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A Finding Aid for the FI Advertiser Records 1915-1917

Collection Summary

Collection Title: FI Advertiser Records

Creator: Ferris Institute. Commercial Department.

Dates: 1915-1917

Abstract: In 1912, Wesley W. Knisley, an instructor in the commercial department, began a monthly alumni journal. The journal was advertised by the advertising class, and sold by the salesmanship class. It included articles about current events at Ferris Institute and alumni news. The last known issue was January 1917.

Language: English

Quantity: 0.2 cubic feet; 1 Hollinger box

Identification: UA 9.3.600

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

In 1912, W.W. Knisley decided to utilize his commercial class students in sales and advertising in order to create an alumni journal. He titled the publication the FI Advertiser. The 24 page publication was filled with news and addresses submitted by alumni. Some articles were submitted by faculty; others were unsigned. Advertisers from local businesses bought space in the periodical and students designed the ads. Campus events such as morning exercises, banquets and meetings were summarized.

Sometime during the 918-1919 school year, Knisley left his position at Ferris. This may explain why the last known issue for the FI Advertiser was created in 1917. It was no longer listed as an activity of the salesmanship and advertising class in the 1918 yearbook.

Scope and Content Note

The FI Advertiser serves as the first known alumni newsletter produced by the institution. It was a publication that served both the alumni population, and as a training exercise for students within the commercial program. The amount of information about Institute activities varies inversely with the number of alumni notes that have been submitted. The May 1915 issue was dedicated to Woodbridge N. Ferris and contains biographical information and photographs. Some issues contain organizational reports including officer lists. Because the first two volumes are missing, there is no precise history of the publication's beginnings. Subscriptions were sold to offset printing costs.

Editor Wesley W. Knisley attended Ferris Institute from 1894-1895. He returned to the Institute in 1908 as an instructor in commercial subjects including accounting, bookkeeping and salesmanship. He left Ferris Institute in 1918 to set himself up in business. He remained a resident of Big Rapids, Michigan for the remainder of his life.


The papers are contained in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The FI Advertiser Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. FI Advertiser Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The issues were donated to the University Archives by Sarah Vanderheide Plank in April 1964 and by Mrs. Henry Damman.

Processing Information

The FI Advertiser Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in June 2005. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of printed publications. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. FI Advertiser 1915-1917.

This series consists of approximately 0.2 cubic feet of paper records. This monthly alumni journal provided basic information about campus activities. Multiple copies are noted.

The issues are arranged in chronological order.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 FI Advertiser. January 1915.
1 1 FI Advertiser. March 1915.
1 1 FI Advertiser. May 1915. 2 copies.
1 1 FI Advertiser. June 1915.
1 1 FI Advertiser. September 1915.
1 1 FI Advertiser. October 1915.
1 1 FI Advertiser. January 1917.