…That the archives aren’t entirely old, dingy books and stuff. It’s also old, dingy letters and school memorabilia!
I’m sure that when you write a letter (or as is more common nowadays, an email), you don’t consider it to have any importance at all. You’re probably right, but how about that old receipt you got once, for the money required to build a bus shelter? How about that old football you used to own? How about that copy of The Trail you pick up every now and then, if only to see if you’re in the “Hey Yous”? Well, you’d be surprised how useful some of those things are. But if you’re, say, President Thomas, then it’s definitely worth saving.
You probably wouldn’t believe the amount of letters the President of an institution sends over the course of 31 years (that’s President Thompson, if you were wondering). We’ve got six boxes alone dedicated to general correspondence with every letter of the alphabet – and an entire folder labeled “Coffee, John M.” Do you want to know more about the Rockefeller Theological Fellowship Program? Hop on over to box 9, folder 38 of the Thompson collection. Want to know more about the Harry Brown Fountain? Box 10, folder 40. What if you had a question about how the College settled the riveting debate of who had to pay to water the flowers on Union? We’ve got that covered too (box 12, folder 4). Not enough context in letters for you? You could always check out the nine-volume (or 2,015 page) Thompson Histories.
So don’t forget, if you have an odd or abstract question about the school…chances are the answer is somewhere in the dozens of boxes we have.
Check out the rest of the University of Puget Sound’s blog posts here, at Collins Unbound!