On the applicant side, did admissions require the same documents as today? Also, since gathering the required documents presumably took longer (especially for an applicant who had already graduated), how soon did the applicant have to apply before intake? For example today's graduate programs commonly have a January application deadline for August intake - what was it like in the past? Since today's students regularly email prospective supervisors before applying, did students in the past also regularly visit campuses before applying? Finally, how much were application fees then compared to now?
On the admissions committee side, did committees rely less on personal contacts and more on the submitted documents? E.g. suppose an applicant submitted a recommendation letter by Einstein, who a member of the committee knew firsthand. Today, I presume the committee would email Einstein to discuss the applicant. Would committees of the past do the same (but with telephone / post)? If not, was there a greater risk of forgery?