Category Archives: Found in the Archives

Alida Cynthia Bowler: Responsibility of Privilege

By all accounts, Alida Cynthia Bowler, psychology graduate of the University of Illinois in 1910 and 1911, was an extraordinary woman. Alida Bowler entered the University in 1908 and in doing so became part of a Progressive Era in education that extended from the 1890s-1930s.  To Progressive Era proponents, the purpose of education was not […]

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Erin go Bragh

Originally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has become a celebration for all things Irish, including corned beef, beer, chrysanthemums, and shamrocks. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 34.1 million U.S. residents claimed Irish ancestry in 2012. This number was more than […]

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The Electrical Show: Inventions of the Past, Present, and Future Revealed

In 1907, students from the Department of Electrical Engineering participated in a campaign to raise funds to build a memorial to Robert Fulton in New York City.[1] In order to contribute to this effort, Electrical Engineering students organized exhibition that displayed their work. Attracting 1,600 visitors and raising $250 to contribute to the Fulton memorial, the […]

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Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day: The Official Story

2014 will be the 20th year of displaced St. Patrick’s Day festivities, and the University Archives blog is marking the occasion by reviewing the official origins of an unofficial celebration.

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Black Power on Campus, 1968-1969

Despite the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional, de facto segregation persisted without sanction of law.  Throughout the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s, African American college students participated in social movements to influence institutions of higher […]

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The time has come, the Walrus said…

Besides the long-running Daily Illini, the University Archives has numerous lesser-known student newspapers.  Since the early years of the University, students regularly published alternative newspapers and magazines. These short-lived newspapers documented student reactions to University issues as well as larger socio-political events. Alternative newspapers became popular in the 1960s and 70s as the country experienced […]

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Monument Man: Illinois Professor Saved European Art

February 7 is the release of George Clooney’s The Monuments Men–a story of men and women locating, protecting, and saving art, monuments, and archives during World War II. The University of Illinois’ own Dr. Edwin Carter Rae was a Monument Man, and his story can be found in the University Archives.

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A Tributary Runs Through It: Engineering’s Boneyard Creek

Just north of Engineering Hall is a 3.9 mile-long creek which has, for better or worse, figured in the lives of students, faculty, and staff at the University of Illinois. Though a familiar site on the Engineering campus, current students may pass by Boneyard Creek giving it little thought. Around the turn of the 20th […]

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Holiday Greetings

Dean of Men Thomas Arkle Clark took active interest in the approximate 3,5000 students and University alumni enlisted in the military during World War I from 1917-1919. Through regular correspondence with each serviceman, he kept meticulous records of their activities and updated them on the activities of the University. On Christmas Day in 1918, Carleton […]

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A Poor Defense: Sherman tanks in WW2

Contributed by Nicholas Hopkins A Glimpse of the lives of American soldiers constructed with materials of the 3rdArmored Division Archives, housed at the University of Illinois Archives Research Center. Experiencing WWII from the inside of a M4 Sherman tank was famously dangerous. Henry J. Earl retells his experience with the Sherman in a 1983 letter […]

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