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Best Loved Collection

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Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Best Loved Collection, 1922-1967 | Lawrence University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Best Loved Collection, 1922-1967View associated digital content.

ID: LU-RG00/006

Primary Creator: Lawrence University

Extent: 0.4 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Materials are arranged chronologically by year.

Subjects: Women college students

Forms of Material: newspaper clippings, photographic prints, programs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection is comprised of the records documenting the Lawrence tradition of naming four senior women as “Best Loved,” an annual tradition from the early 1920s through the mid-1960s. Photographs, programs, and articles make up the bulk of the collection.

Collection Historical Note

A tradition unique to Lawrence that lasted for over four decades was the annual election by freshman, sophomore, and junior women of four senior women as "Best Loved." In its fully developed form, the tradition called for the young women so chosen to appear at the Best Loved Banquet, held on or near Washington's birthday. Dressed in colonial costumes and powdered wigs as George and Martha Washington and James and Dolly Madison, they danced a minuet before the assembled guests. Exactly when and how this custom developed is not entirely clear though it seems to have combined some features of the May Queen election (which continued) with a Colonial Banquet held annually at Sage Hall. The first account of an event at which the four women elected were known as "best loved" was held on February 22, 1924. In this form, the tradition continued through World War II into the 1960s. The last such banquet seems to have been held in 1966 [note: actually 1967].

Excerpted from Charles Breunig's Great and Good Work, p. 131

Subject/Index Terms

Women college students

Administrative Information

Repository: Lawrence University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 box

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Property rights reside with Lawrence University.  For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist.

Acquisition Method: The donor and date the collection was transferred to the University Archives are unknown. It was donated to the University Archives prior to July 2005.

Preferred Citation: Best Loved Collection.  LU-RG00-006.  Lawrence University Archives, Seeley G. Mudd Library, Appleton, Wisconsin.

Processing Information: Preliminary processing done prior to 2005, date and processor unknown. Processed by Julia Stringfellow, 2010.  Files were removed from the vertical file collection and turned into an artificial collection. Final processing completed by Erin Dix, 2011.


Box and Folder Listing


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Box 1
Folder 1: General information, article, lists of Best Loved participants, and photographs, 1922-1968
Folder 2: 1926, dance card and program
Folder 3: 1927, program
Folder 4: 1928, program
Folder 5: 1929, program
Folder 6: 1932, article
Folder 7: 1933, program
Folder 8: 1937, photographView associated digital content.
Folder 9: 1941, article and program
Folder 10: 1943, article
Folder 11: 1944, article and photograph
Folder 12: 1945, article
Folder 13: 1946, articles
Folder 14: 1947, articles and dance cards
Folder 15: 1948, article
Folder 16: 1949, article
Folder 17: 1950, article
Folder 18: 1951, article
Folder 19: 1952, article
Folder 20: 1953, article
Folder 21: 1954, articles and photographs
Folder 22: 1955, photographs
Folder 23: 1956, photograph
Folder 24: 1958, photographs
Folder 25: 1960, article and photograph
Folder 26: 1961, program
Folder 27: 1962, speech
Folder 28: 1963, photographView associated digital content.
Folder 29: 1965, articles, program, and photograph
Folder 30: 1966, program and photographView associated digital content.
Folder 31: 1967, articles and programView associated digital content.

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