When Minnesota State University – Moorhead staffers publicly opened a time capsule this afternoon, they found material from one of the haziest periods in the university’s history.
In a zinc-and-copper box were a slew of well-preserved photos and documents — playbills and music programs, course descriptions and school publications — depicting life in and around the university in 1915.
One newspaper article told the story of a shooting in Fargo. And another stated that construction of Weld Hall had cost $72,000.
It’s all gold for the university, which lost practically all of its records in a 1930 fire.
“This was really a shot in the arm,” said Doug Hamilton, Moorhead’s director of public relations. “The archivist was so impressed with the condition, and there was some stuff he didn’t have.”
Darel Paulson / MSU Moorhead
Also in the 15-inch-by-12-inch box was a blank Moorhead Normal School diploma, a publication promoting Moorhead and its Normal School, a funeral notice, a flyer with the school’s educational offerings, and an invitation to an alumni event.
Workers had stumbled upon the capsule just this past Friday while renovating Lommen Hall. To their surprise, they came across the corner stone for Weld Hall. (Apparently, the two buildings are joined.) Within the cornerstone was the capsule.
The memorabilia will be copied and displayed, and Hamilton said the university will likely return the copies to the capsule — along with items from 2010. They’re mulling over what to put in, but so far have considered a video and some material reflecting student opinions of the day.
They have a month to decide, because that’s when renovation work will have to continue on the section containing the capsule.