Campus & Community

Opening New Doors to Stevens History — Just in Time for the University's 150th Birthday

A major digitization effort by Archives & Special Collections and a new lecture series make the past more accessible than ever.

While Stevens has postponed in-person campus festivities due to COVID-19, its 150th anniversary celebration continues — now with an exciting new way to more fully explore the university’s fascinating history virtually.

b36d153e998d1172cd395ea626c92edaThe collection includes this letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Frederick Taylor, Class of 1883, on June 23, 1913, when the former was assistant secretary to the Navy. Photo: Samuel C. Williams Library, Archives & Special Collections

This summer, the Samuel C. Williams Library launched a new digital collections portal for its Archives & Special Collections content. This website serves as a gateway to more than 3,000 digitized items, including photographs, manuscripts, exhibitions, audio recordings, documentaries and other rare and unique historical materials. Highlights include The Frederick Winslow Taylor Collection, comprising original documentation related to Taylor’s development of scientific management (Taylor was Stevens Class of 1883); The Stute student newspaper collection featuring every issue from 1904 to 1950; the Voices from Castle Point oral history project, showcasing interviews with alumni from several generations; and much more.

“While the Library staff has been working remotely,” says Linda Beninghove M.S. ’03, director of the Samuel C. Williams Library, “we have pivoted library services, resources and programming to accommodate a largely online audience.

2f335dd83aee31fb3a0d345ef56a8301This first-ever issue of The Stute, published on September 23, 1904, states, “Life is a Fight, Millions Fail,” below the student newspaper’s banner. Photo: Samuel C. Williams Library, Archives & Special Collections

“For many years, these items have been available only to in-person researchers,” she says, “so we saw this as the perfect opportunity to broaden the reach of our archival collections and continue to play an important role in showcasing the depth of Stevens history for this year’s 150th anniversary celebration.”

Leah Loscutoff, head of Archives & Special Collections, and Ted Houghtaling, archivist and digital projects librarian, are committed to expanding the digital collections portal and will continue to add new content to the site over time. In addition to curating online collections, Loscutoff and Houghtaling have also been making university history accessible through the Samuel C. Williams Library Virtual Lecture Series. These interactive webinars, informed by historical accounts, primary sources and imagery, have covered topics including Stevens traditions and alumni stories. Past presentations can be viewed on the digital collections portal in the virtual Stevens history section.

The lecture series will continue through spring 2021. Look for notices about upcoming webinars through the Stevens Alumni Association and follow the Archives & Special Collections Instagram account @stevensarchives for collection highlights, new acquisitions and event postings.