This research guide is a starting point for conducting research on the history of women at Brown University and Pembroke College. It contains information about historical primary materials held within the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive at the John Hay Library.
The pages of this guide will lead researchers to archival collections that include letters, photographs, student publications, records of student organizations, administrative records, ephemera and memorabilia, and oral history interviews. Some of these collections have links to online descriptions and inventories.
The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women is an interdisciplinary research center that fosters critical scholarship on questions of gender and difference. The Center and its Associates Council helped to establish the Farnham Archive and continue to work to document the history of women at Brown.
Material in the Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive is housed in the John Hay Library at Brown University. The John Hay Library is a special collections library with non-circulating materials - these materials can only be used in the Reading Room.
Information about planning a research visit to the John Hay Library can be found here.
The Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive documents the history of women in Brown University and Pembroke College, the post-graduate lives of Brown alumnae, and the lives of Rhode Island women. The archival collections document the lives of prominent women but also chronicle the lives and work of ordinary women. The Archive was established in 1986 as a collaboration between the Brown University Library and the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, who endeavored to identify historical sources on women held at the John Hay Library and to build a collection that would encourage students and researchers to engage with the rich history of Brown and Rhode Island women. It is primarily comprised of materials held within the Brown University Archives and Manuscript collections.
In 1987, the effort to locate primary sources on women that were dispersed throughout the library's collections produced a 450-page research guide, which is available for researchers to consult at the John Hay Library and at the Pembroke Center.
Today, the Farnham Archive continues its mission to collect and preserve the history of women at Brown. Recent projects include:
Digitized Pembroke Record
Brown Women Speak
Pembroke Record staff, 1951
Subject strengths include:
Brown University and Pembroke College alumnae
Gay and lesbian literature, activism, and culture
Health care advocacy
Performing arts (particularly theater)
Rhode Island history
Second wave feminist movement (early 1960s-early 1980s)
People of color