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Student Life at Northwestern University

Resources in the University Archives that document student life at NU from 1855 to today

Student Life at NU

James Bixby Photograph Collection, University Archives

Some Recent Topics researched by students in the NU Archives--

Northwestern buildings • Hazing Fraternities and sororities • Student organizations • Student theatre • African-American students at NU • Alcohol on campus Student publishing •  Continuity and change in daily life • Evanston-Northwestern relations • Proposed merger with University of Chicago •The NU Settlement Association  • Individual faculty members • NU during the World Wars • Women at NU • Co-education at NU Women’s organizations • Development of new programs and curricula • American Studies Political science African-American Studies Asian Studies •  Athletics at NU • Title IX The suspension of collegiate football 1906-1908 • Student activism • Student protests Bursar’s office strike Anti-war protests


150 Years of Student Life and Activities

The University Archives, one of Northwestern's Special Libraries, contains materials relating to every aspect of Northwestern’s 150+ year history,  Our collections are not just for scholarly researchers or for administrators consulting their old files—our photographs, scrapbooks, diaries, student publications, yearbooks and catalogues reveal how student life has changed over the decades—and how it has remained the same. These materials provide context for current students’ own experiences and are a rich resource for research and information.

What's in the University Archives?

The materials in the University Archives can:

·      supply answers to questions about residential and academic buildings, landmarks like the Rock, ongoing traditions like the Waa-Mu show, notable faculty and alumni, and events from parades to protests

·       help trace the development, changes, and even disappearance of programs, departments, organizations, and policies

·       provide numerous sources of information about student demographics

·       offer background material, primary sources, contextual information, and data for comparison purposes

The materials in the University Archives include:

·         Collections of  materials on organizations (such as ASG), fraternities, sororities, clubs, and more

·         Personal papers of influential faculty

·         Files on student groups, residence halls, events, trends, traditions

·         Photographs

·         Scrapbooks & diaries (circa 1890s-1940s)

·         Histories of the University, athletics, student groups and activities, etc.

·         Course bulletins and catalogs (1856-now)

·         Student publications (the Daily, newsletters, humor /literary magazines, alternative publications, etc. (1871-now)

·         The Syllabus yearbook (1884-now)

·         Theatre, music, and athletics events programs

And much more—see our website, explore the tabs on this LibGuide, or contact us for more details on what we have and how you can use these materials.