The T Book began in 1904 as an annual publication of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) at the Georgia School of Technology. The T Book served as a student handbook. It contained information on Tech student services, activities, traditions, and customs, as well as information about the YMCA itself. The cessation of its publication coincided with YMCA's departure from campus circa the early 1970s.
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1.3 Linear Feet
The content of the T Book remained similar throughout the years of its publication. Each booklet provided information on the Tech YMCA’s organizational structure, services, and activities, such as bible study courses and mission study. Other students and interested individuals were strongly encouraged to be part of the YMCA and its initiatives. The other purpose of the publication was to orient newcomers to Georgia Tech’s traditions, campus activities, and student services. Examples of topics covered included: Tech’s history; school facilities, such as the library and dining hall; athletics; fraternities; social activities; clubs; professional societies; college publications; local churches; points of interest around Atlanta; school cheers and songs; “lettering” in sports; game schedules and records for school sports; degrees offered; rewards for scholarship; ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps); registration; dormitories; the honor system; rail schedules; student council; student government; alumni; college administrators and standing faculty committees; grading system; and general advice to “RATS” ("Recruits at Tech" or "Recently Acquired Tech Students.") Several of the booklets included messages of welcome from the school president, deans, and coaches. Beginning in the 1920s more images began appearing in the publication. Circa 1925 information began to be included regarding Tech’s Radio Station, “WGST.” In later years the call sign for the station changed to “WREK.” Many of the booklets contained advertisements for local stores, such as men’s clothing, as well as advertisements for local churches and worship centers. Some years included novelty sections, such as guides to college slang or information on dating. As the years passed, the publications began to include information on activities for Jewish students. In the 1940s more specific student rules and regulations started to appear. Activities for female students and the wives of male students are represented more in later years.
The publications included many functional components, as well. These included a section for the student’s schedule; reference information on common weights and measurements; a place for keeping notes and addresses; pull-out maps; and a calendar. Most of the booklets included room for self-identifying information in the front, such as the student’s name and address. As the publication grew more robust, indexes and tables of contents were often employed.
The Georgia Tech Archives’ holdings of the booklets are incomplete with some years missing. The first publication in its holdings, dated 1909-1910, is the sixth annual publication of the book, meaning that the first annual publication would have been dated 1904-1905. Academic years missing include 1904-1908, 1912-1913, 1915-1919; 1926 and 1928-1931; 1945-1946; and 1965-1967. Publications from 1947-1952, 1953-1958, 1958-1965, and 1968-1969 are not pocket-sized and are bound together. The last year in the holdings is 1969. At the time of writing (April 2011) it is unknown if this was the last year published prior to the YMCA moving off campus. Some years have multiple copies: 1911-1912 (3 copies); 1932-1933 (4 copies); 1934-1935 (3 copies); 1939-1940 (4 copies); and 1944-1945 (2 copies.) The publications dated 1943-1944 and 1944-1945, the
Handbook for V-12 Students, U.S. Naval Training Unit, are special issues. Some of the booklets contain marginalia.
The Tech unit of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) (often referred to as The Association or The “Y”) was established circa 1891 with a mission of service and was organized by Mr. John R. Mott, longstanding leader in the larger YMCA movement. Although the presence of the YMCA on Tech’s campus was somewhat unstable following its initial founding, it was later reorganized and revitalized through the efforts of Mr. Phinehas V. Stephens as its leader. Meetings of the organization were held in the reception hall of Swann dormitory as early as 1902. In 1904, the basement of the Academic Building was utilized as a headquarters for the organization. The development of the YMCA and the increase in social and religious organizations on Tech’s campus led to the construction of a YMCA building, which was first occupied in 1912. The building was made possible via a gift of $50,000 from John D. Rockefeller; the citizens of Atlanta raised an additional $25,000 for the construction. The building was comprised of three-stories and two basements. It had dormitories, rooms for student activities, showers, a billiard parlor, an auditorium, and other useful facilities for the students. In its early days, the YMCA at Tech was one of several hundred such units in America united via the American Intercollegiate Young Men’s Christian Association, which in turn was one of fourteen national organizations that made up a global student Christian federation.
The leadership of the YMCA on campus consisted of student officers along with participation from faculty and alumni. They had an open membership policy for students and faculty of Georgia Tech. The goals of the non-sectarian association were to promote Christian fellowship and a general sense of community throughout the student body. The YMCA took an open stance in welcoming those from different religious backgrounds. Qualities such as self-discipline and exemplary moral conduct were encouraged by the organization. Tech’s YMCA provided a base for religious and social activities on campus for several decades. As the organization continued to grow throughout the 1920s through the 1960s, it developed and promoted several organizations within itself, such as a Freshmen “Y” Club, special interest clubs, fundraising initiatives, and YMCA-sponsored camps; additionally, it turned its attention to a variety of international initiatives, such as the World Student Fund. Circa 1970 the YMCA’s influence on campus dwindled in most part due to the shift in student activities to the campus’ new Student Center. In 1973 the YMCA moved off Georgia Tech’s campus and relocated at nearby All Saints Episcopal Church.
The T Book began in 1904 as an annual publication by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of the Georgia School of Technology. Originally the handbook was referred to as “The Student’s Hand Book” or the “Hand Book.” It did not start appearing with a “T” on the cover until 1911 and even at that time it was referred to as “The Tech Student’s Handbook” or “The Georgia Tech Students’ Handbook.” In 1925 it officially was referred to as the T Book, a name which it continued to be called for decades to follow. The handbook was created to be “pocket-sized” from the early 1900s until the mid-1940s so that the reader could carry it around with greater ease. The primary audience of the handbook became incoming freshmen, although it was also designed to orient any newcomer to Georgia Tech and the city of Atlanta; also, it served as a reference throughout the reader’s stay at the school. It came to define itself as a self-supported student publication of the YMCA rather than a publication under control of the Publications Board of Tech. The publication was distributed freely to new students and faculty members at Tech. In 1947 the publication ceased being pocket-sized and started appearing in a larger format.
Booklets are arranged in chronological order.
Several of the booklets have had non-original library bindings added to them for physical support. Many of the booklets will require special handling due to weak or broken binding and brittle pages.
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
This is an artificial collection. Limited information about its immediate provenance is available (see the record for Accession # 2011.026). Donors are known for select publication years: Rayford P. Kytle, Jr. donated edition(s) from 1911-1912 and 1934-1935 (accession 2000.025); George S. Mauney donated a copy from 1932-1933 (2010.007); and Harris Saunders, Jr., a V-12 student in 1943-1944, donated the V-12 volume for 1943-1944 (2004.016). Some of the booklets possibly came via the Alumni Association.
Additional T Books will occasionally be added to this collection.
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Access to the collection is available through an onsite visit to the Georgia Tech Archives.
Brittany Parris completed processing and encoding the finding aid in April 2011.
Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository