As archivists we get to see a lot of different materials in our collections and we certainly have our favorites. Recently I discovered a photograph that I’m sure I had seen before, but never really paid much attention to it. Once I looked at the photo, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The photo shows a group of (mostly) naked, drunk students in their dorm room. They also appear to be smoking, drinking, and gambling in the photo. The photograph is dated 1906.
Needless to say, it was against regulations for students to be smoking, drinking or gambling on campus at that time. What I love about the photo is that the students seemed so confident in their behavior that they actually posed for it. It is also a great example of how the administration of a school can set up rules, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the students were following them.
What do you think of our photograph? (Remember kids, after 100 years a photo like this becomes awesome. Don’t put a current one on your Facebook page!)