Library, Information, and Technology Services

I Found It in the Archives: Women's Suffrage

Nov 06, 2012 by Clara Bertagnolli

Suffragettes rally for “Votes for Women,” circa 1916

The Presidential election is upon us, and most students who haven't voted by absentee ballot will take a bus today from Blanchard to the South Hadley High School, where the polls are set up. On November 5, 1895, students cast in their votes for a different cause: suffrage! Massachusetts held a state-wide vote to see how interested its citizens were in granting suffrage to women. To see who was interested, Wellesley, Smith, and Mount Holyoke each had their students cast votes. In the end, Wellesley and Smith found themselves in favor. It may come as a surprise that Mount Holyoke actually came out against women’s suffrage, 114 to 185. The state’s majority also went against.


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Ada Lovelace: Programmer and Countess

Oct 16, 2012 by Meggie Lasher

Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Today let’s celebrate the accomplishments of women in STEM. 


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LITS Celebrates Women in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology on Ada Lovelace Day

Oct 07, 2011 by Mary Glackin

A. Ada Byron King, Lady LovelaceJoin LITS on Ada Lovelace Day, October 7, 2011 in celebrating the often under-appreciated women who have pioneered and advanced a wide range of disciplines in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Augusta Ada Byron King (1815-1852), Countess of Lovelace,  is arguably the founder of modern computer science. She supported and collaborated with Charles Babbage in his development of the analytical and difference engines, early computer models. Lady Lovelace published the first computer program, a step-by-step plan for calculating Bernoulli Numbers with Babbage's engine. She speculated that such an engine could do more than just add numbers: it could "manipulate symbols according to rules", presaging the modern computer age.

 To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, bloggers around the world are asked to blog about a woman who has advanced any of the STEM fields. Women may be under represented in these fields but their contributions receive even less recognition. Write an entry in your blog, Facebook, or Google+ page and help spread the word about all of the women who have grown these fields and supported the next generation of scholars.

Read more about Ada Lovelace in our library collection

Follow Ada Lovelace Day via the Twitter feed @FindingAda


Jorge Knows: Women's History Month

Mar 23, 2010 by Leigh Mantle

 MHC students and Jorge marching for women's suffrage

Jorge's celebrating Women's History Month with his mysterious ability to jump back in time to support these MHC students marching for women's suffrage in 1916.  He felt the need to add his own, mellifluous voice to this excellent cause.

Mount Holyoke College was the first women's college in the nation (founded by Mary Lyon) and continues to be a leader in women's education.  LITS has a rich collection of materials to study women's history, especially women's education.  The Gender Studies research guide is a great place to start for library materials and the Archives & Special Collections holds 9,000 linear feet of unpublished
manuscript materials and over 11,000 published volumes primarily
relating to the history of the higher education of women, including such collections as the Women's Suffrage Materials

Two scholarly databases are also worth noting for the historical content, which are provided for free to current MHC students, faculty, and staff:

  • Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000, which currently includes 91 document projects and archives with information on such movements as the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Art Movment (Guerrilla Girls), and the Movement to End Violence Against Women, and many more. 
  • Women's Studies International with over 2,000 journals and coverage in the areas of sociology, history,
    political science & economy, public policy, international
    relations, arts & humanities, business and education. 

This year's theme for Women's History Month is Writing Women Back into History and to celebrate we've listed a small selection of digital archives that focus on women's history. 

Preserving Women's History: a Selection of Women's History Digital Archives

Photo Credit: Mary Stettner

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A Valuable Partnership: LITS and MHC Faculty

Jul 20, 2009 by Leigh Mantle

LITS is pleased to announce the acquisition of several new scholarly resources: Dance in Video, Women and Social Movements in the United States, and an extension of Biological Abstracts.  These electronic resources are available to all current faculty, staff, and students through the E-Resources A-Z, and more information is available below.  LITS is appreciative of faculty input in suggesting these resources as the collections at Mount Holyoke College are continually changing and LITS is always striving to meet the needs of faculty.  Faculty input to the collection development process is crucial and LITS invites each faculty member to contact a LITS Liaison for a conversation about collection needs and interests.   

Dance in Video (requested by dance faculty) searchable database containing streaming video files of dance
productions and documentaries by influential performers and companies
of the 20th century. Selections cover ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary,
experimental, and improvisational dance, as well as forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance.
Videos can be browsed by people, role, ensemble, genre, and venue.
Material types include documentaries, editorials, instructional,
interviews, and performances. Database users may create their own
custom playlists and video clips.

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (requested by history faculty) a resource for students and scholars of
U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of
women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this
collection seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding at the
same time that it makes the insights of women's history accessible to
teachers and students at universities, colleges, and high schools. The
collection currently includes 89 document projects with more than 2,800
documents and 150,000 pages of additional full-text documents, and more
than 2,060 primary authors. It includes as well book, film, and website
reviews, notes from the archives, and teaching tools. (Globe image from the cover of the The World's Congress of Representative Women (1893))

Biological Abstracts has been extended back to 1983.  This resource offers global journal coverage of every area of the life sciences with over 4,200 journals from 100 countries and over 350,000 records added annually.  (Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II)

In addition, LITS has purchased a number of films requested by film studies faculty.  A feature of the library catalog is the ability to only search Mount Holyoke College's collection of DVDs/Videos/Films by following these steps: 

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Women's History Month 2009

Mar 06, 2009 by Leigh Mantle

Women's History Month!  Here are a few resources for learning about
some extraordinary women, including our own Mary Lyon. 

National Women's History Project 2009 theme, Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet and the 2009 List of Honorees

Mary Lyon on the Web from the Mount Holyoke College Office of Communications and the Mount Holyoke College Digital Resources from Archives & Special Collections.

National Women's Hall of Fame with information on the 2009 inductees.  

Sophia Smith Collection: Women's History Archives from Smith College

Women: Historical Resources from the National Archives Library Information Center with information on African American Women, Politics and Women, Women's Suffrage, and Women in the Military

Women's History Month and American Women: A Guide to Their History from the Library of Congress

Women Watch from the United Nations with information about International Women's Day on March 8th. This year's theme is Women and Men United to End Violence Against Women and Girls.

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Discovering American Women's History Online

Mar 06, 2009 by Leigh Mantle

A new online resource, Discovering American Women's History Online, provides access to digital collections of
sources (photos, letters, diaries, artifacts, etc.) that document the
history of women in the United States. These diverse collections
range from Ancestral Pueblo pottery to
Katrina Thomas's photographs of ethnic weddings
from the late 20th century.

Of course, the Mount Holyoke Digital Collections Online and the Five College Archives Digital Access Project are included.  Check them out for some great images, such as...

 Mary Lyon Hall and the Old Library1897-1904, Students Studying in Williston Library 1929, and Checking the Card Catalog 1955

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