RPI History Revealed

Posted by Jenifer Monger on April 5, 2013
On April 3, Rensselaer lost a true patriot of the Institute, Carl Westerdahl.  Carl’s passing hits close to home to many in the RPI community due to his enduring relationships with students, alumni, staff, and especially those of us in the Institute Archives and Special Collections department
Posted by T. A. Gobert on March 8, 2013
Every now and then unusual things cross my desk and I get to figure out what to do with them!  One case in point is a shopping bag of sports memorabilia, a pair of skates, and four wooden hockey sticks that were forwarded to me recently.
Posted by Jenifer Monger on February 15, 2013
When we provide titles or descriptions to images in our database, they're usually very basic and point out identifiable characteristics of the photo so we can easily retrieve it for patrons or internal use. For example, the description for this image might be "Man using torch in lab."
Posted by John Dojka on January 23, 2013
Following the construction of the Main Building and Winslow Laboratory, Rensselaer’s trustees began planning for a third instructional facility—an astronomical observatory. In order to erect the observatory more land was needed, and in 1877 the Ranken property, situated on the east side of Eighth Street across from the Winslow Building, was purchased. The property had a 150 foot frontage on Eighth Street and extended about 500 feet to the top of the hill. The purchase included a house and stable. The Ranken House was about 40 feet square by two stories high and built of brick.
Posted by Jenifer Monger on December 12, 2012
Just for fun, we decided to mine the archives for some of those interesting items that don't quite fit into our usual posts. Instead, we selected some gems that convey a campus mood or a mindset if you will!
Posted by Jenifer Monger on November 28, 2012
I retrieved another image from the "unidentified" box of photographs today in the Archives. This one really caught my attention, mainly because of the technology! Can you identify this man? Not only that, can you identify this computer? When was this cutting edge?
Posted by John Dojka on November 8, 2012
Following the completion of the Main Building in 1864 planning was initiated for a chemical laboratory for the Institute. Construction was started in 1865 and work on the brick structure was completed the following year.
Posted by Jenifer Monger on October 25, 2012
Mystery Image #30 generated an incredible amount of interest!  I'm so pleased it was such a great hit. We received a few responses on place and date (Thank You!).
Posted by T. A. Gobert on October 17, 2012
For those who follow sports, the crisp air of fall is strongly associated with an old tradition: RPI football. Intercollegiate games have been played at Rensselaer since 1886, albeit on borrowed fields and without a coach for the first twenty years. When the ’86 Field was completed in 1906, football soon became a popular spectator sport, as evidenced by the wonderful programs that promoted the team’s games.
Posted by John Dojka on October 3, 2012
On May 20, 1862, 10 days after Rensselaer’s physical plant was completely destroyed in The Great Troy Fire, the Institute’s trustees began planning a new home for Rensselaer.  Under the leadership of
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