iSchool student and archives intern Phoebe Kowalewski writes about the joy of discovering something special in the archives.
A safe but sometimes chilly way of recallin
Here's a guest post from Archives intern Carolyn Halper:
The Drexel University Track and Cross-Country records have been processed and are now ready for research use.
This collection holds Drexel's Track and Field photos, newspaper clippings, and administrative records dating from 1946 to 1994. The collection includes a number of event results and rosters, sports memos, and track meet programs, including those from the ECC and IC4A.
To mark the opening of the Archives' newest exhibition, "Access for Everyone: Computing at Drexel, 1946 - 1984," Archives volunteer Martha Cornog explores one dimension of that history.
A Taste of Things to Come: Computing at Drexel, 1946-1984
By Martha Cornog
In 1983, Drexel made national headlines by requiring all students and faculty to have personal computers, the first major academic body to do so. Even the fashion-design majors in the Nesbitt College had to go tech, an increasingly accepted thing at the upper levels of that industry. “It’s really incredible how patternmakers have terminals right next to their sewing machines,” commented Bernard Sagik, Drexel’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, after visiting Christian Dior studios in New York.1
Today we received a wonderful package in the mail: a box of papers of and about George W. Childs, best friend of founder A. J. Drexel. The collection includes letters, calling cards, a book of autographs, newspapers, a few photographs, books and pamphlets. The calling cards and autograph book document Mr. Childs's social interaction with such 19th century luminaries as General William T. Sherman (card) and Alexander Graham Bell (autograph). A full finding aid for the collection will appear on our site shortly, but for now, here are a few photos.
As the institutional memory of Drexel, the Archives collects, preserves and makes accessible the records of the University. You'll sometimes find us here in Hagerty Library, but just as often we're in MacAlister or Curtis or Main, listening to faculty and staff tell us about what they do and the records they create. After one such meeting, a professor eloquently expressed the following sentiments:
"I have been wondering how I could preserve these bits of my office's history for... posterity. I had not thought of the Archives. Now, that's taken care of.
In honor of Alumni Weekend at Drexel, we've digitized two seasons of football programs. Sorry, Golden Dragons, we don't have the 1959-60 season (though we'd love to preserve yours if you have programs from that year). So we scanned the closest thing, the 1963 and 1964 seasons.
Archives often have backlogs of materials that have not been fully classified, described or indexed; these collections are called "hidden" because they are difficult or impossible for researchers to use.
Two researchers from the Powelton Village Civic Association visited the Archives recently and found a number of interesting images of the neighborhood in our Buildings and Campus Photographs Collection. You can read more about that photograph collection in its finding aid.
We are always interested in hearing patrons' views of archives, so this blog post was of special interest. Elesha Coffman, a history professor at Waynesburg University, shares her four keys to effective archives work in "The Art of the Archive."
Next time you swing by the Lower Level of Hagerty Library, be sure to check out the Drexel University's Special Collection exhibition: "Many Littles Make a Much" -- a collection of miniature books.
The exhibition cases have recently been moved to make room for the periodicals, now also located in the Lower Level. The exhibition is now along the north wall.
Be sure to pass by often to see new exhibitions as they happen!
For more information about the Special Collection, contact the University Archives.