150 Years of Student Life: A Look at the U of I through Historical Postcards

May Day Fete, 1916Farm Mechanics, Beef Cattle, Horticulture, Agronomy, and Dairy BarnsPush Ball, 1912

On March 2, 1868, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign opened its doors to students. You can catch a glimpse of how campus and student life have changed in the 150 years since then through our collection of digitized U of I postcards.

These beautifully preserved postcards provide a glimpse into how the Urbana-Champaign campus grew and modernized over the years. This collection also depicts U of I’s vibrant student life, and shows some of the more unique past times students have engaged in over the years. These include the homecoming hobo band, pushball, and the May Day Fete.

We will be adding more postcards to this collection every week, so make sure to check back soon!

Breaden Belcher

Archives Assistant



“The May Day Fete at the U of I,” Student Life and Culture Archives blog post, May 1, 2015. Accessed 3/11/18. https://archives.library.illinois.edu/slc/the-may-fete-at-the-u-of-i/

“Homecoming History” Explore CU. Accessed 3/11/18 http://www.explorecu.org/items/show/256