The UW Archives and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Collections (UWDC) have received some well-deserved media attention lately—and timely, too, as October is American Archives Month. The depth and breadth of these fantastic collections provide images rich in history and culture, and provide users with many opportunities to easily explore campus life at the UW.
A few weeks ago, the Cap Times ran an article about UW Archivist, Vicki Tobias, and SLIS student, Megan Costello’s work highlighting campus history through Tumblr, a social media platform, from the centuries-old scrapbooks of two UW—Madison alumnae.
Just this week, the Cap Times features student Kait Vosswinkel’s blog titled “Moving Forward. Looking Back.” Kait’s photography project uses historical images of campus from UWDC, and juxtaposes them into contemporary photos. The result is a striking image demonstrating the timelessness of campus life. The UWDC’s digital services librarian, Melissa McLimans, was also featured recently in the Wisconsin State Journal’s Know Your Madisonian. You can read the article about McLimans’ work bringing out the humor found in the UWDC.
Not to be outdone by local publications, the archives collections were also a hot topic this week in the Daily Mail, a UK publication. “Some things never change! Photographs of a century of U.S. student life show how parties, drinking and university sports have always taken centre stage,” features more than a dozen photos of students in UW campus housing from the late 19th century through the present, demonstrating that although many differences exist between then and now, some things never change. The article’s author told us, “We chose to write about it solely because they are such compelling pictures – and seem to illustrate neatly how life has changed over the decades.”
UWDC received another plug from the Oxford University Press blog on Friday. Blogger Caitlin Tyler-Richards of the Oral History Review interviewed Melissa McLimans and Steven Dast about the history of the UWDC, focusing mostly on oral histories and other audio collections. Tyler-Richards called the UWDCC “an excellent example of a large, well-organized multimedia digital archive.” Well done, UWDC team!
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives was founded in 1951 and since then has been the official repository for the UW-Madison, UW-System Administration, and the UW Colleges and UW-Extension. The collection consists of materials dating back to 1848 and includes among other things: documents from administrative offices, faculty, and staff; files from University presidents, chancellors, deans, department chairs, and faculty committees; and affiliated groups and organizations such as student and staff organizations and societies; campus papers the Daily Cardinal and Badger Herald, and the Badger yearbooks.
The UWDC collections are focused more broadly on digital resources that support the teaching and research needs of the UW community. They uniquely document the University and State of Wisconsin, and provide access to rare or fragile items of broad research value. They span a range of subjects including art, ecology, literature, history, music, natural resources, science, social sciences, the State of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin. Digital resources include text-based materials such as books, journal series, and manuscript collections, photographic images, slides, maps, prints, posters, audio, and video.
UW Archives and UWDC work together to give viewers an amazing assortment of campus history collections such as the 1940-1941 NCAA Basketball Champions, Early Hoofers History, the History of Women at the University of Wisconsin, the Cultural Landscape of UW-Madison; Campus Voices and Oral Histories; and the State of Wisconsin Collection. UW Archives works to collect and preserve the history of the University, and UWDC makes them freely available and searchable through the web.
Both collections are available to students, scholars, staff, and the public.
Want to know more about these wonderful resources on our campus? Contact them!
University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center
431 Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
Or email them here.
UW Archives and Records Management
425 Steenbock Library
550 Babcock Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Or email them here.