Research Post #1

For my decade, the 1930s, I have chosen to research the department and faculty files. This is one of the most important resources that we have when trying to understand what the classroom would have been like here at Mary Washington. Because of how old these documents are, there are not an absolutely overwhelming amount of things left. I hope with this research, I will understand what was going on in these classes and what was expected of the students in the departments. Also, using the faculty files, it will be interesting to see who was teaching these classes and what experience they had. Trying to understand the personalities of the people that the women had to deal with on a daily basis will help to understand their experience. This past week, I went to special collections in the library and looked through some of the files so that I could get a better understanding of what I would be working with.

The department files are packed with things from all decades but some files do survive from the 1930s. From what I could gather, there are syllabi from many classes, class supplies needed lists, and plans for what the students were to learn. The syllabus for a class will most likely be the most important from this source because it outlines everything that would take place and what was expected out of the students. For example, in one of the files for the Biology department, the syllabus for a human anatomy class was completed detailed for what the students were going to learn and when. It was much more detailed than anything that I have seen in my four years here at UMW.

For the faculty files, of which there are many, the information enclosed is writings and other things that the professor has published. Hopefully, because of how long ago this was, there will be some applications in the files to really get to know the person. Because of the amount of these files, I will need to utilize other sources that my group members are using like course catalogues and yearbooks to get the names of the people that I will need to look up.

All in all, I am very excited to be researching this source. I think it is one of the most interesting things to use when comparing now and then. I will be excited to see how it was different in terms of learning at this time. Obviously, society and culture was difference but schooling is never really looked at as much, at least for what I know. It will be an exciting project!

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