Spanning the period from 1902 to 1920, with the bulk of materials dating between 1903 and 1907, the Ralph C. J. Wallace scrapbook documents the college social lives of Ralph Wallace and (to a lesser extent) Bess Linder Wallace at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. Arranged in their original order (which is not strictly chronological), scrapbook materials comprise a mixture of fraternity and sorority memorabilia; newspaper clippings; photographs; and college-related flyers and announcements.
Fraternity and sorority memorabilia include dance cards, announcements, and invitations from such organizations as Zeta Phi Eta, Sigma Alpha Iota, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Alpha Chi Omega. The scrapbook also contains a 1907 pamphlet entitled “Songs of Delta Tau Delta.”
Noteworthy clippings relate to hazing and other rowdy behavior at Northwestern; the death of Wallace's fellow student and fraternity brother Dwight C. Hubbard in 1906; and events such as the junior class play “Follies” in 1906, for which Wallace served as Business Manager.
The photographs depict campus scenes and buildings; football players and games; Northwestern's Life Saving Crew “in action”; fraternity and sorority members; and the interior and exterior of Delta Tau Delta houses at Northwestern and Illinois.
Flyers and announcements of note pertain to rivalry among collegiate classes; and to “Trigs,” Northwestern students' ritual burning of mathematics textbooks.
A Masonic pamphlet (1920) is inserted loose at the very back of the scrapbook, along with two additional posters relating to “Trigs” events.