Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / archives / 4.5 Collection Guide

Bowdoin Orient Publications and Records, 1871- .

23.75 linear feet.

Catalog Number:

Series List:


Agency History /
Biographical Note:

The Bowdoin Orient was established as the student newspaper in 1871 and has been published continuously since, though from the initial April 3, 1871 issue until April 7, 1873 it was named the Orient. Originally issued bi-weekly, it has been a weekly since April, 1899. Its higher purpose, other than providing news, is to provide a forum for carefully considered and written commentary of College life at Bowdoin. "This field requires a pure, typical college newspaper; current in news, unbiased in criticism, and accurate in representation of college policy and spirit...Bowdoin is actively progressive to-day...The Orient wishes to bind faculty and sons of Bowdoin together in this progress...all she asks is fair treatment, moral support and to be recognized as a true and representative institution of the college."Bowdoin Orient, April 19, 1899.

The paper features College and local news, alumni news, opinions, sports and activities information, and humorous commentary. It was conceived as and remains a forum for discussions of problems and issues related to College curriculum and standards; it also serves as a mirror for Bowdoin life and life at colleges with connections with or to Bowdoin.

The Bowdoin Orient is contemporaneous with the Bowdoin literary magazine, the Quill, which was first published in 1897. It operates by means of a student board which consists of editor-in-chief, managing editor, and associate editors. In early days, the Quill and Bowdoin Orient sometimes held board meetings together. Initially published in a small book-like format, the Bowdoin Orient changed to a newspaper format in 1921, conforming to the format of other "progressive" colleges of the day. Regulations in the early days of the newspaper required that three freshmen and one sophomore be elected to the board annually, and any board member absent for three months dropped from the listing in the paper; any member absent for a year be dropped from the board. Each board member was required to publish two articles each semester "or be automatically dropped from the board".

Scope and Content:
The Bowdoin Orient has been published in several different formats, in volumes numbered consecutively by academic year, then issues numbered within the yearly volume. For example, the 1990-1991 issues are Volume 120 (or CXX), numbers 1-24. The Bowdoin Orient remains a primary resource for current information and commentary at Bowdoin. Also included are records of the Bowdoin Publishing Company, which handled the business management of the Bowdoin Orient from 1912 until 2002, and Bowdoin Orient correspondence and office files.

General Note: Microfilm copies available in the main library. Also available electronically. See the Bowdoin Orient online.

Cite as: Bowdoin Orient Publications and Records, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.

Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288