About the "Northwestern Architecture" Site

The Project

The history and architecture of Northwestern's Evanston and Chicago campuses have long been the topic of 'frequently asked questions' posed by University Archives patrons. The “Northwestern Architecture” project was designed to serve as an authoritative resource for information on individual buildings and other campus features on both campuses by providing descriptive historical text accompanied by digitized images. Another goal of the project was to help preserve original documents and photographs by reducing the number of times they are handled, while increasing the accessibility of the information.

Originally called “Building History” and launched in a prototype version during the University’s Sesquicentennial celebration, “Northwestern Architecture” currently offers historical information and images relating to 27 buildings or features on the Evanston and Chicago campuses, in a searchable database. In the future, we will be adding text and images about more of the over 125 buildings that serve, or once served, Northwestern’s students, staff, faculty, and alumni over the course of the University’s history.

“Quick Facts” answer basic questions about each building; the more extensive texts will provide detailed information about the construction and purpose of the building; and the images (including images of relevant documents) will offer interior and exterior views of the building over time.
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The “Northwestern Architecture” site represents a partnership among several departments in the Northwestern University Library, as well as the Web Communications division of University Relations. The University Archives is the repository for the photographs and documents used in the site, and supplied the accompanying historical data and text. The Digital Technology unit of the Preservation Department supplied expert advice on organizing the data, and supervised and monitored the digitizing process. Library Management Systems created the interfaces and the search functions, in conjunction with the Web Communications group (University Relations), which designed the site’s appearance and structure. The project was sponsored by the Library’s Digital Library Committee.

Personnel involved in this project:

University Archives

Janet Olson, Assistant University Archivist
Allen Streicker, Assistant Archivist
Kate Mazurek, Archival Assistant
Lori Osborne, Archival Assistant

Preservation Digital Technology Department

Virginia Kerr, Digital Technology Librarian
Dan Zellner, Digital Technology Specialist
Dan Mulvihill, Preservation Assistant

Digital Imaging

John Grimshaw, EIS (Electronic Imaging Services), Evanston, IL

Site Design/Interfaces

Miwa Shimokogawa, Web Communications, University Relations, Northwestern University
Adam Finlayson, Web Communications, University Relations, Northwestern University
Staci Roberts, Web Communications, University Relations, Northwestern University
Volodymyr Karpenko, Library Management Systems, Northwestern University Library

Northwestern University Library Digital Library Committee

Project Manager: Stu Baker

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Technical Information (Scanning)

Vendor: EIS (Electronic Information Services), Evanston, IL
Production dates: August - September 2000
Archival Images: grayscale (256K) and color at 300 dpi resolution, Group IV compression
Web format: JPEG high quality, medium compression
Metadata: image and building data originally created in MS Access database
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For an overview of the kinds of materials held by the Northwestern University Archives, our location and hours, and links to additional historical information about Northwestern University, please see the Archives' homepage.

Photographs of buildings and individuals (including postcards and sketches) featured on the “Northwestern Architecture” site were selected from the Archives' extensive photographic collection depicting every aspect of Northwestern's history, from early views of Evanston and portraits of faculty and other significant figures to scenes of student life (organizations, activities, and events). While many of these photographs are owned by the Archives, others are the property of the individual photographer. Please see the Archives' Copyright pages for information about the use of the images used in this site.

Historical text for “Northwestern Architecture” was drawn from a number of sources in the Archives. A general file on each building contains historical materials, clippings, correspondence, dedication programs, brochures, and similar textual materials. Information about the individuals after whom buildings were named is found in the Archives’ biographical files. In addition to archival material, the following books (available for reference in the Archives) contain valuable information about the buildings of Northwestern:

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