Normal Hours Resume Monday, August 25

22 08 2014

The MSU Archives will resume normal hours starting Monday, August 25, 2014.

Reading Room hours:

Mondays and Tuesdays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Thursdays and Fridays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this summer’s construction project.




MSU Archives Hours for July 1-5, 2013

28 06 2013

Next Thursday, July 4, 2013, the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections will be closed in honor of Independence Day.  Here is our complete schedule for the week:

Monday, July 1: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, July 2: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, July 3: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, July 4: Closed

Friday, July 5: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A.W.S Handbooks and other MSU guides

25 02 2011

“HELLO! — — —

This handy little book is for YOU. Of course it won’t answer all your questions – but it will give you an idea of what goes on around campus. You know, it may even be a life-saver more times than you suspect … so how ‘bout getting acquainted?”

That was the greeting in the beginning of the 1949-50 A.W.S (Associated Women Students) Handbook “Who’s Who and What’s What”. This guide, given to female residents at the beginning of each school year included everything from dormitory regulations such as shower, typing, and radio/phonograph hours, smoking rules, and overnight guests in college residences to traditions at MSC that were the students’ responsibility to uphold. They began distribution in the late 1930s and continued until the early 1970s.

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Each issue (which came out annually) contained generally the same information: a list of board members, greetings from advisers, traditions, the AWS constitution and their bylaws. Every year however, there were special highlighted sections.  For example, the 1940-41 handbook had a “Dear Diary” section which would highlight events going on in a coed’s daily life such as how “the handsomest sophomore walked [her] home” and how she attended sorority tea, the Michigan State vs. Michigan football game, a Coke date at the Union Grill, and the Coed Carnival. The 1941-42 handbook highlights a “Letters Home” section where Joyce sends letters home to Sally Jean. She raves about the activities taking place on campus as well as her dorm, her “super swell” dorm-mates, and her “roomy”.

Campus activities and pieces of advice are also highlighted in these handbooks. For example, the 1946-1947 AWS Handbook warns female students of the so-called “male territories”:

“There is one place in East Lansing that is strictly for members of the opposite sex. Don’t let anyone send you into the Smoke Shop, for it is male territory with no exceptions. The lower lounge of Union building is also a place which men call their own”.

There were even guides of how to dress located on the back of the 1960s handbooks! – Check out the picture below!

The fight song was also included in the booklet for the new students.  It was encouraged that students should “learn them quick like a bunny”! Notice the changes in lyrics over the years:

“On the banks of the Red Cedar – is a college known to all. Their specialty is winning, and those Spartans play football. Spartan teams are never beaten – all through the game they fight. Fight for the only colors, Green and White. Smash right through that line of blue, watch the points keep growing. Spartan teams are bound to win, they’re fighting with a vim. RAH RAH RAH! See their line is weakening; we’re going to win this game! FIGHT FIGHT RAH TEAM FIGHT! Victory for M.S.C!”

The Spartan Women’s League also created etiquette handbooks for female and male students. This book is a definite favorite of mine for it outlines, in great detail, things young women and men should know about the college life. Here are some brief examples of the topics discussed…


“Having chaperons and guests at your parties and dances gives you another chance to know your faculty outside of class situations”

Teas and Receptions:

“At a tea, you are required to remain only long enough to finish your drink, about fifteen to thirty minutes. When leaving, say a few words of appreciation to your hostess and then depart.”


“If you are introduced to someone who holds out his hand, shake the hand, but not too firmly or limply. A good firm hand-clasp is customary among men, but it is an uncommon practice with girls.”

Table Etiquette:

A long list of advice is listed for the table etiquette section. There is everything you need to know from techniques for the use of silverware, to how to eat certain foods, to accessory techniques. My favorite piece of advice is in regards to eating a cherry or grapes with seeds,

“…remove the pit or seeds from your mouth between your thumb and first finger.” (so specific!)

Dating Courtesies:

“Don’t be a public liability by displaying affection which creates distasteful impressions on our visitors…As for petting…do what you feel is according to your moral standards.”

Classroom Etiquette:

“Pity the poor instructor who gets out of bed to come to his eight o’clock class of nodding heads with half-shut eyes…If the lecture is particularly boring, read a book, draw pictures, do the crossword puzzle, that is — do anything but SLEEP or TALK.”

The handbook contains many other tips, but those are just a few of my favorites! These books became very helpful for first year female students on campus and still are a gem today. They are extremely fun to pan through and make me think…if they were to hand out a guidebook to first year females today – what kind of information would be in it?

Fall Hours Update

26 08 2010

The Fall Semester at MSU begins in less than a week.  While students are trying to get their textbooks and figure out where their classes are going to be, archivists are preparing for the classes and new student researchers.  Several classes will be using the archives this fall, including a freshman seminar that will be taught by Public Services Archivist Portia Vescio.  The class will be taught out of the archives and will teach students about the history of the college through the primary resource materials available in the archives.  Because of this class, there will be a slight adjust to the open hours at the University Archives and Historical Collections.

The hours for the fall semester will be:

Monday  8:30-12, 1-4:30

Tuesday 8:30-12, 1-4:30

Wednesday   1-4:30

Thursday   8:30-12, 1-4

Friday  8:30-12, 1-4:30

If the staff finds that more open hours are needed to accommodate the classes, we will let you know.

New Hours

17 08 2009

Beginning on Monday, August 31, 2009, the MSU Archives & Historical Collections will have new public access hours.  We will be open to researchers during the following times:

  • Monday:  8:30-12, 1-4:30
  • Tuesday:  8:30-12, 1-4*
  • Wednesday:  1-4:30
  • Thursday:  8:30-12, 1-4:30
  • Friday:  8:30-12, 1-4:30

These hours represent a slight change from before.  The biggest change is that the archives will no longer be open to the public on Wednesday mornings.  We regret having to decrease our public hours, but we hope to continue to provide high levels of customer service during the hours that we are open.

*Please note that the 4pm closing time on Tuesday afternoon is in effect for the Fall 2009 semester only.  The archives will be hosting a class beginning at 4pm.  Once the fall semester is completed, the Tuesday hours will change to a closing time of 4:30 pm.

For people with reference questions who are not able to come in during the new public hours, you may still contact the MSU Archives via telephone at 517-355-2330 or email  We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.