April 26, 2005

History students look for old photos of student life at SIUC

by Paula Davenport


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- If you are one of those lucky folks who lingered, loitered or perhaps even attended college in Carbondale after 1940, you've undoubtedly got tales to tell.

If you have the pictures to go with them, a group of current Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate students hopes to hear from you soon. You will really endear yourself to the collegiate historians, who are working on the book as part of a graduate level colloquium-style history course offered through the College of Liberal Arts.

The students seek the best student life photos from the last 60 years to fill a handsome, soft cover photo history book. Arcadia Publishing will print the 128-page work as part of its campus history series.

Plans call for the photo history books to roll off the presses about a year from now. They'll probably cost around $20.

Project coordinators urge you to dig through your picture albums, shoeboxes and steamer trunks. You may turn up the quintessential image of your peers hanging out at the old Hub Café. Or pictures of your roommate — dressed in a cardigan with pearls — pouring over her homework at a spartan desk in her Woody Hall dorm room.

You rabble rousers from the 70s must have shots of hippie hangouts, streakers and the Strip's funky and now defunct Spudnuts, Papa C's and La Hacienda eateries.

When you gather your photos, also take a minute to jot down a few paragraphs describing the times, activities and the memories they represent. You will also need to give your permission for the images to be reproduced, published, perhaps exhibited and finally stored. Visit http://alumniphotos.siu.edu to complete an online photo release form and to learn more about the project.

The graduate students hope to display many of the photos in a special exhibition early next year at the University Museum on campus.

In all, nine students and their history professor Michael C. Batinski are toiling on the project. The themes and time frame they'd like to depict is "SIUC college life from the GI bill to Generation X."

They're set up to receive photos electronically or by snail mail. To submit pictures online, send jpgs, gifs or bmp versions to siuphoto@siu.edu.

Prints should be addressed to: Student Life Project, Mail Code 4519, Department of History, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Ill. 62901.

Originals will be returned upon request if you include your return name and complete mailing address.

The students will give SIUC's Special Collections Department at Morris Library copies of the photos after they finish their project.

Offering progressive graduate education programs is among the goals of "Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment," the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th birthday in 2019.

(Caption: SIUC students circa 1970)

Photo provided