The Shaw-Olson Center for College History (St. Olaf Archives) recently announced a redesign and enhancement of its fully searchable public database. Over the past six months all articles in St. Olaf Magazine from 1936 to 1952 were scanned and incorporated into the Archives database. Since the past issues lacked an index, the magazine has not been used for historical research in the past. Now we’re happy to announce that the full texts of all articles for those years can be searched online with keywords. The magazine is a treasure trove of information about the college and its graduates. Archivists Gary De Krey ’71, professor of history, and Jeff Sauve hope to continue scanning the magazine and to make additional issues available in the future.
St. Olaf Magazine, the Manitou Messenger and the collection can be searched together or separately and by decade or for all years that have been recorded in the database so far. The inclusion of St. Olaf Magazine gives the Archives database three different search capabilities: About 60 percent of the St. Olaf Archives collection is now searchable, as are abstracts for all articles in the Manitou Messenger for the years 1887 to 2001. (The full texts of more recent Messengers are available at http://manitoumessenger.com/.)
The expanded database should be a valuable tool for St. Olaf students, faculty and staff, emeriti, alumni and friends of the college who have an interest in the history of St. Olaf and in the lives and careers of its graduates. The Archives will continue to develop the database in order to make the college’s historical and archival collections as accessible as possible to classes, individual researchers and the entire community. With 85,000 searchable records, the Center for College History provides the college with an unusually comprehensive database. Give it a try, and let us know how you like it.