Highlighted Archival Photographs

John Davis Barnett in his library John Davis Barnett in his library. A longtime railwayman and bibliophile, Barnett (1846-1926) amassed a large personal library in his home in Stratford, Ontario.  In 1918 he donated 40,000 volumes to Western.  This gift became the nucleus around which the rest of the University's rich library collection was subsequently built.  In 1919, in recognition of this contribution, the University conferred on him an honorary degree.

The Way We Were: 1936


By 1932, Convocation Hall (now named Conron Hall) could no longer accommodate Western's Convocation so the ceremony, such as this one in 1936, was moved to the J. W. Little Memorial Stadium. Over the next 30 years, the ceremony was only rained upon seven times.

Contributed by Alan Noon, The London Free Press, Western Archives

The Way We Were: 1967

Housing Protest

Prior to 1967, two male residences, Medway Hall and Sydenham Hall, and the female Delaware Hall, provided campus accommodations. Additional rooms were available in the affiliated colleges, but it was not enough and student accommodation became a serious issue. As the number of students arriving from distant locations increased, a student housing crisis developed. In 196,8 the Glenmore Apartments were the first of several residential complexes to provide space for both men and women as well as married students with children.

Contributed by Alan Noon, The London Free Press Collection, Western Archives

The Way We Were: 1915

Rugby Team

Western's colours were originally purple and black, reflecting the church origin of the university. This combination became unpopular, especially when many people mistakenly thought the rugby team was part of a funeral when it arrived for one out of town match. On November 26, 1915, the Senate ruled purple and white would be the official colours and at the same time approved new hoods and gowns for Convocation. This 1915 rugby team photo also provides a rare glimpse of Western's seldom photographed second president, Rev. Dr. Ernest Braithwaite, who held office from 1914-19. (second row, second from right)

Contributed by Alan Noon, The London Free Press Collection, Western Archives

The Way We Were: 1925


UC Hill has long been the site of winter tobogganing, but during the early years on campus another hill challenged students with its sharp drops and dangerous curves. Dubbed "the Devil's Dip", it was the scene of many accidents and injuries. In 1964, construction of the new medical school finally obliterated what was considered the most dangerous spot on campus.

Contributed by Alan Noon, The London Free Press Collection, Western Archives