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Digital Projects

Special Collections has created a number of digital projects incorporating material from our collections. These digital projects fall into two categories: digital collections, which consist of searchable online databases of original content from our collections that has been scanned and made publicly accessible online; and online exhibits, which present selected resources and information from our collections organized around a specific topic. To explore our digital projects, choose an option below.

Digital Collections

Digital collections consist of searchable databases of original content from our manuscript and archival collections. The main portal for accessing digitized content from our collections is Digital Special Collections, but also included below are links to other databases containing digitized content on various topics.

Digital Special Collections

Use this portal to access digitized content from Special Collections' manuscript and archival collections.

Augustana Observer and Rockety-I Digital Collections

The Augustana Observer, Augustana's student newspaper, began publication in 1902 and continues through the present day. The Rockety-I was Augustana's annual yearbook, published from approximately 1900 to 2004. Both are available for full-text searching in our digital collections.  These publications provide valuable insight into the student experience at Augustana, and are key resources for studying the college's history.  Physical copies of both of these resources are available in the Special Collections reading room.

Special Collections on Flickr

A sampling of the historical photos of Augustana's campus, students, and faculty held in Special Collections.

Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive

A digital repository of which Augustana was a founding member, the UMVDIA is collection of historic images showcasing the Mississippi River region along the Iowa/Illinois border.

Augustana Digital Commons

Augustana Digital Commons, the college's institutional repository, showcases outstanding scholarly and creative works of the students, faculty, and staff of Augustana College, as well as campus governance documents and internal records. 

Online Exhibits

The online exhibits listed below were created by Special Collections staff and/or researchers using materials found in our collections.

150 Years of Augustana College: A Timeline

This timeline of Augustana history was constructed for the college's sesquicentennial celebration in 2010, and contains information on important events from the first 150 years of Augustana College.  It was updated and migrated to a new platform in 2020.  Clicking on the link above will open the updated version in a new tab or browser window.  You can view a copy of the original version here, captured and preserved by the Internet Archive.

Augustana's Campus History

Augustana's campus has gone through many changes since the college moved to Rock Island in 1875. This project documents the history of the buildings on Augustana's campus, as well as the ways in which the campus has changed in size and shape, from its beginning until the present.  NOTE: the link above points to a copy of the campus history timeline captured and preserved by the Internet Archive.  The original timeline was hosted on a college web server that has since been retired.

StoryMap: The Journey of Kikue (Ruth) Kumata

This combined map and timeline reflect the journey of Kikue (Ruth) Kumata, a member of the Augustana College Class of 1949.  Kumata was born and raised in Seattle, WA.  During World War II, she was incarcerated along with her family and ~120,000 other Japanese and Japanese American men, women, and children by the United States government.  Her journey from Seattle to Minidoka and eventually Augustana was compiled on the StoryMapJS digital platform by Special Collections Librarian Emma Saito Lincoln in conjunction with the 2020 Augie Reads selection, Julie Otsuka's When the Emperor Was Divine.

Plants: Cultivators of Curiosity

Plants have always been an integral part of the world, so why is it that they often go unnoticed? This exhibit seeks to highlight ways in which plants have managed to capture the attention of people over time. The materials selected for this exhibit display unique aspects of our collection that reflect the importance and interest people have found in plants. Plants have served medicinal purposes, captured the eye of students taking biology courses, been forms of artistic expression and inspiration, and have even been used as a means of communication. Whatever your current or past views on plants may be, we invite you to see just how vast and interesting the world of plants truly is.

Curated by senior Jessica Beyer, this exhibit reflects elements of her major in Biology, minor in History, and experience as a student worker in Special Collections.  Originally designed and installed in the Special Collections reading room on the 1st floor of Augustana College's Thomas Tredway Library, it has been adapted for web viewing in response to the closure of our campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reunion Resources

Special Collections contains many resources that may be useful in planning a reunion for your class or major anniversary for your student group.  For assistance, please contact us at well in advance of your event.

For the Class of 1968's 50th reunion in 2018, and the Class of 1969's 50th reunion in 2019, Special Collections staff compiled "memory books" containing the front pages of every issue of the Augustana Observer from the fall of each class's freshman year to the spring of each class's graduation.  The PDF files are downloadable, and there are no restrictions on printing for class members wanting to have hard copies.  The files will print best on legal- or ledger-sized paper, and you may need to increase the margins if you would like to have the pages bound.

Click here to view the Class of 1968 50th Reunion Memory Book

Click here to view the Class of 1969 50th Reunion Memory Book