By Roger Munoz
Ever wonder how student life at Fresno State has changed over the years?
The Henry Madden Library’s digital collection has added two historical documents that chronicle student life since 1911. The Collegian and the university yearbook serve as windows to the past through the perspective of the students, system analyst Maria Pena said.
“You see the history of the campus through the students perspective,” Pena said. “It’s interesting to see what students were thinking back in the 1930s versus what was going on in campus in the 1970s.”
From 1922 to 1997, Pena said The Collegian was under Associated Students, Inc., and after permission the library was able to upload past issues.
“Even though we do have it preserved in microfilm, we decided that it would be a service to our campus community and to the world to digitize it so it’s available online,” Pena said.
She spoke on the importance of preserving Fresno State’s history through these articles and making them more accessible for students.
“It has the history of our campus going back to the time before we were on this campus,” Pena said. “We were at Fresno City. At the beginning, it was just a teacher’s college. So all that history of our campus is preserved in this document.”
Fresno State first published its annual yearbook in 1911. The yearbook went through a number of name changes from The Prospect to The Collegian and finally to Campus until its end in 1991.
Patrick Newell, Fresno State librarian for information technology, said the yearbook is not only a good source to learn about Fresno State’s history, but for students to see their parents’ and grandparents’ yearbook photographs as well.
“Most students are looking at the yearbooks of when their parents went to school or grandparents went to school,” Newell said. “They get to see their grandparents at their age, which is kind of cool.”
Pena, who was in charge of digitizing the yearbooks, said it was interesting watching the faculty and student body grow as time went on.
“The yearbook maintains a different historical perspective of the campus,” Pena said. “As I was digitizing, you get to see the fashions of the time. Looking at the football uniforms from 1924 to 1991, and comparing those things is interesting. The fashion of the girls, looking at the bathing suits of the time — it’s fascinating.”
Adam Wallace, a Fresno State librarian in the Special Collection Research Center, said the library plans to add photographs dating back to 1911 that showcases the university’s history.
“We also have a collection of university archives photographs,” Wallace said. “They document the history of the university. We’re in the process of doing those. We have 10,000 done so far and probably have another 20,000 to go.”
Fresno State’s digitized collection can be found at http://cdmweb.lib.csufresno.edu/cdm/.