Brun Mael was the yearbook of the Women’s College and later of Pembroke College. The first edition, which appeared in 1909 was a small brown suede covered volume. Its name was derived from the Anglo-Saxon for “Brown Legends,” as loosely translated by the women students who chose the name. Professor George W. Benedict had some reservations about the accuracy of name, which he felt may have suffered in the translation of an Anglo-Saxon word similar to “mael,” which meant “speech,” and from which “blackmail” is a descendant. Margaret B. Stillwell ’09 was the editor of the first Brun Mael, which contained this little “Prologue,” in script within a frame supported by winged cherubs:
Deal gently with this little Book,In the aftermath of the World War there was no Brun Mael published in 1919. That year the Sepiad printed a special senior number which included the yearbook information. The photographs of the seniors grew from a little over an inch (accompanied by much text describing the student) to a whole new format in 1968, when large photographs depicted the individual graduates in poses of their choice, which were taken inside and outside, in sunshine and in shade, and occasionally in the rain. The final Brun Mael in 1970 had a mirrored cover with the phrase “I FIND (ME printed in reverse) ONLY HERE .” After the merger of Pembroke College with Brown University in 1971 the Liber Brunensis was the yearbook for both men and women students.
The first of its Race and Kind;
Remember ’tis but an Infant yet
And to its Faults be blind:
As an Infant, yet an Ancestor,
It starts out in the Strife –
To win for its Posterity
A place in College Life:
Now go little Book out in the World,
In Life’s Struggles to engage,
Someday to review your Descendants there
When you’ve reached a ripe old Age.