Seven Sister Colleges Launch an Online Historical Archive of Women in Higher Education

The Seven Sisters group of elite educational institutions that served young women included Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, and Wellesley. Vassar College has been coeducational since 1970 and Radcliffe was absorbed into Harvard University. But this group shares a common history. They have joined together to launch a new online archives project entitled “College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education.”

The Bryn Mawr College archery team.

The Bryn Mawr College archery team.

The archive includes a wide variety of materials including photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, and diaries documenting the history of women in higher education. The online archive is in its pilot phase. The institutions will be expanding the content in the coming years as more historical documents are digitized and catalogued.

Eric Pumroy, associate chief information officer and director of special collections at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, states that “this is the first time these treasures are available online and searchable together. Researchers will more easily be able to consider student materials in a larger context of movements for women’s education and expanded opportunities for women in American society.”

The online archive was made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Filed Under: Women's CollegesWomen's Studies


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