Milwaukee Press Club Records, 1885-2018

Container Title
Series: Autographed Plaques, 1898-2018
Arrangement of the Materials: Framed plaques are arranged in boxes 16-36 and 47-49; unframed plaques are arranged alphabetically in boxes 57-64 and 66.
Scope and Content Note: Plaques containing the chalk signatures of nearly 1,000 individuals are the centerpiece of the Press Club records. The tradition of garnering the signatures of well-known visitors to the club began in the last few years of the nineteenth century, when the signers would actually autograph the walls of the club itself. When the club moved from that location, they surreptitiously cut the signatures out of the walls and brought them to the new location, where they were framed and once again mounted on the walls. Since approximately 1920, all of the plaques have been made of equally sized black matte boards, which are then autographed in chalk. The plaques have been signed by a broad spectrum of well-known, and some lesser-known, celebrities and public figures. Prominent entertainers, political figures, journalists, sports figures and more have signed and dated plaques during the Press Club's long history. Many of these plaques are on permanent loan to the Milwaukee Press Club, as noted in the inventory. Several plaques were apparently not received with the 1999 donation; these are noted as "location unknown" in the inventory.
Other Finding Aids: An item-level description of the autographed plaques is supplied in the Autographed Plaques section of this finding aid.