My first research post

In my research group, I am responsible for the issues of the Bullet written during the 1950s. I began by looking at the citations available in Special Collections. I looked for articles labeled by sections that I felt would be relevant to my research. The categories I looked at included, Curriculum, Departments, specifically the History Department, Class Attendance, Exams, and the Class of 1950. I jotted down the titles of articles that I believed would be useful.

In the main section of the library, I enlisted the help of the gentleman at the resource desk because I had never worked with microfilm before. I decided to start with the issues written between 1951 and 1957. The microfilm viewer wasn’t as complicated as I imagined it would be, once I got a handle on how far to turn the knob in relation to how fast I wanted to change the page. There were a few things that stood out to me in my initial perusal of the Bullet issues, the biggest thing was the number of ads I saw, specifically the giant ads for cigarettes that were everywhere.

One of the articles that I read and printed out for further use was entitled “Average (Impossible?) Day”. It was written by a student named Doris Stiller.[i] The article details her idea of an average day at Mary Washington College in December of 1955. What she describes is very similar to something I would expect to read if this article was written now. She complains about 8am classes, she mentions going to Seacobeck for breakfast, checking her mailbox, and getting through the day’s classes. There were a few differences however, such as her mention of going to the Pennant Room for a smoke, her frantic dash to the phone in order to speak to her favorite “beau”, and the end of her day when her roommate put on a new record.


[i] Doris Stiller, “Average (Impossible?) Day,” The Bullet, December 6, 1955.

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