PRESERVING CSU:
A VAULT IN THE OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR CONTAINS 151 YEARS OF HISTORY

By Allison Sylte and Alexandra MacDonald

Faded page by faded page, the Colorado State University Office of the Registrar is working to ensure its records outlive the handwritten sheets of paper that hold the student experiences of years past.

For recent Rams, course records are electronic and can be easily accessed. But for those who attended before 1970, their printed information was stored alphabetically in file cabinets in the basement of Centennial Hall.

For multiple years, the Office of the Registrar has been working to digitize and assign student IDs to all of these records, a process that’s required a scanner and help from an employee off-campus.

This means that the Office of the Registrar has gotten the chance to revisit 151 years of CSU course history, from back in the late 1800s when records were handwritten on card-sized sheets of paper to the 1970s, when they were preserved with microfiche.

Some interesting items on the old cards? Students could receive “E” grades, which meant “passed without points.” And, before +/- grading existed, “aa” stood for unusually excellent.

Explore the process and see some of the old cards (one belonged to someone who was born in 1895!) in the interactive below.

Preserving CSU