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From the Archives: Paperwork

March 11th, 2018

In this image, many people have gathered to complete an important task that is a regular part of every student’s college experience.  What are they doing?  How was it organized?  Where is this? Share your ideas in the comments and check back on Thursday for the full story!


For a large portion of Purdue’s history, course registration took place not on a computer or in a registrar’s office but in a large room alongside hundreds of potential classmates.  Beginning in 1926, registration took place in the Armory, where each of Purdue’s thousands of students arrived to sign up for classes at an assigned time during a three-day registration period.  Each department had its own table, identified by signs on tall stands, where students could ask questions and enroll in their preferred class sections.  After signing up for all their classes, students proceeded to a bursar’s table to pay their fees and finally to the registrar for schedule approval, all in one place.  The process changed slightly from year to year.  This large-scale registration event disappeared in the 1960s with the introduction of computer-based enrollment through the Registrar’s Office.

This image shows registration in the Armory, circa 1930s, with a large schedule board listing class sections along the back wall.  Below is a closer view of the schedule board being examined by President Frederick Hovde.

Join us again on March 26 for the next image From the Archives!

15 Responses to “From the Archives: Paperwork”

  1. Sharon Morphew

    This is in the Armory. The students are registering for their classes.

  2. Sarah

    Career Fair in the Armory?

  3. Courtenay Murakowski

    They are in the Armory, and it looks like they are registering for classes. It looks like they check in at the table nearest the camera, and then perhaps start at our left (maybe for the Freshman class)

  4. Holly

    It looks like they might be registering for courses, organized by school. This is at the Armory.

  5. Josh

    Registration would be a good guess.

  6. K. Kazmierczak

    Registration in the Armory

  7. Debbie Luedtke

    Scheduling classes

  8. Ron

    Enrolling in classes at the Armory. Looks like for the spring semester seeing all the long coats.

  9. David Musi

    Scheduling classes in the Armory.

  10. Susan Zeyher

    I’ll bet the students are signing up for classes. If you wanted a popular class or a particular professor you had to get there early!

  11. Patti

    Not many women in that photo. Any comments on the year?

  12. Shelley Hawk

    Looks like an original version of modern-day STAR.

  13. Tim Delworth

    Registering for classes at the Armory.

  14. Marty

    Class registration at the Armory.

  15. Curtis Dewey

    I’m pretty sure this is the Armory and I’d guess it’s registration in the 1920’s.

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