New and Updated Finding Aids – February 2024


We’re almost two months into 2024, which means the SCRC processing team has more exciting new and updated finding aids to share! All of the following collections are available for use in the Special Collections Research Center and the finding aids are available on our website (or use the links included below).


“United States Japan Expedition by Com. M.C. Perry. Vol. II. Maps” bound volume, C0413

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

A bound volume titled “United States Japan Expedition by Com. M.C. Perry. Vol. II. Maps” containing 14 fold-out charts and maps printed to accompany a three volume set, written by Francis L. Hawks, recounting Commodore M.C. Perry’s expedition to Japan. In 1852 the United States, interested in reestablishing contact with the country of Japan, sent a squadron of ships, led by Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy, to Japan to demand that the country end its strict isolationist policy, which it had maintained for 250 years, and open up trade with the West. After two trips, the second with a larger squadron, Japan agreed to Perry’s demands and the two countries signed the Treaty of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854. Upon his return to the United States, Perry was offered a grant to write and publish a narrative of his expedition. To complete this, Perry hired Rev. Francis L. Hawks who used the personal logs and diaries of Perry and his crew to craft the first volume of Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan which was published in 1856.


Cover of a 1956 pamphlet distributed by the Federal Civil Defense Administration, C0400


United States Civil Defense pamphlets, C0400

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

Six pamphlets, including one duplicate, produced by United States Civil Defense organizations during World War II and the Cold War. While initial plans and education materials, such as the 1951 “Duck and Cover” campaign, focused largely on encouraging the same precautions taken with the dangers from traditional weaponry, in the mid-1950s the focus shifted to nuclear fallout shelter construction and survival strategies, largely communicated through the production of posters, films, and pamphlets. Responsibility for the dissemination of these plans was largely held at the state and local level. As such, three of the titles in this collection were reprinted or created by local or state organizations in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Red Lion, Pennsylvania based on U.S. Government publications. There are two copies of “Fallout Protection For…Homes with Basements” printed in July 1966. One copy includes a “Protection Evaluation Report” for an Alexandria, Virginia residence on the back cover and the other includes the information for an Amherst, New Hampshire residence. Remaining pamphlet titles and dates include: “Survival Under Atomic Attack”, 1950 “Civilian Defense Handbook for Greater Red Lion”, circa 1941 “Civil Defense Recreation Bulletin”, circa 1958 “A Family Action Program: Home Protection Exercises”, Third Edition, March 1956 (pictured above).


George Mason University Student Government records, R0155

Collection reorganized, arranged, re-boxed, and inventoried by Robert Vay

The George Mason University Student Government records consist of materials created by members of the Student Government in the fulfillment of their duties as elected and appointed officers of the organization. Also detailed in the records are student activities and important university topics over the years. Types of materials in the collection include: minutes of the Student Senate and Executive Board meetings, memoranda and correspondence for several Student Government groups, Student Senate resource binders (calendars, agendas, notes, bills and resolutions drafted during the Senate session, and committee working papers), George Mason University Student constitutions and revisions of same, governance documents, bills and resolutions for select Student Senate sessions, budget records, subject files, news clippings, and optical disks containing digital files.

The records date, in creation, from 1968 to 2019, including a few retrospective records which document the history of the organization back to 1966. Today Student Government is part of the university’s leadership group, which includes The Executive Council, President’s Council, Board of Visitors and the Faculty and Staff Senates. In 2023 there were about 55 members of student government serving an enrollment of about 40,000. About 25 served in the Executive division under the President and Vice President, while 30 made up the Student Senate representing the student body on issues including Academics, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Government and Community Relations, Services, & University Life.


Photograph of Art Attack’s 1988 “In Activity” installation around the exterior of the Maryland Art Place in Baltimore, C0507


Art Attack records, C0507

Collection processed by Vilma Chicas Garcia, with additional processing by Amanda Menjivar

Art Attack was a guerilla art collective founded in Los Angeles in 1979. The group relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1981, and again to New York City shortly after. Initially, Art Attack did not have any official members. Participants joined and left sporadically; however, it eventually formed a core group of three artists: Lynn McCary, Evan Hughes, and Alberto Gaitán. This core group worked with multiple select artists on projects in the United States and Europe. Their creative process aimed to reflect the “‘real world’ interactive systems” to create discussion of differing interpretations of their work. The core group, alongside collaborating artists, worked towards utilizing their adaptability to address problems that many artists are confronted with. You can read more about Art Attack at their website.

The Art Attack records contain audience feedback, cassette tapes, contact sheets, correspondence, mixed-media artwork, notes, oversized blueprints, photographs, photo negatives, photo slides, contact sheets, and press and reviews created by and related to the Art Attack collective. This collection is arranged into two series. Series 1: Art Installations and Events consists of correspondence, planning documents, trip expenses, and reviews, and is separated into two subseries. Subseries 1: Installations in the United States contains materials of projects created or displayed in the United States. Subseries 2: International installations contains materials from projects conducted and displayed in European countries, including Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and France. Series 2: Art Attack Organization Records contains materials that have to do specifically with Art Attack as an organization, including articles, correspondence, their mission statement, portfolios, press reviews, and trip information that was not explicitly tied to any installation.


Barbara Lustbader New York City playbills collection, C0508

Collection processed by Amanda Menjivar

This collection contains hundreds of playbills and programs from theatre, opera, symphonic music, and dance performances in New York City attended by Barbara Lustbader from 1957-2012. New York City holds a reputation for its offerings in the performing arts. In addition to theatrical performances on Broadway, opera and ballet at Lincoln Center, and symphonic and classical music at Carnegie Hall, the city also offers Off-Broadway and festival productions for visitors and residents to attend. From the creation of the theater district in the 1900s to the founding of Lincoln Center in the 1960s, to the resurgence of musical theater in the 1980s, New York has established itself as an international hub of the performing arts. The majority of this collection’s programs for plays and musicals were officially produced by Playbill magazine, though there are also Showbills, “Playkills,” and other programs produced by local theaters and festivals. Many of the playbills have inserts announcing outages and understudies and covers stepping in for that particular performance. The collection is arranged into four series by genre. All series are arranged alphabetically by production title or performing group and then chronologically by performance date.


Watercolor by Gustav Klemp created during his time as a Prussian medic with the German army during World War I, C0250


Gustav Klemp World War I collection, C0250

Collection reprocessed by Amanda Menjivar, with inventory assistance from Meghan Glasbrenner, and transcription and translation provided by Dorothee Schubel, GMU Metadata and Cataloging Librarian

The Gustav Klemp World War I collection consists of postcards (both photographic and printed), photographs, artworks, commemorative medals, and a handwritten narrative that document the military service experience of Gustav Klemp, a Prussian medic with the German army who served on the Eastern Front during World War I. Klemp (May 16, 1882-April 1, 1941) was a house painter, photographer, and artist who resided in West Prussia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Klemp was 32 at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and he reluctantly served as a medic with the German Army. He sent dozens of postcards from the Eastern Front to his wife, Martha Klemp, and other friends and family. Klemp survived the war, and after the creation of an independent Poland, he and his family were given the decision to become Polish citizens or emigrate. The Klemp family then immigrated to the United States and settled in the upper midwest, first in Iowa and then Wisconsin. Klemp made his living in the United States primarily by painting murals for churches. He died in May 1941 at the age of 59, six months before the United States entered World War II.

The materials in the collection were created from circa 1892-1920s, with the bulk of materials created from 1914-1918. Many of the photographic postcards are group portraits of German soldiers, as well as images of military camp life, many of which feature Klemp. Several of the postcards have messages written in Kurrent and Latin script from Klemp to his wife, Martha Klemp, and other friends and family. Klemp sent postcards from across the Eastern Front, including Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Also included in the collection are artworks created by Klemp during his time on the Eastern Front. These include watercolors and ink and graphite drawings that portrayed camp life, landscapes of the war, and German troops. A couple of the pieces of art in this collection were likely painted by one of his fellow soldiers and acquired by Klemp during his service. Transcription and translation of text is provided where applicable in the inventory scope notes.


Fairfax Newsletter collection, C0414

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

A collection of the Fairfax Newsletter containing local government news and updates covering Fairfax County, Virginia published weekly, with a regular two week break in August. Editor Betsy W. Hinkle, who began work in journalism at the age of 16 as a reporter for the Pecos Enterprise and later worked with newspapers in Abilene, Texas and National City, California, she founded the Fairfax Newsletter as a weekly digest of local government activities, with the first edition published on December 31, 1955. Betsy retained ownership of the Fairfax Newsletter until her death on April 9, 1981 at the age of 62. The Fairfax Newsletter would continue to be published by Betsy’s daughter Jane Hinkle through October 29, 1981. This collection contains editions covering the majority of the newsletter’s publication history, starting with the first edition and ending with the last published under ownership of the Hinkle family. The collection contains several notable gaps in coverage, including the mid-1960s and the majority of the 1970s. Individual missing editions and dating errors are noted at the folder level where present.


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