University of Illinois Archives Celebrates Sesquicentennial

Since its establishment in 1963, the University of Illinois Archives has served as the steward of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s institutional memory. Through the preservation of the administrative records that document the development of the University’s colleges, departments, and programs; of faculty papers that shed light on the fascinating twists and turns of research and the light-bulb moments in which ideas emerge; and of the papers of alumni and student groups that allow us to understand the legacy of the University and student life, the materials in the University Archives’ holdings chronicle the achievements, activities, and impact of the University of Illinois’ administrators, faculty, and students over the past 150 years.

February 28, 2017, marks the beginning of the University’s Sesquicentennial celebration. The University of Illinois Archives will be launching several projects over the course of the University’s Sesquicentennial to highlight the diverse voices, stories, and memories of the University of Illinois. These projects include:

Mapping History at the University of Illinois–a new portal that employs a multilayered approach to telling the history of the university within an overarching narrative that integrates the idea of place via maps, 3D imagery, and archival content. The Mapping History web portal will enable users to: explore university history through decades and themes; overlap and manipulate maps from different time periods; and activate a moving timeline visually illustrating how the university’s built environment has changed.

Sesquicentennial Speaker Series–in collaboration with the History Department, the University of Illinois Archives will host a speaker series that showcases historical scholarship inspired by records found in the Archives.

A Bibliography of University of Illinois History–many publications have been written about the people, innovations, and events over the course of the University of Illinois’ history. This bibliography aggregates publications written about all three campuses: Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield.

Voices of Illinois Oral History Portal–the University of Illinois Archives is developing a new oral history portal that will allow users to interface with stories captured by Archives staff over the years that highlight such subjects as the Great Depression, World War II, student activism, and scientific and technological research at the University.

To learn more about the University of Illinois Archives’ projects and events underway, visit: University of Illinois Archives Sesquicentennial.

We hope you join us in celebrating the University of Illinois’ rich history and engage with the records, stories, and voices that continue to shape the University’s future!

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