Deep in the Archives

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The Bryant Technical Services crew has been working feverishly to make more of our archival information available online, so it’s available to more and more people all over the world. Even if you’re not doing research, what’s online so far is just plain fun to look through.

Bryant Goes to War: The Bryant College Service Club was formed in March 1942 by Bryant students for Bryant alumni serving their country during World War II. Its purpose was to send monthly packages of cigarettes, candy, cookies, letters, and knitted articles to Bryant men and women serving in the U.S. military. The club also sold war stamps and bonds and conducted first aid classes.

When the club was formed there were about 80 Bryant men and women deployed throughout the world. Over a 3 year period this number grew to over 500 Bryant alumni/ae engaged in World War II.

The nearly 1,400 letters received by the Bryant College Service Club from 1942 to 1945 were arranged in four scrapbooks, probably under the aegis of Miss Blaney, who was Director of the club in addition to her duties as Publicity Director and Director of Placement during this time. The letters then sat in boxes for years until they were discovered in 2009 by Director of Library Services, Mary Moroney.

The online collection includes letters, v-mail (A method of microfilming US soldiers’ mail to and from home to cut down on shipping costs during World War II, with “V” standing for “victory.”) all sorted out by author.

Movies and Audio: Commencement speech audio and video going back as far as 1930 is online and is fascinating to listen to.

Archway: Issues of the Archway go all the way back to the beginning–1946.

Photos: In the Historical Photographs section, you can see everything from President Machtley jumping into the pond, to students at the old Providence campus:

Jacobs Hall, 7-9 Young Orchard Avenue, Providence, RI

Salisbury Hall, a women's dormitory on Bryant's East Side Campus in Providence, Rhode Island

Historical Documents: The Historical Documents Collection includes everything from the original charter of the Bryant and Stratton National Business College of 1863 to brochures from the 1920s promoting Bryant’s secretarial training, to documents from the present day.

Spending a little time looking through the online archives is a great way to learn more about Bryant’s long and storied history, to read first-hand accounts of the men and women affected by World War II, and to just appreciate where Bryant started and how it continues to grow and evolve.  To access the collection, start at the library home page, select Special Collections, Digital Commons, then Douglas and Judith Krupp Special Collections.  The collections are growing all the time, and soon we will add Bryant’s old yearbook collection.

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