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Resources on Women at Yale : Women in the Graduate and Professional Schools

Contains annotated references to archival resources on women students, faculty, and other members of the Yale community.

RU1073: Yale School of Nursing Historical Collection (1890-2007)

Boxes contain materials related to the history of the Yale University School of Nursing. This was the first division of Yale University to have a student body comprised entirely of women (men were first admitted as students in the 1950s).

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RU563: Records of the Office for Women in Medicine (1972-1980)

This collection contains various records related to the activities of the Office for Women in Medicine in the Yale School of Medicine. The Office's activities included advocating for women medical students at Yale, conducting studies of career outcomes of women students, and collecting information on women's advancements in the medical profession more broadly.

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Two graduate students in the Yale School of Engineering: Michele Mazeran (left) and Joan Radley, 1954 (Local record 3531)

RU179: Teacher Preparation and Placement Program, Yale College, Records

Collection contains materials related to Yale's M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) program, which was phased out around 1970. Of particular interest is a folder that contains some materials related to a short-lived pilot program in which women students from Vassar College and Smith College were invited to matriculate to Yale as seniors, and complete two years of coursework alongside male Yale students to earn a Master’s in Teaching. The women applicants would receive a B.A. from their original institution and an M.A.T. from Yale. The pilot program was designed to shorten the amount of time needed for qualified students to earn an M.A.T. (to fill what was then seen as a nationwide shortage of good secondary school teachers). The program began in the 1958-1959 academic year and was still active in the spring semester of 1961. 

Relevant boxes include:

-RU179, Accn. 1973-A-005, Box 14, folder 10 (1960-1961)

RU173: Office of Institutional Research, Yale University, Records and Reports

This collection consists of the records of the Office of Institutional Research (OIR), an office at Yale University tasked with conducting research on various aspects of Yale's operations, personnel, etc. The OIR has undertaken various studies on women in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, some of which are available to view.

Relevant boxes include:

-RU 173, Accn. 1980-A-014, Box 1, folder 17 (1972)

RU285: Yale University School of Medicine, Records of the Dean

Collection contains material from the Office of the Dean of the Yale School of Medicine. Of special interest is a set of papers related to the early admission of women to the School of Medicine in 1916. 

Relevant boxes include:

-RU 285, Accn. 1961-A-002, Box 173, folder 3601 (1916-1942)

RU205: Yale University, School of Nursing Records

Collection contains materials related to the Yale University School of Nursing. This was the first division of Yale University to have a student body comprised entirely of women (men were first admitted as students in the mid-1950s). Boxes especially relevant to the early history of the School of Nursing are listed below.

Relevant boxes include:

-RU 205, Accn. 19ND-A-410, Series I, Box 47, folders 563, 567, 569, 573, 575 (1936-1990)

-RU 205, Accn. 19ND-A-410, Series I, Box 34, folder 376 (1949)

-RU 205, Accn. 19ND-A-410, Series I, Box 46, folder 556 (1998)

RU503: Graduate Education for Women at Yale (Report) (1969)

Collection contains draft copies of a report pertaining to graduate education for women at Yale, addressed to Dean of the Graduate School John Perry Miller and produced by a committee chaired by E. Wight Bakke, a professor of sociology and economics. Women who served on Bakke’s committee included Elga Wasserman, Etta Onat (administrator, name misspelled as Elta), Alice Miskimin (lecturer in English), and Ursula S. Lamb (lecturer in history). The report urges Yale University to pursue a policy of sex-blind treatment of graduate students, in terms of both admission and support once they arrive at Yale. However, it is also filled with sexist comments about women’s intellectual abilities, taken from questionnaires
distributed to both graduate students and faculty.

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RU9: Fellowship of Helen Hadley Hall, Yale University, Records (1945-1978)

Collection contains materials related to Helen Hadley Hall, a dormitory opened in 1959 specifically for women graduate and professional students. The building was named for Helen Hadley, wife of the fifteenth president of Yale University, who was described as “a leader in helping women at Yale, whether students or wives of faculty.” The Hall also maintained social activities for women students and a fellowship program. In 1969, it became a coed dormitory.

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More materials on graduate women's housing at Yale can be found in two additional collections: RU22: Alfred Whitney Griswold, President of Yale University, Records, and RU948: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Yale University, Records of the Dean:

-RU22, Series I, Box 226, folder 2103 (1951, 1956-1961)

-RU948, Accn. 2004-A-058, Box 5, folder 119 (1957-1963)

MS1114 Series II: Mabel Phillips DeVane Papers (1905-1968)

This collection is part of MS1114, the papers of Yale English professor and Dean of Yale College (1938-1963) William C. DeVane. Among DeVane's papers are a collection of writings from his wife, Mabel Phillips DeVane, who earned a Ph.D. in English at Yale in 1925. Included in Dr. Mabel DeVane's writings are drafts of scholarly essays, undated drafts of speeches to the Newcomers' Club and Yale University Women's Organization, and an undated speech (c. 1940) entitled "Yale Then and Now," reflecting on DeVane's experiences as a graduate student, “young faculty wife,” and wife of a Yale dean.

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