University 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.

University of Illinois: A Bibliographic 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!

Salaita Reference File

A searchable index of publicly available materials regarding the Steven Salaita hiring controversy  is now available from the University of Illinois Archives.

The Steven Salaita Reference File and Index is comprised of preservation copies of documents, news stories, blog posts, social media traffic, and other materials, providing the most comprehensive source for material concerning the decision by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014 to rescind a job offer to Steven Salaita and the subsequent controversy and lawsuit regarding this decision.

This project was designed and launched in August 2014, with the goal of capturing in real time not only web-available news reports and institutional releases, but especially social media content from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like. Controversies create not only internal strife but a flood of reports, counter-reports, news stories, editorials, and blog posts not to mention social media postings.  Early on, the Archives realized that if we didn’t capture everything we could about the Salaita affair in real time, we would lose the ability to create an enduring, authoritative record of the controversy.

As of September 6, the resultant Salaita “clipping file” contains direct links to approximately 2,249 distinct documents from 653 sources in 14 separate categories, including news stories, responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, social media postings, videos, etc. The materials are intended for use in private research, teaching, and study. For all other uses, including but not limited to publication, broadcast, and distribution, users must obtain written permission in advance from the original author, creator, or copyright owner.

The Steven Salaita Reference File and Index can be found at http://archives.library.illinois.edu/social-media-archives/salaita-reference-index/.  This new collection is also described in our holdings database

Archives On The Move – New Location

The University of Illinois Archives has officially re-opened to the public. Our new location, room 146 Main Library is open and ready for visitors. The new location is easy to find and features a large brightly lit reading room, all new furniture, new wireless networking, and outlets at every table.

Over the next few months, we will be working on all the procedural, operational, and technology adjustments that come with any new space.
However, for the moment, contrary to all the naysayers, it has happened, we have moved, and an architect just told me only “Only two years from the program design report to opening day–that’s a land speed record.”

So, come see for yourself, and if you cannot visit sunny Urbana (err, well we have actually moved across the city line even though the zip code is the same), look at the moved-in photos available at the following URL.

For photographs documenting our move please visit: https://uofi.box.com/ArchivesNewSpace

Archives On The Move

Stay Tuned! Daily Updates on the progress of the move, including new photos, will be added starting May 21!

In 1963 the University of Illinois Archives opened its doors to the public. For 52 years the basement of the Main Library Building has been our home and it has served our needs well, but as the collections grew and as ever more students and scholars came to use the Archives, Room 19 became too cramped and unsuitable for our users. For the past three years, the archivists and the Library’s Assistant Dean for Facilities have been working to create a space more fitting to the Archives’great collections and users.

On May 21, 2015 the University of Illinois Archives will begin to relocate its core collections and public service operations from the basement to the former Applied Health Sciences Library (room 146 Main Library).

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New Reading Room
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New Stacks

The new home of the University Archives has been recently remodeled and outfitted with new equipment, large tables, improved wireless connectivity and expanded oversize storage. In addition to new equipment the remodel includes designated archival instruction and exhibit space as well as expanded stations for staff working with born-digital and digitized archives.

 

To ensure a speedy move our basement location (room 19 Main Library) will close its doors to the public between May 21 and May 29, 2015.

Only the Main Library location will be unavailable to the public during this time. The Student Life and Culture Archives and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music will continue their regular hours of operation.

We will continue to check our email (illiarch@illinois.edu) and voice mail (217-333-0798) during the move.

Looking forward to opening our doors June 01, 2015!

For more photographs documenting our move please visit: https://uofi.box.com/ArchivesNewSpace

Champaign County On Film

Champaign County On Film, the second event in the Town & Gown Speaker Series, will be held in the Lewis Auditorium at Urbana Free Library, Wednesday, October 15, at 7pm. The Champaign County Historical Archives and the Student Life & Culture Archives will present an evening devoted to the changes of Champaign County from the 1920s through the twenty-first century as captured by the film lens. Continue reading “Champaign County On Film”

Engineering Materials Digitized and Online

Civil Engineering PhotographsSince December 2012, the University Archives has acquired over 50 new accessions of materials which have augmented the Archives’ holdings that document the College of Engineering’s rich institutional memory. These acquisitions have revealed new sources and insights into the establishment and development of Engineering’s curriculum from the University’s founding in 1867, as well as faculty research and the creation of new research programs and laboratories and their affect on scientific and technological innovations. In addition to being arranged and described, Engineering administrative records and faculty papers have received advanced conservation and preservation treatment, and many records series have been digitized by the Library’s Digital Content Creation Unit. These newly-digitized materials facilitate greater access to the history of science and technology at the University of Illinois. Recently digitized administrative materials include Faculty Minutes, 1897-1902, 1918-2008 and Annual Reports, 1903-1959, 1970-1971, 1987-1988 .These records capture the work of committees, administrators, departments, and laboratories, including Engineering’s unique documentation of its own history through its Historical File, 1908-1996.

Continue reading “Engineering Materials Digitized and Online”

Arthur H. “Mike” Mason

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Mason poses during a track meet. RS 41/20/230

In a 1937 News-Gazette article on the “past glory of Illinois track teams,” legendary Illini track coach Harry Gill named Arthur H. “Mike” Mason one of the best runners and fiercest competitors he ever witnessed. Gill recounted how Mason lost his shoe during a two mile race in 1915. Despite attempts to flag him down to prevent injury, Mason kept running and finished in the lead, setting a new Big Ten and Illinois record with a time of 9:42 2-3. After helping him to the locker room, Gill recalled how “a bloody sock was removed and the whole callous of his foot dropped off with it. That run was the greatest exhibition of courage I have ever witnessed.” [1] Mason bested this time on several occasions, and his records of 4:18 and 9:33 for one and two mile races stood until the 1920s. [2] Continue reading “Arthur H. “Mike” Mason”

Illinois Loyalty Amidst the Icebergs

In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the University of Illinois’ participation in an Arctic expedition, the University Archives has prepared an on-line exhibit featuring first-hand accounts of this ill-fated trip to find the “Crocker Lands”. The exhibit focuses on the observations of W. Elmer Ekblaw (class of 1910) who served as the expedition team’s geologist, and provides insights to survival in a brutal climate away from the rest of the world that was rushing into World War I.

 

Enter Exhibit

 

Illustrated by Fridtjof Nansen.
Illustrated by Fridtjof Nansen.

 

 

Thomas Clark Shedd, Hardy Cross, and the “Broad Aspects” of Civil Engineering

In February, the University Archives acquired the papers of Thomas Clark Shedd, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois from 1925 through 1958. Comprising correspondence, publications, photographs, a field notebook, and even a slide rule, Shedd’s papers document his research on railway and bridge design as well as his interest in teaching and the development of the structural engineering curriculum. This acquisition is important not only for shedding light on his career and research, but also for his influence on the Department of Civil Engineering (now Civil and Environmental Engineering), especially in terms of its instructional mission.[1] Most notably, his papers include a great deal of correspondence with his colleague and long-time friend, Hardy Cross, Professor of Civil Engineering at the U of I from 1921 to 1937. Shedd’s papers thus complement the University Archives’ substantial collection of administrative records and personal papers relating to civil engineering, including Hardy Cross’ papers.

Continue reading “Thomas Clark Shedd, Hardy Cross, and the “Broad Aspects” of Civil Engineering”