University Archives staff get to go in attics, basements and storage rooms all across campus. This Halloween, we decided to highlight a Creighton building few of you know about, and fewer still have visited. I’m not going to give the building’s name or location – nor will I confirm or deny any guesses about its identity – but I will tell you a few things:
- One of its earlier uses was as a mortuary.
- University Archives previously used part of the building for offsite, overflow storage of collections.
- A previous Archives student worker refused to go there and is convinced the place is haunted.
One of the more interesting rooms in the place is the (former) embalming room. If you click on this image – or the panorama at the top – you will get a better look at the tile on the walls. The room also has a drain in the middle of the floor, which was pretty necessary, if you think about it.
This machine was tucked away, along with a lot of other items, downstairs in a room with no working lights. I did learn that the flash on my camera phone works pretty well, though.
Now for something really scary.
No, not the pharmacy students. Look at the bottom edge of the composite.
Look closer – not at Zita (she’s not scary) – at the water stains across the image, and various brown, red and black spots below the photo.
I don’t know when the stuff started growing on the composite. The composite’s journey to the Archives saw attics and other damp storage places. Our University Archives does not yet have storage areas that meet archival standards, so it will not get better any time soon. We have created a digital surrogate for the composite, so we will be able to reproduce the image in non-mold-bearing format. To keep these little growths from spreading to other parts of our collections (or to our student workers), we will discard the original.
Hope you all have a safe, happy weekend!
We’ve been thinking for a while of using a few of the regular Creighton’s Attic posts to let you see behind the scenes at some places on campus that many people don’t get to see. Many of these are the places not open to the public, but University Archives staff have visited while retrieving Creighton’s historical materials. Let us know if you like the idea and want us to use the “oh, the places you’ll go” concept in the future.