Archives get an upgrade
More space in the new library means there is more room for the University’s historical archives. Within the old library the only place for historical documents and memorabilia was a converted classroom. "It was never designed to house archival material,” said Alex Toth, social sciences and special collections librarian.
Now the Archives have all the space they need with a storage room and dedicated research area. "In the new Archives here at the new library we have a separate room for storage and again a separate room where researchers can work. We also have sufficient room now so that students can do research over a period of time," said Toth. Previously materials taken out for research had to be put back immediately, now students can leave out materials and come back the next day to follow up on research.
With research being made easier, Toth said he hopes more will occur so that progress can be made in documenting history. "We want to preserve aspects of the University's history for future scholars," said Toth. Present scholars, alumni, and students are welcome to use the Archives for research. "There are many aspects of the University's history that can be explored and we would welcome researchers into the library and they can help us by doing some of that research."
Materials from the community and alumni are also welcome. Toth noted that the Archives have very few pictures of student life. "That aspect of life of the University is not well documented. Most of what we have in that regard are from other publications like catalogs and viewbooks," said Toth. "What we want are the daily life of students at the University at any particular time period." Some other items that can be found in the Archives are past issues of yearbooks, the school newspaper, and collectors’ plates issued by the University over the years.
Toth encouraged people not to underestimate their possessions. “Even if they don't think it is significant, it may have a significance beyond what they imagine it to be," said Toth. While the Archives’ space has grown and improved, it is still a work in progress that can be bettered with the help of alumni and students.