On the hushed second floor of Collins Memorial Library, surrounded by rows of shelves weighed down by boxes and folders that date back through decades, Adriana Flores ’13 is digging for clues that will help tell the story of a green beanie.
As Puget Sound’s archivist, Adriana manages the college’s archives and special collections, which include everything from rare books and manuscripts to administrative records, student publications, and transcripts of presidents’ speeches. She also serves as a guide to the archives for students and staff and faculty members doing research. But her favorite part of the job is putting items like the beanie into context.
“Archival work is about learning stories of other people and finding ways to provide access to those stories,” she explains. “A lot of archival work is detective work. It’s this constant puzzle that you’re always trying to solve.”
In the case of the somewhat infamous green beanie, Adriana turned to digitized versions of The Trail and learned that it was a hazing relic. From about 1918 to 1961, first-year students were forced to wear the beanies for their first semester or face punishments enforced by sophomores. In the 1930s, some first-years caught without a beanie were handcuffed to houses or trees. In the 1950s, their hair was dyed green.