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Women at Beloit College collection

Identifier: AC 111

Scope and Contents

This collection is arranged into five series: 1. General information; 2. "Coming of the Coed"; 3. Women's Governance; 4. Women's Studies; and 5. Womyn's Center.


  • 1872-2008

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are very fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.

Biographical / Historical

The admittance of women was a slow process for Beloit College. While most of the Midwest transitioned to coeducation by the 1890s, Beloit College continued to be a single sex institution. It was not until early 1895 when the Trustees met, discussed, and voted on the admissions of women. D.K. Pearsons, who wanted to see women at Beloit, helped push coeducation with his gift of $50,000. At this January meeting, the Trustees decided to admit women starting September 1895. The following academic year, thirty-four women arrived at Beloit College--twenty-seven freshmen, three sophomores, two juniors and two seniors. Although students and alumni were originally hesitant about this change, the majority of the faculty favored coeducation, and soon women proved themselves by successfully partaking in academics and extracurricular activities. During World Wars I and II, women effectively took over and ran the Round Table as well as other large groups and organizations. In the academic year of 1986-1987—exactly ninety years after the first women entered Beloit College, the college implemented a Women's Studies minor. At Beloit's sesquicentennial, faculty, students and alumni also celebrated the centennial of women at the college by convening a three-day conference in November of 1995.


6.5 Linear Feet (11 boxes and loose materials; further additions are expected)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into five series: general information, "Coming of the Coed", Women's Governance, Women's Studies, and Womyn's Center. The General Information series contains materials and records related to women at Beloit College. "Coming of the Coed" is a collection of articles, clippings, correspondence, manuscripts, and papers associated to the arrival of women and their first decade at Beloit College. The third series contains bound, handwritten record books with meeting minutes of various female student government groups; some also include their constitution and by-laws. Women's Studies series includes material relating to the discipline, now known as Women's and Gender Studies, at Beloit College. The last series contains material associated the Beloit College Womyn's Center.


This collection has been compiled over the years through separate accessions of various sizes from various offices and individuals. Much of the Women's Studies series came from Professor Catherine Orr. The original order of the documents is unknown. The arrangement order presented here has been imposed by the College Archives staff.

Related Materials

Beloit College Curriculum records (AC 38)
Beloit College Student Activities records (AC 101)
Beloit College Student Government records (AC 102)

Women at Beloit College collection
Amara Pugens
August, 2012
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Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA