From our Chapter History Novels to Governing Council jewelry, Convention awards to the original Constitution of Chi Omega, the Archives at the Executive Headquarters holds remnants of Chi Omega’s 125-year story that tell tales of the tenacious and courageous Sisters who built the Fraternity. Few people know these tales better than National Archivist Lyn Harris, and she recently shared some of her favorite story-telling pieces with us!
The Convention Softball
A lot of business is taken care of at Conventions, but at the 1926 Convention in Mackinac Island, Michigan, delegates took a break from the decision making and chose to play ball! Sisters split the teams between the alumnae and collegiate attendees. S.H. Mary Love Collins, Delta/Dickinson, was the pitcher for the alumnae team and led them to a 4-1 victory over the collegians. The softball these sporty Sisters used is in a display case in the Archives and serves as a reminder that there can always be time for a little fun!
The oldest piece in the Archives dates back to fifth century B.C., and although it is not an archival piece from our Founding or a Chi Omega chapter, the Demeter coin holds the legacy of our Ritual and the Greek mythology that is woven into much of what our Founding was based on. National Archivist Lyn Harris purchased this for the Archives from a rare coin dealer in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pat Head Summitt’s Wheaties Box
Pat Head Summit, Xi Zeta/UT – Martin, made an appearance on a special Lady Vols edition Wheaties box. This Sister was honored in 2012 when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, recognized alongside the Congressional Gold Medal, as the nation’s highest civilian award. Kept safe under lock in key, the Chi Omega archives houses a special signed box of our own!
Rare Books Illustrated by our Founders
Not only were our Founders skilled in organizing the Fraternity, but they were intelligent and talented beyond Chi Omega’s Ritual and operations as well. We are lucky to have copies of their work in our Archives.
Founder Allie Simonds illustrated an academic book, written by University of Arkansas Professor, Dr. Jerome McNeil. The title of the book is “Truxalinae of North America,” and it was published in 1897.
“The Veiled Empress” was illustrated by Christina (Ina May) Boles Morton and written by her husband, Benjamin A. Morton. It is an “unacademic biography” on Aimee Dubuc de Rivery, and it was published in 1923.
Signed Copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird”
National Archivist Lyn Harris says the most valuable book in our collection is a 1995 signed copy of “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, an Initiate of Nu Beta/Alabama. Lyn purchased the book in 1995 at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, for just $23.
National Archivist Lyn Harris had the opportunity to attend the Antiques Roadshow event in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and took one of our prized Psi goblets to be appraised. She found out that these beautiful china goblets are Willets-Belleek and were given to early members of Psi Chapter on the occasion of their weddings. At least one we know of was given to Mattie Craighill Nicholas of Sigma Chapter.
“Having loved the show for years, I also had with me the goblet’s provenance – to whom it originally belonged, the name of the Fayetteville, Arkansas artist who painted them, the ‘toast’ which was read when presented to the bride, etc. I also dressed nicely and wore the “big pin” (the Chi Omega Archivist’s badge) because I was SURE I was going to be on television. David Lackey, from Houston, was the appraiser. I told him all of the background information. He said that his sister and his sister-in-law are both Chi Omegas! The appraisal of $200 came along with his statement, ‘…these are more valuable to Chi Omega than to anyone else.'”
If you have an artifact that you think may be a quality submission to the Archives at the Executive Headquarters, please email LynHarrisXO@gmail.com with a picture and description for her to review.