New Addition to the UM Campus Architecture Collection

We were excited to receive over 360 blueprints of the residence halls, which my Campus Planning & Development colleague has not seen before.

Two months ago we were delighted to receive a phone call offering over 300 never-before-seen architectural blueprints of UM buildings from the 1960s. They are plans of the UM’s residence halls designed by the Miami firm Connell, Pierce, Garland, and Freeman in 1967 and 1968. The donor of this wonderful gift is Mr. Lorenzo Otero Jr., a retired architectural draftsman, who studied at the University of Miami in the 1950s and worked for several architectural firms in Miami for four decades.

We appreciate very much the kindness of Mr. Otero’s two grandsons, Benjamin and Brian, who brought us the huge pile of the drawings in the rain saying that “we did not want to throw them away because we thought they could be valuable for the University.” They were very happy to find out that we would create an inventory list of all the drawings donated, preserve them with a help of Richter’s Preservation and Conservation specialist, and make them accessible for the University and the public.

I would like to share with you a picture of Mr. Otero when he was a Cane. I also looked up Mrs. Otero (maiden name Sylvia Masson) because the brothers told me their grandparents met when they were students at the U. Below please see their pictures from the 1952 and 1955 Ibis yearbook.

Meet Mr. Lorenzo Otero, Jr. in the lower right corner of the group photo fond in the 1955 Ibis yearbook.

Meet Mrs. Sylvia Otero in the lower right corner of the group photo found in the 1952 Ibis yearbook. You can also see her graduate portrait (1954 yearbook) as well as her name in the Spring 1955 commencement program.

Architectural drawings, blueprints, and historical images of the University of Miami’s buildings are important components of the University Archives. The collection has been developed in close coordination with UM’s Campus Planning and Development Office, and it has provided excellent materials for our exhibitions, University’s anniversaries and celebrations, and the School of Architecture’s faculty and students. Please go to the links below to find out more about the collection.

Click here for the archival collection of the UM Campus Architecture Collection and its downloadable container list (inventory list in PDF format)

Click here for the digitized blueprints from the UM Campus Architecture Collection

Click here for the digitized historical images of the UM’s buildings and campuses



Media Reaction to “First Black Graduate Project”

The article was published on February 16th online and the printed article came out on the 19th in the Neighbors section.

Because of the PR effort of the hard-working organizers of the First Black Graduates Project, their program has been receiving favorable media attention. Please go to the links below for two articles. The exposure is wonderful for us because they mention our current exhibition “We Were Pioneers.”

Miami Herald, February 16, 2017 article by Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields

University of Miami News, February 10, 2017 by By Robert C. Jones, Jr.

Also, stay tuned in on WVUM this Friday from 8 PM to 10 PM and Saturday from 1 PM to 3 PM because several UTrailblazers will appear on their programs!

WVUM 90.5FM – Listen Live



Never-seen Images from the Early 1960s Donated

We have recently received over 100 never-seen images of the University of Miami from the early 1960s. This wonderful gift was given to us by Mr. Richard Riker, who was a former photographer for Ibis when he studied at the U.

I think these pictures were taken at the 1963 Homecoming.

In late January, Mr. Riker contacted us asking if we wanted to receive images of Richter Library he took during construction of the building in 1962. We were thrilled to accept his offer because we do not have many images of Richter under construction in color. I sent him a thank you note right away, then he sent us additional images of the University.

These candid pictures reveal the mood of the campus in 1960.

I researched our digital resources and found his pictures listed as Ibis photographer. In the Office of the President Records, I found out he was the President of Gamma Theta Upsilon for the academic year 1964-65. Also, I learned he received his B.A. in 1964 in the recently digitized Commencement Program Collection.

I found him listed in the 1963 Ibis under Photographers section.

Mr. Riker, thank you so much for donating us these wonderful images! To find out more about donated images, please go to the link below for the “Richard Riker Photograph Collection.”

Richard Riker Photograph Collection



Now On View – Our New Exhibition “We Were Pioneers”

Entrance view of the exhibition “We Were Pioneers.”

The University Archives is pleased to announce a new exhibition “We Were Pioneers” for the African American History Month to honor the University of Miami’s African-American Students, Faculty, and Administrators of the 1960s and 1970s.

Front wall of the exhibition space honors 12 student UTrailbrazers.

The exhibition features publications, images, memorabilia, and other artifacts from the University Archives’s collection in 9 exhibition cases and surrounding walls on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library. You will be able to find out University of Miami’s desegregation history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic visit to the University, United Black Students, first African-American athletes, first African-American faculty and administrators, local resources on diversity, and so on in the exhibits. This exhibition also showcases Richter’s Special Collections’ materials on Miami’s desegregation and civil rights movement history.

We will create an online version of this exhibition shortly so that future faculty and students can research the materials and resources we put together for the exhibition. Also, we hope this exhibition will inspire our fellow colleagues as well as former and current Canes to archive with us.

Have you thought U’s centennial celebration is only 8 years away? We hope we will be able to curate a monumental exhibition to celebrate the U’s centennial jubilee with historical materials from all the schools, departments, and student groups of the University.

Rear wall of the exhibition space honors UTrailbrazer faculty and administrators.

The rich contents of “Malaika,” published by the United Black Students in the 1970s and 1980s, made possible for us to curate the exhibition.



Commencement Programs from 1927 to 2016 Are Now Available Online!

We are pleased to announce that Richter has just finished digitizing the entire collection of the University of Miami’s commencement programs from 1927 to 2016. Please go to the link below for the landing page of the digital collection.

Commencement Program Collection

See the first commencement program.

The Office of the Commencement and the Richter Library believe that this new digitization holds a long-lasting appeal to the alumni of the University as well as their friends and families all across the country.

We also would like to thank the colleagues at the University Communications and Alumni Association who donated their personal copies of several programs, which we did not have in our collection.

See the faces of the first graduates [source: University of Miami Historical Photograph Collection]