Creighton Law: The Early Years

With my focus in recent posts on recognizing the contributions of students, I forgot to mention that we installed a humble exhibit at Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library.  The items and information highlight the earliest years of the School of Law, back when it was known as the Creighton College of Law and before it moved to a building on campus.  Stop by and see it, if you get a chance.  (We hope to have an expanded version online in the future.)


Several of the pieces in the exhibit came from The Creighton Brief, a yearbook published in 1909 (but apparently not in subsequent years) by the Creighton College of Law students.  The Harvard Law School Library has digitized The Creighton Brief – I don’t know how or why that library came to hold a copy in its collections – which means you can read the entire publication online.  (Thank you, Harvard!)

Recent graduate Elenore did most of the significant work on this project.  All of the students – Katherine, Beth, Sydney, Cat and Quinn – helped at some point.  Thank you to those six for team effort.


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In yesterday’s post, I collectively thanked three graduating seniors for all they did for the University Archives.  The series of posts today will feature some of their individual contributions.  

InExhCaseWP_20150512_001Helping with an exhibit

Katherine started in the University Archives the summer after her freshman year, and she has worked every semester since – even parts of summers when her ROTC commitments took her elsewhere.  Katherine will soon become an officer in the U.S. Army.

Katherine has worked in the University Archives longer than any other student, and she likely has worked on more types of projects.  A sampling:

Online collections
Katherine has done so much to improve access to our online collections.
1980yearbookTimelineShe created the timeline that makes it easier to access our yearbooks.  (If you used the online yearbooks before and after the timeline, I’m sure you want to thank her.)

OliveScreenCaptureShe made our online newspaper site better and easier to use.  And she laid the groundwork for several other improvements.  One, which we’ve recently started testing, will connect photos from our online historical photos collections with a campus map.  Another is a complete revamp of the University Archives, Rare Books & Special Collections website, which should roll out later this summer.

Katherine (like Beth) has digitally captured thousands of images.  Here are some of her favorites:

Observatory flagn pole 1914Dedication of new flag pole by Observatory, Flag Day 1914
Women with vegetables pinned to their clothes (still don’t know why)
..andThenOnTheWeekendsA 1930s image that needs little explanation
andEveryCadetHadASaberThis 1930s ball may have been for ROTC cadets
CU_snow_sccenesA great photo by Don Doll, SJ

Physical collections
Katherine’s contributions are not limited to digital materials.  One of her first projects involved transferring old cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate negatives into archival housings.
KJwithSlidesThis is Katherine processing slides from our collections.

See today’s other entries for Elenore and Beth.

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In yesterday’s post, I collectively thanked three graduating seniors for all they did for the University Archives.  The series of posts today will feature some of their individual contributions.  

Beth has worked a total of seven semesters in the University Archives, starting the first semester of her sophomore year.  (That’s all but the summer after her sophomore year.)  She will be putting her nursing degree to work in the very near future.

Beth has worked on a wide variety of projects, and she tackled each with a cheery disposition.  I offer for your consideration the following:
This may not seem very exciting, but charts created by Beth are a thing of beauty – and they have kept us on track for multiple projects.  She brought order to our chaos, and for that I am immensely grateful.
ChartScreenshotThis is a segment of one of her charts for one project, now completed.  I wish I had taken a screenshot of the chart when the project was in process so you could see the explosion of colors related to each step.  Beth also did a lot of the tedious work of cleaning up the digital files on our computers.

Campus displays
There are certain campus events for which the University Archives provides historical displays.  Beth helped to create and install several of these, including

MLC2014displayFOT3859Tthis one for the 2014 Mary Lucretia and Sarah Emily Creighton Awards luncheon at the Harper Center.  (Beth also has laid the groundwork for the next such luncheon.)

The creation of digital versions of photographs and other items has greatly improved our ability to provide access to materials in our collections.  We often use a camera and copy stand to photograph originals, and it is no exaggeration to state that Beth (often partnered with Katherine) has digitally captured thousands of photographs.  Here are a few of Beth’s favorites:

1912_FootballA 1912 football game
Nurses_FootballNurses playing football in the 1920s
c1950_Aerial_View_CampusAerial view of campus, likely 1950s
Jesuit_Garden_StudentsStudying in Jesuit Garden
Students1970sStudents “dancing” in the 1970s

See today’s other entries for Elenore and Katherine.

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In yesterday’s post, I collectively thanked three graduating seniors for all they did for the University Archives.  The series of posts today will feature some of their individual contributions.  

Elenore first came to the University Archives as an intern in Fall 2013, then stayed (except for that one semester when she interned at the Durham).  She will start a graduate program in Museum Studies next fall.

The list of projects and ways that Elenore has improved the University Archives is too long to recount here.  Instead, I offer a few projects as examples of the good she has done.

The Creightons: Selections from the University Archives
In December 2013 the University Archives installed a small exhibit about the Creighton founders (Creighton’s Attic, December 13, 2013).  Elenore was involved in researching the topic, writing labels, and selecting images and artifacts.  What I appreciated most, though, occurred during installation.  Elenore had already done more than was expected of her for the internship, but she came in on her own time and volunteered several hours to complete the project – and to make sure it was done well.


Arthur F. Mullen Papers
Arthur F. Mullen was a Nebraska attorney with national influence in legal and political circles in the first few decades of the 2oth century.  When I came to the University Archives in 2007, the many boxes of Mullen papers were stored offsite.  As we came to realize how rich the collection is, Elenore agreed to tackle the collection.  She organized over 45 linear feet of files, transferred the materials into appropriate archival housings, and entered information about these into our data management system.  Owing to her efforts, researchers now can (and do) use the collection.

I have fond memories of Elenore rushing in excitedly to show something she had found in Mullen’s files.  You may recall a March 2014 post about artifacts Elenore discovered from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s inauguration.
MullenOutside1She also arranged Mullen’s legal materials, including the items related to his role in an the Meyer v. Nebraska case.  The image above shows the first page of a pamphlet that quotes from his arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Omer Madison KemWedding photo 2While working through the Arthur F. Mullen Papers, Elenore located some missing items that were misfiled in the Mullen collection, including an unpublished autobiography written by former U.S. Congressman Omer Madison Kem, a Populist who represented Nebraska in the 19th century.  Elenore introduced Kem to us at the 4th Annual University Archives Lecture – which you can watch here – and to other academics with a conference paper.  She also has been doing the bulk of the work to edit his manuscript, which we hope to publish.

See today’s other entries for Beth and Katherine.

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Tomorrow I will post three separate posts, but today I want to take a moment to say a heartfelt thanks to graduating seniors Beth, Katherine and Elenore.

TrioSince coming to Creighton in 2007, I have been fortunate to work with some excellent student workers and interns, none better than this trio.  Including summers, they gave a combined total of 20 semesters to the University Archives – and they did so with intelligence, diligence, thoughtfulness and much laughter.  Tomorrow’s posts will highlight some of their efforts, so for now let me just state that the Archives is better because they were here.

So Beth, Katherine and Elenore:  On behalf of the University Archives, thank you.

And personally:  THANK YOU!

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End of the semester, Spring 2015

This semester seems to have passed quicker than most, and the past couple weeks have been especially rushed.  This is final exam week on campus; and many graduating seniors are taking their final final.  (Okay, that’s a bit lame, but I was encouraged to include it for you.)

For this end of the semester post – and a few posts next week* – I want to highlight the students who have done so much for the University Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections Department.

* Three of my graduating seniors have been with me for multiple semesters.  I will feature those three next week.

Sydney has done an enormous amount of work this semester, most notably to put together a list of the buildings that have been on campus over the years.  She plotted locations on a map, and she identified the various names each building has had over the years.  Sydney had her work cut out for her since many buildings have had multiple names; the same name has been used at different times for multiple buildings; and some buildings physically were moved on campus.

Sydney helped on many other projects, too, but I especially appreciate all she did on our buildings project.  I am very glad she will be back with us in Fall 2015.

In her honor, I present a couple photos of significant Creighton buildings.
StJexteriorc1899, sepiaAn early photo of St. John’s Church with the main building (now Creighton Hall) in the background.
1893Observatory&TransitRoomThe observatory in the 1890s.  (To answer two frequent questions: Yes, the building still exists.  It is in the Jesuit Garden.  It is now two stories.  No, you are not allowed in the building.)

Cat holds the honor of being our first intern for the rare books collection.  The addition of rare books and special collections to our department presented some new challenges, not least of which has been gaining familiarity with the rare books entrusted to us.  Cat has patiently verified lists, identified treasures and problems, and done a variety of tasks to help us improve access to collections.

Cat will not be interning here next year, but I am so pleased that she will be a student worker for us when she returns from summer break.  In her honor, a photo of two books from the Willa Cather Collection.

Our first intern from the Department of Communications Studies, Quinn is also the first person to create his own internship position with us – by which I mean: Previous interns have applied for positions created by the University Archives, whereas Quinn approached us to ask if a position could be created.  Quinn’s contributions hit all three areas of our department, helping with development of policies, procedures and forms (still to be finalized) for archives, rare books and special collections.  He also cheerfully pitched in for a variety of other projects.  In his honor, a couple of images to show his versatility:

QuinnWhen the Rare Book Room was selected as the site for a photoshoot and video interview of Creighton’s next president and his brothers, Quinn donned the “ghostbuster” vacuum as we got the space ready.

SpecCollQuinn also did a lot of work so that we will be able to feature some of our special collections, such as the Dr. Sidney Stohs Mortar and Pestle Collection.  Our website will begin featuring specific collections in the near future.

Quinn graduates this semester, so he will not be returning.  Please join us in wishing Quinn well as he heads to law school in Chicago.

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Cardinal Francis George (1937-2015)

Every week, we learn a little more about Creighton’s history.  Sometimes that comes through requests for information.  That happened this week, when a request came in for information about the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who was laid to rest yesterday.

Some of you already knew – but we didn’t – that Cardinal Francis George taught in Creighton’s Philosophy Department early in his career.  He joined the faculty as an instructor in 1969, became Assistant Professor shortly after (when he completed his doctoral work for Tulane) and department chair from 1971 until he left Creighton in 1973.  While here the Rev. Francis George, OMI – you’ll notice he was not SJ – was one of five professors from Creighton listed in the 1973 edition of Outstanding Educators of America.  There is little additional information available here in the archives on this great man’s life and teaching career, though you can find him in the 1970, 1971, and 1973 yearbooks.

Cardinal Francis George devoted most of his time and priesthood to Chicago.  You can find many articles about his career with a simple Google search.  (The Chicago Tribune had a nice obituary that described his lengthy career – but the link I had for it no longer works.)

Unfortunately we do not have good photos of Prof. George from his days at Creighton, thus this entry has no images.  If any readers have such photos, please share them with University Archives.

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Donate blood, save a life

Next Monday (April 20, 10am – 4pm) and Tuesday (April 21, 9am – 3pm), the Creighton campus will host a Red Cross blood drive in the Student Center Ballroom.  You can schedule appointments online, if you like.

Click here to make a Monday (4/20) appointment

Click here to make a Tuesday (4/21) appointment

By donating, you will join in Creighton’s tradition of giving blood to help others which includes:

ReinertSJ1Rev. Carl Reinert, SJ, in the 1950s, when he was Creighton’s president; and

General Activities Blood Donor Novthese folks were in 1964 (let us know if you know their names).

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Creighton Blue

At the end of last week’s post, I promised this week would offer three things.  On Monday, we posted something borrowed.  Yesterday, we gave you our big announcement about new happenings for our department.  That leaves “something Creighton blue” for today.

2011_0004_2057_0001_croppedI originally had something else in mind for the Creighton blue entry, but I changed my mind after seeing the article in today’s Omaha World-Herald about Rev. John Schlegel, SJ, meeting Pope Francis.  If you were to ask people on campus or in the surrounding community to make a list of people synonymous with Creighton, individuals who are truly “Creighton blue,” most would name the well-dressed Jesuit priest who led our institution from 2000 to 2011.

Father Schlegel has been connected to Creighton since 1969, when he taught political science as a young scholastic.

schlegel5He returned to Creighton’s political science department again in 1978, after receiving his doctorate at Oxford, and soon took on administrative responsibilities here.

FrSchlegelInaguration2000President Schlegel’s inaugural in 2000

During his time as CU president (2000-2011), our university grew significantly.  (The entry in the Creighton “Presidential History” section accurately states “During the presidency of John P. Schlegel, S.J., (1943-    ) Creighton University experienced a period of unprecedented growth.”)  Truly, it is impossible to look at Creighton today without seeing Fr. Schlegel’s influence.

Two examples of Father Schlegel’s love for Creighton:
1. He was willing to leave the presidency of the Univ. of San Francisco to lead Creighton.  Many have mentioned that he had a verbal agreement – an unwritten clause in his USF contract – that allowed him to leave if Creighton ever called.  In other words, he was ready and willing to serve even before he was asked.

2. To care for artifacts of Creighton’s heritage, he made it possible for the University Archives to have a full-time professional archivist.  I am grateful to him for that (and I hope you are, too).

One more favorite image, a caricature from the John P. Schlegel Papers


All of us at Creighton’s Attic wish the best for Fr. Schlegel as he continues to battle pancreatic cancer.  You’re in our prayers, Father.

This will be our last post this week.  We hope you are blessed this Holy Week and that have a joyous and relaxing Easter.

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Hear ye! Hear ye!

At the end of last week’s post, I promised a “big announcement of something new.”  For us, this qualifies as a big announcement.


We of the University Archives are pleased to announce that our department is now University Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections.  We will continue our work to develop Creighton’s archives – and there are some good things to announce on that front in the near future – and we will also have responsibility for the rare books and special collections of Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library and the Health Sciences Library.  The staffs of the two libraries continue to be great, supportive partners.  Given the special storage and display needs for each, the idea to combine the three areas made a lot of sense.  We have already started a few small shifts to our website, and it will be largely reorganized in upcoming months (hopefully weeks).

RBR-straight copy-titled

The Rare Book Room at Reinert – which apparently many of you were unaware existed – houses rare and valuable print materials ranging from 15th-century religious materials to U.S. historical items to first editions of prominent 20th-century writers.  This wonderful resource has been underutilized, but we have plans to remedy that.

  • We already have created an internship opportunity, with the assistance of the English Department.  Our first Rare Books intern, Catherine Pedigo, is working hard to survey the collections and help determine what to promote.
  • We will use our website and social media to feature significant collections and items.
  • We will improve access to the room, hopefully soon, by instituting regular open hours.  We won’t be open full time, but we hope to have a schedule established once we make a few physical changes to the space.

If you want to know more of what is planned, keep checking here or at the new Rare Books website.

The Rare Book Room has already hosted our incoming president, Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ.  The RBR was the site last week for photo and video shoots of Fr. Hendrickson and his two brothers.


Special Collections housed at the Health Sciences Library and the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library cover a variety of topics, including medical, dental and pharmacy tools; fables literature and memorabilia; and religious realia.  Some collections, such as the Carlson Fable Collection, are being actively developed.  Others are already on display – the mortars and pestles shown in the banner photo come from the Dr. Sidney Stohs Mortar and Pestle Collection, located on the upper level of the Health Sciences Library.  Our initial focus will be to promote what we have and to care for fragile or neglected items.

If you want to know more of what is happening, check here or at the Special Collections website.

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