Posts tagged oberlin college archives
Posts tagged oberlin college archives
Perhaps the most visually stimulating record of student life on campus is our poster collection. These student-made posters tell us a lot – they give us not only an idea of past events on campus, some of which would otherwise go undocumented, but they reveal the culture and visual aesthetic of Oberlin students at a given point in time.
Our most recent accession, a collection of 34 silkscreened event posters gifted by Raphael Martin ‘02, does exactly that. During his four years at Oberlin, from 1998 to 2002, Martin collected these posters, most of which were silkscreened by students of Prof. John Pearson. They present a wide range of visual styles and advertise dances, concerts, art openings, parties, film screenings, speakers, and Oberlin’s Big Parade. Only a few duplicate posters already in our collections; together they represent an important cross-section of posters from the turn of the millennium.
I think the “Scotographs” poster is a particularly cool one. The word itself, popping against the blue, leads my eye back in space towards the guitar, which seems to be exploding riffs outwards through the stripes. The whole poster has a loud, screaming sound to it, and if I saw this poster today hanging in the Mudd stairwell today, I’d definitely go check these photos out.
(top photo courtesy of Raphael Martin ‘02)
If you haven’t had a chance yet to come see our “Out of the Box” exhibit, there’s still time! This exhibit is our first to take place in the newly renovated Goodrich Room on the 4th floor of Mudd Library. We’re highlighting some of the cool (and sometimes weird) objects in our collection, like the hats and clubs pictured above. The clubs, especially, are an interesting story. We only had minimal documentation on them until Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Norman Craig stopped by to see the exhibit and, recognizing the clubs, decided to share some of his knowledge with us.
Though we typically think of these as juggling clubs, these are actually what are known as Indian clubs, popular exercise tools in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that were used in a variety of swinging routines. In India, larger versions of clubs like these were used by wrestlers to develop strength. The practice was taken up by the British in the Victorian era and then popularized in the U.S. These specific clubs were owned by Fred E. Leonard, a professor of Physical Education at Oberlin from 1888-1922. Werner Bromund, a professor Chemistry from 1937-75, was a Big Ten champion in the Indian clubs routine as a student at the University of Chicago. Bromund would frequently demonstrate his skills with the clubs during Illumination at Oberlin.
If you have a minute, stop by the Archives and check them out!
Oh wow. Sounds like a trip to Archives might be in order!
“Why a Women’s Collective?” Oberlin Review, January 25, 1974
Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog or supported my research in other ways! I’m almost finished with my paper (it’s 26 pages thus far and I’m on the year 1974 still) so I am sad to announce that the updates to this blog will get even slower than they have been this August. I’ll post more materials as I finish writing about 1974-1980. I encourage you to watch out for more updates next semester, though, as I may be continuing my work through a semester long independent study.
Congratulations on your paper-child! That’s so impressive! We’re really going to miss your incredible views into Oberlin history.
Anyone else out there doing cool research this year (in archives or otherwise), consider posting some cool tidbits on Tumblr. We love learning more about this place :)