Teen Idols: from James Dean to…The Seventh Regiment of the New York State Militia?

This week I have been working on processing the scrapbook of Stephen Henry Olin, an influential figure in Wesleyan’s history (most commonly known as the son of President Stephen Olin of Olin Library fame). The scrapbook does not detail Olin’s many life accomplishments, however, but instead reveals the fancies of a thirteen year old boy … Read more

How graham crackers shaped Wesleyan student culture: 1839-2010

Though Wesleyan has outgrown many of its former “hippy” associations such as being the token “naked” campus, the school still definitely maintains an earthy and involved atmosphere that manifests itself everywhere from its activist groups to the vegan food scene. Outsiders and Wesleyan students alike often see the school’s personality as a remnant of the … Read more

(His)tory’s in the details: Thoughts on the journal of Daniel C. Rand, 1843

I like to think that most people have some experience with journals-whether its the two-sentences a day that your third grade teacher forced out of you, or that tome that you’ve been adding to faithfully since high school. For me, journaling was never a huge interest– instead I kept notebooks of lists; things to buy, … Read more

A Human History of the Shanklin Laboratory Renovations, 1967-1978

I have just finished processing a collection of papers, the Shanklin Laboratory Renovation Records, detailing the various proposals to renovate Wesleyan’s Shanklin Laboratory in the 1960s and 1970s. I repeat, proposals, not actual construction-based papers. This subtlety in the nature of the collection is what interested me the most; though there are plenty of blueprints, … Read more