Women's Voices: Early Years at the University of Michigan

Women at commencement in 1912, Alumnae Council photograph collection.


The Bentley publication entitled Women's Voices: Early Years at the University of Michigan was created to showcase the results of a 1924 survey conducted by the Alumni Council of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. The survey was sent to approximately 10,250 women who had attended the University from the year 1870, when women were first admitted, to 1924. The survey responses are now part of the University Archives at the Bentley Historical Library.

Given that the University of Michigan has, for the most of its history, been a large and increasingly bureaucratic organization, a good portion of its archives consist of administrative records of one kind or another. These are informative on many dimensions of university life. However, rarely in those documents do we hear what is often of most interest, the voices of those who experienced the teaching and learning that is so fundamental to what a university is about. We are fortunate that within the university's archives is a collection of survey responses completed by the first cadre of women students to attend the University of Michigan. The pages of these questionnaires record the voices of over 3,000 women who were among the first in the nation to experience higher education in a coeducational environment." Presented here is only a small sample of the wide range of experiences and reflections recorded by a generation of UM alumnae who chose to respond to the survey.

Fran Blouin (from the Foreword)

The print version of the Women's Voices bulletin, published in October 2000, evolved out of several years of work by Doris Attaway and Marjorie Barritt, volunteers at the Bentley Historical Library. The online versions are comprised of the same content as the original publication. The online Women's Voices is the result of a Bentley collaboration with the University of Michigan Library's Scholarly Publishing Office (MPublishing)

Viewing the Text

The online version of Women's Voices is available in two formats:

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The searchable html version is part of the University of Michigan's Digital Library Text Collections system that provides full-text searching across a number of publications and collections.

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