Get a blast to the past by visiting BC Archives at Central

Stephanie Sylvester



Have you ever wondered what existed on the grounds of BC where you go to class every day? Cure your wondrous curiosities by visiting the archives in the University library at Central Campus located on the 4th floor.

In the archives, you will find historic pieces of BC including college catalogs, student publications, graduation programs, yearbooks, cultural objects, photos and scrapbooks since its beginning in 1960.

Not only has BC had a newspaper, but BC has also had a yearbook. Due to the smaller amount of students back then, a yearbook was suitable to highlight the excellence of the students, achievements, programs and activities BC had to offer.

In addition to these features, you will be able to see how the yearbooks were segregated by race demonstrating how regressive the times were not only at BC at that time, but in the southern United States.

Looking through these written works, you will see the gradual positive strides that BC took to become the progressive society for education, students and the community as we know it today.

The newspaper has not always been named “The Observer.” The newspaper has been previously named “Venetian Crier,” “Polaris,” “Phoenix” and “Paladin.” BC even had a printed faculty publication called “On Target” containing faculty promotions, programs and even personal profiles on the teachers.

Librarian Andrew Dutka is one of the main individuals who keeps the archives alive by sorting, organizing and designing the archives and archive layout all with the intent to inspire students to blast to the past. “I see my job as making connections,” Dutka said. Dutka holds degrees in business, journalism and library science from the University of Buffalo. Although these fields are where he holds his degrees, he knows a lot about history—specifically the history of BC and where it started from.

“Working with the students is my favorite part. It makes my day.”

Dutka emphasized how empowering it is for him to see students come to the archives and gain inspiration for papers and projects through engaging with the artifacts. Having two years of experience working in the archives of the University of Buffalo and six years working in the University of North Carolina archives, Dutka is an archives expert with a passion for history and art Partnered with him in his efforts is Lisa Amato who plays a huge role in sorting and preserving the collections.

Frank Insinga is a history major who found out about the archives in the summer of 2017 when he first enrolled at BC. He had some extra downtime between classes and would visit the archives to admire the historic artifacts it had to offer. Insinga described the archives as “an opportunity to look at the past.” With passion he continues, “There is something for everybody. It is an enjoyable space that I think should be kept.”

Cultural artifacts like the Panamanian sailboat, the African mask and Egyptian statues allow students to connect the archives to their own nationalities.

The archive staff are working tirelessly to preserve elements of the archives online in collections.

It is important to recognize how progressive BC has become as an educational institution and this can only be appreciated by revisiting the past. Everything BC’s archives has is unique to BC because no one else has it. The archives soar beyond old newspapers and books. It is a place where students can get to know themselves as a BC student and understand the active role they play in helping BC excel in all its endeavors.

Want to go now, but just can’t seem to find time in your schedule? No need to worry. Explore the Internet Archives at designed by the library and archives staff so that you can explore history at any time at your fingertips.

Photo caption: BC student, Jessica Hayek looks at the archives on Central with librarian, Andrew Dutka. Jovan Subrath/The Observer

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