Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have You Picked up Your Membook Yet?

The cover of a memorabilia book belonging to Bruce Walter Sanborn. Dartmouth students used to be devoted scrapbookers. It seems hard to fathom now in the days of Facebook, but during freshman orientation new students would pick up blank scrapbooks with their names embossed in gold, nostalgically titled "Memorabilia from College Days." We have hundreds of these "Membooks" in our collection compiled by students from the mid-1800s up to around 1930, when they fell out of fashion. Membooks are our best window into student life from a century ago.

A black and white group photograph for a basketball team, accompanied by a newspaper clipping.
Pictured here is a recent donation from the family of Bruce Walter Sanborn, class of 1904. It includes a rather frightening set of rules for incoming freshmen, Valentine cards, photographs, news clippings, programs, course work, ticket stubs, and even a piece of the old chapel bell melted in the fire of 1904.

So, get scrapbooking and then have your grandchildren donate it to the Archives!
A handwritten note.A printed list with the title "Freshmen! Read and Obey!"

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