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The Shurtleff Pioneer Student Newspaper
College newspapers constitute a rich source of historical primary source information about the academic community, the lives of the students who produce them and the faculty members who teach those students. This digital collection of the Shurtleff campus newspaper, the Pioneer, complements our digital collection of the Shurtleff campus yearbook, the Retrospect. Together, these collections facillitate researcher access to historical information about student life at Shurtleff College, a small Baptist institution in Alton, Illinois
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville traces its lineage to the 1827 founding by pioneer Baptist missionary John Mason Peck of the Rock Springs Seminary in Southwestern Illinois. The seminary located northward to Upper Alton in 1832. Following a generous monetary donation of support by a Boston physician, the seminary was renamed Shurtleff College in 1836. Shurtleff College served as the leading institution of higher education in Southwestern Illinois for more than a century. Its graduates became productive citizens of Alton, Madison County, the St. Louis region, and the wider world.
Financial challenges common to small denominational colleges eventually forced the closure of Shurtleff in the spring of 1957. By chance, its demise coincided with the establishment of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Under a lease purchase agreement, the former Shurtleff College campus became the site of SIUE's "Alton Residence Center" and the location for the university's initial class offerings in July 1957. Many of Shurtleff's students continued their degree programs as SIUE students.
Subsequent to the inauguration of the new main campus at Edwardsville in September 1965, the university opened its School of Dental Medicine on the former Shurtleff campus on September 5, 1972. So the old Shurtleff campus remains an essential part of SIUE today.
The Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Special Collections unit of Lovejoy Library is the repository for the surviving copies of the Pioneer. By digitizing and sharing online the information contained in these newspapers, Lovejoy Library seeks to honor the memory and traditions of Shurtleff College and to celebrate SIUE's ongoing connection with the present-day Alton community.
This digital collection was created by Lovejoy Library in 2013. It reflects the Library's physical holdings of the Pioneer and is comprised of many but not all published issues from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. The Project Director was Stephen Kerber, who also wrote the home page text. The original materials are preserved in the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives and Special Collections of Lovejoy Library.
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