Archive for the ‘Museum’ Category

– contributed by Cate Conley, Museums & Archives Certificate student.


“We shape our buildings, therefore they shape us.” – Winston Churchill


When looking at the buildings that make up The University of Akron, most people will immediately recognize the newer structures on campus, such as Infocision Stadium, the Student Union, Stile Athletics Field House, and the new dorms.  But, not many people think of the buildings that existed on campus before they were considered University property and their roles in shaping not only The University of Akron, but the community of Akron, Ohio as a whole.  As students, faculty, and staff at the University or as members of the community, we have an obligation to ourselves and to those who have yet to experience Akron, to participate in the discussion of what shapes us… what shapes our city.

On May 7, 2016 from 3-5pm students will hold an opening reception to unveil an exhibit within the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Special Collections showcase titled The University of Akron Repurposes Akron History: Polsky’s, Quaker Square, Roadway, & St. Paul’s. The exhibition highlights the significance and value of these buildings to the University, the community, and Akron’s history. The exhibition opening is free to the public, so come visit and tell us what you think! We ask you to participate in the conversation of preservation  and the adaptive reuse of these historical buildings.  Their continued use and/or demolition shapes our future not just as students, but as members of this community.

This exhibit opens during with May’s Akron Art Walk and will be available for viewing during the Akron-Summit County Public Library, Main Library (60 S. High Street, Akron, OH 44326) from May 7 through August 21, 2016. You can visit during regular library hours.

[This exhibit is designed and installed by students participating in the Museums and Archives certificate program run by the Institute of Human Science and Culture (IHSC) at the Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP). For more information about enrolling in the program, please contact Dr. Jodi Kearns, jkearns@uakron.edu.]


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– Contributed by Jodi Kearns

Fall 2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Archives of the History of American Psychology. The April 2015 book-of-the-month selection pays tribute to this rich history  that CCHP staff and students have dedicated the past 50 years to preserving. In 2015, the mission of the Cummings Center is to support access to the complete historical record of psychology and related human sciences in order to foster understanding of the human condition.  The Illustrated History of American Psychology, 2nd edition, published 17 years ago, was an early project in providing access to the historical record of American psychology.

Populated largely by photographs and digitized materials from CCHP collections and written by the co-founders of the Archives, Drs. John A. Popplestone and Marion White McPherson, the Illustrated History describes in words and illustrations with more than 350 pictures the (at the time) just over 100-year story of American psychology . The book visits experimental psychology laboratories, writings and works of prominent figures, military testing for intelligence and vocation, and more.

The photographs and objects from the Archives in the Illustrated History are still in the CCHP collections today.

exhibit in Museum of Psychology showcasing artifacts from CCHP collections

exhibit in Museum of Psychology showcasing artifacts from CCHP collections

The phrenology bust on page 37, for example, is on exhibit in the Museum of Psychology. (Can you find it in the above gallery photograph?)

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 37

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 37

So, too, is the pseudophone now on display in the Museum depicted in this 1928 image on page 86. (Do you see it in the gallery photo?)

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 86

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 86

Additionally, images in the Illustrated History of manuscript papers and testing materials remain in the CCHP collections and available to researchers.

An Illustrated History of American Psychology,  page 127

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, page 127

An Illustrated History of American Psychology,  pages 148-149

An Illustrated History of American Psychology, pages 148-149

Dorothy Gruich, CCHP Coordinator, helped Drs. Popplestone and McPherson put the first edition together while she was an undergraduate student assistant at the Archives.

Please visit the University of Akron Press for information about other CCHP publications.

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-Contributed by Vanessa Facemire. 

Ever wonder what your personality says about you? Well, there’s a test for that. What about your IQ or achievement? There’s a test for that too. Would you like to be able to have someone tell you what career to choose? Well, you’re in luck because there’s a test for that too! For more than a century, psychologists have designed and administered tests and measures to assess many different kinds of human abilities and characteristics.

The history of psychological testing is long and varied. It has roots in ancient China; where the emperor instated proficiency testing on topics such as civil law and fiscal policies for public officials. From phrenology to vocational testing, scientists and practitioners have been fascinated with developing new ways to “measure the mind”. Historically, psychological tests have been used in very diverse ways across a variety of settings.

IMLS_Logo_BlackThe Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is featuring a new exhibit called “Measuring the Mind” that showcases some early ways that psychologists have measured different abilities and characteristics. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the “Museums for America” program, the exhibit gives visitors a chance to see and interact with tests and measures dating from the nineteenth century to the present.

The exhibit features a 1921 home economics test for 8th grade girls that measures knowledge of “household arts” such as clothing care and repair, childcare, and budgeting. The 1919 Woodsworth Personal Data Sheet, which measures potential emotional difficulties among WWI recruits, was specifically designed to identify soldiers who might be at risk for shell shock, which we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder. A black-and-white 1935 film depicting the different tests used to measure mechanical aptitude among potential employees is also highlighted.


The exhibit also features a variety of interactive displays. Want to test your mental acuity? Check out the weights discrimination test used in the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a way of examining the relationship between the physical world and the mental world.


Do you wonder about your motor learning ability? Check out the finger maze, developed in 1928, used to select employees for jobs requiring fine motor skills.

Finger Maze 2

Want to measure your intelligence? Check out the form board intelligence test from the nineteenth century and time yourself to see how quickly you can complete the board. Form boards were used in a variety of situations including: measuring mental capacity and nonverbal intelligence in children, as part of a battery of tests used on immigrants at Ellis Island, and during WWI to test intelligence among illiterate recruits.

Form Board 1

Visitors can also test their intelligence through the Army Alpha interactive display. Developed in WWI, the Army Alpha was the first intelligence test designed to be administered to large groups. This test was used to test new army recruits and by the end of the war, more than 1 million recruits had been tested.

Army Alpha

For more information about these tests and many more pay a visit to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology to check out our “Measuring the Mind” exhibit. You can also schedule a research visit to examine our vast collection of psychological tests and measures.


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-Contributed by Cori Iannaggi.

As a volunteer for the CCHP, I have had the opportunity to do a variety of different projects. When I first started in the summer of 2012, the first task assigned to me was to go through and identify the uncataloged objects within the collection. To me this was like being a kid in the candy store! I would open up the boxes and find all of these cool and unusual objects – some of them being objects I was familiar with, but most of them being objects I had no idea what they were. As undergraduate in psychology, I went into this project thinking I was going to be able to identify these objects with no problem, but it soon became apparent to me that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did (shocker?…not really).

As I began going through the collection, I found myself coming across a lot of the same items, like shock boxes, timers, lenses, and of course, tuning forks (it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t come across at least one a day)! While all of these regular finds were intriguing and valuable to the field of psychology, it was the days that I came across the abnormal and curious that were the best.

Lens kit #329b from Walter R. Miles and Catharine Cox Miles papers

Lens kit #329b
from Walter R. Miles and Catharine Cox Miles papers

Master shocker unit #419 Donated by Ryan Tweney / Bowling Green University

Master shocker unit #419
Donated by Ryan Tweney / Bowling Green University

Tuning Forks!

Tuning Forks!

Fast forward two years later, and I am now a graduate student in the Kent State University Library and Information Science program specializing in museum studies. Even though the collection project I did only lasted one summer, I regularly thought about how much fun I had working with the collection, and of all the wonderful objects I was in contact with on a daily basis. It then dawned on me that the fascinating and unusual objects I found would make a terrific exhibit. This would give me a chance to work with the collection again and allow the public the opportunity to see objects they normally wouldn’t have the chance of seeing (win-win in my eyes!).

Cori Iannaggi with her Cabinet of Wonder

Cori Iannaggi with her Cabinet of Wonder

Located in the CCHP’s reading room, Cabinet of Wonders highlights all of my favorite finds from the collection project back in 2012. The exhibit is broken in to two sections:

  • The Unusual – Highlighting the exciting, surprising, and simply put, cool objects, found in the collection.
  • The Unknown – A selection of objects I was unable to identify during my research.

The unknown section also gives visitors an opportunity to share their psychology knowledge with me by encouraging them to identify the unknown objects on exhibit. A notebook was placed outside the case and provides space for visitors to tell me anything they know about the objects I could not identify. Once the objects are identified, they will be removed and another object will be added. If you are unable to make it to the exhibit, we will also be posting pictures of the unknown objects on the CCHP Facebook and Twitter pages in the hopes of increasing the odds of identification.

In fact, why not start now?! Do you know what this object is and how it’s related to the field of psychology?

Unidentified Object #212

Unidentified Object #212

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Emily Winters, an MLIS student at Kent State University, has been diligently working on creating the CHP’s first online exhibit. As a practicum student here at the CHP, she quickly became an expert on the exhibit’s focus–the IQ Zoo. Emily has now completed her practicum (and is nearing completion of her degree!) and we are happy to say that the exhibit will be launched this May.

-Contributed by Emily Winters.

For the past four months I have spent 150 hours creating “The IQ Zoo” an online exhibit for the Center of the History of Psychology (CHP).  During that time, I’ve learned more than I ever imagined about a company called Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE) and the folks who worked there.  I’ve even used their techniques to train my cat Rocky to “sit up!”


The exhibit that I have compiled goes through a brief history of the ABE, but its focus is really on the IQ Zoo.  The Brelands (and later the Baileys) trained thousands of animals between 1947 and 1990.  These included everything from cockroaches to whales.


The IQ Zoo was a way for them to show the public the outcomes of their training methods, while bringing in an income.


Each of the exhibits in the IQ Zoo could be shipped anywhere in the world.  There were IQ Zoo exhibits at the New York World’s Fair, in Japan, and in Mexico to name a few.  The animals were always treated with care and respect.  The Brelands insisted that if there was a problem, they must be contacted prior to anything being done to their animals.

While you may not have heard of the Brelands or the Baileys, or ABE for that matter, you are probably somewhat familiar with the technique of training dogs with clicker devices. 


This was a training method that came directly from the Brelands and their company.  Keller Breland even wrote a dog training manual all about clicker training in 1963.

There are amazing papers, pictures, and artifacts that delve into great detail about ABE.  I feel like I have come to know some of the characters through my weeks of research and it is not without a twinge of sadness that I leave the CHP and the many unread stories of ABE.  However, this is where you can step in for me!  Go to the archives if you have a chance and browse the records online.  Read Marian’s very detailed memoir, written in a very thoughtful, detailed way that makes you feel like you are sitting with her listening to her stories.  Look at the inventions (and patents) of Grant Evans, Keller Breland and Bob Bailey.  Check out the large “Skinner boxes” that were the IQ Zoo exhibits.  I know you will find something amazing, just as I have.

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Contributed by Molly Bagatto.

To celebrate Archives month and the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts USA, the CHP hosted a “Night at the Archives” for 27 fourth- and fifth-grade Girl Scouts, all of whom earned a Playing the Past program badge. The girls visited five different stations, learning about the history of women in psychology, the psychology of facial expressions, handwriting and personality, form boards as tests of intelligence, the history of Girl Scouts, and  Rorschachs and the game of Gobolinks. In this blog entry, Girl Scout Molly Bagatto (aged 10), describes her night at the Archives.

My Girl Scout troop went to the archives for an event called Night at the Archives! We earned our Playing the Past badge and learned about history, games, books, and other things that had to do with women and girls. I learned so much about how similar I am to strong women of the past who fought for education and programs for girls!

At station 1 we learned about 3 women. My favorite was Mary Whiton Calkins. I learned that she was told by a man that men were smarter than women at the type of research they were doing. The man had nothing to prove. Then Mary did some research and found out that men aren’t smarter. Since she did research, she could prove it.

At station 2 we learned about facial expressions. We played a very old game with expressions. The game was pictures of women with different expressions. We had to guess the expressions. We then played another game that was newer. There was an expression on a card. Then a person had to act out that expression and everyone had to guess what expression it was. After that we had some fake wood people with heads that turn in different spots. We had to match the parts to make an expression.

Girls learned about facial expressions by interacting with this “How Easy is it to Read a Face?” display.

At station 3 we learned about behavior back then. We wrote a sentence on a sheet of paper in cursive. We then put it up to a chart and see what matched our handwriting. When you found the ones that matched there were adjectives under it. Back then they used this chart to see how you acted, but it still described me perfectly! Then we played an old game where we had to put shapes in the right slots. This game was used for testing how good you were with shapes and how good you were with your hands.

Girls used a 1939 Handwriting Scale to assess their personalities using handwriting.

At station 4 we learned about Lou Henry Hoover. We learned that she served as president of Girl Scouts in 1922-1925. Before she even was the president of GS in 1921 she was the vice president of Girl Scouts. In 1929-1933 she served as honorary president of GS. Much, much later in 1944 she died in New York.

Lizette reads a letter from Lou Henry Hoover, pulled from the CHP collections.

At station 5 we learned about ink blots and poetry. First we did ink blots. We squirted some black paint in random spots on a sheet of paper. Then we folded it in half. We pressed it so the paint would spread out to make a picture. We then opened it up and tried to find a picture out of it. Then we made a poem about it.

Molly’s ink blot. The poem she wrote based on it:
“The elephant just sits there, mocking me.
It gets fed so much that I can’t bear!
Let’s hope I leave the zoo so we can see
If this elephant mocks you!”

I would like to give special thanks to the nice and talented women who taught us. Thanks to Shelley, Jodi, Lizette, Sara, and Dorothy I earned my Playing the Past badge.

The CHP would like to give special thanks to Molly for being our guest-blogger! We hope to see Molly and the Northeast Ohio Girl Scouts again soon.

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-Contributed by Francisca Ugalde and Cathy Faye.

On May 6th, a new exhibition will be installed at the CHP. The exhibit, Connecting Objects to their People: From the Arctic to Arizona, highlights Native American ethnographic objects from the Jim and Vanita Oelschlager Collection. The exhibit will consist of more than 100 ethnographic items from four different regions, featuring cultural objects that are both artistic representations and objects for everyday living. Four traditional cultural regions will be represented: the Arctic/subarctic, the Northwest Coast, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and Classical Studies, the Myers School of Art, and the Center for the History of Psychology.

 Check out the photos and captions below to see UA students, faculty, and staff cataloging and storing the objects and preparing them for exhibition! Then come see it in person! (For more information, see our website).

Rachel unpacks objects from boxes. Upon the arrival of the objects from the donors home, we had to open all boxes and account for every single object, double-checking that they all had arrived safe and sound.

Rachel carefully places objects into the research storage cabinets. At this stage of the project we are taking objects out of their permanent storage and placing them in our research space for easy access.

All objects have been tagged, photographed, measured and researched. And the information is saved on our inventory.

Objects are displayed for one of the various research visits. The research team invited a number of scholars to come take a look at our objects and offer us information. This became a great tool in the research process.

Lynn and Fran working on the exhibition groupings. Once the initial research was established, we had to make a decision as to which objects would be in the exhibition.

One of many work meetings inthe Center for the History of Psychology's Reading Room...with Chuck Ayers, Erica Thompson, Rod Bengston, Rachel Fox, and Lynn Metzger (Francisca Ugalde is behind the camera). These meetings were a confluence of all the departments and individuals involved in this project.

Rod Bengston shows the exhibition space mock-up to CHP Coordinator, Dorothy Gruich. The mock-up is an essential tool in the exhibition planning process.

Timeline-proofing session with Peg Bobel and Lynn Metzger. This was round three of proofing these before they went into production. Sounds easier said than done, but we did it!

Come check out the finished product in person at the Center for the History of Psychology! The opening reception is May 6th from 1-4 and the exhibit will be open until October 14th, 2012. Admission is free. Read more about the exhibit here.

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