J. B. Milam on Osiyo

The Osiyo program recently aired an episode about J. B. Milam using materials from our collections.

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Milton Glaser


Have you ever wondered who created the famous “I love NY” logo? Graphic designer, Milton Glaser was commissioned by the State of New York in 1976 to create the iconic logo. Glaser was born in 1929 and went to the High School of Music and Art and the Cooper Union Art School in New York. He also had the opportunity to attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy via a Fulbright Scholarship. While on this scholarship, he studied with the famous painter, Giorgio Morandi.

After gaining an impressive education abroad, Glaser co-founded the Pushpin Studios in 1954, founded the New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968, established Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and teamed up with Walter Bernard to form the publication design firm WBMG in 1983. He has won numerous awards, such as the lifetime achievement award of the Copper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2004, the Fulbright Association in 2011, and was the first graphic designer to receive the National Medal of the Arts award in 2009.

Glaser worked within a wide range of the design disciplines, such as, logos, stationary, brochures, signage, annual reports, environmental and interior design, and so much more. He created 300 posters for clients in publishing, music, theater, film, institutional and civic enterprise, and commercial products and services. He created works for the World Trade Centers in New York, along with a children’s educational play park in Pennsylvania. At 89 years old, he continues to produce work in the always expanding fields of design.

Special Collections houses 14 posters designed by the brilliant Milton Glaser (2013-068). The pieces range from exhibition, birthday, anniversary, theater, and promotional posters created between 1985 and 2009.  If you are interested in viewing Glaser’s posters in person, you can always come see us in Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library, Monday through Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.

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The War at Home – Tulsa in the World War

In the first week of April, 1917, the United States finally entered the World War, in response to not only of the German determination to return to unrestricted submarine warfare, but also the continual espionage against United States industry by agents of the German Empire, as well as discovery of the Zimmerman Telegram by the British – by which the Germans were trying to encourage the Mexican Government to engage the United States in a separate conflict in response to our incursion into Mexico in 1916; to try to keep us out of the European War.

With the Declaration of War the Unites States began the process of mobilizing for what looked to be a protracted war.  The people of the United States responded, in general, with patriotic enthusiasm.

Tulsa was notably aggressive in its response.

Many good things came out of Tulsa’s involvement, but there was a darker side to it as well.

The purpose of this exhibit is to show the various aspects of the war and its effect on the city, both good and bad.  We will also briefly discuss the people who actually fought, the Greenwood District and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

This exhibit will remain up until the end of 2018.

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Illustrations By William Roderick James

French Canadian artist and writer, William Roderick James, was well-known for his illustrations on the American West, specifically of horses and cowboys. He is most known for writing and illustrating Smoky the Cowhorse, which won the Newbery Medal in 1972. He created numerous illustrations for articles in the Sunset Magazine, Scribner’s, the Saturday Evening Post, The Bookman, and other periodicals dating from 1920 to 1932.








James didn’t start out as an artist, but always found a way to incorporate drawing into his life. While working on ranches he would create drawings on bags, doors, floors, and old catalogs. James realized that he wanted to make a career out of art after he spent time in the Nevada State Prison for cattle rustling. He created several illustrations during his time in jail, “The Turning Point,” “The Past,” “The Present,” and “The Future,” each showcasing a different aspect of his life, ultimately leading to him becoming an artist.

He depicted an accurate representation of western life with its daily drama, excitement, and the various conflicts that arose. Most people during this time period wanted to know more about the lives of cowboys, since a majority of their knowledge came from Hollywood movies. James was able to accurately portray this lifestyle with his outstanding illustrations of bears, cattle, and especially bucking horses. When looking at his illustrations, you can see that James knew every aspect of the Western American lifestyle.








The William Roderick James Publication Collection is composed of 79 items including illustrations, articles, and biographical materials. If you are interested in seeing more illustrations, you can always come see us in Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library, Monday through Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.


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Rare, possibly only known footage of Edward Dahlberg

Based on a recent patron request, we had this Super 8 film footage of Edward Dahlberg in September 1968 converted into a digital format. The footage is of Dahlberg and his editor, Harold Billings, along with Billings’s wife and their children.

Dahlberg was famous for writing books like Bottom Dogs, The Flea of Sodom, and The Sorrows of Priapus, his most successful book. He worked to promote human rights, speaking out against mistreatment of African Americans, Native Americans, Jewish people, immigrants, and workers, for which he was jailed multiple times.

This may be the only known footage of Dahlberg, who was an expatriat writer in Paris during the 1920s, and knew James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence, and many others whose papers and works we collect in Special Collections.

You can request to see more of the Edward Dahlberg collection and visit us on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library, Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:30pm.

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A new article about the late Sir V. S. Naipaul

TU houses the late Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul’s entire archive

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Tulsa Municipal Airport Ledger books

On August 28, 1963, Tulsa’s airport name was changed from Tulsa Municipal Airport to Tulsa International Airport. Today marks the 55th anniversary of the switch. TIA has gone through many changes and renovations over the years, but it started as a small private field that was boosted and supported by local oilmen and businessmen, including William G. Skelly, until the City of Tulsa purchased it in 1929.

Special Collections houses 3 Tulsa Municipal Airport ledger books dating back to 1928 through 1931. When planes landed at Tulsa’s airfield, the pilot would sign the register and record important details: where they’d come from, how many passengers were with them, and what type of aircraft they were flying that day.

Our three ledger books contain some famous pilots throughout their pages, including visits from Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post, James Harold Doolittle, and even Charles Lindbergh.

The books have been digitized and are available to view on our Archives Catalog. Select the ledger you’re interested in, then click on the ‘Digital Material’ tab to open a fully scanned copy of each book, viewable by the page. We’ve made sure to note which pages include famous autographs and visits.

If you’d like to visit Special Collections in person, we’re open Monday – Friday, 8am to 4:30pm to all visitors with a TU ID card or a photo ID.

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‘F.R. first gift of ephemera.’

There is a particular fascination from modern day society with both World War I and World War II. Whether it is the old photographs, the soldier’s outfits or the patriotic propaganda posters, there is almost always something that can pique the interest of the average person.

When looking through our collections at McFarlin Library special collections, I happened to find a collection named ‘F.R. first gift of ephemera.’ This collection contains photographs and history of the 390th Bombardment group (568th, 569th, 570th and 571st squadrons) that belonged to the United States air force during the 2nd World War and the Cold War. The collection holds three main items: a page of beautiful squadron logo’s that have a vintage look with the fantastic use of color. The logos accompany a color photograph of one of the Warplanes that was used to carry out missions, as well as an air base map for their headquarters in Parham, United Kingdom.

The 390th bombardment group was a part of the 8th Air Force which was a specialized branch of the Air Force comprised of forty-one bomb groups. The group was a specialized aircraft unit that was used to combat the German military in World War II; they contributed in many vital missions that would later help to win the war. The unit was involved in missions such as D-Day and Munster where they were forced to take on over 600 German Aircraft, conditions where the bomber boys managed to beat psychological and physical demands associated with being a war pilot, potentially some of the most testing conditions a human can face. The 8th Air Force had the most fatalities out of any branch of the military at any time, with the average age in the unit being 19, it was a reality that they would probably not make it home alive.

Some exciting logo designs belong to this collection. The Svr Le Nez emblem was the emblem that represented the 390th bombardment group (center of the page), and each aircraft would carry a ‘J’ on the tail. Additional to that, each squadron had their war logos. The 568th squadron featured a black panther on a missile, the 569th squadron had a bear dropping a bomb; the 570th squadron had a joker with aces, and the 571st squadron had a dog in a military outfit holding a missile. These symbols have a very “old school” feel to them with the use of beautiful coloring and very classic design styles; this was the main drawing factor for me.

It is important to note that the 390th bombardment group was supported by a large group of ground crew that enabled these missions to take place and be successful, for every pilot there was twenty ground crew working. The collection is indeed is an incredibly small piece of history for the contributions that this bombardment group made towards winning the Second World War.


If you would like to come and check out more of our incredible collections of World War 1 and World War 2 materials you can always come to see us in Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library, Monday through Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.


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Anamorphic Art: Illustrations Come to Life

The short story, Direction of the Road, written by Ursula K. Le Guin caught my interest while exploring Special Collections earlier in the week. American writer Ursula K. Le Guin was born in 1929 in Berkeley, California. She attended Radcliffe College and did graduate work at Columbia University. She is known for her work within the genres of fantasy and science fiction. She’s written a multitude of novels, short stories, essays, children’s books, and poetry. Throughout her career she’s accumulated multiple awards, such as the National Book Award, five Hugo Awards, five Nebula Awards, SFWA’s Grand Master, the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize, and many more.

Anamorphic Art

Her short story, Direction of the Road, stretches the definition of what a book can be; it’s both a book and a piece of art. The story, which is housed inside a portfolio box, is accompanied by an anamorphic illustration of an oak tree. The story is written from the perspective of the oak tree who is watching the world change before it. The tree tells of a time before automobiles were invented and how the land and human behavior changed when they became popular. It’s a true tale of perception and perspective.

The woodcut illustration created by Aaron Johnson interested me the most, because of it’s unique style and relation to the book. First, the illustration is a form of anamorphic art or illusion. This particular style of art deals with optical illusions that require assistance to reveal the true image. At first glance the illustration does not appear to be a mighty oak tree that the story depicts. By using the mirrored cylinder found in the center of the box spine and standing it on the printed circle, the “corrected” image of the oak tree seemingly pops off the page. Second, this use of anamorphic art gives the illustration an interactive role when paired with Le Guin’s short story. The reader is able to connect with the book in a unique way. Ursula K. Le Guin and Aaron Johnson have pushed the boundaries of what a book can be by combining literature and art.

If this short story and anamorphic art sparks your interest, you can always come see us in Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFalin Library, Monday through Friday 8:00am until 4:30pm.

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Sir V. S. (Vidiadhar Surajprasad) Naipaul

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul

Post by Tracy Ashby

Nobel laureate Sir V. S. (Vidiadhar Surajprasad) Naipaul died in his London home on Saturday August 11, 2018 at age 85. He was known for his fiction and non-fiction novels, travel writings and essays, and autobiographic works. His most recognizable and acclaimed works include, A House for Mr. Biswas (1961), The Enigma of Arrival (1987), and In A Free State (1971). He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001.

Naipaul was born on August 17, 1932 in Trinidad to Droapatie and Seepersad Naipaul. In 1950, Naipaul won a scholarship and moved to England to study at Oxford. He traveled around the world to capture the cultures of India, South America, Africa, and Islam.

The Department of Special Collections acquired the V. S. Naipaul archive in 1993 which includes manuscripts, correspondence, and memorabilia. In 2011, a second assortment of his materials were received which included 23 binders, notebooks, correspondence, and a text copy of Half a Life (2001). These materials bring visitors from around the world to experience his original and creative manuscripts.

Naipaul will be remembered for his unique perspective and controversial writings on race and Western colonization.

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