Library News »01/06/2014


New digital collection documents history of UI Campus


To commemorate the University of Idaho’s 125th Anniversary, the University of Idaho Library's Digital Initiatives department has released a new collection of images documenting the history of the main Moscow Campus buildings and programs.

The University of Idaho Campus Photographs Collection presents over 3,000 digitized images that depict the campus from its beginning in 1889 to the present. The collection can be browsed by building, map, and/or timeline. A mobile version of the site also has been created to allow browsing for images nearest to the current location of the user’s smartphone.

Images in the collection were acquired by the UI Library’s Special Collections and Archives and organized into groups over several decades. The images were digitized by librarians, technicians and student workers in the Digital Initiatives unit during 2012 and 2013. The original negatives and print images continue to be housed in the library’s Special Collections and Archives.

The University of Idaho campus began as a 20-acre plot of hilly farmland purchased for $4,000 in 1889. Over 125 years, the campus added many acres and structures. Several of its buildings have received awards for engineering and/or are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Campus buildings have served as spaces where the University of Idaho’s educational missions could grow and expand from the first hilly acres to cover a substantial portion of the state.

"The University is a grassroots university. The mission has always been connected to the land and the land to the university,” said Garth Reese, head of Special Collections and Archives. "This collection is the product of the work of several librarians, both past and present. The past these images show is as unique as our present, and gives valuable insight to the themes of the University of Idaho campus and educational mission."

The UI Library’s Special Collections and Archives department specializes in the acquisition, preservation, and use of research materials that document the cultural and environmental history of Idaho, and to a lesser degree that of the region. The library’s Digital Initiatives department works to preserve, create and make accessible collections from the library, the university, and the state via its digitization, database and digital archiving services.

Questions and comments about the University of Idaho Campus Photographs Collection may be directed to the digital initiatives librarian, Devin Becker, at

Bringing the world to Idaho ... and Idaho to the world.

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