We recently received a truly marvelous collection, a generous gift of the family of James Ira Campbell, ’24. Campbell was one of those all-around guys, a good student, popular, busy with band, drama, Honor Council and other campus activities. For our purposes, though, the most important thing about young Mr. Campbell is that he was the editor-in-chief of the 1924 Campanile and, luckily for us, a bit of a pack rat. This collection arrived in three (!) boxes and includes copious material relating to the production of that volume, everything from the page proofs with annotations to business records to a gorgeous pile of photographs, some used in the book, others not. Here’s what it looked like spread out on the map cases today:
It was breathtaking. It really was–at one point I realized that the reason I was uncomfortable was that I was holding my breath. Encountering a collection this large, in such good condition, and so old is a rare thing. I will enjoy every minute of this and I am deeply grateful to the Campbell family.
I was going to wait until next week but I just can’t. Here’s a small taste, one of the stranger images I’ve come across anywhere. It shows a Rice student in a baseball uniform competing in the javelin throw at a home track meet: