Campus Then … and Now Re-creating scenes captured by Kent’s lens

The University of Iowa is celebrating Homecoming in October, a tradition that brings alumni back to campus to reconnect with former classmates — or to just tool around town and see what has changed since graduation. For some, things pretty much look the same; but for others, the UI campus, and downtown especially, may not look as familiar.

Thanks to the work of photographer Frederick W. Kent (1894–1984), we have a wealth of campus images from throughout the 20th century. As a photography instructor, curator of photographic apparatus, and founder of University Photo Service, Kent shot tens of thousands of photos of everyday life in the university community.

This fall, we sent Spectator photographer Tom Jorgensen out to revisit some of Kent’s perspectives. Click on the images below to see a slide show of photos of campus then … and now.

If you have a campus photo that you’d like to share, we’d love to see it. You can email it to If we get a nice collection of submissions, we may publish them in our “Letters” section.

photos by Frederick W. Kent and Tom Jorgensen

The Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs, housed in Special Collections and University Archives at UI Libraries, contains about 50,000 prints and negatives. To see more images from the collection, visit the Iowa Digital Library at

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© The University of Iowa 2009