Student Life at JHU

Since its founding in 1876, Johns Hopkins University has had a dynamic, community-spirited, and eclectic student culture, in the laboratory, classroom, and beyond. We know a great deal about the scientific and scholastic achievements of Hopkins community members, but not nearly enough about the way students in the past experienced campus life at JHU.

This year, the Sheridan Libraries Special Collections Department collaborated with Hopkins Retrospective to improve the Library’s holdings as they pertain to the history of student life. ”Archiving Student Life” explores the history of Johns Hopkins through the lens of the undergraduate student experience, tracing the development of an institution through a population that spends only four years on campus but has an extraordinary influence on the university.

As part of the Hopkins Retrospective, five undergraduate students delved into the Ferdinand Hamburger Archives to investigate the student experience at Hopkins. They added to the archives’ collection of student-generated documents, worked with student groups to encourage current undergraduates to donate their material to the archives, and made an in-depth study of something they believe makes the Hopkins student experience unique.

Their projects reflect the growing size and diversity of the Johns Hopkins University undergraduate student body since 1876. Students have developed a rich campus community through organizations like Greek Life (Chinenye Ikoro) and minority and international student groups (Yuncong Lai), and they have extended their reach beyond Hopkins through Spring Fair (Stephen Langer), community service (Rohini Chakravarthy), and political activism (Daniel Shats).

If you are a JHU student, alumnus or alumna, faculty or staff member who has original historical materials related to the Hopkins student experience, Special Collections is interested in working with you to ensure they become part of the historical record. Please contact University Archivist  Jordon Steele or Records Management Archivist  Christie Peterson to discuss transferring your materials to the JHU archives.


Credits

Essays: These essays were written by Johns Hopkins students: Rohini Chakravarthy ’14, Chinenye Ikoro ’15, Yuncong (Giselle) Lai ’16, Stephen Langer ’16, Daniel Shats ’16. The student essays were supervised by Chella Vaidyanathan, Curator of 19th-21st Century Rare Books and Manuscripts & Liaison Librarian for History, Africana Studies, and Latin American Studies.

Graduate Coordinator: Benjamin Gillespie, Ph.D. Student, Humanities Center

Project Management and Website: Chella Vaidyanathan, Curator of 19th-21st Century Rare Books and Manuscripts & Liaison Librarian for History, Africana Studies, and Latin American Studies.

Special thanks to James Stimpert, Senior Reference Archivist, who provided the students with an excellent orientation to JHU’s institutional history and generously helped them with archival materials.

For more information about Hopkins Retrospective, please visit www.jhu.edu/retrospective or contact hopkinsretro@jhu.edu