Special Collection Treasures
Published on March 20, 2017 by Becky Hyde

Scrapbooks have been around in one way or another for centuries. People have always tried to keep memories documented, whether in a diary or a more eclectic form. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word "scrapbook" was first used in 1825 as a blank book in which to place pictures, newspaper articles, and other ephemera for preservation. Most scrapbooks we still have today are from the civil war on. The books are very delicate so most don't survive the passing of time.

Scrapbook kept by Mrs. E. H Woodard and given to Dr. J. H. Chapman. Mrs. Woodard was an officer in the Military Aid Society and kept the scrapbook as one of her duties.

Paper has not always been widely available and affordable as it is today. This was especially true during the Civil War when many resources were scarce. It was common for news to be printed on wallpaper or other paper. Scrapbooks were also often made on old books that were no longer needed. If you look carefully at the book above, started in 1861, the news articles were pasted on the pages of a book.

Mason Scrapbook

Scrapbooks get their name from "scraps," the predecessor to the sticker. Scraps were pictures printed with die cuts around the edges. These along with trade cards made their mark after the 1860's. The above scrapbook was curated during the 1870's through the 1890's. There have been many interesting scrapbooking trends. The image on the left has scraps as decoration around newspaper cuttings. The image on the right contains some fragments of ferns that were pressed in the pages for safe keeping. Ferns were very fashionable during the Victorian period which adds a lot to this collection.

Scrapbooks were a hobby most popular with women and children, but this was by no means restricted to them. Many men enjoyed creating scrapbooks themselves.

Rev. Wiley D. Ogletree kept scrapbooks throughout his life. The left photo is a scrapbook he made in 1910, the right in 1959.

Psi Delta Fraternity Scrapbook for 1924

One of the most popular periods of life to take up scrapbooking was during college years.

Mildred Hearn's Scrapbook of Howard College Life in 1921


  • SC 484 E.H. Woodard Scrapbook/Woodard Papers
  • SC 955 Mason Scrapbook
  • "ˈscrap-book, n.". OED Online. December 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/view/Entry/173320 (accessed March 08, 2017).
  • "scrap, n.1c". OED Online. December 2016. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/view/Entry/173314?rskey=z0Zq8Z&result=1&isAdvanced=false (accessed March 08, 2017).
  • SC 985 Box 3 Wiley D. Ogletree Files and Scrapbooks
  • SC 3248 Psi Delta Fraternity – Howard College
  • SC 3270 Mildred Hearn Scrapbook 1
  • SC 6122 Mildred Downs Noojin 1936-1940