Built History of the University of Calgary, Archives and Special Collection
Feb. 19, 2019
Website launched by Archives and Special Collections traces UCalgary's built history
Try matching the following descriptions to buildings on campus:
- “Kleenex boxes”
- “An octopus with tentacles coming down the corners”
- “The turtle”
- “A social, cultural, and governmental centre”
If you’ve ever wondered how University of Calgary buildings are named, why early buildings seem vaguely “pink,” and where the university’s research stations are geographically located, you will find the answers on a new website, Built History of the University of Calgary. Newly launched by Archives and Special Collections, the site incorporates historical and contemporary photographs, archival documents, and building descriptions to guide viewers through the rich history of infrastructure on UCalgary’s various campuses. The site provides geospatial locations, quick facts, building histories and stories as well as visuals of 70 of the university’s buildings.
“The University of Calgary’s built environment frames and influences the academic, research, and social lives of all members of the campus community,” says archivist Karen Buckley, project co-lead. “For the wider Calgary community, the campus and its buildings provide a physical presence and visual reminder of the sense of learning, excitement, and opportunity that is at the core of a university’s identity.”
Built History of the University of Calgary, Archives and Special Collections.
“We sought to evoke a sense of place with this website, one that viewers could fit into their own experiences with the University of Calgary’s physical spaces,” adds archivist Lisa Atkinson, project co-lead.
The site includes the first structures to house the beginnings of a university in Calgary (McDougall School, Heritage Hall), buildings on the main campus, Foothills Campus, Spy Hill campus, and the Bamfield, Kluane Lake, and R.B. Miller research stations.
Searches may be conducted using the timeline feature or by finding specific buildings in an alphabetical list. Digitized records focus on the planning and development of campus and its buildings, including vision statements, conceptual designs, artists’ renderings, photographs, official openings and news releases. The “unbuilt” history of campus is also included: buildings wished for but never realized.
Support for Built History of the University of Calgary was provided by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. The foundation’s Heritage Preservation Partnership Program provides matching grants and scholarship funds to support initiatives that preserve and interpret Alberta's heritage.