Special Collections at the University of Arizona is honored to be the repository for the Up with People Archive. The Up with People Archive includes materials from the Up with People organization, the International Alumni Association, as well as the personal papers of the UWP Founder and Chairman Emeritus J. Blanton Belk and his wife Elizabeth "Betty" Belk.
Over the dynamic 45 year history of Up with People, a substantial amount of archival materials have been generated and are now stored for posterity in Special Collections on the University of Arizona campus. The collection contains a vast array of materials from photographs, print publications, records, Up with People scores and musical arrangements, to programs and bumper stickers. Highlights include songs such as “Up with People” in at least four different languages, photographs of casts starting with Sing Out in 1965, the 1985 cast performance for Pope John Paul at the Vatican, and volunteer work conducted in the 2000s. Other notable materials include a piece of the Berlin Wall, publications such as PACE Magazine, Up with People News, and business records which document the work Up with People has accomplished as an important international organization that promotes understanding between cultures through education and entertainment.
The processing of the collection (arrangement, description, and preservation) of the first phase of the collection is complete!
We are also currently migrating the over 125 audio visual items in the collection from Up with People’s rich performance history. When complete, all items will be transferred to digital format which will allow for electronic access while preserving the content. The originals will continue to be preserved in our climate controlled facility.
This summer at the 2012 UWP International Alumni Association reunion we will continue to document the UWP story and impact through alumni and cast oral histories. Also continuing this year, will be the Founders Oral History Project, a project dedicated to capturing the history and creation of Up with People. To date Special Collections has filmed over 100 oral histories and look forward to recording many more this year!
As a valuable international resource, it is necessary that we create an online environment for easy access to the materials from around the globe. Migration of the audio visual materials is underway and is an important first step in achieving this goal. Next, a systematic approach to digitizing physical content will commence. This website will continue to evolve and be the portal to images, documents, and oral histories. So please stay tuned!
Develop an active collection development and endow an Up with People Archivist. We are committed to fundraising for an UWP archivist who will be dedicated to enhancing the archive through a vigorous acquisition program which will include working directly with UWP alumni, host families, and members of the world community who have been touched by the UWP mission.
What you can do to help
Preserve your own UPW history. With over 20,000 alumni across the globe and thousands of host families, there is a tremendous amount of UWP materials that in the future should be included in the UWP Archive and we need your help in preserving it. As we work towards our fundraising goals we hope that with the dedication and leadership of the UWP archivist more materials can be donated to the repository.
The Up with People Archive is one of the University Libraries top funding priorities. You can support the Up with People Archive in numerous ways. You can make a general donation to the Up with People Archive or place an ornament on the Up with People Tree of Nations.
We are excited about the unique opportunity to expand and document the Up with People experience through developing an active archive. For more details about the archive, contact India Spartz, Director, Special Collections, at email@example.com, or 520-621-0090.