The University of Arizona Libraries Photograph File
The University of Arizona photographic archives document the life and times of the UA from about 1889 to the present. Beginning with photographs of Old Main, the original structure on campus, the archives document growth in the physical campus and changes in the dress and customs of students and faculty. The following images are a small, representative group of photographs from the collection. These materials are housed in the library's Special Collections.
The cactus garden, started by Professor James W. Toumey, was located on the west side of Old Main from 1896-1929. At that time it was moved to the east side of the building. All that remains of the garden today is a small oval section in the grassy mall east of Old Main and these photographs from the archives.
DOUGLASS BUILDING OVER TIME
The archives document changes in the overall physical campus as well as the evolution of individual buildings over time. The building currently known as the Douglass Building was built in 1903 as the Library and Museum. Over the years it has housed various colleges and departments. Most recently it is the home of Women's Studies and the Southwest Institute for Research on Women.
The Douglass Building in the 1980's (note how the palm tree has grown since the previous photograph was taken)
STUDENTS AND FACULTY
The University of Arizona opened its doors in October 1891 with 6 faculty and 32 students. Most classrooms and laboratories were in Old Main which also housed the original Library. The next three photographs were taken inside Old Main. The last is on the steps of Old Main.
WORLD AT WAR
University life was altered during World War I and World War II. Students, staff, and faculty left to join the war effort, vocational education was offered to support the surge in factory production, and special training was contracted by the military. The Naval Training School during WWII had an onging class of 500 men. In fact, a Navy contract paid to rehabilitate Old Main. This building had been declared unsafe and there was some pressure to have it torn down. (Ball, p.27)
World War I
World War II