Dance cards are small, decorative, booklets that were used in the 19th and early 20th century for a young woman to record the names of the gentlemen she would dance with at a formal ball. Each song played would have a space for the woman to write down the name of the man she would dance with for that song. Dance cards are believed to have become popular in the 19th century in Vienna during large balls. The cards were designed to hang from the wrist or dress of the young woman, using a cord attached the card. Often the cards would also have a pencil attached so as to make adding names more convenient.
D’Youville has a wonderful collection of dance cards that range from as early as 1912, all the way into the 50’s. Although many of the cards are made out of paper, a few have velvet and even hammered metal covers. The dance cards give us a view into what student life was like early in the college’s history.
*The images above are a small sample of the Dance Card Collection. Stop by the college archives on the 3rd floor the the Montante Family Library to view the entire collection.
The D’Youville College Archives has a small collection of glass plate negatives. The techniques shown below provide a brief introduction in handling glass plate photographic material. Note: These glass plates were small, with no cracks or breaks. For information on the handling and storage of large and/or damaged plates, see Further Resources below.
- Care of Photographs, Northeast Document Conservation Center. Preservation leaflet 5.3
- How do I House Glass Plate Negatives?, National Archives.
- Photographs: Archival Care and Management, Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Diane Vogt-O’Connor. Chicago: Society of American Archivist, 2006.
The American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, Library of Congress and other organizations have started the Preservation Week initiative to
raise awareness about collecting and preservation, to connect the general public to preservation information and expertise, and to emphasize the close relationships among personal, family, community, and public collections and their preservation.*
Are you a genealogist? Do you have family photos, diaries, old books, or other collectibles and memorabilia? Here are a few resources to help you take care of those items and organize your research.
Organizing Family Papers
Conducting an Oral History Interview
How to care for Books
How to care for Photographs
How to care for Textiles, Quilts, and Clothing
Caring for Paper and Works of Art on Paper [Drawings, Watercolors, etc.]
*From SAA Preservation Week website.