Drexel University Libraries is excited to announce a new project, the construction of an Archive for Greek Life at Drexel, built out of a joint partnership between the Libraries, the Drexel Inter-Fraternity Alumni Association (DIFAA) and the Drexel University Alumni Association.
"The job of the University Archives is to collect records that tell the story of Drexel's interesting and diverse history," said University Archivist Rob Sieczkiewicz. "We have academic and administrative documents, but the history of student organizations is hard for us to capture, particularly the history of Greek life on campus."
The initiative to create the Archive for Greek Life began when Drexel graduate Tony Noce '80 connected with Danuta Nitecki '72, dean of University Libraries at a campus event last year. He told Danuta that he recently visited the University Archives website and could not find a significant fraternity and sorority collection.
"Fraternities and sororities are such a big part of Drexel's story, and I felt strongly that any archive of Drexel history would be incomplete without including the history of Greek life on campus," said Tony who is the President of Pi Kappa Phi's Alumni Corp, a member of the Drexel University Alumni Association Board of Governors, and a co-founder of DIFAA.
Tony and three other graduates: John McGarrigle '69, '72; Joe McCaffrey '69 and Jackie McClure '87; are now members of the Archive for Greek Life's Advisory Committee. They work with Danuta to help build connections and share ideas from the point of view of former Greeks.
Tony said that from his personal experience, he knows of many alumni who have large collections of Greek life memorabilia with no real place to leave them as they get older. He also said that many fraternities and sororities with housing maintain archives in their houses, but they are not organized or kept in a controlled environment.
"In addition to gathering memorabilia, photographs, yearbooks, and other items, we are also able to provide preservation and organization of materials that are donated to the Archive for Greek Life," said Danuta. "We give items a secure, climate-controlled home, as well as digitize, catalog and make them searchable for both past and current students."
According to Rob, when classes of current students visit the Archives at Drexel, one of the aspects of the University's history that they are most interested in is Greek Life. "Students will come to us, wanting to write papers on the history of Greek life at Drexel and until now we have had a very limited collection of primary sources for their research."
Along with memorabilia, the Archive for Greek Life will also include an oral history of stories about Greek life at Drexel. Professionally recorded and transcribed recordings will be preserved and cataloged for future generations to enjoy. "When we suggested things we could do to help build the Archive, the Advisory Committee members were most excited about creating collections of these recordings," said Danuta. "It is a very personal way to share history."
It should be noted that the Archive for Greek Life represents all fraternities and sororities at Drexel, even those that are no longer active.
"We don't want your history to die; your stories make up Drexel's history," said Danuta. "I encourage you to help us make this a live component of Drexel's University Archives that will enhance the alumni and student experience."
Information about the Archive, including descriptions of items that have already been donated, can be found at library.drexel.edu/greekarchive.
If you are interested in contributing memorabilia or funding to the Archive for Greek Life at Drexel, or if you would like your name added to the mailing list to receive updates on the Archive, contact Kerry DiBlasio, director of development for University Libraries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-571-3803.