New Exhibit Documents Early Twentieth-Century Summer School for Working Women at Bryn Mawr College

The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education funded by the Greenfield Foundation of Philadelphia, recently posted a new online exhibit focusing on the Summer School for Women Workers in Industry which operated at Bryn Mawr College from 1921 to 1938.

The summer school was meant to give working women a taste of the educational experience that at that time was largely a luxury for upper-class women. Many of the women worked in the textile industry and most had left school by the age of 14. Women from many racial and ethnic backgrounds were among the students.

WorthingtonSmithThe first director of the summer school was Hilda Worthington Smith. She held bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bryn Mawr and a degree in social work from the New York School of Philanthropy. She led the summer school for 13 years.

Similar summer schools were later held a Barnard College, Sweet Briar College, Occidental College, and the University of Wisconsin.

The online exhibition may be seen here.

Filed Under: Women's CollegesWomen's Studies


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