New and Notable: Harry Brookings Wallace Papers and Commencement Office Records

The University Archives has a new collection and a new addition to an existing collection for you to explore. 

First up, is the Harry Brookings Wallace Collection.  Wallace was the nephew of Washington University Board of Trustees member Robert Somers Brookings, and was president and acting chancellor of the university (1944-1945).  Included in the collection is correspondence from Wallace’s time as acting chancellor, letters of congratulations on being selected as president and acting chancellor, publications by Wallace, as well as more personal items like pictures of rail road cars and documents pertaining to the remodel of Wallace’s house.  Come take a closer look at one of the university’s chancellors.

Itemizing Wallace's new home

Document itemizing the remodel of Harry Brookings Wallace’s home.  From the Harry Brookings Wallace collection, Series 03, Box 1. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Next, we have added a new series to the Commencement Collection.  The Commencement Office Records series contains mailings that go out each year to undergraduate students, graduate students and parents about graduation, procedural documents for graduation in case of severe weather, photographs from several graduation ceremonies and the design for the current commencement robes.  This design also contains the color swatches used in the robes.  Forgot what you did during Senior Week right before graduation?  Come the University Archives and refresh your memory!

Commencement color swatches

The color swatches used for the redesigned commencement gowns at WashU.  From the Commencement Collection, series 04, Oversized.  University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

The Harry Brookings Wallace Collection and the Commencement Office Records are available for research. Contact the University Archives at if you would like to view these collections.

About the author

Miranda Rectenwald is Curator of Local History, Washington University Special Collections. More info.