Omeka - Digital History at Ursinus

Browse Exhibits (5 total)

Bears Make GSA History



Welcome to Bears Make GSA History! Our exhibit examines the history of the Gender Sexuality Alliance (formerly known as GALA) at Ursinus College, (located in southeastern Pennsylvania) from 1991 to 2000. Join us as we examine the discussions about, representations of, and controversies surrounding the formation and first ten years of the GSA, as seen in articles published in the school newspaper, The Grizzly.

Our project asks the question: "How did the GSA handle conflict and controversies in its first ten years of existence?" Our major subsections are as follows:

Genesis: GALA, 1991. Explore the formation and first semester of the Ursinus College GSA as it weathered visceral public defamation at the hands of a small but vocal group of students and professors. 

Conflict and Conversation: 1995. Examine continued debate about GALA, sexuality, and the LGBTQ+ community at Ursinus College. Several articles condemn the group, while many other voices advocate. 

LGBTQ+ Identities in Media, 2000: Explore representations of the LGBTQ+ community in popular culture in the New Millennium. 

Global: Connect the microhistory of local events with national trends. 

We would like to thank Ms. Carolyn Weigel, Mr. Andy Prock, Ms. Christine Ianicelli, and Drs. Throop and McShane for making this project possible. Ms. Weigel opened the Ursinusiana archives for our research, guiding our research processes by directing us to resources and contacts. Mr. Prock's expertise on scanning made the digitization of our project possible, while Ms. Ianicelli's technical knowledge gave us confidence in navigating Omeka.


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The Curtain Club's Closing Curtain

The Curtain Club was Ursinus' student theater organization that definitively originated in 1930, but it disappeared in 1968. During the same year, the club changed its name to "ProTheatre." By analyzing past articles from the Ursinus Weekly, Ruby yearbooks, diversity ratios among students, performances, and campus trends from the 1950s until 1968, we demonstrate that the name signifies Ursinus' focus on the transition into a more inclusive and democratic environment. Reorganizing the "Curtain Club" into "ProTheatre" signifies Ursinus' shift into being "pro-change."

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Champions of Snell Field; The Legacy of Eleanor Snell


     Eleanor Frost Snell was born in 1900 in Nebraska. Given societal constraints at the time, Eleanor was prevented from participating in intercollegiate sports. These restrictions, however, were insufficient to stop her. At the University of Nebraska, Eleanor pursued physical education and became involved with the Women’s Athletic Association [1]. After teaching at various schools, she later enrolled at Columbia University, where she joined the field hockey club [2]. While on the field hockey club, Eleanor was selected to compete at the United States Field Hockey Association Tournament [3]. She was successful in the classroom and on the turf. That said, it was not until Eleanor taught and coached at Ursinus College that she really solidified her legacy. In Eleanor’s 40 years of coaching, she never had a losing season. Her overall record consisted of 674 wins, 194 loses, and 42 ties. Additionally, 25 of her students were named to the U.S. Field Hockey Team [4]. In fact, during Eleanor’s time coaching field hockey, there were more Ursinus All-American field hockey players than any other college or university [5]. Even though Eleanor’s players were successful in their time spent playing field hockey, Eleanor emphasized the importance of sportsmanship, growth and development. Perhaps it could be argued that Eleanor’s greatest accomplishment at Ursinus was the impact she left on her players and the rest of the Ursinus community. At a time when women’s athletics was looked down upon, Eleanor guided her players and challenged them to do their best. She created a space at Ursinus for women to love, accept, and encourage each other. Eleanor was an athlete, teacher, coach, and woman—and in playing all those roles she became more than any one of them alone. Eleanor’s values and beliefs helped empower women and encourage women to pursue athletics. Her coaching style set the foundation for what fellow coaches to come should model and exhibit. Eleanor’s legacy makes her the true champion of Snell Field; however, she paved the way for many more champions to come. 

     Given the research our team has conducted about Eleanor’s accomplishments, leadership, coaching style, values and beliefs, from our perspective, we can conclude and argue that Eleanor Frost Snell’s monumental success on and off the field adds onto her legacy, strengthening the impact she left on Ursinus, making her a model for what fellow coaches and staff to come should follow.

     We would like to thank Drs. Throop and McShane, Ms. Carolyn Weigel, Mr. Andy Prock, and Ms. Christine Lanicelli for making this project possible. We appreciate your guidance, helpfulness, and encouragement.

  1. Cash, Robin G., "Miss Snell's Way: A Life-Affirming Organic Model Created in Sport." Eleanor Frost Snell Programs, Correspondence and Other Documents. 2. (2002): 31.
  2. Ibid., 26.
  3. Ibid., 32.
  4. Shillingford, Jenepher Price, "Eleanor Frost Snell: A Lifelong Impact." Eleanor Frost Snell Programs, Correspondence and Other Documents. 8. (2000).
  5. Ibid.


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Bears Through the Digital Age: Ursinus Students and the Birth of the Internet

“...For a young man like me, the invention of the Internet was the invention of space travel”

  - Ta-Nehisi Coates

As this sentence suggests, the creation of the Internet, which led to the digital age, had as much an impact on human innovation as space travel. The digital age began in the 1990s with the introduction of new advanced technologies to public consumption. This era is extremely significant in Ursinus' history because of the immense change. The Digital Age forced college students and faculty to craft a new set of skills pertaining to computers and software. In so doing, students adapted to a new education that relied on digital screens rather than pen and paper exclusively. The era also created a different type of college graduate, one with the power of the internet beneath their fingertips.

This research project seeks to answer the following question: How did the implementation of digital technologies affect Ursinus students both positively and negatively? To investigate this question, our team visited the Ursinus archives and digital commons for critical primary sources. We also consulted with secondary sources like Cathy N. Davidson's New Education to help gain insight into the convergence of academia and technology.

We discovered that the Digital Age, including the birth of the internet, cultivated new educational and social experiences that affected Ursinus students both positively and negatively. On the one hand, the age enabled different clubs, academic studies, and valuable skills to flourish among the student body. It also gave Ursinus students new opportunities in academia, increased their digital interconnection with communities on and off-campus, and geared graduates with highly demanded digital technology skills. On the other hand, problems stemming from the internet's harsh reality caused students to face self-esteem issues, invasion of privacy and bullying from anonymous classmates.

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Genealogy of SCI Phoenix


Welcome to our exhibit, an exploration about the history of State Correctional Institute SCI Phoenix and incarceration in Philidelphia from 1829 to 2023. We examined literature on prison programs, philosphy, construction, key figures, and important events from primary sources.

Our project is organized on a timeline, starting from the establishment of Eastern State Penitentiary. This exhibit is subsquently divided into sections delving into Graterford and SCI. Then culminating into a discussion of the history of incarceration in the Philidelphia area. 

Materials from the Ursinus Archive, notably newspapers, reveal the historical connection between Ursinus and local prison communities. The prison literacy program has historically served as a conduit between communities, its cancellation marking a significant shift. The nature of prison visitation and the current relationship between the college and SCI Phoenix is subject to ongoing research, remaining in a state of ambiguity. 


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