From the desk of Felicity Knox ’94, library associate to Special Collections and University
Ask an Archivist
Q: What’s one of your favorite pieces in the collection?
A: A few years ago, I asked two of our student staff members to do an inventory of oversized
items. They found a watercolor that looked somewhat, but not exactly like, campus.
After some research, we realized that it was part of a set of plans submitted by Douglas
H. Thomas in his bid to become the architect for the campus when it moved to Towson
from Baltimore. The watercolor dates to 1913, and it shows what was envisioned for
a campus but did not come to fruition. After walking the land, it was determined by
the state that it would be better to move the main classroom building, now known as
Stephens Hall, to the top of the hill and build dormitories in line, rather than as
Watching students connect with historical items donated by our alumni is one of the
most satisfying parts of our work. This year, Rosita Jackson Smith ’75 sent us a couple
items, one of which was this pin she had as a member of the Black Student Association.
We are grateful for her contribution and are looking forward to sharing it with our
students. If you have something that you think might be of interest, please email
us at scua AT_TOWSON.
The Library through the Years
TU’s campus was originally 70 acres that stretched from York Road west toward what
is now Osler Drive. This proved to be enough space for campus growth for almost the
first 50 years that the school was at Towson. But the Baby Boom generation and the
expansion in campus programming meant more space was needed. By 1959, the State Teachers
College at Towson had acquired a few more acres of land, bringing its total campus
footprint to just about 100 acres.
Throughout the 1960s the campus would acquire parcels of land a score of acres at
a time from Sheppard-Pratt Hospital. TU acquired enough acreage to more than triple
our original footprint by 1973. This led to a building boom on campus.
Five new buildings opened on campus in 1977. Today, TU’s campus occupies 329 acres.