While technically a unit within the Morse Library, the Beloit College Archives hold too special a place in my heart to go unmentioned on my blog. Here’s why you should check them out if you find yourself in south central Wisconsin:
- It is lovely. No seriously, this archive is just a lovely place. With a sun-filled reading room, movable stacks, and giant work tables, what more could you ask for?
- The archives attract researchers from everywhere! From students and faculty to visiting researchers and genealogy enthusiasts, I saw a little bit of everything in my tenure at the archives. There is something for everyone!
- The college archives house the history of the college. Everything from original founding documents to professors’ papers to old college yearbooks and newspapers. There is a wealth of information that is just waiting to be discovered!
- The place is run by Fred Burwell, a person I can most accurately describe as a kindred spirit. An accomplished author and blogger, Fred goes above and beyond in running the archives; and on top of that, he is a fabulous boss! Only the third archivist in the history of the college, his wealth of knowledge about the college, the town, and the area is vast and deep.
- Fred runs an awesome weekly feature called “Fridays with Fred,” wherein he explores a topic that is covered in the archive holdings. They always include images and are always amazing. Check out Fridays with Fred if you’re into Beloit, Beloit College, or awesome American history tidbits in general.
- If you’re nice to Fred, he’ll let you back in the stacks, which are movable! (Just be careful you don’t get squished!)
- Every few semesters there is an Introduction to College Archives class and it is fantastic. Definitely took it while I was at Beloit and was a factor in my wanting to go on to library school.
- But honestly, who doesn’t love getting a glimpse into their alma mater’s past…
- Cool projects! There is an endless amount of cool projects just waiting for students to work on. Case in point: I spent part of the year I worked there transcribing a tiny diary written by a young man who rode a motorcycle through Central America for the better part of a year in the 1930s, living off of the kindess of strangers and the occasional postcard printing/sale.
- If you roam around the archives long enough, whether in person or online, you might come across something that I worked on! (Hint: this finding aid is mine-all-mine)
To visit the Beloit College Archives:
Morse Library – Richard Black Information Center
731 College Street
Beloit, Wisconsin 53511-5509
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, 8:30AM-6PM; Tuesday, Thursday, 8:30AM-12PM, 7-10:30PM; Friday, 8:30AM-2PM; Closed Saturday and Sunday