The Oral Histories of the 1959 Oregon State College Wrestling Court collection consists of materials created and assembled by Brittany Backen for her research paper "'Coed Cheesecake': The 1959 Wrestling Court and the Politics of the Marriage Market at Oregon State College," submitted in December 2013 for the course "HST 407 - Untold History of OSU," taught by Ben Mutschler. Backen's paper received the Library Undergraduate Research Award in May 2014 and garnered Honorable Mention OSU Undergraduate Research Student of the Year Award honors for its author.
The collection includes audio and transcripts for six born digital interviews conducted in 2013 by Backen with four members of the 1959 wrestling court - Carol Hamlin, Maryann Hogan, Sharon Reid, and Janet Essig - as well as former wrestler Ken Noteboom, and former editor of the Daily Barometer Chuck Wenstrom. In addition to born digital sound recordings and transcripts, collection materials include pdf scans of release agreements, research materials and Backen's final paper; newspaper clippings and correspondence; and photocopies of Life Magazine and Sports Illustrated articles featuring the 1959 wrestling court as well as the Sigma Delta Chi 1959-1960 school year calendar and other materials documenting the 1959 OSC wrestling team.
Sound files were originally created in .m4a and .wav formats which were then converted to .mp3 access files. All born digital materials are stored on the Special Collections & Archives Research Center file server.
- Series 1: Interview Audio and Transcripts, 2013 Add to Shelf
- All interviews were conducted by Brittany Backen. Specific interview topics are included below.
- Extent: 8 sound files
- Extent: 101 MB born digital
- Digital File 1: (Aune) Essig, Janet, October 31, 2013 Add to Shelf
- Essig discusses OSC, her major in Education, classes, living on campus, being part of a sorority, and campus activities. She also discusses the selection process for the 1959 wrestling court, President Strand's reaction to the swimsuit photographs and the resulting controversy, and Dean of Women Helen Moor's reaction to the photographs. Essig also notes her own family's response to the controversy and the pictures printed in the media, and details her life after OSC. Interview conducted in Eugene, Oregon.
- Digital File 2: (Backen) Hogan, Mary Ann, November 2, 2013 Add to Shelf
- Hogan discusses her childhood, her decision to attend Oregon State College, campus life, being part of a sorority, and titles she held in high school and at OSC. She also recounts Ken Noteboom approaching her about being in the wrestling court, the candidate interview and selection process, the swimsuit photo shoot, and reactions to the pictures both on and off campus. She also speaks of her life after graduating from OSC in 1960. Interview conducted in Bend, Oregon.
- Digital File 3: (Ransom) Reid, Sharon, November 4, 2013 Add to Shelf
- Reid discusses her childhood growing up in Albany, Oregon, majoring in Business Education at Oregon State College, engaging in activities on campus with her sorority, and her decision to join the wrestling court. She also discusses her memories of Dale Thomas, Helen Moor and August Strand. Interview conducted in Albany, Oregon.
- Digital File 4: (Lindbloom) Hamlin, Carol, November 9, 2013 Add to Shelf
- Hamlin discusses her childhood growing up in Roseburg, Oregon, her decision to attend Oregon State College, activities her sorority was involved with on campus, education, and her memories of the wrestling court, including the selection process. She also relays her views on the wrestling court, the reactions of her family and on campus to the swimsuit photos, and the court's receiving letters after the photos were published in national magazines. Interview conducted in Medford, Oregon.
- Digital File 5: Noteboom, Ken, November 11, 2013 Add to Shelf
- Noteboom discusses his decision to attend Oregon State College, his major and classes at OSC, his involvement in wrestling, and his coach, Dale Thomas. He recounts the idea and creation of the wrestling court, including the processes for selecting women to interview and choosing the seven women that made up the court. He also discusses life after graduating, coordinating class reunions, reunions of the 1959 wrestling court, and serving on the wrestling endowment board. Interview conducted at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
- Digital File 6: Wenstrom, Chuck, November 11, 2013 Add to Shelf
- Wenstrom discusses his relationship with President Strand and Strand's professional background, Strand's objection to hosting the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Wrestling Tournament, and Dale Thomas's role in bringing the tournament to Corvallis. He also notes the path that he took to becoming a student at Oregon State, his activities as a student including his involvement with the Barometer, his memories of the wrestling court, and its reception on campus. Interview conducted at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
- Series 2: Supporting Research Materials, 1983-2013 Add to Shelf
Series II consists of both paper materials and born digital items documenting the wrestling court controversy, a later wrestling court assembled in 1984, and reunions of the original court in 1989 and 2009.
Digital contents include a pdf version of Brittany Backen's final paper, "'Coed Cheesecake': The 1959 Wrestling Court and the Politics of the Marriage Market at Oregon State College," (also available online) as well as scans of research materials that she gathered - including many of the paper materials held in Series II - and signed permissions forms for each of her interview subjects.
Paper contents include photocopied magazine articles and newspaper clippings contemporary to the wrestling court controversy, as well as newspaper clippings noting a 1989 reunion of the court. Additional print materials of note include photocopies of the Sigma Delta Chi Calendar for the 1959-1960 school year, which featured three members of the original wrestling court; photocopies of correspondence written to Janet Aune from various men in reaction to the 1959 Life Magazine and Sports Illustrated articles; a wrestling score card and photocopies of the 1984 PAC-10 Conference Wrestling tournament program, which included pictures of the 1959 and 1984 wrestling courts.
An invitation to attend the annual "Oregon State Wrestling Homecoming" held in Corvallis, January 28-29, 1984, is available in the series, as is correspondence from Ken Noteboom to Janet Essig expressing thanks for attending the homecoming event. Also included is a photocopy of a letter, dated March 23, 2009, from Janet Essig to the other members of the 1959 wrestling court, regarding a proposed group reunion in Corvallis.
- Extent: 1 folder
- Extent: 29 MB born digital
- Box-Folder 1.1: Supporting Research Materials - Paper Records, 1983-2009 Add to Shelf
Hamlin, Carol Lindbloom
Hogan, Mary Ann Backen
Noteboom, Kenneth W.
Oregon State College--Wrestling.
Reid, Sharon Ransom
Strand, A. L. (August Leroy), 1894-
Thomas, Dale Oren, 1923-
Wenstrom, Charles R.