The Denison University Archives devotes much of its shelf space to books, catalogs, reports, and other intentional documentation of the college, but nothing tells the story of life as it was lived better than the donated personal scrapbooks made by students through the years. An impressively fastidious coed from the early 1950s kept (and still keeps, we hope) a daily “Budget Book” that was tucked in among her snapshots and theatre programs. As you turn each of the 30 pages, a surprisingly intimate story of her life and times unfolds.
On May 17, 1952, she went to see Singin’ In The Rain (“with Phil”) for 50 cents. Apparently they went dutch. She enjoyed an occasional cigarette, mailed her laundry home (as was the custom) every other month for 41 cents, ate at the college “Grill” in the basement of Talbot, paid her Chi Omega, Book-of-the-Month Club, and YWCA dues, and from time to time spent a nickel on a Coke and considerably more on cosmetics. On this page, it looks like she bought some yarn on November 2, 1951 for Phil—we’re guessing he got socks for Christmas.