Archives blog

The Drexel University Archives’ blog keeps you informed of our recent acquisitions, notable Drexel anniversaries, new exhibits, finding aids, digitized photographs, and interesting historical facts. This blog is maintained by the University Archives staff.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer (1860 – 2001) Now Available Online through the Libraries

Arriving just in time to add to the celebration and buzz of the 125th anniversary of Drexel University’s founding is the digitized archive of Philadelphia’s morning newspaper, The Inquirer.  Now Drexel students and faculty can read first-person reporting about the founding of Drexel!  The Inquirer is one of the oldest surviving daily newspapers in the United States, and this first-ever digitized edition is a boon for students, scholars, and anyone interested in the history of Philadelphia and the nation. 

Drexel’s Seventh President: William Walsh Hagerty

In the thirty-two years since William Walsh Hagerty was president of Drexel University much has changed, but the core attributes embodied by President Hagerty and reflected throughout his tenure remain the same. Drexel students are energetic, innovative and focused. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of former Drexel president president, William Walsh Hagerty, the Libraries is taking a look back at the many ways that Dr. Hagerty helped to build the institution we know today. Most notably, Dr. Hagerty led Drexel in its transition from the Drexel Institute of Technology to the comprehensive research university it is today. In 1970, the Drexel Institute officially became Drexel University.

Brain Awareness Week Exhibit on Display at W. W. Hagerty Library

Are there really difference between male brains and female brains? Are some people “right-brained” and some people “left-brained”? And WHY are teenagers like that?!

Visit W. W. Hagerty Library to view an exhibit featuring displays of brain myths and facts. The displays, created in collaboration with the Department of Psychology in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, will debunk commonly held beliefs and present current research about the brain. Learn about the history of brain research, beginning with phrenology and leading into current conceptualizations of brain organization.

Archives Acquisitions: January 2016

The University Archives regularly adds new pieces of Drexel history to the collection on a including artifacts, documents, photographs and electronic files. These new acquisitions help to capture and record Drexel’s unique story. This month the Archives acquired documents pertaining to Drexel’s name change. In 1970 Drexel changed the name of the institution from the Drexel Institute of Technology to Drexel University.

Archives Acquisitions: October 2015

The University Archives regularly adds new pieces of Drexel history to the collection on a including artifacts, documents, photographs and electronic files. These new acquisitions help to capture and record Drexel’s unique story. This month the Archives acquired a formal portrait of John and Mary Fetter Semanik. The Semaniks are a prominent part of Drexel’s athletic history with John serving as the Drexel Men’s Athletic Director and Mary Fetter Semanik served as the Women’s Athletic Director from 1965 – 1991. John and Mary Semanik are both members of the Drexel Athletics Hall of Fame and named an annual award created to celebrate the accomplishments of upperclassmen student-athletes who demonstrate the ideals of collegiate athletics, especially academic achievement, athletic leadership, community partnerships and personal integrity.

Drexel University Archives’ New Acquisitions: August/September

Each month the University Archives appraises and acquires documents, photographs and electronic files that capture and record Drexel’s unique history. These new acquisitions are gifts and transfers from University departments, Drexel alumni, current student groups, and other donors.

Drexel University Libraries Contributes Two Cultural Pieces to Regional Diaries Initiative

Drexel University Archives will extend access to two diaries in the collection through a collaboration with the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries and the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts. Drexel University Archives contributed digitized images of Rebecca Thomas’s recipe book and Francis Martin Drexel’s travel journal. Rebecca Thomas was a resident of early 19th-century Burlington, New Jersey. She recorded recipes, arithmetic lessons, and folk remedies in a small journal that brings to life the day-to-day concerns of early American women.

This Just In: A.J. Drexel on the cover of Harpers Weekly magazine

Recently the Archives received a donation from alumnus Richard W. Young ('54): two framed pages from the January 2, 1892 issue of Harper's Weekly. The pages hung for forty years in the office that Mr. Young shared with his late wife Elizabeth Hansen Young ('52).Framed page from Harpers Weekly

The Drexel Institute was dedicated on December 17, 1891, just two weeks before this issue of Harper's appeared. The magazine demonstrates how the opening of Mr. Drexel's bold new school captured national attention. An interior page of the magazine features illustrations of the Great Court in the Main Building. Here's the two items hanging in the University Archives in Hagerty Library.

Normally, archival preservation requires that works on paper be stored in a drawer or box, away from damaging light. However, Mr. Young urged us to display the pieces where they can be seen and enjoyed by the Drexel community. For that reason, we've hung them in the Archives reading room, where they can be seen but have limited exposure to light. So please stop by the Archives and take a look at these pieces of history.