Thursday, September 22, 2011

Who do you think you are?

The title for this post comes from the NBC tv show (a spin-off from the BBC one program of the same name). I am using this reference to incite answers to questions about GC's archives. Who do you think we are, as an institution? To begin, let's look at object we have collected over the past two hundred years, as a college and, essentially, a network of scholars and scholars-in-training.

The two images above are photographs of objects in the Archives and Special Collections at Georgetown College. In the case of the illustration, we see a page from a 1913 Belle of the Blue (college annual) featuring a rather whimsical Oscar Wilde-like drawing of an athletics fan. Ever the dandy, he is well-dressed and carries a pennant and hat while gesturing toward the words, "Belle of the Blue Kentuck Kentuck." These words, and their fuller four lines, were the college cheer that dates to the nineteenth century. They are, indeed, a blast from the past and words that we may not, as 21st-century Georgetonians, recognize as familiar and pervasive, as they were a century ago. But, in some ways, the anthem -- knowingly or not -- is a part of our shared past.

The other image is taken of a small object in the Archives. This stuffed white puppy bears a badge with "Pawling Hall 1956" affixed to his collar. I first encountered this item over five years ago. It has become something of interest however, over the past three years, in the Curatorial Studies course. In this class each fall, students have searched the Belle of the Blue as well as the Georgetonian newspaper to find out this puppy's significance. Was he a mascot for the hall, which formerly served as a men's dormitory? Was he simply a token of affection from one person to another? Or, was he something more than this? Our searches of primary documents have yielded nothing. Interviews with alums have yielded far. If YOU have information about the Pawling puppy that this year's class has affectionately named "Issy", as in Issachar Pawling (the namesake of this hall) please let us know.

reminder: Friday from 12-2 the exhibition "From the Ground Up: Georgetown College Spaces and Places" opens. A Fireside chat begins at 1 pm in the LRC. Please join us.

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

Thanks to everyone who came out on Friday to support the curatorial studies students and their opening. We don't have a guestbook for this show, so please feel free to leave comments here or on a future post.