Friday, September 24, 2010

100 Things You Need to Know

A title page for "100 Questions and Answers about Dartmouth College."What could be more appropriate for our 100th blog post than 100 Questions and Answers about Dartmouth College, published in 1937? Here, prospective students learned that Dartmouth teams "compete creditably" with other schools athletically, and that "Fraternity membership is not greatly emphasized at Dartmouth." Only 20% of the students received financial aid, but then tuition was a mere $450.

One of the more fascinating facts is that room rents varied "from $80 to $320 per student per year." The concept of students selecting rooms based on what they could afford, and that the wealthy could live in relative luxury while the poorer students had humbler digs, must have brought social class into the fore, especially in the midst of the Great Depression.

Two pages of printed questions and answers.

On a cheerier note, to the question "Can a student save money by not eating with the Dartmouth Dining Association?" the guide answers, "Occasionally, by means of careful budgeting, an upperclassman may save money by not eating with the College Dining Association, and at the same time not injure his health."

To see if you want to attend Dartmouth, ca 1937, ask for DC Hist LD1428.D3 1937.

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!"