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Inside Emerson’s Attic

This post was originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of Expression, the Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Emerson College.


When you’ve been around for more than 130 years, you can’t help but collect a lot of stuff, and Emerson College is no exception.

Some of that stuff is selected, cataloged, and added to the College Archives by director Christina Zamon. This repository of material culture consists of books, documents, posters, microfilm, drawings, digital assets, and much more, which are stored in climate-controlled rooms in the Walker Building.

Every week, Zamon fields calls and emails from people who have something “Emersonian” to offer to the Archives. Some of the unusual items that have made the cut are LPs, a red–carpet evening gown, board games, T-shirts, and photos of celebrities.

In the following pictures, Expression features just a few of the special items in the collection.

Emerson College insignia adorn a paddle from the 1965 Junior Prom, a 1967 letter jacket donated by alumnus Ed Moriarty, and a beanie and pennant from the 1950s.

Emerson College insignia adorn a paddle from the 1965 Junior Prom, a 1967 letter jacket donated by alumnus Ed Moriarty, and a beanie and pennant from the 1950s.

school-frat-paddle-cmyk  school-pennant-cmyk school-beanie-cmyk

When the College’s first gymnasium was built in 2006, the first Women’s Volleyball game on September 12 was commemorated with a game ball signed by the team members and presented to then-President Jackie Liebergott.

When the College’s first gymnasium was built in 2006, the first Women’s Volleyball game on September 12 was commemorated with a game ball signed by the team members and presented to then-President Jackie Liebergott.

When a budding actor named Henry Winkler ’67 entered Emerson College, he seized every opportunity he could to hone his skills. Here is a script he highlighted, a program from the musical Carnival in which he played a roustabout, a People magazine cover that heralded his eventual Happy Days fame, and a photo from a college production of Donner.

When a budding actor named Henry Winkler ’67 entered Emerson College, he seized every opportunity he could to hone his skills. Here is a script he highlighted, a program from the musical Carnival in which he played a roustabout, a People magazine cover that heralded his eventual Happy Days fame, and a photo from a college production of Donner.

h-winkler2-cmyk

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A renowned orator and the College’s longest-serving president, Henry Southwick was an important figure in the College’s early history. In 1889, Southwick led the teaching of dramatics. In 1900, he, wife Jessie Southwick, and William H. Kenney purchased the College from Charles W. Emerson. Here, a Southwick family album.

A renowned orator and the College’s longest-serving president, Henry Southwick was an important figure in the College’s early history. In 1889, Southwick led the teaching of dramatics. In 1900, he, wife Jessie Southwick, and William H. Kenney purchased the College from Charles W. Emerson. Here, a Southwick family album.

Actress Sylvia Lewis, who danced in Singin’ in the Rain, donated a stunning gown, designed by Ceil Chapman, which she wore in a 1960s Chevrolet commercial, to the Emmys, and in a Broadway show. (The photo of Lewis at far left is from a production of Vintage 60.) Lewis began her career at the age of 12, and made numerous TV and film appearances, including in Singin’ in the Rain, Red Garters, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly HIllbillies, Gunsmoke, The Ray Bolger Show, and The Danny Kaye Show. The donation of the dress and other materials came about when Holly Van Leuven ’12 contacted Lewis seeking her memories of working with Ray Bolger (best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) for a biography she was writing about him.

Actress Sylvia Lewis, who danced in Singin’ in the Rain, donated a stunning gown, designed by Ceil Chapman, which she wore in a 1960s Chevrolet commercial, to the Emmys, and in a Broadway show. (The photo of Lewis at far left is from a production of Vintage 60.) Lewis began her career at the age of 12, and made numerous TV and film appearances, including in Singin’ in the Rain, Red Garters, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly HIllbillies, Gunsmoke, The Ray Bolger Show, and The Danny Kaye Show. The donation of the dress and other materials came about when Holly Van Leuven ’12 contacted Lewis seeking her memories of working with Ray Bolger (best known for his portrayal of the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) for a biography she was writing about him.

This vintage Philco Predicta is used in exhibits on campus that examine mass media. This television was manufactured between 1958 and 1960, using a then-modern swivel-picture-tube concept.

This vintage Philco Predicta is used in exhibits on campus that examine mass media. This television was manufactured between 1958 and 1960, using a then-modern swivel-picture-tube concept.