10/31/2018 Staff

Into the Archives

This magazine article is part of Fall 2018 / Issue 92
  • Awarded on the basis of a vote by the faculty, the Williamson Medal is the highest student award presented at Commencement. It is given to the member of the graduating class who has, during his or her senior year, reached the highest standing in character, leadership and scholarship. Bruce Peale Ryder earned this Williamson Medal in 1946 and later donated it to the College. Awarded on the basis of a vote by the faculty, the Williamson Medal is the highest student award presented at Commencement. It is given to the member of the graduating class who has, during his or her senior year, reached the highest standing in character, leadership and scholarship. Bruce Peale Ryder earned this Williamson Medal in 1946 and later donated it to the College. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • Many alumni still have these caps, referred to as "dinks," in their closets and boxes at home. The dinks were given to freshmen in the early and mid-20th century to wear during their first year on campus. More than a dozen ended up in the College's archives, while some are still in action-numerous alumni wear them each year to class reunions at Alumni Weekend. This wool dink belonged to a member of the Class of 1934. Many alumni still have these caps, referred to as "dinks," in their closets and boxes at home. The dinks were given to freshmen in the early and mid-20th century to wear during their first year on campus. More than a dozen ended up in the College's archives, while some are still in action-numerous alumni wear them each year to class reunions at Alumni Weekend. This wool dink belonged to a member of the Class of 1934. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • In 1969, 182 years after the founding of the College, Franklin & Marshall accepted its first class of women. That fall, approximately 125 women, including 82 matriculating "freshwomen," joined the 1,850 enrolled male students. This poster was among a suite of material-including ads in TIME Magazine-encouraging women to apply for admission. In 1969, 182 years after the founding of the College, Franklin & Marshall accepted its first class of women. That fall, approximately 125 women, including 82 matriculating "freshwomen," joined the 1,850 enrolled male students. This poster was among a suite of material-including ads in TIME Magazine-encouraging women to apply for admission. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • One of the College's most active affinity groups, the African American Alumni Council comes together for a Commencement breakfast each year as generations of alumni welcome African-American graduates into the ranks of alumni. The graduates receive a symbolic Kente cloth-a scarf-like stole with a colorful African-inspired print-to wear during the Commencement ceremony, marking their passage into alumni status. One of the College's most active affinity groups, the African American Alumni Council comes together for a Commencement breakfast each year as generations of alumni welcome African-American graduates into the ranks of alumni. The graduates receive a symbolic Kente cloth-a scarf-like stole with a colorful African-inspired print-to wear during the Commencement ceremony, marking their passage into alumni status. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • The have accumulated some dust over the years, but these laboratory items are reminders of academic life in the former Fackenthal Laboratories. The building, constructed in 1909, was originally home to the departments of chemistry and biology. It was renovated in 2009 to become the Harris Center for Business, Government and Public Policy. The have accumulated some dust over the years, but these laboratory items are reminders of academic life in the former Fackenthal Laboratories. The building, constructed in 1909, was originally home to the departments of chemistry and biology. It was renovated in 2009 to become the Harris Center for Business, Government and Public Policy. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • Though the print versions are a thing of the past-The College Reporter became an online publication several years ago-student newspapers have a rich history at F&M. The Student Weekly was created in 1915 with the merger of The F&M Weekly, then the College's primary newspaper, and The College Student, the monthly literary publication of the Diagnothian and Goethean literary societies. The College Reporter originated in 1964 and continues to serve as the independent student newspaper. Though the print versions are a thing of the past-The College Reporter became an online publication several years ago-student newspapers have a rich history at F&M. The Student Weekly was created in 1915 with the merger of The F&M Weekly, then the College's primary newspaper, and The College Student, the monthly literary publication of the Diagnothian and Goethean literary societies. The College Reporter originated in 1964 and continues to serve as the independent student newspaper. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • One of the most famous items in F&M's Archives and Special Collections is an artifact from the 1968 film "Planet of the Apes," directed by renowned alumnus Franklin J. Schaffner '42. This orangutan mask was likely worn by an extra in the movie. It is part of the Franklin J. Schaffner Film Library, a gift of Mrs. Schaffner curated by legendary F&M government professor Sidney Wise. One of the most famous items in F&M's Archives and Special Collections is an artifact from the 1968 film "Planet of the Apes," directed by renowned alumnus Franklin J. Schaffner '42. This orangutan mask was likely worn by an extra in the movie. It is part of the Franklin J. Schaffner Film Library, a gift of Mrs. Schaffner curated by legendary F&M government professor Sidney Wise. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • The College organized a series of events in 2006 to celebrate the 300th birthday of namesake and founding father Benjamin Franklin. This kite was among many Franklin-related artifacts that helped celebrate the occasion. The College organized a series of events in 2006 to celebrate the 300th birthday of namesake and founding father Benjamin Franklin. This kite was among many Franklin-related artifacts that helped celebrate the occasion. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • This plaster death mask of former F&M professor Andrew Thomas Gilmore, who graduated from F&M in 1878, was created on Feb. 5, 1918. A death mask is created by making a cast of a person's face shortly after death, serving as a reminder of the person's likeness or for the creation of a portrait. Gilmore's mask was donated by Charles Bowman. This plaster death mask of former F&M professor Andrew Thomas Gilmore, who graduated from F&M in 1878, was created on Feb. 5, 1918. A death mask is created by making a cast of a person's face shortly after death, serving as a reminder of the person's likeness or for the creation of a portrait. Gilmore's mask was donated by Charles Bowman. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • Now more than a century old, these athletic medals symbolize the early days of F&M's athletic tradition. They belonged to James Archer Smith, F&M Class of 1916. Smith, a track and field standout, excelled in the shot put and hammer throw. The medals are among more than a dozen donated to F&M by his son, James Archer Smith '47. Now more than a century old, these athletic medals symbolize the early days of F&M's athletic tradition. They belonged to James Archer Smith, F&M Class of 1916. Smith, a track and field standout, excelled in the shot put and hammer throw. The medals are among more than a dozen donated to F&M by his son, James Archer Smith '47. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • Frederick Kuhl's treasurer's account of Franklin College in the Borough of Lancaster lists paid subscribers to the College. The document is one of only two owned by the College mentioning Benjamin Franklin's 200-pound contribution. It was framed to be part of a traveling exhibit celebrating Franklin's tercentenary in 2006. Frederick Kuhl's treasurer's account of Franklin College in the Borough of Lancaster lists paid subscribers to the College. The document is one of only two owned by the College mentioning Benjamin Franklin's 200-pound contribution. It was framed to be part of a traveling exhibit celebrating Franklin's tercentenary in 2006. Image Credit: Eric Forberger
  • This printed broadside in both English and German was the program used for the formal opening of Franklin College on June 6, 1787. While Franklin did not attend the dedication, he appears to have received copies of the program and passed one on to the Frenchman Abbe Morellet, who commented on the "toleration in practice" on the ecumenical religious services held in Lancaster. This printed broadside in both English and German was the program used for the formal opening of Franklin College on June 6, 1787. While Franklin did not attend the dedication, he appears to have received copies of the program and passed one on to the Frenchman Abbe Morellet, who commented on the "toleration in practice" on the ecumenical religious services held in Lancaster. Image Credit: Eric Forberger

Every so often, a phone rings in the office of Franklin & Marshall’s Archives and Special Collections on the first floor of the Martin Library. The caller might be an F&M graduate, or a family member or friend of one. They call with a question: “Would you be interested in…”

For Associate Librarian Christopher Raab and Research and Collections Management Specialist Michael Lear, the answer is usually a resounding “yes.” As keepers of the College’s historical record, they often hear from members of the F&M family who have artifacts in their closets, attics and dusty shelves that help tell the story of Franklin & Marshall College. They are passionate about preserving—and adding to—the visual and written record of the College and its alumni.

The holdings of F&M’s archives include more than 8,500 rare books, the oldest dating to 1481; papers of prominent Lancaster County families, organizations, and F&M alumni; and collections of maps, prints, posters, newspapers and photographs. The vault contains more than 2,300 linear feet of material—longer than seven football fields—in the depths of Martin. The items on the following pages are only a few of many that help tell the story of the College, its people, and its tradition in the liberal arts.

 

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