Over There! and Back Again: Patriotic American
Sheet Music from World War I

Selections from the
Wade Hall Sheet Music Collection

The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
The University of Alabama

Exhibit by:
Jessica Lacher-Feldman,
W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
and Daniel Goldmark, School of Music,
The University of Alabama

 

About the Exhibit

This exhibit is an online version of an exhibit that was held in the Fall of 2001 in the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama.

The initial project began with the idea of developing an exhibit and event about William March [Campbell] (1893-1954), an Alabama native whose papers are held in the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. March was the author of several notable works of fiction, most notably Company K, and The Bad Seed.

The exhibit entitled "Poor Pilgrim, Poor Stranger: Remembering Alabama Author William March" , was held in the Hoole Library in the Fall of 2001. The exhibit featured materials from the March manuscript collection, along with several editions of his published works from the Alabama Collection, and the Wade Hall Collection of Southern History and Culture.

Daniel Goldmark, a Musicology Professor at the University of Alabama and an expert in American popular music, and I decided that a second exhibit on patriotic American sheet music would be an ideal accompaniment to the March exhibit. March was a decorated WWI veteran and part of his collection included interesting artifacts such as his numerous military awards, mess kit, dog tags, and ditty bag. Further inspiration came from the recent terrorist attacks in the United States. We felt that this exhibit would perhaps be of interest and of comfort to those who visited the library.

Daniel's expertise made this exhibit possible. I was able to learn from him and in turn learn more about the collections I work with every day, thus improving service to the patrons of the Hoole Library. This kind of collaboration not only helps to promote the repository and collections, but also serves to educate the public, and it also helps build on a professional body of work.

In conjunction with this exhibits, a lecture, reception, and screening of the film "The Bad Seed" (1956) was held in October 2001 at the historic Bama Theater in Tuscaloosa. The reception, sponsored by March's nieces, Mrs. Susan Looney, and Mrs. Mollie Bloodworth, was well attended and most enjoyable.

Dr. Philip Beidler, a member of the University of Alabama's English faculty spoke on March's influence and importance in 20th century American literature. Beidler wrote the introduction to the 1989 University of Alabama Press edition of Company K.

Over There! seemed like a natural choice to develop into an online exhibit. I was further inspired by an opportunity to write about the experience in a forthcoming chapter in Deborah Andersen's Digital Scholarship in the Tenure, Promotion, and Review Process: A Primer (M.E. Sharpe Press).

This multi-tiered event and experience speak volumes about my philosophy for outreach in the Special Collections library -- the more people you involve, the greater impact your project will have. Thank you to everyone who participated in the event and the exhibits, including Dean of Libraries Louis Pitschmann, my then graduate assistant Lisa Reams, and to Clark Center and all of staff of the Hoole Library, Mrs. Bloodworth, Mrs. Looney, Margaret Wilson, Pam Penick, Philip Beidler, and Daniel Goldmark. And thanks to Thomas Little for his technical and creative advise in developing this website. Special thanks to Wade Hall for without his generous gift, this exhibit would not have been possible.

We hope that you enjoy the exhibit!

Jessica Lacher-Feldman
Public & Outreach Services Coordinator/Assistant Professor
The W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library
The University of Alabama

 

 

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