Archives and Special Collections

The Department of Archives and Special Collections is the repository for the University Archives, which are the institutional records of Bowie State University. It is also the home of Special Collections, which includes other materials relevant to the education and history of African Americans in Maryland and Prince George's County, books on Maryland history, rare books, and photographs documenting Bowie State University's history.

For just a few of our many photographs (most of which are not digitized), see HBCU Library Alliance Digital Collections.

For more detailed descriptions of our collections, please see our LibGuides.

 The Department of Archives and Special Collections is open by appointment only. If you have questions, please call the Archivist, Katherine Hayes, at (301) 860-3851 for further information, or email

New!! Now online, the College Eye, student newspaper, 1935-1967

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Bowie State University’s founding in 1865, we have scanned all the currently held editions of the Normal Eye and College Eye, the earliest student newspaper held in the Bowie State University Archives. It started out as the Normal Eye, since at that time Bowie was known as Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie. The name changed to College Eye in the September 1938 issue. A “normal school” was where high school graduates were trained to become teachers, and where they learned the teaching standards, or norms, of their time. In 1938, the name of the school changed to Maryland Teachers College at Bowie, and this was reflected in the changed name of the newspaper. At this time the school principal, Leonidas S. James, became President of the college.

The means of producing this newspaper changed over time. The printed versions are the easiest to read, and search. The typed editions were reproduced by the use of a mimeograph machine. You typed the copy (and drew the pictures) onto a master sheet, paper coated with wax backed by stiff cardboard. This created a stencil, and the ink was forced through holes in the stencil onto paper, allowing multiple copies to be made from one master. All editions from 1942 on were offset printed, as were the March and May/June 1935 editions.

The original scanned images have been combined into PDF files. We've tried to make each one searchable by running OCR (optical character recognition) software on each PDF file. However, due to the inconsistent quality of the typed editions, those may present difficulties in searching.

We know this isn’t the complete run of the College Eye. We are grateful for any loans or gifts of missing issues. If you have questions or problems with any of these files, please contact the Archives.

January 1935 February-March 1939 March-April 1943 June 1950
March Edition 1935 June 1939 September-October 1943 December 1950
Commencement Edition [May-June] 1935 October 1939 November-December 1943 December 1951
December 1936 December 1939 February-March 1944 April 1952
March 1937 February-March 1940 May-June 1944 June 1953
June 1937 October 1940 November 1944 June 1955
October 1937 November 1940 March 1945  December 1959
December 1937 December 1940 June 1945 January 1961
February 1938 April-May 1941 May 1946 March 1967
September-October 1938 June 1942 June 1948 October 1967
November-December 1938 October-November 1942 June 1949