In the Early Years
A Photo Retrospective of Clark University, 1893-1914
An exhibit, on the occasion of the Worcester Tercentennial, of images of a new institution striving to build its campus and establish an academic reputation
Notes on Sources
The images for this exhibit are drawn from two collections in the Archives and Special Collections at the Robert H. Goddard Library.
Clark at the Columbian Exposition
(images marked “1893” come from this series)
In 1893, Clark University exhibited materials from the University at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. According to an article from the Worcester Daily Spy (June 9, 1896):
“The exhibit of Clark University at the Columbian Exposition consisted chiefly of publications of 160 books, memoirs, theses, or articles by members of the university. These were bound uniformly in 25 volumes, while the walls of the alcove set apart for the university were covered with about 200 photographs of buildings, apparatus, and processes.”
What survives of this material, in the form of 174 photos, is a unique tie to our institutional past. It represents how our University, in its infancy, represented itself through images that tell the story of the growing campus and our scholarly activities and teaching resources in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Psychology. By identifying who is in the photos, it seems that the images were made during the 1891-92 and 1892-93 academic years. However, it has not known which photographs of the series were actually included in the exhibit.
The “Black Album”
(images marked “BA” come from this series)
The “Black Album” was named by the archive for the color of the paper the images are mounted on. This series of more than 60 images represents the University’s continuing effort to document itself and its growth. This series contains pictures of Clark’s campus, buildings, and departments. The series contains some dated photos that indicate this collection was made between 1911-1914, though most images are undated.
This exhibit would not have been possible without the support, creative energy, and over-the-top generosity of many people. Cynthia Shenette (Head of Archives & Special Collections) provided key insights into collections and was enthusiastic and encouraging at critical junctions. Stephen DiRado (Studio Art) — as always — was an invaluable source at every step, from selecting and scanning the images to cleaning and colorizing and printing through design and installation of the show. Dan Gillooly ’25 took on the logistical tasks of preparing, cleaning, and colorizing the scans, as well as printing the images. Sky Deitch ’23 installed the beautiful title wall, which features the graphic design artistry of Katie Metz. Prof. DiRado’s class, “Gallery Culture and Practice,” was instrumental in the design and installation of the photographs in the Higgins Lounge. The virtual version of this show was designed by Jordan Aubin. We thank him and his colleagues Meredith King, John Pennypacker, and Jim Keogh in Marketing & Communications for their support of this project. As always, many thanks to Jen McGugan and Katherine Sieminski of the Higgins School who made sure all the pieces came together accurately and efficiently. The show was curated by Matt Malsky.