Help Needed for Timothy Dwight Archive Project

Help Needed for Timothy Dwight Archive Project

August 27, 2017 in Notes

The AYA forwarded the following email about something called the TD Archive Project:

To: Yale College Class Officers

From Steve Updegrove ‘74TD & Mary Lui, Head of Timothy Dwight College

Re: TD Archive Project


I am writing to tell you about an exciting project involving Timothy Dwight College. This is not a request for funds. Rather, the TD Archive Project is seeking to gather material related to the history of the college and make it available to students, alumni and any others who would enjoy learning more about TD and the evolution of residential college life at Yale. I thought that one way to reach out to graduates of TD would be through Class Officers like yourself.


I have spoken with Mary Lui, the current Head of TD, and staff at Yale Manuscripts & Archives to get their blessings, and have also presented the idea to TD’s Mott Woolley Council and alumni from the classes of 1974 and 1984 to ascertain their interest. I am pleased to say that everyone offered their enthusiastic support for this effort and so I am now planning to reach out to the Greater TD Family to ask for assistance in bringing this to fruition.


The project has three components:


1)  Collect materials such as photographs, posters, or other ephemera that could be digitalized. These items would become part of the Timothy Dwight College collection at University Archives in Sterling Memorial Library, and may be added to the Timothy Dwight web site, or on display in the College. For example I have some photographs of one of the Tyng Cup competitions as well as a copy of the manifesto announcing the birth of the “People’s Buttery” in 1973.


2)  Collect items to display in designated areas of the College like the Library and the Buttery. For example, a Timothy Dwight-Silliman football jersey and a Timothy Dwight Rowing Club shirt have been promised. 


3)  Gather reminiscences of TD College life. Our hope here is that I might not only create opportunities for alumni to share memories of their years at TD in the form of oral history interviews when they visit the campus, but also to devise a mechanism for them to offer these via computer from anywhere they live.


The AYA will be assisting me in contacting all TD alumni via broadcast email. I will be asking that they take a few moments to think back about their undergraduate days and about what they might be willing to contribute to the project – whether it be memories of experiences here or TD-related items they might still have. While I ask that they not actually send anything at this point, I would welcome an email with a description or a photographic attachment of the materials they have so I can begin to gain an appreciation for the scope of materials I will be working with. I would also appreciate any ideas they might have about the use of the materials I am collecting and, of course, would be more than grateful for any offers of technical support or other help that they would be in a position to offer.


In addition to this effort, I would appreciate your help in publicizing the project by mentioning it in your class notes for the Yale Alumni Magazine, or by posting it on your Facebook page or on your class website.


These are ambitious plans, but from the response that I have received thus far I am hopeful that I will find that many more will embrace this chance to celebrate their years at Timothy Dwight and share that experience with those of other generations past and future.


For more information, please contact me at or 203-533-5301. I look forward to hearing from you!

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