Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute History

International Archives Week June 8-14 2020
Posted by Jenifer Monger on June 9, 2020
This week is International Archives Week. Around the globe archivists are celebrating how they Empower Knowledge Societies! In keeping with the celebration, I’d like to first share what we do, who we serve, and how.
Posted by John Dojka on March 27, 2020
The ’87 Gymnasium was dedicated in June 1912. Planning for the new facility went back a couple of years earlier to 1910 when a Board of Trustees committee was established to investigate the feasibility of developing a department of physical culture at the Institute. The committee concluded that a completely equipped modern gymnasium was necessary if such a department was to be established.
Photo of the George M. Low gallery with a banner that reads "George M. Low Gallery - Where Imagination Can Achieve the Impossible"
Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 3, 2019
The Jetsons, model rockets, words like “liftoff” and “launch,” Star Trek, the Houston Astros…they all have something in common: after 1961, they helped mold pop culture. America had entered the space age, and entertainment, language, fashion, and architecture would never be the same. Nothing, however, ignited America’s fascination with space more than the summer afternoon of July 20th, 1969.
Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 28, 2018
Sixty years ago, NASA was formed, the microchip was invented, Ella Fitzgerald was on the radio, and four men from RPI won the National Handball Championship in Chicago, Illinois. That’s right! Mike McQuillen, Harvey Poppell, Jerry Gonick, and Fernando Arias, under the guidance of RPI’s Athletic Director, “Pop” Graham, won the National Cup in handball, a sport that the team, besides Gonick, had never played until freshman year of college.
Posted by T. A. Gobert on July 25, 2018
RPI’s Institute Archives and Special Collections department has a lot of cool things that you might not expect to find among our rare books, manuscripts, and Institute records.  We also have a variety of artifacts, some of which are well over a century old.  Our most recent acquisition in this category is a sterling silver spoon dating from the 1890s.
Posted by John Dojka on May 7, 2018
Rensselaer’s ninety-fourth commencement exercises were held on Wednesday May 1, 1918 in the ’87 Gymnasium. Bachelor degrees awarded included 30 in Civil Engineering, 22 in Electrical Engineering, 11 in Mechanical Engineering, and 8 in Chemical Engineering.
Posted by T. A. Gobert on November 27, 2017
Not long ago I happened upon something of great interest to me as an RPI archivist – a photograph album documenting Rensselaer and its vicinity in the early twentieth century.  This is the story of how we acquired not one but seven photo albums compiled by Mr. Louis Blackmer Puffer, RPI Class of 1909.
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