Stewart Library Launches 25th Street History Project
OGDEN, Utah – The Weber State Stewart Library Special Collections department announces its new, year-long project to document the history of Ogden’s 25th Street. To kick off the project, the department will hold a special event April 13 at Ben Lomond Suites (2510 Washington, Blvd., Ogden) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Community members are invited to bring their photographs of Ogden to the hotel, where Special Collections staff members will scan them and provide useful preservation tips.
Sarah Langsdon, associate curator of Special Collections, said she knows there are fantastic images out in the community waiting to be discovered.
“We’re looking specifically for images of 25th Street events and businesses, but really we’d be happy with any images of Ogden,” Langsdon said. “We want to capture the thriving atmosphere of downtown from parades to school dances to popular hang-outs.”
Langsdon said the idea for the 25th Street project is the result of the lack of a historical record in the collections. Most of the photographs of the downtown area are pre-World War II, with some into the early 1950s. But the downtown area, especially 25th Street, has changed significantly since that time.
“The street is home to so many new businesses and restaurants, so much has happened in that area in the last 60 years, we know it is time for us to record that history,” Langsdon said.
During the summer, Special Collections will partner with Union Station, the Historic 25th Street Association, the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce and the Standard-Examiner to begin collecting oral histories with current and previous 25th Street business owners. WSU photography students will also photo-document the downtown area, while history students will research the buildings and personalities that have made 25th Street so unique.
Faculty advisors for the project include Kathy Payne, head of reference and information services in the Stewart Library; Kathryn MacKay, professor of history; and Joshua Winegar, assistant professor of photography.
“This project is a great opportunity for collaboration amongst faculty members who don’t normally get to work together,” Payne said. “It will also be a chance for the students to get out and be involved in their community, and we’re excited about that.”
The project will be a lengthy one and will culminate in an exhibit of Historic 25th Street photographs next spring. In the meantime, the public can help by bringing photographs to the Ben Lomond on April 13, or by contacting Special Collections with information about 25th Street at 801-626-6540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.