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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago School Color History Collection 1894-1911

© 2012 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. School Color History. Collection

Dates:

1894-1911

Size:

1.5 linear feet (1 box)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

This collection contains the maroon ribbon used by administrative and student committees when voting for the new university color and a memorandum connected to the maroon ribbon. It also contains documents relating to the selection of the maroon as the school color.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: University of Chicago. School Color History. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Historical Note

For the first years of the University of Chicago, there was considerable ambiguity as to its colors. In 1892, a committee of trustees recommended orange and grey as the university's colors, but only the color orange was officially adopted. However, this decision was far from final. Not only did the use of orange upset Syracuse University, it clashed with University of Chicago students' tradition of using gold as the university color. Complicating this was the use of many different shades of orange and gold in different combination at student events. At different points during the early 1890s, gold, yellow, Etruscan gold and orange were used as the colors of the University of Chicago.

Due to the ambiguity and controversy surrounding the color of the University of Chicago, two meetings were held to determine a new color for the University of Chicago. In the first meeting, scarlet was voted by a large margin as the university color, but in a smaller second meeting maroon was selected. Despite controversy over the choice of maroon and the meeting in which maroon was selected, Marion Talbot, chair of the council tasked with recommending the new color to the trustees, recommended the color maroon to the board of trustees and in 1894 maroon became the color of the University of Chicago.

Scope Note

This collection contains the maroon ribbon used by administrative and student committees when voting for the new university color and a memorandum connected to the maroon ribbon. It also contains documents relating to the selection of the maroon as the school color.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

University of Chicago School Color History, undated

Box 1   Folder 2

Maroon fabric ribbon, 1894 and Memorandum, J.E. Raycroft to T.W. Goodspeed, 1911