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Helen Gould collection of Purdue dance cards and theater programs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 294

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 41 dance cards, 4 theater programs and 7 Purdue related ephemera and miscellaneous memorabilia from Helen Gould’s tenure are a Purdue student, 1922-1926.


  • 1922-1926
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1923-1924
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/05/2015


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Purdue University

Biographical or Historical Information

Helen Gould was a Purdue University student from 1922-1926, as indicated in the Debris yearbook. Little more is known about her. Her dance cards and theater programs reflect the many dances and performances she attended as a Purdue student.

A dance card was used by a woman to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she intended to dance each successive dance at a formal ball, and it listed all the dances for the evening. Opposite each dance is a space to record the name of the partner for the dance. They appear to have originated in the 18th century, but their use first became widespread in the 19th century Vienna, especially at the massive balls during Fasching before Lent.

A dance card is typically a booklet with a decorative cover, indicating the sponsoring organization of the ball and a decorative cord by which it could be attached to a lady's wrist or ball gown. As in Gould’s case, they are often kept as souvenirs of the evening.


Debris. West Lafayette, Indiana: Senior Class of Purdue University, 1924. Online.

Retrieved May 14, 2014 from:


0.60 Cubic Feet

2.00 mss._boxes


The collection consists of 41 dance cards, 4 theater programs and 7 Purdue related ephemera and miscellaneous memorabilia from Helen Gould’s tenure as a Purdue student, 1922-1926.

Arrangement Note

1.  Dance Cards, 1922-1926 (0.4 cubic feet).  The dance cards cover a wide range of organizations, but some of those featured are: Kappa Alpha Theta, Beta Theta Pi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, Theta Chi, Purdue University Women’s and Men’s Pan Hellenic formals, Purdue “Blanket Hop,” “Annual Cadet Hop,” “Leap Year Formal Dance” (1924), Purdue University Junior Promenade,” and “Jefferson High School Senior Dance” (1924). Gould made notes on many of the dance cards, stating the status of her evening at the event. Most of the dance cards are for 1923-1924. Materials in the series have been sleeved and are arranged chronologically; each dance is arranged by the exact date it took place.    2.  Theater Programs, 1922-1924 (0.05 cubic feet).  This series contains two theater programs for productions of “The Little Theatre of Purdue” along with programs for the production of “The Gingham Girl,” and the “Fifteenth Annual Production of The Harlequin Club of Purdue University,” presented at the Mars Theatre in LaFayette, IN. The programs also feature advertisements for the businesses in the area during that time period. Materials in the series are arranged chronologically and have been placed in separate folders for preservation purposes. 3.  Purdue Related Ephemera and Miscellaneous Memorabilia, 1922-1925 (0.15 cubic feet).  This series contains the unique Purdue memorabilia found among Gould’s dance cards and theater programs. It contains a Chi Omega rush program - 2 ½” x 3 ½” leather covered booklet, dated September 9 -16, 1922. Also found in this series are a 1922 Purdue “P” Homecoming pin; a handwritten invitation to Alpha Chi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta 1923 initiation ceremony and a take away (favor) - leather coin purse from the Purdue Men’s Pan Hellenic 1924 formal. Two undated items are a football shaped tag for “Booster Day To Send The Purdue Band to Chicago and Indiana Games” and a flyer for a Purdue pep session, which has the lyrics for “Let’s Go Purdue,” by O.K. Quivey printed on it. These items have also been placed in chronological order.

Source of Acquisition

Acquisition method unknown

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in polyester sleeves, acid-free folders, and acid-free boxes and are grouped into individual series for preservation purposes. The dance cards, programs and other materials are arranged in chronological order.


Helen Gould collection of Purdue dance cards and theater programs
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States