As the end of the academic year draws near, Illini all over campus are daydreaming about summer travels on the horizon. Since the end of the 19th century, one of the primary hallmarks of travel has been the postcard. The first American postcard was copyrighted by John Charlton in 1861. In 1873, government issued “postal cards” with a one-cent postage fee debuted. At the 1893 World Colombian Exhibition in Chicago, picture postcards were sold as souvenirs.
From there, postcard collecting and mailing increased in popularity and public demand eventually forced congress to grant the one-cent rate to privately printed cards in 1898.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has put a good deal of effort into promoting its football program. The success of this can be seen in the volume of UI football merchandise across the state, or by simply asking a local Champaign-Urbana resident. One lesser known promotional event in the history of UI football is the Glasnost Bowl, a contest between the University of Illinois and the University of Southern California. This unprecedented event was to be held in Moscow, USSR on September 2nd, 1989 and would have been the first American football game played in the Soviet Union. Continue reading “Illinois in the Soviet Union: Glasnost Bowl 1989”→
Some 30 miles to the southwest of the University of Illinois lies approximately 6,000 acres of farmland and prairies; of formal gardens and statues. The site is known as Allerton Park and Retreat Center, and is the former estate of Robert Allerton, a multimillionaire who donated the Park to the University of Illinois in 1946. The gift, which more than doubled the University’s land holdings at the time, lies 5 miles to south of Monticello, IL . Today, Allerton Park and Retreat Center, otherwise simply called ‘Allerton’, has evolved into a site which is used by the University for conferences, retreats, and educational purposes. The University Archives holds multiple collections related to Allerton, including but not limited to, the Allerton Family Collection (R.S. 31/13/20); the Allerton Park Collection (R.S. 31/13/5); and the Robert Allerton Park Brochures and Newsletters (R.S. 31/13/805)
For many students and surrounding community members, the University’s William R. and Clarice V. Spurlock Museum remains a hidden gem on campus. While the museum promotes learning about history and cultures all over the world, it in itself has quite a rich history at the university.
Prior to existing next to the Krannert Performing Arts Center, the museum resided on the fourth floor of Lincoln Hall from 1911 to 1998 as three separate museums; the Classical Museum, the European Cultures Museum, and the Oriental and Archaeology Museum. Over the years, the museums were merged together and renamed several times, eventually becoming one unified museum known as the World Heritage Museum in the 1970s. William and Clarice Spurlock made a generous donation in 1990 that allowed the museum to expand and relocate to a new facility. The moving process began in 1998 and the brand new World Heritage Museum opened in 2002 with a new name as well; the Spurlock Museum. 
With the new building and new name also came new museum philosophy changes . In a 1997 memo sent to museum staff regarding new exhibit guidelines, Sarah Wissemen said:
“The Spurlock Museum of World Cultures is a cultural-historical museum, not an art museum. Our emphasis is on the story behind the object (how it was made, how it functioned, who made it, how it reveals religious, social, or other themes) and how objects and processes change over time.” 
These guidelines remain true today, with artifacts on display from all over the world, each telling a story about varying spaces and time.