NEH Awards $260,000 Grant to Expand ‘College Women’ Archives Portal


collegewomen.orgIn Summer, 2015 we announced the beta launch of the cross-institutional archives portal  College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education (, a collaboration between the institutions once — and often still — known as the “Seven Sisters.” The site development was funded by a Foundations planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and allowed us to begin imagining a resource that could serve both researchers and the casual browser interested in the shared histories of women’s education at some of the first U.S. women’s colleges in the Northeast. Today, we can now share that the National Endowment for the Humanities has recently awarded a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to Bryn Mawr College that will allow us to expand the digitization project with our seven partner institutions beginning in Summer 2016.

A Poetry Hour on Bryn Mawr's Campus (1930) via

A Poetry Hour on Bryn Mawr’s Campus (1930) via

The College Women archives portal brings together digitized writings and photographs from our seven libraries, dating from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, and documenting the experiences of students attending Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Radcliffe (now the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University). In the first phase of our work, the partners established a metadata schema, built and tested the beta site, and developed an approach to building subject-focused digital collections that can serve as a model to other institutions pursuing collaborative ventures. The portal currently holds a sample selection of 318 items, mostly photographs; the next phase of the project will focus on the expansion of content, allowing us to digitize, catalog, and upload 50,000 new images to the portal with a focus on student writings from letters, diaries, and scrapbooks. The research value of these sources will be greatly increased by the ability to consider a wide range of student materials in conversation with each other, as part of a larger phenomenon in the history of women in America, rather than as isolated fragments that document only the history of the individual colleges.

In an era in which women’s access to education still cannot be taken for granted, and women’s colleges in the United States are increasingly pressured to justify their continued existence, the exposure of these unique collections will be a key resource for researchers interested in tracing the experiences and impact of women’s higher education. By linking these materials under a common searchable access point, we hope to illuminate questions that still resonate today: how did young women’s social and intellectual relationships inform their entry into the public sphere?  How did differences in social and economic status between students influence day-to-day life on campus? How did the atmosphere of women’s education as nineteenth-century “experiment” influence their attitudes and experiences, both in their undergraduate years and beyond–and how might we use those histories to build supportive educational environments for marginalized populations around the world today?

Are you interested in using archival primary sources to explore the history of women’s higher education? Tell us what kinds of materials you would like to see included in in the comments!

For more information, contact Eric Pumroy (epumroy [at] brynmawr [dot] edu) or Christiana Dobzynski (cdobrzynsk [at] brynmawr [dot] edu).

“College Women” at the Digital Library Federation Forum [video]


College women beta site 6-11The October talk featuring Greenfield Director Monica Mercado, Rachel Appel (Bryn Mawr College Digital Collections Librarian) and Joanna DiPasquale (Vassar College Digital Initiatives Librarian) is now online via The University of British Columbia Open Collections. “College Women: A Collaborative, Cross-Institutional Archives Portal” begins at 00:14:50.

Greenfield on the Road: Fall 2015


Students Take a Drive, ca. 1940s, Mount Holyoke Archives and Special Collections via

Students Take a Drive, ca. 1940s, Mount Holyoke Archives and Special Collections via our new archives portal,

With the Fall semester underway, I’ve been scheduling travels to share our work with digital women’s history and women’s education archives with colleagues around North America, and right here on Bryn Mawr’s campus. If you’re attending one of the following events, do introduce yourself – it’s a pleasure to share our collaborative work in women’s education history with new colleagues and old friends. [Unfortunately, my rental car doesn’t look half as snazzy as the one Mount Holyoke students took for a spin on!]

September 19, 2015 | UNYWHO (Upstate NY Women’s History Organization)
“Digital Histories of Women: Projects and Possibilities”
Geneva, NY

September 30, 2015 | Bryn Mawr College Pensby Center Diversity Conversations
Black at Bryn Mawr: What’s Next?”
Bryn Mawr, PA

October 27, 2015 | DLF Forum
College Women: A Collaborative Cross-Institutional Archives Portal” (co-presenting with Rachel Appel and Joanna DiPasquale)
Vancouver, British Columbia

January 9, 2016 | American Historical Association Annual Meeting
“Archives Praxis: Supporting Independent Study and Experiential Learning in Special Collections” as part of the panel Teaching History Through Archives.
Atlanta, GA

In the meantime, you can also find me walking campus as part of the Black at Bryn Mawr project, which has two upcoming public walking tours: Saturday, October 3 at 2:30 pm (as part of Bryn Mawr College alumnae volunteer summit) and Friday, October 23 at 2:00pm (as part of Bryn Mawr College Family Weekend). These tours meet in front of Thomas, rain or shine, and all are welcome. Spring 2016 tours, including one during Reunion weekend, will be listed on the website when they are scheduled, so stay tuned!

College Women: A Collaborative Cross-Institutional Archives Portal


Bryn Mawr College archery team, undated, via

Bryn Mawr College archery team, undated, via

In June, we announced the launch of College Women: Documenting the History of Women in Higher Education (, a project of the seven institutions once known as the “Seven Sisters” colleges. With a one-year Foundations planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, we developed an archives portal that brings together–for the first time online–digitized letters, diaries, scrapbooks and photographs of women who attended the seven partner institutions: Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Radcliffe (now the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University).

This summer we put the finishing touches on a white paper documenting our collaboration for the NEH Division of Preservation and Access, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources. The white paper joins our application narrative, freely available on the NEH site; both serve as useful documentation for thinking through collaboration across multiple institutions. The white paper, in particular, makes the case for finding ways to collect geographically disparate collections in a vital and sustainable site, and over the long term, using that site to stimulate significant new work in women’s history. But, as we wrote, the project partners also saw a secondary goal of creating an open-source infrastructure and set of procedures that could be adapted by other institutions interested in developing their own subject-based digital collections. Our white paper, its accompanying standards documents, and the site architecture, design and accompanying documentation available through Barnard College’s GitHub, are all readily available for other initiatives interested in pursuing this approach.

To read more, download the “History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project” from the Bryn Mawr College repository, here.

College women beta site 6-11

Our work on this project is ongoing and collaborative. College Women is currently available in a beta version, featuring 300 photographs, letters, diaries and scrapbooks from the seven partner institutions. As more of our historical documents are digitized and catalogued, we plan to expand the content of the site, and continue to write new grants towards these goals.


Going to DLF? College Women project team members Rachel Appel (Bryn Mawr College), Monica Mercado (Bryn Mawr College), and Joanna DiPasquale (Vassar College) will discuss the collaboration as part of the program on Tuesday, October 27.

We continue to welcome feedback on the site, in the comments below, and through a form on the College Women homepage.

Sharing Our Work: Reflections on Digital History for the New Year


Campus may be quiet but the Greenfield Center is open for business.

Campus may be quiet but the Greenfield Center is open for business.

Last week, I returned to Bryn Mawr after nearly a week in New York for the annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA). My meeting was a busy one — catching up with old friends and mentors, checking in with one of my other professional organizations (the Coordinating Council for Women in History), helping to organize THATCamp AHA, and chairing a panel on feminist work in digital history. It was an exhilarating and exhausting week. But despite the conference fatigue, I left New York feeling energized for the work I’ll be taking on for the Greenfield Center this semester: teaching my first course, Higher Education for Women: Bryn Mawr and Beyond; advising students doing archives fieldwork as part of Bryn Mawr’s Praxis program; continuing to work on the NEH-funded Seven Sisters digital project; and planning our May conference, Women’s History in the Digital World 2015.

Building a conversation at THATCamp AHA.

In conversation at THATCamp AHA.

Perhaps because our conference CFP is due later this week, I spent a lot of time at AHA thinking about how conferences bring us together, and about how we can support each other and build audiences for our work. I spent much of my time on Twitter, like my colleague Shane Landrum, who argues, “Live-tweeting #AHA2015 is, for me, a way to turn note-taking into a tiny bit of professional service [and] make what we do more public and visible.” It is also a way for me to promote digital projects that don’t always receive attention (or funding).

So that’s how I found myself, for the first time, live-tweeting while seated as panel chair at Session 159: Can DH Answer Our Questions: Using Digital Humanities to Address the Concerns of Feminist Historians. To audience members unfamiliar with the ways of the #twitterstorians, it would have looked surprising to see a panel chair typing away during each speaker’s presentation, but in a meeting as heavily tweeted as AHA, I wanted the research of our three scholars — panel organizer Kathryn Falvo, Tamika Richeson, and Wendy E. Chmielewski — to be captured and shared as widely as possible. Indeed, the Storify that Kate Moore created to record our session serves as a useful tool for circulating the discussion beyond our conference room.

As the panelists made their remarks, I found myself scribbling down a new conclusion to my comments:

This panel convinces me more than ever before that we shouldn’t have to fear the loss or muting of women’s voices — both scholars and historical subjects — in the rise of digital history, but we do need to continue to be vigilant about getting our work out there. Over the weekend, I’ve been eyeing the digital workshop, sessions, lightning rounds, posters, and proposals coming in for Tuesday’s THATCamp, and I’ve been thinking critically about the digital projects drawing the most attention and conversation. Do they take seriously histories of women, of gender, or sexuality? There’s a reason you may have seen me tweeting during these presentation: We have to be researchers, digital historians, and promoters.

Michelle Moravec, who spoke at AHA about her practice of writing in public, made a similar point:

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 10.55.36 PM

In that spirit, I’d like to share just a few of the digital projects dealing with histories of women, gender, and sexuality that caught my eye at AHA this year:

If you have a project to share, or are looking for possible collaborators and conversation partners, I encourage you to submit to Women’s History in the Digital World this week, and to save the conference dates: May 21-22, 2015. I’m excited that the Greenfield Center can play a role in the work of promoting diverse projects in digital history; in the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing details on scheduling, registration, and accommodations. In the meantime, we welcome your ideas and questions — in the comments below, or via email to greenfieldhwe [at] brynmawr [dot] edu.

A Point of Difference: Diversity at Bryn Mawr College


A Point of DifferenceLast summer, Bryn Mawr’s Pensby Center interns Alexis De La Rosa ’15 and Lauren Footman ’14 began research on histories of diversity on campus, with a particular focus on students and staff of color. Their research took many forms: surveys, new photography, and oral history, as well as research in the College Archives. We’re pleased to announce that their project is now online, and hosted on the Digital Center’s website:

A Point of Difference: Diversity at Bryn Mawr College

Alexis De La Rosa and Lauren Footman

Alexis De La Rosa and Lauren Footman

Over the past year, Alexis and Lauren have reflected on the origins of their project. More recently, Digital Center Associate Director Evan McGonagill considered how we document the experiences of students of color in our archives and institutional histories–what she called building an archive of change. In the conclusion of their exhibit, Alexis and Lauren write:

We hope our work will just be the beginning of an ongoing institutional commitment to research, acknowledge, and document the experiences and contributions of marginalized communities on campus, and join us in celebrating this rich history.

We view this research as necessary, and just the beginning of what we imagine as more projects linking student interest in the history of Bryn Mawr College to our diverse communities. We’re looking forward to continuing these conversations on campus, and in our digital spaces.

Do you have historical knowledge or personal information about diversity on campus in the last twenty-five years (or beyond)? Share your experiences in the comments below, or contact us on Twitter @GreenfieldHWE or by email:

‘Primary sources have the potential to help teachers in the classroom’: Temple student Adrian Wieszczyk on her experiences at Bryn Mawr

This blog post has been written by Adrian Wieszczyk, a student at Temple University who is currently completing her training to become a high school teacher. Adrian is one of three students this year who used our collections as part of the National History Day Philly Cultural Collaboration Initiative. As with our other participants, we thank Adrian for her hard work and wish her all the best with completing her studies!

My name is Adrian Wieszczyk and I am a student at Temple University. I have had the pleasure to work with Bryn Mawr College this semester through a field work internship. Through my experience I have felt very welcomed and aware of the resources and tools that Bryn Mawr provides, due to the helpful staff. As a result, I have discovered primary documents within the special collections that have potential to help teachers use primary documents within their classroom. The intended outcome of this internship through Temple was to introduce me to working with museums or archives as a future teacher and become more aware of resources provided. As for Bryn Mawr, my project was to create a lesson plan for their website using documents within their special collections. I believe that this project is very helpful for teachers, considering many teachers are unable to look through the rich resources and documents that institutions carry.

My particular focus was the female culture and role in the Prohibition era. I chose this topic because I found a few interesting documents that were published in Bryn Mawr’s Lantern of 1922-24 that discussed different perspectives and beliefs about the Prohibition. Unfortunately, I was unable to discover all of the documents and resources on the prohibition because of the time restraint but I was still able to take advantage of the documents I did find. My finalized project is a lesson plan called women in the prohibition. This lesson teaches the different organizations and cultures of females during the prohibition. For instance, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Women’s Organization for Prohibition Reform, and the cultural perspective of a “Flapper“. I really enjoyed researching these organizations as well as creating a lesson plan to further student’s knowledge of the female role in the prohibition.

Overall this experience has furthered my knowledge and skills as a student and as a future teacher. I have enjoyed developing relationships with the staff at Bryn Mawr as they have been extremely welcoming and helpful. I have learned a great deal about Bryn Mawr and other institutions in regards to getting involved as a future teacher. This knowledge will help me as I create lesson plans for my classroom and use the resources and primary documents that institutions, like Bryn Mawr College, carry and provide. I look forward to keeping in contact with Bryn Mawr College and using their digital archives to improve my upcoming lessons.



Early Entrance Exams: Could you get into Bryn Mawr in the nineteenth century?

As we welcome the new class of Bryn Mawr College students and greet the many established Mawrters we have already met, I began to ponder an aspect of our research that might be relevant to all those who have recently completed the admissions process…. examinations!

As part of our collaboration with Temple University students last year (see the blog post by Lisa MacMurray on her time as part of the National History Day Cultural Collaboration project) we examined entrance examinations from the past at Bryn Mawr College and the other Seven Sisters. Lisa and her colleague Sam Perry also sourced some examinations from Ivy League colleges in an attempt to compare the different types of exams across the male and female colleges at the end of the nineteenth century. What we found amazed us: most of us would never be able to get into these colleges if those exams were used today! Why so? Knowledge (with a capital ‘K’), or what is deemed sufficient knowledge to obtain and exhibit in order to describe oneself as educated at a higher level, is both culturally and time specific.

Many of the early entrance examinations for the Seven Sisters colleges had an emphasis on religious, bible-based history and candidates were expected to be familiar with the Old and New Testaments. While this may appear odd in today’s more secular educational cultures, it must be remembered that many colleges – both men’s and women’s – were founded on religious principles and were meant to cater specifically for students of particular denominations. Bryn Mawr College and Haverford were, as you will be familiar, founded by Quakers to be places where younger members of the Society of Friends could study within a religious atmosphere accordant to principles consistent with their beliefs.

Courtesy of the Wellesley College Archives

Others were founded on the same principles, and their examinations demonstrate their expectation that students entering their institutions be familiar with religious histories. Take this extract from the entrance exam for Wellesley College, generously supplied to us by their Archives department (click on the image to view an enlarged version) from June 1888

As you will see, the questions ask the students to analyze and give opinions on episodes from Biblical history, for example: ‘Outline the career of Noah’ or ‘Give in detail the covenant with Abraham and under what circumstances it was made’. I would venture to guess that given the diverse nature of students today and the diminished emphasis in the school system on learning religious histories as part of examinable courses, many students would struggle to answer such questions.

Courtesy of the Barnard College Archives

The exam paper on the left is from Columbia College c.1890s and was kindly given to us to display by Barnard College Archives. The topics of ancient geography and ancient history were ones expected by that institution to be familiar to students wishing to enter. Perhaps you specialized in these topics as part of your high school education, but I would certainly have found it difficult to answer ‘Give an account of the legislation of Solon, and the form of government of Athens to the time of Philip I’ (granted, I did my education in Ireland which focused on different kinds of topics for senior high school history, but even still, the nature of these questions seem both specific and difficult).

What about Bryn Mawr College? The first college program (which is available online as part of Bryn Mawr College Archives collection on Internet Archive) specified the entrance requirements as the following:  a candidate must be at least sixteen years of age, and give ‘satisfactory testimonials of personal character’. In addition, they would be examined in the following:

  • English: spelling, grammar and composition
  • Modern geography
  • Mathematics
  • Latin
  • Greek or French or German
  • If omitting Greek, candidates had to be examined in one of the following: the elements of physics; the elements of chemistry; the elements of physiology

So this is what you needed to be considered to enter the college …. what about the entrance examinations themselves? Again, Latin and Greek appear as important subjects and exams were conducted for both; in addition, mathematics, English, History, French and German and Natural science.

Bryn Mawr College Arithmetic Examination 1890

As you can see from the exam from Bryn Mawr College, students wishing to enter had to display a broad spectrum of knowledge in the examinations, from arithmetic to Greek, English to Geography, a particularly challenging array of subjects given that many girls did not go to formal secondary schools in the nineteenth century but were educated at home, either by tutors, governesses or themselves (or a combination of all three if they were lucky to have the resources).



Bryn Mawr College Latin Examination 1890


The Latin examination illustrates the importance put on classical languages in the college’s early years, with every entrant expected to have a base knowledge in order to progress in their studies. In this examination candidates were asked to translate selected passages from English into Latin, and others from Latin into English. The difficulty of completing all the requirements is indicated in the fact that an instruction appears at the end that candidates who ‘found the paper too long’ were advised to focus on the first three questions and divide the rest of their time in answering other parts. Are there any readers who would find the task easy? If so, provide us with translations in the comment box below …

Candidates for entrance to the college were also expected to have a knowledge of physical geography and be able to competently describe, for example, the leading physical features of both North and South America as in the example below (as with the other images, click on the exam image to see it appear larger in another window).

Bryn Mawr College Physical Geography Examination 1890

Looking at exams brings us also to analyze the nature of that kind of learning, or what is more commonly referred to as strategic rather than deep learning; in other words, ‘cramming’. This is not a contemporary observation, indeed a writer in the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Quarterly (Vol. VI January, 1913, No. 4, available online here).

“But there are other reasons why students entering the course are unequally prepared. You will say, ‘all the students have to stand the same entrance test.’ This is true, and that brings me to the third cause for the bad composition of our classes. We have evidently not the right test: our entrance examinations are not of the right sort. The students can ‘cram,’ which means they can make a show when really they know very little” (187).

Studying for exams is an essential part of college life, and for many one of its most challenging aspects. Next time, however, you think of how difficult you are finding your test questions to answer, remember that this was an experience shared by students in the past as well as your peers now, and do your best to keep calm and Mawrter on!

Narrative, Visual Autobiography and Digital Storytelling – New ways to tell Mawter stories

We have been strongly considering the importance of recording experiences of education as part of our work at The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education. As part of this, we’ve been digitizing oral histories completed with alums of the past, some who attended the college a century ago. We’ve also recently received some audio interviews of women who featured in the Women of Summer film (about the Summer School for Women Workers, which will also feature as an exhibit on the site soon). So we have been thinking deeply about the ways in which people tell their stories, shape their narratives, and for women especially, how they fit the story of their education into the wider narrative of their lives.

How do people memorialize important experiences such as higher education? Have there been changes over time? What is remembered and what is forgotten? What new forms of scrap-booking, such a popular past-time in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (with a recent revival in the context of renewed interest in crafts) now exist or can exist in the digital world?

Excerpt from Photo Album of Eva Levin Milbouer, Class of 1933. See this at

As Jessy Brody’s posts in this blog on her work on the Bryn Mawr collection of scrapbooks indicates, they are rich source of material for researching past lives at Bryn Mawr College. They do not, as she has found, always tell you what you would wish to find out, being as they are, silent testimonies to the lives of Mawters in the past, communicating visually but not aurally or orally the myriad of academic and leisure experiences they had during their time here. Jessica Helfand, author of Scrapbooks: An American History has argued that scrapbooks are a form of visual autobiography to record and commemorate things that could not, for whatever reason, be expressed in words:

‘The scrapbook was the original open -source technology, a unique form of self-expression that celebrated visual sampling, culture mixing, and the appropriation and redistribution of existing media” (page xvii)

We are hoping to extend our knowledge about past experiences at Bryn Mawr College by collaborating with alums in creating digital stories, a new form of visual autobiography which melds aspects of scrapbooks with oral history to create unique personal stories. Traditional elements of scrapbooks – photographs, letters, notes, invitations, ephemera and other reminders of past experiences – are scanned and combined with an audio narrative to create an audio-visual file that looks somewhat like a mini-movie. Having been inspired by the pedagogical work in bringing digital storytelling into the classroom at the University of Richmond we have adjusted their principles of creating digital stories to reflect the needs, interests and experiences of Bryn Mawr alums (for some great examples of digital story telling from the Richmond site click here).

I will be working with alums through city and regional Alumnae Club chapters to assist interested Mawters in creating their own reflective pieces on their time at Bryn Mawr. The story you wish to tell is completely up to you: perhaps you would like to represent why you chose Bryn Mawr College above others? Or your experiences at a single-sex institution? Or what you think being educated at Bryn Mawr gave to you throughout your life/career? Was it a special time, a challenging time, or a mix of both? What role does a single sex educational institution have to play in the landscape of higher education today? These are merely suggestions; the digital story is truly yours.  For more information on our approach to creating digital stories, click below to see a poster on the topic.

Bryn Mawr Digital Stories for The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education

If you are interested in creating your own digital story, think about doing so as part of your local alumnae chapter and feel free to contact me any time (

Collecting Bryn Mawr stories is a supplement to our other work of digitizing the oral history interviews conducted in past decades which are currently on cassette tape (for more on this see blog post by student worker Isabella Barnstein on her work on creating a catalog and digitizing the collection).

Capturing the varied narratives and preserving them for future generations is an important aspect of our work and one that we hope will interest alums and the wider community of those who research, teach and simply like to hear about women’s past experiences in education.

As a reminder, you can view the scrapbooks we have currently digitized in Triptych by clicking this link (there are currently 22 albums in the collection with ongoing digitization as part of the Greenfield Digital Center initiatives in digitizing important Bryn Mawr College material).

Happy browsing!

The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education participates in second year of award winning Cultural Collaboration Fieldwork Initiative

The National Archives at Philadelphia Education Program, as part of its leadership of National History Day Philly, partnered in 2011 with Temple University’s Secondary Social Studies Certification Program. The idea behind the collaboration is to inspire pre-service teachers to work with primary sources and thus encourage their students to create projects for National History Day.

Student participants in National History Day Philly at a reception at City Hall with Mayor Michael Nutter

Bryn Mawr College Special Collections became involved in this through The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education. The Director, Dr. Jennifer Redmond, mentored three Temple University students, Lisa MacMurray, Sam Perry and Teddy Knauss. The students were given the chance to collaborate in designing a lesson plan on the history of women’s education aimed to encourage high school students to research this important topic. Based on the archival material held at Bryn Mawr, the fieldwork experience collaboration allowed the student to create their own lesson plans based on letters, speeches, photographs and pamphlets from the nineteenth and twentieth century, all of which illuminate the lives of women educated at Bryn Mawr. The lesson plans will appear on The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women and Higher Education’s new website which is due to launch soon and will constitute one of the key resources developed to publicize the project and reach out to teachers and students alike.

We were among a range of institutions involved in the collaboration, which developed different ways to engage the students to think about the use of primary sources in their classrooms. The 2011 Participating Partners included the following:

  • American Swedish Historical Museum
  • Athenaeum of Philadelphia
  • Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries
  • Bryn Mawr Special Collections Department, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library, Bryn Mawr College
  • Cliveden of the National Trust
  • The Drexel University Archives and Special Collections
  • Legacy Center for Archives and Special Collections at Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center
  • Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Historic St. George’s UMC
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  • Independence Seaport Museum – J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library
  • National Archives at Philadelphia
  • National Constitution Center
  • Pennsbury Manor
  • Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL)
  • Pennsylvania Hospital
  • Philadelphia City Archives
  • Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Special Collections Research Center at Temple University Libraries
  • Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY

Pre-service history teacher Teddy Knauss worked on a lesson plan designed for AP students, focusing on issued of diversity. As part of this he examined materials relating to the Bryn Mawr Summer School of Women Workers and critically analyzed issues of race and diversity in the history of women’s education. The Summer School, and those held at other college campuses across the USA, is the focus of an exhibit on our site which will be live soon.

Samantha Perry worked with fellow student Lisa MacMurray in producing a lesson plan on women’s struggle for access to higher education in the US. They looked at the entrance exams for the Seven Sisters colleges and compared them also with those of some of the men’s Ivy League colleges.

The Cultural Fieldwork Initiative recently won two awards for its work on this program: the Innovative Teaching Award from Temple University College of Education and an Outstanding Program of Excellence Award from the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies. Members of the initiative will be contributing an article, “Textbooks and Teaching” to the March 2013 special edition of the Journal of American History.

The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education will again be participating in the program when it launches in September. We hope to find more exciting areas of research to work with Temple students in producing lesson plans. In the meantime, if you are a teacher and would like to use our collections to create your own lesson plan, be sure to get in touch (

Below, Director of the Center Dr. Jennifer Redmond (third from right) at a ceremony at City Hall to mark the achievements of students at the National History Day Philadelphia competition at City Hall. With thanks to the Mayor, Michael Nutter, and to Ang Reidell and V. Chapman Smith (right and left of the mayor respectively) for their hard work on the Cultural Collaboration Initiative and their continued work on the program.

For more information on the initiative contact:

Andrea (Ang) Reidell,
Education Specialist
National Archives at Philadelphia