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Digital Collections and Exhibits


Knox College Library

2 E. South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



Stacks of library books inside Seymour Library.

Digital Exhibits

The Allen Ayrault Green Photograph Collection

Allen Green photograph

Allen Ayrault Green (1880-1963) left to Knox College a set of glass plate negatives from which this collection is produced. The photographs span from the late 1890s to about 1910. Green practiced the craft of photography by taking pictures of neighbors, friends and family, events at Knox College (he was a student at Knox College from 1899 to 1901), and goings-on in the city of Galesburg and surrounding areas. 

The Art of the Book: Personal and Institutional Bookplates

Saunders Press bookplate

The bookplates found inside the front covers of tens of thousands of books in Knox's Seymour Library are an invaluable history of both the book collectors who have given their personal libraries to Knox College and of benefactors who have established endowments either to purchase books on particular subjects or to honor the memory of someone near to them.

The Grace Ward 19th Century Photograph Collection

The Grace Ward 19th Century Photograph collection

Grace Rankin Ward (1844-1922) graduated from Knox College in 1865. She left college to serve overseas as a missionary and teacher to women and children, having taught and worked in zenanas (parts of houses reserved for females only) in India from 1870 to 1898 under the auspices of the Woman’s Union Missionary Society. While overseas, Miss Ward traveled the east, returning with souvenir photographs from India, China, Japan, and Egypt.

Green Oaks Biological Field Station

The land that comprises Green Oaks was donated to Knox College in 1958 through the estate of Alvah S. Green Knox College class of 1890. Prairie restoration began in earnest starting in the spring of 1955 when the first few acres were planted in prairie plants. 1955 also saw the first managed prairie burn, an annual practice that continues to this day. Green Oaks continues to be preserved, protected, and experienced, in the words of Paul Shepard, as "... nature study in a liberal education."

The Harold Way Photograph Collection

The Harold Way Photograph collection-Dandelion Day

Harold E. Way amassed over 3,000 photographs of Knox College and most of those are on display in this digital collection. The volume of materials collected attests not only to Harold Way's interest in the science and practice of photography, but to his love of Knox College. The earliest photographs are from the 1890s, the latest from the 1940s, and document in detail the events, people, environment, and the general life and culture of Knox College in this 50-year time span.

Knox College Experiences the First World War

Knox College Experiences the First World War

Presents photographs, documents, manuscript material, and ephemera from Knox's Special Collections and Archives documenting the experiences of people associated with Knox College who served in the First World War, and explores how the College and its community responded to the war.

The Knox Student

The Knox Student banner

The Knox Student, Knox College's student newspaper, was first published 1878-1882 and then continuously from 1894 to the present. The newspaper is a rich record of daily life at our small Midwestern liberal arts college, documenting events, people and ideas important to Knox College and the surrounding Galesburg community.

Muralism in Revolutionary Nicaragua: The Henry Houser Collection

Muralism in Revolutionary Nicaragua digital collection

Henry P. Houser, Knox College Professor of Sociology, became interested in social change in Central America making several trips to Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was in Nicaragua where he became fascinated by murals and the relationship between art and revolution. This digital collection includes representations of 90 murals as well as digitized correspondence about some of the murals.

Netsuke Ivory Carvings

Netsuke Ivory carvings

Netsuke are small decorative objects worn as part of traditional Japanese men's kimono. They act as toggles attached to a cord on the other end of which was a box in which a gentleman kept his personal necessities such as money, tobacco, writing implements, etc. The pieces were both functional accessories and extraordinary sculptures. The fine little works of art celebrated daily life, religion, gods, heros, and other varied themes. The 48 netsuke in this collection are all carved in ivory.

Outside the Shadow of Rembrandt

The exhibition and catalogue Outside the Shadow of Rembrandt: Selected 17th Century Prints from the Famulener and Wilson Collections grew out of research that was conducted during winter term 2001 by Knox College students in the course Baroque Art and Architecture. The prints were displayed May through August 2001 in Seymour Library, where the collections are housed.

Railroads in the Midwest

Railroads in the Midwest

This collection contains documents, maps, photographs and railroad ephemera. Many of the photographs of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy trains were taken by Allen A. Green, Knox College class of 1903. Documents in this collection covering the early history of railroads in the Midwest, and in Illinois in particular, provide evidence that railroads played the major role in the economic and demographic development pageant of westward expansion.

Seeing America: Vision and Visual Culture in America

Seeing America Exhibit Image

The digital exhibit Seeing America: Vision and Visual Culture in the United States was developed by  students from Professor Gregory Gilbert's course, Introduction to Art Museum Studies. It was curated and designed to accompany the physical exhibit of the same name, which opened at the Galesburg Civic Art Center May 11, 2018. The art exhibited comes from collections owned by Knox College and the Galesburg Civic Art Center.

Struggle and Progress: African Americans in Knox County

Struggle and Progress: African Americans in Knox County

This collection brings together photographs, documents, manuscripts, newspaper clippings and a handful of issues of an African-American newspaper from the Knox College Archives. The collection also includes photographs and documents shared by community members in and around Galesburg. These materials document the struggle for full citizenship and illuminate the character and culture of the African American community in Galesburg and in Knox County. Highlights of the collection include documents and manuscript material from the J. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection and six full issues of The Illinois Star newspaper.

The Way to Knox 

Harland Goudie's sculpture class

The photographs in this collection represent the history of Knox College. In years past, " The Way to Knox" played an important role in the traditions of Knox College when processionals of faculty, administrators and students in full collegiate regalia walked from Old Main to the Central Congregational Church for convocations and commencement ceremonies. Although those public traditions no longer take place in the same manner, the symbolism of the image of "The Way to Knox" still serves as a symbolic understanding of one entering the College, becoming part of the Knox community.

Knox College

Printed on Monday, May 20, 2024