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Pomona College Archives Blog

The Improbable Saga of Renwick Gymnasium

October 24, 2014

Before Rains Center was built in 1989, Pomona College was home to two smaller gyms, both of which (in keeping with the rather confusing tradition of naming multiple buildings after the same person) were called Renwick Gymnasium. According to a News Bureau press release of August 1982, the smaller of the two was first built in 1900, the larger in 1918. Originally intended as a barracks for training student soldiers during World War I, the “Big Gym” was soon used for physical education classes. It was not long, however, before the building was home to more than sweaty students. 

New to the Archives: the Women's Union Collection

September 18, 2014

We are happy to announce the Women’s Union Collection, which contains documents related to the founding of the Women’s Union (WU) at Pomona College in 1983, as well as photographs, copies of Women’s Union publications, such as The Re-View, artwork created by attendees to WU events, correspondence, project proposals, and program ephemera. 

Introducing the George Marston Correspondence Collection

September 12, 2014

Just published: a new finding aid on the correspondence of George W. Marston. This collection includes correspondence between Marston and Pomona College presidents James Blaisdell, Charles Edmunds, and E. Wilson Lyon. George White Marston (1850-1946) served as founding trustee for Pomona College and had a critically important role in the founding of the College.

For more details, you can see finding aid here: George Marston Correspondence Collection [pdf] .

Music at Pomona: Beginnings

June 16, 2014Music at Pomona: Beginnings

It is often astonishing to discover how much one can learn about the history of Pomona College from ephemeral documents such as the three music programs shown here. Surely never meant to be preserved, these records of musical evenings in the late 1880s-early 1890s offer a glimpse of one aspect of the College’s life in its first years and a sense of the broader community of which it was a part.

Archives Books and Publications Catalog

January 13, 2014

The Archives Book Catalog, organized into two lists by title and author, is designed to provide users access to the Archives' print materials. We have several types of materials that detail the College's history, including:

  • reports
  • directories
  • yearbooks
  • addresses
  • catalogs
  • lookbooks
  • manuscripts.

A Call for Greek Life Memorabilia

November 22, 2013

Were you a member of one of Pomona’s fraternities or sororities? Are you a current KD, Nappie, or Sig Tau? Do you have memorabilia relating to one of Pomona’s past fraternities or sororities, such as Zeta Chi Sigma, Phi Delta, or Delta Lambda?


Recent Acquisition: Pomona College Hatpins

November 5, 2013Recent Acquisition: Pomona College Hatpins

Although no longer familiar items today, hatpins were a must-have fashion accessory for women from the late 1880s through the 1920s. Well-known actresses and film stars of the time, such as Lillian Russell, inspired a new taste for hats that were broad-brimmed and often extravagant in design. Lacking the familiar bonnet strings of old, the newly fashionable hats required long pins to secure them to the head. Initially used solely for this practical purpose, hatpins evolved over time to incorporate decorative and fanciful designs reflecting the wealth and status of the wearer. By 1910, hatpins had lengthened, from ten inches to twelve, to accommodate ever-widening brims. 

Recent Acquisition: Photographs of the Pomona College Orchestra

September 11, 2013Recent Acquisition: Photographs of the Pomona College Orchestra

We were pleased to receive a gift from Robin Brisco who gave us some photographs of the Pomona College Orchestra from the late teens. The photographs originally belonged to Charles Chester Brisco, seen seated on the right, who was originally a member of the class of 1919. Brisco graduated in the fall of 1920 after eighteen months of service in the Navy at the end of World War I. There aren’t many images of the orchestra from this time, so Brisco's photographs are a wonderful addition to the photo collection. 

Archives Exhibition

April 29, 2013

Please join us for an exhibition of materials from the Pomona College Archives’ collection of historic scrapbooks and photograph albums, as well as examples of current student blogs.

Mystery Photograph from the Archives

April 24, 2013Mystery Photograph from the Archives

This image, which maintains no identifying information, was recently found by Archivist Jamie Weber among alumni records in the basement of Seaver House. Can anyone help us identify the wedding party or the date?

Faris '19 and Scott '19 Compose Manifesto

November 7, 2012

On January 5, 1917, two members of the Class of 1919-- Henson W. Faris and De Witt C. (Bud) Scott—composed and signed a document recording their hopes for their lives fifteen years in the future.