Making our way down a small hallway, we entered a new room where I was able to hold the first book of Penn Trustee meeting minutes, as well as the very first edition of the Daily Pennsylvanian from 1885. A glimmer of silver caught my eye as we walked to the back of the room. In the corner, on top of a green file cabinet, there was a giant silver metal box. It was a time capsule created in honor of the university’s bicentennial anniversary in 1940. I climbed up a ladder to read the inscription: “To be opened by the head of the university not before A.D. 2040.”
On the ground nearby, there was an ordinary-looking wicker chair. But like everything else in the archives, this chair was an important piece of history; it was the very first chair to sit in the Provost’s office.
Whether you are writing a research paper or simply want to learn more about Penn’s history, I would strongly recommend a trip to the archives. Take a look at original Muybridge photos, peruse old Penn yearbooks, or get lost for a few hours in Penn’s lengthy history. I learned that Benjamin Franklin originally named Penn “The Publick Academy in the City of Philadelphia.” What will you learn?