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Class records

 Record Group
Identifier: A01.06

  • Staff Only
  • Please use the Collection Organization section below to place requests.

Scope and Content

This collection contains records of graduating classes of Bowdoin College. Includes material on both undergraduate and alumni activities of the class such as Ivy Day, Class Day, class suppers, oratory exhibitions and prize declamations, commencement, commencement parts, reunions, and undergraduate and alumni publications. There are also silhouettes, class photograph albums, dance cards, and class badges. A large selection of volumes provides views of student life at Bowdoin through student account books, autograph albums, diaries, letters and scrapbooks. Account books record such expenses as stamps, food, and clothes while autograph albums include entries from most members of the graduating class. Diaries provide personal observations while scrapbooks compiled by or about individual college alumni may contain photographs, memorabilia, and news clippings collected by the creator. Included are the scrapbooks of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Robert E. Peary. Most scrapbooks cover undergraduate years, however some include post-Bowdoin activities. See Alumni biographical files for more information on specific alumni.

Material varies from class to class.


  • Creation: 1806 - 2024

Access Restrictions

Item-level restrictions apply.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Class records date from 1806 to the present and consist of materials from every graduating class.

Bowdoin College was chartered in 1794. The first students entered in 1802 and the first six were graduated in 1806. It was an all-male institution until the Governing Boards voted in September 1970 to make the college coeducational. The first undergraduate woman to receive a degree from Bowdoin was an exchange student from Connecticut College on the Twelve College Exchange Program. She received her degree in 1971. The first regularly enrolled women entered as freshmen in the fall of 1971.

The majority of materials pertain to commencement and official class proceedings. Some class years have more supplemental and personal materials, like letters and diaries, than others.


67 Linear Feet (37 boxes; ovsz-box)

464 Volumes : Some volume-folio are housed in boxes as they are in fragile state. Boxes are still shelved in volume-folio stacks.

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically by class year.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The majority of the records were transferred by other offices in Bowdoin or personally donated by alumni.

Processing Information

In July 2024, the Class records were reprocessed to merge the student jounrals, diaries, and scrapbooks that were previously incorporated in the Office of Development records [A01.03.03]. This merge included an additional 250 volumes and six linear inches of materials. All volumes in the Class records were therefore re-numbered sequentially throughout the collection to reflect this latest addition and in hopes to provide a more cohesive collection for each class year. Previous volume numbers were saved and can be accessed by archives staff.

Guide to Class Records
Emma Barton-Norris
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 Repository

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288