Collection inventory

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Syracuse University Memorabilia Collection

An inventory of the collection at the Syracuse University Archives

Finding aid created by: Erin Carter
Date: 2015

Historical Note

Syracuse University was founded on March 24, 1870, when its Board of Trustees signed the University charter and certificate of incorporation, acting on a proposal put forth earlier that year at the Methodist State Convention. Despite its modest beginnings, the story of Syracuse University has been one of remarkable growth and progress. The University's population has expanded from a few dozen local students to over 21,000 students from all over the world. Significant eras of development in campus building and academic programs included the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries and the post-World War II years. The second half of the twentieth century saw the University transform into a modern research institution with international connections.

Scope and Content Note

The Syracuse University Memorabilia Collection comprises many kinds of items that represent various facets of the University. Amongst the thousands of items included there are T-shirts, buttons, pins, mugs, banners, stickers, medals, athletic gear, and more. The collection is divided into thirteen series:

The Academics series contains materials related to the various Colleges, Schools, and departments on the University campus. Some specific academic programs are also represented in the collection.

The Activities and organizations series is composed of items relating to the various extra-curricular opportunities offered by the University. Amongst those represented are longstanding groups like the marching band and the cheerleading squad.

The Administration series contains materials related to non-academic and administrative departments, groups, and programs on campus.

The Alumni series primarily contains materials related to reunions that have taken place over the decades. Other items in the series are related to certain alumni groups or activities.

The Athletics series contains sports-related materials. The largest portion of the series is dedicated to football, but many other sports popular at the University from the early twentieth century onward, including boxing and crew, are represented as well.

The Awards and honors series contains medals and ribbons presented to individuals by the University for outstanding achievements and contributions.

The Buildings and grounds series is devoted to the various structures on the University campus. It is composed of groundbreaking materials, commemorative reproductions, dedicatory plaques, and more.

The Controversies and problems series is composed of items from student strikes and protests held on campus.

The Greek organizations series contains materials related to fraternity and sorority life at the University. While pledge paddles make up the bulk of the series, pins, dance cards, and other materials are also available.

The Military and wars series is dedicated to materials related to University members of active duty, veteran, or retired status.

The Special events series is composed of items that pertain to specific events such as the University's centennial, commencement ceremonies, homecoming festivities, and others.

The Students series contains materials related to specific graduating classes or students in the University's history.

The Syracuse city and Onondaga County series is dedicated to the community surrounding the University.

The Syracuse University miscellaneous series contains more general University materials such as T-shirts, glassware, stickers, and more. The materials in this series are not attached to any particular activity, event, or organization.

Lastly, the Traditions series is composed of materials specific to longstanding University traditions. Amongst those included are the University seal, the Goon Squad, and the original wooden Charter Mace.


Access Restrictions:

Please note that some of this collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Seven items were transferred to the Flora Ablondi and Edgar Workman Papers; because of this, Box 77 no longer exists in the collection.

Additional historical information and related material can be found in the clippings files and the Syracuse University Photograph Collection in the University Archives.

Selected Search Terms


Syracuse China Company.
Syracuse University -- Alumni and alumnae.
Syracuse University -- Buildings.
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University -- Sports.
Syracuse University -- Students.
Syracuse University.


Greek letter societies.
Marching bands.
Student activities.
Syracuse (N.Y.) -- History.

Types of Material

Buttons (information artifacts)
Dance cards.
Drinking glasses.
Lapel pins.
Mugs (cups)
Plates (general, dishes)
Trading cards.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Syracuse University Memorabilia Collection,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Materials in the Syracuse University Memorabilia Collection have been gathered from a number of different sources including alumni, faculty and staff, and University schools and colleges.

Processing Information

Items have been housed in acid-free containers.


Materials are arranged by series and in alphabetical order.

Table of Contents


Activities and organizations




Awards and honors

Buildings and grounds

Controversies and problems

Greek organizations

Military and wars

Special events


Syracuse city and Onondaga County

Syracuse University miscellaneous