Tag Archives: archives

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.