Sverre O. Braathen was born in 1895 in prairie state of North Dakota. He grew up there -- in the Red River Valley of the north, a place far removed from any major body of water. Therefore it is perhaps curious that he served in the U.S. Navy during World War I.
This handwritten diary from his time on the U.S.S. Kearsarge was gifted to …
Anna Ropp (1904-2005) was raised in Missouri and left home in 1927 to enroll in the Mennonite Hospital School of Nursing in Bloomington, Illinois. A non-traditional student, Anna had already worked for several years before attending nursing school.
Anna graduated from nursing school in 1931 and began her nursing career as a …
Answering the Call is an online exhibition of digital images of World War I posters held in Milner Library’s Government Documents World War Poster Collection. These historic posters were created by federal agencies and national organizations after the United States entered the war in 1917. They vividly illustrate the many demands and …
This database of images for the study and teaching of art, design, and visual culture at Illinois State University, is produced as a collaboration between the School of Art and Milner Library. The images come from many sources, including publications, original photography, and the Visual Resources Collection of the School of Art.
William Frederick Cody, who is known more commonly by the name "Buffalo Bill”, is an American icon. Cody, born in 1846, would come to blaze a trail across American history with his involvement in the Pony Express, the Civil War, and his astoundingly popular Wild West Shows.
This small cache of Cody correspondence comes from Milner …
The word “circus” tantalizes nearly all the human senses, perhaps none more than sight. In the films presented here, catch the tremendous movement of the circus – in the ring, in the backyard, or sometimes in the practice facility.
Check back periodically for additional footage of circus greats like trapeze superstars the Flying …
Helen Gaskill Buckley kept this diary while her husband, Edward, helped manage Barnum’s first circus in 1871. Find out where they traveled after a 4am departure for Chicago by train.
Gamma Phi Circus started its life on the campus of Illinois State University as a gymnastics fraternity in 1929. Sponsored by Clifford "Pop" Horton, it soon developed into a circus which included both men and women and entertained the campus and broader community that was filled with "children of all ages.”
Milner Library’s Special …
Misleadingly titled as American Illustrated News: The Bridge Across the Atlantic: Berlin-London-New York, the short-lived publication (1934–1936) was actually created in Berlin as a vehicle for Nazi propaganda. Written in English, it targeted spectators, tourists and international press attending the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The theme …
The herald is a form of advertisement that circuses, medicine shows, vaudeville, carnivals, dime museums, and Wild West shows (among other enterprises), used to raise awareness - often in an especially text heavy way - for their upcoming stands. With their typically oblong dimensions heralds were often tacked up on poles but could also …
Illinois State University History is a growing collection that currently includes campus history books, proceedings of the first university governing board, and nearly 400 photographs.
Support for this collection is provided by the Friends of Milner Library and the Illinois State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of …
Welcome to Milner Library's International Collection of Child Art digital image collection! This resource holds images of art created by children and adolescents representing more than fifty countries and cultures from Argentina to New Zealand. The artworks are two dimensional and use varied media. The work in this collection …
Kenneth Harold Berglund (1917-2003) was born on October 18, 1917 in Racine, Wisconsin. Early in his career, Berglund worked at local photography company Camera Craft where he assisted in the creation of the annual yearbook produced by Illinois State Normal University. After his marriage to Elizabeth Burdette in 1941, Berglund joined …
Lois Lenski was not only a prolific author and illustrator of children’s books, but she was also an avid doll collector. She seemed intent upon garnering an international collection meant to reflect (among other things) many of the roles young women played in society over the course of roughly 100 years, starting in the …
Founded in 1976, Normal Editions Workshop (N.E.W.) is a distinctive non-profit print research facility adjoining the student printmaking studios in the School of Art, College of Fine Arts, at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. N.E.W. is an outstanding example of an intersection between education and fine art printing, …
The slides of Sverre "Bex" Braathen combine a "Passion for Circus" with the skills and artistry of photography at its finest.
Images were captured in the saturated colors of Kodachrome slides and date from the early 1940s to the late 1950s as well as black and white film in the 1930s. Set within the context of the entire Braathen …
There are more questions than answers about an unknown woman's diary. Who was its author? What was her name? Was she native to this area, or did she come here from somewhere else? Who was her husband? What was the child's name? Where was their farm? What was grown there? What became of this family?
This handwritten diary …
Voices of Extremism: Conflicting Ideologies in United States Politics in the Decades Following WWII is a unique audio documentation of the individuals and movements that characterized the Extremist politics in the United States in the decades following the Second World War from 1946 to 1980. The collection also includes a documentary on …
Cultivated in the spirit of teaching, learning and research, Milner Library's digital collections provide a variety of resources. They reflect the rich cultural heritage at Illinois State University, and include audio recordings, historic documents, photos, and images of art and visual culture.
Discover all collections
A Seaman's Diary of World War I
Anna Ropp Diaries
Answering the Call
Art & Culture
Buffalo Bill Letters
Circus Wife: Helen Gaskill Buckley's Diary
Gamma Phi Circus
German Propaganda: 1936 Berlin Olympics
Illinois State University History
International Collection of Child Art
Lois Lenski Doll Collection
Native American Collection
Niiyama Poetic Japanese Pottery
Normal Editions Workshop Archive
Passion for Circus
Pioneer Lady: Peoria’s Secret Scribe
Towanda Area History
Voices of Extremism
World War I Women
Decipher History uncovers the lives of people in the past. Help transcribe handwritten diaries, letters and more--take a moment to make history accessible to everyone!