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

Historical images for the President’s office

Three clusters of historical images represent Medical, Coral Gables, and RSMAS campuses (left to right)

Three clusters of historical images represent Medical, Coral Gables, and RSMAS campuses (left to right)

The University Archives was delighted to provide research assistance and high-resolution images over the last summer for the Campus Planning & Development colleagues, who were asked to select iconic images of the University of Miami to decorate President Frenk’s office. Please see the three clusters of the images selected by the Office that represent the Medical Campus, Coral Gables Campus, and RSMAS Campus (left to right).

We hold more than half a million images of the University from the 1920s to late 1970s. A small portion of the collection (approximately 78,000 images) was digitized and made accessible to the public in 2010 at our website UM Historical Photo Collection for the first time. Today, you can see those historical images everywhere at several prominent places on the Gables campus as well as in many University publications.

Lots of colleagues in the university know we are good at “old” stuff, but soon we will announce a new massive collection of more recent materials from the 1980s to the early 2000s, which was donated by the University Communications in 2013. The collection contains images, videos, publications, and press clippings, which will be a tremendous help for the schools and departments to research their organizational history. Please contact us for further assistance for the new collection.

Complete Collection (1927-2015) of The Miami Hurricane Now Accessible Online

Miami Hurricane, October 26, 1962 article "The Negro at Miami"

Miami Hurricane, October 26, 1962 article “The Negro at Miami”

Before 2010 patrons could not browse or research the archived issues of The Miami Hurricane (TMH) remotely. They had to visit the library, request bulky bound volumes of THM, and flip through the stories page by page. Also, they were encouraged to use the microfilms to save the rapidly deteriorating old original issues.

It was fall 2010 Richter had 1927-2002 content (approximately 2,900 issues, 42,000 pages) professionally digitized from microfilm and offered it to the public for the first time. Since then, Richter’s Digital Production team has added new issues provided by the past editors of THM in PDF as well as scanned old issues unavailable on microfilms, such as 1934-36 and 1963 issues and added them to the database.

So, what have we missed in the 1962-63 content? The other day I was touched by the October 26, 1962, article titled “The Negro at Miami” (front page and p. 7, link below), which reports the names and some faces of the first black students as well as their experience during the first year of integration at the U. This is a great discovery for the Black Alumni Society, which has been researching our collections to identify the first 500 black graduates from the 1960s and the 1970s. Click here to read the article.

TMH is one of the most important historical resources of the University, and the digitized content has been accessed by tens of thousands of patrons monthly since 2010. We appreciate very much TMH’s past editors for archiving with us. Also, we would like to thank our colleagues at Richter in Digital Production, Metadata & Discovery Services, and Web & Emerging Technologies for making the digitized content accessible online.

New Project to Archive Efforts of UM’s LGBTQ+ Student Organization

By Koichi Tasa, University Archivist

tasa_headshot_largeI am currently working for the first time to archive a collection of electronic records with my colleague Laura Capell, Head of Digital Production and Electronic Archivist. The commemorable organization of focus is UM’s undergraduate LBGTQ+ group SpectrUM. We will archive messages and e-flyers documenting their organizational efforts in support of UM’s lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer, and questioning community.

The collection was inspired by President Frenk’s December 2015 message on campus initiatives for inclusiveness towards LGBTQ+ students. I contacted SpectrUM to join their mailing list and have continued to save electronic records for the use of future students and researchers. We will make a decision shortly on how to provide access to the collection. For the time being, you can find more information on the collection in the finding aid.

SpectrUM's logo from their Facebook page

SpectrUM, organized in 1992, has expanded on the work of The Gay Alliance, which formed in the 1970s.

Working on this collection made me wonder about earlier gay and lesbian organizations at the University. Some historical information is available in The Miami Hurricane Archive Online. There I found an article from 1985 titled “Gay Student Seeks to Inform” by Sal O’Neill. O’Neill, who was a senior at that time, wrote about an earlier group called The Gay Alliance, formed in the early-to-mid 1970s. “The Alliance had weekly rap sessions in the Alliance’s office in the Student Union. They also sponsored regular dances at the Rathskeller which were open to the public,” he writes, also noting significant challenges– “fears of exposure and violence, and the apathy that any group must contend with”–that brought about its demise. In the 1980s, students could connect in an off-campus group called the Gay and Lesbian Youth Group, which offered “emotional support and social interaction to gay men and lesbians not available elsewhere up to the age of 25.”

The Lavender Celebration 2016 was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Student Life, Toppel Career Center and Alumni Association.

The Lavender Celebration 2016 was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Student Life, Toppel Career Center and Alumni Association to recognize the accomplishments of LGBTQ graduates of the U.

This was before SpectrUM, which was organized in 1992 (under the name Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Club). Its purpose is to foster pride through education, awareness, advocacy, and social events and to support all members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. It’s remarkable to see how far this mission has come, and we look forward to the opportunity of sharing its continuation with future students and researchers.

Stay tuned for announcements about future archival efforts. In an upcoming project in February 2017 we will work with groups such as the Black Alumni Society and United Black Students to curate a full exhibition at Richter Library on UM’s black students and faculty. The exhibition will coincide with the Black Alumni Society’s First Black Graduates Project. We look forward to collaborating with these and other campus organizations to honor their accomplishments.

IBIS Yearbook (1927-1959) Now Available Online


IBIS, the University of Miami’s yearbook, has been published annually since 1927.

The University of Miami Archives has recently completed a significant digitization project resulting in online access to one of the University’s oldest and most-cherished publications, IBIS yearbook. The first 33 volumes of IBIS, from 1927 to 1959, are now available for browsing and research through the University of Miami Libraries’ website. The collection is fully searchable by keyword, and images can be saved or printed for research or personal use.

Visit the IBIS Yearbook Collection Online

The project, which began in fall 2013,  was completed in collaboration with the Libraries’ Preservation, Digital Production, Cataloging & Metadata, and Web & Application Development departments.


Foreword from IBIS, 1927, stating “we hope [this yearbook] will prove as good a guide to those who follow as the blazed trail was to the settlers of the western frontier.” (Click to enlarge.)

Housed at the University Archives in the Otto G. Richter Library, the entire yearbook collection is one of the most frequently researched archival resources by the UM community. It’s also considered a record of enduring historical value on subjects ranging from student life and campus activities to regional and national events. The publication is a frequent past recipient of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold Crown Award, the highest honor for college yearbooks in the country.

You can visit the University Archives, located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact University Archivist Koichi Tasa for questions or suggestions on archiving and using historical resources of the University of Miami.

Just Digitized: Arts & Sciences Magazine

A&S magazine

A&S magazine

Upon request of the College of Arts and Sciences, we digitized the complete issues of their Arts & Sciences magazine. Please go to the link below to browse the issues or research the entire content by keyword. We are delighted to work on this project, because the publication has enduring research value on the College’s activities, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Arts and Sciences Magazine Archive Online

Arts & Sciences has been published by the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Miami since 1998 in the fall and spring. The predecessors of the publication, AlumNews (1978-1981), Focus (1982-83), and Cornerstone (1992-1997) as well as Making History (Fall & Winter 2005 by the History Department) are made available in the digital collection.

Digitization of the A&S magazine is a collaboration of Richter Library in Preservation, Digital Production, Cataloging & Metadata, Digital Repository, and the University Archives.

Veritas (1960-2008) Now Available Online


Veritas covers from 1972, 1974, 1977, and 1986

The University of Miami Libraries has completed the digitization of a major, historic publication of the University of Miami. Veritas served as the faculty and staff newsletter from September 1960 to December 2008. Produced by University Communications, the newsletter reported on University news, faculty profiles, event listings, athletics programs, and other topics. Its successor, E-Veritas, was introduced in 1999 and is distributed to employees weekly by email.

Please go to the link below to search the Veritas Archive or browse by issue. You can save and print the articles for your research and personal use.

Visit the Veritas Archive Online »


December 2004 Issue

Veritas is one of many University publications housed at the University Archives that can now be accessed online. The digitization of Veritas and other historical publications is a cooperative effort at the University of Miami Libraries involving the Digital Initiatives, Preservation, Cataloging & Metadata, and Web & Emerging Technologies teams.

You can visit the University Archives, located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact University Archivist Koichi Tasa for questions or suggestions on archiving and using historical resources of the University of Miami.

Airplane built by UM students

Picture and note on Vacuplane

Picture and note on Vacuplane

It was a quiet afternoon a few days ago. My phone rang and I heard a raspy voice of an elderly patron. I heard him passionately telling me a story that he was in his 90s, he is retired for many years, his hobby is building model planes, and someone at a Washington DC museum gave him my phone number … I could not understand him at all. I heard some words like “airplane … U of M … early 30s … Lanier” in the conversation.

I finally figured out what this was about when he gave me the spelling of the word “Vacuplane” for the third time. I searched our digital collections by the keyword and found a dozen or so historical images and several newspaper clippings on the subject right away. I knew the University of Miami had an aviation training program in the past, but I did not know our students even built airplanes. Please see the image above with a note “Aviation courses at UM began in 1929 and ended in 1931. During that time students in Aviation built the Lanier XL-3 Vacuplane. It flew.” (It looks amazing!)

I copied the pictures and some diagrams of the plane and mailed them to the patron. I spent more time than I normally do for the request, because I enjoyed looking this up for myself. I wonder if the patron will give me a picture of the model he is going to create.

View Vacuplanes in the UM Historical Photograph Collection

Research on Diversity

Diversity is a very important research subject for us. The question keeps coming back several times a year with slightly different angles depending on who is asking for what kind of research project.

The publication we use most is a history book “The University of Miami: A Golden Anniversary History, 1926-1976” written by Dr. Charlton W. Tebeau, 1904-2000, who was a professor at the UM, Chairman of the History Department, and a prominent historian of Florida. The chapter 12 of the book “Desegregation, Integration, and Minority” provides a perfect overview of the subject with many interesting historical facts and images.

Title page of the book "The University of Miami: A Golden Anniversary History, 1926-1976"

Title page of the book “The University of Miami: A Golden Anniversary History, 1926-1976”

The University of Miami: A Golden Anniversary History, 1926-1976 in Richter’s Online Catalog

The Miami Hurricane, May 13, 1966 front page

The Miami Hurricane, May 13, 1966 front page

The Miami Hurricane is also an excellent source for news and events on the subject. You could read articles on student protests on campus. Martin Luther King was invited to the University for a lecture in 1966.

The Miami Hurricane Archive Online, May 17, 1968 article on student protest

The Miami Hurricane Archive Online, May 13, 1966 article on Dr. King visited the university

Benjamin Hooks, NAACP Executive Director, speaking at Black Culture Week

Benjamin Hooks, NAACP Executive Director, speaking at Black Culture Week

The UM Historical Photograph Collection can offer you effective visual images related to the subject, such as Dr. King’s memorial service held on campus in spring 1968 and the Black Culture Week held on campus in the 1970s.

Historical images taken at the Black Culture Week in the 1970s

List of black facluty found in the 1974-75 Malaika Handbook

List of black facluty found in the 1974-75 Malaika Handbook

Also, we hold a collection titled “Malaika” published in the 1970s and 1980s by the United Black Students of the university. I used this collection recently for a patron who was looking for pictures of black faculty in the past. We would love to archive additional materials like this one if available.

Malaika, handbook written by and for the Black Students and faculty of the University of Miami, 1972-1985

Richter's exhibition Truth Marches On

Richter’s exhibition Truth Marches On

Lastly, we would like to tell you we were proud to be a part of the research and exhibition effort for the Black History Month Exhibition held at the library for the first time this year. Please go to the link below for the subjects and exhibits presented at the exhibition. This wonderful website was created by my colleague Natapol Phensiriphand, Information Specialist, Education & Outreach department.

Themes and exhibits presented at Richter’s Black Heritage Month Exhibiton

Tempo – Milestone in Student Journalism

Tempo Cover from the September-October 1961 issue

Tempo Cover from the September-October 1961 issue

It is our great pleasure to announce that the entire issues of “Tempo” (or Miami Tempo in early years of the publication) magazine from October 1949 to April 1971 is digitized and full-text searchable at the link below.

Tempo Magazine

We think Tempo is historically significant publication in student journalism, and it’s an excellent teaching material on the university and student lifestyle in the time period.