Guide to the James L. Bixby Photographic Collection

Collection Title: James L. Bixby Photographic Collection
Dates: 1939-1942
Identification: 75/7
Creator: Bixby, James L., 1921-2002
Extent: 4 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: James L. Bixby was a member of Northwestern's class of 1943, though he did not complete the requirements for a degree. He was a photographer for the Purple Parrot, a highly regarded campus humor and feature magazine, as well as the Daily Northwestern and the Syllabus. The Bixby collection consists of approximately 1,000 items, including interfiled prints and negatives. The photographs document life at Northwestern during the period ca. 1939-1942. Prominent among them are images of courtship, fraternity and sorority rituals, formal dances, student residences, athletic events, theatrical performances, members of the faculty and staff, and notable visitors to campus.
Acquisition Information: The James L. Bixby Photographic Collection was donated to the University Archives by Mr. Bixby (see letter dated December 9, 1985, from James L. Bixby to Kevin B. Leonard, associate university archivist, in provenance file). Exact accession information is unknown.
Processing Information: Sally Chambers and James Parsons, February 1992, Amber Thessen, Spring 2004, Stacy Vogel, February 2005.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

James L. Bixby was a member of Northwestern's class of 1943. A liberal arts major, Bixby did not complete the requirements for a degree. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a photographer for the Purple Parrot, a highly regarded campus humor and feature magazine. He was also a contributing photographer to the Daily Northwestern and the Syllabus.

Scope and Content

The Bixby collection consists of approximately 1,000 items, including interfiled prints and negatives. The combined prints and negatives fill four “shoeboxes”. While many prints were included, the bulk of the collection was initially formed by negatives. The photographs document life at Northwestern during the period ca. 1939-1942. Prominent among them are images of courtship, fraternity and sorority rituals, and formal dances. Rounding out the collection are photographs of student residences, athletic events, theatrical performances, members of the faculty and staff, and notable visitors to campus (Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, etc.).

Bixby was an accomplished photographer. Items within the Bixby collection at the University Archives are typically of very high quality in terms of composition and physical interest. Prints selected from the collection have been used as key illustrations in two studies in American cultural history: Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures From the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1987) and Beth L. Baily, From Front porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth Century America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, c1988).

Contact prints made from the collection's negatives are included in the print portion of the collection. The photographic prints are black and white and the standard size of both prints and negatives is 4″× 5″. The prints and negatives are arranged alphabetically by subject title (Homecoming, Sigma Alpha Epsilon rush, Basketball, Dance: Navy Ball, etc.); Index cards with the subject titles divide the negatives, while each print is labeled individually on the back.

Negatives are enveloped individually.

Arrangement of Materials

The photographs are filed alphabetically by subject. Title index cards divide some of the subjects; each negative is identified with a penciled title on the envelope, while each print is titled in pencil on the back.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--Photographs

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--Students--Photographs

Subjects

College students--Illinois--Evanston--Photographs


Container List / Contents

  • Alpha Chi OmegaBox 1
  • Alpha Phi FormalBox 1
  • Athletic BanquetBox 1
  • Basketball Publicity ShotsBox 1
  • Beta Theta Pi – PledgesBox 1
  • Better Understanding WeekBox 1
  • Bixby, JimBox 1
  • Bixby, RaymondBox 1
  • Blackhawk College CoedsBox 1
  • Boetcher, Harry & Georgia BaylesBox 1
  • Cadaver Dissection at NU Med. SchoolBox 1
  • Captain of Police at EvanstonBox 1
  • Carson Pirie Scott Style ShowBox 1
  • Chi Omega, Charity PartyBox 1
  • Choral Program at NUBox 1
  • Cosmopolitan Club ConventionBox 1
  • Daily Northwestern Style ShowBox 1
  • Dances - Flunker's FrolicBox 1
  • Dances – Shai-Bat, Waa-Mu PublicityBox 1
  • Dances – Navy BallBox 1
  • Dances – Inter-Fraternity BallBox 1
  • Dances – Junior Prom - Syllabus PublicityBox 1
  • Dances – Junior Prom – Syllabus Queen, Phyllis AndersonBox 1
  • Dances – OtherBox 1
  • Dedication of Scott Hall, 1940Box 1
  • Delta Delta Delta – Rushing Booklet ShotsBox 1
  • Delta Delta Delta – Rushing Pix, 1940Box 1
  • Delta Gamma – Night Club DinnerBox 1
  • Delta Gamma - Rushing Pix, 1940Box 1
  • Delta Gamma – Winter FormalBox 1
  • Delta Tau Delta Pajama RaceBox 1
  • Delta Upsilon - Alumni PartyBox 1
  • Delta Upsilon – Founder's Day Banquet, 1940Box 1
  • Delta Zeta – 1940 Rushing Pix, Professor Lee LectureBox 1
  • Extra ShotsBox 1
  • Football, 1939Box 1
  • Football, 1939 (continued)Box 2
  • Football, 1940Box 2
  • Football – Broadcasting Syracuse Game in Scott HallBox 2
  • Football – Ohio State – NorthwesternBox 2
  • Football – OtherBox 2
  • Frankel, StanBox 2
  • Freshman CommissionBox 2
  • Gamma Phi BetaBox 2
  • Gamma Phi Beta – Rushing Pix, 1940Box 2
  • German ClubBox 2
  • Goodman, BennyBox 2
  • Goodrich House FormalBox 2
  • Graduation, 1940Box 2
  • Gump, Dorothy (Delta Gamma)Box 2
  • Hobart HouseBox 2
  • HomecomingBox 2
  • Homecoming, 1939Box 2
  • Homecoming, 1940Box 2
  • Kappa Kappa GammaBox 2
  • Lambda Chi Alpha Smoke OutBox 2
  • Lindsay, MargaretBox 2
  • May Day FestivalsBox 2
  • Mock ConventionBox 2
  • McClain, Portia & Russ Kohr at I-F BallBox 2
  • N.A.I.Box 2
  • Navy BallBox 2
  • Navy Cruise, 1939Box 2
  • ND-NU DanceBox 2
  • New Student Activities – Freshman Exams in Scott HallBox 2
  • North Shore Co-operative SocietyBox 2
  • Notre Dame – NU Victory DanceBox 2
  • N.Y.A. Colored Kids at Christmas DanceBox 2
  • PartiesBox 2
  • Parties – New Student and Freshman PartyBox 2
  • Personalities on Campus – Joseph Bonnet, OrganistBox 2
  • Personalities on Campus - Dykstra, C., Selective ServicesBox 2
  • Personalities on Campus – T.V. SmithBox 2
  • Personalities on Campus – Templeton, Alex & WifeBox 2
  • Petty, GeorgeBox 2
  • Phi Delta Theta – Rushing Pix, 1940Box 2
  • Phi Omega Sorority HomecomingBox 2
  • Pi Beta Phi – Rushing Pix, 1940Box 2
  • Pi Kappa Alpha – Rushing Pix, 1940Box 2
  • Purple ParrotBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Cover Pix for March IssueBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Cover Pix for October IssueBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Parroteers, 1940-41 – Betty HaynesBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Parroteers, 1940-41 – Glenn StockBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Parties, etc.Box 3
  • Purple Parrot – Photo CrimeBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – PicnicBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Promotional StuntsBox 3
  • Purple Parrot – Staff, 1940-41Box 3
  • Purple Parrot – Style ShowBox 3
  • Queens, 1940Box 3
  • Randle, Mary Jac; Chuck ChidseyBox 3
  • Reichert, Bill – Changing Tire on Geology TripBox 3
  • Registration, 1940 – First SemesterBox 3
  • Registration, 1940 – Second SemesterBox 3
  • Religious MeetingsBox 3
  • Rogers House – Student-Faculty DinnerBox 3
  • Rogers House – Marianna SchauppBox 3
  • Rooney, Mickey – at NU Football GameBox 3
  • Rush Week Pictures, 1939Box 3
  • Rush Week – OtherBox 3
  • Sandburg, CarlBox 3
  • Scenes from NUBox 3
  • Scott Hall - GrillBox 3
  • Scott Hall – Nite ClubBox 3
  • Senior Announcement PublicityBox 3
  • Sigma Alpha EpsilonBox 3
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon – Bixby's RoomBox 3
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon – Pi Beta Phi WalkoutBox 3
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon – Rushing Pix, 1940Box 3
  • Ski Trip to Lacrosse, Wisconsin, 1941Box 3
  • Ski Trip 1941 (continued)Box 4
  • Snyder, Franklin; PresidentBox 4
  • Sorority Christmas SerenadeBox 4
  • Speech, School ofBox 4
  • Study PosturesBox 4
  • Syracuse Football Send-OffBox 4
  • Tau Delta EtaBox 4
  • Technological Building FireBox 4
  • Television Rubber Boot CompanyBox 4
  • Thomas, Norman – Major ElliotBox 4
  • Tribune – Geology TripBox 4
  • Tribune – Pajama RaceBox 4
  • Tribune – R.O.T.C. Awards, Lilac DayBox 4
  • Tribune Activities – Andy PavilionBox 4
  • Tullgren, Mary (Chi Omega)Box 4
  • UnidentifiedBox 4
  • Unidentified – DancesBox 4
  • Unidentified – LibraryBox 4
  • Unidentified – New Student WeekBox 4
  • Unidentified – Scott Hall GrillBox 4
  • Unidentified – SkiingBox 4
  • Unidentified – Sorority QuadsBox 4
  • Unidentified – Winter SceneBox 4
  • U.S. Camera – Copy NegativesBox 4
  • Vocational Guidance, Raymond BixbyBox 4
  • Waa-Mu Show, 1940 – “Here's Your Party”Box 4
  • W.A.A. Style ShowBox 4
  • Willard Hall ActivitiesBox 4
  • Willard Hall Formal DanceBox 4
  • Winter Formal Dances - Extra ShotsBox 4
  • Winter Scenes – Rogers House & Scott HallBox 4
  • Y.M.C.A AwardsBox 4
  • Y.M.C.A – 50th AnniversaryBox 4