Materials from the ECC Archives on writer Gwendolyn Brooks were featured as part of the Illinois Digital Heritage Hub, alongside Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg. Brooks (1917-2000) was a long-time Chicago resident and the first African American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize. Poet Laureate of Illinois, she traveled and spoke at local campuses, including Elgin Community College in 1995. Pictured below is Brooks participating in a High School/College English Articulation Activity at ECC.
Many thanks to Armando Trejo for keeping our ECC Archives and digital presence available to the greater community. You can view the Illinois Digital Archives site for ECC content here. To see more about what our Archives offers, see the Archives webpage. If you have any questions about the Archives, please contact Armando at email@example.com or call the Archives at 847-214-7141.
–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian
From the post: The Elgin Community College History collection includes images from Elgin-area Black History Month celebrations often involving prominent figures in African American history and culture. In particular, Tuskegee Airman Andrew Lane met with Larkin High School students for Black History Month in 1994.
Did you know that back in the day, ECC had only ONE staff member? That person was Erica Varrak. She handled secretary and then registrar duties on her own from 1952-1965, and then remained as registrar until her retirement in March 1978.
Varrak was raised in Estonia. Due to World War II, she and her son spent 5 years in a refugee camp in Germany. She immigrated to the U.S. as a displaced person, and became a U.S. citizen in 1955.
Of her immigration, Varrak stated:
What I had read and heard about his country was the answer to my prayers, especially for my son because I wanted him to live in a free country and get a good education.
When she came to work at ECC, she was the secretary to Dean Gilbert Renner.
Armando Trejo (right) with Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has awarded Armando Trejo, Archivist/Interlibrary Loan Librarian and the Elgin Community College Renner Academic Library a FY2018 grant for $10,356.00 in support of The Gil Renner Collection: Insight into the Genesis of the Illinois Community College System.
Thank you to Armando for his great commitment to ECC and to library service and access!
Where can you find aerial photos of campus, past faculty pictures, retro fashions, and a picture of the ECC Dating Game, circa 1976? The ECC College Archives, of course! Elgin Community College has a large archive collection, part of which is available to you online. Items are added continually, and the Archives are accessed thousands of times each year.
Use the BROWSE feature to go through the entire online collection, or search by title, subject or a key word. You can even sign up for an RSS feed so you are alerted when new photos are added! For more information, see the Archives website. Please consult with the Archival Librarian, Armando Trejo (814-214-7141) to make arrangements for the materials to be retrieved from storage. Archive materials may only be used in the library.