University Archives Newly Digitized Photograph Collection from the 1930's and 1940's

Have you ever wanted to dig deep into the archives for research purposes or a trip down memory lane? Special Collections & University Archives now has a new digitized collection of images from the University Archives photo collection. Many of these photos depict campus life back in the 1930s, 1940s, and beyond. There are now over 500 images online in Scholarworks with easy access and many more to come. Originally, these images weren’t very easy to share with others because of their format, but now you don’t have to look any further than ScholarWorks.

Ellen Neuhaus, Rod Library’s Digital Scholarship Unit Coordinator, and the Digital Scholarship Unit were able to make this happen and ensure that the images were available to all in Scholarworks. Working with Jaycie Vos, University Archivist, Alli Guild, SC&UA  Library Assistant, managed and created metadata for nearly 900 images and uploaded them to ScholarWorks. Tessa Wakefield, Archival Processor and Reference Associate, SC&UA, and Jaycie created the initial inventories and handled project planning for the Archives. 

At the time that the images were taken, campus was quite different. Without the efforts from those in Rod Library, students, faculty, and the general public would not have access to these one of a kind images. Making these images freely available to everyone was the number one priority in order to preserve campus history so future generations have access as well. The University Archives are home to collections ranging from 1869 to the early 2000s in topic areas like athletics, campus activities, faculty and staff, campus buildings, student organizations, classes, and much more. 

For this project, SC&UA worked with a vendor, SceneSavers, to digitize the images. Originally the images were nitrate negatives, a common but challenging format from the early 1900s, so the decision was made to work with a vendor. All of the images are now digitized and easily accessible to anyone with an interest in campus life at UNI almost 100 years ago.