Early Co-educational Willamette University in Salem, Oregon Photo album, 1913-1915
Photo Album[Women’s Education] Photo album from woman student at co-educational Williamette , 1913-1915. Images come from campus events, student plays, and various outdoor locations around the college’s location. 53 original silver gelatin print photographs of various sizes from 1.5 x 2.5” to 3.25 x 4.25”. Many of the photos include brief captions, identifying the location or event. Images dated from 1913-1915. Original black leather boards. 11 x 14 in. “Photographs” on cover with gilt detail and embossed flower motif. 32 pages (last 14 blank). Photo of first page shows “Williamette University” spelled out on an earthen embankment. Willamette University was founded in 1842 as a coeducational institution, and its first graduate was a woman. Album is full of images of women and men students learning and working together. Unsent color postcard of Eaton Hall at Williamette University. Many of the photographs focus on women students, although there are many with mixed genders. Photo of a a group of women outside with books looking for birds, labeled “Ornithologists”. Photos of girl classmates “Gertrude-Alice / Inseparable friends”. Even though Williamette was a co-educational college, there were several university rules restricting contact between men and women students outside the classroom. One of the rules from the 1870s stipulated that women and men had to maintain a one-block distance between them while walking to class. Despite this, young men and women worked together to form professional and personal connections. Photo of a man and woman seated at an outdoor table, with an open book in front of them: “They said they were studying Zoology”. In another image, 3 men and 1 woman sit together writing and studying at a table with Corvallis [Oregon] written on a large bulletin board behind them. Photos specifically from graduation events. “Seniors 1915 Party at Grahams” 30 figures crowd behind a round table, and over half are women. Photos from commencement day. 5 women in cap and gowns line up on a sidewalk. Flanked by two smaller snapshots from “The Campus Serpentine” in which the graduating class can be seen talking in a line around the campus.
Photos of different social events around the school and community. “Soph-Frosh Formal Reception 1913”: over 50 young men in suits and women in long gowns and gloves pose around a lighted archway. “Kloshe Kitchen Force 1914” with 3 men and 1 woman in an industrial kitchen. The Kloshe Klub was a popular spot for students at the time. “Junior Feed in Gym”: around 20 figures seated on either sides of a long table. “The gym feed aftermath” shows a team 9 women and men laughing together on an outdoor veranda. “A Quartette of Folk Dancers” “A Junior Quintette”. The following page shows dancers in action in “A Fancy Minuet”. Performing a play outside the school with specific images labelled “Queen Mary Enthroned”, “Yes here is Marie also Ann”, and “In Battle Array” from different points in the production. Some of the captions contain inside jokes or references. “The Father of ‘Rats’” written under a photo of 4 women falling over from laughing with 1 man all around a pile of chopped firewood. Outdoor life around the college, such as at Silver Creek, an Oregon State Park. “‘Cooed’ Life at Silver Creek” Women wash dishes at an outdoor campsite. Two figures read books: “We like canoeing but sometimes we study”. Another set of photos show people crowded at an outdoor table and seated on the grassy spot with picnic plates. “A full table under the Lausanne Maples”. Very good condition.
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