We’ve seen some of the preservation concerns that crop up in scrapbooks—now let’s explore some of the artistic highlights of the Montgomery County Medical Society Alliance’s scrapbooks (MS-686). Through this artistry, the open-endedness and individuality of scrapbooks takes flight. MCMSA’s scrapbooks (AKA “historians’ notebooks”) were assembled by whichever member was serving as historian at the time. Each historian brought her own twist to the scrapbook, resulting in a wide range of artistic styles.
One scrapbook from the late 1950s and early 1960s is sprinkled with hand-drawn illustrations.
This advertisement for the MCMSA’s January 1963 “Bridge in Orbit” event was one of my favorites. At first glance, I thought it was illustrated with salt and pepper shakers. Instead of flying tableware, though, they’re stylized versions of the Mercury program capsules that put John Glenn and others into orbit in 1962 and early 1963. It was a great juxtaposition—nothing says ‘space age’ like a space-themed bridge party!
Nametags from MCMSA events are scattered throughout the scrapbooks—for example, this satchel-shaped nametag worn by early MCMSA president, Mrs. John Groff, to a centennial celebration for the Montgomery County Medical Society.
However, this one—from a dance hosted in 1950—is probably the most colorful. Scraps of fabrics were stitched together, creating a patchwork quilt effect. Since the dance’s theme was ‘hard times,’ it’s possible that this design pays homage to thriftiness in fabric usage during the Great Depression and World War II.
Click through the photos to see the fabrics used!
Processing for MS-686 is still underway, but once it’s available, come explore the collection and discover the creative ways in which the MCMSA documented their achievements!
Note: MS-686, Montgomery County Medical Society Alliance Records, is currently being processed. The processing, as well as this blog post, are being completed as part of my capstone project for Wright State’s Public History master’s program. Processing was made possible by generous support from the Montgomery County Medical Society Alliance.
Post by Megan O’Connor, graduate student processing archivist