Tag Archives: archives

ECC Archives uploads video/audio to the Carli Digital Collections!

Good news:

ECC Archives started uploading videos and audios to the Carli Digital Collections:

College history: the more things change, the more they stay the same….25 Years of Elgin Community College’s History and Development (Audio)

From 1974, this audio highlights the history of the college, from its conception in 1949 to ECC’s establishment as the 9th independent Junior College in 1966. Although much has changed (no more classrooms in churches or the YWCA), much of the college’s original focus remains the same: the ideals of continuing education, refreshing skills, degree attainment, and self-enrichment still resonate today with the college’s offerings through classes, sports, and the arts.

Although ECC covers roughly 300+ square miles as it did in 1974, we now service nearly twice as many students! Listen to the audio for more details of this moment in time!

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of OLAS and Hispanic Heritage Month! Jesus Chuy Garcia Kicks off Elgin Community College Latino Heritage Month in 2015 (Video)

Guest speaker Jesus Chuy Garcia gives a 30 minute keynote on the importance of the Hispanic Community to the fabric of American life. Garcia focuses on communities in all walks of life coming together to end discrimination, making note particularly of the case Mendez v. Westminster (1947), a discrimination case brought by a Latino that set the precedent for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which enabled the desegregation of schools in the U.S.

Garcia also cites the importance of support services (such as OLAS) and the necessity of political engagement, sharing examples of his and the Latino community’s struggles and victories.

To hear more of his inspiring speech, watch the video!

If you have any questions, please contact Armando Trejo at 847-214-7141.

ECC Archives featured as part of Celebrating Illinois Writers

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 atrejo@elgin.edu or call the Archives at 847-214-7141.

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

New interviews posted by the ECC Archives!

Now that the semester is over, look at the interviews below to see how former ECC employees who also attended ECC describe their experiences. 

Sharon Fisher-Larson: Professor Emeritus. Worked at ECC from 1973 – 2000.

Diane Kurruish: Senior Executive Assistant to the President of the College from 2008 – present.

Tammy Ray: Instructional Technology and Distance Learning Coordinator from 2001 – present. 

Marge Rowe: Retiree – support staff. 

Barbara Wascher: Professor Emeritus. Worked at ECC from 1978 – 2002.

Billie Barnett: Retiree – Support Staff.

Need help using OHMS? Watch this video!

Questions? Contact Armando Trejo at atrejo@elgin.edu or

Elgin College History collection highlighted for Black History Month

Courtesy of Illinois Digital Heritage Hub

The Illinois Digital Heritage Hub has highlighted two local collections as part of their celebration for Black History Month: the McLean County Historical Society’s Bloomington-Normal Black History Project and Elgin Community College’s Elgin Community College History collection.

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.

–Illinois Digital Heritage Hub, https://ildplacollections.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/celebrating-black-history/

You can see the entire post highlighting these collections here.

Thank you to Armando Trejo for his diligent work on digitizing and preserving the ECC story for the future.

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Oral History brings the ECC past alive!

Did you know the library has links to oral interviews with prominent Elgin Community College professors, staff, and board members?

Here are our latest interviews:

For a list of our past oral interviews, visit our Archives page. These new interviews will be uploaded soon!

–Thank you to Armando Trejo, Archivist and Librarian, for his dedication and hard work in maintaining our past and present!

From the ECC Archives: Erica Varrak, refugee and ECC employee

Erika V_7

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.

Learn more from our digital collection:


Librarian Armando Trejo awarded $10,000 grant

jesse white and armando trejo

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!

ECC Archives: understand our college by visiting our past

Renner Learning Resource Center in the mid-1970s

Renner Learning Resource Center in the mid-1970s

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.