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What's in the Drexel University Archives

The Drexel University Archives has two main focuses: the history of Drexel University and the history of the Drexel family.

History of the University

The history of the University is documented with material created by:

  • The Office of the President and the Board of Trustees
  • Specific colleges, departments, academic programs, and committees 
  • Administrative offices and units
  • The athletic program 
  • Individual alumni/ae, faculty, and staff
  • Student and faculty campus groups

    The history of the University covers these and other topics: 

    • The development of academic programs
    • The evolution of the administrative structure
    • How the administration made decisions and the responses from students, faculty, staff, and residents of nearby neighborhoods Powelton and Mantua 
    • The development and activities of campus groups
    • Activities of individual faculty 
    • Activities of individual alumnae and alumni after graduation
    • The construction and acquisition of university buildings, campus expansion, and the effect of Drexel’s expansion on Powelton and Mantua

    Drexel Family History

    The Drexel University Archives collects, preserves, and shares the history of University founder Anthony J. Drexel and his family. In January 2021 the Archives launched the Drexel Family Digital Archive, an online exhibit documenting the legacy of University founder Anthony J. Drexel and his family. The online exhibit features a curated selection of more than 120 “digital surrogates” (digital reproductions of physical objects) of Drexel family-related material such as photo albums, costumes, paintings, furniture, diaries and other textual documents.

    The online exhibit, made possible by generous donations from Drexel family members, brings together digitized materials from the University’s special collections units, including the University Archives, The Drexel Collection, and the Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection, with items from the archives of the Academy of Natural Sciences to be added soon. 

    For more information about researching the Drexel family, visit our Drexel Family Research Guide.