Current Exhibits

A History of the Libraries of Lawrence University

Photographs, correspondence, and other materials documenting the history of Lawrence’s libraries are on display in the exhibit cases on the first floor of the library. A telegram from Andrew Carnegie giving Lawrence $50, 000 to build a library in 1906 is also on display. Learn about the first library of Lawrence located in Main Hall through the current Seeley G. Mudd Library.

The Holiday Season at Lawrence University and Milwaukee-Downer College

Dance cards, programs, photographs, and other artifacts document how the holiday season was celebrated at the two schools throughout the years. The exhibit is located in Ricerview Lounge in Memorial Union.

Holiday traditions at Lawrence University included Christmas programs given by the Concert Choir, caroling, and Christmas formals. Snow sculptures were a popular activity at that time of year. Sledding down the hill outside Memorial Union was also popular, especially if you were able to stop at the bottom of the hill without going into the Fox River.

Holiday traditions at Milwaukee-Downer included formals, carnivals, the performance of the annual Christmas play, and lantern night. The popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” made its national debut at MDC in 1910.

Haunted Lawrence

Being around since 1847 is a long time for a college to acquire ghosts and haunted places. Here are a few places on campus that are said to be haunted.

Know of other haunted places or have a Lawrence ghost story to tell? E-mail

Cloak Theater

Mysterious sounds and shadows have been reported in Cloak Theater when it is empty.

Main Hall

Dan Taylor’s office is supposedly haunted by Hiram Jones. Jones was a Professor of Ancient Language and Literature from 1854-1898. Jones’s office, teaching area and a small library that served as Lawrence’s library at the time were in the location where Taylor’s office currently is. Jones began his Latin class one day in 1898 and proceeded to die on the spot. Since he was a much loved and respected professor and active in the Appleton community, it was a very traumatic event for the 2 communities.

Memorial Chapel

There is a certain seat in the Chapel that supposedly has an evil aura.

Ormsby Hall

A ghost was seen there in 1899 when Ormsby was an all-women’s dorm. The girls chased the ghost out with their hat pins. The story is reported in the February 1899 issue of the Lawrentian.

Stansbury Theatre

Ceiling lights have been known to come on when no one is around; there have been sounds of someone walking across stage and a shadow of someone walking in the theater when no one is around. One theory is that it was a worker that fell to his death when they were building the theater. Others have suggested it was the owner of the home that was torn down to build the Music-Drama Center.

Welcome to the Lawrence Archives Blog!

This is the first post for the first ever Lawrence Archives blog! Posts will be added on a weekly basis and more or less frequently as needed. Posts will include news on upcoming events, exhibits, and other activities going on in the Archives, also known as the meat locker.

Questions, comments, suggestions, random thoughts? Send an e-mail to or feel free to visit the Archives to discuss in person any issues you have with this blog with University Archivist Julia Stringfellow.

Upcoming Events

October 13-15, 2006

Milwaukee-Downer College reunion weekend

Activities the Archives will be involved in include a show and tell presentation of archival materials from Milwaukee-Downer on Friday, October 13, a session on how to do oral histories as part of the Alumnae College on Saturday, October 14, and oral history interviews with MDC alumnae throughout Saturday. A display of unidentified photographs will be on the first floor of the Seeley G. Mudd Library for alumnae to identify.

Current Exhibits

Photographs and other materials depicting life at Milwaukee-Downer College are on display in the exhibit cases on the first floor of the library. Stop by and learn about traditions that were a part of college life in the 1940s and 1950s.