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Western Connecticut State University Photographs and Miscellanea

Identifier: RG 8

Scope and Content Note

Series I: Photographs

The University Photograph Collection offers a rich visual record of the history of the school from its opening in 1903 as Danbury Normal School to the present as Western Connecticut State University. The collection consists of photographs, slides, negatives, and contact sheets taken between 1903 and 2002, with the bulk of the images from 1940 to 2002. Among them are the earliest known photographs of the school.

The images document a wide array of activities at WCSU and are arranged in seven major groups: Administration, Buildings & Grounds, Events, Faculty & Staff, Student Life, Negatives & Contact Sheets, and Slides. The images within each group are listed alphabetically and then chronologically.

The series inlcudes a group of images that photographed by an independent contractor, Don Hamerman. These photographs relate to WCSU during in the 1993-1996 period. Most of the images were taken for promotional purposes and are in slide form.

Series II: Realia

WCSU realia collection contains a wide array of items donated by faculty, administration and alumni from their time at WestConn and after. Collection includes the poetry and prose of alumnus D.K. Singer and the papers and oral interview of James Dyer alumnus from the 1970s and former Mayor of Danbury. His contributions also include SGA campaign paraphernalia, and "Tuition is Un-American" bumper stickers. Other Alumni have donated diplomas (circa 1910), dance cards, event programs, registration cards, teacher evaluations, commencement programs, school song sheets, and memory books. Mortimer Johnson donated large amounts of information regarding the reunions of the DTC classes from 1940-1943 as well as a scrapbook of student life from 1936-1939. Other donated items include a DNS cookbook compiled of recipes from students, faculty and staff, including Ruth Haas, copies of the Dee Tee Cee or Danbury Teacher's College school newspaper, freshman beanie hats, a Danbury Teacher's College grey athletic sweatshirt, a gym suit from 1953 comprised of a striped vest and skirt with it's associated beanie hat and Danbury Teacher's College varsity sports letters circa 1950. Circa 1990 there are various keepsake items with the WCSU logo on them as well as various items commemorating events sponsored by WCSU clubs such as SGA and PAC. Faculty items are comprised of objects such as: faculty member Al Stewart's recognition award and plaque; Claire Geddes wooden desk; and Ruth Haas' walking stick. Campus items include: a Danbury Normal School Branding Iron; a wooden commencement torch; the top of the Old Main Flagpole; and large banners from WCSU's Centennial Celebration.

The WCSU Miscellanea collection contains several pieces of alumni and student work and various pieces that had decorated WestConn facilities. The series includes large panel oil paintings of famous individuals, sculpture, and a framed needlepoint replica of the Gilbert Stewart portrait of George Washington. A single folio of hand printed Gregorian sheet music on lamb skin is also housed with this collection though its origin is unknown and it is undetermined if it is authentic or a student project. Other document plaques in the collection are the Delta Kappa Phi sorority charter of 1968, the University Library and Academic Calendars from 1990, Faculty service recognition plaques, exchange club plaques and the agreement between Western and the United States Army to support the guard and reserve on campus signed by Ruth Haas. Images in this collection capture scenes of Danbury in photo and maps, such as the photo of Main Street in 1870. Other images include depictions of student life around campus such as students around the Haas Library and an exchange of awards between students and professors from the 1980s and 1990s.

Historic publications in the Miscellanea collection include viewbooks and handbooks spanning several years of Western's history as well as the Fairfield Hall Renovation Tea program from 2008.

Campus plans encompass renovations for the Haas Library.

Series III: Clippings

Series III contains newspaper clippings primarily from Institutional Advancement and Academic Affairs. The files contain information pertaining to school personnel, students, activities, and events at WCSU, as well as community activities held at WCSU. Also included are monthly summaries of newspaper clippings, broadcast and web news from Burrelle's Information Services, a media monitoring and press clipping service.

Missing from the collection are the following dates: 1995-1996 and and orignal clippings from September 2001 to September 2002 (digests are available for some of the dates from 9/01-9/02).


  • 1903-present


Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
Ruth A. Haas Library
Archives and Special Collections
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: 203-837-8992

Historical/Biographical Note

Western Connecticut State University is a public state university in Danbury, Connecticut. It was founded in 1903 as the Danbury Normal School and is known as WestConn, Western and WCSU. It began as a teacher's college and has evolved to include arts and sciences, business, nursing, music performance, and social work.


46 Linear Feet (40 boxes)

Language of Materials



This is a collection of photographs and realia spanning the history of Western Connecticut State University. The collection includes images and objects that document the growth, evolution and public profile of the institution.


Folders in the photographs series are arranged alphabetically and folders/items are arranged by type in the realia series.

The files are grouped into 2 series:

Missing Title

  1. I, Photographs
  2. II, Realia

Location note

Ruth A. Haas Library


Items were deposited in the archive by administrative departments, officers, faculty and alumni but not or no longer associated with the collections or record groups of those sources. Many of the materials were donated to the archive for the Centennial celebration in 2003.

Related Materials

Additional University related photographs can be found in other collections: see the Herbert F. Janick, Jr. Papers, the Ruth A. Haas Papers, and the Student Government Association Records.

Guide to the Western Connecticut State University Photographs and Miscellanea
Mary Rieke, Jamie Cantoni, Brian Stevens, Kara Swenson, Stacy Haponik
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived from EphemerawcsuEadSchemaTemplate.xlsx

Repository Details

Part of the Western Connecticut State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Haas Library
181 White St
Danbury 06810 USA US
203.837.8322 (Fax)