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News and events from DePaul University Libraries

Hundreds of new DePaul photos online!

by Andrea Bainbridge 1/8/2014 9:23:00 AM

DePaul students cut a rug, c. 1955

The Library has just added a new series of nostalgic university photographs to its DePaul Heritage collections. Whether it’s the classroom, the dance floor or the basketball court, these historic images show Blue Demons in their natural habitats.
Computer lab, 1983A young fan sports a Billy Blue Demon sweatshirt and her Demon pride, 1978.
The original images are part of DePaul’s University Archives, and are a popular resource among students, alumni and staff. Most of these photographs are one-of-a-kind and, until now, could only be accessed in person in the Special Collections and Archives reading room. Staff from a number of Library departments worked together to identify, scan and catalog these historic DePaul images in order to bring them to the web, and to make them more accessible to the University community. With several download and printing options, you are free to search for and capture images for your DePaul newsletters, brochures, and other promotional materials.

Contact University Archives for information on how to cite the images you’ve downloaded, to obtain higher resolution images, or to see the original photographs. Happy browsing!

DePaul Library Brings Student Journalism and DePaul History to Life

by Andrea Bainbridge 10/11/2013 2:00:00 PM

DePaulia, May 21, 1925DePaulia, April  26, 1957

DePaul University Library has digitized and released ninety years’ worth of the DePaulia and Alethia student newspapers on its Digital Collections site. The newspapers are the latest additions to the DePaul Heritage Collections that include digitized photos of DePaul University buildings, as well as the DePaulian yearbook and the Minerval student journal.

University Archives has long maintained a collection of the DePaulia and Alethia in hardcopy. The keyword-searchable digital version of the papers also allows us to explore student life at DePaul in detail, see how national and world events influenced its campuses, and follow trends in everything from fashion and advertising to campus controversies. Frequent coverage of the University’s administration and faculty make the papers an excellent resource for research on a wide variety of DePaul-related topics. DePaulia, May 24, 1996Alethia, November 11, 1970While the DePaulia is still a familiar sight, The Alethia was an alternative student paper only published from 1967 to 1971. Its counter-cultural perspective and coverage of social issues in the Lincoln Park neighborhood stood in contrast to the typical DePaulia fare of the time. The Library has also digitized the DePaul Poll Parrot, a humorous paper that debuted in early 1923, before evolving into the more familiar DePaulia later that year.

The Library site will eventually include all the hardcopy DePaulia editions collected by University Archives, with new infusions each year as the Archives collects and digitizes the most current editions. While the department has a relatively complete run of the DePaulia, users will discover some gaps in the digitized collections. Missing editions may be due to a variety of causes, including a few cases where the original paper was too fragile to handle for digitization. University Archives will work with alumni, faculty and staff to identify, collect and digitize these missing editions.

For more information on the digitization project or other resources from DePaul’s past, contact Special Collections and Archives at or 773.325.7864.


Special Collections and Archives to Welcome Families and Alumni, October 18-19

by Andrea Bainbridge 10/2/2013 9:11:00 AM

Special Collections and Archives will welcome DePaul alumni and the families of current students in several special events on October 18th and 19th. The activities are part of DePaul’s annual Reunion Weekend and Family Weekend programs for 2013.

The Signpost was a valuable source of information for generations of incoming frosh.University Archives collections will be featured at a coffee and dessert event following the Reunion Luncheon on Friday, October 18th. Artifacts and DePaul’s Billy Blue Demon rules the basketball net in this lapel pin.memorabilia from DePaul’s past will be on display to celebrate the 50th reunion year for the class of 1963, and for alumni from earlier graduating classes. Attendees will peruse original yearbooks, photographs and more, with Archives staff on hand to answer questions. DePaul in the late 1950s and early 1960s will come alive in other special displays based on items in University Archives collections.

Visiting families and current students can also see DePaul history up-close on Saturday, October 19th. Special Collections and Archives will open at 10:30am to welcome drop-in visitors and host guests who are participating in tours of the John T. Richardson Library. Artifacts will highlight DePaul’s unique Demon spirit, as well as its campuses and community through the years. Families interested in the Library tour are welcome to meet with our staff on the 1st floor of Richardson, with tours leaving every 30 minutes between 11am-1pm.  Visitors may also comFortification plan in Marillac commonplace book.e directly to Special Collections and Archives in Room 314 of the Richardson Library between 10:30am and 1pm.

For those interested in exploring the lives and legacies of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, and the histories of the orders they founded, DePaul Special Collections and Archives will be hosting a Vincentian Studies Collection Open House on Saturday, October 19 from 2:00PM-3:30PM. 

Early holy card of Vincent de Paul in colorAttendees will have the chance to interact with rare and antiquarian books recommended by St. Vincent, maps from the time of Vincent and Louise, Vincentian illustrations and ephemera, and original letters of St. Vincent himself. Andrew Rea, DePaul Library’s Vincentian Librarian, will be on-hand to answer any questions. This event will also be held in the Richardson Library, room 314. Stop by and learn more about DePaul University’s namesake!

The John T. Richardson Library is located at 2350 N Kenmore Avenue. For more information about these special events or our collections, please contact us at, or 773.325.7864.

Unholy Demons?

by Andrea Bainbridge 1/31/2013 9:24:00 AM

Pre-1999 Billy Blue Demon, featured on a button.Our Blue Demon today.How did the nation’s largest, Catholic university become a group of blue-tinted demons? To celebrate DePaul’s inaugural Blue Demon Day, Special Collections & Archives takes a quick look at the history and stories surrounding our lovable, and unlikely, mascot.

Demons on the playing field are always on the level,
Demons on the fighting field can fight to beat the devil!

Excerpted from “DePaul Demons;” Fred Waring and Charles Gaynor, copyright 1942

While there is nothing to show whether this fight song ever caught on, it does reflect the playful attitude our Catholic and Vincentian institution has traditionally taken toward its “demonic” association. Perhaps that’s because the origin, as one alumnus put it, “was not satanic, but phonetic.”

First known as St. Vincent’s College, our earliest athletic uniforms sported monograms and designs incorporating our initials: “SVC.” These designs were replaced with a commanding “D” after St. Vincent’s became DePaul University in 1907. It was a short, though slightly mysterious, path from “D-Men” to “Demons.”
The St. Vincent's College football squad, 1900.Early "D-Men" in their letter sweaters; DePaul football players, c. 1912.
Some sources credit an unnamed journalist with first using “D-Men” around 1922 , and one alumnus has claimed credit for the moniker, explaining he used “D-Men” as manager of DePaul sports teams in the early 1920s.  Athletic coverage in early editions of The DePaulia student newspaper frequently refer to our players as the “Red and Blue,” on account of our school colors, with “Demons” becoming common in the mid-1920s. But it must have taken a little while for the “Demon” designation to overtake the competition: DePaulia articles in 1924 and 1925 use a mix of D-Men, Demons, and even Blue Devils – sometimes within the same edition of the paper.
This little demon drops a banana peel in front of an unwitting tennis player in the 1969 DePaulian yearbook.The Demon in a Blue Suit - "DIBS" - cozies up to fans, 1999.
Depictions of the Blue Demon run the gamut from fuzzy to fierce. The fiend we know today had his well-received debut in 1999, replacing the impish Billy Blue Demon. While some have been critical of our mascot – claiming he’s an inappropriate symbol for a Catholic university  – our Demon continues to be a fan-favorite. After 90 years, he’s also the only figure in DePaul Athletics to outlast Ray Meyer. Go Demons!

Want to learn more about Blue Demons past? Visit DePaul’s Special Collections & Archives, Room 314 of the Richardson Library, or email us at

BRRR! Feeling like an Icy-Blue Demon these days? Let Special Collections and Archives show you the ropes of Antarctic living!

by Andrea Bainbridge 1/9/2013 9:14:00 AM

Special Collections and Archives has acquired several new items that reveal what life is like on the coldest continent (Chicago in January?), and celebrate the intrepid spirit Mary Alice McWhinnie, c. 1970sof Antarctic researcher, Mary Alice McWhinnie. A “Double Demon” and long-time DPU faculty member, McWhinnie made a number of trips to Antarctica, and is renowned for her research on the tiny, shrimp-like krill. In 1974, she and Sister Mary Odile Cahoon broke ground as the first women to “over-winter” in Antarctica, spending much of the year in McMurdo Sound. Special Collections’ recent acquisitions include scientific notes and communications from that 1974 trip, as well as Ernest Shackleton’s two-volume The Heart of the Antarctic, and The South Polar Times.

L-R: Mary Alice McWhinnie, Sr. Mary Odile Cahoon and Dennis Schenborn in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, 1974.DePaul had a small collection of McWhinnie’s papers when alumnus Dennis Schenborn, former McWhinnie student and member of her 1974 research team, donated additional photographs, notes, and communications documenting their scientific work, close quarters, and daily life inSouth Polar Times, (frontispiece detail) a cold place. Long, cold months away from home had inspired another crew in 1902 to create The South Polar Times, “for the sole edification of our small company of explorers in the ‘Discovery,’ then held fast in the Antarctic ice.” The Times was produced regularly during their stint in Antarctica, and published when the crew returned to civilization. A four-volume inside-joke, its creators knew the rest of the world might not understand all of its illustrations, humor, and stories, but opted not to enlighten us, feeling “how much would still be missed, and how impossible it is to explain the spirit of our comradeship, or the great intimacy…it would be cruel to dissect our Polar jokes.”

Even without explanation, The Times is a testament to the mental fortitude of its creators, and the hardships they endured for months in an inhospitable land. Shackleton’s The Heart of the Antarctic offers an equally stark view of life there, noting, “We brought back with us from the journey towards the Pole vivid memories of how it feels to be intensely, fiercely hungry. During the period November 15, 1908 to February 23, 1909, we had but one full meal.” The same volume includes reflections on “semi-raw” horse-meat breakfasts, strategies for fairly dividing food rations, and whether you can indeed convince yourself that half a biscuit is more than half a biscuit.

"Entertaining the penguins", Heart of the Antarctic
Find out more about these remarkable journeys, and people, in DePaul’s Special Collections and Archives Department; Richardson Library, Room 314. Open to all members of the DePaul community and the public, M-F; 9am-5pm. Questions? Email us at:

DePaul Demons...and ghosts?!

by Andrea Bainbridge 10/24/2012 1:50:00 PM

This sinister Blue Demon was a scary sight to many DePaul athletic opponentsDo you know of a campus haunting? Heard or seen things you can't explain? DePaul Special Collections and Archives wants your stories!

Join us in Richardson Library, room 314, on Halloween, Wednesday October 31, from 10am-7pm and we will record you telling your own spooky DePaul story. All students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to share their tales.

Can't make it in person? We won't have the recording equipment after Halloween but you can email your spooky DePaul tale to Don't forget to include the DePaul connection, as well as campus locations and dates. Stories about the Loop, Lincoln Park, Barat, or any other DePaul location are welcome!

Happy 100th!

by Andrea Bainbridge 10/3/2012 9:19:00 AM
Happy 100th!
DePaul’s School of Music is one of several celebrating its 100th anniversary this academic year. To mark the occasion, they have partnered with University Archives in creating a new exhibit: A Day in the Life of the Music School…Through the Years.
A student advertises his clarinet recital, 1964.

From masterclasses to Glee Club and learning the technology of sound recording, the exhibit features photographs and memorabilia that highlight the student experience in the School of Music. This history will be celebrated throughout the year with a variety of programs and events. Stay on top of the celebrations, and other Music School happenings, by visiting the School’s News & Events site.
Madrigal singers, 1974.

See the exhibit
Where: 1st floor of the John T. Richardson Library, 2350 N Kenmore; Chicago, IL 60614
When: Through Spring 2013.  

With Telescopes and Microscopes - DePaul's Scientific Past and Future

by Andrea Bainbridge 2/8/2012 9:54:00 AM
DePaul's University Archives has unveiled a fresh exhibit to celebrate the opening of the new College of Science and Health. From Halley's Comet to the Bottom of the World highlights the fun, the strange, and the remarkable events and people in DePaul's scientific past.

Did you know that the first women to spend an entire winter in Antarctica were from DePaul? DePaul alumna and faculty member Mary Alice McWhinnie was internationally renowned for her work with krill, a tinyMary Alice McWhinnie - front row, second from right – in her freshman class photo for the 1942 DePaulian yearbook crustacean that flourishes in the Antarctic waters. She and her research assistant, Sister Mary Odile Cahoon, spent much of 1974 at an isolated research station on McMurdo Sound, studying the life cycle of krill. Professor McWhinnie left behind a rich record of her experience there, beyond her scientific publications, in the lengthy letters she wrote to friends and family during that 1974 trip.

Dr. McWhinnie in the late 1960s, after several decades as a member of the DePaul faculty.The new exhibit features excerpts from these detailed and often humorous letters, as well as photos of McWhinnie's time in Antarctica. You'll also see a scientific paper she co-authored with some of her DePaul colleagues, including one who would attain his own distinction as DePaul's 8th president. The Very Reverend John T. Cortelyou C.M. was a member of the faculty and chair of the Biology Department before taking the top office. Father Cortelyou remains the only DePaul president to have received an advanced degree in the sciences, although he is not the only notable priest-scientist in DePaul history.

The Reverend Daniel McHugh, C.M., who taught astronomy and other sciences at DePaul, gained national attention for claiming to be the first person in Chicago to observe Halley's Comet in November of 1909. The sighting, made from the observatory atop Byrne Hall, incited controversy, and Fr. McHugh received many letters disputing the possibility of his claim. Despite the controversy, Fr. McHugh spoke widely on the Comet in Chicago, in part to put people at ease about the strange and infrequent sight in the sky.

See letters from some of Fr. McHugh's doubters alongside artifacts documenting Father Cortleyou's and Dr. McWhinnie's contributions to science at DePaul, and don't miss the exhibit's timeline of milestones and quirky mom
ents in science at DePaul.
Students perform a dissection, 1937.

Where and When: See the exhibit on the 1st floor of Richardson Library; on display during Winter and Spring Quarters 2012.

For more information about the science or scientists featured in the exhibit:  Email us or stop by Richardson 314. Browse McWhinnie and Cortelyou's scientific papers, and see the original letters challenging Fr. McHugh's claim to the Halley's Comet sighting.

Can't make the exhibit?  Watch this Two-Minute Tour and see other unique resources in the Special Collections and Archives Department!   

Unwind the Mind: DePaul's New Popular Reading Collection

by Andrea Bainbridge 2/7/2012 8:29:00 PM

Unwind the Mind – Faculty give your brain a break with DePaul University Libraries' newest collection.

DePaul's Loop and Lincoln Park libraries are unveiling a new recreational reading collection called "Unwind the Mind," where you'll find contemporary fiction, popular non-fiction and best sellers. 

The "Unwind the Mind: Popular Reading Collection" will help DePaul Libraries meet increasing student demand for leisure reading materials to supplement our academic collections.   Because we want to keep the collection current, we're using a rental service that will enable us to rotate out items to keep things fresh.  The collection will be available on the main floors of the Loop and Lincoln Park libraries until the end of the academic year as trial-run – come in and check it out! 

The collection features non-fiction books such as Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We don't Have in Search of Happiness We Can't Buy, And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise) of Stephen Colbert, Outliers, The Chicago Homegrown Cookbook, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems and Life on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death and Redefining the Way We Eat.  Fiction titles include The Marriage Plot, The Leftovers, Caleb's Crossing, and Heart of the Matter. Click here for a full list of titles.

Covers of Moneyball, Shiny Objects, And Nothing but the Truthiness and Outliers
Many thanks to Jennifer Rodriguez, who won our naming competition.  Her "Unwind the Mind" slogan was voted most likely to help you relax and read.  Thanks also to Julie Froslan who spent many hours poring over Adobe Illustrator to design the poster. 
Covers of The Chicago Homegrown Cookbook, Food Rule, The 3rd Alternative, Life, On the Line

  We'd love the hear what you think.  Recommend a book for this collection.

Covers of The Marriage Plot, The Leftovrs, Caleb's Crossing, Heart of the Matter 



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