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Rare video footage shows Penn State in the 1950s

by on July 13, 2014 10:00 AM

It's a blast from the past that graphically illustrates what life was like on the Penn State campus more than 60 years ago.

“Introducing Penn State–1950s,” originally a 16-millimeter film to promote Penn State, has recently been digitized by Penn State University Archives, in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, University Libraries, and is now available for viewing.


The film documents the expanding mission of Penn State as a university, when after WWII the college became a university. “Not afraid to take the lead,” Penn State took agriculture into the field and out to the farmers with continuing education; explored the role of the new medium of television in higher education; created the Commonwealth Campus system to accommodate students who chose to obtain their education locally and continued to be a leader in scientific research, teacher training, and engineering expertise, and it pioneered progress in all aspects of higher education, including the classroom, dormitories and the libraries.

A visit back into time with this film gives the viewer a real-sense of what it was like to be at Penn State in the 1950s — a treat for those who remember those years and the curious who wonder what the University was like decades before they were even born.

For more information about the University Archives or for questions about the physical access provided, contact Jackie Esposito at (814) 863-3791 or


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This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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