Hidden Gems from the Cat’s Closet

Visit the UNH Archives, and you might be surprised at the range of artifacts that represent how life has changed at the University over the decades. Until 1971, for instance, all freshmen were required to wear a beanie. In 1959, women visiting men’s dorms were required to have a chaperone—and still had to leave by 8 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday. And as a fundraiser, the Dimond Library once sold sections of its musty old (and ugly!) carpet.

These slides, taken by UNH Photographer Lisa Nugent, show a sampling of images from a recent tour to the Archive’s storage vaults. Many artifacts can also be viewed by the public at the UNH Archives at the Dimond Library, open Monday through Friday, 10-noon and 1-4 p.m. through August.

Championship banners and football from University archives

Championship banners, game balls, and memorabilia testify that the Wildcats have been a perennial force in college sports. The 1950 football team won the Yankee Conference, led by Coach “Chief ” Boston and Co-Captains Tom Gorman and Bill Haubrich. The NHC banner recognizes that until 1923 the University was known as the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts.

An original barnacle pin

Made from a barnacle, this pin was “given to Miriam Barker-McKown summer 1937 after a memorable initiation at the Shoals Marine Lab.” UNH ran the Marine Zoological Laboratory on Appledore Island from 1928 to 1940, when the government took control of the island during World War II. In 1974, Cornell and UNH jointly founded the Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore, still one of the nation's largest and best programs for undergraduate field research in marine science.

photo of freshman beanie's

From 1909 to 1971, UNH freshmen were required to wear a beanie to “promote a sense of class spirit.” The length of time the beanies had to be worn varied from year to year. Usually by Thanksgiving or after the first football victory (which ever came first), the beanies were no longer required. Do you think this fashion trend will ever come back?

photo of ornately carved Senior Canes

Senior canes—some featuring ornate carvings—would be carried during the last weeks of the college year as a symbol of the accomplishment of the soon-to-be graduates. They eventually fell out of favor with the students and were replaced with a senior ring in 1940.

photos of the orange and gold and brown and tan carpet samples that were in Dimond Library

When the Dimond Library was renovated and expanded in 1997, pieces of the hideous old carpet were distributed as part of a fundraising effort. The $19 million project was designed to express “the joy of discovery, the excitement of intellectual work,” according architect Graham Gund.

photo of the wool baseball warm-up jackets

A rugged looking Wildcat design graced the wool warm-up jackets of the 1929 baseball team.

photos of UNH megaphones

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned UNH megaphone to shout out your Wildcat pride.

photo of UNH milk bottles in the crates that they were carried in

UNH has always been at the forefront of bringing its cutting-edge research right to your door. In the old days, the UNH dairy bottled and sold its own milk.

old leather ice speed skates

These old speed skates would have been used for racing around the icy oval during winter carnivals.

photo of cans that say Pure UNH Air

Proof that the air at UNH is a refined elixir appreciated by those with discriminating tastes. Pure UNH Air in cans celebrated the UNH Centennial 1966. “Contents: Pure unadulterated Oyster River air, taken from the campus of the University of New Hampshire at Durham. Canned specifically for the use of Alumni and friends of that institution to carry them over at times when in need of vital stimulation.”

photo of a freshman girl, wearing her beanie and her parents helping her move in

The styles of cars, parents, and students might have changed since move-in day in 1965, but much of the ritual remains the same.

photo of a freshman girls at Hewitt Hall bookstore

Apparently, it was possible to concentrate on your studies while wearing a freshman beanie on your head. Here, students review books at the Hewitt Hall bookstore in 1965.

More UNH Slideshows


UNH Anthropology Student Helps Discover Confederate Soldier's Homestead in Belize

University of New Hampshire undergraduate student John DeGennaro spent last summer in Belize on his first archaeological field research trip. 9/23/11

UNH Student Spends Summer Researching Mardi Gras Indians

UNH Student Spends Summer Researching Mardi Gras Indians

UNH student Kendra Hanlon spent the summer of 2011 researching the Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans. She found that the culturally rich community has rebounded since Hurricane Katrina. 8/22/11

Hidden Gems from the Cat's Closet

Hidden Gems from the Cat's Closet

Visit the UNH Archives, and you might be surprised at the range of artifacts that represent how life has changed at the University over the decades. 8/03/11

Midsummer's Night Dream

A Midsummer's Night Dream

Seven UNH Theatre and Dance alums are performing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as part of the Prescott Park Arts Festival. July 24, 31, and August 13 at 2 p.m. 7/15/11