Archived photos of Elon in its early years are available for people to view on the photo sharing website, courtesy of archivists in Belk Library.
By Natalie Allison ’13
Historic Elon photos that are a part of the glass plate negative collection in Belk Library’s Archives and Special Collections are now accessible online.
Currently on the photo sharing website Flickr, the photos have been made available by special collections librarian and archivist Katie Nash and student workers in Belk Library’s archives.
Nash said several years ago a student worker scanned the glass plates so the files could be stored electronically; however, current student worker Marissa Mastrocola ’13 was responsible for resizing the photos and uploading them to Flickr.
“It dawned on me recently we should probably put them online,” Nash said. “Up until now they’ve been living in a folder on a computer that only a limited number of staff have access to. Most of them are in the public domain, before 1923, so we don’t have any copyright issues.”
The photos document Elon’s campus, students, faculty and other locations off campus. Many of the photos are identified, though some in the collection are not.
“It would be nice if some of the unidentified people or places could be identified,” Nash said. “We want the public to look at them in hopes that someone says ‘oh I recognize that person.’”
She said since her office gets frequent questions from students about historic campus organizations and buildings on campus, it will serve as a resource to point people to the Flickr account so they can view and take the photos as needed.
In addition to the photo project, Nash said Mastrocola is currently scanning campus publications from 1970-1974, a period of time when “there wasn’t really a newspaper.” The publications provided current information about Elon College, such as the Elon Reporter, a six-page newsletter that was distributed to the local Elon community, donors and friends of the college and for a time, parents and students.
Nash said she hopes the project will be completed by the end of June.
“It’s really interesting to compare what things looked like then to what they’re like now,” Mastrocola said. “We’re always so focused on the future and what we’re building, but it’s nice to look to the past and where we came from.”