Thursday, August 21, 2008

Visiting Scholar Examines Development of 1920s Ball State and Its Relationship to Muncie as Part of Dissertation

The Ball State University Libraries have a wealth of resources to support the research of visiting scholars.

LaDale C. Winling, a Ph.D. candidate in Architectural History and Theory from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, spent the month of July 2008 conducting research in the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections and the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection. Winling’s research was funded by Ball State’s Center for Middletown Studies.

Winling is currently working on his dissertation, tentatively titled Post-Industrial Plans: Universities, Students and the Politics of Urban Space. He chose Ball State University, along with the University of Texas-Austin, University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Chicago-Hyde Park/Woodlawn, as part of a chronological case study in the changing relationship between cities and institutions of higher education.

Dr. James J. Connolly, Director of the Center for Middletown Studies, said, “Dale is here to explore connections between the development of the community and the growth of Ball State between the world wars. His study will add an interesting dimension to research on Middletown, since the school’s role in the city was all but ignored by the Lynds in their first book, as well as to the history of higher education in the United States.”

While at Ball State, Winling used a variety of resources from the Archives and Special Collections to examine the development of Ball State Teacher’s College in the 1920s through the papers of former president Lemuel A. Pittenger, college building and planning files, the Ball State Daily News, and real estate and planning records for Muncie and Delaware County. He also took advantage of the collections and GIS resources available in the Geospatial Resources and Map Collection.

Speaking of his visit, Winling said, “Researching the role of Ball State in Muncie during the Middletown years would not be possible without the rich resources on administrative activity and student life available at the university archives. Combining that with the mapping capabilities of the Geospatial Resources and documents in the Map Collection, I hope to make a significant contribution to the scholarship on Muncie.”

For more information, contact Maren L. Read, University Libraries’ Archivist for Manuscript Collections,, 765-285-5078.

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