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Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive: History of Women at Brown University and in Rhode Island

The Christine Dunlap Farnham Archive collects and makes visible the history of women at Pembroke College in Brown University, the post-graduate lives of Brown Alumnae, and women in Rhode Island, spanning from the 19th century to the present.

Alumnae/i Publications

Brown Alumni Magazine

Published 1900-present. Former title: Brown Alumni Monthly. Index available for 1966-2006. 

Availability:

John Hay Library Reading Room

John D. Rockefeller Library

Online (1998-present)

 

Pembroke Alumna

Published 1928-1971. Provides information on alumnae meetings, alumnae careers, student activities and interests, and changes at Pembroke College. Former titles include the Brown Alumnae News Letter (1928-1949) and the Alumnae Record (1950-1952). The publication ceased in July 1971 and merged with the Brown Alumni Monthly. Index and issues available to researchers at the John Hay Library.

The John Hay Library also has a collection of Pembroke Alumna editorial files from 1968-1971, whose contents include the black student walkout and the Pembroke-Brown merger.

Biographical Resources

The John Hay library contains several useful resources for conducting biographical research including:

- Biographical Files

- Student Directories

- Indexes to the Brown Alumni Magazine (1966-2006)

 

For more information, contact Ray Butti, Senior Library Specialist Special Collections, at 401-863-2148 or Raymond_Butti_Jr@brown.edu.

Literary Journals

Cleavage

Six Brown students produced this journal in 1987, which includes poetry, prose, nonfiction, book reviews, and photos.

Dissonance

Published in 1983 as a "journal of women's voices." Contains poetry, prose, photographs, and drawings

Half the Sky

Published in 1977. The first volume was published by the Women of Brown United and was a literary magazine. The second volume, published by the Sarah Doyle Women's Center, consisted largely of news items.

Pembroke: A Journal of Feminist Studies

Created in 1981 as a project of the Undergraduate Committee for Feminist Studies of the Sarah Doyle Center. There were 3 issues published, containing mostly revised versions of class projects.

The Sepiad

Established in 1901 and published until 1932 as the literary magazine of the Women's College. The Sepiad Supplement newspaper was the precursor to The Pembroke Record. Index available through the University Archives.

Objects

Objects that relate to the history of women at Pembroke College and Brown University include academic regalia, clothing, cups, jewelry, pennants, pins, plaques, and stamps. An inventory is available through the University Archives. 

For more information, contact Jennifer Betts, University Archivist and Assistant Director for the John Hay Library Special Collections, at 401-863-6414 or Jennifer_Betts@brown.edu.

Oral Histories

 

Pembroke Center Oral History Project

Initiated by the Pembroke Center Associates in 1982, these oral histories record the experiences of the women, transgender, and gender non-binary members of Brown University and Pembroke College. Digitized interviews are available online and include transcripts, biographies, and photographs, by and about students, alums, faculty, and staff who studied and worked at Brown as early as 1907.

Since 1982, the Pembroke Center has documented the experiences of women who attended Brown University and Pembroke College by collecting interviews with alumnae of diverse backgrounds, academic and extracurricular interests, and life experiences. In 2018 the project welcomed its first two interviews with transgender students. In order to promote gender inclusivity in the collection the project's name was changed from Brown Women Speak to the Pembroke Center Oral History Project in 2019.  

The website was created in 2012 to make these unique first-hand stories accessible to students, researchers, alumni/ae, and other users interested in learning about the rich history of women, transgender, and gender non-binary people at Brown University. The site features a growing collection of digitized interviews and transcripts, as well as supplementary materials that include biographical sketches and yearbook photographs. We invite you to explore the oral histories, photos, and related materials.

The digitization of these interviews has been sponsored by the Pembroke Center Associates, a group of alumnae and friends that supports the activities of the Pembroke Center and their governing body, the Pembroke Center Associates Council.

The Pembroke Center Oral History Collection containing administrative records, audiotapes of interviews, transcripts, and related material, is also available for research.

 

Women in Rhode Island Oral History Collection

The Women in Rhode Island Oral History Collection, 1983-2006, contains administrative files and audio taped interviews with Rhode Island women and pertaining to issues affecting women in Rhode Island. Topics discussed include the Women's Movement, abortion advocacy and the Catholic Church, and women in the Hmong community in Rhode Island.

 

For more information on either collection, contact Mary Murphy, Nancy L. Buc ’65 Pembroke Center Archivist, at 401-863-6268 or Mary_Murphy1@Brown.edu.

Photographs

There are over 60,000 photographs depicting campus scenes, buildings, groups, events, student activities, athletic teams and events, and individual faculty members, students, and alumni preserved and accessible in the University Archives.

Other photographs may be found in enormous leather-bound class albums owned by graduates from 1857 to 1904. There are about 100 of these albums containing photographs of seniors, buildings, and student groups. The Robinson Collection of athletics depicts 125 years of Brown athletics. The earliest photograph is a daguerreotype taken of the class of 1847 as seniors. There are also drawings, etchings, and cartoons, and several hundred glass slides of campus scenes around the turn of the century.

 

Images of Brown (digitized images)
The Images of Brown digital collection presents digital facsimiles of original documentary images in the Brown University Archives. The original images are organized into four broad topical series, described as follows:

Individuals

Subject (buildings, events, student activities, etc.)

Sports – Individuals

Sports – Teams (contact archives@brown.edu for additional information)

The original photographs in the Photograph Collection are available for consultation by researchers in the Special Collections Reading Room at the John Hay Library. Please contact archives@brown.edu with questions or to have materials placed on reserve for you.

 

Brown University Portrait Collection

The University's Portrait Collection dates to 1815, the year Brown acquired its first portrait — a painting of its

founding president James Manning. As the collection has grown over the years the subjects of these portraits have included administrators, faculty, students, trustees, and benefactors. Today the catalogue of the Brown Portrait Collection totals over 300 paintings, drawings, and photographs. Please contact archives@brown.edu to obtain a high quality digital reproduction of the portraits.

 

Additional photographs can be located within individual alumna’s collections.

 

For more information, contact Ray Butti, Senior Library Specialist Special Collections, at 401-863-2148 or Raymond_Butti_Jr@brown.edu.

Student Newspapers

Brown Daily Herald
Student Newspaper published 1891-present.
Availability:

John Hay Library Reading Room

Online (select years): http://dl.lib.brown.edu/dbdh/

Online (2004-present): http://www.browndailyherald.com/

 

Pembroke Record

Newspaper of the Women's College and Pembroke College, 1922-1970.
Availablity:

Online (1923-1970): http://dl.lib.brown.edu/pebr/

John Hay Library Reading Room

Theses and Dissertations

There are several different tools for searching for dissertations and these written by Brown University graduates:

Brown Digital Repository (BDR)VuFind lists dissertations submitted since 2008. Select "Browse" tab to browse by collection.

 

Historical database of theses and dissertations: The Brown University Theses and Dissertations database includes over 15,000 records for dissertations written and submitted in fulfillment of Brown University degree requirements from 1893 to 2000. Included are undergraduate honors theses, master's theses, and doctoral dissertations. Records include the author's name, thesis title, degree awarded, year, granting department, and when available, thesis advisor. These are searchable by author, advisor, keyword, year, degree, and department. The text itself is not available in this database.

Josiah is the Library's catalog, which you can search by author or title. To view a list of theses, change the drop down box   from "Everything" to "by Call Number" (Honors thesis call number: 1-N HO; Master’s thesis call number: 1-N M). To locate an Honors thesis, add the particular year (Example: 1-N HO 1968).  To locate a Master's thesis created in a particular year between 1895 and 1999 add the last 3 digits of the year (Example: 1-N M 968) for a Master's Thesis created during 2000 to the present add all 4 digits of the year (Example: 1-N M 2002). 

 

ProQuest: a database of dissertations completed between 1893 and 2011. You must have a Brown University username and password to access this site.

University Archives

Corporation Records

Brown University is governed by a bicameral Corporation composed of a Board of Fellows and a Board of Trustees. The Archives contains the minutes, correspondence, reports, and committee records of the Corporation from 1763-present.

The earliest Corporation records are part of a collection called the Rhode Island College Miscellaneous papers. These papers date from the petition for a charter in 1763 to the change of name from Rhode Island College to Brown University in 1804, and consist of minutes, reports, correspondence, a charter, lists of subscribers, lists of members of the corporation, accounts, and library catalogs.

Researchers should take note that Corporation records are restricted for 50 years from the date of the record's creation. Exceptions will be granted to those individuals who have received permission in writing from the Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy and who have presented this written permission to the University Archives. E-mails will not be accepted as written permission. To use restricted records, researchers must include in their request the purpose of their research and indicate the records they intend to use. For more information, contact Jennifer Betts, University Archivist and Assistant Director for the John Hay Library Special Collections, at 401-863-6414 or Jennifer_Betts@brown.edu.


President’s Papers

The Archives contains papers of all of Brown's presidents with the exception of Brown's second president, Jonathan Maxcy (1792-1802):

The President's papers contain correspondence, memorandums, speeches, journals, reports, publications, and office files, and provide an extraordinary view of the development of the University from a small institution of higher learning to one of the leading educational institutions in the world. These papers include information on fundraising, admissions, curriculum development, buildings, academic centers and departments, student activities, athletic teams, faculty, students, alumni, and finances,

Researchers should take note that President's papers are closed to researchers for a period of 25 years following the last day of the President's term of office. Currently the papers of Vartan Gregorian, Gordon Gee, and Ruth J. Simmons are subject to this restriction. Exceptions will be granted to those individuals who have received permission in writing from the Vice President and Secretary of the University and who have presented this written permission to the University Archives. E-mails will not be accepted as written permission. To use restricted records, researchers must include in their request the purpose of their research and indicate the records they intend to use. For more information, contact Jennifer Betts, University Archivist and Assistant Director for the John Hay Library Special Collections, at 401-863-6414 or Jennifer_Betts@brown.edu.


Administrative Records

The University Archives contains administrative and department records that document the administration of Brown on the university and department level. These records include the files of deans, provosts, departments and department heads, Pembroke College, the athletic department, and student activities office.

The Provost's papers are closed to researchers for a period of 25 years following the last day of the Provost's term of office. As is the case with restricted records of the President, exceptions will be granted to those individuals who have received permission in writing from the Vice President and Secretary of the University and who have presented this written permission to the University Archives. E-mails will not be accepted as written permission. To use restricted records, researchers must include in their request the purpose of their research and indicate the records they intend to use. For more information, contact Jennifer Betts, University Archivist and Assistant Director for the John Hay Library Special Collections, at 401-863-6414 or Jennifer_Betts@brown.edu.

The files of the music department cover the 1920s to the 1950s. The Division of Applied Mathematics files contain much correspondence that occurred when the department was established in the 1940s.

The Ladd Observatory papers, coupled with the office files of astronomy professor Winslow Upton and Charles Smiley, cover the department of astronomy from 1880s to 1970s.

The Student Activities files cover from 1930s to the 1950s and illustrate the beginning and growth of many student organizations.

The treasurer's papers include detailed receipts for the building of Wilson Hall, Lyman Gymnasium, one of University Hall's restorations, and various expenditures on the upkeep of many buildings during the later part of the 19th century.

The Dean of the College files, 1939-1971, contain much information on Brown, and usually a topic can be found here when it is lacking in the president's files.

Information on Pembroke College can also be found in the general administration files of Brown, as well as in the following collections:

The papers of individual faculty are also important sources of administrative and department records.


Faculty Papers

The University Archives contains the papers of a number of Brown's faculty covering a variety of disciplines, including applied mathematics, art and architecture, biology, botany, chemistry, classics, Egyptology, history, languages, linguistics, literature, mathematics, oratory, philosophy, physics, and rhetoric. Faculty papers typically include research files, correspondence, lectures, syllabi, course documents, presentations, student papers, and manuscripts of articles and/or books.

Notable faculty for whom the Archives has papers include:

Additional faculty papers are located within the Manuscripts department of Special Collections.


Alumnae Papers

The University Archives includes personal papers of Alumnae as well as records of individual classes and alumni groups, such as the various Brown Clubs and Pembroke Clubs in existence throughout the country. Some of the alumnae who have papers in the Archives include:

Additional personal papers of alumni are located in the Manuscript Collections and in the Pembroke Center Oral History Collection.


Student Records

The University Archives has many materials that document student life and activities, including records of academic societies, performing arts groups, fraternities and sororities, and recreational clubs. Among the records of student groups preserved in the Archives are:

  • Brownbrokers
  • Elizabethans
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Rhode Island Alpha
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Sock and Buskin

For information on donating the records of a student organization please contact Jennifer Betts, University Archivist and Assistant Director for the John Hay Library Special Collections, at 401-863-6414 or Jennifer_Betts@brown.edu.

Videos

"Remembering Pembroke Hall"

"Pembroke Hall Redication" 

 


Films at the John Hay Library include:

Brown University Newsreels, 1956-1958

Florence Beitenmann, class of 1904, Reunion and Commencement, 1934

Chattertocks, ca. 1959

Mary A. Filson '57, Christmas Weekend

Joan Gordon '58, Spring Weekend, May Day, Dances, Dinners

Nursing Program, 1952

Pembroke College Campus

Pembroke College Scenes

Sophomore Masque, 1936

Student Life at Pembroke, 1934



Additional collections with A/V material include:

Brown University Videocassettes 
Contains videocassettes on the Brown Project and "Unity of Knowledge" 1989-1990

Brown Women's Basketball Films, 1998-2004

Pembroke Center Videos 
This collection includes videotapes of Pembroke Center research lectures and roundtables, several individual and reunion group interviews, and "The Way We Were" (1997) 

 

For more information, contact Paul Jordan, Assistant University Archivist, Special Collections, at 401-863-1446 or paul_jordan@brown.edu.

Yearbooks

Brun Mael

Yearbook of the Women's College and Pembroke College, 1909-1970. Prior to 1909 and since 1970, women students have been represented in the Liber Brunensis. Available in the John Hay Library Reading Room.


​Liber Brunensis

Brown University yearbook, 1870-present. Available in the John Hay Library Reading Room.