Archives News

Ban on Dancing

DancingPoll12_7_1933Given its Methodist heritage, dancing and card playing were forbidden on the Willamette campus until the 1930s. While the dancing ban was a fact of  Willamette life in its early years, through the 1910s and 1920s students were beginning to find issue with the ban. Student body numbers were increasing, and many students had grown up dancing at local social events. By 1933, the Associated Students of Willamette University conducted a poll inquiring about students’ desire to partake in social dancing functions. With a vote of 369 to 67, the vast majority of students just wanted to dance! The response from the Board of Trustees was to restate that “Sunday afternoon teas, which have been becoming increasingly popular on campus, meet administration requirements only as long as no dancing or card-playing is permitted.”

Womendancingwithdummies

Photographs and newspapers help us imagine students’ reactions to their social regulation. While we do not know the true story behind these women dancing, perhaps their dance with dummies is in protest to the ban on social dancing.

You can view this photo, and many like it, in the Paulus Glass Plate Negatives collection. You can find reactions to the ban on dancing in the Collegian, which is currently available in the Archives and soon to be available from anywhere on the Archives website.

Digitizing the Collegian and Wallulah

Just in time for students’ return in the fall, Willamette history will be at our fingertips! The digitization of the Collegian newspaper, dating from 1875, and the Wallulah yearbook, dating from 1903, will be complete late this summer. Digitization of the Collegian was outsourced to iArchives and scanning began in November 2013. Archives Administrative Assistant, Christopher McFetridge, unbound each page, checked for missing material, and with assistance from Archives Intern, Nina Kulander, monitored the quality of scans produced by iArchives. In monitoring these scans, wonderful images, such as this ‘flat screen’ of 1974, have been discovered.

Flat Screen 1974

Both the Collegian and the Wallulah will be available this fall via the Archives’ website, will be keyword searchable, and will provide a level of access to Willamette and university history never before possible.

The Bill Rhoades Northwest Art Archive is open for research

RhoadesThe Bill Rhoades Northwest Art Archive is a compilation of interviews, correspondence, and printed materials from Northwest Artists. Bill Rhoades has been an advocate for Northwest Art since before 1997, when he began donating collected artworks to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. In addition to collecting and donating artwork, Rhoades has collected printed materials, interviews, artifacts, and correspondence that highlight Northwest artists and their work.

In the collection, researchers will find printed materials about exhibitions and gallery shows featuring Northwest Artists such as Henk Pander, Carl Hall, and Eunice Parsons. Photographs of Rhoades with many of the Northwest artists, as well as artifacts such as Manuel Izquierdo’s sunglasses, Louis Bunce’s paintbrushes, and napkin drawings from multiple artists are also included in this collection. Come examine the collection!