Monday, February 23, 2015

Chess Club, 1950s

This is an image we think of the chess club in the 1950s. Standing, L-R looks like Kaarlo Filppu, Social Science; Louis Hetler, Theater; and perhaps Howard Kiefer, Education? Anyone you recognize? (Remember, if you click on the photo you can see it larger size.)

The setting by the way appears to be in the original student union building, today's Lathrop Hall.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

1930s film footage of the college

This is the oldest motion picture footage known to exist of the college. The footage was shot on 8 mm film by Emmett Costich, a student at what was then called "The Training School" a K-8 school where Brockport teaching students helped to educate the children. Emmett used his dad's camera to capture several events, including Brockport's Color Day celebration, a cookout with Charles Cooper (the namesake of Cooper Hall) and a National Recovery Administration parade. This is a 3-minute highlight clip from the more than 40 minutes of footage in our archives.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


The early 1960s were the era of pop rock groups like the New Christy Minstrels, Kingston Trio and others. Hootenanny was a TV show that presented groups like this, and at colleges all over hootenannies were held, pop folk jam sessions or talent shows. Here are two unidentified Brockport students in 1963, trying out for a hootenanny here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rare 1900 play photo

In going through unprocessed materials the archivist discovered a rare photo of a play done here by the sorority Agonian, in 1900. On the back of the photo are listed the names for most of the girls, left to right: Ina (Wilhemina) Shepphard '01, no name, Sarah Pledger '01, "Sister" Pledger (possibly Rosetta '02), no name, no name, Jennie Mitchell '01 (owner of the photo,) and Florence Green '01. A wonderful find, the  sororities and fraternities of the Normal era were a major part of the student life then.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rescued Film!

This admirable project was featured not long ago in a post on the Society of American Archivists list. It is an effort to recover old, unprocessed film. A recent project was the recovery of rolls of film shot in WWII and never developed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Something extra...

Once in a while an archivist finds something extra, a card tucked in a book, a snapshot in with some other things... That happened here recently, when the archivist was looking at a copy of the 1933 yearbook, the Saga, and found some old photos in the back. One is a rare early group photo of a graduating class, that of 1933.

Part of the rarity is that the image is one of the earliest examples of graduates wearing the cap and gown. Up into the WWI era and beyond they are shown wearing suits for the men and gowns for the women, but not the now traditional cap and gown. Also found were snapshots of Hannah Harding '33, the original owner of the book, one of which you see here.

Hannah was from Albion, and was president of Theta Phi, an honor society, and in Magpies, the drama group of the day. We like to think that she would be happy to know that her yearbook has survived, and that her photographs are safe in the college archives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Vespers & Winter Ball

From the late 1930s into the 1960s every December there was a Christmas Vespers program and a Winter Ball. These were highly popular events with both the campus community and area residents. Shown here is a photo of the 1953 program.