The Mason Experience: Past and Present

An early screenshot of a story on Colgan Hall at the Science and Technology Campus as part of The Mason Experience: Past and Present.

This post was compiled by the Mason Experience: Past and Present team, Charlotte Corneliusen and Bob Vay.

As part of the University Libraries’ celebration of George Mason University’s 50-Year Anniversary last year, SCRC launched a digital project intended to help users understand a little more about their university by learning about its four campuses, the buildings on those campuses, university traditions, and the people behind them.

The George W. Johnson Learning Center under construction circa 1994. Broadside student newspaper photographs, Box 22, Page 86.

Since the fall of 2022 members of the SCRC staff have been working on an exciting project that connects members of today’s Mason Community with those of the past. Using a new digital humanities platform developed at Cleveland State University called Curatescape, we are revealing the history behind buildings and landmarks and linking them to the greater Mason story.

The Mason Experience: Past and Present will allow users to visit each of Mason’s four campuses virtually, learn its history through photographs, documents, and media, and meet some of the individuals behind their early years. The project uses new and original research and recently digitized collections in SCRC. The project makes use of materials in University Archives, particularly several photograph collections, including the Broadside photograph collection (#R0135), George Mason University photograph collection (#R0120), and the Doug Nelms photograph collection (#R0152).

George Mason College students wait in line to purchase lunch from food vending machines in the Ordinary, Mason’s first ever dining Hall in South (today’s Krug) Hall in 1964. Doug Nelms photograph collection, #R0152, Box 1, Page 11.


An early screen shot of The Mason Experience: Past and Present as seen from a mobile phone.

The Mason Experience will be accessible through a mobile app,
which will allow a user to open the app and display related
content based on their current location. This related content
will feature photographs of the buildings across the years,
documents which help detail the history of buildings, as well
as sound and video. SCRC staff members Charlotte Corneliusen
and Bob Vay are researching and assembling a collection of
essays which explain the histories behind each of Mason’s
campuses, many of their buildings and landmarks, and people
who were associated with them.

The Mason Experience: Past and Present will be completed
and available to users early in the summer of 2023. We
will keep you posted on these details.

The Clock on Wilkins Plaza. Photograph by SCRC staff.

Follow SCRC on Social Media and look out for future posts on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. To search the collections held at Special Collections Research Center, go to our website and browse the finding aids by subject or title. You may also e-mail us at or call 703-993-2220 if you would like to schedule an appointment, request materials, or if you have questions.