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Object lesson: TCU Scrapbook Collection

TCU Special Collections has digitally scanned 10 of the 39 books, which now can be explored online.

Object lesson: TCU Scrapbook Collection

TCU Special Collections houses scrapbooks kept by students and faculty that date back as far as 1898.

Object lesson: TCU Scrapbook Collection

TCU Special Collections has digitally scanned 10 of the 39 books, which now can be explored online.

Ever wonder what it was like being a TCU student a hundred years ago? Now you can get a small glimpse, courtesy of the library’s Special Collections, which houses scrapbooks kept by students and faculty that date back as far as 1898.

Ten of the 39 scrapbooks in the TCU Scrapbook Collection have been digitally scanned and can be explored online. For instance, Amboline Tyson Mahaffrey ’15, who was vice-president of her class, carefully preserved invitations and programs from various campus events, as well as photos of her and friends hanging out in the familiar terrain of the TCU campus. She also took notes from a baccalaureate sermon and saved swatches of fabric from various dresses she wore while at school.

Edward Carl Tomlinson ’14 kept a scrapbook that includes a TCU Skiff newspaper story from 1915 about Helen Keller’s visit to campus. He preserved photos of his time in the TCU Quartette and Glee Club, as well as pictures of classmates horsing around on a train and getting their laundry done old-school style — starched collars and all.

There are also scrapbooks of former chancellors E.M. Waits and M.E. Sadler. And one that is filled entirely with newspaper clippings regarding Mary Couts Burnett’s generous donation toward building TCU’s library. Still others document the evolving “branding” styles of the Public Relations department, newspaper clippings about athletic events, society events and the arts.