University Archive Digital Materials

These digital materials are only a small percentage of the University Archive’s collections. Please contact us for information about locating non-digitized materials, publication of images, or how to obtain high resolution files at

Browse campus images via Flickr  A selection of historic images including aerial views of campus, original construction of campus, as well as specific buildings: Brookings Hall, Crow Hall, Cupples Hall, Eads Hall, and Ridgley Hall.

View campus images on History Pin an interactive site using GoogleMaps

Grotesques (“Gargoyles”) on campus buildings (Hammond Collection)

Laying of the Cornerstone of Busch Hall, 1900  Dedication program

Architecture at the Exposition, April 23, 1904 Article by Frederick Mann discussing the University Buildings and the 1904 World’s Fair

Dedication of McMillian Hall, 1907 Address given by William K. Bixby, dedicating the first women’s dormitory on campus. (WU Alumni Bulletin, April 1907, pages 208 – 212).

Washington University – Illustrated Circular of Information, 1908 Includes information regarding architects and competition for new buildings on Skinker Road (now the Danforth Campus). [Hilltop Campus Architectural Competition, 1899, Information Files: Washington University Campus – Illustrated Circular of Information 1908

Fumihiko Maki, Investigations in Collective Form, (School of Architecture, 1964)

Hilltop Campus Historic District, 1984 Washington University St. Louis, Public Relations Office, 1984 (Library call no. LD5794 .W373 1984

Commencement Programs (select years):

Please note, these items are presented as documents for historic research, and not all graduates may be listed due to printing errors. Please consult University Archives staff with any questions.

1859 Closing Exercises1862

1914, 1915,

1931, 1932, 1933, 1937 , 1938

1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959

1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969

1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979

1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999

2000, 2010, Law 2011,

The economic and moral value of art to a community; address before the St. Louis school of fine arts commencement 1907 [via Hathi Trust]

Graduates in front of Ridgely Hall in the early 1900s. [Photo Services – Events: Commencement, 1929 and before]

Graduates in the Quad with Samuel Cupples Hall I in the background in 1906. [Photo Services – Events: Commencement, 1929 and before]

Graduate procession in front of Samuel Cupples Hall I and University Hall (renamed Brookings Hall in 1928) in 1908. [Photo Services – Events: Commencement, 1929 and before]

Until 1921, each year’s catalog included a list of students attending and their home address. After 1922 this information was published in a campus telephone book (“Chimes” or “Ternion”).

Graduates of the Manual Training School (MTS), 1908. Listing all graduates from the preparatory school from 1883-1907.

Alumni Catalog of 1917 listing all graduates of the University from 1857-1916 (note – this PDF file is very large and may take time to download)

Catalogs of Washington University are available via Hathi Trust and Google Books (listed below). Please contact University Archives for further information on years not current in digital format.

Annual catalogue 1866
Annual catalogue 1869
Annual catalogue 1871
Annual catalogue 1872
Annual catalogue 1873
Annual catalogue 1874
Annual catalogue second term 1875
Annual catalogue 1876
Annual catalogue 1877
Annual catalogue 1879
Annual catalogue 1880 (scanned as part of 1879)
Annual catalogue 1881
Annual catalogue 1882 (scanned as part of 1881)
Annual catalogue 1883 (scanned as part of 1881)
Annual catalogue 1884 (scanned as part of 1881)
Annual catalogue 1885
Annual catalogue 1886 (scanned as part of 1881)
Annual catalogue 1887
Annual catalogue 1888 (scanned as part of 1887)
Annual catalogue 1889
Annual catalogue 1890 (scanned as part of 1887)
Annual catalogue 1891 (scanned as part of 1890)
Annual catalogue 1893
Annual catalogue 1894 (scanned as part of 1893)
Annual catalogue 1895
Annual catalogue 1896 (scanned as part of 1895
Annual catalogue 1897 (scanned as part of 1895)
Annual catalogue 1898 (scanned as part of 1895)
Annual catalogue 1899 (scanned as part of 1895)
Annual catalogue, 1900 (scanned as part of 1895)
Annual catalogue, 1902
Annual catalogue, 1904
Annual catalogue, 1905
Annual catalogue, 1909
Annual catalogue, 1912
Annual catalogue, 1913-1914
Annual catalogue, 1915
Annual catalogue, 1916
Annual catalogue, December 1918
Annual catalogue, 1920
Annual catalogue, 1921
Annual catalogue, 1922

1853, Letter from Crow to Eliot is the earliest surviving letter concerning Washington University. A full transcription and further information about this document is available online.

1854, Charter and Constitution, Washington Institute in St. Louis the first publication from Washington University

1857, Inauguration of Washington University at Saint Louis, Missouri. April 23, 1857

1858, O’Fallon Polytechnic Institute: Its Objects and Present Condition, St. Louis. The early branch of the University devoted to engineering and mechanical / scientific study.

1863, A eulogy on the late Chancellor Joseph Gibson Hoyt of Washington University, delivered at the Hall of the University, St. Louis, Jan. 20, 1863.

1872, Inaugural Addresses delivered before the Government and Alumni of Washington University by Honorable Wayman Crow, vice-president, and William G. Eliot, president. February 29, 1872 (Library Call no. LD 5797.5 1872)

1885, Report of the Deans – Concerning the Work of the Undergraduate Department.

1886, A Plan for the Further Development of the Polytechnic School.

1908, A University for the Southwest, by Chancellor David Huston. Address delivered before the Commercial Club of St. Louis.

Letter acknowledging receipt of slave girl and note about her freedom between William Greenleaf Eliot and Johnson Hellen, October 6, 1842. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 02, folder 1842] Transcript

Bond of Idemnity from John A. Kasson to William Greenleaf Eliot for Lydia, April 15, 1850. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 03, folder 1850. 15 April] (See transcript)

Letter from William Greenleaf Eliot to “Mama” including information about the Civil War and soldiers, December 20, 1862. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 02, folder 1862. 20 Dec. William to Mama]

Letter from William Greenleaf Eliot to son Thomas Lamb Eliot including mention of a war meeting, August 22, 1862. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 02, folder 1862. 22 Aug. Father to Thom]

Letter from Samuel J. May to [William Greenleaf Eliot] mentions donation of material for negros to use to make clothes, November 24, 1863. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 02, folder 1863. 24 Nov. Samuel J. May to [WGE]]

Notes about getting Sarah Green out of Lynch’s Slave Yard May 22, 1860, page 34. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 01, folder Notebook 5] Transcript

Notes from meeting of the Western Sanitary Commission January 11, 1871, page 131. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 01, folder Notebook 7] Transcript

“The Higher Law Doctrine” Part 1 & Part 2. North and South, a discourse delivered in St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1861, by Reverend William Greenleaf Eliot. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 04, folder 1861]

“Inaugural Ceremonies of the Freedmen’s Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln” April 14, 1876. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 04, folder (6) Inaugural Ceremonies of the Freedmen’s Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln]

“The Southern Exodus” The Number, Motives, Needs and Plans of the Refugees, a letter from Dr. William Greenleaf Eliot, 1879. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 04, folder 1879]
Discourses on the unity of God: and other subjects
Discourses on the Doctrines of Christianity
The story of Archer Alexander from slavery to freedom March 30, 1863
Early religious education considered as the divinely appointed way …
Lectures to young women and Lectures to young men
An address on the temperance cause

William Greenleaf Eliot portrait, n.d. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 07, folder W.G.E. Portraits]

William Greenleaf Eliot’s study at 2660 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, n.d. [William Greenleaf Eliot Personal Papers, Series 07, folder W.G.E.’s study at 2660 Washington]

Over 150 other documents related to William Greenleaf Eliot are also available online. These items were digitized in conjunction with the Missouri History Museum and Missouri’s Civil War commemoration.

Eliot’s daily journals: Work to transcribe these handwritten pages is on-going. Some topics (not comprehensive) found in the notebook is cross noted in the collection finding aid, and this may assist searching the handwritten pages Please inquire with Archives Staff for assistance or if you experience any technical problems accessing these images.

Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, November 1847- October 1848
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, October 1848-August 1849
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, September 1849- December 1852
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, November 1852- March 1860
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, March 1860- March 1861
Transcription of page 34, Notebook 5: Notes about getting Sarah Green out of Lynch’s Slave Yard May 22, 1860
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, April 1861- June 1863
[no journal was kept for these years]
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, July 1870-June 1871
Transcription of page 131 in Notebook 7: Notes from meeting of the Western Sanitary Commission January 11, 1871
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, November 1871- July 1875
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, September 1875-December 1876
Journal of William Greenleaf Eliot, January 1877- 1878

Image Gallery: A selection of early images depicting the St. Louis School of Fine Art from the late 1800s through the 1920s.

The Black Student Guide, circa 1973. (Publications by Student Groups Collection, Box 01)

Black Manifesto Collection: available *online via “African American Communities Database” (requires *WU Key to access off campus)

SCAN: In 1948, a student group called SCAN, or Student Committee for the Admission of Negroes, formed, for the purpose of urging the university administration to admit African Americans to the university’s undergraduate divisions (African Americans were admitted as undergraduates beginning in the Fall of 1952). During 1948 and 1949, SCAN sponsored rallies and educational programs, and sponsored a student referendum on the issue of Negro admissions which showed that a large majority of Washington University students were in favor of admitting African Americans as undergraduate students. University Archives has in its collection a scrapbook which documents many of SCAN’s activities; portions of it have been digitized and are presented here. The complete collection and scrapbook may be viewed in University Archives. Special thanks to Bob Lyner, of Digital Preservation, for his assistance with digitizing the scrapbook.

SCAN Scrapbook  – digital copy pages include:

April 1949: Flyer announcing a roundtable discussion on undergraduate admission of African Americans, with a letter to the editor of Student Life.

March 22, 1949: Announcement that all the university’s graduate divisions would now be open to African Americans.

April 29, 1949: Student Life editorial: “Don’t Vote”.

May 2, 1949: Story in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Washington U. Southern Students Vote 2 to 1 for Admitting Negroes”

See also the Finding aid for the SCAN Collection.

Theatrical & Musical Student Groups including Quadrangle Club, Thyrsus, etc. online exhibit

Thurtene Collection: One of the most beautiful artifacts in the University Archives is a scrimshaw (whale’s tooth), presented to the University by the parents of John Wayne Latchum, who died in 1971 while a senior at Washington University. The scrimshaw, which features images of a sailor and of a sailing ship, was completed in the 1800s and passed down through generations of the Latchum family before being given to the University.

While a student at the University, John Latchum was a member of Thurtene, the junior honorary society. In 1975, Thurtene established a scholarship fund in his memory, known as the John Wayne Latchum-Thurtene-Chimes Scholarship Fund (Chimes is another junior honorary society at the University). The scholarship is supported by proceeds from Thurtene’s annual spring carnival and sales of Ternion, the campus telephone directory.

(Special thanks to David Kilper, of the Photographic Services Unit, Washington University Public Affairs Office, for providing the photos).

Front view, showing the sailor – The inscription at the base reads: “Presented to Thurtene Honorary-Washington University In memory of John Wayne Latchum – Class of 1972 by his Pa and Ma”

Back view, showing the sailing ship – The inscription at the base reads: “The Whaling Men, Their Sailing Ships have seen their Days of Glory go by But the Time for Helping Our Fellow Man Will Never Die”

For information concerning the history of scrimshaw or on individual pieces of scrimshaw, please consult your local public library or the Mariners’ Museum, in Newport News, VA.

Women in Architecture: Organized by Students at the School of Architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, March 29, 1974 (Symposium PDF digitized from original document at University of Texas)

Online Exhibit: A Celebration of Women at Washington University – a beginning look into this history by highlighting some of these women and their accomplishments.

Washington University Magazines 1959 – 2011 are available online in full text (site hosted by the WU School of Medicine, Becker Archives)

Hatchet 1903, Volume 1

Hatchet 1905, Volume 2

Yearbook, School of Architecture 1910-1911

Hatchet 1917 (Google) or Hatchet 1917 (Hathi Trust)

Hatchet, 1942. Preface page | Sophomore Students |

1943 Hatchet Yearbook, page 140 (Architecture Society & Girls Rifle Club)

1944 Hatchet Yearbook, page 64 (Architecture Society)

1945 Hatchet Yearbook, page 19 (Senior Class)


Gerhard Papers: Map of the Netherlands, dating to 1608

Documents are available as: full text-pdf, full-text Google Books, or full-text Hathi Trust (all patrons can access materials via HathiTrust, however a WUSTL log-in is required to download items).  Some materials via subscription databases are available only on campus, or via WUSTL log-in.