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University History: Old Main


Old Main

Originally referred to as the Main Building because it was the only building on campus when the school opened in 1902.  It is the oldest building on campus.  The original roof was metal, so many early photographs show a shiny silver roof (which remained shiny for a while until a dark patina was formed).  The red tile roof was added in the 1940s when the campus master plan instituted a the Spanish Colonial style.

There are many stories to tell about Main.  Some ideas:  the first class held in 1903 when it was the only building on campus, how Main is the focus of the Quad and stands as witness to all the activities that have taken place there for over a century, how the building is tied to our identity as a school, and all the care that has gone into renovating and preserving the building.  Looking through the Pedagogs is a great way to get a feel for what was happening on campus and may give you ideas for additional stories.

Contact Information

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University Archives

Alkek Library, Room 580


Research by appointment

Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm


The University Archives is physically located on the 5th floor of the Alkek Library.  In-person and virtual research assistance is generally available Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm (excluding holidays and energy conservation days). 


Research appointments are required for in-person research to allow time for retrieval of offsite materials, to reserve research space, and to allow staff to sanitize the space between researchers.  Walk-in assistance is dependent on staff and space availability, as researchers with appointments are given priority.  Masks are encouraged. 


To request virtual or in-person assistance, please Ask an Archivist