Archives & College History

The Robert E. Smylie Archives

The Robert E. Smylie Archives are located on the second floor of Sterry Hall. Built in 1910, Sterry Hall is one of the oldest buildings on the campus. The renovation of Sterry Hall in 1994 received an Orchid Award from Preservation Idaho, which honors projects that represent commitment to historic preservation.

The mission of the Smylie Archives is to collect, preserve, and organize historical materials of particular interest to the students, faculty, alumni, and friends of The College of Idaho. The Smylie Archives is a research facility dedicated to augmenting the resources and liberal arts curriculum of the College. The Smylie Archives aim to serve the research needs not only of the College and its constituents but also the wider community of southwest Idaho and beyond.


Tuesday and Thursdays - 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

Mondays and Wednesdays - 8 a.m. to noon

Fridays - 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

The Photographs of William Judson Boone (1860-1936)

William Judson Boone was the first president of The College of Idaho. In addition to his work as a college president, he was a Presbyterian minister, botanist, teacher, "custodian" of the college grounds, husband and father. Not lacking for free time, Boone decided to chronicle all of the aforementioned activities in pictures. The photographs of W. J. Boone, taken during the late 1800s until his death in 1936, establish a visual history of Caldwell and its surrounding areas. Dr. Boone, through his photographs, documented the construction of the College of Idaho, Caldwell and Arrowrock Dam. His panoramic pictures, often 6" high and 48" wide, are excellent portrayals of landscapes, people, and places of interest during the early 1900s.

The Collection Of Robert E. Smylie (1914-2004)

The archives is home to the personal papers of Governor Robert E. Smylie. Robert Smylie received his college education at the College of Idaho, graduating with an A.B. in 1938. He received a law degree from George Washington University in 1942. He enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard Reserve in 1942 and married Lucille C. Irvine on December 4, 1943. Returning to Idaho after the war he became Assistant Attorney General in 1947 and in the same year was elected Idaho Attorney General, holding that office until 1954. Robert Smylie was elected Governor in 1954 and served for three consecutive terms.

The Collection of Senator Steve Symms

This collection includes the legislative papers of Senator Symms: U. S. House of Representatives 1972-1980, U. S. Senate 1980-1992.

Also visit Steve Symm's personal website