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Using New Technology to Look Into the Past

University Library exhibit provides a virtual walk through 1887 Evanston

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October 10, 2013 | by Wendy Leopold
This is what Chicago Avenue looked like in 1877, facing south from where the Weber Arch stands today. Photo courtesy of University Archives

EVANSTON, Ill. --- An exhibit of 40 photographs displayed on five plasma screens in the corridor between Northwestern University’s main library and Deering Library will take viewers back to Evanston and the Northwestern campus as it looked 100-plus years ago. 

Taken by photographer Alexander Hesler, the photos first appeared in an 1887 book that Hesler published in homage of Evanston, the city in which he lived and worked. Library staffers have digitized about 100 images from that book.

Imagine away the gingerbread Victorian bric-a-brac that was the style of the era and you can recognize the few buildings that still exist today. A digitized photograph of the L.D. Norton House -- now Northwestern’s alumni center at the northwest corner of Sheridan and Clark -- boasts lacy porches and a gracious lawn.

To learn more about the digitized exhibition curated by Janet Olson, assistant university archivist, visit online.

Topics: Campus Life