campus Becoming, and to interview Dr. Patrick Furlong, who co-authored it. He is a local historian and emeritus professor of history from IU South Bend.
First, I did my homework. I read the book and created a timeline from it combined with a timeline I found online that Alison and Dr. Furlong had created. I also met with my fellow bicentennial interns to see what projects they were working on as well.
Alison and Dr. Chaney suggested some other titles that might assist me with design and compilation, and I checked them out of the library.
Those were From Generation to Generation: The Michiana Jewish Community (2014), which was published by Wolfson, The Lincoln Highway Across Indiana (2009), Along the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Rail Line (2012), and German Settlers of South Bend (2003).
All three of the last titles are Arcadia Publishing titles, which initially we thought we might use as models for our book, as we had planned the jubilee book to have black and white images in the interior. Also, the Arcadia books are small format—6.5” x 9.5” and we had thought to make the book a similar size.
My next step was to get into the actual archives and see what the contents were, how they were organized, how many photographs there were, and review their quality. I first examined our H:/drive to see what images we had, and what dpi resolution they were.
Then I went to the actual physical photograph archives which were still in boxes. I began by just snapping photos of photos with my cell phone, not wanting to take too much time with scanning. This was going to be my initial survey of the material, so I could gain some ideas.
Next I met with Dr. Furlong who made several suggestions to take into consideration. I could tell he was very experienced in historical images and historical writing.
He almost seemed to be psychic with my thoughts and process. As we sat and chatted, he said to try to avoid the tendency to choose a lot of group shots. He indicated one has a tendency to try to be considerate in including as many people as possible, but it becomes visually boring to the person looking at the book.
He also thought the book dimensions could or should be bigger for a visual book of primarily photographs. We also discussed color, which I had previously considered on my own, but knew the cost was going to be more than we initially anticipated.
Color would allow us to show how our campus has evolved to its contemporary state. Since we are wondering how to cover these costs, we have a meeting scheduled with IU Press in Bloomington next week for consultation on this matter.
I had begun scanning images at 300 dpi, but after some further investigation discovered I did not scan them at high enough resolution, so I will have to start over. It is best to start with almost as high of resolution as possible from the scanner and then resample using Photoshop and InDesign.
I was advised to scan at 1200 dpi, full color RGB, although the scanner does scan at 2400 dpi. Also several images have grease, stains, dust and scratches, so they will have to be retouched.
The most challenging part at this time is defining parameters. Will the book be larger format or smaller? Will it be color or black and white? Will we have funds to develop the book further?
Today I checked out a few more campus-specific books, as suggested by Dr. Furlong, and found by Alison Stankrauff, which I will review: Coming of Age: 50 Years of Higher Education in Kokomo, 1945-1995: Indiana University Kokomo in Photos and Memories, Indiana University: Portraits of the Bloomington Campus and The University of Notre Dame, A Portrait of Its History and Campus.
Ferries, Linda et al. Coming of Age: 50 Years of Higher Education in Kokomo, 1945-1995: Indiana University Kokomo in Photos and Memories. Indiana University, 1997.
Furlong, Patrick Joseph and Tom R. Vander Ven. A Campus Becoming: Lester M. Wolfson and Indiana University South Bend 1964-1987. South Bend: Wolfson Press, 2010.
Indiana University: Portraits of the Bloomington Campus, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014.
Schlereth, Thomas J. The University of Notre Dame, A Portrait of Its History and Campus. South Bend: The University of Notre Dame, 1991.