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Digital memories

From the time capsule placed in the now-razed Memorial Hall to “Hubbelling” down the hills in the Quad, Drake has a rich history that many alumni fondly remember. While electronic editions of The Times Delphic and The Quax help alumni recall days gone by, Drake has brought campus memories even further into the future with its Wiki page, Drakeapedia.

Created in 2010, Drakeapedia is a web page about Drake developed by students. The page uses photos, text, and oral interviews to chronicle the University’s history.

Between 2010 and 2011, two groups of students worked diligently to provide a majority of Drakeapedia’s content. Students in the first-year seminar course, Drakeapedia: Building a Living Archive, added content by reading and evaluating documents in the Cowles Library archives and interviewing notable alumni to piece together Drake’s history.

But the project is far from over.

“So far, the page just skims the surface of Drake’s history,” says Susan Fink, coordinator for administrative services at Cowles Library, who taught the course alongside Claudia Frazer, professor of librarianship and digital initiatives coordinator. “You could be focused on one building or person for weeks and just barely begin to get the history down.”

Fink and Frazer wish to keep the project going—but with alumni help. The two are currently seeking alumni contributions to the Drakeapedia page. While stories, facts, and article clippings are welcome additions, the two are also encouraging Drake graduates to contribute old photos.

“Some of the greatest photos are candid shots of campus life, or shots of current or razed campus buildings,” Fink says. “It’s those little things that matter, and that we appreciate most.”

“If an alumnus thinks something is historically valuable and wishes to donate it to us, we’d love to consider it,” Frazer added.

Alumni interested in contributing photos or clippings to Drakeapedia can contact Fink at 515-297-3994 or susan.fink@drake.edu, or Frazer at claudia.frazer@drake.edu. Photos and documents can also be mailed to:

Susan Fink
Cowles Library
Drake University
2507 University Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50311

-By Paige Zidek, public relations major, class of 2012