Published: May 5, 2014

MSU Archives preserves Spartan history

Are we losing our campus history? Thanks to the MSU Archives, this is not the case. The archives include hundreds of film reels and videotapes documenting Spartan football, basketball and other sports from the 1930s up to the 1990s, when digital cameras took over. However, this film and video collection is vulnerable to degradation of its media, and must be restored and digitized soon, before the content is lost. The MSU Archives plan to put this important digitized film and video online along with complementary materials to showcase the people and events, but help is needed to do this.

The film and video collection includes valuable footage that documents the history of the Spartan Marching Band, WKAR Productions, MSU International Programs, 4H and Cooperative Extension and many other campus events. Together, the materials document the special place of MSU sports, music and youth development to Michigan life and culture. Samples of digitized materials can be found on our Spartan History website.

The Archives hold a number of film reels documenting MSU’s involvement in Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Charles Keith, professor of history, finds this material an invaluable resource.

“The archives of MSU's projects in Vietnam are a valuable piece of the history of the university's engagement with the world,” Keith says. “As controversies over the Vietnam War fade, these archives remain a crucial source for understanding the situation in South Vietnam in the early years of the Cold War, and how the university envisioned and carried out global engagement in this complex political and cultural moment. For me, this collection has been a priceless resource both to pursue my own research in Vietnamese history and to better understand the history of my own institution.”

You can help preserve these important pieces of Spartan history with a gift to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund. A gift of $50, $100 or $500 will greatly assist our digitization efforts. Your help will not only prevent the loss of these deteriorating materials but bring new life to these resources by providing access to researchers and others to enjoy. These materials contain valuable visual glimpses into our past. DVD copies will also be made available for purchase as another way to help fund the program.

Join the team and help save these priceless Spartan memories.

To help preserve this history, click here.