Artifacts in the Archives: School Days Memories

This collaborative post is about artifacts that remind Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) staff of their school days. Welcome back to school Cyclones!

Marching Band Uniform Jacket

Heavy white jacket for marching band uniform. It has a white overlay on front with a red strip that has "Cyclones" embroidered in white. On the red cuffs are embroidered "Iowa State" in white thread. The collar and shoulders are red. Underneath the overlay are 6 gold embroidered bars with 2 gold buttons on each bar. On back of jacket is embroidered "ISU" in red and gold.

Artifact # 2012-010.002

Olivia Garrison, Reference Coordinator

This marching band uniform jacket reminds me of school (and particularly of the start of a fresh school year), because I remember hearing my high school’s marching band practice in the early hours before school started.  Now I get to hear the band after work!

 

Marching Band Uniform Jacket

 is maroon wool jacket with gold collar, trim, and stripe on sleeve. Embroidery on collar spells "I.S.C." in maroon thread.

Artifact # 2008-094.006

Laura Sullivan, Collections Archivist

The marching band uniforms always remind me of school, and one of my favorite aspects of high school, in fact, when I was in the marching band.  However…the heavy, wool uniforms (as this one is), were not my favorite.  I learned later that wool was considered far better than acrylic because of its breathability, and ability to theoretically keep you cool in the hot summers and warm when fall came around.  Despite the crowds and long lines for coffee, I love when fall semester comes around and I’m reminded of the beginning of school – the excitement and expectation of new classes, seeing fellow classmates again, and band practices preparing for upcoming football games.

 

Pencil

Artifact # 2005-095

Amy Bishop, Rare Books & Manuscript Archivist

“Don’t you love New York in the fall?” Joe Fox writes to Kathleen Kelly in the movie You’ve Got Mail. “It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

I’ve always agreed that fall weather and fresh, new school supplies go together, and there is something about the crisp, cool days of early fall that makes me feel a nerdy anticipation of a new year of learning. So, although we are still enjoying the warmth of summer, I reveled this morning to feel a cool hint of autumn in the air this morning, fitting for our first week of fall classes.

 

3-ring binder

Rachel Seale, Outreach Archivist

3-ring binders remind me of school when I was a kid. I had a backpack filled with a binder or two, usually I could fit up to 3 subjects in a binder. I had lockers in Jr. High and High School so could swap text books in between classes but always had my binders in my backpack. When I processed collections, I had a love-hate relationship with binders. I usually appreciated the organization within the binders, but they took up much needed space within a box.

Board game

Wooden board with 18 wooden pegs, three circles and 3 triangles each with three holes for pegs

Artifact # 2001-220.002

Chris Anderson, Descriptive Records Project Archivist

Our files describe this artifact as a board game, but I’m not so sure. What would the rules be? In any case, it reminds me of preschool or kindergarten. I majored in Shapes with a minor in Colors. That’s a joke, but there’s an element of truth to it. When I went to school, I resisted learning to read. My mother read books to me in the early years, and I guess that reading in school seemed less appealing than quality time with mom. She said that I didn’t see the point, at first. Once I tried reading for myself, it became clear that I already knew how to do it at the first or second grade level.

 

Bag

red Iowa State Cyclones drawstring bag that has Cy at center & Iowa State Cyclones printed around Cy.

Brad Kuennen, University Archivist

I chose a red Iowa State Cyclones drawstring bag that is handed out to students during summer orientation. The bags are easily recognizable and seeing a student wearing one, which some do during the beginning of fall semester, almost instantly identifies the student as a freshman. Seeing them reminds me of a tradition from a century ago when freshman students wore beanies. Fortunately, freshman today are not required to wear the drawstring bags nor is there a special bonfire at the end of the year to burn the bags as happened with beanies all those years ago. When I see those bags start to appear, I know a new schoolyear is just right around the corner!

 

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