Hello all! I’m Mary Jo Robertson from Astoria, Oregon. I am senior studying Electronic Arts and I’ve been interning here at Linfield College Archives this last semester. The main task I was given at the start of the semester was to go through donated scrapbooks of Linfield alumni, create an inventory spreadsheet, and document and address any condition issues. I am writing to you today to tell you about a particular scrapbook, Clyde’s scrapbook.
Everyone, meet Clyde Millam, a South Bend native who attended Linfield 1925-29.
After reading through Mr.Millam’s scrapbook last month I ended up trying to track him through the Linfield yearbooks. It appears Clyde didn’t attend Linfield in 1926, but was of Junior status for both 1927 & ‘28, graduating in ’29 with a Business Administration Major.
On the second page found a red felt armband with purple “OOO” on it.
This was a puzzling piece of memorabilia until I found the Order of the Old Oak in the Linfield Yearbooks. The Knights of the Order of the Old Oak were a group of six freshman and six sophomores who were given the task of promoting school spirit at intercollegiate athletic events while also maintaining positive sportsmanship and friendly relations with visiting teams.
While Clyde Millam is not featured in the picture of the O.O.O for 1925 (his freshman year), two of the twelve members are missing from the picture and his armband matches theirs perfectly, so it is reasonable to guess that he was a Knight.
Clyde also played football for two years and was an active member of the Phi Epsilon Fraternity.
The first half of the book is in typical scrapbook fashion for the time, an arrangement of letters, programs, invitations, photographs, and other memorabilia. However, Clyde’s artistic choices on a few of the last pages of photographs are somewhat puzzling.
The content of the photographs are normal enough people, events, even some landscape shots, however many photos are ripped around the edges or had only a very small portion of the snap shot carefully cut out and used. This may not sound odd, but in comparison with other scrapbooks I’ve looked at from that time period it is strange to see such minutely cropped images. The ripped edges, as opposed to clean scissor-cut edges, give some pages a hasty look, like the scrapbooking may have been an impulsive and rushed project.
Getting past the condition of the photographs, I couldn’t help analyzing the layout and composition of Clyde’s pages.
There are pages where all of the pieces are the small cut outs I mentioned, usually people’s faces. The angling and number of pieces suggests, to me anyway, that Clyde was trying to make the page interesting. The cropping or tearing makes the page very focused on the people or scenery, but then they were spaced so the page looks more full.
Clyde, you’re confusing me. If you’re trying to fill up the page, why did you cut out such small pieces to work with? Were you rushed? Did you do this right after college or was this a craft you did later, when school memories were a little hazy? Were you missing people when you made it, and that’s why some pages are so focused on them?
We’ll never know what was going on in Mr.Millam’s head when he went about making his scrapbook, but this album just goes to show that sometimes the page as a whole can be just as telling as any one photograph.
Mary Jo Robertson, ‘14
Electronic Arts Major, Studio Art Minor