As the one hundred-fiftieth anniversary of MSU’s founding approaches, university librarians have completed a remarkably ambitious project that took five years to complete.
Over ninety years of the student newspaper’s history have been made available to the public online, free of charge, according to Professor Heidi Southworth, a digital archivist at Minnesota State University.
“This project was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.” professor Southword said, in correspondence with the Reporter.
Looking at the archives, it’s impressive to see how much the Reporter has changed over the past ninety years.
For one thing, it wasn’t always called the Reporter. Originally called “Among Ourselves,” the student newspaper has changed names four times since, with the last change being in 1968, when it adopted its current name.
According to Professor Southworth, the digitalization of the newspaper is part of a bigger project called ARCH: University Archives Digital Collections. The project collects student publications, such as the Reporter, as well as University publications, yearbooks, and images from athletic events.
Some notable events recorded in the newspaper and preserved by the new digital archive include Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1961 speech at the university, then called Mankato State College, and the antiwar protests that took place in 1972, just over a decade later.
More mundane things have been preserved as well; students handbooks, for example, as well as student magazines from the turn of the century, which served as a kind of predecessor to the student newspaper.
Under “Stories from MSU,” the archive has preserved oral histories in the form of interviews, as well as video interviews from homecoming, and stories about the Vikings, who used the football field on campus for training camp.
Numerous photographs are also preserved in the archives; photos of athletic teams, dorms, halls, different competitions, parades, and events from the school’s history. Yearbooks from 1906-1981 have been included as well.
This archive is an important step in preserving the history of MSU, its student publications, and southwest Minnesotan history in general. New items will be added to the archives on a regular basis, as they are digitalized.
The work that the librarians and archivists at ARCH are doing is critical to the preservation of MSU’s history and the accomplishments of its students and faculty.
ARCH University Archives Digital Collections link for Student Newspapers: https://arch.lib.mnsu.edu/islandora/object/MSUrepository%3Astudent_newspapers
Feature photo courtesy of MSU Reporter.