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Martha Cook Building (University of Michigan) records, circa 1913-2016

22.65 linear feet (in 23 boxes) — 12 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

The Martha Cook Building (MCB) opened in the fall of 1915 as the second all-women's dormitory on the University of Michigan campus. It was a gift of Mr. William Wilson Cook, a lawyer-philanthropist from New York City who was born and raised in Hillsdale, Michigan. The Martha Cook Building records are dated from circa 1913-2016 and include blueprints; chronological files; clippings; correspondence; financial records; minutes, particularly of both the MCB's Board of Governors and House Board; publications; reports; scrapbooks; subject files; and visual materials, such as negatives, photographs, and photograph albums.

The Martha Cook Building records (circa 1913-2016) document the activities of those involved with the Martha Cook Building and include blueprints; chronological files; clippings; correspondence; financial records; minutes; reports; scrapbooks; subject files; and visual materials, such as negatives, photographs, and photograph albums.

Significant people and groups featured in this collection include William. W. Cook; various House Directors, such as Sarah Rowe, G.J. Diekema, Olive Chernow, Josette Allen, and Rosalie Moore; the building's Board of Governors and House Board; and Martha Cook Building students and alumnae. Other notable topics include the construction, furnishing and remodeling of the Martha Cook Building; various scholarships; and activities, such as various anniversary events and the Messiah Dinner.


French family papers, circa 1908-1966

1 linear foot

Files of J. Leslie French, Presbyterian clergyman, and first campus minister at the University of Michigan Tappan Hall Presbyterian Association; and papers of his wife, Edna Cumming French, largely concerning her involvement in the Alumnae Council's fundraising for the construction of the Women's League.

The French family collection consists primarily of the papers of J. Leslie French with a scattering of other materials of his wife Edna Cumming French. The J. Leslie French materials relate to the period when he was University Pastor for Presbyterian Students at the University of Michigan. The Edna French papers pertain to University of Michigan alumnae activities, notably her involvement in fund raising for the construction of the Women's League building.


Anna Rhodes Carney photograph collection, circa 1900

1 envelope

1901 graduate of the University of Michigan. Consists of photographs of students, mostly women, in a botanical laboratory and rooming house.

The collection consists of photographs of students, mostly women, in a botanical laboratory and rooming house.


George Robert Swain photographs and papers, circa 1870-1947 (majority within 1913-1947)

20 linear feet (in 34 boxes) — 1 oversize folder

University of Michigan staff photographer, 1913-1947 and commercial photographer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Collection includes some manuscript material but is primarily photographic prints and negatives made by Swain. Photo subjects include university buildings, faculty, and student activities, archeological expeditions to the Near East and, Ann Arbor scenes and landscapes form his travels in the western United States and Canada.

The papers and photographs of George R. Swain mainly document Swain's accomplishments as university photographer at the University of Michigan from 1913 to 1947. Researchers should note, however, that this is only a sampling of the photographer's work during these years. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan has an extensive collection of Swain's archaeological negatives and prints, and researchers interested in his full career will want to also look at the Kelsey collection. The Bentley Library material, while including several folders of fine photographs Swain made on his travels with Professor Frances Kelsey, for the most part documents Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan.

The collection at the Bentley Library consists of three series: Miscellaneous Papers; Photographers Log; and Photographs (prints; negatives; and lantern slides. Since the bulk of the collection is comprised of early twentieth century images of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, the materials will be of most interest to researchers searching for visual documentation of this part of the state in that time period. There are very few materials beyond the visual, although the lengthy captions attached to many overseas images and the essays, diaries, and letters, are extremely interesting and offer insight into how Swain approached his craft, both as a professional photographer and in his personal work.


Hazel Littlefield Smith Papers, circa 1830s-1979

5.3 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Resident in China from Farwell, Michigan; papers concern her family life in Farwell, and missionary activities; include letters, diaries, and accounts of father, Josiah L. Littlefield, Farwell lumber dealer and visitor to China, 1916-1917; letters, 1918-1928, of husband, Dr. Dennis V. Smith, medical missionary to China, describing in part Chinese politics and civil war, 1918-1920; letters and other papers of Hazel Littlefield Smith, including materials concerning various European travels, and manuscripts of writings about Irish author Lord Dunsany, her father, and Farwell, Michigan; and photographs. Other correspondents of Hazel Smith include world-renowed scientists (Edwin Hubble and William Beebe), from Chinese Princess Der Ling, and from distinguished European writers and actors (Pierre LaMure, Selma Lagerlof, Brian Aherne, and Ronald Colman).

This collection was accumulated by Hazel Littlefield Smith and consists of materials concerning her career and interests and those of her family, specifically her husband, Dr. Dennis Smith, and her father, Josiah Littlefield (1845-1935), a pioneer lumberman and businessman in Farwell, Michigan.

The collection is particularly valuable for three topics: early days (late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) in Farwell, Michigan; missionary life in China in the period ca. 1915-1928; and the travels and writings of Hazel Littlefield Smith. The materials include correspondence, compositions and business-related materials of Josiah Littlefield; correspondence and other materials of Dr. Dennis Smith, Hazel Littlefield Smith (and Josiah Littlefield) concerning conditions in early republican China; and correspondence and other materials of Hazel Littlefield Smith concerning her travels in Europe (1920s-1950s), her management of the family farm near Farwell, Michigan (1940s), and her essays, poetry and other publications, including Lord Dunsany: King of Dreams.

The three principal figures in the collection--Hazel Littlefield Smith, Dennis Smith and Josiah Littlefield--were highly perceptive observers of persons and events. Their letters are rich in detail, whether describing travel experiences or everyday life in rural northern Michigan.

The collection is arranged into six series: Littlefield Family, China-related materials, Hazel Littlefield Smith, Miscellanea, Dr. Dennis V. Smith, and Visual Materials.


Women in Engineering Office (University of Michigan) records, 1990-2000

1 linear foot

Office within the College of Engineering devoted to providing services and resources to support women in engineering programs. Include topical files on issues facing women engineers, projects and programs supported by the office such as the Marian Sarah Parker Scholarship program, workshop material and documentation from the Graduate Experience Project. Some scattered photographs are also included.

The WIE records document the programs that the office supported and helped to organize. The records include topical files on issues facing women engineers, projects and programs supported by the office such as the Marian Sarah Parker Scholarship program, workshop material and documentation from the Graduate Experience Project. Some scattered photographs are also included. The records (1 linear foot) date from 1990-2000 and are arranged in two series: Programming and Topical Files.


Commission for Women (University of Michigan) records, 1989-1997

0.4 linear feet

Commission established in 1971 to investigate discrimination against women. It preceded the university's Affirmative Action Office which was formed in 1972. Membership includes faculty, staff, and students. Records contain material from the 25th anniversary of the Commission for Women, including audio-visual items. Also includes mission and planning documents and retirement subcommittee records.

The records are divided into three series. The Commission for Women Twenty-Fifth Anniversary series contains one folder of sample programs and invitations for the anniversary event which was held in 1996. The contents give a concise history of the organization and highlight the commission's most noteworthy activities.

A VHS video cassette of the anniversary festivities can also be found in the Audio Visual series. Another videotape contains the slide show Turnabout which was also shown at the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration. Turnabout was originally produced and presented in the early 1970s in an effort to raise stereotyping consciousness. One last item in the Audio Visual series is an audio cassette tape of a brown bag luncheon, which featured Carol Hollenshead on the history of the Commission for Women and Laura Calkins who spoke about updating the book A Dangerous Experiment a general history of women attending the University of Michigan.

Margaret Creger was chair of the commission from 1989 to 1991 and co-chair with Kathleen Alonozo from 1991 to 1992. Her records are held in the Margaret Creger Records series and contain correspondence regarding both the commission and the Commission for Women Retirement Subcommittee, meeting notes for this time period, several versions of the commission's strategic plan, and the annual report produced during her tenure. Of special importance are the results of a planning survey which was distributed to Commission for Women members in 1989. The collected information is neatly compiled and offers insight into the concerns of University women in the late 1980s.


Women in Science and Engineering Program (University of Michigan) records, 1974-2023, undated

11.3 linear feet — 62.5 GB (online) — 1 archived website

Established in 1980 as part of the Center for Continuing Education of Women (now CEW+), the Women in Science and Engineering Program (WISE) has sought to increase the number of women who major in and seek advanced degrees in mathematics, science and technical fields. WISE has offered internships, resource guides, programming, and the Warner-Lambert lecture series towards this goal. In addition to supporting women at the collegiate level, WISE offers a variety of K-12 programs for students of any gender identity, although they are primarily aimed at women and girls. Records include correspondence and reports; physical and digital materials related to programming efforts, including the Warner-Lambert lecture series and Girls in Science and Engineering summer camp; funding proposals; research papers and talks by WISE staff members; and clippings and documents related to the establishment of WISE. Planning files for the Girls and Science and Technology (GASAT) IV Conference 1987, digital transcripts and recordings from an oral history project that sought to preserve the history of University of Michigan alumnae in the sciences and engineering, and material related to as well as the Women in Engineering Office are also included.

The WISE records (11.3 linear feet and digital files (online)) reflect the changing approaches that WISE took to encourage and support women in the sciences and engineering, as well as the changing organizational structure of the program. Specific formats include correspondence, digital photographs and videos, grant applications and program proposals, oral histories, research studies and talks, publications, reports, web archives, and background material on women and sciences at the University of Michigan. Prominently represented in the collection are WISE's various programming efforts, the Women's History in Michigan Science and Engineering Oral History Project, and the Women in Engineering Office (WIE).


Women's Athletics (University of Michigan) records, 1972-1990

9 linear feet

Administrative unit of the University of Michigan Athletic Department responsible for management of women's varsity sports. Records, including topical files, committee minutes, administrative files, and materials on Title IX, document the period when Womens Athletics operated as a semi-autonomous unit under a Director of Women's Athletics.

The Women's Athletics records document the evolution of varsity sports for women at the University of Michigan, and the struggles women engaged in for equity in funding, coaching, facilities, and scholarships. The bulk of the collection represents the administrative files from Phyllis Ocker's tenure as Associate Director for Women's Intercollegiate Athletics. The records document the internal development and management of the women's athletics program, governance of women's athletics through the various intercollegiate conferences and associations with which the program was affiliated, the implementation of Title IX and subsequent internal and external complaints and investigations, and the management and operation of individual sports teams. (Additional material, including media guides, game programs, and photographs for individual sports teams, and microfilmed news clipping scrapbooks can be found in the Bentley Library in the records of the University of Michigan, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Sports Information Office.)


Women's Advocate Office (University of Michigan) records, 1970-1977

7 linear feet

Papers, 1970-1976, of the Women's Advocate of the University of Michigan, office created to meet the personal and legal needs of women at the University of Michigan. Contain reference and topical files concerning women's issues, especially abortion, childcare, health care, legal problems, affirmative action, and equal rights.

A large part of the collection consists of reference files of articles related to women's issues. Topical files include materials on career planning, the Center for Continuing Education of Women, the Women's Media Center, and childcare programs and other projects for women at the university. Annual reports, evaluations and various committee reports related to the work of the Women's Advocate Office are also included.