So, I've been spending a lot of time in the University Archives for the past few months, because we are relocating to a new space. What? You didn't know there IS an archive? Okay, let me back up the bus for a minute. Mantor Library is the official keeper of UMF history, in the form of an archive that is currently housed in the basement of Mallet Hall. The archive contains vertical files, consisting of clippings, documents, photographs, theater programs - anything UMF related that can be stored in folders in a filing cabinet. We also have physical objects: books, maps, scrapbooks and all kinds of other memorabilia, that is stored in acid free boxes on shelving. It's a LOT of stuff. Some of it is very interesting stuff. And I've been getting up close and personal with a lot of it that has been waiting to be sorted and processed. And since I have a box that I've been sorting sitting here in my office, I thought you might like to see a few gems from the collection.
This is a receipt for housing in Purington Hall. In 1918, room and board would have set you back $25.00 for six weeks.
This is the program for the commencement of the college's first graduating class, in 1866. In those days, final examinations were given in the morning, and graduation was held in the afternoon. Wow. Talk about leaving things til the last minute!
Here's one I've been getting a kick out of: this list was apparently mailed out to incoming students circa 1950 - and it's a suggestion of things to bring to college.
In those days, according to another list, room and board had skyrocketed to a hundred bucks for the first quarter, and tuition was a whopping $25 per semester. Yes. Semester. Not credit hour.
I'm learning a lot about the history of UMF as I sift through these boxes, many of which were gifts of alumni, or the children or neices or nephews of alumni, who send back these bits of memorabilia with notes that say how much the University, whether it was known as the Normal School, or the State Teacher College, or UMF as we know it now, meant to them, and how they would like their college souvenirs to be preserved in our archive. And they are. The material in our archive is the memory of this institution, and the echo of every student who attended the school in all it's incarnations.
And where is the archive moving to, you may wonder? Well, so do we. That decision hasn't been made yet, but we'll keep you posted.