Southern Utah University as the Branch Agricultural College: My (Rough) Project Outline

After another session in the archives, I’ve gotten a better feel for the potential topics I can discuss and resources I have at my disposal. I will list off the primary resources I have collected so far:

3 Student made pamphlets called the “The Student.” I have one from 1914, one from 1916, and one from 1919. These three are well spread out, but I wish to acquire the other editions for my use: these were produced monthly, so they’re should be more. I will ask the archivists about this matter tomorrow.

Student Yearbooks from 1913-1919. All of SUU’s yearbooks are digitized on the web.

Iron County Newspapers: the archives have collected hundreds of newspaper papers from the time period, and I have gleamed over them and noted information concerning the renovation of the campus. There should hopefully be more.

1913-1914 and 1916-1917 student catalogs: I would like to acquire the other student catalogs to see if the offered courses have grown in during the time period as the BAC was barely authorized to be a junior college.

Minutes from the Board of Trustees. This will allow me to trace the financial provisions the university received.

I want my website to have a narrative flow to it while also potentially digitizing any primary sources I have.  Having a search index where visitors can see the documents for themselves would be cool to have, but an effort like that would take some intensive permissions and coordination from the archivist. I will approach them on the matter though about the possibility as I think it could be beneficial to SUU.

The narrative of the site would be focused on the development on the school. In 1913, BAC was approved to be a Junior College, and so with that comes new challenges of organizing, expanding, and developing the school. Along the way WWI breaks out and I’ve found a list of students who served in that war, so I could devote a page to students who served in that war. Then, during the Influenza epidemic, I could chart how it affected the school year, provided I find such information. I feel like a list of individuals who passed away because of the epidemic would be an appropriate dedication to them. Having a cohesive narrative of the school, divided into years and organized based on noteworthy events in those years, would be splendid. Furthermore, a timeline charting these events alongside national and global events would provide context for these occurrences and connect the story of BAC with that of the world.

 

This is a rough outline: I’m going to increase the amount of time I’ll spend researching for this in order to prepare for drafting the website. Wish me luck.

 

2 thoughts on “Southern Utah University as the Branch Agricultural College: My (Rough) Project Outline”

  1. This is a good start. It will be interesting to see what connections this newly-minted junior college created with the local community during the war as well.

  2. I like your idea of having a timeline to compare national versus local events–we want to do the same thing! We hope that it will help visitors orient themselves in understanding how the events at both levels influenced each other, and to simply give visitors better context. As far as the flu epidemic goes–does your university have Presidential Papers in the archives? We found a lot of information on the epidemic within the Presidential Papers at UMW, especially in reports from the President to a state-wide board for Normal Schools. It would be cool if there were any accounts available from those students who served in the war!

    I also really like your idea to digitize your primary sources, but agree that it is a pretty ambitious undertaking. Between having to put together the narratives and design your site, you may not have much time left over for digitization. If you could digitize everything, you would essentially have an archive of resources available online, and my concern would be that it might clash a bit with the narrative structure you have proposed. The narrative seems more exhibit-oriented, while having all the sources digitized is archive-oriented. Perhaps a nice compromise would be digitizing the primary sources that speak most to the story you will be telling? It would probably be much less time-consuming to pursue a middle route and also help illustrate your narrative without overwhelming visitors with so many primary source documents. You could also list “Further Resources” at the end of each narrative section, or just have an entire page dedicated to it, where you can list the general primary sources you used and where interested people can find them.

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