University of Illinois Fun Facts

Welcome, Archives blog enthusiasts and Urbana Sweetcorn Festival attendees! Below are the questions printed on the rally fans given away by the University Archives at the Festival this year, along with links to the answers. Enjoy!

Corn Maidens
Corn Maidens at the May Fete, 1915
Found in RS 39/2/20, ACT-7, May Fetes 1915

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Food is a Weapon of War

Food production in the United States in 1943 was approximately 32 percent larger than the annual production from 1935-39, the years preceding World War II.  Despite labor shortages, inadequate amounts of new machinery and scarcities of other kinds, both farmers and ordinary citizens put forth effort to produce the food needed to meet the country’s need. Continue reading “Food is a Weapon of War”

Campus Folksong Club

In the spring of 1961, a Folksong Club emerged at the University of Illinois, organized by Dick Kanar and Vic Lukas.  Students who attended the first annual University of Chicago Folk Festival, they walked away determined to found a club on campus to study, exchange, and enjoy traditional folk music.1

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Life and Death Of the Elephant: the Secret History Of the First University Building

When Urbana was chosen as the site of the Illinois Industrial University (now the University of Illinois) in 1867, one of the advantages it had over other potential locations was the Urbana and Champaign Institute, a brand-new, five-story, empty school building that was ready for the University’s immediate use. This building became the University of Illinois in 1867, and was the only campus building until the Mechanical Building and Drill Hall was erected in 1872.

But how did Champaign County happen to have an empty school to donate to the University in the first place? The answer involves God, money, war, and politics. Continue reading “Life and Death Of the Elephant: the Secret History Of the First University Building”

Halloween Post: Hugh Atkinson

Don’t ever try telling me that archivists don’t know how to have fun! Case in point: Our intrepid assistant and blogger Rory Grennan is paying homage to former University Librarian Hugh Atkinson today, with a bit of a nod to the fact that many archivists (and librarians) at Illinois now bike to work.  Do you see the resemblance??? Continue reading “Halloween Post: Hugh Atkinson”

Squirrels!

 

Squirrel in tree, circa 1912
Found in University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Photo-Gravures, ca. 1912
This image is in the public domain.

Love them or hate them, everyone knows that squirrels are a fixture on the UIUC campus, and especially on the Quad.  And why wouldn’ t they stick around, with all the friendly students throwing food their way?  What you may not know is how they came to campus in the first place.

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