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1904 World's Fair and Olympics

Primary and secondary sources for researching the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (World's Fair) and 1904 Olympics.

WUSTL at the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics

The first buildings on the Danforth Campus were used for the 1904 World’s Fair (officially titled the "Louisiana Purchase Exposition").

Alphabetical list of campus buildings used during the fair, with their first academic use in parentheses:

  • Busch Hall:  Department of Works for the Fair and was used for architects and engineers (Chemistry)
  • University Hall [renamed Brookings Hall 1928]: Administrative Building for the Fair and held staff offices (Chancellor's office and WashU administration)
  • Cupples I: Anthropology Building for the Fair and held ethnological exhibits (Engineering and Architecture)
  • Cupples II:  Jefferson Guard Building for the Fair and held the Jefferson Guards, the Fair’s private police force  (Mechanical and Electrical Engineering)
  • Liggett Dormitory [renamed Prince Hall]: dormitory used for Fair guests
  • Ridgley Library [now Holmes Lounge]: Hall of International Congresses during the Fair; the library's reading room  was the focal point for social events, such as a gala ball given by West Point cadets; its second floor was a glittering display of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee gifts
  • Tower Hall [renamed Lee Hall, and Umrath Hall]:  used as dormitory for out-of-town students and teachers (dormitory)
  • Eads Hall:  Board of Lady Managers’ Building - headquarters for women’s organizations(Physics)

The 1904 Olympics, the first held in North America, were conducted at the same time as the fair.

Francis Gymnasium and  Francis Field were used for various events at the 1904 Olympics (Francis Field remains the University's track, the Gymnasium was replaced with a modern Athletic Complex)

Relevant archive collections at WashU Special Collections include:

Digital Photographs of the Fair & Olympics

Online Full Text Sources

Most titles are available through Google Books; some require a WUSTL key log-on.

Best Bets

Anthropology / Indigenous Peoples

Published photographs of the Fair

World's Fair Bulletin (Official newspaper of the fair)

Overall / General About the Fair

Books about WUSTL & the Fair

Available at WashU Special Collections:
Can be borrowed from WashU Library

Books about the 1904 Olympics

Collections at other archives, libraries, and museums

Please contact each library directly for more information

St. Louis Public Library - Special Collections and Archives


Richardson Library and Archives - St. Louis Art Museum


Library and Research Center - Missouri Historical Society

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