University Archives launched “Two Centuries of Student Voices,” an exhibit displaying the 200-year history of IU’s student publications on Jan. 16.
The exhibit is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and features a variety of university-sanctioned and independently-published student media dating from the 1840s to the present day. The display will be in room 460 in the East Wing of Herman B Wells Library until May 15.
Carrie Schwier, the outreach and public services archivist and co-curator of the exhibit, said IU Archives created this display because of the interest students take in materials they can relate to.
“One of the reasons that we pulled something together about all these student publications is just that they’re incredibly popular with students,” Schwier said. “They’re always the things that really get people talking.”
This is the exhibit’s second time on display in the University Archives. It was first launched in 2020 but lost most of its viewership with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was the exhibit we installed right before lockdown in 2020,” Schwier said. "No one ever really got to see, so we pulled it back out so that folks could see it now.”
Schwier said that many communities are created through these publications. Preserving the memory of them is vital to understanding how times have changed and where progress has yet to be made.
“It’s important for these kinds of perspectives to be preserved and remembered and analyzed within the period of time that they were written, and to learn from those,” Schwier said.
Some of the featured pieces, such as “The Alternative” and “Students for a Democratic Society,” focus on politics. Others focus on humor, like “The Crimson Bull,” which started in 1947 and ran for almost a decade.
One publication on display is “Dancing Star,” a visual and literary arts journal published annually since 1976 by the Collins Living-Learning Center. Yara Clüver, the associate director of the Collins LLC, said “Dancing Star” is mostly student-run, allowing students to share their ideas and take part in valuable learning experiences.
“It’s intended to be part of the learning process so students are gaining some professional skills as well,” Clüver said.
Clüver added that “Dancing Star” has created lasting connections among those who worked on the publication and the larger Collins community.
“It’s part of people’s memory of the community as they come together,” Clüver said.
Dina Kellams, the director of University Archives, said these publications allow students to connect with the experiences of their predecessors.
“There is an opportunity for today’s students to see representation of them in the Archives,” Kellams said. “These people walked the same paths as you: they went to Nick’s, they hung out in Dunn Meadow and so on.”
Kellams said the relaunch includes both the original content from 2020 and some new additions because it was important to create a collection that featured a wide variety of voices.
“We tried to represent as much as we could — different time periods and different perspectives,” Kellams said. “Come see the exhibit and take a look at it, and I think you’ll be really surprised.”