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This month, three collections are featured on the OCLC website: The Gleason Waite Romer Collection, The Larry Jene Fisher Collection, and Arkansas and the Great War Collection.
Miami-Dade Public Library System
Photographer Gleason Waite Romer arrived in Miami, Florida, in 1925 and proceeded to work for a newspaper; later for an awning company, documenting residences; then as a freelance photographer, recording major events, people, and places around the city. He created a body of work that is said to uniquely capture the "changing face of Miami" and has been praised as a very valuable historical record. Romer's collection includes images accredited to other photographers. The physical collection contains approximately 17,500 images in the form of negatives, glass plates, and postcards, documenting the growth and development of all aspects of the city of Miami from the 1880s to the 1950s. Information gathered from the original records, such as dates, names, and locations has been transcribed without modifications.
This collection reflects the diverse interests and tireless curiosity of Larry Jene Fisher, the "Renaissance man of Southeast Texas."
Chiefly composed of photographic negatives taken in the late 1930s through the early 1950s, the collection documents a wealth of Texas experiences, including rugged West Texas oil drilling crews, the dedication of a Catholic church in Port Arthur, a cattle round-up, the harvesting of citrus fruit in the Rio Grande Valley, and the Huntsville Prison Rodeo.
A special strength of the Fisher’s collection is his documentation of the Big Thicket, a wooded region north of Beaumont, which was distinct from the rest of the nation. Fisher was an outsider who recognized—and photographed—the importance of the region's traditional folkways, which were rapidly disappearing.
When Fisher moved to the heart of the Big Thicket he was quickly recruited to photograph another endangered aspect of the region—the biological diversity, which included carnivorous plants, and animals extinct in other areas to lobby for a national park.
Fisher was also active in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), a volunteer organization that was founded to protect ships from attack by German submarines during World War II. His photos of CAP include memorials to men killed while flying, and CAP members relaxing between flights and posing with aircraft.
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library System
The Butler Center offers a large collection of materials related to World War I, including letters, photographs, microfilm of enlistment and discharge records, and other primary materials related to Arkansans who served in the Great War. The research room also houses a large number of secondary sources and subscribes to a wide variety of online databases that provide easy access to millions of military records and other resources.
Highlights of the collections include letters from a WWI Marine as well as correspondence from a soldier who served in a balloon company; many materials related to Camp Pike (now Camp Joseph T. Robinson); and materials related to Eberts Training Field, which was located in Lonoke County.