What’s in a name?

When dealing with an institution name change it can be a delicate balance especially for an Archive. It is important to embrace the new name and brand in order to move forward, but in the Archives history is just as important as the future. So, we have to find a way to represent the historic name and yet move forward with the rest of the University to embrace the new name. With that in mind we’ve established a guideline to help guide us through the name change.

Archives Guidelines on UMUC/University College Name

The name University of Maryland Global Campus became official on July 1, 2019. The branding and identification for the UMGC Archives website and web-based platforms was updated on September 30, 2019, along with the UMGC Library website. Because the Archives exists to document the history of the institution, any materials created before July 1, 2019, will retain the UMUC/University College name to accurately reflect the historical period in which they were created. Materials added to the Archives and Archives website/repository will be reviewed for their creation date, and only items that were created after July 1, 2019, will be identified as UMGC/Global Campus. The name UMUC/University College will be used in historical context when identifying and describing archival materials on the Archives website, repository, and blog. Postings on the Archives blog created before July 1, 2019, will also be left as-is to reflect the time at which they were created.


Archives Month: Part Two

The University Archives contains the history of the University of Maryland Global Campus, from the fun stuff like photographs and memorabilia, to the serious and important stuff, such as records that show how the University’s operations have changed and improved over time, including numerous reports and the evolution of distance learning.  

In addition to all these historically valuable records, we also have the original research materials used by Sharon Hudgins to write her fantastic books, Never an Ivory Tower and Beyond the Ivory Tower; two books which contain the history of the University of Maryland Global Campus. 

Never an Ivory Tower covers the first 50 years of the University, and Beyond the Ivory Tower covers the first 60 years, from 1947-2007. 

These books start off discussing the origins of the College of Special and Continuation Studies (CSCS), which is what we were originally called in 1947, when we were still a part of the University of Maryland. 

The books progress through time, covering the “noble experiment” of the European Division and the creation of the Asian Division in 1956, as well as the other overseas programs overseen by the University, such as the Atlantic Division and the Russia Program.  

Also discussed is the progression of the University from CSCS to University College, to the reorganization of the University of Maryland system from which we emerged as the University of Maryland University College!  

Fun fact: Sharon Hudgins performed a fair amount of research within the University Archives in order to put together the information in her books. Additionally, many of the pictures within Never an Ivory Tower and Beyond the Ivory Tower were received from and currently reside in the Archives.  


Welcome to Archives Month!

What is an archive and why is it important?

Well, an archive is defined as “a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people” – but it is so much more than that.

Archives are where our stories go to be preserved.  Archives are where our photos go, so that we can share them with others.  Archives are keepers of history that might otherwise be lost.

Even more than that, we are part of the records retention plan every major institution has.  We are a part of critical business functions.

We hold records of operational importance, as well as historic interest.  We hold annual reports, a nearly complete collection of course catalogs (dating all the way back to 1949).  We have photos of the Pope and Neil Armstrong.  We have memos that detail the massive 280% increase in student enrollment from one semester to the next, and letters detailing tragic accidents and amazing triumphs involving both students and faculty.

The Archives hosts visits from faculty, staff, and students.  We answer a wide variety of questions, everything from: do you have information on our Nuclear Program? To: what is the origin of our logo?

 We assist in information requests from various departments such as: Communications, Human Resources, and Legal Services.  As a matter of fact, internal customers are our most frequent requests – and the information and items we provide are in everything from Town Halls to Achievers. 

We were responsible for gathering resources for both the 70th Anniversary display and the 70th Anniversary Europe display.

And we are only 3 people strong.  Yet, we all feel compelled to preserve the storied history of this extraordinary institution. There is no other University like UMGC – we were global before others even envisioned offering education overseas and we have dedicated ourselves to our nation’s military from our very beginning. Somewhere, somehow, the story of who we are and who we serve should be preserved and shared, and that is why the UMGC Archives exists.

In an effort to continue our mission to collect and share UMGC’s story we encourage all of you to consider donating. 

We take everything from stickers to files.  We are interested in everything having to do with UMGC.  Old logo items, information on the implementation of D2L, business cards, files on the creation or name change of a department, mugs, stress balls, meeting minutes, project meeting agendas and everything in between.  If you have anything you want to get rid of, please reach out!

1960's work van with, "University of Maryland Wants You!" and "Army Education Center" written on the side of it.

UMUC in Bosnia

Did you know that, once upon a time, UMUC held courses in Bosnia?  

Beginning in 1995, U.S. troops were stationed in Bosnia as a peacekeeping force after the Dayton accords were signed. By April 1, 1996, UMUC had begun courses for United States troops stationed in Bosnia.  

Classes were generally held in tents and makeshift buildings assembled with plywood. Some of the courses that were offered in Bosnia included Business and Management, Government and Politics, General Science, English, Sociology, and History.2  

This was certainly not the first time, nor would it be the last, that UMUC faculty went downrange to teach courses to our troops. For those of you who aren’t familiar with military slang, “Downrange” means to be deployed in a war zone. Other downrange locations at which UMUC professors were present include Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, to name a few.  

All of the faculty that headed down range to Bosnia, first had to undergo four days of military training in Germany. “The training, conducted by the U.S. military, includes briefings on the countries, cold weather training, courses in mine awareness and detonation, and classes in how to react to booby traps, ambushes and sniper fire.”3 Talk about a crash course! 

Steve Holowenzak was a UMUC professor who was assigned to teach in Bosnia. According to an article in the Washington Post,  Holowenzak’s situation in Bosnia “is typical for UMUC professors stationed with troops in dangerous places. He wears military fatigues, a flak vest and helmet; he sleeps on a military cot, in a military sleeping bag; he eats the same food as the soldiers; and he treads a careful path when venturing off base, for mines do not discriminate between people with weapons and people with PhDs.”1 

It should be noted that we have two separate photograph collections of Bosnia. In this post, the standalone photos are from Steve Holowenzak’s collection, and the sleeved photos are from a collection donated by Jim Moss.  

(I apologize for the glare on the photographs; it’s hard to take good photos on a cell phone!) 


1) Mass, P. (1996, April 12). Join the Faculty and See the World. The Washington Post, pp. B7 

2) Brown, L. (1996, March 25) U.S. troops in Bosnia, Hungary and Croatia Take College Courses Thanks to University of Maryland University College.  

3) Brown, L. (1996, March 25) U.S. troops in Bosnia, Hungary and Croatia Take College Courses Thanks to University of Maryland University College. 

The Big Sort

Within the cold depths of the University Archives, we are undergoing what we have dubbed The Big Sort. This project involves combing through all the, as yet, unsorted boxes within the archives; boxes that haven’t been opened since they were first placed on our shelves many moons ago. You see, before Renee Brown became our Archivist, materials sent to the archives were merely packed up and put downstairs, devoid of any clues concerning their contents. We finally decided it was time to figure out what’s in these poor, neglected boxes.  

The Big Sort entails opening each non-archival box, pulling out every document, folder, and binder, and determining where, in the archive’s many collections, they belong. It also entails finding documents that do not belong in the archives, such as timesheets with social security numbers on them, which must be properly disposed of. 

The purpose of The Big Sort is not merely to satiate our burning curiosity, although I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a factor. We intend to achieve a number of goals with this project that will benefit the archives. First and foremost, we are hoping that we will be able to make enough room on our shelves for the newly acquired Asian Division collection. This goal can potentially be achieved by meeting another goal: finding and extracting materials that do not belong in the archives and disposing of them. By doing this, we are ensuring that everything within the walls of the archives is, indeed, archival material that can be used to document the history of our university.  

Another major goal of The Big Sort is to make old materials newly available. While these documents have been in the archives for years, we haven’t known precisely what they are or what information they provide. By establishing what collections these documents belong to and ensuring their proper placement, we are making these materials available for future use. We are excited about the opportunity to flesh out some of the collections that have been lacking materials, such as the Human Resources collection which went from being barren to chock full of folders. 

Finally, The Big Sort is providing us a much-needed opportunity to reorganize the archives. While the archives may look like one big mess to the uninitiated, it is all sorted into collections and each collection has its place within the archive. However, as many of these collections continue to grow, they need more shelf space. Therefore, once the big sort is complete, we will shift the collections around to better fit their needs and accommodate those that continue to increase in size.  

So, if you happen to pop down to the Archives in the near future, please excuse the mess. As we continually tell ourselves, it is going to get worse before it gets better! 


“A Deep Dive into UMUC Europe’s Catalog History” By Michael Gillespie

Today, rather than share a blog post I wrote, I am going to share with you all a rather fabulous article written by Michael Gillespie, Assistant Director of Germany 2, concerning the European catalogs!

This article does a wonderful job of showcasing how the materials in the Archives can be used to delve into the amazing history of the University.  Special thanks to Michael Gillespie for allowing me to “re-print” his article for the blog. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Each summer UMUC Europe staff looks forward to the release of the annual undergraduate and graduate catalogs.  In addition to conveying university policy, UMUC catalogs also act as time capsules, reflecting the historical and social environments in which they were made.  As we celebrate our 70th anniversary, I browsed through the first decade of UMUC catalogs, as archived in our digital repository

One of the immediately fascinating aspects of these catalogs is the list, always published toward the beginning of the catalog, of sites where UMUC once had offices.  The 1950/1951 catalog (the first to be published, though the division was founded the year before), already lists 42 active sites, of which only three, Ansbach, Stuttgart, and Wiesbaden, remain open today.  Some of the closed sites are familiar, such as Heidelberg, Nürnberg, and Munich.  Others take some digging.  The listing for “Herzo,” a vaguely German sounding name, turns out to be the American nickname for the Army airfield in the town of Herzogenaurach, revealing that the GI penchant for abbreviating difficult German names didn’t begin with “Ktown.” 

Other sites reflect the changing geopolitical situation in Europe.  The 1950/51 catalog lists a location in Tulln-Vienna; by 1955 UMUC had as many as six sites in Austria.  By the next year they were all gone, reflecting the departure of the occupying powers from Austria after its declaration of neutrality.  Similarly, catalogs at the end of the ‘50s showed upwards of two dozen UMUC sites at bases across France – more than we currently have operating in all of Germany.  Little did the makers of those catalogs know that by the mid-‘60s these, too, would close, when President Charles de Gaulle ordered all non-French NATO troops to withdraw from the country. 

Other historical anomalies abound.  The 1952/53 catalog lists an office in the “Free Territory of Trieste.”  That city at the tip of the Adriatic, at the time under UN protection, would not reunite with the rest of Italy until 1954, at which point UMUC’s presence there also ended.  Aside from Trieste, the two earliest UMUC locations in Italy were in Florence and Leghorn; our current publications refer to the latter site by its Italian name, Livorno.  Catalogs early in the decade refer to sites in French Morocco – the “French” was dropped in 1956 when Morocco gained its independence.  The 1957 catalog lists a base in Formosa; the next year this European name was changed to the more appropriate Taiwan. 

Sites in the “Far East Division” were first listed in the Europe catalog starting in 1956, but political events in Asia made themselves known to our student body several years before that.  The 1952/53 catalog contains a section called “Registration under Public Law 550 (Korean GI Bill).”  Among the conditions an applicant needed to meet to qualify for this bill is the rather ominous one that he “must have had active military duty some time between June 27, 1950, and the end of the current emergency (a date not yet set).”  The ceasefire ending the Korean War was not signed until July 1953. 

So much for world events.  Confining ourselves to more local matters, the catalogs reveal other curiosities.  That first catalog from 1950 (which, at a mere 24 pages, with no cover art, illustrations, or index, might more accurately be described as a pamphlet) touts the proximity of the home campus to the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Washington street car system, both of which would soon be demolished.  Tuition for one undergraduate semester hour in 1950 was $8; graduate tuition was $15 per semester hour.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation Calculator, in 2019 dollars that is $84.33 and $158.11 respectively.  By the end of the decade undergraduate tuition had risen to $10 per semester hour. 

The 1950/51 catalog reveals that the European division offered courses towards one degree, a B.S. in Military Science.  “Students who may wish to graduate from some other college should be careful to satisfy the specific requirements of the desired college,” it warned – still good advice.  Awards were granted that year to students with the “highest scholarship in U.S. History,” “highest scholarship in Military Science,” “best composition in the German language,” and “best essay in English dealing with a subject of European background.” 

Other social indicators of the time abound.  Any reference to an active duty service member invariably uses the pronoun “he.”  “The Military Science Curriculum is designed for men who desire to follow a military career,” reads the 1953/54 catalog, going on to say that he “must possess those physical and mental requirements which lead to a commission in one of the Armed Forces.”  The opening of the Munich residential campus prompts the 1951/52 catalog to explain that the “Dormitory Fee of $22.50 per semester covers the expense of the proctor or matron.”  A mid-decade photo is captioned: “A Maryland honor student does his home work with the assistance of his five children” – showing that the baby boom was booming overseas as much as it was back home. 

The course offerings tell their own tale.  Classes in Russian were offered from the beginning, reflecting the importance of the superpower looming to the east.   The 1952 catalog was the first to mention the Soviet Union by name, offering Geog. 140 Soviet Lands (3), which covered “geographic factors in the expansion of the Russian State.”  The next year we get Hist. 192 Foreign Policy of the USSR (3), “a survey of Russian foreign policy in the historical perspective, considering Russian aims in Europe and Asia, and conflicts with the western powers.”  In 1954/55 there’s Psych. 5 Mental Hygiene (3), covering “the more common deviations of personality; typical methods of adjustment.”  Better living through UMUC? 

The names of staff and faculty in these catalogs are mostly unfamiliar, the only one in current regular use being that of Stanley J. Drazek, Ph.D., first listed in 1951 as “Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Education,” and now mostly known for the teaching award annually given in his honor.  The rest are obscure but intriguing.  Who, for example, were Dr. Johannes F. Klein and Dr. Leo Kober, both listed as part-time language instructors in the 1951 catalog?  What were their lives like only six or seven years before, and how did they feel about the occupying troops they were now instructing?  (Technically not occupiers anymore, the German Federal Republic having been established just a few months before the University of Maryland European Division made its own debut.) 

Photographs first appear as an insert in the 1952/53 catalog.  Students and faculty alike dressed as formally as one would expect from the period.  As late as 1962 a photo captioned “the student lounge on the Munich Campus is often the scene of informal gatherings” shows each man in the photo in at least a jacket if not a jacket and a tie, and each woman in a skirt – hardly informal.  Many photographs show students and faculty engaged in early versions of field studies, such as one in the 1956/57 catalog showing Dr. Roland A Stromberg taking a group of students to “the famous König Platz in Munich where Hitler often spoke” – oddly, one of the few direct references to the still-recent World War.  (Not all the field trips sound as interesting: the 1959 catalog shows a class of business students from Spangdahlem standing around a model rubber tire at the Goodyear Plant in Luxembourg.) 

The 1959 catalog ended on a note of reflection as University of Maryland University College (as it officially became known that year) looked back on its first decade of operations in Europe.  This is worth quoting in full, as much of what it says holds true to this day: 

Here’s looking forward to many decades worth of UMUC/UMGC catalogs to come. 


1952/53 Catalog 

1953/54 Catalog: 

1953/54 Catalog: 

1956/57 Catalog: 

1959/60 Catalog: 


Did you know that the College of Special and Continuation Studies used to have a bookmobile? 

As I am sure you all remember, the College of Special and Continuation Studies is the precursor to the University of Maryland University College, back when we were still a part of the University of Maryland – College Park prior to 1970.  

The bookmobile hit the streets of Maryland on June 16, 1953 as an off-campus library service. The purpose of this library on wheels was to ensure that students at off campus centers, such as the Pentagon, were able to access materials required for their courses.  

By November of 1953, the bookmobile was making regular trips to 12 off campus centers and was servicing another 12 off campus centers sporadically, and had loaned a total of 667 books to students.  

The June 30, 1957 Annual Report shows the increased use of the bookmobile, stating that “almost 13,000 items have been loaned” in that year. By 1957, the bookmobile was carrying 1824 titles, 3734 volumes, 65 maps and 3 films for student and instructor use at off-campus centers.  

The bookmobile stopped being used sometime in the 1960s, but thankfully we have pictures of what it looked like when it was first created! 

Photos of the Bookmobile
Photos of the Bookmobile
Pamphlet for Bookmobiles
Blueprint of the original bookmobile, created 1952
One of the schedules for the Bookmobile
Standard Operating Procedure for the Bookmobile