The University Archives will be closed on Monday and Tuesday (October 29-30), due to Hurricane Sandy. We're ready for the storm to be over and look forward to answering your questions about Drexel history on Wednesday, October 31. Stay safe and dry!
The Archives staff are pleased as punch with the newly restored Lower Level of W. W. Hagerty Library. Stop by the Archives to learn about the history of Drexel, research historic newspapers, yearbooks and documents, or just check out the fancy new carpet.
Although the Lower Level of Hagerty is still under renovation, the Archives is open weekday afternoons from 1-5 and mornings by appointment. Please contact us to arrange a time to visit and explore our holdings of Drexel historical material or our rare book and special collections. We look forward to seeing you.
The Archives will be closed to the public today as we clean up from a weekend flood. There was no damage to our collections and we will reopen as soon as we can. You can still reach us by phone or email.
Exams are over and break has begun! The University Archives won't be open during our normal schedule (weekdays 1-5). If you want to use our collections or do research about Drexel history, please contact us to schedule an appointment.
We'll return to our usual schedule on Monday, June 25. Enjoy the break!
Maya: Then, Now, and the All That Is All
By Martha Cornog
In Hinduism, Maya is the deity perpetuating the illusion that any part of the universe is unique from the rest of it. A "Maya Sutra" in the 1967 issue declares, "The ancients…advised that we should hold Maya, choose one small aspect of the vastness that is Maya and study it, meditate on it until it becomes a part of us, then continue with a second aspect and so on…. [Thus you, the reader, can] enjoy what you like in Maya, after all Maya is for you, created for you, to do with as you like, whether for amusement or serious study."
To mark the Libraries' current exhibition, Inventing the Page: Student Literary Magazines at Drexel, the Archives' blog is featuring a series of essays about past literary magazines by Drexel alumna and Archives volunteer, Martha Cornog. The exhibition runs until June 11, 2012, on the first floor of W.W. Hagerty Library.
Between the Fog and the Desert: What the Gargoyle Sees Isn’t Pretty
By Martha Cornog
By the 1960s, love and war had faded as dominant literary themes, and instead loomed the disaffection and confusion of a generation reeling from the Beat writers but not yet washed by the fragrant waves of '60s hedonism. Drexel’s third literary magazine, Gargoyle, ran from 1961 to 1966. Perhaps the title was inspired by Lawrence Durrell's The Black Book, for an unattributed quotation from that novel appears on the verso of Gargoyle's volume 5 title page, including the line:
The isolation of a gargoyle hung over a sleeping city.
With war and love, one can keep score. One win or one loses, and one is happy or sad. But Gargoyle peered into darknesses that had few winnings or losings or even any game at all.
To mark the Libraries' current exhibition, Inventing the Page: Student Literary Magazines at Drexel, the Archives' blog continues its series of essays about past literary magazines by Drexel alumna and Archives volunteer, Martha Cornog. Inventing the Page is on display at W. W. Hagerty Library until June 11.
All's Unfair in Love and War: The Roaring Twenties, the Depression, and World War II in Drexerd
by Martha Cornog
A wonderfully fetching and fashionable young flapper decorates the cover of the second issue of Drexerd, a Drexel literary magazine running from 1921 through 1942. Enthusiastically serving up mostly humorous material at first, a majority of the longer stories in the earlier years give glimpses of romantic rivalries and conquests with a lighthearted touch. The Great War was over at last, and frivolity as well as coquetry rushed in to soothe the hangovers of battle, if only aggravate the hangovers from Prohibition's bootleg booze.
To mark the Libraries' new exhibition, Inventing the Page: Student Literary Magazines at Drexel, the Archives' blog will feature a series of essays about past literary magazines by Drexel alumna and Archives volunteer, Martha Cornog. The new exhibition opens Wednesday, April 18, with a reception from 5-7 p.m. at Hagerty Library.
Echo of Things to Come: Drexel's First Literary Magazine
by Martha Cornog
"We propose to entertain and be entertained," wrote The Drexel Echo's fledgling editors, "to encourage and be encouraged, to be instructed, and, if possible, to instruct."
Drexel's first campus publication with literary content, Echo blossomed from the student body in 1907, a mere sixteen years after the institution was founded. By then, college literary magazines had become academic standbys. The Columbia Review claims to have been the first in the nation as of 1815, but then Columbia University itself was founded in 1754. The much older Harvard, first U.S. academic body as of 1636, dates its own Harvard Advocate magazine to 1866. So while ever so much younger, Drexel's Echo was certainly faster off the mark.
Actually, the monthly Echo resembles more an all-purpose campus magazine than a literary journal. While a handful of creative efforts—prose and poetry—open each issue, a "School Notes" section of news items follows with brief notes about class officers, faculty changes, news of the Library School, and the perennial sports updates. Reports on goings-on among student organizations and a jokes section close out the first issue. And on the back cover linger four paid advertisements: for a meat market, two photographers, and a sporting goods store.
Each year the Archives prioritizes one or two areas of Drexel history to strengthen and develop our collections. In 2012, those priorities are Athletics and Greek Life. For that reason, we were especially delighted to receive a donation from alumnus Bernard Kurek that included the unusual Sigma Pi sleeping cap and ROTC drill team beret (both pictured below). The Archives is working with other alumns to better preserve the history of fraternity and sorority life at Drexel, and objects like this are among the items that further that goal. Do you have interesting items from your time at Drexe