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Female Communities Pre-Coeducation

The Scholarship Committee of the DWC

Early Communities

Women living in the Dartmouth area could find community both through clubs associated with the college and those with the town of Hanover. 
DC Hist BX7255.H3 C46, Female Cent Society to Women's Association. A written history documenting how the Female Cent Society in Hanover became the Women's Association of the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College (view here).
ML-19, Box 4, Folder 79Annual Report of the Female Cent Institution dated 1886 (view here).
DA-87, Box 3530, Bound Record Books. Women's Association Missionary Society Annual Reports.

Folder 2, History of the Association:

  • Petition for a "Ladies Room" at the Church of Christ, 1879. (view here).
  • Subscriptions for the Ladies Room at the Church of Christ. (view here).
  • Women's Association of the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College Constitition

Folder 5, Annual Written Reports 1898-1933:

  • Winter Carnival Report, 1925. Documents how the association served hundreds of people food over the weekend (view here).

Folder 6, Annual Written Reports 1934-1960:

  • Annual Report, 1943-1944. Mentions the association's educational symposiums on war and global politics (view here). 

Folder 12, Hanover Related Materials:

  • Recipe Book, 1928, Created by the Women's Association and contributions made by the Hanover Community (view here).
Women's Club of Hanover, Vertical File. Topic File on the Women's Club of Hanover, founded in 1919. Includes newspaper clippings, images and other documents describing its purpose, membership, and role in the community.
Women's Fortnightly Club, Vertical File. Topic File on the Hanover Women's Fortnightly Club, with a variety of records documenting its history.
MS-1207, Box 15, Folders 4-7, Hanover Women's Fortnightly Club Scrapbook 1919-1940. Scrapbooks containing annotated images, documents and newspaper clippings related to the club's meetings.

World War II
The War Years at Dartmouth project is a collection of over 100 interviews with Dartmouth community members who were on campus before, during, or after World War Two.  Here is a list of recordings detailing women's stories and how they found a sense of place at Dartmouth during those years.

Female "breadwinners":

  • Virginia and Swift BarnesDOH-67. Virginia Barnes discusses working three jobs on campus and in Hanover. She agrees with her husband, Swift, that she was the family "breadwinner."
  • Ann and George TurnerDOH-120. Ann Turner describes how she worked at the library and joined the German club. 
  • Ruthe Berry (wife of Chester Berry). DOH -71. Ruthe mentions how she worked for the Council on Student Organizations and talks about another Dartmouth wife working for the college's film department. 
  • Joyce and Bob FieldsteelDOH-81. Joyce discusses employment of Dartmouth wives living on campus and describes how a higher level of education did not benefit women seeking work.


  • Carol Allen (wife of Robert Allen). DOH-61. Carol notes her initial discomfort moving to Hanover without her husband and not finding a female community. She later describes how living in married student housing was more social. 
  • Sibyl Waterman. DOH-170. Sibyl discusses Dartmouth wives' social lives at the fraternities, attempts to audit classes, and communities in the college's married couple dorms. 

Living situation:

  • Joan and Eric BarradaleDOH-69. Joan Barradale recalls how married life was confined to your neighbors in the dorms.
  • Joan Rowan (spouse of Charles Rowan). DOH-177. Joan discusses the facilities and amenities of living in married couple dorms, the fayerweathers, and then Sachem Village. 
  • Barbara Truncellito (spouse of Ray Truncellito). DOH-118. Barbara describes her experience of living in the Mary Hitchcock nursing dorms, alienated from other Dartmouth lives as she did not live in one of the married couple dorms on campus.

Other sources:

Later Communities

The Dartmouth Women's Club of Boston was mostly made up of Dartmouth wives and mothers. It was originally named the Dartmouth Matron's Club but the name was changed because members believed it did not fit the lively nature of the women involved. The club held fundraising and social events, and, in 1960, produced a particularly important feminist piece in the form of a cookbook (see below).
DC Hist TX715.D37, Favorite Dartmouth Recipes Book, 1966This cookbook created by the club satirically reinforces female domesticity. More information about this item can be found on the Rauner Library Blog. View the digital version of the book here.
DA-212, Box 6478, Records from the Dartmouth Women's Club of Boston. Box containing the "alumnae" club's meeting materials and historical records. Includes a profile on member Anna Sarnie, who speaks about the club's name change. Includes a newspaper clipping showing an image of the scholarship committee. 

Note: This list is not an exhaustive representation of all materials in Rauner Special Collections Library on the above subject(s). To search for additional sources, use the library catalog or online finding aids.

Credit to Jess Hilton '25 for creating this bibliography based on the fellowship research of Cece King '23.

Last updated: April 2023

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