— Mary Washington College in the 1930s

Research Log #2

This week I was able to get into the Special Collections room at the library and actually found some pretty interesting stuff. I was able to find more pictures on the computer that had been digitized but were not yet uploaded to the Digital Archives. There were a lot of Class reunion photos this time around but I was really surprised to see that there were actually photos in the classroom.

I was really interested to see this photo (below), of a Commerce Class in 1938. The caption by the library stated, “Class in office practice. Female students typing in classroom during 1938. Mr. Arthur L. Walker, Emma Ziegler Brown.” This shows us a couple of things. One, what the classroom actually looked like. And two, what sorts of courses students were taking in the 1930s. Being in a commerce class, it seems these students were preparing for secretarial work.

“Commerce Class 1938.” University of Mary Washington Special Collections Library. (accessed February 3, 2012).

Another really interesting photo that I found relating to the classroom experience was one of students study in the Virginia Hall library. The caption stated, “Female students studying in Virginia Hall Library.” With bookshelves surrounding the perimeter of the room, this library is not like the Simpson Library we are used to by today’s standards. Regardless, the library was still used as an area to research and study, even in 1932.

“Virginia Library 1932.” University of Mary Washington Special Collections Library. (accessed February 3, 2012).

Most of the other photos that I was able to find were again of academic buildings or faculty. So, I continued on to look at the scrapbooks that Special Collections. This week I only had time to look through one but it was probably one of the most exciting and interesting experiences I ever had while at Mary Washington. Looking back at what sorts of things were happening around campus, both academic and curricular, was extremely interesting. I look at a member of the Class of 1935, Mary Louise Carter. She actually had many of her class scheduling cards, as well as many newspaper articles. Flipping the delicate pages I came across an article from the Richmond Times Dispatch on Mrs. Charles Lake Bushnell, the Dean of Women, and who earlier in the day I had come across a photo on the Special Collections computer.

Next week I’m hoping to go back to Special Collections again and take a further look into Mary Louise Carter’s scrapbook as well as the one other scrapbook that they had in the University archives. With that, I’ll be able to post more photos of the scrap books as well since I will be able to access the scanner in the Special Collections room.