Eleanor Frame Scrapbooks

The reason I started looking at the Eleanor Frame scrapbook originally is that we share the last name Frame. I found this to be fascinating as my father that is from Scotland would remind me that the name Frame is a specific family name given to those raised in a particular region called Lanark in the central band of Scotland. I found it intriguing to understand further about the woman that may trace back to the same place as my family.

The Eleanor Frame collections consist of two very large scrapbooks dating from 1936 – 1946 which kept a visual diary of her time spent at the University of Tulsa. These scrapbooks are fascinating because you can take a trip back in time to see what was happening at the University of Tulsa in 1940 and compare it to how it has changed now. If one thing is very apparent from both scrapbooks, it is that Ms. Frame was very heavily involved with a sorority and kept multiple tabs on events that were happening through her sorority. She also kept newspaper clippings about other members of her sorority and events taking place in their lives, there is a reference to one girl that is getting married from her sorority, and there are multiple clippings about that.

The art of scrapbooking was the ability to capture moments in time through objects and meaningful pieces of the person that could tell a story for future generations, and this is particularly true for the Eleanor Frame scrapbooks. Ms. Frame did a fantastic job of keeping track of current events at the University of Tulsa by keeping newspaper clippings that revealed what was happening at the time, whether it was about Greek life at the University of Tulsa or whether it was focusing on the football team which she has several clippings. In general, the scrapbooks provide a time portal and a look into the life of a college student from 1938-1941 and reveals how the University has changed and adapted over time, it is a crazy piece of history to look at as a student at the University of Tulsa almost 70 years after these were created!

The most interesting part of the scrapbooks are the physical artifacts that are attached to the pages, markers of the stage in life that Eleanor Frame was at. One particular page contains several wooden artifacts that show a connection to her sorority, one is a wooden shoe with writing on it that serves as an invitation for a sorority dinner, and the other is a windmill with the sorority Greek letters above the door. Another interesting artifact in the scrapbook is a pair of handcuffs; there are no contextual explanations for them; nevertheless, they are interested in her overall story.

If you are interested in viewing these materials, you can always come to see us in Special Collections, located on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library, Monday through Friday 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.


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