U of S : Communications : OCN : Nov 28, 1997
After poring through thousands of photographs over several years, U of S staffers Louise Barak and Betty Jantz have produced a pictorial book that presents the 90-year history of the University in photographs.
Entitled The University of Saskatchewan: a Photo Album, the 135-page production, which will be available through the Bookstore next week, carries about 200 lovingly-selected color and b&w photographs of all aspects of the institution down the years.
The printer for the publication, with a first run of 1,000, is Mr. Print, with Printing Services having coordinated its production.
In their quest for the best, most interesting photographs they could find, the two compilers looked through various personal collections, as well as holdings in the Public Library's Local History Department, the Saskatchewan Archives Board, the Gibson Collection at the Glenbow Institute in Calgary, and - most of all - the University Archives, in the Main Library.
They have nothing but praise for the helpfulness and generosity of those they dealt with - even when the two were, in the early stages, keeping their intentions secret, lest someone steal their idea.
Barak, coordinator of the Visual Resources Centre, Art & Art History, and Jantz, the art supplies buyer in the Bookstore, say their mammoth project grew from a realization they had, when both were working in the Bookstore, that such a book was needed.
"People kept asking if such a [picture] book was available and we kept saying 'Someone should do that,' and then we finally realized 'It should be us!'"
So the two friends, working entirely on their spare time, started looking for photographs, photocopying the more promising ones, and building their album.
"Initially, we struggled with a chronological format," Barak says, "but eventually decided that the focus should be on the most interesting archival photographs available - ones that would entice people to look through the whole book, not just at their particular era."
Jantz says they also considered doing a book of photographs only of the campus as it is today. "But once we started looking at photographs in University Archives, we didn't stop. We got hooked."
The photo anthologists note that some of the photographs in the book will be well known to many in the campus community. "But we found that a number of these - the Laurier stone-setting one, for example - takes on a whole new look when it's reproduced in fuller size than usual."
The choice for the cover photo, from the Glenbow Archive, is a panoramic view of freshmen off to a rugby game in 1928.
Looking back on the project, Jantz and Barak agree that it's "amazing" that they completed the lengthy undertaking.
"With family considerations and other interruptions, months sometimes went by when we let it lag." Barak says.
"But if one of us had to put the project on hold, the other would pick it up or we would run into someone who had a great photograph to show us, and we'd be off again."
The project was not conceived of as a 90th anniversary project. But as that milestone approached, the appropriateness of the venture became more and more evident.
Distribution of Photo Album is exclusively through the Bookstore, which, under the aegis of Consumer Services, has fronted the $20,000 production costs. Selling price is $50 + GST.
Phone orders can be made to 966-4476 or toll free to 1-888-214-8880.
To see the publication on the web, go the homepage Services and Resources button, click on Books, then on Bookstore (or connect directly to http://adminsrv.usask.ca/csd/BookWeb/).