The University of Illinois noted Archives Month 2013 by marking the Golden Anniversary of its University Archives.
In 1963, on the verge of its centennial, the University of Illinois fulfilled a then decades-old dream by creating a central place dedicated to collecting, preserving, and making accessible the university’s historical records, and Maynard Brichford was hired as the university’s first professional archivist. From 1963 to 1995, Brichford led the University Archives in its mission of collecting and preserving the university’s historical record. In 1995, William Maher assumed responsibilities as University Archivist after working alongside Brichford for 18 years. Today the University Archives houses, preserves and makes accessible the very history that both Brichford and Maher set out to collect and preserve.
During a reception celebrating the University Archives’ 50-year anniversary on October 12, 2013 in the University Library’s Marshall Gallery, John Wilkin, the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, provided remarks, and University Archivist William Maher and Archivist Emeritus Maynard Brichford spoke about the archives’ early and continued importance. This reception also marked the opening of a month long exhibit documenting the lives of University of Illinois students, and an exhibit highlighting iconic record series from each decade of the Archives’ existence, and favorite records chosen by archives staff.
As a part of a yearlong celebration, Inside Illinois will run a new series, “From the Archives.” This series begins with the article “Preserving History: Archives’ approach looks to the future, preserves the past” by Mike Helenthal provides the reader with an in-depth look at many of the treasures found within the archives. With the generous support of Carol A. Berthold (B.A., 1964) a full-color booklet (University Archives: Where the present meets the past . . . to create the future) was published in September. Copies may be obtained by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The University Archives will continue with its 50 year celebration with a prospective spring symposium discussing civil rights and archives.