Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Digital Collection Documents Diverse History of Ball State Student Experience

The 1947-1948 student handbook
documents The Village
of the late 1940s (p. 10).

 The Ball State University Student Life Collection, recently added to the Ball State University Digital Media Repository, contains an assortment of digitized textual records and artifacts broadly documenting the diverse range of student experiences at Ball State. Broad in scope, the collection contains materials dating from the institution's founding in 1918 to the 1990s.

Materials available in this digital collection were selected for digitization from a variety of individual paper collections at the Ball State University Archives and Special Collections.

Ball State homecoming button,
1963 (click for full image)
The Ball State University Student Life Collection includes editions of the Ball State Teachers College/University student handbook, also known as the Cardinal Code; a selection of scrapbooks created by Ball State students documenting campus life; newsletters published by a variety of student organizations; Ball State homecoming buttons; pamphlets, brochures, and leaflets containing information for students; and material documenting this history of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center.

The above-linked selection of student newsletters and publications document a variety of student causes and interests.  Vector, a magazine containing student writing and photo essays, published several editions in 1974.  Environmental Action worked to promote awareness of environmental issues on the Ball State campus during the early 1970s.  SIMBA, published by the Black Student Union through the Office of Special Programs at Ball State, provided a voice for Ball State's black student community.  A full list of publications included in this digital collection is available on the collection's homepage.

SIMBA newsletter, January 29, 1970
(click to read)
In addition to newsletters and publications, other materials in the collection further document the diverse history of student life at Ball State.  A scrapbook compiled by Edith Wright documents the campus community and the life of a female student from 1918 to 1920.  A brochure entitled "Hall Life", issued in 1963, outlines expectations and norms for life in student housing on campus.  A brochure entitled "The Disabled Student in the Classroom" published in the 1980s demonstrates efforts made at Ball State to improve the lives of disabled students.

Other digital collections that contain materials documenting student life include The Orient yearbooks, the Ball State University Student Newspaper collection, the Ball State University Campus Photographs collection, and the Ball State University Historic Films and Videos collection

"Beanies, Bobbysox, and Body Piercing: A History of Student Life at Ball State", an online exhibit, also presents a history of student life on campus.

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