Magazine Feature

Penrose exhibit showcases DU history

historic DU photo

University Hall, center, is seen in this early photo of the DU campus. Photo: Penrose Library Special Collections

“The First 50 Years: Exploring DU History” is on display at DU’s Penrose Library. The exhibit coincides with the beginning of DU’s 2010–11 academic year in hopes that new students and visiting parents will stop in to learn about DU.

“There is a push across the University to teach students more about our traditions,” says Steve Fisher, associate professor and curator of special collections at Penrose Library. “This fall, every new student will get a traditions book with text and historic photos.”

The exhibit includes 20 large framed photos mounted on a long wall on the main floor near the Writing Center and 13 objects in four cases on the main floor as well.

Most of the photos and information come from DU’s Special Collections, and were featured in Fisher’s latest book University Park and South Denver (Arcadia Publishing, 2009). The book depicts the history of University Park as it was shaped by the relocation of the University of Denver to the neighborhood, which was finalized in 1892.

“One of the main goals of the (Penrose Library) Exhibits Committee is to bring the wonderful lesser-known treasures in Special Collections to the attention of the DU community,” says Jeanne Abrams, committee chair and professor at Penrose Library. “As we approach the University of Denver milestone 150th anniversary, we hope to make more visitors to Penrose — including faculty, students, staff, and the local community — more aware of the rich history of our own institution as we stand poised for the future.”

The plan is for a three-part exhibit — each part covering 50 years of DU history — to lead up to the 150th anniversary in 2014.

“Exhibits are important because they bring to life objects and resources that are often unseen or unfound by the general public,” Fisher says.

The exhibit will be on display until October.  

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