Old English Christmas Festival
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Brief Description:

The papers consist mostly of records of the work that went into planning Christmas events. This work can be divided into four groups; committee plans, memoranda, graphic art, and memorabilia.

Committee planning: Represents the beginning process of creating the school festivals. They include business letters, guest lists, invitation lists, duty lists, was well as rough drafts of event programs, directions for decoration, lyrics of suggested music, and material lists. Most of this material exists in its original form, although there are some photocopies. Also included in this category are handwritten notes to and from faculty members, and reminders to self about ideas for event planning. Correspondents include college President James R. Thaxton, Leonora Ivey (head of Physical Education), Ruth Parker Jenkins (Dean of Women), Dr. Tayloe Harding, Joan Bailey, Thera Hambrick, and Susan E. Thomas.

Memoranda: Includes circulated reminders to faculty and participants of what is being planned. They include flyers, typed mimeograph copies of programs, and participant directions. They represent the semi-finalized plans for festivities.

Graphics: Ranges from black and white magazine pictures to watercolor paintings by artists M. Small and W. Parrish. Costumes design for Lady Bountiful, reindeer, ice-skaters, marching band members, Foolish Funnies, Certayne Dancers, The Morris Men, the Lords of Misrule, Pages, Court Fools, Knights of the Hobby Horse, St. George and the Dragon, a peasant girl, Swiss mountaineers, Greeks, a Gay 90s Girl, a shepherd, clowns, and minuets are included. Also preserved are the magazine clippings which inspired the costume designs, and their sources including McCall’s Pattern Catalog, This Week magazine, The Ladies Home Journal, The Detroit Free Press, The Atlanta Journal, The New York Times, and School Arts Magazine. Pictures of popular culture icons of the 1920s and 30s such as actors Dorothy Gish and Maurice Chevalier are included in this collection and reflect of the entertainment influences of the time. Some costume plans include fabric swatches as well as cost of materials during that period.

Memorabilia: Represents the end result of all the planning. They include original Christmas programs from years past, old Christmas cards, and excerpts from the college’s earlier publications. Some notable correspondence is that of author Ebele Eko to a member of staff. Some of the old college customs described in the handbook are The Hat Picnic, May Day, Thursday Night Supper, After Dinner Coffee, Big Sister-Little Sister Week, Campus Songs, Thanksgiving Dinner, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. Related newspaper articles reporting on the college festivities are also included in this section.

For images of the Old English Christmas Festival, see our Flickr album, "Old English Christmas Festival" online.

Held at:
Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections
Valdosta State University Archives, Odum Library
1500 N. Patterson St.
Valdosta, GA 31698
Phone: 229-333-7150
Fax: 229-259-5055
Email: dsdavis [at] valdosta.edu
Record Series Number: UA/22/8
Volume: 4.0 Boxes
Subject Index
Campus Traditions/College Customs
Christmas decorations
Costume Design
Eko, Ebele
Georgia State Womans College
Glee Club
Ivey, Leonora
May Day Celebration
May Day Festival
Old English Christmas Festival
South Georgia State Normal College
Thaxton, James R.
The Campus Canopy