Each week for Throwback Thursday, we explore the history of RIT’s buildings, organizations, annual events, traditions, sports, weather changes and the list goes on. However, this wouldn’t be possible unless someone was doing the complicated job of archiving documents that date back all the way back to 1829. The RIT Archives Collection Department has the task of acquiring, preserving and making accessible materials related to the administration, academic programs, people and the social and cultural life of the university. They have been serving RIT since around 1958, a decade before RIT moved to Henrietta. Before that, staff at the library would simply file documents and important memorabilia in a closet for the first 120 years of the university’s history. Gladys Taylor, the woman featured in the image above, served as RIT's first archivist once they dedicated a space for preserving RIT artifacts and she is praised for her demanding work that has helped RIT keep track of its history.
Today the department has expanded and now consists of three primary collections: RIT Archives, RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive and the RIT Art Collection. On their Web page there are also exhibits dedicated to the move from Downtown to Henrietta, Men’s Hockey at RIT and the live tiger, SpiRIT, who once served as RIT’s mascot. History is important for growth and in general is great to explore and divulge in knowledge. We have incredible historical resources at our disposal, so don’t forget to check them out on their social media where they to regular posts that reminisce back in the day when bell bottom pants, neon colors, leather jackets, mullets, and high-waisted jeans were a thing!