This exhibit, located on the 2nd floor of the library (near the CORE Classroom) celebrates the recent gift of Mrs. Nancy (Waters `53) Hansen’s collection of historical dolls, all of which were manufactured by the famous Alexander Doll Company. The collection is exhibited in her honor for the grand opening of the Nancy and Ray Hansen Reading Commons, located on the southeast side of the library’s Learning Commons and is funded by a generous gift from Ray Hansen (`53) in memory of his beloved first wife.
The Alexander Doll Company was founded in 1923 by Beatrice (“Madame”) Alexander Behrman. Under Madame Alexander’s direction, the Alexander Doll Company became one of the largest doll producers in America. In the 1980s the company produced over a million dolls every year.
The Alexander Doll Company is known for its themed collections of dolls. One such notable collection is the First Lady Collection. The first series of six dolls was produced in 1976, beginning with Martha Washington. The seventh, and last, series was produced in 1994, ending with Pat Nixon. The dolls in this display, featuring the inaugural gowns worn by the First Ladies, are from Nancy Hansen’s treasured collection.