Until 7 November, delve into the Maison Martin Margiela archives at our Singapore boutique. Discover the exhibition ‘Identities’, featuring pieces from our ‘Artisanal’ collections, ‘Tabi’ boots, ‘Trompe l’oeil’ garments, and more iconic pieces that encapsulate the universe of the Maison.

Boutique located at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue.

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Images from the Jonas Salk Papers, 1926-1991

Dr. Jonas Salk was born on this day in 1914

Dr. Jonas Salk is best known for his development of the world’s first successful vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis, licensed in the U.S. in 1955. He has also conducted important research in the prevention and treatment of influenza, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

The Salk Papers constitute an exhaustive source of documentation of Dr. Salk’s professional activities, but very few materials relating to his personal life can be found in the collection. Most of the papers cover the period from the mid-1940s to the early 1980s. Best documented are Dr. Salk’s activities from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s — activities largely related to the development of the Salk polio vaccine.

The papers include general correspondence, files relating to polio, subject files, writings by Dr. Salk, photographs, artifacts, and research materials. Also included in the collection are materials created by Dr. Salk’s laboratory staff members and papers generated by offices of the Salk Institute. 

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While the Iowa Women’s Archives includes several collections from women who came to Iowa as war brides, this 1946 wedding album features their only documented “war husband,” Dr. Frederick Blodi. He and Women’s Army Corps member Ottilie Schmakal made headlines in 1946 for their wartime romance with a storybook ending. 

Born in Modling, Austria, in 1917, Schmakal became childhood sweethearts with Blodi, but had little contact with him after fleeing to the U.S. at the outbreak of World War II. She eventually obtained American citizenship, then joined the WACs with the intention of finding Blodi. In 1944, she completed two rounds of training at Fort Des Moines — the first army training facility for women.

In July 1945, Schmakal was stationed in Frankfurt as an interpreter. Armed with information that Blodi had completed medical school and been drafted, then imprisoned by the German army, she obtained leave to travel to Vienna to conduct her search. The pair were reunited at her first stop — a makeshift hospital in an old park where Blodi was working as a doctor.  

There she learned that the Nazis had imprisoned Blodi for helping two Austrian men escape conscription. At the end of the war, all his fellow prisoners were shot, while he was spared because of his medical background. The British Army took control of the area and as a result Blodi worked in British-run hospitals for some time. After the liberation, he found a canoe and traveled down the Danube back to Vienna.

The Blodis married in 1946, moved to Iowa City six years later, and had two children, Barbara and Chris. Dr. Blodi attained international fame for his work in ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. He died on October 30, 1996.

Iowa Digital Library: Ottilie and Frederick Blodi wedding album

Ottilie Schmakal Blodi interview on Talk of Iowa, August 12, 2013: ”The World War II Love Story of Otty and Fred Blodi”

View all Women’s History Wednesday posts


International Dinosaur Month.

Fossil Friday Protoceratops. 

© The Field Museum, GEO81449.

Protoceratops skeleton with fossil eggs. Late Cretaceous fossil from Djadochta beds, Gobi Desert, Mongolia. Hall 38 Case 42. Pre-installation Geology specimen P14046. Ceratopsian.

8x10 negative

7/1/1954 

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Behold! The Acid-free Archival Tree

This holiday tree will warm the hearts of librarians and archivists everywhere.  It is constructed of spare acid-free pamphlet boxes and decorated with garlands of old catalog cards and bookplates. The topper is a spool of cotton binding tape.  For color, we added a few thank you notes received from patrons over the years.

Our student assistants think this is the nerdiest thing they’ve ever seen.

What do you think, libraryjournal?

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We had a great time at #ArchivesSleepover on Saturday. Our guests came from states up and down the East Coast and as far away as Michigan as well from the DC area.

The theme was “History, Heroes, and Treasure” and our archival explorers met an underwater archeologist from the National Park Service who is exploring the shipwreck of the “America” as well as representatives from the Navy History and Heritage Center.

They learned about mapping underwater shipwrecks and tried on tools used by underwater archeologists, as well as artifacts found in shipwrecks. They even had the chance to dress up as underwater archeologists!

They also had a chance to question famous explorers Meriwether Lewis and Matthew Henson as well as an archeologist during “Archives Reports.”

After a good night’s sleep on the marble floor of the Rotunda, they woke up to pancakes flipped and served by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and hot chocolate served by American Heritage Chocolate.

Want to join the fun? Sign up here to be the first to hear about the next #ArchivesSleepover: http://www.archivesfoundation.org/sleepover/