School days

We started a new school year this week. The weather has been hot but the leaves are starting to turn, which always reminds me of research! Fall is the time when our senior thesis writers conduct most of their archival research, and we always have a number of other students who research Wesleyan and local history, or use our rare book collections.

Here are a few things to know about research in Special Collections & Archives:

1) Our hours are Monday-Friday, 1 to 5pm.

2) Most items need to be requested using one of our request slips, which can be found right outside our door on the first floor of Olin Library, or at our front desk. Don’t be shy–we’re here to help with any questions, and we’re always happy to talk with you about your research and our resources.

3) We have a few rules: pencils only (no pens), no food or drink, and you need to leave your coat and bags in a locker or the closet. These rules help protect our collections and prevent accidental damage. Ask if you have any questions.

4) We have a lot of finding aids now online. However, many collections are not yet fully described. If you have a research topic and are wondering if we have information, please check with us. We have other guides to collections that are not online and might be useful to you.

As we enter fall and start thinking about Wesleyan traditions, can anyone identify this item?

What is this?

Leave your answer in the comments. First correct answer gets one of our fancy SC&A pencils!

1 thought on “School days”

  1. A box used by secret societies and fraternities to enable an anonymous vote, usually concerning the addition of a new member to the organization. A white ball indicated a vote in favor, a black ball to vote against. This is where the term ‘blackballing’ came from – from someone putting in a black ball and preventing someone from joining the organization in question.

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