UCCS archives maintain history of campus

24 September 2019

Jaycie Calvert

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The UCCS archives not only stores the history of UCCS but contains the heartbeat of the student life that has changed throughout the years. As UCCS has grown and evolved, so has the way the school keeps record. The archives have preserved documents such as institutional records, student government records and even class lecture notes, making the archives office an excellent resource for the scholarly or curious.

Mary Rupp, the archives librarian and repository coordinator, oversees the university archives. Having a background education in library science with an emphasis in special collections (including archives), Rupp has always had an interest in the archiving process.

“A lot of what we do is looking back, finding when decisions are made and establishing precedence for why we’re doing a certain thing,” said Rupp.

The archives contain the history of UCCS in the form of documents, files and photographs, and store all of the theses and dissertations that have been done on campus dating back to 1984. Information stored is focused on the history of campus, Cragmor Hall, the extension center and the Beth-El historical collections from 1904 to when the school merged with UCCS in 1997.

The archives have grown substantially since UCCS was established in 1965. Since the beginning, people recognized important documents that needed preservation. Starting from documents in file folders, it grew to a closet, then a study room before an archive space was made with the library extension in 2001.

The archives try to keep informational and evidential documents in as close to the original state as possible.

Mary Rupp, UCCS’ archives librarian.
Photo courtesy of UCCS

“In the archives, we are preparing materials for getting them ready for long-term storage, putting them in acid-free folders, doing what we can to preserve them for as long as possible so that they can be used at a later date for research or information,” said Rupp.

The exception are newspaper articles. Due to the acidity in the paper that results in brittleness over the years, newspaper articles cannot be preserved in their original state. Instead, all newspapers are copied to a stronger quality paper. The main goal of this is to preserve the information and content.

Many of the articles preserved include all the past student newspapers editions, dating back to 1966. These papers showcase the social and cultural history of campus, including the name change to The Scribe in 1980.

Not only do the documents contain our campus history, they also give insight to student life based on the technology used. The documents showcase when typewriters were switched in with computers and how the offices processed and functioned. This also gives inferences to how documents were created and how the university ran at that point in time, furthering insight to campus life over the decades.

The first sign that identified campus as UCCS is still hanging in the archive office, made in the garage of Al Schoffstall, who still works in the chemistry department today.

Students and staff who are interested in the university archives can visit during the office hours and read through the displays that change every other month. If doing research on the university, finding guides are provided to help guide through the filed documents.

All the materials in the archives are available for students from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment.