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Purdue University Customs and Traditions collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 151

Scope and Contents

The Purdue University Customs and Traditions collection features, among other memorabilia, a tank scrap chain and padlock from 1913, a label from the first bottle of beer served to a Purdue student after the repeal of prohibition, numerous buttons and pins, including a hatpin with the Purdue seal from 1895 on it (third design), a Reamer's Club "R" from the early 1990s, a Purdue Murad cigarette silk, a 1902-1903 matriculation ticket signed by Purdue President Winthrop E. Stone, along with Junior Promenade dance cards from 1916, 1918, 1922 and Purdue Panhellenic Council Formal, 1921.

Some of the pertinent historical information in the collection includes a description of the tank scrap tradition and an information card on the Heavilon Hall clock. Some of the booklets and brochures include; "Purdue University: this booklet contains answers to some questions you may have asked about," by T.R. Johnston and J.C. Baker, drawings and etchings by Mrs. Betty Lark-Horovitz and Fredrick Polley, 1931.  "Purdue's Tradition: Scholastic Honesty" and "Honesty," both written by Purdue President Edward C. Elliott in the early 1940s. "The Story of Purdue's Traditions," written by Mary Bowlby and Mary Gannon in 1944.  Correspondence includes an account written by 1935 alum, Andrew K. Kolar, describing the circumstances behind the post-prohibition beer bottle label he donated.

Numerous programs from the early 1900s-1940s for Purdue events are included. There are programs/dance cards from the 1941 and 1943 Women's Residence Halls Spring Formal and the 1941 and 1942 Military Ball, donated by Gloria Francke. She also donated a newsletter, The Promenader, 1939 - Special Edition and 1940 and program from the 1942 Junior Promenade. Another newsletter, The Clarion: the voice of Cary Club, 1947-1948 is found in the collection. Lastly, an undated editorial, "Fair Play," which concerns the freshmen/senior mustache tradition rounds out the collection.

The last series contains historical information and correspondence in regards to three key Purdue athletic traditions; the Old Oaken Bucket, the "Cannon" trophy and the Boilermaker Special.

Types of materials include: artifacts, booklets, buttons, clippings, correspondence, and an editorial on the freshmen/senior mustache tradition, a hatpin with the 1895 Purdue seal on it, invitations, memorabilia, post-prohibition beer label, and residence hall newsletters.:


  • 1877 - 2014
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1880 - 1940

Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Portions of material in this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University or original creator. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.


1.409 Cubic Feet (One legal-size full width manuscript box, one letter-size full-width manuscript box, and one flat box)


The collection is organized into four series.
  1. Memorabilia
  2. Historical Information
  3. Programs, Invitations, Newsletter and Calendar
  4. Athletics

Acquisition Information

The sources and dates of acquisition of most of the material is unknown. Andrew K. Kolar, Class of 1935, donated the label from the first bottle of beer served to a Purdue student after the repeal of prohibition. Dr. Gloria Niemeyer Francke donated the dance cards and programs from the Military Ball and Women's Residence Halls Spring Formal, 1941-1943.

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders and acid-free boxes. Memorabilia (artifacts) have been separated and grouped into an individual series for preservation purposes. 
Purdue University Customs and Traditions collection
Under Review
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2014-05-27.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States