Student Life in Old Ytterboe Hall a Century Ago

SEPTEMBER 2003

 

Tidbits from the Archives:

By Gary DeKrey, College Archivist
Center for College History

They may not have been the three tenors, but the three St. Olaf musicians pictured here ca. 1908 were already part of the college’s developing musical traditions.  Because St. Olaf lacked designated practice rooms at the time, student musicians practiced in their dormitory rooms.   The two cornet players may have been members of the St. Olaf Band, which toured Norway in 1906.  The 1907 Viking boasted that playing in the band gave students “a good training in music, practically free of charge.” The flag, calendar pin-up, pennants and photographs of classmates and friends provide a good idea of contemporary student room décor.  The room itself was in the original Ytterboe Hall.

This photo was taken by Harald Farseth ’09 and is from a collection of over 100 images of student life that Farseth donated to the college in the form of glass-plate negatives.  The plates were recently scanned for digital preservation.  Some, like this one, are being viewed  for the first time since their donation.