Photo Donation Honors University History

During this sesquicentennial year, those interested in University history have a new resource to explore thanks to a unique donation from an alumnus.

In the summer of 2017, John R. Andrews (’83) generously donated an old photo album containing 1860s and 1870s tintype photos to the University. His hope was that such a collection might generate additional interest and spark research opportunities during Truman’s 150th anniversary.

“Images tell such a more interesting story than just facts,” Andrews said. “I was hoping this album would be a great tool for the sesquicentennial celebration, to tell real stories.”

The album contains tintypes and early photographs of Joseph Baldwin, John R. Kirk and William P. Nason, as well as many other faculty and students from the earliest years of the normal school.

“We deeply appreciate Mr. Andrews’ gift to the University archives,” said Amanda Langendoerfer, associate dean of libraries for special collections and museums. “An album containing early photographs of our founder and the other people who helped shape the University is indeed a treasure. Donations such as this one help us keep our legacy alive.”

The album, which is now part of the University’s special collections, is currently on display in the Ruth W. Towne Museum and Visitors Center.

Also on display is “Truman Memorabilia Thru the Years,” which spotlights some never-before-exhibited objects that tell the story of the University’s history. It includes china cups from the normal school, a 125th celebratory license plate, colorful Homecoming memorabilia and much more. One feature of the exhibit is the story of the 1924 campus fire as told by student and former faculty member Pauline Dingle Knobbs. Her account can be heard at

Joseph Baldwin and professors of the normal school are pictured in a photo album on display in the Ruth W. Towne Museum and Visitors Center.

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