Time hop with Christmas music

By: Allyson Holliday, Complex Copy-Cataloger

The W.S. Hoole Library has many different musical formats in its sound recordings collections. Considering that most freshman students at the University of Alabama were born around 1996 and don’t remember life before compact discs – how about a hop down memory lane through Christmas music featured on LPs, eight tracks, cassettes, and CDs? Plus– check out those hair styles!


Our LP player and Nat King Cole

Tucked away in the back corner of the reading room, Hoole has an audio-visual room including record, eight track, cassette, and CD players for the use of listening to our materials.

The record player is streaming the smooth sounds of Alabama’s own, Nat King Cole. He introduced “The Christmas Song” (Merry Christmas to You) in 1946 and it quickly emerged as one of America’s favorite Christmas songs of all time. This LP album cover is from 1963.

As technology advanced,  LP records were replaced with eight track tapes. Our funky yellow eight track tape player was donated by Wade Hall. Here we have a couple of treasures from 1964 – Merry Christmas by Brenda Lee, which features the immensely successful “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and Elvis Sings Songs of Christmas with the ever popular “Blue Christmas.”

8 tracks

Elvis, Elvis Sings Songs of Christmas and Brenda Lee, Merry Christmas, both from Wade Hall’s Eight Track Collection (PM.001)

Then it was out with the eight track tapes and in with the cassette tapes through the 1980s and early 1990s. But, by the mid-1990s, CDs began to end the reign of cassette tapes. Many old recordings were digitally re-mastered and released with the crystal clear sound of compact disc technology. For the traditionalists, we’ve got What a Wonderful Christmas by Louis Armstrong & Friends or Silver Bells of Christmas with Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney.

louie and bing

Louis Armstrong and Friends, What a wonderful Christmas, Wade Hall Sound Recording Collection, CDWH 16 and Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, Christmas Classics, Wade Hall Sound Recording Collection, CDWH 30

We even have the boy band craze of the late 1990s-early 2000s covered with N Sync’s Home for Christmas:

So, whatever your musical tastes or preferred format may be, Hoole Library has quite a selection to choose from. And wow – check out that those hairstyles through the years!

Happy Holidays from Hoole Library!

New hashtag initiative on Facebook and Twitter

By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow

If you follow Cool@Hoole’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, you may have noticed a new flurry of activity. Ashley Bond, a graduate student from the School of Library and Information Studies currently working in outreach within the Division of Special Collections, designed a hashtag (#) initiative to help spread awareness about our collections to a wider audience both within and outside the University of Alabama.

Side note: Not sure what a hashtag is or what it does? Learn more by watching this video by Boot Camp Digital. 

Each day during the workweek, an item from the Division of Special Collections will be paired with a common hashtag. For example, a photograph of a historic football game program might be paired with #footballfriday to raise awareness about the presence of the University Archives within Hoole Library.


Check out @coolathoole on Twitter

Hashtags like this are a fun way to remember UA’s history. After all, winning football championships are just another one of our traditions here at the Capstone!

Please feel free to suggest hashtags you’d like us to use in the the future by replying here or talking to us over on Facebook or Twitter. If you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe to our Twitter and Facebook feeds to catch all the fun.

Pedagogy Series 4.5: Photographs from the Reception

By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow

This is the final post of a five-part series on Dr. Cardon’s English 103 classes and their project using Special Collections materials to create a physical display for exhibition in the W.S. Hoole Library Lobby. Read the first and second posts which provide an overview of the class and project and then look over student Annemarie Lisko’s piece and her interview if you haven’t yet had a chance! 

The following are a few photographs from the reception last Thursday, December 4, 2014 in honor of the opening of Artifacts of Ancestry. We had around fifty attendees, including students from all three of Dr. Cardon’s sections of English 103, parents and family members of the curators, and a large portion of the local Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society. Thanks everyone for coming out and thanks to Muzel Chen from the Alabama Digital Humanities Center for taking photographs of the event.


From Left to Right: Christian Perkins, Chandler Flurry, Dr. Lauren Cardon, Emme Brown, Josie Herumin, Emily Sutton


From Left to Right: Dr. Lauren Cardon; Chuck Gerdau, President of the Genealogical Society; Dr. Joan Parsons, Emeritus Instructor of Biology; and Dr. Amy Chen


A visitor inspects the displays


From Left to Right: Christian Perkins, Chandler Flurry, Dr. Emma Wilson from the Alabama Digital Humanities Center, Dr. Lauren Cardon from English, Emme Brown, Josie Herumin, Annemarie Lisko, Emily Sutton, and Dr. Amy Chen from Special Collections


Pedagogy Series 4.4: Interview with Annemarie Lisko

By: Annemarie Lisko, UA undergraduate

This is the fourth post of a five-part series on Dr. Cardon’s English 103 classes and their project using Special Collections materials to create a physical display for exhibition in the W.S. Hoole Library Lobby. Read the first and second posts which provide an overview of the class and project. Yesterday, we published Lisko’s piece for the show. On Monday, we’ll cover the exhibition reception.

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Annemarie Lisko

Congratulations on having your work chosen to be featured on Cool@Hoole! To start with, can you summarize why you decided to focus on the particular part of your family that you featured in your display?

I had heard my grandmother refer to the history of her side of the family a couple of times in the past, and I knew that she had done research on that topic. So when Dr. Cardon first introduced the assignment, I called my grandma right away, because I thought that maybe she could give me some advice about a starting point for the project.

She started telling me this fascinating story about the Georgia Salzburgers—Lutheran Protestants from Salzburg and the surrounding lands—who fled their country in the 1700s because of religious persecution and then settled in Georgia, founding a town called Ebenezer…Her ancestors were among those people.

I was intrigued because I had never heard of the Georgia Salzburgers before. Furthermore, the idea that some of my ancestors have been here, in the South, for more than two hundred years, grabbed my attention. I was curious to find out the precise details of why and how they ended up here. So I chose to do my exhibit on the Gnann family (George and Anna, and their sons Andrew, Michael, and Jacob), who came from Langenau, Germany to Ebenezer, Georgia in 1751, as part of the Georgia Salzburger movement.


The Salzburgers and their Descendants, Rare F295.S1 S9

Did you consider other topics for your display? Or was this the part of your family’s history you immediately felt would work the best?

Really, once I had learned just a little bit about the Gnanns, I was convinced that they were going to be my topic. I find their story—and that of the Georgia Salzburgers in general—to be extremely interesting and moving.

Had you heard of or visited a special collections repository before you came to the W.S. Hoole Library?

Actually, I had never heard of or visited a special collections library before I came to Hoole. However, since being introduced to the Hoole library in October, I have been back about five times.

What was your first impression of Hoole?

I loved it! I really love all things history-related, and so Hoole is like a dream for me. Just being in the presence of so many historical documents and objects is absolutely fantastic!

How did you conduct your research for this paper?

I started with the information my grandma gave me during our phone conversation—the names of multiple Gnann family members (along with some dates of birth), the name of the town in Germany where they lived before coming to America, and a small bit of background on the Georgia Salzburger movement in general.

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Pedagogy Series 4.3: Citizens of the South

By: Annemarie Lisko, UA undergraduate

This is the third post of a five-part series on Dr. Cardon’s English 103 classes and their project using Special Collections materials to create a physical display for exhibition in the W.S. Hoole Library Lobby. Read the first and second posts which provide an overview of the class and project. Come back tomorrow for our interview with Lisko. We’ll also cover the exhibition reception next Monday.

The events that brought my ancestors to America began in Salzburg (part of modern-day Austria) in 1731. In that year, the archbishop of Salzburg passed the Edict of Expulsion against Protestants. To escape persecution, the Salzburger Protestants were forced to flee the country. Sympathetic English supervisors of the colony of Georgia offered land to the Salzburger refugees, and the first group crossed the Atlantic in 1734. They settled in Effingham County, Georgia, founding the town of Ebenezer. Though my ancestor George Gnann did not live in Salzburg itself (he was a potter from the small town of Langenau, Germany), he and his family were among the many Protestants from the lands surrounding Salzburg who set out for Georgia in the years following the Edict of Expulsion. The Gnanns—George and his wife Anna; their three sons Andrew, Michael, and Jacob; and George’s brother, also named Jacob—sailed, via England, on board the ship Antelope, arriving on October 23, 1751 and taking up residence in Ebenezer.


Biblia Rare Books Oversize BS460.G3 B5 1700z

In Ebenezer—which was named for a Biblical word meaning “Thus far the Lord has helped us”—the Gnanns found a vibrant religious community. Under the Edict of Expulsion, even the ownership of a Lutheran Bible such as this one (published in Germany in 1700, now kept in the University of Alabama’s Hoole Special Collections Library) had become a crime that would have resulted in the punishment of the owner and the burning of the book. But in Georgia, the Salzburgers and their countrymen were free to practice their religion in peace and safety. Pictured at the left is the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church, built by the townspeople of Ebenezer in 1769 and still standing today.

The Gnanns were active members of this church, as evidenced by a document preserved in Rev. Philip A. Strobel’s 1855 history text, The Salzburgers and Their Descendants. A transcription of the congregation members’ signatures (as of January 1775), found on pages 180 and 181 of this book, includes the names of George, Andreas [Andrew], and Jacob Gnann. Their names are also recorded elsewhere in the same book, on a list of Ebenezer citizens who opposed the American Revolution. Interestingly, though, Jacob and Andrew Gnann later actually did serve in the war, fighting to defend their new county—their names are now inscribed on the Wall of Veterans in the Veterans Park of Effingham County.

Many descendants of George Gnann and his family have continued to reside in Georgia and throughout the rest of the South ever since arriving there in 1751. In 1932, my grandmother, Virginia Davey Gnann (a 7th-generation descendant of George Gnann), was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and my mother and her siblings were raised there as well. My family moved away from Florida when I was seven, but I nevertheless have always considered myself to be a Southerner too.

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Pedagogy Series 4.2: Artifacts of Ancestry

By: Lauren Cardon, Assistant Professor of English

This is the second post of a five-part series on Dr. Cardon’s English 103 — honors composition — classes and their project using Special Collections materials to create a physical display for exhibition in the W.S. Hoole Library Lobby. The following is Cardon’s curatorial essay explaining the show. 

Archives offer a unique perspective on any given historical moment or narrative. Reading love letters between a husband and wife separated by war, perusing journals of homeopathic remedies, or looking at sheet music and album covers from the past – these glimpses of personal and cultural history offer researchers a depth and complexity difficult to capture in secondary materials. The holdings of the University of Alabama’s Division of Special Collections present personalized snapshots of history, whether in the marginalia of a colonist’s personal Bible, the journal and records of a general store owner, or the property photographs taken by a local farmer.

During Fall 2014, I asked my students from three sections of English 103: Advanced Composition to research their family histories. This project had three primary learning objectives: to familiarize students with the process of archival research; to conduct research using a range of sources; and to synthesize this material to create a narrative situated within a larger context.

Most students began with genealogical websites like ancestry.com and familysearch.org, where they traced their roots deep into the American colonial past, to Mexico, or across the ocean to Europe and the Middle East. Students then began to use other methods: consulting scholarly materials for historical context; reading the histories of towns and cities; recovering their families’ passenger manifests and pictures of steamships in the Ellis Island archives; talking to their relatives about family stories; and viewing the archival materials in the Division of Special Collections at both the A.S. Williams III Americana Collection and the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library.

The selected displays featured in this exhibition demonstrate exceptionally well-researched, engaging family histories as well as innovative incorporations of archival materials. The students whose works are featured have made some remarkable discoveries. They learned that their families have been employed in an impressive range of trades and professions, from farming to mining to working on railroads during westward expansion. Some served in the military; some gained international recognition in the fine arts; some were business entrepreneurs, religious leaders, or physicians. Many have landmarks, buildings, roads, or even cities named after them. The artifacts they have selected offer a direct emotional connection between the students and the world of their ancestors.

Pedagogy Series 4.1: English 103 exhibition project

By: Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow

In our fourth pedagogy series (check out our first, second, and third series), we are covering the new exhibition going up in the W.S. Hoole Library lobby on the second floor of Mary Harmon Bryant Hall.


A wall case from Artifacts of Ancestry, now on display

Dr. Cardon’s three sections of English 103 — honors composition — this fall researched their ancestry and then created an online exhibition based on their work as a class project. The online exhibition, which was mandatory, was coordinated by the Alabama Digital Humanities Center.

These projects did not have to use Special Collections, but students could elect to employ our materials if they wanted to participate in the opportunity to create a physical display which would be mounted in the lobby of the W.S. Hoole Library.

Each of the selected projects to be used in the physical display had to include the following: at least one visual not from Special Collections (such as a family photograph), one item from Special Collections, and a caption. The caption needed to tie the student’s family history together with the visuals he or she provided and the materials they selected from the archive.

For this series, we will be sharing Dr. Cardon’s curatorial essay introducing the project to her audience on Wednesday, one selected student display by Annemarie Lisko on Thursday, an interview with Lisko about her experience on Friday, and photographs from the exhibition’s opening reception next Monday.

Pedagogy Series 3.4: The Muslim Recipe Book

By: Laci Thompson, MA student in American Studies


The Muslim Recipe Book Lupton TX715.E45 1995

Our pedagogy series is a way to highlight innovative teaching using primary sources housed in the Division of Special Collections. This post is our final portion of our series dedicated to Dr. Morgan’s American Folklore course. 

Cool cookbooks galore are waiting to be discovered at Hoole Library—and they are guaranteed to make your stomach start to rumble too. During a recent class unit on Southern Foodways, my American Studies classmates and I met at Hoole to look at the cookbooks housed in the David Walker Lupton Collection. Besides cookbooks, the Hoole archive includes texts from the first 100 years of the printing press, ancient coins, and early modern artifacts. In the last 30 years or so, the collection has expanded to include more popular culture texts such as the cookbooks we analyzed.

Foodways can be an extremely valuable lens through which to study a culture. Far from being mere collections of recipes, cookbooks raise several questions whose answers can illuminate cultural settings and actions in a new light: Who is served and who does the serving? What ingredients are used and are they traditional or do they show the influence of outside cultures? What role does religion play in food? How are present cultural and social realities portrayed through these books? How might this lived experience differ depending on race or gender or any other number of factors? How is history both reflected and revised through cookbooks that harken to a past era?

These are some of the questions that I had on my mind when I picked up The Muslim Recipe Book: Recipes for Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This collection of recipes consists of xeroxed pages and is housed in a clear binder. Such aesthetics emphasize its local readership. Over half of its 48 pages are dedicated to outlining the principles of Islam and tenets of Black Nationalism. Far from being merely recipes, it stands as a testament of the communal nature and importance of Islam, being directed at both practicing Muslims as well as those with a possible interest in the religion.

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Pedagogy Series 3.3: Soul Food Cookery

By: Samm Banks, MA student in American Studies

Our pedagogy series is a way to highlight innovative teaching using primary sources housed in the Division of Special Collections. Read the first and second posts of this series if you haven’t already. On Thursday, we’ll hear from Laci Thompson.


Samm Banks

Cookbooks are a valuable way not only to see inside various different cultures, but also to gain first-person insight to cultural movements in society. Though some cookbooks are widely produced and available at any bookstore, some are restricted to certain communities and groups who produce cookbook for the benefit of their own, unique communities. In these cases, the cheap materials used cause these cookbooks to be lost to time. In many cases, cookbooks are discarded and rarely recognized as a valuable window into communities and cultures through time.


Soul Food Cookery, Lupton TX 715.K3 1968

In Soul Food Cookery, the author identifies her heritage as “Negro,” not out of derogation, but as an accepted term used to describe African Americans. This is similar to the LBGT community’s reclaiming of the word “queer” in that the community has taken a form of abuse, and transformed it into a sense of pride. As this cookbook was produced in the 1960’s, this is probably a direct result of Black Pride taking place in the U.S. at this time. The author defines “soul” as a cultural marker, an association with being a more satisfied person. Though this paints a picture of pride and progress, the realities of the cookbook’s contents reveal some of the norms of African American existence in the 1960’s.

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Pedagogy Series 3.2: Our Community Roots

By: Emily Tarvin, MA student in American Studies

Our pedagogy series is a way to highlight innovative teaching using primary sources housed in the Division of Special Collections. Read Dr. Morgan’s introduction to his series if you haven’t already. Emily Tarvin, who wrote today’s post, is the first student we’ll feature. Wednesday, we’ll hear from Samm Banks. On Thursday, Laci Thompson will share her contribution.


Our Community Roots, Lupton TX 715.097 1979

The cookbook Our Community Roots from the David Walker Lupton African American Cookbook Collection gives readers insight into the Lost Creek Community in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1979. The cookbook was created by four women who gathered recipes from various people scattered across the United States, and it is addressed “to all cooks” who aspire to learn how to make “more elegant and nutritious dishes.” The desire for elegance contrasts the simple and inexpensive appearance of the book, but there are black and white cartoons to help decorate the pages inside.

Since the recipes were submitted by several different people, there is no consistent format or structure throughout, but all of the ingredients and instructions are traditional and simplistic. The women making this cookbook worked to preserve the traditions of the community but also to pass on communal knowledge and attitudes.

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