A collaborative project of the libraries of the Seven Sisters schools, including Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library, received a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support development of a digital portal that gathers letters, diaries, and scrapbooks of the first generations of their students.
The History of Women’s Education Open Access Portal Project will be led by the Bryn Mawr College Library, which was awarded the grant. In addition to Schlesinger Library, participants also include the libraries of Barnard College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Vassar College, and Wellesley College.
This group of schools, once known as the Seven Sisters, educated many ambitious, socially conscious, and intellectually committed women, and their graduates became prominent leaders in philanthropy, public service, education, and the arts. Attending college in the early years was an intellectually and socially awakening experience, and it also provided an occasion for extensive letter writing to family and friends, and to keep diaries and scrapbooks that preserved their impressions, ambitions, and memories of these first years of independence from home.