Library has a new database

Justin Schmithorst, Managing Editor

A database is available online to view issues of The Advocate from 1930-2011, yearbooks from the early 1960s to 1999, and the book “The Evolution of College: A History of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (1927-1933).”  

The database, according to Owen Library Director Peter Egler, was compiled from January 2018 to February 2019, and was made available online during that month. 

“The library serves as an archive for the University,” Egler said.

“The pages that we scanned are all archived upstairs (in the Owen Library).” 

Egler said that he did not have a major role in the development in the database because he was hired as the library’s new director once all of the documents were at Pitt-Oakland to be scanned.

“Getting the documents to (Pitt-) Oakland was the majority of the work that my predecessor, Eve Wider, had to do,” Egler said. “She would get in her car and drive to (Pitt-) Oakland with the documents over and over.” 

Egler said that compiling the documents started in July 2017, with the scanning beginning January 2018. From there, the majority of the work for those at Pitt-Oakland was to make it have a search box to use keywords to search the archive.

Once the scanning was complete, Egler said that Wider had to drive back to Pittsburgh to pick up the scanned documents to put them back into Owen Library. 

According to Egler, he is excited to see this database be uploaded online for multiple reasons. 

“I’m happy to see it online because now it’s widely available. Before, if you wanted to see it, you’d have to visit the Owen Library in order to see any of the historical archives at Pitt-Johnstown,” he said. 

The archives can be viewed by visiting the URL “”