Main navigation | Section navigation | Content

The Lincoln Hall Project « College of Liberal Arts & Sciences « University of Illinois

Lincoln Hall Project

Time Capsule

History We Never Want to See

Sealed inside Lincoln Hall is a box we hope is never opened.

That’s because if it ever is, it would likely mean that Lincoln Hall is no more.

Built into Lincoln Hall’s northeast side is a cornerstone filled with symbolic items from the time when the building opened. Installed by campus officials during construction on August 10, 1910, the cornerstone is similar to the Lincoln Hall time capsule that was filled with items and sealed during Homecoming 2012. Unlike the capsule, the cornerstone cannot be accessed without compromising the building’s stability.

That means we most likely will never see the contents before the building comes down. Thanks to the University Archives, however, we do have a record of what’s inside. See for yourself.

  • University Catalog (General), 1909-1910: College of Literature and Arts catalog, published April 1910. College of Engineering catalog, published January 1910. Various bulletins of recent date, published by engineering college, by Professors Breckenridge, Ricker, Snodgrass, Talbot, etc. Circular of engineering college, containing views and descriptions of equipment.
  • Map of University in connection with the two cities of Champaign and Urbana.
  • Photograph of proposed campus plan.
  • Commencement and Baccalaureate programs, 1910, together with several views of the processions.
  • Program dedication of Physics Building, November 1909.
  • Two Alumni Quarterlies, one of April 1910, containing a cut and description of Lincoln Hall; the other for July 1910 containing President Edmund J. James’s Commencement Address, June 15, 1910.
  • Copy of addresses delivered at installation of William F. M. Goss, dean of the College of Engineering.
  • List of contractors on Lincoln Hall including progress photographs taken July 30, 1910.
  • Illinois magazine, 1910.
  • Various pamphlets—regulations for undergraduates, statutes of University, official list of administrative officers and corps of instruction, 1909-1910. Circular issued by Students’ Union. President James’s Japanese speech. Handbook of Library, etc.
  • Views of all the buildings on campus; different campus views, including YMCA, Col. Fechet and Regiment, different class memorials, Maypole dance views, baseball bleachers, etc.
  • Copies of local and Chicago papers of recent date.


Illinois Magazine 1910

It’s hard to find copies of many items that were placed in the original Lincoln Hall cornerstone, but University Archives has a few. Above is a copy of the Illinois magazine from 1910 that’s secured in the University Archives.