Ask an Archivist: IU East’s Beth South

What is your favorite collection in the IU East archives?

My favorite collection is the student newspaper collection. It is our most complete collection, as we have almost every single issue printed, and it is one of the most interesting in terms of how it reflects the changes our campus has undergone over time. It’s also just really fun to look through, especially the “April Fools” issues which are really funny to read.

What is the IU East archives’ biggest challenge?

There are actually two challenges we face: One is getting noticed. We have a lot of people that don’t realize that we even have an archives and if they do know, they don’t really know how it could be of use to them. Our second challenge, which goes hand in hand with our first one a bit, is access. We have a lot of students who are strictly online, so giving those online students access to the content in our archives has been difficult.

What is your funniest IU East archives story?

Well, it’s not a story, but the funniest thing about the IU East archives is that it is located behind a cage. Our archives is in a shared space, so to secure our materials we have a large, caged wall separating the spaces. We also have a gray curtain that helps mask the archives cage when the other half is being used by a class or group meeting.

This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of 200: The IU Bicentennial Magazine, a special six-issue magazine that highlights Bicentennial activities and shares untold stories from the dynamic history of Indiana University. Visit for more Bicentennial information.

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Written By
Brittany Terwilliger
Brittany Terwilliger, BA’06, is the communications and marketing manager for the Office of the Bicentennial, and a contributor to 200: The IU Bicentennial Magazine.