Exhibit Displays Sealed Sheean Time Capsule

Oct. 10, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A piece of Illinois Wesleyan University history will be on display at The Ames Library in the form of a time capsule rescued from the recently demolished Sheean Library.

The sealed copper box will be part of an exhibit running from Aug. 5 until Sept. 6 that will highlight time capsules known to exist on campus and their contents. “These time capsules give us an idea of what people in the past felt was important to communicate to the future,” said Archivist Meg Miner, who located documents about the Sheean time capsule in the months before the building was to be destroyed.

The library faculty is keeping mum on what is contained in the capsule, but are inviting the public to come to the exhibit and take a guess. At Homecoming festivities this year, a University team plans to open the Sheean time capsule, revealing the contents sealed in the walls of Sheean so many years ago. The opening will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the Museum Tent on the Robert S. Eckley Quadrangle.

The time capsule was originally laid in the Sheean cornerstone in 1967. The library was completed in 1968 with an original collection of around 100,000 items. The building closed in 2002 when The Ames Library opened, and remained vacant until demolition in July.  The Sheean cornerstone will also be on display at the exhibit in The Ames Library. The exhibit will also include information about other time capsules on campus. During their research on Sheean, Miner and her student workers uncovered the existence of four capsules still on campus, which reside in Dolan Hall, Memorial Center, Mark Evans Observatory and Shaw Hall. Another box, laid in 1870, was found in the foundation of Duration Hall when it was torn down in 1965.

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Archives at (309) 556-1538.

Contact: Sherry Wallace, (309) 556-3181, swallace@iwu.edu