By Hannah Dunbar
On Oct. 17, Shafer Library will host the dedication of the University Archives expansion at 11 a.m. The class of 1965 decided to initiate a class gift to support the expansion according to Jaclyn Schalk, director of gift planning.
“Under the leadership of the class of 1965 reunion committee and Dr. Jim Houdeshell, members of the 1965 class generously donated to fund the expansion,” said Schalk. “In addition to funding the Archives space, additional money was added to endowment to support the operation of the Archives for future generations.”
The University of Findlay’s Archives has existed in some form since the early 1900s according to Andrew Whitis, university librarian and college librarian for business.
“The Alumni Office and University Advancement worked with two graduating classes to raise funds to renovate space on the second floor of Shafer Library,” said Whitis. “The goal of that project was to establish a better environment to retain and preserve archival materials and to create a public space for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to conduct research using archival materials.”
Planning and fundraising for the current expansion of the Archives public research space began in 2014, construction started in June, and was completed by July 2015 according to Whitis.
“The expansion of the University Archives added an additional 200 square feet of space which doubled the space of the Archives,” said Schalk. “In addition to floor space, the expansion provided 20 linear feet of all space to display and shelve archived pieces.”
Schalk said the expanded space for the Archives increases the accessibility of the University’s artifacts which expands opportunities for class presentations and use by alumni and friends.
Increasing space in the public area for research purposes is the main goal of the expansion project according to Whitis.
“We have experienced an increase demand from faculty and students to access archival materials for research over the past few years,” said Whitis. “The expansion creates more seating and work space, more wall space to display artifacts, and more floor space to make more materials available in the public research area.”
The long term goal for the Archives is to continue to collect items related to the history of Findlay College and The University of Findlay according to Whitis.
“We are starting a major project to make available materials that have already been digitized and to continue to digitize both high demand and fragile materials,” said Whitis. “A variety of items are currently available for research purposes including: yearbooks, student publications, photographs, manuscripts, and other historical items.”
Digitizing is important because it provides a digital backup copy of the physical item which helps to ensure long term preservation of print materials as they become fragile with age said Whitis.
There are some interesting artifacts on display in room 219 in Shafer Library according to Whitis.
“There is an original window from Ritz Auditorium that has the names of 1897 etched into one of its panes of glass as well as the cornerstone time capsule placed when Old Main was built in 1884,” said Whitis.
For more information regarding the Archives Dedication Ceremony please contact the Alumni Office at email@example.com or 419-434-4516.