Trexler Library’s Rare Books Exhibit Room on Level B provides a space to showcase Special Collections and Archives materials. Once or twice per year, exhibits rotate, sometimes telling stories from the College’s history through archival material, and sometimes thematically highlighting treasures from our other collections.

An Innovation Revisited: 170 years of women on campus

January 23, 2020 - April 24, 2020 — Rare Books Exhibit Room, Level B

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. To mark that centennial, Special Collections and Archives is exploring the presence of women on campus— and their absences. From 1850, when Muhlenberg College’s predecessor, the Allentown Seminary, first opened its Female Department for the education of girls and young women, through the later decades of the 19th century, when female voices are virtually silent at the College, into the early years of the 20th century, when the Women’s Auxiliary proved that women were indispensable to the survival of the institution, we have attempted to profile some individuals and organizations that helped women learn and thrive at Muhlenberg College through the years.

During this anniversary year, the archives will continue to share profiles of some of the lesser-known women in Muhlenberg’s past, and to make available more and more resources specific to the study of women’s history at Muhlenberg. Though the presence of women on campus was repeatedly seen as an “innovation” by successive generations of administrators and students, their story of resilience and determination has been inextricably woven into Muhlenberg’s history since the beginning.

For more information about the exhibit or Muhlenberg library history, contact Susan Falciani Maldonado at susanfalciani@muhlenberg.edu or 484.664.3694.