Boar's Head Dinner Collection

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Boar's Head Dinner collection (University of Rochester)
Creator: University of Rochester
Call Number: UA28
Dates: 1934-2018 ; 1990-2010 [bulk]
Physical Description: 0.9 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: University of Rochester Archives

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Processing Information
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Related Materials
Content List
Planning Material, Guidelines, and History
Formal Invitations and Posters
Collection Overview
Title: Boar's Head Dinner collection (University of Rochester)
Creator: University of Rochester
Call Number: UA28
Dates: 1934-2018 ; 1990-2010 [bulk]
Physical Description: 0.9 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: University of Rochester Archives

Biographical/Historical Note
The Boar's Head Dinner became a tradition at the University of Rochester in 1934. It replaced the December College Night Dinner, part of a monthly dinner series held by the College for Men. Student organizers based the Boar's Head Dinner on a sixteenth-century Oxford University tale, in which a student, alone in a forest, defends himself from a charging wild boar by thrusting a book of Aristotle down its throat (the boar chokes on the "dry" text). As part of the evening's entertainment, the story is retold by a University of Rochester faculty or staff member with embellishments and revisions. The event is held annually in November or December, although it did not take place from 1943 to 1945 because of World War II. Originating at the College for Men, it was open to men students only, and faculty and staff regardless of gender. Of equal longevity as the men's holiday dinner, women students held their own Christmas College Supper with a plum pudding procession; in 1971, they began attending the Boar's Head Dinner after pressuring the organizers to justify why it was still for men only.

Early on, the Boar's Head Dinner was planned by the Traditions Committee of the Students' Association. After the Traditions Committee was abolished in 1968, what is now known as the Student Programming Board took charge of planning the event. The Boar's Head Dinner includes food, costumes, speeches, music, and entertainment from invited performance groups on campus. Each course is preceded by a song, sung by the University's a cappella groups who act as servers for the evening. Students, faculty, and staff may purchase tickets to attend.

Since 1992, the Boar's Head award (a plaque) has been presented during the event to a student organization in recognition of its efforts to create a stronger sense of community on campus. The previous recipient of the Boar's Head award decides which organization receives it the following year.

Scope and Content
The Boar's Head Dinner Collection contains materials about the planning of the event, speeches by University faculty and administrators, music, formal invitations and posters, and some historical background. Much of the material about planning and speakers dates from the mid-1990s to the early 2010s.

Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival
Special events
Records (Documents)
Processing Information
Several adhesive notes attached to materials were photocopied in their original location and then removed for preservation reasons in 2018.Immediate Source of Acquisition
Transferred by the Boar's Head Committee, March 2018. Also contains materials donated by Professor John Waters in September 2000 and posters and programs moved from the University Ephemera Collection in 2018.Access
For access to this collection, please contact the University of Rochester Archives ( at least two business days prior to your planned visit.

Please note: Some materials may be restricted or require permission for use.

To request reproductions or permission to publish materials from the collection, please contact the University of Rochester Archives ( Researchers may be responsible for determining any copyright questions.

[Item title, item date], Boar's Head Dinner collection (University of Rochester), UA28, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of RochesterRelated Materials
Additional materials relating to the Boar's Head Dinner are available in the University Archives' Museum Objects collection.

Adams, Carol, et al. "Letters to the Editors: Women Point to Sexist Implications." The Campus. 13 December 1971, page 4.

Bian, Joy. "Boar's Head Dinner Tradition Continues." University of Rochester Newscenter. University of Rochester, 20 November 2016. Accessed 28 September 2018.

"Boar's Head Dinner." Traditions at Rochester. University of Rochester. Accessed 20 November 2018.

"Boar's Head Dinner to Offer Beermaids, Traditional Fare." The Campus. 8 December 1970, page 6.

"Campus Currents: Boar's Head Dinner." The Campus. 6 December 1968, page 8.

"Constitution of the Students' Association." The Campus. 4 October 1946 (Suppl.)

"First Boar's Head Dinner to Have Medieval Setting." The Campus. 7 December 1934, page 4.

"Revamp S&T." The Campus. 12 December 1967, page 4.

Administrative Information
Author: Miranda Zammarelli (Class of 2020)
Publisher: University of Rochester Archives
Address: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation
River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd.
Rochester, New York 14627-0055

Finding aid publication date: October 2018
Content List
Planning Material, Guidelines, and History
Box 1, Folder 1Boar's Head Dinner history, 1934, 1947, 1971, 1997, 2004, undated
Includes 1934 correspondence about the first Boar's Head Dinner, 1947 instructions for the procession and dinner, and a speech from a 1971 protest against women's exclusion from the event.

Box 1, Folder 2Budget and meal planning, 2002-2005, undated
Box 1, Folder 3Costumes and table arrangement, 2003-2005, 2008-2009
Box 1, Folder 4Driving directions, 2003
Box 1, Folder 5Event support, 2003-2004, 2010
Box 1, Folder 6Handwritten notes and sketches, 2004-2005, undated
Includes faculty and staff introductions, "Student Activities Van Reservation" forms, and a book cover for The Pornography of Meat.

Box 1, Folder 7Invitations, 2003-2004, 2010, undated
Box 1, Folder 8Invitations, 2003-2005, undated
Includes paperwork relating to the budget for printing invitations.

Box 1, Folder 9Meeting minutes and notes, 2004, 2010, undated
Box 1, Folder 10Mugs, 2004-2005, 2010
Contains mug designs and the cost for mugs.
The University Archives' Museum Objects Collection contains Boar's Head Dinner mugs.

Box 1, Folder 11Performance agreement, 2004-2005, 2010
Box 1, Folder 12Program and event evaluations, 2004
Box 1, Folder 13Schedules, 2002-2005
Box 1, Folder 14Set-up sign-in sheets
Box 1, Folder 15Student hosts, 2003-2005, undated
Box 1, Folder 16Tickets and ticket information, 2003-2005, 2009
Box 1, Folder 17To-do list, 2003-2005
Box 1, Folder 18Paul Burgett, 2009
Includes a transcript of Dean Burgett's speech and a CD.

Box 1, Folder 19Speaker invocations, 2004-2006, undated
Box 1, Folder 20Speakers, 1995-1996, 1999-2000, 2003-2004, 2006, 2011, undated
Includes an invitation to Sarah Higley to speak along with her speech; a list of possible faculty speakers for 2004; and speeches by Harold W. Stanley, Gerald Gamm, Robert Foster, Ted Brown, Celia Applegate amd James M. Farrar.

Box 1, Folder 21"The Confessions of a Boaring Ritualist" by John Waters, 1983
Box 1, Folder 22"Boar's Head Carol" and other songs, 2003, undated
Box 1, Folder 23"Gloucestershire Wassail"
Box 1, Folder 24Programs, 1938, 1947, 1952, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977
Box 1, Folder 25Programs, 1983-1986, 1988-1992, 1996, undated
Box 2, Folder 1Programs, 2002-2005, 2008-2009, 2011
Box 2, Folder 2Programs, 2013-2016, 2018
Formal Invitations and Posters
This series contains formal invitations featuring medieval language and fonts, which were sent to faculty and staff, and posters promoting the event. Formal invitations in the collection range from 1952-1994; posters are more recent, beginning in 1995.

Box 2, Folder 3Formal invitations, 1952, 1959, 1964, 1971, 1975, 1984-1985, 1987, 1989-1990, 1992, 1994
Box 2, Folder 4Posters, 1995, 1997, 2003-2005, 2010, 2018
Flat Box 1, Folder 1Posters, 2001-2006, 2010-2011, 2013-2017
Flat Box 1, Folder 2Posters, 2018

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