The Pendulum has moved to a new site at

Keeping history alive: Elon Archives retrieves important artifacts from university development

by Caitlin O'Donnell,
  • Tentative plans to tear down the former Pendulum office and bank have been made for early February. Photo by Tracy Raetz.

As progress continues on the construction of a new building in downtown Elon, bricks from the building on the corners of Williamson and W. College avenues will be archived by Elon University. The former home of The Pendulum office, which also once housed a bank, represents a piece of Elon's history, according to archivist Katie Nash.

Nash said this is the first time she's requested material to archive and in the past, people have sent in objects they have found.

"One thing that started this was when Alamance installed their elevator," she said. "They came across charred bricks in the foundation, bricks from the old main administration building."

The Office of the President also sent a piece to the archives from the siding of the old Jordan Center that was torn down.

"I thought I should keep up with it and be more proactive about asking for things," Nash said.

As for the former Pendulum office, Nash said bricks should be archived because there is a story being told.

"There's a potential for a display, that crops up every now and then," she said. "While there are no definite plans right now, there's always the potential."

One example she gave was a possible display from the Jordan Center siding.

"The tradition was to put Christmas lights over Jordan Center," she said. "We may one day have a Jordan Center anniversary with a display of the siding and pictures of the buildings with lights."

For Pam Richter, former editor-in- chief of The Pendulum, the artifacts represent the development of the university as well as the Town of Elon.

"It's important to have artifacts because we need to see where we've come from throughout the history and see how the school has changed,"
Richter said.

Richter arrived on campus in fall 2007 and immediately became involved with The Pendulum, which moved to the new location in the building in October 2007.

"The little time it was there, it was a fixture of campus," she said.
Artifacts are not the only things held in Elon's archives.

Photographs, departmental files and university publications are stored, as well.

"It's anything the university is producing and generating, we have," Nash said. "Basically, it tells the story of the university."

Archived objects come from across the board, she said, and come in a variety of formats that make it interesting and fun.

"We're always looking for artifacts that tell a story and aren't just pictures or long text written," she said. "When you look at it and think it's interesting, it makes the display or story you're telling more exciting."