Taken as a whole, the collection reveals some important things about general campus culture.
“With the growth of rituals the campus assumed a new importance as a ceremonial space …
Many of the rituals linked the students to the college landscape” (Horowitz 174).
The objects placed in a scrapbook weaken the binding, which can cause pages to become loose, lost, or damaged.
Acidic paper is typical of scrapbooks and photo albums, discoloring photographs and rendering the pages brittle.
For Oxbridge undergraduates, identity, nostalgic memories, and status were all linked to the buildings and spaces of their university.
Possibly Bryn Mawr College’s campus had a similar link with identity, memory, and status for its students. Carey Thomas intended the campus to physically recreate the great universities of Europe, and to provide an appropriate space for the life of the mind.“Photographs do not merely reproduce reality: the photographer selects a limited scope of vision, chooses a subject, and often arranges poses, props, and clothing.The compiler of an album, in turn, selects photographs for inclusion, comments on them in captions, and juxtaposes them so that the interaction of the photographs on the page and the sequence of the pages in the album become part of the message.The candid portraits are often delightful, but without contextual written information, the difficulties of interpretation are tremendous.As Langford suggests, “our photographic memories are nested in a performative oral tradition”: scrapbooks were intended for private use, not public consumption, and in many cases would have been used as an aid to memory for an individual, or an individual’s story-telling to family members and friends (Langford viii).The material college was linked to a collective undergraduate sense of self, and sense of superiority as upper-class Protestant white English men.