University of Arizona

Students, faculty, staff, and the public are now welcome to visit Special Collections without an appointment from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. 

Friday Flashback: 'Indecent' display of affection, 1890s

Friday Flashback: 'Indecent' display of affection, 1890s

This photograph, taken in the 1890s of two University of Arizona coeds, shows Sam Mansfield greeting his female classmate at his window while holding her hand.

“One couple made the unfortunate mistake of holding hands while the photograph was being taken. University officials were appalled at this indecent display of affection and refused to publish the picture. It did not appear until fifty years later.” (1971 Desert). During this time, the photograph was unacceptable to publish, it was not until the 1971 University of Arizona Desert yearbook posted the photograph, bringing back a piece of UA history and fun student life during the 19th century.

To see the physical photograph, the folder with the image can be found at the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections. The 1971 yearbook can be found in Special Collections; the digital image is on page 13.

University of Arizona Photograph Collection

Students 1891-1900 Folder 1


Two University students greet each other through a window