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'Tales from the Archives' chronicles MSU history and traditions

Posted: 11:29 AM, Dec 07, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-07 11:29:47-05
'Tales from the Archives' chronicles MSU history and traditions

Looking for a holiday gift or simply a token of appreciation for a Spartan history buff? Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections recently announced the publication, “Tales from the Archives,” which chronicles the origins of the nation’s pioneer land-grant university and its traditions.

A collection of 39 historical tales from the MSU Archives illustrated with over 100 images,“Tales from the Archives” explores the rich history of the 9th largest university. Little known and forgotten tales are brought to life through vivid storytelling that showcases detailed research and fascinating imagery, but organized as a series of vignettes.

The archivists at Michigan State share their favorite stories from 160 years of historical collections. The stories are varied from the inception of the Women's Course, to appearances by rock icons Mick Jagger and Bono, to the birth of canoe baseball or "flood ball" after the Red Cedar River overflowed in May 1948.

The 172-page volume is the first book published by the MSU Archives. Researched and written by the staff and students of the University Archives, the stories are accessible to a wide audience — both casual and avid readers will likely find themselves engrossed.

Established in 1969 by the MSU Board of Trustees, the University Archives and Historical Collections is responsible for collecting and preserving more than 160 years of Michigan State University's history. The historical collections include business records, faculty papers, student scrapbooks, drawings and maps, letters, diaries, photographs, films and oral histories documenting the university, the Greater Lansing area and the surrounding Michigan region. 

Bill Castanier, a 1973 graduate of MSU and "Lansing City Pulse" contributor, describes the MSU Archives collections as “first-person primary records [that] provide some of the most important windows into what life was like on campus across the decades.”

“You can find everything from 1920s dance cards of co-eds to personal reminiscences of a student’s reaction to the visit of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907,” said Castanier.

“Tales from the Archives” retails for $25.00 and is available online at  shop.msu.edu .