University of Pittsburgh
October 8, 2006

Documenting Pitt-New Pitt Web Site Offers Users A Journey Back in Time

Site contains 70,000 pages of text, photos, old yearbooks, dating back to 19th century

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Curious to see what grandpa looked like when he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh? Wondering what courses Pitt offered in the 1800s? A new Web site being launched today by Pitt's University Library System (ULS) is providing quick and easy online access to a treasure trove of materials stored in the University Archives.

Called Documenting Pitt: Historical Publications and Images of the University of Pittsburgh ( ), the site enables students, faculty, researchers, and the public to search and browse through assorted athletic media guides, chancellor reports, commencement programs, fact books, University catalogs, yearbooks, and other Pitt-produced publications. The ULS Digital Research Library, with financial support from the Office of the Provost, digitized more than 70,000 pages of text and images in creating the new site.

University archivist Marianne Kasica says Documenting Pitt will make it easier for her to respond to frequent requests for issues of The Owl, the yearbook published by Pitt from 1907 to 1980. (Since then, Panther Prints has been the Pitt yearbook's title.) "It seems that not a day goes by in the archives without someone requesting a yearbook page or material about the University," Kasica said.

"Now that this corpus of Pitt history is available online, our patrons can search and discover important sources of institutional history they may have overlooked before," added University Librarian Rush Miller, director of ULS.

Visitors to the site can search and browse through more than seven decades worth of The Owl yearbooks, as well as view issues of the University Courant, a lesser-known periodical featuring poems and essays written by students, faculty, and administrators, published by Pitt in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

The text collections also contain materials written about Pitt, ranging from a 1901 speech by Chancellor William J. Holland to the more recent Pitt: The Story of the University of Pittsburgh by Robert C. Alberts (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986). The site includes many images that were already digitized as part of Pitt's Historic Pittsburgh Image Collections Web site ( but are now accessible through the new Documenting Pitt site.